Christmas shows are on everyone’s mind as New Yorkers prepare for the holidays. How can you have Christmas in New York without a new edition of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and a whole bunch of Nutcrackers and A Christmas Carols? We scoured our listings to find appropriate Christmas-themed theater and dance shows. Get in the yuletide spirit and find the holiday show that’s right for you.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas in NYC
Christmas shows to see in NYC
This magical 1954 production, set to Tchaikovsky's incredible score, includes the full New York City Ballet company and two casts of School of American Ballet students, as well as an onstage blizzard and a Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet. In the end, however, Balanchine's choreography is what holds it all together. It's enchanting.
You’ll get a kick out of this holiday stalwart, which still features Santa, wooden soldiers and the leggy, dazzlingly precise Rockettes. In recent years, new music, more eye-catching costumes and advanced technology have been introduced to bring audience members closer to the performance.
Campbell Scott plays Scrooge in the latest stage version of Charles Dickens's classic yuletide story about a miser forcibly unclenched by visions of his own grinchiness. Matthew Warchus directs this 2017 adaptation by Jack Thorne. Andrea Martin and LaChanze play two of Scrooge's ghostly guests.
Austin McCormick and his risqué neo-Baroque dance-theater group Company XIV present a lavish erotic reimagining of the classic holiday tale, complete with circus performers, operatic singers and partial nudity. The word nutcracker has customarily conjured innocent wonder; now be ready to add glitter pasties, stripper poles and comically large stuffed penises to the toys in wonderland. Definitely leave the kids at home.
Here's a rarity for you: a Christmas-season show that's actually about Christ. Ken Jennings, who originated the role of Toby in Sweeney Todd, performs the most idiosyncratic of the four gospels in a 90-minute solo show inspired by his own religious faith. John Pietrowski directs at the Sheen Center, a project of the Archdiocese of New York.
Increasingly, the world seems polarized into two factions who can barely understand each other, much less find common ground: those who cherish the 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually, and those who recognize it as the extremely terrible garbage that it is. This musical spoof aims to appeal to both camps.
The team behind the Imbible spead their cheer to the holidays with another alcohol-informational musical comedy, aimed at expanding your noggin and your noggin'. The show looks at the history and future of Christmas quaffs through a story that imagines Ebenezer Scrooge planning a party the day after his big epiphany. Admission includes three craft cocktails.
John Kevin Jones plays Dickens in this one-hour account of the novelist's classic holiday ghost story, adapted with director Rhonda Dodd. The Merchant's House Museum, formerly the home of a wealthy 19th-century family, provides an atmospheric candlelit setting for Jones's seventh annual engagement.
This 2003 comedy throws Scrooge, Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch, George Bailey and countless other Christmas characters in a blender and presses PUREE. The script is by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez, with songs by Will Knapp; Andrea Daveline directs a cast of three quick-changing actors.
Jeffrey Solomon performs a 10th-anniversary revision of his 2009 solo Santa Claus Is Coming Out, a multicharacter, faux-documentary dissection of the media frenzy that ensues when St. Nick reveals his true sexuality. Joe Brancato directs the show, which has been updated to reflect changes in LGBTQ issues.