Holiday theater gets you in the spirit of the season. But what kind of spirit is in each holiday production?

There are three classifications for any show: Spirits, as in alcohol, saturate the scripts of some contemporary Christmas comedies. The spectral forms of spirits haunt Dickens-inspired productions. Finally, the holiday spirit evokes the childlike joy of the season.


(Kevin Golden)

Spirits, Spectral:

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol
at Industrial Strength Theatre, 269 Sunset Park Dr., Herndon. Through Dec. 29. $25-$27.

A Christmas Carol: Ghost Story of Christmas
at the Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney. Through Dec. 29. $18-$40.

Spirits, Spectral and Alcohol:

A Christmas Carol
at Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St. NW. Through Jan. 1. $20-91.

Spirits, Spectral and Holiday:

A Commedia Christmas Carol
at the Elstad Auditorium at Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave. NE. Through Dec. 22. $12-$30.

at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, 311 Kent Square Rd., Gaithersburg. Through Dec. 22. $18.

Spirits, Holiday:

Holiday Follies
at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Dec. 17-23. $40.

A Broadway Christmas Carol
at MetroStage, 1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria. Through Dec. 22. $50.

Elf The Musical
at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. Dec. 17 through Jan. 5. $25-$150.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company: The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged)
at The CenterStage, 2310 Colts Neck Rd., Reston. 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21. Sold out.

Spirits, Holiday and Alcohol:

Seasonal Disorder
at Source, 1835 14th St. NW. Through Dec. 28. $12-$30.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas
at Industrial Strength Theatre, 269 Sunset Park Dr., Herndon. Through Dec. 29. $20-$27.

The Santaland Diaries
at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, 31 W. Patrick St., Frederick. $16.50-$25.50.

All of the Above:

An Irish Carol
at the Keegan Theatre. 1742 Church St. NW. Through Dec. 29. $30-$35.

More from our Winter Whimsy issue:
One perfect holiday date
A holiday guide for Grinches
A childless adult's guide to ICE! at National Harbor
5 classic holiday drinks
Christmas Day dinner and a movie
What you 'kneed' to know about "Elf the Musical"