holiday shows

The best holiday shows in Toronto this season

Amidst the plethora of holiday offerings and outings, we’ve handpicked seven sensational stage shows that promise to ignite Toronto’s festive spirit and make your season truly unforgettable. Get ready to embark on a journey of entertainment that will dazzle your senses and leave you yearning for more!

Alice in Wonderland

Looking for a great evening or afternoon of theatre for the entire family? The folks at Bad Hats put creativity and imagination first in the company’s unique productions. This month, Soulpepper presents Bad Hats Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland, a contemporary family musical written by Fiona Sauder, featuring music by Landon Doak and Victor Pokinko, with dramaturgy by Matt Pilipiak. Returning this Holiday season, the smash-hit production offers a modern interpretation of the classic Wonderland narrative, guiding audiences down the rabbit hole alongside Alice, a curious young girl with numerous inquiries. The musical reimagining of this timeless tale captivates hearts across generations. This production has achieved notable acclaim, securing six Dora Awards, including recognition for Outstanding Musical Theatre Production and Outstanding New Musical. Alice in Wonderland runs Dec. 12-31. For show information head to Soulpepper.ca.

holiday shows
‘Alice in Wonderland’ (photo: Soulpepper)

101 Holiday Movie Moments

Get ready for a night of festive hilarity at Comedy Bar’s 101 Holiday Movie Moments, featuring the dynamic duo of Kris Siddiqi and Paul Bates. Kris Siddiqi, a Canadian Comedy Award winner known for his versatile talents in sketch and improv, promises a laughter-filled holiday experience. Meanwhile, Paul Bates, a seasoned comedian and Dora Award nominee, adds his comedic prowess to the mix, ensuring a memorable evening of joy and entertainment. Don’t miss this comedy extravaganza that brings together the best of Toronto’s comedic talent for a holiday-themed laughter fest. The show runs Dec. 12-31.

The Nutcracker

The National Ballet of Canada is back with its revered holiday classic The Nutcracker.

The holiday favourite will return to the stage for live performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto this holiday season, December 8–31. The Nutcracker is a long-standing tradition in the city, and the National Ballet’s version, by James Kudelka, is renowned for its beauty and brilliance.

Courtesy national.ballet.ca

The Basement Revue

The popular Basement Revue, the brainchild of musician Jason Collett (Broken Social Scene), is set to return to Paradise on Bloor for a series of half-literary, half-music variety shows every Thursday night. The Basement Revue has been offering its unique take on a late-night cultural soiree for 13 years since Collett and company first hit the stage at the Dakota Tavern in 2007.

The concept is simple in that it pairs a musician with an author who hit the stage together to perform, well, something. The idea has resulted in some epic happenings such as when Leslie Feist backed up Michael Ondaatje or Margaret Atwood stepped up to the mic in front of one of Toronto’s most celebrated bands, saying, with her characteristic deadpan wit, “Hit it, Sadies.”

As is tradition, each evening’s pairings will remain a secret until showtime, and that includes the performers. The Basement Revue runs every Thursday in December beginning on the 7th and running until the 28th.

The Art of Time Ensemble

Toronto’s Art of Time Ensemble, led by Andrew Burashko, concludes its 25th-anniversary final concert season with the eighth and last presentation of To All A Good Night running Dec. 7-9 at 8 p.m. at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. This holiday concert, featuring highlights from the past seven years, boasts a stellar ensemble including Thom Allison, Jessica Mitchell, Jackie Richardson, Julian Richings, David Wall, Tom Wilson, and the Art of Time Ensemble. The program, showcasing music by artists like Tom Waits and Joni Mitchell, marks the culmination of a quarter-century of festive performances.

Jackie Richardson will be performing at Toronto’s Art of Time Ensemble

Chris, Mrs – A New Holiday Musical

Boldly Productions, co-founded by Katie Kerr and Matt Stodolak, is set for the world premiere of Chris, Mrs. – A New Holiday Musical at The Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto, running from Dec. 5 to 31. The production stars acclaimed Canadian actors Liam Tobin, Danielle Wade, and Olivia Sinclair-Brisbane, promising a heartwarming and entertaining holiday experience. The narrative, set at a lodge, unfolds with a festive twist, featuring a cast of 17 talented performers. Kerr directs, and Stodolak leads the musical direction, creating a must-see Canadian musical tradition for families this December. Tickets are currently available at ChrisMrs.com.

‘Slava’s Snowshow’

Slava’s Snowshow

Toronto is set to experience a winter wonderland of theatrical enchantment as with the return of the unique and memorable Slava’s Snowshow at the Elgin Theatre Centre from Dec. 22-31. Returning to Toronto for the first time since 2018, the international sensation led by Slava Polunin promises a unique blend of magical theatrics and foolish fun. Celebrating 30 years of world tours and having captivated over 12 million audience members globally, the show is known for its whimsical wonders. The schedule includes nine performances from Dec. 22 to Dec. 31. More information is available at slavasnowshow.com.

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