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December is a surprisingly good month for theatre. There are quite a few productions opening this month and others continuing their runs well into December. Once December 23rd hits there basically is no theatre for the rest of the month but, until then, there’s a good amount of activity. Here it is:

Tom Dudzick’s CHRISTMAS OVER THE TAVERN continues its sold out run at MusicalFare through December 19th. Extra performances have been added but they sold out very quickly. Look for the show to return in late 2019 at a theatre to be determined. NUNCRACKERS: THE NUNSENSE CHRISTMAS MUSICAL continues its run at O’Connell & Company through December 19th. Dan Goggin has created quite a franchise with the Nunsense musicals and this one is a popular part of the series. At Theatre of Youth (TOY), A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS runs through December 16th. This production sold out last year and I’m sure this year will be more of the same. And, on December 16th, Theatre of Youth will present a special performance open to the public for young people on the spectrum. This particular performance will have reduced sound and lighting effects and will be adapted specifically for this audience. TOY should be commended for their efforts in this regard. Opening at Shea’s 710 on December 7th and running through December 22nd is Road Less Traveled’s production of MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLY. This production follows the beloved characters from Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Another holiday special opening this month is THE BETSY CARMICHAEL CHRISTMAS SPECIAL AT Shea’s 710. Betsy is back! It opens on December 14th and runs through December 23rd and stars Joey Buchecker as Betsy Carmichael. It has been described by Buffalo Theatre Guide as “a cross between the old Judy Garland Christmas special and Peewee Herman Show.” Sounds like fun. Another holiday production that, while not technically theatre, is something to definitely take in during the holidays is THE NUTCRACKER on the Shea’s mainstage on December 22nd and 23rd. This year is the 10th anniversary of this annual production. Congratulations to Neglia Ballet Artists for creating a community classic and to The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Shea’s Performing Arts Center for helping to create a memorable collaboration. Speaking of collaborations, a special shout out to the theatre collaborators of THE 3 MUSKETEERS. While the production and the collaboration were not understood by certain media outlets, the audience response in the theatre was very rewarding. Standing ovations were the norm and there were two free student matinees offered during its run with over 1,000 students attending. Of course, not surprisingly, these free student performances were ignored by the same media outlets. It will be interesting to see what ALL FOR ONE does next.

So there you have it! Great holiday productions to see this month. Oh yea, there’s this little show over at Shea’s Performing Arts Center that continues its run through December 9th. I can’t remember the name. It’s about one of the founding fathers but not a particularly famous one. I doubt it will have legs…

Have a blessed and safe holiday season.

Randall Kramer is the Artistic and Executive Director of MusicalFare Theatre, the President of the Board of the Arts Services Initiative, a steering committee member of the Greater Buffalo Cultural Alliance and a past President of the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo.