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Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 12/ 1/2008

On Stage in December

By Stephanie Merry

As you might expect, the theater scene this month is dominated by Nutcrackers, Christmas Carols and other holiday shows. Those that prefer their theater minus the dancing rats and Scrooges are in luck though, as a number of nondenominational plays are also coming our way.

"Legally Blonde's" cast of quirky characters descends on D.C. this month. (Joan Marcus)

For starters, a few old favorites: National Theatre will bring the Jets and the Sharks back to D.C. with a production of "West Side Story" starting Dec. 15. The musical, which actually made its world premiere in Washington in 1957, heads to Broadway after its run here.

Starting tomorrow, Warner Theatre gives the stage over to Dorothy, Toto and the rest of the gang on their way to the Emerald City with "The Wizard of Oz." Signature Theatre's run of Victor Hugo's tragic tale, "Les Miserables," also begins tomorrow.

For a slightly more uplifting December theater experience, check out "Legally Blonde" at Kennedy Center. The musical adaptation of the 2001 movie makes its Washington debut on Dec. 16. It sounds like a promising production; the play's reviews on Broadway were, like, totally awesome.

Another quirky show opens at Woolly Mammoth on Dec. 15. "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" returns to the District with its theatrical race against the clock, in which actors attempt to perform 30 different plays in 60 minutes.

As for the holiday shows, the standouts include Ford's Theatre's annual performance of "A Christmas Carol," which will show at Shakespeare Theatre (due to renovations at Ford's) starting tomorrow. As for the Nutcracker, the Washington Ballet will perform Septime Webre's version at Thearc starting Dec. 5 and at Warner Theatre on Dec. 11, while the Joffrey Ballet performs its version at the Kennedy Center starting Dec. 11.

For a more offbeat holiday experience, one performance (for its name alone) sounds like it could be a fun time. "The Butterfingers Angel, Mary & Joseph, Herod the Nut and the Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a Pear Tree" is an alternative telling of the nativity story and will show at Rep Stage starting on the 3rd.

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | December 1, 2008; 11:19 AM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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Don't forget the Washington Revels has their annual play (this year is French-Canadian) at Lisner Auditorium:

Posted by: | December 1, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Another non-denominational family-friendly show: ALICE (adaptation of Alice in Wonderland) at Round House Theatre in Bethesda. It's appropriate for ages 6+, running till Dec. 28th.

And for scrooges in the District, David Sedaris' hilarious Santaland Diaries will be at the Warehouse until Dec. 24th.

Posted by: flyinghamburger | December 2, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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