Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we’re already well into December. However, plenty of opportunities still remain to catch seasonal offerings on local stages this month, so consider these highlights:
West End Players Guild mounts the world premiere of an adaptation of a Charles Dickens Christmas classic at Union Avenue Christian Church. No, not A Christmas Carol– instead, the novella The Cricket on the Hearth, newly adapted by playwright Vladimir Zelevinsky. Dickens’ story, first published in 1845, focuses on how the lives of a deliveryman and his young wife change when they invite a mysterious elderly stranger into their home as a temporary boarder. Dec. 6 to 8 and 12 to 15. westendplayers.org
Wicked, which recently celebrated its 16th anniversary on Broadway, returns to The Fabulous Fox Theatre for the first time since 2015 for a monthlong run. The story of Elphaba, her magical powers and her friendship with the oh-so-popular Glinda uses The Wizard of Oz as a springboard for its own twist on the tale. Dec. 6 to 29 (except Dec. 9 and 16 and Christmas). metrotix.com.
Hana S. Sharif, new artistic director at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, marks her directorial debut with the troupe with Christopher Baker’s new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Sharif, who refers to herself as an “Austenite,” delights in the writer’s “smart, bold, charismatic female protagonists” and their remarkable relevancy to today’s audiences. Dec. 6 to 29 (except Dec. 9, 16, 24 and Christmas). repstl.org.
Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold returns to the Playhouse @ Westport Plaza this month. Mary F. Zentmyer reprises a role she’s played since 2007 (first performed at Westport in 2017), basing her character in part on a nun who taught her in high school. Dec. 10 to 22 (except Dec. 16). metrotix.com.
Stray Dog Theatre brings an impish look at fairy tales here when it performs Disenchanted! at Tower Grove Abbey. The musical comedy concerns how “Snow White and her posse of disgruntled princesses … set the record straight and give fairy tales the bird.” Intended for mature audiences. Dec. 6 to 21 (Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Dec. 15 and 18). straydogtheatre.org.
New Jewish Theatre is Fully Committed to producing this one-man show starring Will Bonfiglio at the JCCA’s Wool Studio Theatre. In this tour de force, an actor takes holiday phone reservations for one of New York City’s hottest restaurants. Bonfiglio plays 40 characters in Becky Mode’s heartwarming hit. Dec. 6 to 22 (Thursdays and weekends). newjewishtheatre.org.
St. Louis Actors’ Studio continues its 13th season with David Mamet’s love letter to the stage, A Life in the Theater. John Contini directs William Roth and Ryan Lawson-Maeske as two actors, one aging and fighting for his career, the other a young theatrical rising star. Dec. 6 to 22 (Thursdays through Sundays). stlas.org.
Cherokee Street Theater Company, the area’s newest theatrical troupe, produces as its debut Gremlins – Live Holiday Show Parody, a one-hour comic take on the 1984 flick Gremlins. Performed, written and directed by local talents, this show at 2607 Potomac St. in St. Louis celebrates “camp and the fantastical with a charming and semi-dark twist all with a holiday theme!”Dec. 6, 7 and 12 to 14. cherokeestreettheatercompany.com.
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concerts include “Baroque Fireworks” Dec. 6 to 8, the “Mercy Holiday Celebration” Dec. 13 to 15, “A Gospel Christmas” with Florissant’s own Kennedy Holmes Dec. 18 to 19, “Home Alone in Concert” Dec. 20 to 21 and “Beauty and the Beast in Concert” Dec. 27 to 28. slso.org.
COCA’s Winter Rep: A Movement in Color celebrates the work of artists of color at Edison Theatre. All three dance ensembles – COCAdance, Ballet Eclectica and the COCA Hip-Hop Crew –perform. Dec. 14 and 15, twice daily. cocastl.org.
The Bach Society of Saint Louis presents its “Christmas Candlelight Concert” on Dec. 10 at Powell Symphony Hall, featuring Poulenc’s Gloria, as well as favorite holiday carols. And Cathedral Concerts presents “Christmas at the Cathedral” with the St. Louis Archdiocesan Choirs and Orchestra performing the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 7 and 8. bachsociety.org; cathedralconcerts.org.
Stifel Theatre presents Elf on the Shelf on Dec. 19, followed by Sing! An Irish Christmas on Dec. 20. stifeltheatre.com.
The Rep’s Imaginary Theatre Company performs The Elves and the Shoemaker, a children’s musical written by Sarah Brandt, directed by Laurie McConnell and featuring music and lyrics by the late Neal Richardson. Dec. 21 to 23. repstl.org.
And what better way to cap the season than by checking out Da Vinci & Michelangelo: The Titans Experience at The Grandel? Created and performed by Mark Rodgers, this multimedia show explores the works and lives of the two Renaissance giants. Dec. 26 to 29. metrotix.com.