In addition to all of the city-wide festivities in TCD’s Holiday Fun Guide, there will be plenty of holiday cheer on Milwaukee stages this season. See below for a guide to what the performing arts has to offer throughout the holidays — TCD will update this listing as more events are announced. For further information such as dates, tickets and showtimes, please click on the links provided.
An L.M. Montgomery Christmas
Dec. 4 –12
Based on the short stories of L.M. Montgomery, treasured author of Anne of Green Gables, this Christmas tale is a perfect treat for the whole family. When a snowstorm threatens to halt the journey of a train full of holiday passengers, Aunt Theodora rescues their hearts with a basket full of hope and homespun wisdom. This show delivers Lucy Maud Montgomery’s wonderful characters, memorable music, and a spirit of joy to celebrate the whole year round!
African American Children’s Choir
Boerner’s Holiday Celebration
Dec. 5, 1:00 pm
The AACT Choir will perform as part of the event for families and children at the beautiful Boerner Botanical Gardens.
The Alchemist Theatre
Rudolph the Pissed-off Reideer
Dec. 3 – 18
Enjoy a wild romp through Christmastown and watch as Sam The Snowman gets arrested by a swat team and then forced to re-tell the classic tale of Rudolph in an attempt to uncover who is smuggling illegal, defective and dangerous toys through Misfit Island.
American Players Theater
The Gift of the Magi
Nov. 28 – Dec. 19
Jim and Della struggle through hard financial times, inspired largely by their love for each other. With Christmas approaching and no money for gifts, they each search for the perfect present for the other, while sacrificing the possessions most important to them. After all, what are material things compared to true love?
The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre
A Christmas Carol
Dec. 3 – 26
Beloved holiday carols and music meld seamlessly in this stunning adaptation of the timeless Dickens classic. Even the most cynical “Bah Humbugs” in your family will leave with a song in their heart and a feeling of hope and redemption. Now in its 35th year, no show is more anticipated than this annual holiday treasure. Resident Actor James Pickering returns as Ebenezer Scrooge.
Bel Canto Chorus
Christmas in the Basilica
Dec. 4 & 5
Traditional beloved carols and hymns, including O Come, All Ye Faithful, Silent Night and Rutter’s Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, performed in the breath-taking Basilica make for the perfect beginning to every family’s holiday season. Featuring Bel Canto Chorus, Bel Canto Boy Choir, and special guests the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble.
Choral Arts Society
Come share Holiday Jubilate. You won’t want to miss the Racine premiere of John Rutter’s beautiful Mass of the Children. Written in 2003, it received rave reviews after its inaugural performance. The CAS will be joined by Prairie School student musicians, from 3rd grade through high school, who will add the youthful exuberance that Rutter envisioned. Seasonal Carols of Austria and Poland will further enrich this wonderful holiday offering.
The Milwaukee Ballet
Dec. 10 – 26
Michael Pink’s production of the holiday classic The Nutcracker has set the bar high among Milwaukee’s holiday entertainment options in a dazzling show filled with elaborate scenery, lavish costumes and stunning choreography performed by the Company, Milwaukee Ballet II and dancers from Milwaukee Ballet School. Played live by the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra and sung by the Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Tchaikovsky’s captivating score takes audiences on a magical journey around the world filled with marching soldiers, flying angels, dancing dolls and pirouetting snow fairies. There’s so much to experience in this holiday spectacle that audiences return year after year to see what they missed!
Nov. 21, 4 p.m.
This annual Thanksgiving concert is a Milwaukee tradition. The concert will feature the Bucks Native American Drumming and Singing Group, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, Milwaukee Choral Artists and the Present Music Ensemble. The MCA and the PM Ensemble will present the Midwest premiere of John Tavener’s ravishingly beautiful “Come and Do Your Will in Me.” MCC’s Jubilate group will be singing selections from Psalm Trilogy by Srul Irving Glick featuring a string quintet by the PM Ensemble.
Festival City Symphony
Holiday Pajama Jamboree
Join us for a concert of holiday favorites including the “Overture to Hansel and Gretel,” “Mozart’s Sleigh Ride,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and a sing-along of well-known carols. Those who wish may bring a non-perishable food donation for Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee.
Next Act Theatre
Home for the Holidays with John McGivern
Dec.3 – Jan. 2, 2011
No one spins a tale better than Emmy® Award Winning Actor John McGivern as he takes us on his paper route adventures and re-acquaints us with his beloved and nostalgia-filled East Side. From church pews to cakewalks to dieting and ill-fitting shoes, lots of new McGivern stories combine for a hilarious and heart-warming holiday treat.
Racine Theatre Guild
Miracle on 34th Street
Dec. 10 – 19
True to the beloved 1947 family film, the story begins the morning of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when Doris Walker fires the store’s Santa and must replace him immediately. She hires a white-bearded gentleman named Kris Kringle, who turns out to be the best Santa ever! That doesn’t surprise Kris, as he claims to be the real deal. Is he insane?
First Stage Children’s Theatre
My Son Pinocchio
Nov. 26 – Dec. 26
Cozy up this holiday season with a musical story of hope, love, and family. The legend of Pinocchio comes to life in this exciting stage premiere as we join Geppetto after his wish has been granted; problem is, the new father has found that raising any child is a tall task. Soon after hearing his father’s regrets, Pinocchio runs away to become part of a traveling show. Join Geppetto on his heart-warming and comical journey to find his son.
In Tandem Theatre
Scrooge in Rouge
Dec. 4 – 31
In a British Music Hall at the turn-of-the-century, a troupe of 23 actors is about to embark on a musical version of the beloved classic, A Christmas Carol – until 20 of them come down with food poisoning! Just three are left to pull off this bawdy and hilariously funny show as costumes fly and mayhem ensues!
It’s A Wonderful Life
Nov. 24 – Dec. 19
This classic tale that celebrates the essence of the holiday season with warmth, spirit and tenderness is back at The Playhouse by popular demand. George, Mary, Clarence The Angel, Mr. Potter and all the citizens of Bedford Falls spin a special holiday tale that reminds us all that this life is “a wonderful life.” Look for this special production to become a Playhouse tradition that you can share with your family for years to come!
The Santaland Diaries
Dec. 12 – 18
The Santaland Diaries comes to The Sunset Playhouse! You’ll adore this revived production of David Sedaris’ modern comic classic produced by the same creative team behind the late great Bialystock & Bloom’s hugely popular production. Tom Klubertanz returns as the grown elf man, who deals with snotty kids, lecherous co-workers, and weird Santas. You’ll bust a gut for this fall off your chair Yuletide funny fest.
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
MSO Holiday Pops
It’s Milwaukee’s favorite holiday musical tradition. And this year – it’s all new! Thrill to the spectacle of the season when Jeff Tyzik returns to lead this sparkling holiday celebration. Carols, sing-alongs and more, with the Milwaukee Symphony Pops. And yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus!
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), one of rock music’s most exhilarating live bands, brings their critically acclaimed tour to the Bradley Center for TWO performances this holiday season. Established in 1996, TSO has crafted inspirational music and delivered compelling live performances that have attracted fans from the ages of 7 to 70. With their cutting edge production and musical vision, TSO has become a holiday essential amongst music lovers. The group’s exhilarating brand of rock is sure to further reaffirm their place as an American holiday tradition.