Home Musical play ‘Grinch’ kicks off busy holiday theater season in San Diego

‘Grinch’ kicks off busy holiday theater season in San Diego

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San Diego County theaters have slowly resumed production this fall, with most not planning a full season of shows until next year. But many companies that produce annual holiday productions are reviving their old chestnuts or presenting new ones this fall. Here’s a look at some of the local theatrical productions this fall. Please note that all theaters have COVID-19 security policies in place, requiring proof of full vaccine and indoor masking. To learn more about the policies of individual theaters, visit their websites. The shows are listed in the order of their opening dates.

“Dr. How the Grinch Stole Christmas from Seuss!”

Andrew Polec, who played Berger in The Old Globe’s recent “Hair” production, returns next month to play the Grinch in The Globe’s 24th annual production of the locally beloved musical. (The show is back in live production after being shown as an audio recording last year on KPBS Radio.) Based on a 1957 children’s book by the late La Jolla Theodor author “Dr. Seuss ”Geisel, the musical by Timothy Mason and Mel Marvin premiered in 1994 in a children’s theater in Minneapolis. In 1998 he moved to the Old Globe, where artistic director Jack O’Brien worked with Geisel’s widow, Audrey Geisel, to add music from the famous 1966 animated television version and a stage and costumed design of a storybook. Since then, it has been an annual tradition. From November 10 to December 31. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org

Patio Playhouse in Escondido will bring to life “Every Christmas story ever told (and then some)!” 19 Nov-Dec 19.

(Adriana Zuniga-Williams)

“Every Christmas story ever told (and then some)!”

The Patio Playhouse Community Theater in Escondido relaunches its 2018 production of this holiday musical by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez, where three actors attempt to tell all the Christmas stories in the world and sing all the carols. Christmas in one go. Actors Brandon Throckmorton, Cade Smith and Jason Schlarmann will reprise their roles. From November 19 to December 19. Patio Playhouse, 116 S. Kalmia St., Escondido. (760) 746-6669. patioplayhouse.com

Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show runs November 19 through December 26 at the Old Globe.

(Jim Cox)

“Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big Christmas Show in San Diego”

The Old Globe is bringing back its fast-paced comedic version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, which premiered at The Globe in 2019. “Ebenezer Scrooge” premiered on the West Coast at the Globe two years ago . Written by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, it’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Victorian short story about the Christmas morning redemption of miser Ebenezer Scrooge, reset in San Diego with music, comedy and all the time-traveling ghosts and other characters for whom the story is known. From November 19 to December 26. Sheryl & Harvey White Theater, The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. (619) 234-5623. theoldglobe.org

Kirra Adams, Pete Zanko and Carly Salway in Point Loma Playhouse

Kirra Adams, Pete Zanko and Carly Salway in “She’s in the Library” at Point Loma Playhouse.

(Farhad Deylami Azodi)

“She’s at the library”

Point Loma Playhouse presents playwright Dori Salois New take on the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” told from the perspective of George’s wife, Mary Hatch. In this version of the heartwarming holiday tale, she’s the only librarian in town trying to stop Bedford Falls from turning into Pottersville when George Bailey shows up pretending to be her husband. Open on November 19 and until December 5. 3035 Talbot St., San Diego. (619) 800-5497. pointlomaplayhouse.com

Tom Stephenson plays Ebenezer Scrooge in Cygnet Theater's

Tom Stephenson plays Ebenezer Scrooge in Cygnet Theater’s “A Christmas Carol”, which premieres November 23.

(Ken Jacques)

“A Christmas Carol”

Cygnet Theater presents its 10th annual production in Dickensian History, adapted for the stage and directed by Sean Murray, with lyrics by Murray and original music by Billy Thompson. The production includes Christmas carols, puppets and special effects. Actor Tom Stephenson returns as Scrooge, but several roles in this year’s production have been redefined to create more diversity on stage. From November 23 to December 26. Cygnet’s Old Town Theater, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town San Diego. (619) 337-1525. cygnetheatre.com

The entire Lamb's Players Theater to present a revised adaptation of Charles Dickens

The Lamb’s Players Theater ensemble will present a revised adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to open on November 26th.

(Lamb Players Theater)

Feast of the Christmas Lamb: “A Christmas Carol”

Lamb’s Players Theater returns to its 43-year tradition of presenting original holiday plays by Associate Artistic Director Kerry Meads. This year’s Christmas Festival production, first produced as a touring show in the 1980s, is a 90-minute adaptation of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. The cast went from the original four to 12, the script was beefed up, and an original score of holiday songs by Associate Artistic Director Deborah Gilmour Smyth was added. From November 26 to December 26. 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado. (619) 437-6000. lambsplayers.org

“Radio time of the 1940s”

The Lamplighters Community Theater presents the Walton Jones Holiday Musical to a New York City radio station on December 21, 1942, with big band singers performing in a snowy studio with a heartwarming Christmas twist. From November 26 to December 19. 5915 Severin Drive, La Mesa. (619) 303-5092. allume-lampeslamesa.com

Playwright Dea Hurston poses in her San Diego home

“1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas” by playwright Dea Hurston will premiere on November 19 at the New Village Arts Theater in Carlsbad.

(Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

“1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas”

New Village Arts presents the world premiere of San Diego playwright Dea Hurston’s vacation musical, which was created and designed by Hurston and Frankie Alicea-Ford, Kevin “Blax” Burroughs and Milena (Sellers) Phillips, with music by John-Mark McGaha and lyrics by Phillips. It’s the story of widowed family matriarch Dorothy Black who hosts a Christmas Eve celebration with her grown children when an unexpected family drama erupts. From November 27 to December 26. 2787 State St., Carlsbad. (760) 433-3245. newvillagearts.org

The Roustabouts Theater Co. will host a reading of

The Roustabouts Theater Co. will host a reading of “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge ”on December 1st at the Moxie Theater.

(The Roustabouts Theater Co.)

“Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Frenzy”

The Roustabouts Theater Co. is bringing back its “almost annual” reading of Christopher Durang’s wacky parody of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” this year, featuring local actors including Eileen Bowman as Mrs. Cratchit and Phil Johnson in the role of Scrooge. Donations for local homeless shelters will be collected at the gates, which open at 6 p.m. 7:30 p.m. December 1. The Roustabouts at the Moxie Theater, 6669 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego. (619) 568-5800. theroustabouts.org/saison

“A Cuban Christmas Tale of the People”

OnStage Playhouse presents the reinterpretation by Herbert Siguenza, artist in residence of the San Diego Repertory Theater, of Charles Dickens’ holiday tale set in 1950s Cuba, where Scrooge is an American sugar baron who fights to control the workers just before the Cuban revolution. Includes classical Cuban Christmas music. From December 1 to 19. 291 Third Ave., Chula Vista. (619) 422-7787. onstageplayhouse.org

“Miracle on 34th Street: a radio musical piece”

Moonlight Stage Productions presents Lance Arthur Smith’s vacation musical adapted from the 1947 Lux radio show with original lyrics, music and arrangements by Jon Lorenz. Actors, singers, and a sound effects artist recreate the story of a Santa Claus at the Macy’s store in New York City who goes to court to prove he is the real Kris Kringle. The show will be presented inside the city of Vista’s Avo Playhouse. From December 3 to 23. 303 Main Street, Vista. (760) 724-2110. moonlightstage.com

Ed Howell and Catalina Zelles in Oceanside Theater Company's

Ed Howell and Catalina Zelles in “A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play” by Oceanside Theater Company, opening December 10th.

(Oceanside Theater Co.)

“A Christmas carol: a radio play”

Oceanside Theater Company presents Art Director Ted Leib’s original adaptation of the classic Dickensian Tale from the WOTC radio studio, with a cast featuring Ed Howell, Bob Himlin, Olivia Pence, Audrey Ward and Catalina Zelles. From December 10 to 19. Sunshine Brooks Theater, 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside. (760) 433-8900. oceansidetheatre.org

Wheel acrobat Rachel Salzman in A Magical Cirque Christmas, performed December 27 at the San Diego Civic Theater.

Wheel acrobat Rachel Salzman in A Magical Cirque Christmas, performed December 27 at the San Diego Civic Theater.

(A magical circus Christmas)

A Magic Circus Christmas

Broadway San Diego presents the nationally touring production of this holiday-inspired Montreal-style circus show with circus acts, magical and holiday songs and live music. 7: 30 p.m. on December 27. San Diego Civic Theater, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. broadwaysd.com

The Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Show returns to the San Diego Civic Theater on December 30.

The Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Show returns to the San Diego Civic Theater on December 30.

(Matt Christine)

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

Broadway San Diego presents Chip Davis’ American New Age neoclassical rock band on their 35th anniversary tour, showcasing their modern adaptations of Christmas music with a spectacular light show and visual effects. 7: 30:30 p.m. December. San Diego Civic Theater, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. broadwaysd.com