You can be of good queer this Christmas with our rundown of seasonal classics, old & new
Christmas is a time for family (and sometimes recovering from family), cheer, alcohol, more alcohol and finding things to do indoors where ugly sweaters are welcome. And there’s no reason you can’t gay it up, whether it’s watching hot men in tights (The Nutcracker!), seeing plays with gay plotlines (The Santaland Diaries!), enjoying some campy musicals (the British panto!) or just taking the folks out to a family-friendly show with a longstanding tradition of good will, preferably with man named Ebenezer leading the way (A Christmas Carol!).
We’ve rounded up most of the Christmas-themed plays, musicals and ballets, and added in some fundraising performances (Uptown Players gets candy caned! Leslie Jordan is back!) plus some community events that help you keep the yuletide gay.
— Arnold Wayne Jones
Dance and theater
The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s celebrated ballet — beautiful romantic music throughout — is perhaps the most revered of holiday traditions. The Texas Ballet Theater mounts its annual version from Sir Ben Stevenson, once again with performances both in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Dec. 5–7.
Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth. Dec. 12–27. TexasBalletTheater.org.
The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents a Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker. Think every dancer knows how to do “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies?” Well, this small-town women’s auxiliary does, which is how they screw up and hire a team of strippers to mount Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece in the reprise of MBS Productions’ award-winning comedy.
Stone Cottage Theatre, 15650 Addison Road. Through Dec. 28.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Ballet isn’t the only way a show can go wrong. A couple try to stage a holiday show in their church, but things go hilariously amiss in this stage version of the comedic book.
Theatre Arlington, 305 W. Main St., Arlington. Through Dec. 21. TheatreArlington.org.
The Santaland Diaries and The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. WaterTower revives two favorites: The return of the one-man show The Santaland Diaries (again with Garret Storms) about a gay Macy’s elf and his travails earning money for the holidays (based on David Sedaris’ brilliant memoir); and the sequel to the hit The Great American Trailer Park Musical, this time set during December when the rednecks are out in tacky force.
Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Road. Santaland, Dec. 5–28; Trailer Park, Dec. 5–Jan. 4. WaterTowerTheatre.org.
Yes, Virginia Woolf, There Is a Santa Claus. Jeff Swearingen does some screwed up children’s theater, from an all-pre-teen-girl adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross to a kiddie version of Game of Thrones, but what could be more theatrical — and holiday-centric — than combining the structure of Edward Albee’s dark domestic drama of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with the heartwarming message of Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus by moving it to the North Pole, where Jolly Ol’ St. Nick ain’t nearly so jolly when dealing with Mrs. Claus. Sick. And certainly hilarious.
Plano Children’s Theatre, 1301 Custer Road, Plano. Dec. 5–13.
Miracle on 34th Street and Frosty and Friends. Dallas Children’s Theater is going the more traditional route for kids with two shows: Frosty and Friends is a quaint puppet show appropriate for theatergoers as small as 4, and Miracle on 34th Street is a stage version of the film about how a department store Santa transforms a city.
Rosewood Center for Family Arts, 5938 Skillman St. Both through Dec. 21. DCT.org.
Beauty and the Beast. Still traditional, but with a sense of high camp, is Theatre Britain’s annual Christmas panto, an English favorite where a fairy tale gets gayed up with double entendres and cross-dressing comic relief (Ivan Jones as a saucy maid). As is often the case, there’s a strong message about generosity and good will toward one’s fellow man triumphing over materialism.
Cox Building Playhouse, 1517 H Ave., Plano. Through Dec. 28. Theatre-Britain.com.
A Christmas Carol. Like Theatre Britain, the Dallas Theater Center’s family outing has long been a reverie on the true spirit of the season: an adaptation of Dickens’ haunting tale of Christmastime redemption. Chamblee Ferguson returns as Scrooge in a revival of the piece written last year by DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty, but this time directed by Lee Trull.
Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Through Dec. 28. DallasTheaterCenter.org.
Ebenezer Scrooge. Pocket Sandwich Theatre has worked the Victorian angle even longer, with the 33rd staging of its version of the Dickens’ novella. This one doesn’t have any popcorn tossing though — it’s truly designed to be heartwarming.
Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane. Through Dec. 23. PocketSandwich.com.
The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge. Richardson Theatre Centre is going at the story its own way with Marc Brown’s comic play about Scrooge suing the ghosts for taking him on his journey.
Richardson Theatre Centre, 518 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson. Dec. 5–21. RichardsonTheatreCentre.net.
A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical. Set around the same time as Christmas Carol, but with an American bent, is this tuneful play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel.
Theatre 3, 2900 Routh St. Through Dec. 14. Theatre3Dallas.com.
A Christmas Story, the Musical. A Christmas Story has become a TV-watching staple for 20 years, but you don’t have to wait until Dec. 25 to watch the marathon — you can just head over to Fair Park for the stage adaptation by Pasek and Paul (Dogfight), which arrives in North Texas courtesy of Dallas Summer Musicals. Watch Ralphie, The Old Man, Scot Farkis and the rest deal with family and firearms in middle America.
Music Hall at Fair Park, 901 First Ave. Through Dec. 14. DallasSummerMusicals.org.
Jubilation II: The Colors of Christmas. Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth gets into the spirit with this impassioned revue show, featuring songs and a celebratory atmosphere.
Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main St., Fort Worth. Through Dec. 28. JubileeTheatre.org.
Fundraising performances and music
Christmas Our Way. Uptown Players’ is back with their annual Broadway Our Way revue, featuring songs from musicals sung by the opposite sex from the one intended. But they got started early this year, for the first-ever Christmas Our Way. B.J. Cleveland wrote, directed and hosts this holiday extravaganza.
Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Dec. 11–14. UptownPlayers.org.
Ring in the Holidays with Leslie Jordan. The Emmy Award-winning scamp with the droll Southern charm returns for his annual one-night-only Dallas show, with stories and “holiday frivolities” … all to benefit Legacy Counseling Center.
Theatre 3, 2900 Routh St. in the Quadrangle. Dec. 21. 8 p.m. LegacyCares.org.
Celebrate the Holidaze! The Women’s Chorus of Dallas celebrates the season with a new spin of favorite carols — some touching, some hilarious. Styles from gospel to jazz to pop will really help break the iceberg.
City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Dec. 13. 7 p.m. TWCD.org.
Jangled. The Women’s Chorus isn’t the only gay-led choir taking over City Performance Hall. A few days later, the Turtle Creek Chorale takes over the space with its annual show of holiday music, this year called Jangled. There will be four concerts with all the saucy fun you’ve come to expect from the TCC, plus a fifth performance that’s meant for the whole family.
City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Dec. 18–20 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 21 at 2:30 p.m.; family concert Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m. TurtleCreek.org.
It’s a Cabaret Christmas. Diva darling Denise Lee is joined by friends Terry Loftis, Sara Shelby-Martin and Carolyn Lee Jones for her celebration of the season with music, raffle drawings, appetizers and more.
Uptown Theatre, 120 E. Main St., Grand Prairie. Dec. 9. 7:30 p.m. UptownTheaterGP.com.
Anton’s 13th Annual Christmas Party Extravaganza. Dallas diva Anton Shaw performs with some of her friends at this gayborhood tradition which also raises money for the Women’s Chorus and Everman Animal Shelter.
Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. Dec. 14. 6 p.m. PartyAtTheBlock.com.
Honey Pot Midwinter Dream. Just because Dec. 25 is over doesn’t mean the fun is! Honey Pot, the bearish party and fundraiser, rocks the Dallas Eagle on Friday after St. Nick comes down the chimney with DJs Woofy and Perry spinning and you dancing the night away.
Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. Dec. 26. 9 p.m.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 5, 2014