It’s a good time of the year for a show, and it doesn’t have to be ‘The Nutcracker’

The Greater Boston Stage Company puts up two holiday classics, including “It’s a Wonderful Life”, at its Stoneham theater.  By Maggie Hall Photography

THE BOSTON GLOBE – Not to take anything away from the Boston Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” now playing through Dec. 30 at the Boston Opera House to some very nice reviews. But this really is the best time of the year for taking in the performance arts, with many other musicals, plays, and concerts to be enjoyed all over Greater Boston. 

As you might expect, many of them are holiday-themed. There are no colorful princesses or the Sugar Plum Fairy prancing to Tchaikovsky in the following sampling of shows in the suburbs, but some might say that’s fair trade for not having to jostle with the crowds at Downtown Crossing.

The Arlington Children’s Theatre presents a teen production of “A Doll’s House” by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Frank McGuinness, on Dec. 14-15 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church, 115 Massachusetts Ave. For ticket information, visit

The Concord Women’s Chorus performs “‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime,” a program of popular carols and seasonal songs, on Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm St. Visit

In Newburyport, the 15th Christmas in New England concert tour makes a stop at Belleville Congregational Church, 300 High St., on Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m. The cast will perform traditional, contemporary, and original music with acoustic instruments and vocals. Visit

In Plymouth, the Americana Theatre Company presents “The Gift of the Magi,” based on the O. Henry story of two poor young people who sacrifice their most valued possessions for each other. The musical version adds songs and a knowing narrator. Performances are at the Plymouth Center for the Arts, 11 North St., on Dec. 12-15 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. Visit

Also in Plymouth, Meravelha, a medieval music ensemble, performs a winter solstice concert at the Plymouth Public Library, 132 South St., on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. The free performance features vocalists, harp, percussion, winds, and the vielle (a medieval fiddle) to brighten up the cold, dark season. Visit

In Stoneham, the Greater Boston Stage Company (photo above) puts up two holiday classics at its theater at 395 Main St. George Bailey is reminded by a guardian angel that “It’s a Wonderful Life,” through Dec. 23. “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol” also runs through Dec. 23, with a “sensory-friendly performance” on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. Visit

In Weston, the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus, an ensemble comprising 65 Boston-area male singers, joins soprano Ute Gfrerer in a traditional Christmas program on Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. in the Casey Theatre at Regis College, 235 Wellesley St. Visit

We’ll be back with more next Monday.

Read more . . .

By L Kim Tan