On the town for the holidays

South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa will present its annual production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" until Dec. 26.

Jerry Path's adaptation of one man's redemption and new lease on life stars Hal Landon Jr. as Ebenezer Scrooge for the 34th consecutive year. The 33-person cast, including 16 local child and teen actors, will regale audiences with a traditional holiday story while dressed in period costumes and framed by dazzling sets.

"A Christmas Carol" will be hosted in the Folino Theater Center at 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tickets, which start at $21 for children and $26 for adults, are sold out except for the final performance at 7:30 p.m.

For show times and more information, visit http://www.scr.org or call the box office at (714) 708-5555.


The Newport Theatre Arts Center, at 2501 Cliff Drive, Newport Beach, hosts its first Holiday Variety Show at 6 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 22.

The community-based concept is culturally inclusive and religiously neutral, while telling the tale of the Field Mouse Family of Newport Beach. Family members fear that their modest Christmas tree will be overlooked by Santa Claus amid other decorations and festivities. Guests can partake in the celebrations and discover whether Santa makes a stop at their Noble Fir condo.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Doors open 30 minutes ahead of each performance. Pre-show entertainment includes magic acts, swing dancing, refreshments and a holiday boutique.

For more information, visit http://www.ntaconline.com or call (949) 631-0288.


Members of Newport Harbor Lutheran and Mesa Verde United Methodist churches team up for a performance of George Frederic Handel's "Messiah" at 4 p.m. Dec. 22.

The popular Christmas concert selection features tunes including "Hallelujah" and "For unto us a child is born" and will be showcased at Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, 798 Dover Drive.

The suggested ticket donation is $20.

For more information, call (949) 548-3631 or visit http://www.nhlcs.org.


"The Nutcracker" comes to the Irvine Barclay Theatre until Dec. 24, courtesy of Fountain Valley-based Festival Ballet Theatre.

Starting with a 19th-century holiday party, the show follows a young girl's journey into the Sugarplum Fairy's kingdom. The story of Clara and her beloved Nutcracker Prince is accompanied by Peter Tchaikovsky's music.

This production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre's artistic director Salwa Rizkalla and features more than 100 Southern Californian dancers as well as guest artists including Fabrice Calmels, Beckanne Sisk and Stella Abrera.

Tickets are $40 for adults, $37 for seniors and $35 for children.

For show times and further information, visit http://www.thebarclay.org.


Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award-winning "Evita" is being performed at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts' Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa until Dec. 22.

The musical tells the story of Argentine First Lady Eva Perón and features hit numbers such as "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" and "High Flying, Adored." Tickets start at $29.

The venue's Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall will also host the Pacific Chorale's annual holiday performance at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Monday.

Conductor John Alexander will guide the chorale and guest artists, the Southern California Children's Chorus and members of Pacific Symphony, during "Tis' the Season!"

For showtimes and more information, visit http://www.scfta.org.


The Pacific Symphony will celebrate the holidays with country and pop singer LeAnn Rimes at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Richard Kaufman, principal pops conductor, will lead the orchestra, which comprises about 120 instruments. Divided into two parts, the show will include traditional holiday songs with special guest and narrator Jay Johnson telling the story of the night before Christmas. Rimes and her band will take the stage in the second half and play songs to the accompaniment of the symphony.

Tickets for "Christmas with LeAnn Rimes" range from $35 to $185.

For more information, visit http://www.pacificsymphony.org.


The Laguna Playhouse will host "A Christmas Memory" until Dec. 29.

The Nick DeGruccio-directed production draws on Truman Capote's Depression-era short story about a friendship that spans generations to the accompaniment of a lighthearted musical score.

The book is by Duane Poole, while Larry Grossman contributed music and Carol Hall lyrics.

Tickets range from $41 to $61.

For showtimes and more information, visit http://www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


The Strand in downtown Huntington Beach celebrates the holidays by stationing a photo booth and van so guests can share printed photos with friends or strut some dance moves for the interactive dance video.

On Saturday, the venue will host a "Night at the Movies" starting at 6 p.m. All events will take place on the patio breezeway, and hot cocoa and cookies will be served.

For more information, visit http://www.thestrandon5th.com.


Bella Terra hosts "Magic of Snow" at 7 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Guests will be able to watch a 10-minute show with special effects and music. Santa Claus will also be present at the Huntington Beach shopping center on Saturday to pose for photos and hand out gifts to kids.

For more information, visit http://www.bellaterra-hb.com.


For the 37th year in a row, Ballet Repertory Theatre presents "The Nutcracker" — Orange County's longest-running holiday tradition.

The 300-person cast will perform at the Mainstage Theater at Golden West College in Huntington Beach through Dec. 24.

General admission is $18. Seniors, students with identification and children younger than 12 enter for $14.

For showtimes and more information, visit http://www.gwctheater.com.

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