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.
White Album Christmas
Acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and a live rock band play every song from The Beatles’ White Album. This isn’t your traditional holiday show, but now in its sixth year (or seventh; the producers aren’t really sure), Wanderlust Circus’ White Album Christmas is becoming a Portland tradition.
Ringmaster Noah Mickens recruits circus-like acts from around the city and assembles them in front of the Nowhere Band, which regroups once a year for the event. The band, which includes a horn section and a string quartet, is made up of members of several Portland bands. On the circus side, acts such as lasso master Leapin’ Louie and belly dancer NagaSita are in the lineup this year.
If you’ve seen the show before and have had enough White Album, you can check out Wanderlust Circus’ new show, A Circus Carol with gypsy chamber ensemble 3 Leg Torso. Either way, you won’t see a typical holiday show.
December 5-6, Alberta Rose Theater, Portland
More Weekend Holiday
Camelot Theatre Company: Sherlock Homes and the Case of the Christmas Carol
A resurfaced Holmes walks a similar path as Ebenezer Scrooge, receiving three unexpected callers on Christmas Eve who uncover clues from his past, present and future.
December 4-29, Camelot Theatre, Talent
Portland Gay Men’s Chorus: Holiday Connections
The annual holiday concert blends traditional and new holiday music with a few seasonal surprises.
December 5-7, Newmark Theatre, Portland
A John Waters Christmas
A one-man show from the director and screenwriter pokes fun at the holiday season with adult humor.
December 6, Aladdin Theater, Portland
High Desert Chamber Music Annual Gala
The sixth annual gala features members of the Crown City String Quartet, dinner and a silent auction.
December 6, Broken Top Club, Bend
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 6-8 & 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.
November 29-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.
November 26-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.
November 24-December 29, Ellyn Bye Studio, Portland
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.
November 21-December 22 Brunish Hall, 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.
November 21-December 31, Cabaret Theatre, Ashland
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.
November 16-December 22, Main Stage, Portland