November 29–December 1, December 20–22
Share the merriment of the holiday season as the accomplished dancers of Commonwealth Ballet and guest artists frolic, battle, and dance through Clara’s holiday dream. Join the family party set before a magical tree and enjoy the laughter, magic, and wonder of this holiday classic accompanied by the beloved Tchaikovsky score. This fully staged production is sure to captivate and entertain all ages. (The performance on November 29 will be a shortened, sensory-friendly version of the first act of the show.)
First Light Brookline (Brookline)
First Light started 18 years ago in Brookline’s Washington Square, when several businesses came together to spread holiday cheer by hanging snowflakes in their storefront windows. These glowing flakes illuminated the square, signaling the start of the holiday season. Over the years, First Light has grown into the town’s annual winter festival, showcasing the talents of local artists, musicians, and performers at businesses and other venues throughout Brookline.
November 29–December 29
Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” (Boston)
Let Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker” capture your imagination and transport you to a magical world of brave toy soldiers and dancing candy canes. Follow Clara as she embarks on her journey filled with colorful characters, breathtaking costumes, and majestic scenery. From the captivating dance of the sugar plum fairy to the iconic snow scene, this enchanting holiday classic — set to the beloved music of Tchaikovsky — continues to enthrall audiences of all ages.
November 30–December 22
Jose Mateo Ballet Theater’s “The Nutcracker” (Boston and Dorchester)
Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre honors the classical tradition by continuing what may well be New England’s longest-running interpretation of “The Nutcracker” ballet. Following its 1988 premiere in Fall River, various tours throughout the state with regular performances in Springfield, Worcester, and Lowell, and a 10-year run at Boston’s Emerson Majestic Theatre, the production quickly distinguished itself as one of the first versions anywhere to focus more on the dancing than on the usual caricatured mime, pomp, and special effects of its predecessors. Even the cast of over 100 children who play the mice, soldiers, cherubs, polichinelles, and Clara have substantial dancing roles.
Set during the 1930s in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, this incredibly heartwarming and truly unforgettable production imagines Ebenezer Scrooge as the owner of a mining company town, where his callous greed blinds him to the joys and gifts of the season. Dickens’s classic characters and Dolly Parton’s one-of-a-kind songwriting expertise are certain to make this a holiday event you’ll want to share with those you love.
Pentatonix Christmas Tour (Boston)
Join the chart-topping group as they tour with their new holiday album “Christmas Is Here!” A family favorite for sure!
BSO Holiday Pops (Boston)
Join the Boston Pops for a performance filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-along, and a visit from Santa Claus himself! These concerts take place in the magical atmosphere of world-famous Symphony Hall, which is beautifully decorated to evoke all the magic and charm of the season.
Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity (Boston)
Langston Hughes’ heartwarming gospel play returns for the 2019 holiday season at the Paramount Theater, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ through the uplifting genre of gospel music. Produced and performed by the National Center of Afro-American Artists, it celebrates the black community and wider Boston during this holy season. Follow the star to Bethlehem in this modern staging of Hughes’ original musical, and rejoice in the good news that this show brings for a community often on the outskirts, rather like a certain baby 2,000 years ago.
Returning once again to this coveted role, celebrated actor David Coffee dons the cane and top hat of the infamous Dickensian villain Ebenezer Scrooge for a magical evening of classic storytelling, astonishing special effects, and classic carols. Come along on the journey as Scrooge is visited by three magical spirits that take him into his past, present, and future in a bid to show him the error of his curmudgeonly ways.
These special family concerts include a children’s singalong and post-concert photos with Santa. For those seated at the floor tables, there are special kid-friendly menu options along with holiday treats. The December 7 performance will be a sensory-friendly concert. The show is designed for all families with children or adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or sensory sensitivities. The concert will be a shortened 60-minute version of the regular Holiday Pops concert, with a flexible, non-judgmental environment.
The Christmas Revels is a joyful theatrical celebration of the winter solstice that travels the world each year showcasing cultural traditions including music, dance, folktales, and rituals. In this year’s production, travel from the bluegrass of Appalachia to the traveling songs of California, from the bony harmonies of New England to the easy melodies of the South. And when you reach your ultimate destination, you will be invited to join in the old tradition of “Breakin’ up Christmas.”