Cincinnati’s performing arts venues offer a wide array of choices this holiday season. A holiday show is a perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. Options include both local and touring productions of music, dance, and theater. There’s something for everyone!
The Cincinnati Ballet teams up with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to perform The Nutcracker. This Cincinnati favorite is now in its 44th year. This year it returns to the newly renovated Cincinnati Music Hall (Dec. 14-24).
Another traditional favorite, A Christmas Carol, is in its 27th season. More than 20,000 people head to Playhouse in the Park to see this beloved Charles Dickens adaptation every year (Nov. 22-Dec. 30).
From Screen to Stage
Are you a fan of classic TV Christmas tales? Three of the most popular have been adapted for the stage. At the Aronoff Center, you can see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (Dec. 3) and A Christmas Story (Dec. 5-10). North of Cincinnati, the Lebanon Theatre Company presents A Charlie Brown Christmas (Dec. 1-10).
Ho! Ho! Ho!
While most of the holiday shows are great for kids, two shows offer lots of laughs for teens and adults. Enjoy dinner at Arnold’s Bar & Grill before OTR Improv’s entertaining show, The Naughty List (Dec. 12-28). Cincinnati Shakespeare Company performs their hilarious show, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) (Dec. 21-31) in their new theater.
Eleven Pipers Piping
Head to the newly-renovated Cincinnati Music Hall to enjoy some festive holiday music combined with vocals and dance. Happy Holidays with the Mighty Wurlitzer features the organ from the old Albee Theater (Dec. 7). The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra performs holiday favorites at their annual Holiday Pops concert (Dec. 8-10). For something different, try a free outdoor concert at the Mariemont Bell Tower Carillon on Sundays at 4 pm and Christmas Day at 2 pm (Dec. 3-31).
Fa La La La La
Christmas is the perfect time for a choral performance. Listen to the Cincinnati Boychoir at the Aronoff Center at their performance of Sing Me A Story: A Christmas Carol (Dec. 2). Choirs from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music present choral favorites at their annual Feast of Carols (Dec. 2-3). Now in its fifth year, Christmas Saengerfest is a celebration of choral music with 20 regional choirs performing in four venues in historic Over-the-Rhine (Dec. 1-2).
Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree
Several national popular music tours make stops in Cincinnati this holiday season. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocks the stage at U.S. Bank Arena (Dec. 21) with The Ghosts of Christmas Eve. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis brings their unique sound to the Aronoff Center (Dec. 17). Cincinnati’s own boy band, 98 Degrees, performs toe-tapping tunes and four-part harmonies from their new Christmas Album on their Christmas Tour at the Aronoff Center (Dec. 15). Country music singer Jennifer Nettles adds a country flair to Christmas music at the Taft Theatre (Dec. 19).
The Reason for the Season
Churches all over Greater Cincinnati welcome the public to their special Christmas presentations. The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival at Christ Church Cathedral has been celebrated the week after Christmas since 1939 (Dec. 30-31). River Hills Christian Church in Loveland presents Illuminate which combines traditional elements of Christmas with TSO-style music and story (Dec. 22-24). Tickets are expected to go quickly for the final year of the immensely popular free Awaited show at Crossroads Church (Dec. 1-23).