Nothing brings families to the theatre like the holidays. After seven years of working at a theatre and a lifetime of performing in and attending the theatre, I can tell you this with certainty.
And it’s magic! When you are in the lobby before a live show, there is always excitement and anticipation, but before a holiday season family-show, it is pure joy. Dressing up for the theatre has become more a thing of the past, but not at this time of year. People of all ages are dressed in their finest. Children, in dresses and sport coats, are laughing and running around everywhere to get their energy out before they sit for the show. Parents and relatives are giddy, from perhaps a little eggnog, but mostly for a departure from their everyday routine, and the chance to see something new, or share in a favorite show with their kids. And once people take their seats, it always takes an extra beat during the holidays for the audience to quiet the murmur before the curtain can rise and the ‘razzle dazzle’ of the show can begin.
Yeah, I miss the theatre.
But I refuse to have a holiday season go by, COVID or no COVID, without a little theatre for me and my family. Though I doubt I can get my husband and son to dress up or sit entirely too close to one another in uncomfortable chairs, I will stream some live theatre at home this holiday season. Here is a list of how to enjoy theatre with your family this 2020 holiday season (make sure to click the links for more specific information on how to stream each event):
DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH MUSICAL LIVE
Airing Wednesday, December 9th at 8PM ET on NBC
Set in Whoville and about the true meaning of Christmas, this musical version of Dr. Seuss’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, will star Glee alum and Tony nominee, Mathew Morrison as the Grinch. It features a book and lyrics by Tim Mason and music by Mel Marvin. Julia Knowles directs the TV special. If you haven’t read HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS with your kids, it may be fun to have it on hand to read before or after in addition to watching the show. Though these TV live musical specials have been hit or miss over the years, I certainly will have high hopes for this show.
It is certainly foreign to me for a Christmas holiday to go by and not be invited to a relative’s son’s or daughter’s dance theatre’s Nutcracker Ballet, but there will be plenty of them streaming (and I mean the professional ones) to watch with your children. Here are a list of a few:
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
December 11, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Brooklyn Ballet Presents The Brooklyn Nutcracker
December 10-13, 2020
The Hip Hop Nutcracker: A Streaming Performance
December 12, 2020
Clara’s Nutcracker Tea Party
December 20, 2020
San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker Online
Now through December 31
The spectacle of the dancing and costumes of the Nutcracker never grows old for me and I can’t wait to share it with my son. If streaming one of these doesn’t work for you, you can stream the 1993 version with Macaulay Culkin, on IMDb TV or rent/buy on Amazon Prime Video, anytime.
BOB BAKER’S MARIONETTES : HOLIDAY ON STRINGS!
Now through January 3, 2021
I have always wanted to see, an always sold out, Bob Baker Marionette show and now I can. One of Los Angeles’ oldest traditions and most popular shows is streaming on PlayHouseLive. This “all-inclusive spectacular to celebrate the season,” follows the adventures of the Wizard of Fantasy and Demi Star as they embark on a magical tour of holiday galaxies.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Like, THE NUTCRACKER, there are lots of versions of this Charles Dickens’ classic streaming this year. Though I can never watch enough of Michael Cane, Gonzo, Rizzo, Kermit, Miss Piggie, and Fozzie, in A MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, it may be nice to show my son some other versions. Here are a list of a few:
The Old Vic Theatre’s A Christmas Carol
December 12 -24, 2020
The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s A Christmas Carol in Harlem
December 7 – January 3, 2021
Jefferson Mays in A Christmas Carol Live
Now through January 3, 2021
Though nothing in my opinion can truly replace seeing a show live in the theatre, I will settle for streaming these this holiday season. It is a lot less expensive and no binoculars are necessary. Plus, all these theatres can really use our support this year.
Please comment with what you miss most about live theatre and any thoughts or reviews you may have about any of these shows.
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