The holidays bring with them more than Christmas trees and menorahs. In the arts and culture world, the holiday season inevitably means multiple presentations of The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, The Messiah and more. South Florida shares in that bounty, of course, and these are just some of the eclectic options for seasonal entertainment.
Miami City Ballet is taking its exquisite production of George Balanchine‘s The Nutcracker to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale (Dec 12-14), Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Dec. 18-24) and the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach (Dec. 27-30). Visit www.miamicityballet.org for details. Another Nutcracker, this one by the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, kicks off a three-venue tour at the Fillmore Miami Beach on Sunday, then performs at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center from Friday through Dec. 14 and Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse Dec. 17 and Dec. 20-21. Visit www.artsballettheatre.org for information. Ashanti Cultural Arts will dance The Chocolate Nutcrakcer Dec. 15 at the Parker Playhouse, and Ballet Etudes of South Florida will perform Dec. 15-16 at the Miramar Cultural Center/Arts Park; visit www.parkerplayhouse.com or www.miramarculturalcenter.org.
Singer-songwriter Jim Camacho provides the music for Noel MacNeal’s The Mouse King, which revisits the story of The Nutcracker from the mouse point of view. The show features actors and puppets, and it runs from Fridaythrough Dec. 14 at the Mandelstam Theater, 8530 SW 57th Ave., Miami. Call 800-838-3006 or visit mousekingtickets.com.
A Christmas Carol is just one of two holiday shows Actors’ Playhouse is doing at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables. Based on the beloved Charles Dickens novel, the Musical Theatre for Young Audiences production is presented Saturdays through Dec. 21, with two additional performances Dec 20-21. For grownups, the company is presenting Miracle on South Division Street by Tom Dudzick through Dec. 28. For information, call 305-444-9293 or visit www.actorsplayhouse.org.
Another production of A Christmas Carol is running through Dec. 5 at the Sol Children Theatre, 3333 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Call 561-447-8829 or visit www.solchildren.org.
One of the most anticipated holiday musical experiences is Seraphic Fire’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. James K. Bass will guest conduct the concert Dec. 19 at the Broward Center, Dec. 20 at Miami’s Trinity Cathedral and Dec. 21 at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. For information, call 305-285-9060 or visit www.seraphicfire.org.
On Dec. 21, the Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation will present duo pianists Susan and Sarah Wang in a holiday concert Joy Around the World at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. Call 305-572-9900 or visit www.dranoff2piano.org for details.
Stars of David, a musical revue featuring Avi Hoffman, Patti Gardner, Cassie Levine and Mike Westrich, launches a regional tour Dec. 23-Jan. 4 in the Broward Center’s Amaturo Theater. Call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or visit www.browardcenter.org.
Finally, if you need a little Christmas, consider taking in Mame starring Leslie Uggams at the Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Running through Dec. 28, the musical features the peppy Jerry Herman song We Need a Little Christmas. For information, call 561-995-2333 or visit www.thewick.org.