Wanna catch a show? Holiday theater abounds in our suddenly festive town. This year local theaters are offering fun, family-friendly shows that aren’t necessarily Christmas-focused. Your options are as follows:
She Loves Me
Cottage Theatre is producing this sweet musical. She Loves Me is taken from the same story as the 1993 classic, Sleepless in Seattle. Fun music and dancing accompany the tale of corresponding sweethearts. The Cottage Theatre builds on a string of strong musicals, making this play a good bet. Dec. 5-21.
Michael P. Watkins directs this classic at Actors Cabaret of Eugene. It’s guaranteed to be chockfull of cute kids and good humor. No one minds if you sing along, and dinner with dessert at intermission makes this a popular family outing. Nov. 21-Dec. 20.
Babes in Arms
Babes in Arms is a fun, 1930s Rodgers & Hart musical about a group of kids trying to get out of a summer on the work farm by putting on a show. “It’s a pleasure to listen to and work on the music of Rodgers and Hart,” says the show’s director Peg Major. “Some of the most memorable of their songs are in this show. I think everyone will recognize a lot of the music.” This Shedd production boasts a full orchestra, with musical direction by Robert Ashens. Major says, “I’ve been very inspired by watching Maestro Robert Ashens work his magic. He is a fountain of knowledge and is so wonderfully gifted as a vocal and orchestral director.” Dec. 5–21.
An American Christmas Carol
Ballet Fantastique is taking Charles Dickens’ tale and setting it in a stylized, post-WWII America. To set the mood, Eugene’s own Halie Loren, an internationally recognized jazz singer, will perform new arrangements of standards by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. This mash-up of jazz, ballet and classic literature sounds like a fascinating dramatic experiment. Hult Center, Dec. 12-19.
A Christmas Carol
Oregon Contemporary Theatre presents the world premiere of Elizabeth Helman’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic. OCT is hoping to usher families through their doors with this production. According to artistic director Craig Willis, “We want to make sure that each year we’re including programming that is family friendly, so that we reach new patrons and so that our current patrons have opportunities to introduce their kids and/or grandkids to the magic of live theatre. Also, it really is a fun story to tell and it’s great having three generations of performers on the stage telling this story.” Dec. 5-20.
These shows are just what’s new this year. If you are really sold on tradition, it’s hard to beat Radio Redux’s It’s a Wonderful Life, Rose Children’s Theatre’s Glee Xmas Review and, of course, the Eugene Ballet Company will present The Nutcracker.