It’s never too early to get in the yuletide spirit. Find that warm holiday glow at one of these seasonal spectaculars.
Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen’s vision for this timeless classic, featuring all-new sets and costumes, debuted to great acclaim in 2012. Witness the magical journey of Clara as she meets the Snow Queen, the Sugar Plum Fairy and, of course, the Nutcracker Prince in this eye-popping adventure set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score.
November 27–December 31, Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., 617-695-6955, bostonballet.org
Boston Holiday Pops
The beloved orchestra returns for a series of shows featuring favorite seasonal songs, and even a visit from Santa. At special kids’
matinees taking place every
weekend, you can even take pics with the jolly one himself.
December 2–31, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., 888-266-1200, bso.org
This dazzling light and sound show takes place nightly at famed Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It kicks off with live entertainment starting at 2 p.m. on November 21 and culminates with the city’s first tree lighting from 7–8 p.m.
November 21–January 3, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 617-523-1300, faneuilhallmarketplace.com
José Mateo’s The Nutcracker
The Cambridge-based Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, celebrating its 30th anniversary, brings its production of the dance classic to downtown Boston for the first time in more than 10 years.
November 27–December 6, Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St., 617-824-8000, ballettheatre.org
A Christmas Carol
This homegrown musical re-telling of Charles Dickens’ ghostly tale has been dazzling audiences at the North Shore Music Theatre since 1989. Join Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the rest for this tuneful tale of redemption, presented in the round.
December 4–23, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly, 978-232-7200, nsmt.org
Elf The Broadway Musical
Based on the beloved 2003 holiday film favorite starring Will Ferrell, this joyous stage musical version of the story of Buddy the Elf makes its Boston debut.
November 17–December 6, Citi Performing Arts Center, The Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., 800-982-2787, citicenter.org
Based on the Gospel of St. Luke, Langston Hughes’ legendary, gospel-tinged song-play has been uplifting Boston audiences since 1970, longer than any other production of the show in the world.
December 4–20, Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., 617-824-8000, blacknativity.org
Matchless/The Happy Prince
Wicked author Gregory Maguire’s re-working of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl, paired with an Oscar Wilde tale, is part of this holiday double feature.
November 27–January 3, Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 866-811-4111, centralsquaretheater.org
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical
Kids and adults should both get a kick out of this live stage adaptation of the classic 1964 animated television special. For the second year in a row, witness your favorite Rankin/Bass characters come to life, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, the Misfit Toys and the titular crimson-schnozzed ruminant himself.
December 1–6, Citi Performing Arts Center, The Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., 866-348-9738, citicenter.org
A Light Through the Ages
This seventh annual free Chanukah celebration open to all faiths recounts the meaning of the holiday in story and song. Hosted by the Central Reform Temple, it features a performance by the Zamir Chorale and a Menorah lighting by Boston community leaders.
December 6, Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., 617-262-1202, alightthroughttheages.org