There are still several holiday gems waiting to be discovered on stage this holiday season. Many theatre companies have produced clever adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, while others have done Latino holiday plays or other interesting alternates. A brief summary of the shows that remain in production around the country is listed below. The 15 variations of Dickens' A Christmas Carol are grouped at the end and are listed alphabetically by theatre company. Happy Holidays!
American Heartland Theatre in Kansas, Missouri will shake rattle and roll with a rockin' Christmas Party through Jan. 9. For tickets call (816) 842 9999.
Carousel Dinner Theatre in Akron, Ohio presents the Shenanigans in their knee slapping Extravaganza 2000, a festive holiday adventure. Closes Jan. 9. For info call (330) 724-9855.
Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio, presents A Kiss for Cinderella through Jan. 2. For info call (216) 795 7000.
Club Fugazi in San Francisco, California hosts Steve Silver's 25th Anniversary Beach Blanket Babylon, featuring such highlights as a chorus line of tap dancing Christmas trees. Closes with special New Year's Eve show Dec. 31. For info call (415) 421-4222. Fez in New York City will host Kiki and Herb: Do They Know It's Christmas? through Dec. 29. For information call (212) 533-2680.
Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, California presents How the Grinch Stole Christmas through Jan. 2. For information call (619) 239-2255.
Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, Tennessee presents A Tuna Christmas through Jan. 8 starring Kevin Jones and Michael Holiday. For info call (901) 726 4656.
South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, presents a contemporary Latino Christmas play, La Posada Magica through Dec. 26. For info call (714) 708 5555.
Theatre in the Square, Marietta, Georgia, has very limited seating for the final performances of their 18-season favorite, The 1940's Radio Hour and A Sanders Family Christmas, the sequel to Smoke on the Mountain. Both shows close Jan. 2. For info call (770) 422 8369.
Willows Theatre in Concord, California (an hour north of San Francisco) is running Nuncrackers, the West Coast premiere of Dan Goggin's "nunsense Christmas musical." Closes Dec. 28. For information or tickets call (925) 798 1300.
Zach's Scott Theatre Center in Austin, Texas, presents David Sedaris' The Santaland Diaries, a thorny account of a Macy's Christmas elf. Closes Jan. 2. For info call (512) 476-0541.
Last Chance for Christmas Carolling The annual Christmas Carol rush is enough to scare the Dickens out of anyone. To make things a bit easier, here is a brief summary of last chance opportunities to see one of the many productions of Dickens A Christmas Carol this season.
A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle, Washington, closes Dec. 26. Richard E.T. White directs what is described as the holiday tradition of Northwest families. For info call (206) 292-7676.
Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Cora Gables, Florida, closes Dec. 24. An original musical adapted for family audiences by Nina and Earl Maulding. For tickets call Ticketmaster at (305) 358 5885.
Alley Theatre, Houston, Texas, closes Dec. 30. Adapted and directed by Stephen Rayne, who promises audiences a "chilling evening" accomplished through the use of high-tech tricks. For info call (713) 228 8421.
American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.), San Francisco, closes Dec. 26. A bay-area tradition starring Raye Birk as Scrooge. For info call (415) 749 2228 or visit www.act-sfbay.org.
Dallas Theatre Center, Dallas, Texas, closes Dec. 26. DTC associate director Jonathan Moscone directs this annual production. For info call (214) 522 8499.
Denver Center Theatre Company, Denver Colorado. Closes Dec. 24. The final consecutive annual presentation of A Christmas Carol, which is being replaced next year by John Barton's ten episode cycle, Tantalus. For info call (303) 893-4100.
Goodman Theatre, in Chicago, Illinois, closes Jan. 2. Adapted by Tom Creamer, this multi-cultural cast is led by Rick Snyder. For info call (312) 443-3800.
Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota, closes Dec. 24. Adapted by playwright Barbara Field, the Guthrie production has played for 25 years and has been seen by an estimated one million Minnesotans. For info call (612) 377-2224 or toll free (877) 447-8243.
Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center, Nyack, New York, closes Jan. 2. Earl Hindman, from the ABC show "Home Improvement," stars as Scrooge. For info call (914) 358 6333.
Madison Square Garden, New York City, closes Dec. 30. The late director Mike Ockrent masterminded this production, which stars Tony Roberts as Scrooge. Crafted with care by Ockrent and his wife, choreographer Susan Stroman (Contact), this staging was intended to be a meaningful first experience in theatre for children. For tickets call Ticketmaster at (212) 307 4111.
Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, closes Dec. 26. The Rep's Joseph Hanreddy and Edward Morgan adapted the classic two years ago. For info call (414) 224-9490.
Portland Stage Company, Portland, Maine, closes Dec. 24. Portland Stage artistic director Anita Stewart directs this adaptation for the second consecutive year. For info call (207) 774-0465 or visit www.portlandstage.com.
South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California, closes Dec. 26. South Coast Rep's A Christmas Carol runs alongside its contemporary counterpart production, the Latino Christmas play, La Posada Magica.
Theatre West, Hollywood, California, closes Jan. 9. This world premiere of a Steve Allen musical is based on Dickens' classic.For reservations and information call (888) 551-9378.
Trinity Repertory Company, Providence, Rhode Island, runs through Dec. 26. Trinity presents the Adrian Hill and Richard Cumming adaptation of the Dickens classic. For info call the Holiday Hotline at 401-456-0000.
-- By Murdoch McBride