With the holidaze upon us, local theater shall be taking a backseat to family gatherings, bonfires on the levee (and other places), and seasonal festivities. Still, there are some shows coming up in December…and not all of them deal with Nutcrackers or Grinches!
If you’re a fan of the Tudors–or any of today’s pop princesses–head over to the Saenger Theatre (Nov. 29-Dec. 4) for SIX, the musical in which the six wives of Henry VIII battle, American Idol style, for the position of lead singer in their heaven-set band. How will this be determined? Whomever had the worst experience at the hands of Henry, wins.
Yeah, it’s kinda trauma-porn but each Wife sings her tale in the style of a different pop diva (Beyoncé, Adele, Britney and other such one-named wonders), so it’s all about the entertainment. Despite its Best Original Score Tony Award, I doubt you’ll come out of the theater thinking any of SIX’s songs would be a #1 hit, but, having seen it in London in 2019 where accents and over-amplification made it a challenge to catch all the lyrics, I’m looking forward to seeing it again here. More info and tickets at https://www.saengernola.com/shows/six
Later in the month, the Saenger will feature a certain nasty green-skinned individual with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, an 85-minute adaptation of the beloved tale. More info at www.saengernola.com/shows/dr-suess-how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-the-musical
Christmas is just one of the holidays that will be celebrated in JPAS’ Holiday Inn running December 2-11 at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center in Metairie. Based on the 1942 film and stuffed with Irving Berlin classics (Blue Skies, Easter Parade, Steppin’ Out With My Baby, White Christmas, etc.), Holiday Inn tells the story of Jim, who leaves the bright lights of show biz to settle down on his farmhouse in Connecticut, but quickly discovers life isn’t the same without a bit of song’n’dance. So Jim and Linda, a schoolteacher with talent to spare, turn the farmhouse into an inn that celebrates each holiday, from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July.
Richard Arnold and Chloe Vallot, as Jim and Linda, star along with Alcee Jones III and Bailey Gabrish. This bonbon of a musical will be directed by Leslie Castay and promises to bring a smile to your face. More info and tickets at https://www.jpas.org/performance/holiday-inn/
Getting away from holidays altogether, The NOLA Project presents the professional premiere of Craigslisted by Sharai Bohannon. Set in 2015, when the classifieds website Craigslist reigned supreme, Craigslisted has Maggie, a broke college student, utilizing the service, allowing her to earn quick, consistent cash by helping strangers found on the World Wide Web fulfill or express their wilder and more intimate sides. As things tumble along, Maggie discovers more about people (and herself) than she ever wanted to know.
Leslie Claverie directs Craigslisted which features veteran Projecteers Ross Brill, Keith Claverie, Aria Jackson and Megan Whittle as well as Project debutantes Emily Bagwill, Mariola Chalas, Donyae Lewis and Robert A. Mitchell. Craigslisted runs December 1-17 at Loyola University’s Marquette Theater. For tickets, and more information, visit https://www.nolaproject.com/craigslisted
Think your family has problems? Fat Squirrel concludes its initial season with that classic play of familial dysfunctionality, Macbeth. Co-Directors Stephanie Garrison and Andrea Watson have reset Shakespeare’s tragedy from 16th-century Scotland to the confines of 19th-century Five Points Manhattan at the height of tensions due to the influx of immigrants fighting for their own little square footage of earth.
Watson co-stars as Lady M alongside Dane Rhodes as the Thane of Glamis who rises to King. Macbeth plays at The Fortress of Lushington nightly from December 7 thru 16 (except for Dec. 10). More info at www.fatsquirrelnola.square.site/product/macbeth-tickets/16?omnisendContactID=63656b9187c506001ac5eb46&utm_campaign=campaign%3A%20MACBETH%20-%20Dec%207-16%20%2863656d301b4360001eb2c185%29&utm_medium=email&utm_source=omnisend
Now, back to more holiday-ish offerings.
The Company–A St. Bernard Community Theatre presents A Christmas Story, adapted for the stage from humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s as it follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker’s quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas.
A Christmas Story plays at The Azienda Theater in Chalmette December 1-4. For tickets, go to www.showtix4u.com/event-details/68889?mc_cid=a2ac7aadd0&mc_eid=7204010407
A Very Merry Christmas Spectacular returns to 30 by Ninety Theatre in Mandeville for its 4th annual run, December 2-11. This spirited celebration of the holidays features local performers of all ages singing and dancing that’s guaranteed to get you ready for the holidays. Plus, complimentary milk and cookies at every performance! Tickets available at www.30byninety.com/movie/a-very-merry-christmas-spectacular-22/
Playmakers Theater celebrates the season with its biggest holiday show ever, Miracle on 34th Street, based on the classic 1947 Oscar-winning picture. What makes this production even more special for Playmakers is that it is being presented in partnership with the Miracle League Northshore, a nonprofit organization that provides sports leagues to children with special needs. Playmakers Theater asks that patrons bring gift cards to be donated to Miracle League to support its mission. Some Miracle League children have also been cast in the show giving them the chance to gain confidence from a theatrical experience.
Directed by Naomi Lee-Shawn O’Donnell, Miracle on 34th Street runs December 3-18 at Playmakers’ historic theater in Covington. Tickets are available through www.bontempstix.com/organizations/playmakers-theater-of-covington
Still looking for a Nutcracker? Then head to Slidell Little Theatre for Nutcracker Twist, a modern take on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s timeless story. This version, adapted, directed, & choreographed by Tianna Pourciau Sykes, brings the classic holiday tale to life with an up-to-date twist, as young Clara embarks on a magical journey filled with dancing, singing and mystical, faraway places.
Nutcracker Twist plays December 9-18. Tickets can be purchased at www.slidelllittletheatre.org/tickets/nutcracker-twist-250326#buy
Likely to be an even more up-to-date twist on holiday entertainment is The Skivvies: Sleigh My Name at Le Petit Theatre on December 20 and 21. Broadway’s Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley comprise this undie-rock, comedy pop, award-winning duo who perform stripped-down, mashed-up versions of holiday favorites and more. Expect to see ukulele, electric cello, and an array of zany instruments. But no pants. More info and tix at www.lepetittheatre.com/listings/events//the-skivvies-sleigh-my-name.html
And for an equally untraditional holiday treat that has actually become a tradition in NOLA, The Amazing Acro-Cats will once again be at the Allways Lounge & Cabaret from December 1 to 18. The troupe of trained domestic house cats, all former orphans, rescues, & strays, will give visitors to the Marigny a one-of-a-kind purrformance as only Mew Orleans gets to enjoy The Meowy Catmas special.
Celebrate the holidays with the Acro-Cats by watching them jump through wreaths, roll ornaments, push sleighs and perform an array of seasonal tricks. There will also be a special appearance by The Rock-Cats, the only cat band in the world. For show dates & times, and to purchase tickets, visit www.rockcatsrescue.org. Tickets are also available at the door. Ho-Ho-Meow!