What’s that under the mistletoe? Why, it’s Vancouver theatre listings for December!

Matthew MacDonald-Bain and Baraka Rahmani, in Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley in 2018. Set design by Ted Roberts; costume design by Amy McDougall; lighting design by Conor Moore. David Cooper photo.

We’re still waiting for a musical adaptation of Bad Santa. Meanwhile, though, we’ll settle for holiday fare like a musical version of It’s a Wonderful Life and the new original production Holiday at the Elbow Room Café. Decidedly not seasonal is Cock, about a love triangle. See below for more details and ticket info. (Updated Dec. 4 2020.)

A Christmas Carol (until Dec. 21 at Pacific Theatre, 1440 W. Hemlock St)—Pacific Theatre artistic director Ron Reed adapts and stars in the Charles Dickens story. Reed plays Scrooge and 43 other characters. (Tickets: $20-36.50 at pacifictheatre.org)

Ron Reed plays all the characters in Pacific Theatre’s A Christmas Carol.

The Tragic Comedy of Macbeth (Dec. 4-Dec. 15 at Jericho Arts Centre, 1675 Discovery St.)—The Scottish king tells his story one more time, via some of Vancouver’s top comedic, theatrical and improvisational talents. No Shakespeare expertise required. (Tickets: $25 at theatrewire.com, $30 at the door)

Cock (Dec. 5-15, Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St.)—UK playwright Mike Bartlett’s tale of a love triangle comes to Vancouver courtesy Untold Wants Theatre. The play revolves around a man’s indecision over whether to stay in a seven-year relationship with his partner, a man, or venture into unknown territory with a new love interest—a woman. Cock “succeeds because he [Bartlett] only focuses on his characters,” says the Huffington Post. “In fact, we see nothing else but endless entertaining and wrenching dialogue.” (Tickets: $25/$20 (students and seniors) at thecultch.com)

A scene from Untold Wants’ production of Cock, a play by Mike Bartlett.

Bah Humbug! (Dec. 5-21 at Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, 149 W. Hastings St.)—A Vancouver tradition, this take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol celebrates the spirit of the Downtown East Side community, told from an Indigenous perspective. Blues singer Jim Byrnes leads the cast. (Tickets: $39/24 (students) at sfu.ca)

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Dec. 5-Jan. 4 at Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston St.)—The Arts Club brings back last year’s holiday hit, a sort-of sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Set after Lizzy Bennet has married Mr. Darcy and come to live on his estate, Christmas at Pemberley was one of the top ten most-staged plays in 2017. (Tickets: from $29 at artsclub.com and 604-687-1644)

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café (Dec 10-29 at the Cultch)—A sort-of sequel to Zee Zee Theatre’s original 2017 hit production Elbow Room Café: The Musical, about a famous (and now extinct) West End diner, Holiday features the same characters (and songs, along with holiday favourites). This time, the gang is snowed-in at the diner on Christmas Eve. (Tickets: from $26 at tickets.thecultch.com and 604-251-1363)

The cast of Holiday at the Elbow Room Cafe. Emily Cooper photo.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Dec 12-31 at Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond)—A 50th-anniversary celebration of the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. To stage this family favourite, Gateway reunites director Barbara Tomasic and musical director Christopher King. (Tickets: from $29 at gatewaytheatre.com and 604-270-1812)

It’s a Wonderful Life (Dec 19-Jan 5, Anvil Centre Theatre, 777 Columbia St., New Westminster)—This musical adaptation of the holiday classic is based on Frank Capra’s original screenplay but with the addition of songs by composers such as George and Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill. (Tickets: starting at $24 at patrickstreetproductions.com and 604-684-2787)

Ongoing: 

It’s a Wonderful Christmas-Ish Holiday Miracle (until Dec. 22

 at BMO Theatre Centre)—The Arts Club describes this as “It’s a Wonderful Life meets Modern Family.” Esther is a recently departed spirit who is sent back to earth to deal with her unfinished business involving her estranged daughter, Miriam; Miriam’s ex-husband, Steven; and their two children, rebellious teen Chloe and her precocious little brother Simon. (Tickets: $29 at artsclub.com and 604-687-1644)

East Van Panto: Pinocchio (until Jan 5, 2020, York Theatre, 639 Commercial Dr)—Theatre Replacement’s hugely popular East Van Panto holiday series is back, this time telling the classic story of Pinocchio with all sorts of contemporary references and twists.  The Cultch recommends East Van Panto: Pinocchio for ages five and up. (Tickets: from $26 at 604.251.1363 and thecultch.com)

East Van Panto takes on Gepetto’s wooden boy. Tim Matheson photo.

Peter Pan (until Jan 5, 2020, Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright St., Granville Island)—This adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale reimagines Peter Pan without the use of wires but “infused with spirited play, music, joy, and a pinch of fairy dust,” according to the media release. It goes on to say that the Toronto production “swept the Dora TYA Awards in 2018.” Recommended for ages four and older. (Tickets: $35, $29, $18 at tickets.carouseltheatre.ca or 604-685-6217)

Kaitlyn Yott is Peter Pan in a Carousel Theatre for Young People production. Tim Matheson photo.

The Sound of Music (until Jan 5 at the Stanley, 2750 Granville St.)—The Arts Club’s Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran directs this production, which stars Synthia Yusuf (Maria) and Jonathan Winsby (Captain von Trapp). (Tickets” from $39 at artsclub.com and 604.687.1644)

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