This holiday season, Oregon Art Beat and Arts & Life are helping you navigate the seasonal performances — some old and some new — with weekend previews of our best bets. Check out some of what’s on tap this weekend.
Oregon Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
Under direction of new artistic director Kevin Irving, Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT) brings back The Nutcracker, the traditional holiday ballet of rat armies, toy soldiers and snowflakes. OBT is still the only company west of the Mississippi River licensed to perform George Balanchine’s version of the ballet.
Principal dancer Alison Roper, who’s retiring at the end of the season, will take the role as the Sugar Plum Fairy and dance to Tchaikovsky’s score in the Grand Pas Des Deux. Joining her will be students of the OBT school and company dancers who will perform in the Land of Sweets.
December 14-15, 18-24, Keller Auditorium, Portland
More Weekend Holiday
Conductor Charles Floyd and the Northwest Community Gospel Choir bring in the holidays with an evening of gospel.
December 13-15, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland
Lakewood Theatre Company: White Christmas
The classic musical based on the 1954 movie is becoming a tradition at Lakewood. Hear the holiday favorites “Blue Skies,” “Sisters” and of course, the title Bing Crosby hit.
December 13-15, 17-22, 26-29, Lakewood Center for the Arts, Lake Oswego
Central Coast Chorale
The Central Coast’s community chorus presents its annual holiday celebration.
December 13 and 15, Newport Performing Arts Center, Newport
Holidays with the Trail Band
The Trail Band returns for the 20th year of this fabulous showcase, which includes an energetic blend of brass and string arrangements of traditional and original music. Besides their shows at Portland’s Aladdin Theater, this year’s tour includes stops in Canby, Salem, McMinnville, The Dalles, Forest Grove, Hood River and Vancouver, Washington.
December 13-15, Aladdin Theater, Portland
Rogue Valley Chorale: Christmas with the Chorale
Enjoy a traditional sing-along holiday program and the debut of Rogue Valley Chorale’s new artistic director, Laurie Anne Hunter. The show features a presentation of Benjamin Britten’s cantata Saint Nicolas along with other cherished Christmas Carols and holiday favorites.
December 14-15, Craterian Theater, Medford
Michael Allen Harrison: Christmas at the Old Church
Pianist Michael Allen Harrison returns with his annual holiday show, with special guests Julianne Johnson, rock concert violinist Aaron Meyer and jazz pianist Tom Grant.
December 15-26, The Old Church, Portland
Miracle Theatre Group: Posada Milagro
This Latin traditional celebration includes a performance of Mary and Joseph’s trek before Jesus’ birth. The event includes music, dance and traditional food.
December 15, El Centro Milagro, Portland
The Christmas Revels: Christmas in Old Europe
This year, the Christmas Revels celebrates the Winter Solstice in an old European town. The show features traditional song and dance from Central and Southeastern Europe and includes a special appearance from Eric Stern of The Vagabond Opera.
December 12-15, Scottish Rite Center Theater, Portland
Rudolph On Stage!
Bad Reputation, the company that produced the irreverent bar plays Road House: The Play! and The Lost Boys — Live! take on the Rankin/Bass stop-motion story of the outcast reindeer. Kid-friendly matinees show December 14 and 21.
Through December 21, CoHo Theater, Portland
Artists Repertory Theatre: Xmas Unplugged
A holiday debauchery double bill for mature audiences, Xmas Unplugged is two short plays: The Reason for the Season and The Night Before Christmas. Playwrights Matt Pelfrey and Anthony Nielson’s two plays feature a churlish Santa, a kidnapped elf and a handful of hapless souls.
Through December 29, Alder Stage, Portland
Portland Center Stage: The Santaland Diaries
Based on David Sedaris’ true-life experience as Crumpet the Elf during a memorable holiday season, this humorous Portland holiday tradition has Darius Pierce returning as Crumpet.
Through December 29, Ellyn Bye Studio, Portland
Oregon Cabaret Theatre: It’s A Wonderful Life — A Live Radio Play
A piano, sound effects and five actors tell the classic George Bailey tale in a live radio play production. It’s a tried-and-true way to step back into the golden age of radio.
Through December 31, Cabaret Theatre, Ashland
Stumptown Stages: It’s a Wonderful Life
A new musical adaptation of Frank Capra’s classic film is directed by Tony Award-winner Corey Brunish. The Stumptown original was nominated for several PAMTAs after it debuted last year.
Through December 22, Brunish Hall, Portland
Portland Center Stage: Twist Your Dickens
A comedic sendup of A Christmas Carol from the improvisational troupe The Second City, this show has characters of the classic tale finding themselves mixed up in zany holiday sketches.
Through December 22, Main Stage, Portland