Regardless of one’s background or religious reliefs, the New York theater has always been an ideal place to bask in the holiday spirit. The many holiday shows being produced this season run the gamut from traditional fare to more modernized offerings.
A Christmas Carol
Broadway is currently playing host to a stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless novel penned by Jack Thorne (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”), staged by Matthew Warchus (“Matilda”) and starring Campbell Scott (“The Sheltering Sky”) as Scrooge. Other versions of “A Christmas Carol” are being produced by Merchant’s House Museum (performed by John Kevin Jones as Dickens) and Classical Theatre of Harlem (“A Christmas Carol in Harlem”).
Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St., achristmascarolbroadway.com. Through Jan. 5.
Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes
Since its 1933 debut, the lavish pageant has become a New York icon. The latest annual edition combines time-tested segments, including “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity,” with striking displays of technology. As always, it is led by the high-kicking Rockettes and a large orchestra.
Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., rockettes.com/christmas. Through Jan. 5.
The 12thAnnual Joe Iconis Christmas Extravaganza
Songwriter Joe Iconis, whose sci-fi teen musical “Be More Chill” recently played Broadway, returns to Feinstein’s/54 Below with a large collection of his pals for a rambunctious annual holiday show that is intended to be “part rock concert, part theater piece and part theme park attraction come to life.”
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W. 54th St., 54below.com. Dec. 13-15.
Created by Russian clown Slava Polunin, this nonverbal, wintry spectacle (which previously played Off-Broadway in 2004 and Broadway in 2008) consists of short comedy routines and striking visual imagery. In the finale, a swirling snowstorm bursts through the center of the stage towards the audience.
Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 W. 43rd St., slavaonbroadway.com. Through Jan. 5.
Twas the Night Before…
Cirque du Soleil is presenting its first-ever Christmas show, which is centered around a jaded young girl who is transported to a magical world filled with characters from the poem “The Night Before Christmas.” An international cast will supply plenty of acrobatics.
Hulu Theater at MSG, 4 Penn. Plaza, msg.com. Dec. 12-29.
The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays
This memorable ensemble of magicians (sporting titles and personality profiles such as “The Manipulator” and “The Escapologist”) returns to Broadway for another round of sleight of hand tricks, physical stunts and other special effects.
Neil Simon Theatre, 250 W. 52nd St., theillusionistslive.com. Through Jan. 5.
The Magic Flute
The Metropolitan Opera has turned Julie Taymor’s vibrant and puppetry-infused staging of Mozart’s fairy tale “The Magic Flute” into an unlikely holiday-time hit by presenting it in English and with an abridged running time. It is certainly ideal for young theatergoers who appreciated the theatricality of Broadway’s “The Lion King” (also directed by Taymor).
Metropolitan Opera, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza, metopera.org. Dec. 15-Jan. 4.
George Balanchine’s ‘The Nutcracker’
The New York Ballet’s 65-year-old production of Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet (which has choreography by 20th century ballet icon George Balanchine) makes for a delightful experience filled with children, snowflakes, dolls, toy soldiers, mice and a Sugar Plum Fairy.
David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza. nycballet.com. Nov. 29 to Jan 5.