Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Yule/Not Yule: Something to Bless Us Every One

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM

The holidays are on stage, either ongoing or coming soon. We've got your long runs, your weekenders, your kiddie delights, your grown-up fare with snark, sweetness, and terror, along with traditional old tales and the contemporary angsty pursuit of joy. So come around the wassail bowl and let’s plan a way to see them all …
Here We Come A Caroling
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This weekend only is Cabaret Noel Five: Here We Come A Caroling, the annual cabaret by Emerald Theatre Company. The elven hosts Topsy and Turvey promise twists, laughs, and fabulousness. And ample quantities of live music. Three performances only at TheaterWorks. Go here for more.

The 12 Dates of Christmas

click to enlarge Kim Sanders
  • Kim Sanders
On now through December 22nd is The 12 Dates of Christmas, a one-woman comedy with the glorious Kim Sanders, a resident company member at Playhouse on the Square. Sanders performs in the Memphian Room at Circuit Playhouse as single Mary and her cast of family, friends, and suitors as she recovers from finding out that her fiancé is a cad. Can she survive a year of holidays being sour on love? Directed by the splendid Kell Christie, you can find out more here.
Urban Nativity
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Hattiloo Theatre
founder Ekundayo Bandele has written Urban Nativity, a contemporary take on the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus. It premiered at the theater six years ago and tells the tale of Mary and Joe, an expectant couple going to Chicago to participate in a census. There are breakdowns, criminals, and a murderous governor after them. And yet, there is, as there must be, hope. Showing through December 15th. Get tickets here.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
click to enlarge Lydia Barnett-Mulligan
  • Lydia Barnett-Mulligan

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
is set two years after Jane Austen’s novel ends, telling the tale of bookish middle sister, Mary as Christmas 1815 approaches at the Darcy estate. Tennessee Shakespeare Company presents the regional premiere of the merry tale of a new tree, new hope, and maybe even a new love. Directed by Stephanie Shine. Opens this weekend. Secure your place at Pemberley here.
A Christmas Carol
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Theatre Memphis
is embarking on its 42nd annual production of A Christmas Carol starting Friday and going through December 23rd. Directed by the estimable Jason Spitzer, it maintains tradition while getting better each year. David Shipley is the redeemable Scrooge. Go see it, every one. Tickets and info here.

Two Rooms
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And if you just want to detach from the warmth of human kindness, if you're feeling more worldly and less spiritual, then consider the case of Michael Wells, an American held hostage in a windowless cell in the Middle East and his wife, Lainie, who can’t do a thing about it, not even get the government to act. With a strong cast, Two Rooms by Lee Blessing was heralded in the 1980s as a story of solitude and devotion in the middle of headlines. Just like today, here is love and loss, foreign policy and journalism, terrorism, and people caught up in the vortex. It's a Cloud9 production at TheatreWorks running from December 13th to 21st. Info and tickets here.

Junie B. Jones, The Musical
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Here’s something for the youngsters that's not holiday themed: Junie B. Jones, The Musical follows our heroine on her first day of first grade as she navigates friends, teachers, the blackboard, kickball, and life itself. The talent, so you know, is first-rate with Breyannah Tillman (Dreamgirls) — last year’s Rising Star Ostrander Award winner — warbling on stage. Runs at Circuit Playhouse through December 22nd. Go here for more.
Peter Pan
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Of course, there’s Peter Pan. The 28th annual moneymaker is at Playhouse on the Square through December 29th, directed by Warner Crocker, and with some tech improvements that will make you ooooh and ahhhh even more than usual at the flying delights. Here's the info.

The Nutcracker
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Ballet Memphis would hardly be doing its job without a sumptuous production of The Nutcracker at the Orpheum. It’s got the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, more than 100 dancers, a live choir, and a sugar plum fairy. Runs December 12th to 15th and info is here.

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