Friday, November 29, 2019

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas as holiday shows debut

Soap star Eric Martsolf of "Days of Our Lives"  soap fame headlines a zippy, pretty and nostalgic holiday show at Welk Resort Theatre, celebrating its 20th season, northeast of San Diego. The show opened to raves.


 San Diego Union Tribune & theater marketing departments

"Welkome Home for the Holidays" features a soap star
from Los Angeles and a terrific cast of singers and dancers.
WE MAY have palm trees instead of fir, but it's full-on Christmas in southern California where theater choices abound, from song-and-dance revues to other options not necessarily holiday themed but perfect for boosting holiday cheer.
Pick one or try them all to get yourself out of the Grinch mode and into a merry mood.
We begin our rounds at Welk Resort Theatre.
"WELKOME HOME for the Holidays." Welk Resort. Splendidly produced musical revue guaranteed to send even the sourest Scrooge out the door with a song in his heart. Soap star Eric Martsolf headlines a top cast with a zippy montage of
classics -- some cleverly revised in holiday wrap -- from Kander and Ebb to Irving Berlin. Carols, comedy, ballads, a dozen tap dancing Santas and show-stopping cameos in this show-stopping extravaganza. Through Dec. 29
Imaginative musical take on "Around the World in 80 Days."
"A CHRISTMAS CAROL" at Cygnet Theatre.
This imaginative production features original music, creative stagecraft and puppetry, and live sound effects. Adapted from the classic Dickens tale with lyrics and score by Sean Murray and Billy Thompson. Stylishly directed by Murray. Through Dec. 29
Piratical pleasures await
 at New Village Arts.
"AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS."  New Village Arts. Complete with live, buccaneer-style original tunes from The Shantyannes. Through Dec. 22.
Todd Waite is an
endearing Crumpet the Elf in
David Sedaris' humorous tale.
"SANTALAND DIARIES." Diversionary Theatre. Company Artist Todd Waite reprises his role as "Crumpet the Elf" in David Sedaris' outlandish, side-splitting chronicle of his experience as a worker in Macy's department store. A sure holiday spirit pleaser. Through Dec. 22.
 Heidi Meyer and Jake Millgard in San Diego
 Musical Theatre’s “A Christmas Story.” 
"A CHRISTMAS STORY."  San Diego Musical Theatre.
Ralphie's search for a Christmas BB gun gets a magical, musical spin at Horton Grand Theatre. Guaranteed laughs, lively tunes. Through Dec. 29.

At San Diego Repertory Theatre, the
Lyceum features a one-man show.
"WE HOLD THESE Truths." San Diego Repertory Theatre. One-man tour de force starring Ryun Yu, written by Jeanne Sakata. A Japanese-American man who spent 50 years trying to avenge injustice done to Americans of Japanese ancestry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Through Dec. 8.

Lamb's "Festival of Christmas" is a
lovely ode to theater -- and the holidays
"LAMB'S FESTIVAL of Christmas."  Lambs Players Theatre. Heartwarming ode to the theater's "on with the show" motto is set in a New York TV studio, 1952. A live broadcast of a Christmas variety show is thrown into chaos when a blizzard shuts down the city. Music, merriment, sound effects with Lamb's trademark stylish delivery.
Fabulous music, versatile actors weave a story of
a father and daughter over several decades.

"CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND." La Jolla Playhouse. Brilliantly told, moving story of a daughter's search for her father's history during the genocide days of the Khmer Rouge, with gifted actors playing multiple roles decades apart. Terrific, unusual production and while not a traditional holiday show is imbued with spirit and time honored themes: love, tradition, grace, acceptance, change and the transcendent quality of music.    Through Dec. 15. 
"DICKENS UNSCRIPTED." North Coast Repertory Theatre. Crack troupe creates an improvised comedy in the melodramatic style of Dickens, with a festive theme. Two days only, Dec. 16-17.  northcoastrep org

Fountains Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is beautiful all year round.
We take you there and to Yorkminster and Castle Howard -- coming soon.

UP NEXT: England's abbeys,  castles, manor houses and churches represent some of the world' most magnificent architecture.  More than 800 medieval castles alone boast visible remains in England.  We take you to a classic abbey, a castle and a famous minster, in a two-part feature, whetting your appetite for English history and Medieval Gothic ruins.  One of the most famous is Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Park Water Gardens, founded in 1132. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us Fridays for a fresh look at travel, the arts, nature, family and more:


  1. Fun mix. We plan to catch them all. Aren't we lucky?

  2. What wonderful fare for us theater seekers. Thanks for the lively roundup.

  3. So lucky are you to have this variety and calibre near you.

  4. Chicago Culture SeekersDecember 3, 2019 at 11:28 AM

    Brilliant mix. Lucky you

  5. Always love San Diego.... especially in winter. Be there soon.