It’s Day 7 of Blogmas and it is snowy out. I guess we all knew this was coming eventually, but it feels like a night for hibernation. So, while you’re hibernating, feel free to read this post and make plans for a night when you are ready to leave the house. Because this post is all about Holiday Plays in Calgary.
A Christmas Carol (Theatre Calgary)
Let’s be real. When you think about holiday plays in Calgary, A Christmas Carol is the one that comes to mind. It’s the big daddy.
This is also its first year back in its full form since before the pandemic. They did a virtual, distanced, 3 actor version in 2020 and then performed the 3 actor version in 2021. The actor who had been playing Scrooge for 20+ years retired from the role that year. In 2022, Theatre Calgary took a break from Christmas Carol to do Little Women – smartly, I think, to distance the audience from Stephen Hair. And now they’re back! New Scrooge (Doug McKeag!!!), new cast, new production.
It’s also inordinately hard to get into. This show has been selling like hot cakes, even before they had to cancel two performances for illness… and now fit those people in elsewhere.
So I am here to tell you – if you miss A Christmas Carol this year, it’s okay. There are other great productions and you can catch it when it comes around again. (But if you must, it runs between Nov 30 – Dec 31.)
Naughty… but Nice! (Forte Musical Theatre)
I’ve written about Naughty… But Nice! On the blog before. It’s become a tradition for Claire, Kendra and I to hit it up. You know I love this sexy, sassy, and irreverent local musical theatre revue.
This year, I’m saying it – if you can only hit up one local holiday show, pick Naughty… But Nice! Forte Musical Theatre has been doing the show for a decade and this is the last year that they are doing it. I’m sure Forte will whip up something equally as amazing next year, but take your opportunity to celebrate what it’s like to do the holiday season as an adult. See this show between Dec 6-23.
It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Morpheus Theatre)
If you’re looking for something a little bit more classic or some fine family fun, Morpheus Theatre is offering a super interesting take on the classic It’s a Wonderful Life. A talented group of 7 actors will embody all of the dozen characters in the classic movie… but as a radio play! On the stage! Like, the actors are cast as the actors playing all the roles, not the characters.
I think this is just the coolest concept. Nothing is more fun than seeing Foley work live on stage. See this show between Dec 8-16.
With Bells On (Lunchbox Theatre)
Time is precious during the holiday season and, if you only have 60 minutes to spare, With Bells On is the show for you! It is a two-hander, the story of a mild-mannered accountant and a 7-foot tall drag queen dressed as a Christmas Tree who get stuck on an elevator together.
Stakes are high! Hijinks ensue! I haven’t seen this show yet, but I am crazy interested because I’ve heard such good things. See this show between Nov 28 – Dec 17.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and One Christmas Carol (Storybook Theatre)
Storybook Theatre is offering not just one, but two, holiday shows this year on alternating nights. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is an adaptation of the classic flying car movie (you know the one), full of adventure, songs, and a massive cast. It’s all about teamwork and spectacle.
Meanwhile, One Christmas Carol is a tour-de-force by a single performer in a single costume, Natascha Girgis. If you’ve seen theatre in Calgary, you’ve likely seen Natascha Girgis, and you know how she can embody a character. Why not see her embody 35 characters?
Shows run on alternating dates between Nov 24 – Dec 30th.
All is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914 (Rosebud Theatre)
Okay, call me out… Rosebud isn’t quite in Calgary. It’s a cool 70 minutes from Calgary (aka 100km east of the Calgary airport). But if you’ve visited the dinosaurs in Drumheller, you can go to Rosebud. This little hamlet has a theatre school that turns out some pretty talented actors (including friend of the blog, Kendra) and produces really quite stunning shows. Plus… All is Calm tickets include dinner! You can make a night of it and be on the road before 10pm.
Now, the buzz about this show is intense. There are limited tickets available. But if you want a very different theatre experience – Rosebud is here for you.
Friends. There is so much amazing theatre in Calgary, especially during this holiday season. Don’t let it pass you by.
And if you can’t hit up a show? Maybe consider donating to Riverona’s IndieGoGo campaign to support a future show that you can see in the spring. Call it “paying it forward”…