Oct 28, 2019
by Jeanie K. Smith , San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
While most theaters open their holiday shows in December, a few get the jump and open this month, so you can begin your ho-ho-ho-ing a little earlier. They’re all big, heart-warming musicals guaranteed to set your spirits glowing and fill you with anticipation for the season’s celebrations.
Sweet orphan Oliver! makes his perennial request for “More, Sir” at 6th Street Playhouse and lands on the rough streets of London searching for a little love. Signature songs include “Where is Love?” “As Long as He Needs Me,” and “Food, Glorious Food.” Great for the whole family.
Runs Nov. 15 - Dec. 15
6th Street Playhouse
G.K. Hardt Theatre
52 W. 6th Street, Santa Rosa 95401
The comic sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley presented by Spreckels Theatre Company captures the festive ambiance of a Regency-era Christmas at the home of Fitzwilliam Darcy and his relatively new wife, Elizabeth Bennet Darcy. There’s amusing matchmaking, quirky relatives, and an early example of a decorated Christmas tree. Penned by award-winning Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, it’s a charming addition to the list of holiday favorites.
Runs Nov. 22 - Dec. 15
Spreckels Theatre Company
Spreckels Performing Arts Center
5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park 94928
What could be better for an alternative holiday show than the much-loved Rodgers & Hammerstein classic, The Sound of Music? Let Maria and the Von Trapp children melt your heart once again with “Do Re Mi,” “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Climb Every Mountain.” The Burbank Auditorium is still undergoing remodel, so this is a co-production with Sonoma State U. and Santa Rosa J.C., performed at the Evert B. Person Theatre on SSU’s campus. This timely and timeless musical is suitable for older children and any adult with a heart.
Runs Nov. 22 - Dec. 8
Santa Rosa Junior College & Sonoma State University
Evert B. Person Theatre, SSU
1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park 94928
Main Stage West presents Conor McPherson’s bit of Irish devilry, The Seafarer, sure to give you chills and delights in equal measure. In a village outside Dublin on Christmas Eve, newly sober Sharky returns to his family home to care for brother Richard who recently lost his sight in an accident. Old shipmates arrive to commiserate and party, and bring a stranger, “Mr. Lockhart,” to make a good table for poker. But we soon learn of the real relationship between Sharky and the sinister stranger, and the poker game becomes high stakes indeed. Part comedy and part terror, the tension as the game unfolds makes for a wonderful, magical tale as only McPherson can tell it.
Main Stage West has a penchant for McPherson’s plays and his brand of Irish lyricism, and this play may rejuvenate your love of life itself. Don’t miss this unusual offering for your holiday enjoyment.
Runs Nov. 29 - Dec. 21
Main Stage West
104 N. Main St., Sebastopol 95472
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