Top Things to Do This Holiday Week: Dec 23–28

Make your Christmas that much merrier by catching Portland Playhouse's 'A Christmas Carol,' Oregon Ballet Theatre's 'The Nutcracker,' the Ensemble's Christmas special, and many more.

With Portland Monthly Staff December 23, 2014


Review Blithe Spirit 
Tuesday–Wednesday & Friday–Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
There’s more than one play about ghosts that theaters can produce during the holidays: in this spectral 1941 comedy by Noël Coward, a famous author invites an eccentric clairvoyant to his house only for the woman to summon the ghost of his irritable first wife. "Coward’s ebullient and ceaselessly witty dialogue is solid comedy; if my friends insulted me as cleverly as this, I’d probably let them see more of my flaws..." Read our full review

Closing A Christmas Carol
Tuesday–Wednesday & Friday–Sunday, Portland Playhouse
This original musical adaptation dressed up the playhouse last season in warm Victorian cheer, the cast singing carols and taking your tickets in tailcoats and long skirts. After winning Drammy Awards for best ensemble, director, and production, it returns this year like a welcomed ghost of Christmas past—but this time with a Christmas tree lot to boot, so you can take home an evergreen souvenir. 

Closing Santaland Diaries 
Tuesday–Wednesday & Friday–Sunday, Portland Center Stage 
Local fave Darius Pierce returns as Crumpet in PCS’s annual production of David Sedaris’s satirical story about working at a Macy’s Santaland. 

Mystery of Irma Vep
Friday–Sunday, Winningstad Theatre 
Following on the heels of last year’s holiday-season production of the fantastically farcical and incredibly demanding Noises Off!, Third Rail presents this equally challenging comedy by Charles Ludlam. The mystery satirizes Victorian melodrama, vampire stories, and Hitchcockesque psychological thrillers with local powerhouses Isaac Lamb and Leif Norby playing eight characters, which requires some 35 costume changes. 


Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert.

Closing OBT: The Nutcracker
Tuesday–Wednesday & Friday–Saturday, Keller Auditorium
Some things are tradition for a reason. Legendary choreographer George Balanchine’s take on the Tchaikovsky score is deservedly a classic, and Oregon Ballet Theatre’s enduringly popular production fills seats every year. 


Christmas at the Old Church 
Tuesday–Wednesday & Friday, The Old Church 
Acclaimed Portland pianist Michael Allen Harrison is hosting his annual holiday concert for its 20th year. Throughout the fifteen shows, Harrison will be joined by an extensive list of local collaborators: vocalist Julianne Johnson, violinist Aaron Meyer, clarinetist Jim Beatty, and pianist Tom Grant, amongst others.

Christmas with the Ensemble 
Sunday, Saint Stephen Catholic Church
The local chamber group, which boasts a revolving cast of local music veterans, presents a program of a cappella Christmas music spanning the past century. 


Straight No Chaser

Straight No Chaser
Saturday, Arlene Schnizter Concer Hall 
Just think, if your college a cappella group reunited 10 years after graduation, you could be performing to sell-out crowds around the world today! Well, maybe not, but you can always go see these Indiana University alums and wonder, what if? 

Tuesday–Wednesday & Friday–Sunday, Imago Theatre
Imago Theatre reprises its longest-running and most successful show, which has been produced on Broadway—twice—and toured the world. In the kid-friendly work, the company employs costumes, acrobatics, and universal themes to bring into existence a surrealist world of fantastical creatures and inanimate objects.  

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