By Sara Elizabeth Taylor
CALGARY — As we prepare for a time of year known for its rich tapestry of traditions, it’s no wonder that theatre companies in Calgary and the surrounding areas are revisiting some old favourites and imagining new ways to look at the season. Whether you prefer a traditional classic or taking a chance on something new, there’s sure to be a performance to warm your heart this month.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
November 7 – December 20
Calgarians will certainly empathize with the citizens of Narnia, who have been trapped in never-ending winter by an evil queen. The Canadian premiere of the lavish Royal Shakespeare Company musical production will surely be worth the trip out of town for fans of this C.S. Lewis classic.
A Christmas Carol (Theatre Calgary)
Max Bell Theatre
November 27 – December 24
It’s Christmas Eve, 1843, and like every other day of the year, Ebenezer Scrooge is hard at work. But this will soon prove to be no ordinary day, as Scrooge is visited by three spirits, who will guide him through Christmases past, present and future, to try to teach him the meaning of the season. An annual tradition celebrating its 28th year at Theatre Calgary, this Christmas classic reminds us all to remember what really matters, and to carry the spirit of the season with us all year long.
Charlotte’s Web (Alberta Theatre Projects)
Martha Cohen Theatre
November 27 – December 31
Charlotte’s Web, the story of a pig named Wilbur and a barn spider named Charlotte, is a timeless tale that both children and adults can enjoy. What really makes this adaptation by Joseph Robinette stand out is the inclusion of Manon Beaudoin, an aerial acrobat, as Charlotte. Beaudoin is a graduate from the National Circus School of Canada whose credits include Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson “ONE” in Las Vegas. Be sure to put this one on the calendar!
Naughty but Nice (Forte Musical Theatre Guild)
Looking for something to spice up your Christmas? Check out Naughty but Nice, which takes a hilarious and risqué look at the holiday season. This performance features 18 new songs by musical theatre composers from across the country. Given that the Naughty but Nice creative team is the same one that was behind the winner of the 2014 Calgary Critics’ Award for Best Production of a Musical, this show will not be one to miss.
With Bells On (Lunchbox Theatre and Guys in Disguise)
To celebrate its 40th season, Lunchbox Theatre is bringing back With Bells On, a hilarious Christmas tale that was a huge hit with audiences when it debuted in December 2010. The premise is simple: two people are stuck in an elevator. But one of those people happens to be an uptight, recently divorced accountant, and the other is a drag queen dressed as a Christmas tree on her way to a costume competition. With her dream of being crowned “Christmas Queen” at risk, the two form an unlikely friendship in this hilarious and heartwarming show.AB, Alberta, Christmas plays, live theatre