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Theater Talk: Holiday shows around the county

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

Ready or not the holidays are upon us, how do I know? For one thing whole fresh cranberries have arrived, and second, we are weeks away from Santa's arrival. What better time to shop for that hard to buy person? How about two tickets for a show? And you are in luck as tickets are on sale now for many upcoming shows.

There isn't a better way to greet the season than with "Dr Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at The Old Globe in Balboa Park. From how I see it, there are only a few options to park inside of Balboa.

Buy valet parking; grab the discounted-prepaid parking pass, which is available in limited quantities and only online, or for matinees only, there is lots of free parking across from the park entrance. Just grab the tram, but note that it doesn't run late enough at night to get you back to the lot for an evening performance.

Otherwise, you will have to drive and drive to find a place to put your car when visiting, followed by a very long walk. For tickets, call 619-234-5623 or visit

Closer to home, go see New Village Arts' show by Dea Hurston, "1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas." I've seen it twice, and you can take my word for it, it is a feel-good experience and ideal for holiday company, too. For tickets, call 760-433-3245 or visit

Also nearby is the Oceanside Theatre Company at 217 N. Coast Highway. Their upcoming holiday calendar is stuffed with family entertainment. Check it out; it's tucked into the Brooks Theatre, and it's an easy drive from here. That said, parking can be hard to locate which is why I urge you to leave 30 minutes early. After all, the parking fairy will never help you when you're running late. For tickets, call 760-433-8900 or visit

Driving further down Interstate 5, you'll run into North Coast Repertory in Solana Beach. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" closes Sunday, Nov. 19. In between shows, the stage is filled with Variety Nights like in "I'm Not a Comedian, I'm Lenny Bruce" back again after sold-out performances last year. You'll be glad you plugged into their newsletter to stay on top of upcoming shows.

"2 Pianos 4 Hands" is brilliant. It's comedy at its best. If it is the only show you see this year, you'll be way ahead of the crowd. Jefferson McDonald and Matthew McGloin take us on a musical comedic journey about their would-be careers as concert pianists.

The talented duo trade stories about piano lessons, pushy parents and eccentric teachers while playing everything from Bach to Billy Joel. This wildly popular show not only hits all the right notes; it tickles the ivories and your funny bone too. Running Friday, Dec. 15, to Sunday, Dec. 31, tickets are available at 858-481-1055 or Two tickets to this show could make a great stocking stuffer.

Further down I-5, you'll find La Jolla Playhouse where Matthew Broderick is performing in "Babbitt" until Sunday, Dec. 10. For tickets, call 858-550-1010 or visit

The Cygnet Theatre in Old Town San Diego is playing "A Christmas Carol" from Friday, Dec. 1 to Sunday, Dec. 30. Grab the children and your out-of-town guests and get tickets at 619-337-1525 or

Keeping in the holiday spirit, the San Diego Symphony will perform at the Rady Shell Friday, Dec. 8, with Airborne Toxic Event, followed by "Noel Noel" Saturday through Monday, Dec. 16-18, and Tim Burton's film "The Nightmare Before Christmas" accompanied by the orchestra Saturday, Dec. 23. For tickets, call 619-235-0804 or

"Inspecting Carol" is a hilarious new comedy tailored for the Christmas holidays and presented by PowPac at Poway Community Theater, 13250 Poway Road, in Poway. Tickets are available by calling 858-602-1504 or visiting

Tennessee Williams is performing downtown at Diversionary theater. They are opening with the play that catapulted Williams from obscurity into a national treasure, "The Glass Menagerie." It kicks off Thursday, Nov. 30, and runs to Saturday, Dec. 23. For tickets, call 619-220-0097 or

If your family tradition includes "The Nutcracker" never fear, the San Diego Ballet has limited performances coming in December at The Magnolia in El Cajon Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Call 619-294-7378 or visit

Snow is in the air when Rosemary Clooney calls forth the Plaids to return to San Diego Musical Theatre to enrich the Christmas spirit. "Plaid Tidings" will run from Friday, Nov. 24, to Saturday, Dec. 24. For tickets, call 858-560-5740 or visit

Broadway San Diego will ring in the holidays with Mannheim Steamrollers Christmas in a dazzling, multi-media performance for one-night only, Thursday, Dec. 28, followed by "The Wiz," opening Tuesday, Jan. 9, to Sunday, Jan. 14. For more information, visit

California Center for the Arts in Escondido has a full calendar for December. Visit their website to line up an evening of entertainment from a Johnny Cash tribute to an Irish Christmas and lots more. For more information, call 858-232-2990 or visit

Plus, tickets are now available to catch City Ballet of San Diego's "The Nutcracker" at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Performance dates are limited to Thursday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m .; Friday, Dec. 22, at 2 p.m .; Friday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m .; Saturday, Dec. 23, at 2 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7:30 p.m. Call 858-272-8663 or visit

Opening close to home at The Welk from Saturday, Nov. 18, to Sunday, Dec. 24, is another holiday classic, "Elf-The Musical," on stage at The Theater at The Welk. Grab the children and enjoy the savings for under 14 at the special rate of $32.50 each. Call 760-749-3448 or visit

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached by email at [email protected].


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