Christmas in Vancouver is the hap-happiest season of all, and our picks for the best holiday-themed productions around town will have you singing “fa-la-la-la-lah”. (Or if that makes your ears bleed, check out our anti-holiday edition picks instead.)
From a traditional concert with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to a hilarious, hipster take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, there’s a little something for every kid aged one to 92.
Members of the Vancouver Theatre Sports League are back with the third instalment of their annual Christmas Queen show. This time around, HRM (Her Royal Meanness) participates in a dating competition for a reality show with suitors including Jack Frost, The Grinch, and even Elf on a Shelf. The production runs until December 23 and thanks to the improvisational nature of the VTSL, no 2 shows are the same.
When: November 23 to December 23 at 7:30 pm (with 2 pm matinees on Sunday)
Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street
Tickets: Available online from $8 to $23. All ages
The Vancouver Opera proudly presents a fascinating retelling of Englelbert Humperdinck’s classic Hansel & Gretel. With puppets and costumes created by Calgary’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop, VO’s lavish production will feature an orchestral ensemble and a chorus of 14 children.
When: November 24 to December 11 at 7:30 pm (several matinees will also be performed)
Where: Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton Street
Tickets: Available online from $25 to $75. All ages
Good grief, Vancouver! Fans of Charles Schulz’s beloved holiday classic will surely enjoy Carousel Theatre’s presentation of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Join the Peanuts gang on their hilarious journey as they help Charlie Brown and his ragged little tree discover the true meaning of Christmas.
When: November 26 to December 31, various matinees and evening performances
Where: Waterfront Theatre – 1412 Cartwright Street
Tickets: Available online from $15 to $35. All ages
Holy Mo! A Christmas Show! tells the age-old story of the Nativity through the eyes of three travelling performers played by Marie Russell, Jess Amy Shead, and show creator Lucia Frangione. Frangione describes the play as “Cecil B. Demill’s The Ten Commandments on a shoestring budget with three women and no camels.”
When: December 2 to December 31 at 8 pm (with 2 pm matinees on Saturdays and Sundays)
Where: Pacific Theatre – 1440 W 12th Avenue
Tickets: Available online from $15.70 to $36.70. All ages
Written by Tom Mula and directed by Guy Fauchon, the Theatre Obscura presentation of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol will have four actors taking on 18 different characters. There will be a “live description show” for the visually impaired on December 11, and an ASL-interpreted performance for the deaf on December 14.
When: December 2 to 18 at 7:30 pm with a Sunday matinee at 1 pm
Where: Jericho Arts Centre – 1675 Discovery Street
Tickets: Available online from $10 to $25. All ages
Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker, which hits the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in December for four nights, will feature more than 70 dancers performing the stunning choreography of Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon. Family packs consisting of 2 adult and 2 child tickets are available starting at $229.
When: December 8 to 11, various matinee and evening performances
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 600 Hamilton Block
Tickets: Available online from $35 to $120. All ages
What better way to celebrate Christmas than with a performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. This year’s program will feature host Christopher Gaze, EnChor, the UBC Opera Ensemble, and the VSO’s new Assistant Conductor William Rowson. VSO subscribers can save up to 25% over single concert pricing for A Traditional Christmas.
When: December 8 to 18, various matinees and evening performances
Where: Various venues through out Vancouver
Tickets: Available online from $37 to $43. All ages
SFU brings Dickens to the Downtown Eastside with their reinvention A Christmas Carol. In Bah! Humbug! we meet Ebenezer Scrooge, a sushi-eating, pawn shop owner played by Juno Award-winning performer Jim Byrnes. The production features 25 songs ranging from traditional Christmas carols to classic tracks by Buffy-Sainte Marie and Nine Inch Nails.
When: December 8 to 10 and December 15-17 at 7:30 pm (with 2 pm matinees on Saturdays)
Where: SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – 149 W Hastings Street
Tickets: Available online from $15 to $29. All ages
The Vancouver Chamber Choir will perform Handel’s Messiah in a gala Orpheum concert on December 9. The Choir will be accompanied by a quartet of Canadian soloists that night and will also feature Pacifica Singers and the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra. Jon Washburn will conduct the performance, which is sure to sell out fast.
When: Friday, December 9 at 8pm
Where: Orpheum Theatre – 884 Granville Street
Tickets: Available online from $24 to $55. All ages
The 90 members of Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir are teaming up with guest performers The Alumni Project for Something To Treasure. Expect to hear glorious gospel gems and holiday favourites during the performance, which is almost guaranteed to sell out. The collective will also be performing a matinee at the Fraserview MB Church in Richmond on December 11.
When: December 9 and 10 at 7:30 pm
Where: Christ Church Cathedral – 690 Burrard Street
Tickets: Available online from $10 to $25. All ages