15 Holiday Productions and Concerts to Get You in the Spirit of the Season

Tis the season for heartwarming holiday productions!

Atlantic City Ballet: It’s a Shore Holiday
Atlantic City Ballet: It’s a Shore Holiday
Courtesy of Atlantic City Ballet

Between cooking, shopping and decorating we’re all bustling about this time of year. Carve out some time to enjoy the season at these holiday productions, from It’s a Wonderful Life to A Christmas Story.

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn

Nov 21-Dec 30 In this musical based on the film with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, Jim Hardy leaves showbiz for a quiet Connecticut farm. Jim’s agrarian efforts are a flop, but things look up when he falls for a schoolteacher. Together they bring some Broadway razzle-dazzle to the sleepy town. This heartwarming, toe-tapping production features more than 20 classic songs from the Berlin catalog, including “Easter Parade,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” and “White Christmas.”
Times and prices vary.
Paper Mill Playhouse, Milburn.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Nov 23-25 Join the whole Peanuts gang as they produce their own Christmas play and learn the true meaning of the season on Nov 23 at Bergen PAC in Englewood (1 &4 pm; $29-$59); Nov 24 at Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank (1,4 & 7 pm; $25-$45); and Nov 25 at Mayo PAC in Morristown (1 & 4 pm; $29-$69).

Atlantic City Ballet: It’s a Shore Holiday

Nov 24-25 Get in the holiday spirit with dance performances set to seasonal tunes on Nov 24 at Caesars Circus Maximus Theater in Atlantic City (7 pm; $39-$45) and Nov 25 at the Stafford Township Arts Center in Manahawkin (3 pm; $10-$20).

A Christmas Story

Nov 24-25, 30; Dec 1-2 Based on the 1983 film, this hilarious musical is about a young boy named Ralphie who has a vivid imagination and desperately wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.
Times vary; $9-$20.
Kelsey Theatre, Mercer County Community College, West Windsor.

A Wonderful Life

Nov 30-Dec 16 Based on the classic Frank Capra film, this musical closely follows the original plot. George Bailey postpones his own dreams to manage the family company. When his uncle misplaces company funds, he feels hopeless. Then, his guardian angel shows him how different the world and everyone whose lives he has touched would be had he never been born.
Times and prices vary.
Broadway Theatre of Pitman

Santa’s Frozen Adventure

Dec 1-16 The Snow Miser is tired of Santa Claus getting all the praise, so he turns Santa into a stuffed toy. The elves and their frozen friends try to stop the Miser from ruining Christmas.
Best for children ages 2 to 9.
Times and prices vary.
Broadway Theatre of Pitman

A Christmas Carol

Dec 1-29 Don’t be a Scrooge. Check out Charles Dickens’s holiday classic at theaters throughout the state. Experience Christmas past, present and future at the Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River on Dec 1 (1 pm; $10-$12), McCarter Theatre in Princeton on Dec 4-29 (times and prices vary), Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank on Dec 11 (7:30 pm; $29-$49.50) and Bergen PAC in Englewood on Dec 15-16 (Sat, 3 & 8 pm; Sun, 1 & 4:30 pm; $15-$29). Each play produced by the respective theater’s company.

Elf Jr. 

Dec 7-9 Buddy, an orphan child, was raised by elves at the North Pole. Eventually, he travels to New York City to find his birth father and help people remember the true meaning of Christmas. Show presented by Brick Children’s Community Theater.
Times vary; $15.
Strand Center for the Arts, Lakewood.

My Big Gay Italian Christmas

Dec 8-9 Hold on to your cannolis! A bisexual love triangle, awkward political conversations, over-the-top characters and the snow storm of the century—it’s never a dull moment with the Pinnunziato family.
Sat, 8 pm; Sun, 7 pm; $59.50-$129.
Golden Nugget Casino, Atlantic City.

The Laurie Berkner Band Holiday Concert

Dec 9 The Princeton native will perform Christmas songs with her kiddie rock band. Bring your dancing shoes!
2 pm; $29-$100.
Bergen PAC, Englewood.

Vienna Boys Choir

Dec 12-13 The 100 choristers between the ages of 9 and 14 serenade audiences on Dec 12 at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank (7:30 pm; $29-$49) and Dec 13 at Bergen PAC in Englewood (8 pm; $29-$69).

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah

Dec 14 & 16 Hallelujah! Conductor Patrick Dupré Quigley leads NJSO’s annual holiday production on Dec 14 at the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton (8 pm; $20-$80) and Dec 16 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark (7 pm; $10-$70).

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Dec 15 NJPAC transforms into Halloween Town during a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton. Danny Elfman’s score will be performed live by the NJSO.
2 & 7:30 pm; $35-$89.
Newark.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Dec 17-24 Sing along to Christmas classics and listen to a retelling of the legendary poem.
Times and prices vary.
Broadway Theatre of Pitman.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Dec 22 The progressive rock band heats up the stage during its Ghost of Christmas Eve tour, an audio-visual show with pyrotechnics.
3 & 8 pm; $44.50- $74.50.
Prudential Center, Newark.

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