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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 11/30/2009

On stage in December

By Stephanie Merry

There's no shortage of holiday theater and family-friendly entertainment this month. But luckily for those who find themselves needing a break from holiday revelry, there's also a string of devilish comedies and satires to keep keep us grounded.

First up is "Striking 12" at Arena Stage. Featuring members of the band GrooveLily, the musical is based on "The Little Match Girl" (though this version is much more lighthearted). It follows a Scrooge type who hates New Years -- but might just learn to love it. (Dec. 2-13)

GrooveLily brings its musical "Striking 12" to Arena Stage. (David Allen)

Studio has a feel-good story that will have the audience rooting for the little guy with "Solid Gold Cadillac." The play, written in the 1950s but still timely, tells the tale of Laura Partridge, a small shareholder in a big, corrupt business, who decides to take on the man. (Dec. 2-Jan. 17)

For holiday-themed family fun, the Kennedy Center is putting on "Teddy Roosevelt and the Ghostly Mistletoe" in the Family Theater. One of many plays based on "A Christmas Carol," the show follows Roosevelt's children's quest to have a Christmas tree, while the 26th president -- famous for his love of nature -- would rather see the tree standing in a forest. (Dec. 5-30)

The Neo-Futurists are returning to Woolly Mammoth for another installment of "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind." In a theatrical race against the clock, the troupe goes full-throttle and attempts to complete 30 plays in 60 minutes. (Dec. 7-Jan. 2)

While December dance is generally dominated by a certain ballet called "The Nutcracker," New York City Ballet is coming to town with nary a Sugar Plum Fairy. The famed dance troupe will be performing a mixed repertory of choreography by troupe founders Balanchine and Robbins, along with music by Chopin and, yes, a little Tchaikovsky. (Dec. 9-13)

For those who find more entertainment in making fun of holiday sentimentality rather than partaking in it, head to DC Arts Center for either or both of Landless Theater's December offerings. The always irreverent theater group will be performing a couple of satires, the first of which is based on the work of Charles Dickens. "A Christmas Twist" mocks both "A Christmas Carol" and "Oliver Twist," while the second production is a mash-up in the pop culture vein: "Carrie Potter at the New Moon Prom." (Dec. 11-Jan. 2)

The Kennedy Center is also getting in on the goofiness this month when "Young Frankenstein" hits the stage. I suppose Mel Brooks took the success of "The Producers" as a sign to start reviving other old hits, so the Gene Wilder movie-turned-musical came to be. The silly take on Mary Shelley's classic arrives in D.C. after a year-long run on Broadway. (Dec. 15-Jan. 10)

Theatre J is also jumping on the funny train in staging the autobiographical one-woman show "Mommy Queerest." Starring Judy Gold, the musical looks at the life of a working mother who also happens to be Jewish and gay. (Dec. 16-Jan. 3)

For more innocent fare, you could always spend some time with Kermie and the gang during "A Muppet Family Christmas" at Discovery Theatre. Many of Jim Henson's lovable creations will be on hand -- from the Fraggles to the Sesame Street characters -- for a play that takes audiences to Fozzie Bear's mom's house for the holidays. (Dec. 19-20)

-- Stephanie Merry

By Stephanie Merry  | November 30, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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I love the music for "Striking 12".

Posted by: Hemisphire | November 30, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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