Christmas is the perfect time for musicals," said TJ Davis, writer and director at Pickleville Playhouse, based in Northern Utah.
Pickleville first set up roots in Garden City, near Bear Lake, when Davis' grandparents built the playhouse in 1977. The family business has since blossomed. In 2007, it started putting on a yearly Christmas production at the Eccles Conference Center on Utah State University's campus.
Davis explained that the time of year calls for a belief in things magical and extraordinary, paving the way for a particular enjoyment of the arts, especially musicals.
He said Pickleville has a faithful following not only to its summer programs, but also to its Christmas musical — which is a different original production every year. Davis said cast members are "seriously talented people," triple and quadruple threats providing an evening of singing, dancing, acting and comedy.
"We try to do shows that everyone can enjoy," he said of the Christmas production. He said Pickleville gets a lot of positive feedback, but the best comments are along the lines of, "'I hate musicals … but we come to everything you guys do.'"
Many Cache and Salt Lake Valley residents alike have made the program a Christmas tradition over the last five years.
Davis believes Pickleville has something more to offer in the way of Christmas traditions.
"The Nutcracker is really awesome," he said to give an example. "People are used to going to that and it doesn't really change each year. We try to keep it fresh."
Whether you wish to stick to your guns with a family tradition like "The Nutcracker," "White Christmas" or an event at Temple Square, or you venture to try something like Pickleville's original production, Utah's arts scene has plenty to offer for the holidays.
"White Christmas," Nov. 9-Dec. 3, dates and times vary, Pardoe Theatre, Brigham Young University, Provo, $16-$21 (801-422-4322 or www.byuarts.com)
"It's a Wonderful Life," Nov. 17-Dec. 31, dates and times vary, Desert Star Theater, 4861 S. State, Murray $9.95-$14.95 for children, $13.95-$42.95 for adults, dinner option available (801-266-2600 or www.desertstar.biz/)
"Savior of the World," Nov. 18-Dec. 31, Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday matinees at 2 p.m., Conference Center Theater, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, $5-$8, ages 8 and up (801-570-0080 or www.lds.org/events)
"The Grouch Who Stole Christmas," Nov. 25-Dec. 26, dates and times vary, Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, Salt Lake City, $8 for children, $16 for adults, student discounts available (801-355-4628 or www.theobt.org)
"The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey," Nov. 25-Dec. 17, Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m., SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 S. State, Orem, $12 for adults, $10 for children, senior citizens and students (801-225-2787 or www.scera.org)
"Scrooge: A Christmas Carol," Nov. 25-Dec 23, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.; nightly performances Dec. 19-23. Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 South, Ogden, $10-$12 for adults, $79-$9 for children (801-393-0070 or www.terraceplayhouse.com)
"A Christmas Carol," Nov. 25-Dec. 2, Monday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m., CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, $15-$18, (801-298-1302 or www.centerpointtheatre.org)
"A Christmas Carol," Nov. 25-Dec.17, Monday, Friday and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 3 and 10, Heritage Community Theatre, 2505 S. Hwy. 89, Perry, $8 for children, $9 for adults, no children under 3 (www.heritagetheatreutah.com)
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