Memphis area theater stage are getting in the Christmas spirit with a trio of holiday productions running this month.
Leading the way is Theater Memphis, whose annual production of “A Christmas Carol” is a venerated institution entering its 39th season.
Based on Charles Dickens beloved story, the play tells the story of miserly and rich Ebenezer Scrooge who is approached by the ghostly vision of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, with a warning of an eye-opening exploration leads to happiness and enlightenment, not to mention song, dance, and holiday cheer.
Director Jason Spitzer returns to helm this year’s production for the ninth time but with a twist. This year he not only leads the cast in re-creating the holiday staple that he adapted for the TM stage, but he will also play the lead role of Ebenezer Scrooge.
“This is actually not the first time I’ve directed myself. I find I’m one of the only directors who will cast me,” Spitzer says “I’ve always been in love with this story, but this experience has made me realize that old Scrooge and I may be more alike than not.”
“A Christmas Carol runs December 2-23 at the Theater Memphis, 630 Perkins Ext. Show times are 7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with 3 p.m. matinees on December 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, and 20th. There will be weekday shows Monday-Wednesday, December 19th-/21st at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for students. Tickets are available at the box office, by phone at 901-682-8323, and online at theatermemphis.org.
Another family classic is on stage at Playhouse on the Square (66 S. Cooper St.).
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Playhouse’s annual holiday production of “Peter Pan.” Based on J.M. Barrie’s tale of the boy who refused to grow up and his adventures in Neverland, this is the Tony Award winning musical version of the story made famous by Mary Martin and Sandy Duncan with such songs as “I Gotta Crow” and “I’m Flying,”
Reprising their roles as Peter Pan and Captain Hook are Associate Company Member Brooke Papritz (King Charles III; Mamma Mia!) and Resident Company Member Michael Detroit (All the Way; Billy Elliot). Children from various schools and homeschoolers are portraying the roles of Michael and John Darling as well as The Lost Boys.
“Peter Pan” runs through December 31st. Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $35, $40 for matinees. Seniors are $25; students and military $22; children under 18 $15.
Playhouse sister theater, Circuit Playhouse (51 S. Cooper St.) has two, less reverential production going on at the same time. For children, there is “Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” based on the best-selling book by Barbara Park. It runs through December 23rd. Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children.
For more adult sensibilities, Circuit also has “The Santaland Diaries” based on the essays of David Sedaris. The show opens December 2nd and runs through December 23rd. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 opening weekend (December 2nd-4th), $40 Thursdays and Sundays, $45 Fridays and Saturdays. $25 Seniors, $20 Students/Military, $15 Children under 18.
Tickets for all Playhouse on the Square and Circuit Playhouse shows are available at the respective box offices, by phone at 901-726-4656, and online at playhouseonthesquare.org.
n Lindenwood Christian Church, 2400 Union Ave. at E. Parkway, presents “A Spectacular Christmas!” Sunday, December 4th, at 7:30 p.m.
A Mid-South holiday tradition, this concert features the Lindenwood chancel choir, orchestra, soloists and organist-conductor Chris Nemec performing instrumental and choral works such as “O Holy Night,” “Hallelujah Chorus,” and “White Christmas.” A highlight of the evening is Randol Alan Bass’ “Christmas Flourish,” a fanciful suite of Christmas Carols for large chorus and orchestra. Lastly, Chris Nemec will showcase several holiday pieces on the Golightly Memorial Pipe Organ.
Admission donation is $18, general admission. For tickets, online orders https://www.itickets.com/events/369751 or contact Chris Nemec. 901-458-1652 and cnemec@Lindenwoodcc.org.