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19 Holiday Shows for 2019

19 Holiday Shows for 2019

It’s late August, so obviously it’s time to start thinking about … the Holidays!

Christmas in August may sound ridiculous, but many schools and theatres are already planning their holiday season. Well, we’re here to help! Concord Theatricals offers plenty of holiday shows that’d be perfect for your December production, so here’s a bit of seasonal inspiration;

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas (Tams-Witmark)

Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts characters come to life in this live stage adaptation of the classic animated TV special. As Snoopy, Lucy, and Sally all buy into the commercialism of the season, Charlie Brown yearns for a glimmer of sincerity. Linus and one tiny but sincere tree help Charlie Brown discover the true Spirit of Christmas.

Vince Guaraldi’s iconic, jazzy score features the unforgettable Peanuts dance groove called “Linus and Lucy,” The whole show ends with a holiday sing-along, including “Hark The Herald Angels Sing.” But the loveliest holiday tune is the opening song, “Christmas Time Is Here.”

Christmas time is here,
Happiness and cheer.
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of year.

Sleigh bells in the air,
Beauty everywhere,
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here,
Families growing near.
Oh that we could always see
Such spirit through the year.

For more, click here.

2. A Christmas Carol

Concord Theatricals offers several versions of Charles Dickens’ immortal novel:

  • A Christmas Carol (Barlow) (Samuel French) This thrilling adaptation from the author of The 39 Steps uses only five actors to bring some of Dickens' most beloved characters to life.

  • A Christmas Carol (Harnick/Legrand) (R&H Theatricals) Academy Award-winning composer Michel Legrand teamed with Sheldon Harnick, one of the theatre's most celebrated Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettists, for this glorious adaptation.

  • A Christmas Carol (Ludlam) (Samuel French) In this ridiculous but surprisingly faithful rendition of the Dickens classic, adaptor Charles Ludlam finds the humor as well as the pathos.

  • A Christmas Carol (Paller) (Samuel French) In Michael Paller’s clever adaptation, Dickens’ friends and family gather on Christmas Eve in 1843, each taking a part in the telling of his most famous tale.

  • A Christmas Carol (Stevens) (Samuel French) Adaptor Lynn Stevens incorporates traditional carols throughout this charming version of the Victorian classic.

  • Scrooge! (Samuel French) In 1970, renowned writer/composer/lyricist Leslie Bricusse (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) adapted A Christmas Carol into the hit screen musical Scrooge! Later adapted into a stage musical, this sure-fire audience pleaser is available in two versions: a full-length two-act and a fifty-five-minute adaptation.

  • Humbug (Samuel French) A non-musical Christmas Carol with a modern-day twist, Humbug follows the story of Eleanor Scrooge, a ruthlessly ambitious Wall Street executive who has an aversion to Christmas and an insatiable appetite for power.

 3. A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas: The Musical (Samuel French)

 What if the three wise men weren’t really all that wise? What if they were just three ordinary guys, avoiding conflicts at home, who happened upon the greatest story ever told?

Now add some country western music, set the entire story in modern day America, sprinkle in a little redneck humor, and you have this smash musical comedy. In this 90-minute tuner, Bill, Dave, and Jimmy leave their wives on Christmas Eve for a little hunting and a lot of beer. It’s gonna take a Christmas miracle to get these redneck families back together – thank God one just came to town!

For more, click here.

4. A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas (Samuel French)

The classic E.T.A. Hoffman tale has been brought into the Xbox age in this rockin' holiday treat from Ralph Covert of "Ralph's World" and Jeff Award winning playwright G. Riley Mills. A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas is a fun, fresh holiday spectacular for the entire family. This contemporary adaptation follows Fritz and the Nutcracker through Christmas Wood. When trouble arises with the dastardly Mouse King, Fritz and Nutcracker must save the day, and young Fritz will learn there's more to life than just boys playing video games!

For more, click here.

5. A Tuna Christmas (Samuel French)

In this hilarious sequel to Greater Tuna, it’s Christmas in the third-smallest town in Texas. Radio station OKKK news personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on various Yuletide activities, including the hot competition in the annual lawn-display contest. In other news, voracious Joe Bob Lipsey’s production of A Christmas Carol is jeopardized by unpaid electric bills. Many colorful Tuna denizens, some you will recognize from Greater Tuna and some appearing here for the first time, join in the holiday fun. A Tuna Christmas is a total delight for all seasons, whether performed by two quick-changing comedians as it was on Broadway, or by twenty or more.

For more, click here.

6. An O. Henry Christmas – Musical (Samuel French)

This holiday favorite, set in turn-of-the-century New York City, features two heart-warming one-act musicals based on the classic O. Henry stories, each capturing the true spirit of giving: The Gift of the Magi and The Last Leaf.

For more, click here.

7. Holiday Inn (R&H Theatricals)

In this stage adaptation of Irving Berlin's perennial classic, a hoofer named Jim leaves the bright lights of show business behind to settle down in his farmhouse in Connecticut. Of course, Jim can’t resist the urge to put on a show, so he markets the inn as a holiday getaway, featuring musical spectaculars for each celebration through the year. The guests thrill to songs like “Easter Parade,” “Blue Skies,” and “Heat Wave,” but the beating heart of the show is Berlin’s yuletide masterpiece, “White Christmas.”

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the treetops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

For more, click here.

8. Irma La Douce (Tams-Witmark)

This 1956 romantic comedy was originally written in French and then translated to English for its hit West End and Broadway runs. Nestor, a poor Parisian law student, falls for “Sweet Irma,” a successful call girl, and assumes the disguise of a wealthy older gentleman to win her over. After plenty of crazy antics, the story concludes during the holiday season. A baby is born on Christmas day, leading the ensemble to sing this lovely ballad:

Fortune smiles on the Christmas Child
Who is born in the joyful season.
Stars will shine for the Christmas Child
They will guide him in love and reason.

While he sleeps in the sweet one’s bed,
Sweet the thoughts in his tiny head.
Heaven blessed him and fortune smiled…
Drink the health of the Christmas Child.

For more, click here.

9. It’s a Wonderful Life

Concord Theatricals offers two musical versions of the Frank Capra classic:

  • A Wonderful Life (R&H Theatricals) a remarkable collaboration of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) and Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Joe Raposo (Sesame Street). Harnick and Raposo’s touching score concludes with these lovely lyrics:

The gift of love
And the gift of life…
The greatest gifts of all!

  • It’s a Wonderful Life (Samuel French) a delightful musical adaptation from Thomas M. Sharkey that the Woodstock Herald called "Funny, moving and memorable,” adding, “Frank Capra would be proud!"

10. Mame (Tams-Witmark)

This blockbuster musicalization of Auntie Mame features one of the most famous Christmas songs of all time: When the stock market crash takes its toll on Auntie Mame and young Patrick, Mame declares “We Need A Little Christmas,” and the entire household joins in celebration. Jerry Herman’s holiday classic has been recorded hundreds of times, by artists including original Mame Angela Lansbury, plus Johnny Mathis, Percy Faith, and The Muppets.

Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stocking,
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.

For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute,
Candles in the window,
Carols at the spinet.
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute.
We need a little Christmas now!

For more, click here.

11. Meet Me in St. Louis (Tams-Witmark)

This charming classic about a middle-class family and the 1904 World’s Fair boasts several hits by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, including “The Trolley Song” and “The Boy Next Door.” But one song stands out above all the others. Considered by many to be the greatest of all Christmas songs, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” was first sung by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM feature film.

Interestingly, Hugh Martin originally wrote a much darker lyric to the song: “Have yourself a merry little Christmas / It may be your last / Next year we may all be living in the past.” Yikes! Fortunately, he was talked into making the song more hopeful, and the final MGM version was much more optimistic. When Frank Sinatra recorded the song years later, he convinced Martin to sweeten the tone still further, changing the “muddle through” line to “hang a shining star upon the highest bough.” The Broadway production returned to the MGM lyrics, with one minor alteration.

Here’s the lyric as it’s sung in the licensed stage version:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light.
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Make the yuletide gay.
Next year all our troubles will be miles away.

Once again as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore,
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us once more.

Someday soon we all will be together,
Should the Lord allow.
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

For more, click here.

12. Nuncrackers (Tams-Witmark)

The Little Sisters of Hoboken are back! They’ve gathered in the studios of WCON-TV Hoboken – formerly known as Mt. Saint Helen’s Convent Basement – to tape their brand-new Christmas TV Special, which features songs like “Santa’s Little Teapot,” “Twelve Days Prior To Christmas,” and “Santa Ain’t Comin’ To Our House.” Dan Goggin’s hilarious holiday tuner, featuring the show biz-loving sisters and a slightly tipsy Father Virgil, will keep everyone’s Christmas merry and bright. After all, “Christmas Time Is Nunsense Time!”

Christmas time is Nunsense time
At Mount Saint Helen’s School.
Christmas time is fun-sense time
When joy is the rule!

It’s time when herald angels sing,
And jingle bells begin to ring.
Time when all good kids are wond’ring
What will Santa bring?

Feel the spirit, heed the call.
Forget your troubles, have a ball.
Nunsense is for one and all!

For more, click here.

13. Promises, Promises (Tams-Witmark)

A musical adaptation of Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, Promises, Promises features a groove-tastic score from Burt Bacharach and Hal David. (“I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” recorded by Dionne Warwick, reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts.) The musical romantic dramedy is set in the corporate world during the holiday season—in fact, all of Act Two takes place on Christmas Eve. At the big office party, three secretaries put on a little show and sing “Turkey Lurkey Time.” (In the original Broadway production, Michael Bennett’s choreography stopped the show, featuring Donna McKechnie, Baayork Lee and Margo Sappington.)

It’s Turkey Lurkey Time…
Tom Turkey ran away but he just came home.
It’s Turkey Lurkey Time…
He’s really come to stay, never more to roam!

Let us make a wish
And may all our wishes come true!

A snowy, blowy Christmas,
A mistletoe-y Christmas,
A Turkey Lurkey Christmas to you!

For more, click here.

14. Scrooge In Love! (Tams-Witmark)

The perfect sequel! A year after the events of A Christmas Carol, the four ghosts (Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future) return with a new goal: to reunite the new and improved Ebenezer Scrooge with his long-lost first love, Belle. All of Dickens’ familiar characters return in this romantic and festive follow-up to the perennial classic. The charming score, with lyrics by Kellen Blair and music by Larry Grossman (Snoopy!!!, Goodtime Charley), features the songs “You’re Safe With Me,” “The Hours In Between” and “Carol (Like A Person In Love).”

Let every star burn bright this Christmas,
Let every home ring forth with laughter,
Let every heart feel light this Christmas,
Light as a person in love!

For more, click here.

15. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Samuel French)

In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids – probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won't believe the mayhem - and the fun - when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on! This delightful comedy is adapted from the best-selling Young Adult book, and has become a holiday staple for groups across the United States. Features plenty of great roles for children and adults, a few favorite Christmas carols, and a lot of laughs!

For more, click here.

16. The Gift of Magi (Tams-Witmark)

Richard Adler, co-composer/lyricist of Broadway hits like Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game, created this musical version of O. Henry’s short story for a 1958 telecast. Sally Anne Howes (then married to Mr. Adler) and Allen Case starred, with Eli Wallach featured as the narrator. Set in 1905, O. Henry’s tale is considered a classic of “comic irony.” When newlyweds John and Della face hard times, they each make a sacrifice to provide the other with a special Christmas gift. Their sacrifices render the gifts useless, and they are left with nothing more than their love for one another.

The stage musical is a full-length adaptation in two acts, featuring the newlyweds and a flexible ensemble of supporting roles. Both festive and poignant, The Gift of the Magi includes this holiday gem, “Christmas In Your Heart.”

Though there are no chestnuts.
I smell chestnuts in the air.
Though there are no sleigh bells,
I hear sleigh bells everywhere.

When there’s Christmas in your heart,
You’ve found a brand-new gift, a brand-new lift,
And don’t you lose that glow whatever you do!
Let Christmas Eve give you your start,
And keep that Christmas in your heart
The whole year through.

For more, click here.

17. Times Square Angel (Samuel French)

Charles Busch’s hilarious and heartwarming spoof of early Hollywood’s brand of holiday fare continues to delight audiences year after year. In New York, 1948, Irish O’Flanagan is the tough-as-nails redheaded headliner of the Club Intimé. A lifetime of hard knocks has left her bitter and with a chip on her shoulder the size of Mount Rushmore. In the spirit of film fantasies like A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Bishop’s Wife, an angel in the form of a sexy vaudeville magician named Albert comes down to show Irish error of her ways. Albert takes Irish on a journey involving a corrupt senator, his beautiful daughter, a notorious gangster named Chick LaFountain, and a bittersweet Hollywood ending.

For more, click here.

18. Ken Ludwig’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Samuel French)

“’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” But wait! A mouse is stirring – because Santa missed his house last year. Before you can say “Merry Christmas,” we're off on the wild adventures of a mouse, an elf, and a spunky little girl who just won't take no for an answer. Don't miss this joyful tribute to the holiday season, from the two-time Olivier Award-winning author of Lend Me A Tenor, Moon Over Buffalo, and the stage version of Murder on the Orient Express.

For more, click here.

19. White Christmas (R&H Theatricals)

Based on the beloved, timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander. The dazzling score bursts with well-known standards like “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the iconic title song.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.
With every Christmas card I write,
“May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white.”

For more, click here.

On behalf of everyone at Concord Theatricals, Happy Holidays to all! (And a Happy Labor Day!)

For more exciting plays and musicals visit
tamswitmark.com
themusicalcompany.com
rnh.com
samuelfrench.com

(photo: William A Cotton)

 

Rediscovering the Musical, Johnny Manhattan

Rediscovering the Musical, Johnny Manhattan