Arts & Theater

Now playing: Stages put you in the holiday spirit

Brandi Lacy, left, and Emily Serdahl star in Sacramento Theatre Company’s “Cinderella” A Holiday Musical Panto.” It runs throughout December.
Brandi Lacy, left, and Emily Serdahl star in Sacramento Theatre Company’s “Cinderella” A Holiday Musical Panto.” It runs throughout December.

Holiday theater in the region for 2016 has settled into a certain familiarity of shows with slight tweaks of casts in shows we saw last year. The outliers are a new original play by Bob Cooner at Woodland Opera House (it closes Sunday, Nov. 20!) and the Broadway Sacramento presentation of “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.”

A Christmas Carol

What: Buck Busfield adapts the Charles Dickens chestnut into a contemporary comedy that’s still charmingly “Carol”-like. With Greg Alexander as Ebenezer and an ensemble featuring John Lamb, Amy Kelly, Tara Sissom and Kurt Johnson.

When: Through Dec. 24; 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays

Where: B Street Theatre Mainstage, 2711 B St., Sacramento

Cost: $26-$38

Information: 916-443-5300,

Cinderella: A Holiday Musical Panto

What: The Shakespeare Santa Cruz panto version of the fairytale with book and lyrics by Kate Hawley, music by Gregg Coffin, from an original concept by Paul Whitworth. Michael Laun directs and Samuel Clein leads a live band.

Where: Sacramento Theatre Company, Main Stage, 1419 H St., Sacramento

When: Nov. 30 (preview)-Jan. 1; 7 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. The final two weeks of “Cinderella” performances may not follow the published schedule. Check for an updated schedule.

Cost: $20-$40

Information: 916-443-6722;

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

What: Broadway Sacramento presents the national touring company production based on the 1954 film about a song-and-dance team putting on a show at a Vermont inn. Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, of course.

When: Dec. 27-Jan. 1; various times

Where: Community Center Theater, 1301 L St.

Cost: $25-$87

Information: 916-557-1999;

The Wind in the Willows

What: Luther Hanson adapts and directs the novel by Kenneth Graham first published in 1908. The story has been admired for blending adventure, morality and the characters’ enduring sense of camaraderie.

When: Nov. 18-Dec. 11; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, and 2 p.m. Dec. 10

Where: Main Auditorium, Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento

Cost: $10-$18


The Santaland Diaries

What: David Sedaris jump-started his career with this “fictionalized memoir” about working at Macy’s as an elf during the holidays. Shannon Mahoney directs, and Benjamin Ismail takes on the role of Crumpet in the one-man alternative look at Christmas.

When: Dec. 7 (preview)-Dec. 31; 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays except Christmas

Where: Capital Stage Company, 2215 J St., Sacramento

Cost: $28-$38

Information:, 916-995-5464

A Christmas Story

What: The stage adaptation of Jean Shepherd’s classic comic memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s has been become a classic itself. The nostalgia of young Ralphie Parker’s journey to Christmas fulfillment continues to work entertainment magic.

When: Dec. 2-18; 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays

Where: The Woodland Opera House, 340 Second St., Woodland

Cost: $8-$16

Information: 530-666-9617;

Prime Time for the Holidays

What: Sacramento-based playwright Bob Cooner has penned an original holiday “retro comedy” based on his love of classic television of the 1960s and ’70s. With music by Sam Schieber, direction by Matthew Abergel and musical direction by Chris Schlagel.

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 18-19, 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20 (last show)

Where: Woodland Opera House, 340 Second St., Woodland

Cost: $12-$25

Information: 530-666-9617;

A Charlie Brown Christmas

What: The animated television special comes to life on stage as Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” gang tries to figure out what Christmas really means.

Where: Roseville Theatre Arts Academy, 241 Vernon St., Roseville

When: Dec. 3-17; 11 a.m and 2 p.m. Saturdays

Cost: $8

Information:; 916-772-2777

A Christmas Carol

What: Now the grandaddy of traditional regional productions, San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater’s lavish version by Paul Walsh and Carey Perloff distills the heart of Dickens’ story of ghosts and redemption. The cast is led by James Carpenter’s Ebenezer Scrooge with an ensemble featuring some of the Bay Area’s finest actors, including Ken Ruta, Sharon Lockwood, Delia MacDougal, Catherine Castellanos and Anthony Fusco.

When: Nov. 25-Dec. 24. Performance times and days vary.

Where: The Geary Theater, 405 Geary St., San Francisco

Cost: $25-$115

Information:; 415-749-2228

Marcus Crowder: 916-321-1120, @marcuscrowder