From classic plays to cheerful comedy, performances to embrace the yuletide spirit

click to enlarge The Nutcraker returns Dec. 2-5. - DAVID BAZEMORE PHOTO
David Bazemore photo
The Nutcraker returns Dec. 2-5.

Whether you're carrying on a family tradition at a performance of The Nutcracker or just looking for a good laugh to keep you warm, there's truly something for everyone this holiday season. Seasonal offerings are back onstage and in-person — so go on, get out there and see some holiday cheer in action!

NOV. 26-DEC. 19
ELLEN TRAVOLTA PRESENTS: SAVING CHRISTMAS

Ellen Travolta and family are returning to the Coeur d'Alene Resort for their annual Christmas show, with only one thing in mind: Save Christmas. Last year, our feeling of togetherness was disrupted, but Ellen is here to remind us how it feels to gather with the ones we love. Travolta and company tell stories, sing holiday songs and bring some general brightness to the holiday season this year. Ticket-inclusive overnight resort accommodations are available. Coeur d'Alene Resort, $30, Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm and Sun at 5 pm, cdaresort.com/play/events (MADISON PEARSON)

NOV. 26- DEC. 19
BABES IN TOYLAND

Whether you're a fan of the classic Disney Christmas movie or the original 1903 operetta, Spokane Children's Theatre's performance of Babes in Toyland is launching audiences into wicked Uncle Barnaby's toy shop for a night and bringing them along on a holiday adventure. Notable characters such as Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; Jack and Jill; and others are portrayed by more than 30 young actors from across the Spokane area in this production directed by JoAnne Emery. Spokane Children's Theatre, $12-$16, opening night (Fri, Nov. 26) at 4 pm, then Fri at 7 pm and Sat-Sun at 2 pm; spokanechildrenstheatre.org (MP)

DEC. 2-5
THE NUTCRACKER

This December the Spokane Symphony resumes its cherished holiday tradition of performing Tchaikovsky's timeless ballet The Nutcracker for a live audience. And the orchestra is joined once again this year by the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, California, marking a full decade of collaboration between the two organizations. Over 70 young dancers from across the Spokane area are scheduled to take part in this production, conducted by Morihiko Nakahara. Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, $32-$96, Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm; spokanesymphony.org (E.J. IANNELLI)

DEC. 3, 10, 17
HA!MARK HOLIDAY SPECIAL

The Blue Door Theatre players are staying on their toes, and keeping you on yours, with three nights of holiday-inspired improvisation. The Blue Door Theatre has been bringing improvised comedy shows to Spokane since 1996, and this holiday season the BDT players are improvising an entire holiday movie full of exciting twists, unexpected turns and — if you're lucky — a little romance on Friday nights in December. Blue Door Theatre, $8, 7:30 pm, bluedoortheatre.com (MP)

DEC. 3-5, 11-12
A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Take a trip to the past, present and future alongside the world's favorite Scrooge at the University of Idaho's production of A Christmas Carol. This Charles Dickens classic has been adapted for stage and modern audiences by Kendra Phillips for its world premier and stars U of I's own professor of performance David Lee-Painter as the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge as he reflects on his life and his personal journey from wretched misery to merry redemption in Victorian-era England. This performance is free for U of I students. Hartung Theatre, $8-$20, Dec. 3-4, 11 at 7:30 pm, Dec. 4-5, 12 at 2 pm, uidaho.edu/class/theatre (MP)

DEC. 10-22
TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS

It's a long way from the Inland Northwest to New York's Radio City Music Hall, which is why Traditions of Christmas brings the spirit of Radio City Music Hall to the Inland Northwest. The annual show is an extravaganza of seasonal songs and dancing, replete with intricately choreographed kickline numbers, a wardrobe of more than 300 costumes and a huge showcase of holiday-themed set pieces spanning everything from the armed forces to the Nativity. Kroc Center, Coeur d'Alene; $23-$36, showtimes vary, traditionsofchristmasnw.com (EJI) ♦

SVAS Craft Fair @ Spokane Valley Adventist School

Sun., Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
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About The Authors

E.J. Iannelli

E.J. Iannelli is a Spokane-based freelance writer, translator, and editor whose byline occasionally appears here in The Inlander. One of his many shortcomings is his inability to think up pithy, off-the-cuff self-descriptions.