6 Holiday Shows to See in Virginia 

The spectacular is billed as a celebration of everything that makes this “the most wonderful time of the year.” Courtesy of Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

By Aila Boyd

December 9, 2022

The holiday season is a time of magic and wonder. There are few things more magical than seeing a live show. 

Instead of watching yet another Hallmark movie, try going to one of the many holiday shows that are being produced by some of Virginia’s top theaters. Check out this list to see what’s on stage at a theater near you. 

Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre

Location: Wytheville

Nestled in Southwest Virginia, the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre specializes in “all musicals, all the time!” 

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is playing until Friday, Dec. 23. 

“It’s Christmas time and a wife and children are desperately missing a father away at war,” the show description reads. “But with the introduction of a stranger and some heavenly magic, miracles unfold!” 

The family-friendly show includes well-known holiday tunes and a nativity scene. 

While watching the show, attendees are served appetizers, an entrée and dessert. Turkey breast and baked ham are currently on the menu. 

If the Christmas show isn’t for you, then maybe the “New Year’s Eve Bash with Elvis!” on Saturday, Dec. 31 will be. 

The bash will start off with a dinner and viewing of one of Elvis’s movies. Elvis tribute artist Stephen Freeman will then perform some of the biggest hits from the “King of Rock and Roll.” A local cover band, P-Flunk, will then take the stage. Dancing will be encouraged. Finally, the night will come to an end with a champagne toast and some dessert. 

Mill Mountain Theatre

Mill Mountain Photo
Melissa Perry, Yul Carrión, Andrew Mauney, who appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, Morgana Mauney and Cory Ethridge star in “Holiday Inn.” 
Courtesy of Mill Mountain Theatre 

Location: Roanoke

Mill Mountain Theatre is a professional company that produces a range of musical and non-musical shows throughout the year. It is located in the heart of Downtown Roanoke, where you can easily watch a show, then go for a drink, and get some Christmas shopping done.  

Irving Berlin’s “Holiday Inn,” which is based on the 1942 Paramount Pictures film, is now playing on the Trinkle Mainstage through Friday, Dec. 23. 

The family-friendly musical tells the story of a man who leaves behind the bright lights of show business in favor of a simpler life in a Connecticut farmhouse. He eventually meets a schoolteacher with oodles of talent. The two of them “put on dazzling performances to celebrate each holiday, from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July.” His chance at love is put in jeopardy when his friend tries to lure the schoolteacher away. 

Some of Berlin’s songs performed during the show include “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” “Cheek to Cheek” and “Heat Wave.”

Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

Riverside Photo 1
The “Riverside Christmas Spectacular: Home for the Holidays” runs through Dec. 31. Courtesy of Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

Location: Fredericksburg 

The “Riverside Christmas Spectacular: Home for the Holidays” at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts is a celebration of everything that makes this “the most wonderful time of the year.” 

“Experience the excitement, memories, and joy of Christmas as our spectacular cast of singers and dancers present the very heart and essence of the holiday season,” the description reads. The show, which runs through Saturday, Dec. 31, features 13 performers.  

Shows at the center come with a three-course chef-prepared meal.

Your last chance to see the Christmas show will be Dec. 31 during the “2023 New Year’s Eve Gala,” which will also include a disc jockey, dancing and champagne toast at midnight. 

Richmond Ballet

Richmond Ballet Photo
The Richmond Ballet is staging “The Nutcracker” with the Richmond Symphony. Courtesy of Richmond Ballet

Location: Richmond 

The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without seeing a production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” 

If you saw the State Ballet of Virginia’s show in previous years, you’ll still want to go again given the recent updates, including new scenery, refreshed costumes and new Chinese dance choreographed by Ma Cong. 

“While these stunning designs will delight with their vibrant colors and fantastical imagery, they extend from the same storybook vision for which Stoner Winslett’s production is so beloved,” the company said. 

It is being staged with the Richmond Symphony. The last performance is slated for Friday, Dec. 23. 

Virginia Stage Company

Virginia Stage Company Photo
Sarah Manton performs in “A Merry Little Christmas Carol.”
Courtesy of Matthew Omilianowski of TOC Creative

Location: Norfolk

If you’re in Southeastern Virginia this holiday season, Virginia Stage Company is the place to look for a good show. 

“A Merry Little Christmas Carol” has returned to the Wells Theatre after first premiering there last year. 

Those who see the show will see “Ebenezer Scrooge’s haunting journey unfold with inventive theatricality incorporating traditional holiday music harmonizing to produce a tour de force of laughter, hope, and the magic of the season.” 

The show, which runs through Saturday, Dec. 31, is appropriate for all ages. 

Those who want to see a more mature show should check out “The Twelve Dates of Christmas,” which runs through Sunday, Dec. 18. The show follows Mary, whose life falls apart just in time for the holidays when she catches her fiancé kissing another woman at the televised Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. 

Barter Theatre

Location: Abingdon

The Barter Theater has two holiday shows running this season on the Gilliam Stage.

A new adaptation of “It’s A Wonderful Life” was written specifically for the theatre’s resident acting company. 

The citizens of Bedford Falls “have relied for years on the Bailey Brothers Building and Loan, and George Bailey has sacrificed his dreams and ambitions to keep it alive against all odds,” the description reads. “But on this Christmas Eve disaster strikes, and it takes a guardian angel named Clarence to make George realize that not all is lost, and that no man is a failure who has friends.” 

The family-friendly show runs until Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Geared towards younger audiences, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” runs until Friday, Dec. 23.

The show follows Lucy Lesprit who lands a “whistle solo” in her school’s upcoming Christmas pageant only to lose both of her front teeth. Despite the setback, she’s determined not to forfeit the solo to her arch rival.

  • Aila Boyd

    Aila Boyd is a Virginia-based educator and journalist. She received her MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.

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