All kinds of holiday fun

<i>Santaland Diaries</i>: Do not let this guy rig your Christmas lights. Really.

Santaland Diaries: Do not let this guy rig your Christmas lights. Really.

Photo By Charr CRail

For a complete listing of showtimes and ticket prices, visit the theater or production company Web sites.

If your holiday season is already off to a rough start (and you can tell if you’re already sick of Christmas music by Thanksgiving), there’s not much we can do for you. Check out one of the medical marijuana dispensaries advertised elsewhere in this paper. But if you’re just a little humbuggy and in the market for some holiday cheer to push you over the edge right into a big vat o’ Christmas spirit, local theater companies will be happy to accommodate.

Holiday offerings in the Sacramento area include the traditional and the musical; scare drag and the so-funny-it’s-scary. Then there’s the intellectual and the darn-near blasphemous, plus a trio of sugar plum fairies in pas de deux with their princes. What more could a single holiday hope for?

So let’s start with the traditional. Scrooge, along with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, will stir up repentance of bad deeds and love for humanity (and a good goose) at the Chautauqua Playhouse, opening December 4. The other big tradition is The Nutcracker, which Sacramento Ballet will open at the Community Center Theater on December 10. It’s got some interesting surprises (see Curtain Call, right), and tickets start at $15. There’s also a “Sweet Sunday” scheduled for December 13 which, for an additional cost, includes opportunities to interact with the performers and win prizes.

For the musically inclined, December Songs opens at the California Stage on November 27, with both traditional holiday music as well as some tunes like “I’m Spending Hanukkah in Santa Monica” performed by Angelina Reaux. And across town at the Studio Theatre, Artistic Differences kicks off its season with a little nostalgia from 1940’s Radio Hour. The energetic bunch at A.D. is better known for rock shows, but this looks like a fun show, and supporting the troops sure hasn’t gone out of style.

In the “scare drag” category are a couple of shows that make use of the tradition of panto, which includes men in the roles of older, ugly women. Peter Pan: A British Panto opened at Sacramento City Theatre on November 20 and runs through December 13. The other fairy tale featuring men in drag is Cinderella, a musical favorite at the Sacramento Theatre Company, which opens December 2.

And for scary-funny, there’s David Sedaris. Well, not him per se, but his play, Santaland Diaries, which opens at Capital Stage this Friday. Frankly, it’s impossible to read Sedaris without laughing one’s self silly; it’s hard to imagine watching this tale unfold and still being able to breathe.

Fourth Stage, a new theater company (made up of some former members of the late and much-lamented Beyond the Proscenium Productions) will open The Naked Nativity, also on Friday. Think a prodigal son who just happens to be Jesus. This slightly offbeat show, written by local playwright P. Joshua Laskey, doesn’t have any nude scenes, we understand, but the ideas go pretty much in the buff.

Finally, in the almost-blasphemous category, Lambda Players presents Nun Crashers, an original work by local writer David-Matthew Barnes. Directed by Barnes and Peter Giovanni, this show apparently involves some undercover nuns (can you say Whoopi Goldberg?) in a parochial boy’s school.

And with a lineup like this, failure to have holiday fun is pretty much your own doggone fault.