Finding the Spirit of Christmas on Stage

Whether you’re already feeling the holiday spirit or need a push to get into the Christmas mood, here are live performances from around the state including “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” productions. Looking for other holiday events? Our calendar also includes craft fairs, opportunities to meet Santa, tree lightings, holiday house tours, holiday strolls and plenty of other festive fun. Plus, visit our Holiday Guide page for a list of places to cut your own Christmas tree, gift ideas, recipes and everything else you might need to enjoy this merry season.

Where to see “The Nutcracker”

What’s it all about? Get whisked away with Clara to the Land of Sweets with these local performances of this magical holiday tradition.

The Palace Theatre

Don’t miss this classic ballet performed by the Southern New Hampshire Dance Theatre, accompanied by Grammy Award-winning conductor John McLaughlin William and a live orchestra.

When: November 29-December 1, 2019
Shows at 7:30 p.m. on November 29-30, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. November 30, and 12 and 4:30 p.m. December 1
Where: The Palace Theatre
80 Hanover St., Manchester
Tickets: $25-$46
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Windham High School Theater

This full-scale professional holiday production includes a cast of 100, featuring the NH Philharmonic Orchestra, plus national American Ballet Theater and Pennsylvania Ballet stars who will grace the Windham stage. Presented by the New England Dance Ensemble.

When: 4 p.m. November 30-December 1, 2019
Where: Seifert Performing Arts Center
44 Geremonty Dr., Salem
Tickets: $35-$50
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Lebanon Opera House

City Center Ballet presents “Clara’s Dream, A Nutcracker Story” based on the beloved classic ballet story “The Nutcracker.” Make the day even more special with a Clara’s Tea event before the performance.

When: December 14-15, 2019
December 14: Clara’s Tea 11:30 a.m., show at 1 p.m.
December 14: Show at 7 p.m. (there is no tea before the 7 p.m. performance)
December 15: Clara’s Tea 1 p.m., show at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Lebanon Opera House
51 N. Park St., Lebanon
Tickets: $10-$38, Clara’s Tea $15
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Oyster River High School/Kingswood Arts Center

Begin the holiday season with a trip to the Land of the Sweets with Clara and her Nutcracker in Northeastern Ballet Theatre’s full-length, professional production of this classic ballet.

When: December 7-8 and 15, 2019
December 7: 7 p.m., Dover
December 8: 2 p.m., Dover
December 15: 2 p.m., Wolfeboro

Where: Oyster River High School
55 Coe Dr., Durham

Kingswood Arts Center
21 McManus Rd., Wolfeboro
Tickets: $20 – adults, $17.50 – seniors/students, $60 – family of four
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Exeter High School

This performance is put on by the Portsmouth School of Ballet.

When: December 7-8, 2019
December 7 at 5 p.m., December 8 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Where: Exeter High School
1 Blue Hawk Dr., Exeter
Tickets: $20 for adults, $15 for children
Tickets are available for purchase at the Portsmouth School of Ballet office and will also be available for purchase at the theater the day of the performance.
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Capitol Center for the Arts

Follow young Clara and her Nutcracker on their journey through the snow as Tchaikovsky’s cherished score is played by a live orchestra and choreography beautifully danced by students and alumni of Eastern Ballet Institute of Concord.

When: December 7-8, 2019
December 7 at 2 and 7 p.m. and December 8 at 2 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $18 and $23
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The Rochester Opera House

A classic holiday event, this production has become a regional favorite! Tchaikovsky’s glittering ballet of Clara and her beloved Nutcracker is a delight, capturing the magic and wonder of the holiday season. Sole City Dance pulls out all the stops with elaborate sets, costumes, special effects and outstanding dancers.

When: December 5-8, 2019
December 4 at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.*
December 5 at 7 p.m.
December 6 at 7 p.m.
December 7 at 2 and 7 p.m.​
December 8 at  2 p.m.
*Contact Sole City Dance for the school shows, (603) 750-7777

Where: The Rochester Opera House
31 Wakefield St., Rochester
Tickets: $24-$28
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Concord City Auditorium

Dancers from Concord’s Turning Pointe Center of Dance perform the full length ballet. This production has something for all ages, and is a tradition not to be missed.

When: Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 2 p.m.
Where: Concord City Auditorium
2 Prince St., Concord
Tickets: $18 in advance and $20 at the door.
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Where to see “A Christmas Carol”

From the a production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.

What’s it all about? Follow Scrooge’s journey as he learns the true meaning of Christmas in this classic play by Charles Dickens.

Stockbridge Theatre

For five years, this special adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” has been delighting audiences nationwide. This humorous production of the beloved tale will surprise and enchant audiences, bringing something new to a classic.

When: November 26, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Where: Stockbridge Theatre
5 Pinkerton St., Derry
Tickets: $10-$25
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The Palace Theatre

Voted Best Live Theatrical Production and Best Theatre Event of the Year in Manchester by Hippo Press readers, this show has become an audience holiday favorite at the Palace.

When: Various dates and times from December 6-22, 2019
Where: The Palace Theatre
80 Hanover St., Manchester
Tickets: $25-$46
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The Rochester Opera House

This ghostly tale of the past, present and future is brought to life in this exciting new musical adaptation. Keeping true to the original text, it draws upon the themes of time, family and society’s ills to warm even the coldest of hearts. Bringing the atmosphere of Victorian Christmas traditions to the stage, this vibrant and joyous musical takes you on a journey of discovery.

When: December 12-22, 2019
Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Special educational performances for grades 1-12 at 10 a.m. December 18-19 and 20

Where: The Rochester Opera House
31 Wakefield St., Rochester
Tickets: $14-$26
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The Players’ Ring

Spend the holiday season gathering with your favorite people and watching some of the season’s most beloved characters come to life before your eyes! The Players’ Ring is proud to present Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

When: December 6-22, 2019
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 and 7 p.m.
Where: The Players’ Ring
105 Marcy St., Portsmouth
Tickets: $12-$20
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Nashua Community College

Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, author of “A Christmas Carol” will appear in a one-man show of the beloved holiday classic. If you haven’t been to one of his shows, then you are missing out.

When: December 6, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Where: Nashua Community College
505 Amherst St., Nashua
Tickets: $25 and $30
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Holiday Concerts and Entertainment

Even more great events from around the state to celebrate the holiday season.

A Magical Cirque Christmas

The producers of Broadway’s smash hit “The Illusionists” have brought together the world’s greatest entertainers for a spell-binding and incredible new holiday production, A Magical Cirque Christmas.

When: November 14, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Where: SNHU Arena
555 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $29.50-$79.50
Available in person at the box office, via Ticketmaster or by phone (800) 745-3000
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra

When: November 23, 2019 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Where: SNHU Arena
555 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $59.50-$79.50
Available in person at the box office, via Ticketmaster or by phone (800) 745-3000
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Eric Mintel Quartet’s “Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas”

“Charlie Brown” jazz includes the legendary “Linus and Lucy,” “Skating,” “Christmas is Coming,” “Christmas Time is Here” and many reworked holiday favorites. Featuring Eric Mintel on the piano, Nelson Hill on the sax and flute, Jack Hegyi on the electric bass and Dave Mohn on the drums.

When: November 23, 2019 8 p.m.
Where: The Spotlight Room at the Palace Theatre
80 Hanover St., Manchester
Tickets: $29
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“A New England Christmas”

Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers, co-artistic directors of Pontine Theatre offer two holiday tales, one from the New World and one from the Old.

“A Neighbor’s Landmark: A Winter Tale with a Christmas Ending” is based on a short story by South Berwick native Sarah Orne Jewett. Set in a rustic coastal fishing village at the end of the 19th century, this is a tale of a taciturn Yankee farmer and his family, who fight to save a pair of landmark pines from a greedy timber contractor. Their struggle brings the whole community together, just in time for Christmas.

In Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” the author wanders through memories of the Christmases of his childhood, evoking warmth, humor, wonder and delight.

When: November 29-December 8, 2019
Fridays 7 p.m., Saturdays 3 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m.
Where: Pontine Theatre
1 Plains Ave., Portsmouth
Tickets: $27
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Greater Keene Pops Choir Holiday Concert

The Greater Keene Pops Choir is a unique performing ensemble that sings popular American music in all its many styles. Under the direction of Diane Cushing and accompanied by Walt Sayre, the “Pops” will perform their winter concert “A December to Remember.”

When: December 1, 2019 at 3 p.m.
Where: Colonial Theatre
95 Main St., Keene
Tickets: $12 in advance and $15 day of the show
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Tuba Christmas

This year marks the 46th anniversary of Tuba Christmas, an international event that started as a tribute to famous tuba player William J. Bell, who was born on Christmas in 1902. Hearing your favorite Christmas tunes in all-tuba form is not your usual yuletide tradition. For those tuba players out there, the invitation is open to join – registration times and fees are noted on the website, Various instructions include whether or not you should bring a music stand or to wear red and green.

When: December 1-21, 2019
Where: There are five New Hampshire Tuba Christmas performances in Keene on December 1, New London and Plaistow on December 7, Wolfeboro on December 14 and Colebrook on December 21.
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“A Tuna Christmas”

In this boisterous and hilarious romp, Tom Frey and Kraig Swartz portray over 20 different characters – everyone in this tiny, tight-knit, irreverent town of Tuna, Texas. As usual, the annual tree decorating contest is underway, and who knows if Vera Carp will once again take the prize. Jim Bob is trying to salvage the local theatre production of A Christmas Carol from both the town censors and the wrath of the electric company. Didi is arming the good people in town with protection against the Christmas Phantom, who’s wreaking holiday havoc and may or (may not!) be Bertha’s fresh-from-probation son, Stanley. And everyone just wants a burger from the Tastee Kreme. Welcome to Christmas in the Greater Tuna area – a great way to add a laugh to your holidays.

When: December 5-15, 2019
Shows at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays
Where: Peterborough Players
55 Hadley Rd., Peterborough
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An Irish Christmas in America

Join an Irish Christmas in America for an enchanting start to the holiday season. Winsome ballads, lively tunes, immense vocal talents, and thrilling Irish dance are performed in front of photo projections of nostalgic traditions. Rich in Irish history, humor, and boundless energy, it is a memorable show for the entire family.

When: December 6, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Dana Center for the Humanities
Saint Anselm College
100 Saint Anselm Dr., Manchester
Tickets: $40
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NH Gay Men’s Chorus’ 2019 Holiday Concert Series: “Amid the Winter’s Snow”

NHGMC is giving four performances of the 2019 Holiday Concert Series “Amid The Winter’s Snow.”

When: December 7-8 and 14-15, 2019
December 7: First Baptist Church of Nashua at 7:30 p.m.
December 8: South Church, Portsmouth at 4 p.m.
December 14: Wesley United Methodist Church, Concord at 7:30 p.m.
December 15: Derryfield School, Manchester at 4 p.m.
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Christmas at the Little White Church

A charming concert featuring pianist Dana Cunningham and cellist Max Dyer. Eaton’s Little White Church invites you to enjoy the simple beauty of acoustic piano and cello in this extraordinary setting.

When: December 6-8, 2019
7:30 p.m. December 6-7, 4 p.m. December 8
Where: Little White Church
2371 Eaton Rd., Eaton Center
Tickets: $30
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“A Charlie Brown Christmas” Performed by the Heather Pierson Trio

Heather Pierson is a pianist, singer/songwriter and performer based in Conway. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was originally telecast in December 1965 and was an instant hit with audiences who connected with Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schultz’s cast of characters – especially with its round-headed hero Charlie Brown, his woefully scrawny Christmas tree and his typewriter-wielding dog Snoopy.

When: December 6, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Where: Plainfield Baptist Church
1094 Route 12A, Plainfield
Tickets: $15
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Ed Gerhard

Enjoy a very special evening with one of the country’s finest acoustic guitarists. Gerhard will perform soulful arrangements of well-loved carols, as well as his own concert favorites.

When: December 7, 13-14, 2019
Where: The Belknap Mill, Laconia (December 7), Unitarian Church, Portsmouth (December 13-14)
Tickets: See website for information
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Buzz Ball

Join Greg and the Morning Buzz for the ultimate holiday rock and roll variety show, featuring special guest musicians, comedians and actors.

When: Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $35 and $45
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Rockapella Holiday

They’ve become one of the world’s most sophisticated, lasting, and imitated vocal groups around today. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more influential group out there in this new era of network television a cappella shows like NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” movies like “Pitch Perfect,” and innumerable college vocal groups that own the corner of cool on campuses everywhere.

When: December 13, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Where: Stockbridge Theatre
5 Pinkerton St., Derry
Tickets: $20-$35
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Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Family Holiday Pops

Join the Portsmouth Symphony and Portsmouth High School Madrigal Singers for a spectacularly themed show: Holidays at the Movies. Favorites from “Home Alone,” “The Polar Express,” “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Grinch” are sure to delight all ages. And of course a few traditional songs and a holiday sing along will put your whole family in the spirit of the season.

When: December 17-18, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Portsmouth High School
50 Andrew Jarvis Dr., Portsmouth
Tickets: $15-$30
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Christmas With The Celts

The high-stepping spirited musical selections will have audiences clapping along from the first lively renditions of popular contemporary Christmas classics.

When: December 19, 2019
Where: The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center
39 Main St., Plymouth
Tickets: Start at $39
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The Christmas Revels

Each year, Revels North explores the holiday traditions of a different country and time.

In a small town in Northern England at the height of the Industrial Revolution, it’s business as usual at the textile mill on Christmas Day. Despite the factory owner’s controlling presence, the hopeful and resilient community of workers is able to celebrate the season … thanks to a little help from the hands of Fate.

Join Revels North for the first time at historic Lebanon Opera House for a magical, musical and inspiring 45th Christmas Revelswith all of the pageantry and tradition that have defined The Christmas Revels since 1975. Audience sing-alongs, children’s singing games, a mummers play, the mysterious Abbots Bromley Horn Dance and Susan Cooper’s poem “The Shortest Day” will weave together with an engaging story of struggle and the strength of the human spirit in this original production by Revels North.

When: December 21-23, 2019
December 21 at 2 and 7 p.m.
December 22 at 7 p.m.
December 23 at 2 and 7 p.m.
Where: The Lebanon Opera House
51 North Park St., Lebanon
Tickets: $8-$47
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Boston Pops Holiday Concert

Join the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Conductor Keith Lockhart for this annual, beloved Holiday Pops concert. Attendees can look forward to their favorite holiday songs and crowd sing-alongs.

When: December 21, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: SNHU Arena
555 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $78, $58, $48 and $43
Available in person at the box office, via Ticketmaster or by phone (800) 745-3000
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Holiday Pops

Ring in the holiday season with a special yuletide program featuring the Capital Jazz Orchestra and vocalists CJ Poole and Laura Daigle, along with narrator Laura Knoy of NHPR, who will be reciting her traditional version of “The Night Before Christmas.” The stockings will be brimming with holiday musical chestnuts, an audience sing-along and additional special surprises that are sure to leave everybody in the holiday spirit.

When: December 22, 2019 at 4 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $27.50-$47.50
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Categories: Holiday Guide Events