Butterfield 8 presents its second annual "A Christmas Carol" at 8 p.m. Dec. 19-20, at Cue Productions Live, 1835 Colfax St., in Concord.
This abridged reading of the story (created specifically for B8) tells the tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and the three spirits who change his life using only the author's own words.
This year B8 incorporates puppets as the spirits to expand the storytelling experience. Performers include: Ali Arman, Deborah Black, Chad Clevenger, David Hardie, Nick Jackson, Gary Mutz, Becky Potter, Maureen-Theresa Williams, and Alan Cameron as Scrooge.
For tickets, go to www.brownpapertickets.com.
Since the holidays are all about children, why not take them to a play designed just for them? Fantasy Forum Actors' Ensemble once again brings the magic of the holiday season to the Lesher Center with its performance of "The Biggest Gift" Dec. 19-22.
In the popular production (where kids can even sit on the stage), the North Pole is in crisis. Santa has not received his letters from the children. Tucker the elf and the toys set out to save Christmas by finding those letters and making sure each child receives his special gift.
For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469) or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
Local actor (and fire dancer at Burning Man) Chris Dewey and Snergy Theatre present "And to All a Good Night," an evening of completely improvised one-act plays based on audience members' worst home-for-the-holidays stories.
The craziness takes place at 8 p.m. Dec. 21, at the Lafayette Community Center, 500 St. Marys Road, in Lafayette.
The night of improv features Dewey, Kenn Adams, Justin Carns, Matt Rath, Stacey Matthews-Winn, Ben Piper and Shane William Walker.
Tickets are available at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 925-408-8540.
Esses Productions offers a slightly different musical romp for the holidays with "A Cash Country Christmas" at 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 21, at the Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., in Pleasanton.
James Garner returns with a holiday version of his musical tribute to Johnny Cash featuring songs from Cash's holiday albums.
Garner, a huge Johnny Cash fan, will add historical accounts and personal anecdotes about the beloved singer as he and his band take a toe-tapping trip down memory lane.
For tickets, call 925-931-4848 or go to www.firehousearts.org.
Seats are getting scare for Craig Jessup's "A Swell Noel" taking place at Berkeley's Aurora Theatre from Dec. 17-22.
The popular vocalist spices up the holidays with songs from such composers as Noël Coward, Jacques Brel, Stephen Sondheim, the Gershwins, and Rodgers and Hart.
Pianist/music director Ken Muir joins Jessup on stage.
For tickets, call 510-843-4822 or go to www.auroratheatre.org.
There's still time to catch "Christmas Revels" before it closes Dec. 22, at Oakland's Scottish Rite Theatre, 1547 Lakeside Drive, in Oakland.
This 28th edition of the Bay Area favorite is entitled "The Spirits of Haddon Hall." Set just after the Great War, the show follows the Lord and Lady of the stately manor who can no longer afford the cost of upkeep and the staff necessary to run it.
As they make plans to sell their ancient home, the ghosts of past generations appear to celebrate the winter solstice one more time.
A cast of 65 will make the period and its music come alive.
For tickets, call 510-452-8800 or go to www.californiarevels.org.
You know him as a theater reviewer for "The Rossmoor News," but did you know that Charlie Jarrett is also an accomplished photographer?
When not writing his column, he takes photos for "The Orinda News" as well as headshots for many local performers. Currently, he has an exhibition of his gorgeous photography depicting the eagles in Homer, Alaska, on display at Mi Casa restaurant, 2195 N. Broadway, in Walnut Creek.
If you get a chance, stop on by and see Jarrett's other side.
The Clayton Theatre Company will hold general auditions Jan. 5-7 at Diablo View Middle School, 300 Diablo View Lane, in Clayton.
Performers should prepare 32 bars of a Broadway song and be prepared to do a two-minute monologue.
To schedule an audition appointment, call 925-222-9106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, go to www.claytontheatrecompany.com.
Contact Sally Hogarty at email@example.com.