Get in the spirit of the season with the triumphant return of these stage spectaculars
Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker: The widely lauded iteration of the classic tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann set to the timeless Tchaikovsky score takes the stage at the Citizens Bank Opera House once more from November 26–December 26. Choreographed by Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen and featuring young students from the Boston Ballet School as well as the professional dancers of the company, this magical tradition has been delighting area families for generations.
Holiday Pops: After a long hiatus, the Boston Pops bring plenty of wintery tunes to Symphony Hall December 2–24. Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the venerated orchestra in old and new favorites, such as the annual presentation of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and welcomes special guests, including Santa himself. Kids’ matinees feature opportunities to have pictures taken with the jolly elf in the red suit.
Black Nativity (pictured): Annually presented by the National Center for Afro-American Artists, this staging of the story of the birth of Jesus features the immortal words of poet Langston Hughes as well as joyous singing and dancing. Now in its 51st year, this beloved tradition takes up residence at the Emerson Paramount Center from December 10–19.
The Christmas Revels: Over at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, another much-anticipated tradition returns for its 51st edition when The Christmas Revels sings and dances its way into the hearts of audiences yet again. This year, from December 17–29, experience a tale set in modern-day England, where the proprietors and regulars of a historic pub have a run-in with visitors from the 17th century, leading to a mash-up of Renaissance music and dance with more familiar holiday fare.
A Christmas Celtic Sojourn: This annual extravaganza at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre brings Irish flair to the season December 17–January 2. Brian O’Donovan’s live version of his radio broadcast has been delighting theatergoers for 18 years now with its blend of Gaelic-tinged song and dance from across the Celtic world.
COVID safety protocols are in place for live patrons, while some organizations are also offering virtual broadcasts of their holiday shows. Please consult websites for details on both.