Theater Critic Picks

These are the 12 can't-miss shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for December

These are the 12 can't-miss shows in DFW theater for December

The Firehouse Theatre presents Elf the Musical
The Firehouse Theatre brings Elf outside to The Sound at Cypress Waters. Photo by Jason Anderson Photography

For the Twelve Days of Theater, Dallas-Fort Worth is gifting audiences holiday spectaculars (check November's round-up for even more), regional premieres, Broadway tours, returning favorites, and concerts and cabarets aplenty.

In order of start date, here are 12 local shows to watch this month:

Have Yourself a Broadway Little Christmas
MainStage Irving-Las Colinas, through December 3
Irving’s own Amy Stevenson and Craig Boleman are back with an all-star cast of Dallas-Fort Worth’s best musical talents to perform favorite holiday songs made famous by Broadway shows and movie musicals. The production will include hits from a variety of musical favorites, including White Christmas, Mame, Holiday Inn, Elf, and more. The evening concludes with a holiday sing-along as well as auction and raffle opportunities.

Elf
The Firehouse Theatre, through December 12
Based on the beloved holiday film, this hilarious, fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities of the human world, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. The production takes place outdoors at The Sound at Cypress Waters.

Black Nativity
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, through December 18
Directed by Zetra Goodlow and Albert Wash II, this hand-clapping, toe-tapping, finger-snapping theatrical wonderment, inspired by Langston Hughes' retelling of the Nativity story, returns to the BATC stage for its 17th anniversary.

Scrooge in Rouge
Stage West, December 3-24
The Royal Music Hall Variety Players' production of A Christmas Carol is in a pickle after 20 members of the company suddenly fall ill. This leaves the three remaining members to plow through a musical performance of the Dickens classic. Expect missed cues, unfamiliar characters, and costume mishaps aplenty. With cheeky puns and bawdy songs, this quick-change, cross-dressing version of the Christmas tale is a hilarious holiday treat.

Paddington Saves Christmas
Dallas Children's Theater, December 5-23
When Paddigton and the Browns' housekeeper, Mrs. Bird, run out of sugar for the seasonal marmalade jam they are preparing, Paddington heads next door to borrow some from Mr. Curry. Unfortunately, the usually grumpy Mr. Curry is even more short-tempered than normal as he prepares for a visit from his great-aunt, who is a stickler for tidiness. Paddington volunteers to help him with his chores, but his good intentions end up leading to chaos. Will Paddington be able to fix everything in time for everyone to properly celebrate the holidays?

Oy Vey in a Manger
Uptown Players, December 10-12
Angel, Winnie, Trixie, and Trampolina try to sell off their manger — yes, that manger — before it's foreclosed upon. Crises arise, secrets are revealed, Jewish-Gentile tensions surface, and mayhem ensues — all in glorious four-part harmony.

A Phunk Dr's Christmas
Jubilee Theatre, December 10-12
The longtime house band for Jubilee Theatre, and one of the hottest cover bands in North Texas, the Phunk Dr’s will lead in a concert of music, comedy, and more, celebrating the holiday season and featuring some of Jubilee Theatre’s long-time performers.

An Oak Cliff Carol
Urban Arts Center, December 16-24
This female-focused adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is set in the heart of Dallas' southern sector and follows the journey of Elana Scrooge, a self-made businesswoman, as she is shown the error of her ways. Adapted by UAC producing artistic director Jiles R King II, the show is filled with R&B, soul, and gospel music.

A Winter's Cabaret
Amphibian Stage, December 17-18
Broadway's best come to Fort Worth to celebrate the holidays with a festive selection of winter favorites. The production features Kevin Smith Kirkwood (Kinky Boots), Nicole Ferguson (My Fair Lady), and musical director Drew Wutke.

A Merry Cirque: A Family Holiday Spectacular
Coppell Arts Center, December 17-19
Audiences will be on the edge of their seats enjoying thrilling daredevils, electrifying jugglers, mesmerizing acrobats, hilarious clowns, and endearing four-legged performers, all presented by Lone Star Circus.

Jersey Boys
Dallas Summer Musicals, December 28-January 9
They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. But while their harmonies were perfect onstage, offstage it was a very different story. Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony and Grammy Award-winning true-life musical phenomenon.

Prime Time for Murder!
Pegasus Theatre, December 29-January 16
The world premiere of the 21st Harry Hunsacker adventure takes place in a television studio, where the program Mystery Theater is broadcast live. The year is 1950, and television is in its infancy. Harry, Nigel, and Lt. Foster have been invited to the studio by the producer of Mystery Theater, Waldorf Killian, to be consultants on the show. But when bodies start turning up, our trio will have to defend one of their own and find the real killer before it’s too late.