fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Holiday theater season fills Rogue Valley stages

View all photos
From left, Lisa Birnbaum, Armando Duran and Lynette Rathnam starred in last year's “It's Christmas, Carol!” The 2022 iteration of the show opens Nov. 23 at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Bowmer Theatre. [Photo by Jenny Graham]
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “It's Christmas, Carol!” stars, from left, John Tufts, Brent Hinkley and Mark Bedard, who also co-wrote the script. [Courtesy photo]
Pictured during one of 2021's performances of "It's Christmas, Carol!" are, from left, Brent Hinkley, John Tufts, Safiya Fredericks and Mark Bedard. There are new songs and new jokes in the 2022 reprise. [Photo by Jenny Graham]

If you’re like most people, the holidays are a busy time — preparing for visitors, planning holiday meals, shopping for gifts, entertaining friends and family.

It’s definitely a period where some “me time” can provide a well-earned respite. And what better reward for all your hard work than a night out at the theater?

Audiences are well-served in the Rogue Valley, with a variety of plays and musicals playing this holiday season.

Craterian Theater

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is Teen Musical Theater of Oregon’s production for the holidays, set for Dec. 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. It’s the Broadway adaptation of the classic musical, with a contemporary take.

The score includes some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” along with the hilarious and romantic libretto by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane.

“TMTO isn’t creating any new videos this year,” said Stephen McCandless of the Craterian, “since we’re back to live stage productions for our holiday season. We wish we had the resources to do a live show and do another ‘Countdown to Christmas,’ but the video series was pretty much like doing a full-scale production.”

However, the Christmas videos from the past two years are available online in the theater’s YouTube channel.

For links, updates and tickets, see craterian.org.

Randall Theatre

“Nunsense” plays Dec. 2-18 for a multiweekend run at Randall Theatre, 115 E. Main St., Medford, with Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

In the zany musical, the Little Sisters of Hoboken are on a mission after a mishap with tainted soup results in the deaths of their sister nuns. They find themselves without enough funds to properly bury them, so they decide to put on a show to raise the money they need — before the health inspector opens their freezers.

Purchase tickets at randalltheatre.com.

Oregon Cabaret Theatre

Oregon Cabaret is mounting two holiday shows this season — one at the Cabaret, 241 Hargadine St. in Ashland, and another at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Thomas Theatre, 15 S. Pioneer St. in Ashland.

“A Christmas Carol,” the Charles Dickens classic, will play on the Cabaret stage from Nov. 17 to Dec. 31. It tells the story of the miserly curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge, visited on Christmas Eve by three spirits intent on setting him on the unlikely path to redemption.

Playgoers are given the option of including dinner with the show, served 90 minutes before curtain time.

Matinees start at 1 p.m., and evening shows are at 8 p.m. For more information and to order tickets, see oregoncabaret.com.

Cabaret also will present the classic musical, Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” but on the stage of OSF’s Thomas Theatre. Performances are scheduled Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, with matinees at 1:30 p.m. and evening shows at 8 p.m.

The story is about two World War II vets with a successful song-and-dance act who, with romance in mind, follow two beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show in a Vermont lodge. The lodge happens to be owned by the vets’ former Army commander, who is in desperate need of help with his struggling lodge.

“We were thrilled when Nataki (Garrett, OSF artistic director) approached us in 2019 with the possibility of bringing ‘White Christmas’ to OSF in 2020,” said Valerie Rachelle, Cabaret artistic director.

“She had seen that ‘White Christmas’ had been announced to be produced in our 2020 season. At that time, OSF wasn’t producing a holiday show.”

The pandemic interrupted, but as it waned, discussions of the collaboration resumed and the 2022 dates were set.

OSF will host with its crew, house management, equipment and box office. But the show is fully produced by Oregon Cabaret, providing performers, designers, director, choreographer, etc.

Featured players include Galloway Stevens and Jonathan Luke Stevens.

OSF Executive Director David Schmitz said OSF is excited to make the Thomas available to the Cabaret at the same time the festival is producing its own holiday show.

“We are absolutely interested in future collaborations,” Schmitz said, “and we’re eager to see how this partnership with OCT works out for all involved.

“We’re looking forward to the learnings from this year to hopefully find a repeatable model,” he said.

Purchase tickets to “White Christmas,” at osfashland.org.

Camelot Theatre

“Matilda,” the Broadway smash musical about an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny, will be presented by Camelot Theatre, 101 Talent Ave. in Talent, Nov. 23 through 31. Evening performances are at 8 p.m. and matinees are at 2 p.m., including on Dec. 24 and 31.

Inspired by Roald Dahl’s novel, the Tony Award-winning musical is about a girl with psychokinetic powers. Unloved by her parents, she impresses and is loved by her schoolteacher. The play is packed with high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs.

For more information and tickets, see camelottheatre.org.

Collaborative Theatre Project

“Little Women,” Kate Hamill’s take on the beloved classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, will be produced Nov. 25 through Jan. 1 by Collaborative Theatre Project.

The story is about four dreamers — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March — destined to be imperfect little women. Semiautobiographical, it’s loosely based on the lives of the author and her three sisters.

All performances are at the CTP theater, 555 Medford Center, across from Cold Stone Creamery.

For tickets and more information, go to ctpmedford.org or call the box office at 541-779-1055.

Rogue Theater Company

A one-man show, starring OSF veteran actor David Kelly, will be presented by Rogue Theater Company on the Grizzly Peak Winery stage, 1600 E. Nevada St., Ashland, at 2 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 1-4 and 6-10.

“Every Brilliant Thing” is the story of a man who begins writing a list, at the age of 7 when his mother first attempts suicide, of every brilliant thing that makes life worth living.

While the play tackles the serious topics of mental health and depression, it also is filled with humor, joy and hope. Caroline Shaffer directs.

Tickets can be purchased at roguetheatercompany.com.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

OSF will present its second annual holiday special, “It’s Christmas, Carol!”, Nov. 23 through Jan. 1. The song-filled parody was written by Mark Bedard, Brent Hinkley and John Tufts, who return to star in the 2022 production at the Bowmer Theatre in Ashland.

The three men, each with an impressive theatrical resume, have chalked up a collective total of 35 seasons with OSF. Pirronne Yousefzadeh directs.

The story is about businesswoman Carol Scroogenhouse, who is taken by three ghosts through time and space to reckon with how she’s abandoned humanity for hollow capitalism.

“The playwrights are rewriting the show to make it faster and even more hilarious,” said OSF Executive Director David Schmitz.

“If you saw the show last year, you absolutely must see it again, as there will be new musical numbers, new jokes and new hilarity,” he said. “And there are some new actors, including Erica Sullivan (Scroogenhouse) and Christiana Clark (the Narrator)”

For more information and to purchase tickets, see osfashland.org.

Reach freelance writer Jim Flint at jimflint.ashland@yahoo.com.