Nothing embodies the magic of Christmas quite like a holiday show. Step away from the hustle and bustle of the season to enjoy a classic ballet, music from many genres and time-honored tales brought to life on stages across the Show-Me State.
The Nutcracker – with its elaborate costumes, ornate sets and special effects – is a long-standing Christmas tradition. The show will be presented by the Kansas City Ballet, Dec. 5-Dec. 24; the St. Louis Ballet, Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Dec. 18-Dec. 23; and the Springfield Ballet, Dec. 20-23. The Moscow Ballet will perform the Great Russian Nutcracker in Poplar Bluff, Nov. 11; Kansas City, Nov. 19; Springfield, Nov. 22; St. Louis, Nov. 20-21; Cape Girardeau, Dec. 9-10; and Columbia, Dec. 11.
For a modern take on the traditional, Science City at Kansas City's Union Station will present Laser Nutcracker Nov. 23-Jan. 5 at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium. The show combines laser animation with high-tech images to present the story as you've never seen it before. The planetarium will also present Laser Holiday Magic Nov. 23-Jan 5. The show combines animated choreography with favorite holiday tunes. In St. Louis, The Hip Hop Nutcracker Nov. 26 is a contemporary version of the classic story – set to Tchaikovsky's timeless music – with dancers, a violinist and a DJ.
Dozens of shows in Branson put their holiday spirit on display during November and December with Christmas performances and special guest appearances. From magic and comedy to country, bluegrass, gospel and pop performances, Branson holiday shows have become a treasured tradition for many.
The classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future will be presented throughout the holiday season at several locations in Missouri. One of Missouri's oldest professional regional theaters, the Lyceum Theater – located in the historic town of Arrow Rock – will present A Christmas Carol Dec. 12-22.
You can also see Scrooge rediscover his holiday spirit in the Kansas City Repertory Theater's production of A Christmas Carol Nov. 22-Dec. 29 at Spencer Theater. The group has been performing the show for more than four decades.
The beloved TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas comes to the stage Nov. 5-Dec. 29 at The Coterie theater in Kansas City. Listen to a live jazz trio perform the original Vince Guaraldi arrangements as Charlie Brown restores his friends' holiday spirit with a straggly fir tree and some help from his best friend Linus. A special encore will feature Snoopy's Christmas Eve encounter with the Red Baron.
The Roubidoux Resident Theater in St. Joseph will bring a pair of modern-day Christmas classics to the city's historic Missouri Theater. A Tuna Christmas will run Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Elf: the Musical will take the stage Dec. 6-8.
Written by Liz Coleman