SALT LAKE CITY — Buddy the Elf, Ebenezer Scrooge, Harry Potter, Jack Kelly and his newsies, the Big Bad Wolf and even Santa are set to hit the stages of theaters across the state through the end of the year.
Here’s a look at 19 theatrical productions opening in the next few weeks to consider adding to your calendar.
“Star Ward Christmas”
Anyone looking for an unconventional, comical Christmas show need not look any further than The Off Broadway Theatre’s “Star Ward Christmas.” If the show summary on the theater’s website is any indication, the puns and quick wit will fly fast with this one: “This amazing musical parody takes characters from last year’s very successful Star Ward and mixes them with current sci-fi characters, so that they can save Christmas from the dork side. Happy Holidays and may the Farce be with you.”
Catch it at The Off Broadway Theatre, 272 S. Main, Nov. 17-Dec. 23, $16 for adults; $12 for students, seniors and military; $10 for children ages 2-12 (801-355-4628 or theobt.org)
“Elf the Musical”
Buddy the Elf, a role originated by Will Ferrell in the 2003 movie “Elf,” is making his way to Salt Lake City. “Elf the Musical” will be at the Eccles Theater — that is, as long as Buddy doesn’t get distracted by the Macy’s candy windows (after all, as Buddy says, the four main food groups are candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup) — Nov. 24-26, Delta Performance Hall at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, $30-$90 (801-355-2787 or artsaltlake.org)
“A Christmas Carol”
Scrooge, Jacob Marley, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future may not be as recognizable as Santa Claus, but they are nonetheless standards during the holiday season. And for Utahns hoping to see Charles Dickens’ classic tale adapted to the stage — both in traditional ways and some more nontraditional — multiple theaters are providing options.
One is Hale Centre Theatre’s 33rd annual production of “A Christmas Carol.” It will be the first time the production will run in the new Jewel Box proscenium-thrust stage at the Mountain America Performing Arts Centre, 9900 S. Monroe St., Sandy; Dec. 1-23, $34-$42 for adults, $18-$20 for children and youths (801-984-9000 or hct.org)
Hale Center Theater Orem will offer its main-stage production of “A Christmas Carol” as well as a youth version. The main-stage show runs Nov. 25-Dec. 23 at Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem, $21-$26 for adults, $6 less for children ages 4-11. The youth production will be Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 4:30 p.m., and Dec. 2, 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., at Hale Center Theater Orem, $9 for adults, $7 for children 11 and under (801-226-8600 or haletheater.org)
“A Fairly Potter Christmas Carol” at The Ziegfeld Theater in Ogden combines elements of “A Christmas Carol,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and, of course, Harry Potter, as well as other stories, to create an original holiday theater offering, according to a previous Deseret News article. The show runs Dec. 1-23 at The Ziegfeld Theater, 3934 S. Washington Blvd., Ogden, $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 for students and children; prices increase by $1 at the door (855-944-2787 or theziegfeldtheater.com)
Other productions of “A Christmas Carol” include:
• CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, Nov. 24-Dec. 23, $19.50-$25.50 for adults, $17.50-$23.25 for students and seniors (801-298-1302 or centerpointtheatre.org)
• Heritage Theatre, 2505 S. Highway 89, Perry, Nov. 24-Dec. 16, $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and children 12 and under (435-723-8392 or heritagetheatreutah.com)
• Draper Historic Theatre, 12366 S. 900 East, Draper, Dec. 1-18, call for ticket prices (801-572-4144 or drapertheatre.org)
• Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 South, Washington Terrace, will mount a variation of Dickens’ story, “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 24-Dec. 23, $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and students, $9 for children 12 and under (801-393-0070 or terraceplayhouse.com)
The Christmas version of “Forever Plaid” will be at two theaters this season, bringing Francis, Jinx, Smudge and Sparky back to life to perform a posthumous concert, this time with the intent to “put a little harmony into a discordant world,” according to theater licensing company Music Theatre International’s website.
Catch it in southern Utah at Brigham's Playhouse, 25 N. 300 West, Building C1, Washington, Nov. 23-Dec. 30, $23 for adults, $21 for seniors; $17 for children 5-17 and students (435-251-8000 or brighamsplayhouse.com)
Those living along the Wasatch Front can see it at the Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center, Provo, Nov. 30-Dec. 23, $16 for adults; $14 for military, seniors and students (801-852-7007 or coveycenter.org)
Other Christmas classics
Several other theaters will be offering Christmas stories that have become well-known onstage and, for some, on film as well, including:
• When a group of rough and rambunctious kids take over the annual Christmas pageant in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” things might not end up the way everyone thought. The show will be at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre’s Leishman Hall, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville, Nov. 24-Dec. 16, $15 (801-298-1302 or centerpointtheatre.org)
• Meredith Wilson, the composer behind “The Music Man,” created the stage adaptation of the 1947 holiday film “Miracle on 34th Street,” telling the story of a single mother who reconsiders her choice to not teach her daughter to believe in Santa. The show will be at SCERA Center for the Arts, 745 S. State, Orem, Dec. 1-16, $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and children (801-227-2787 or scera.org)
• The story of George Bailey and his glimpse of what life would look like if he didn’t exist celebrated its 70th birthday last year, and “It’s a Wonderful Life” is still a popular film and stage production. Catch it at the Lehi Arts Center, 685 N. Center, Lehi, Dec. 1-16, $6-$8 (801-369-8806 or lehicityarts.org)
If you want to leave the seasonal festivities to your Christmas tree and stockings at home, several theaters will be offering nonholiday options.
• Based on a book by Robert James Waller and made popular by the 1995 film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, “The Bridges of Madison County” tells of an Iowa wife and mother in the 1960s who has a brief relationship with a National Geographic photographer. Utah Repertory Theatre’s staging of the musical will be at the Regent Street Black Box at the Eccles Theater, 131 S. Main, Nov. 25-Dec. 10, $20 (435-612-0037 or utahrep.org)
• The Big Bad Wolf gets his chance to tell his side of the Three Little Pigs story in Salt Lake Acting Company’s “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.” The show is specifically geared toward children and families and runs at SLAC, 68 W. 500 North, Dec. 1-29, $26 for adults, $16 for children (801-363-7522 or saltlakeactingcompany.org)Comment on this story
• Newsboy Jack Kelly leads his fellow newsies on strike when the newspaper bigwigs raise rates for the distributors. This Disney movie-turned-hit-Broadway-musical with music by Alan Menken dances its way onto the stage at Pioneer Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, Dec. 1-16, $42-$64 (801-581-6961 or pioneertheatre.org)
• Another movie-turned-musical is coming to the Eccles Theater with “The Bodyguard: The Musical,” based on the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston about a former Secret Service agent who is hired to protect a superstar and finds love. The touring production will be at the Eccles, 131 S. Main, Dec. 5-10, $30-$100 (801-355-2787 or artsaltlake.org)