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Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 12/06/2011

On stage in December


Comedians Scott Montgomery, Jessica Frances Dukes, Maribeth Monroe and Travis Turner come to town for “Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)
It’s December, so of course area theaters are touting Nutcrackers and Christmas Carols and other familiar holiday titles. But in addition to some refreshing takes on old standbys, this month also promises a visit from “Billy Elliot,” talented comedians from Chicago’s Second City and two compelling true tales brought to life in one-woman shows.

First up is Bust at Studio Theatre. The autobiographical one-woman show, written by and starring former “Daily Show” correspondent Lauren Weedman, follows the actress’s misadventures volunteering at a women’s prison. (Through Dec. 18)

The world premiere of An Irish Carolby Matthew Keenan is an Irish riff on Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale. So naturally it takes place in a Dublin pub. (Through Dec. 31)

A list of alums of Chicago’s the Second City reads like a who’s who of comedy: John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Fred Willard, Tina Fey, Mike Myers and Stephen Colbert. And that’s just a tiny sampling. See some of the current batch of improv comedians when they come to Woolly Mammoth for a world premiere of the ultimate anti-holiday show, Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies.” (Through Jan. 8)

Theater Alliance brings back its holiday season tradition, Black Nativity.” The show is Langston Hughes’ gospel-infused version of the nativity story. (Dec. 7-31)

The New York-based company American Ballet Theatre comes to town to present a new twist on a holiday favorite “The Nutcracker.” This rendition was choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, ABT’s artist in residence since 2009 following a stint as artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet. (Dec. 8-11)

This time of year, there’s nothing like a feel-good story, and one just so happens to be coming to the Kennedy Center. The Tony-winning musical Billy Elliotis based on the heart-warming film about a little Irish boy who falls in love with dancing. (Dec. 13-Jan. 15)

Paul Morello works overtime in his remount of A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas,” a one-man incarnation of the holiday standard. (Dec. 14-Jan. 1)

Late Texas governor Ann Richards was no shrinking violet, and her quick wit, Southern drawl and memorable one-liners make for entertaining theater. Veteran actress Holland Taylor seems like the ideal person to star in Ann,” portraying the brassy divorcee and recovering alcoholic, who overcame all odds to become the second female governor of Texas. (Dec. 17-Jan. 15)

The Kinsey Sicks in Oy Vey in A Manger,” featuring a drag quartet, is the perfect antidote to the holiday doldrums. The irreverent parodies of seasonal standards include “’Tis the Season to Drink Stoli.” (Dec. 24-26)

You might also like:

Best shows to get into the (anti)holiday spirit

December’s best concerts

December arts preview

By  |  11:50 AM ET, 12/06/2011

Categories:  Theater

 
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