Seasonal theatre is notoriously nostalgic. All jingle bells and hot cocoa with extra marshmallows. Be honest, how many productions of the Nutcracker have you seen? But damnit if that Tchaikovsky doesn’t get you weepy-eyed and grinning every time anyway.
If you have a taste for something sugarplum sweet with a spin, Portland’s got it. In true “keep it weird” tradition, several Portland theaters are producing holiday classics with a twist to keep you and yours entertained this December. All shows run until December 24.
Portland Center Stage takes this holiday favorite from the screen to the stage. Ralphie Parker’s burning desire for a Daisy Brand Red Ryder BB rifle; the sexy leg lamp; the fateful triple-dog dare; a terrifying Macy’s Santa–it’s all there. Don’t shoot your eye out, because you definitely want to see this show.
This mash-up of two classic stories strikes the balance between traditional cheery Christmas and quirky anti-sentiment. Seattle playwright John Logenbaugh puts mean-spirited Ebenezer Scrooge on stage with moody sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his bumbling assistant Watson to solve the mystery of past, present, and future.
A new holiday musical asks “but what about Tiny Tim?” 20 years after A Christmas Carol, and Scrooge is the godfather of Tiny Tim Cratchit, who has replaced his “God bless us, every one” attitude with “God bless me, only me” disposition. So Scrooge and the ghost of Jacob Marley team up to de-Scrooge Tiny Tim. This is the most family-friendly of the three shows, and written by Portland locals Don Flowers and Fred Walton.