Like holiday sweaters in cliché winter motifs, boozy eggnog and all-day marathons of Home Alone, spending a night at the theater for A Christmas Carol is a yuletide tradition. It’s only natural, since Charles Dickens’ theatrical prose reflected his adoration of the performing arts. Here, a bevy of options around Houston to get in your Scrooge fix this holiday season.
This season, the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s metaphysical journey with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future takes the Hubbard stage and stars Jeffrey Bean, reprising his role as the play’s infamously acerbic protagonist. The production stays true to the classic story and makes use of the grand stage with intricate costumes and sets.
Nov 20–Dec 28. $19–$121. 615 Texas Ave. 713-220-5700. alleytheatre.org
Classical Theatre Company
The Chelsea Market–based theater group, which prides itself on “re-envisioning classical drama” and spotlighting diverse stories and talent, stages the Christmastime masterpiece with a fresh interpretive angle. While Classical’s Carol is determined to stay true to Dickens’ opus, the actors perform the company’s own penned adaptation of the winter classic, which promises to be a uniquely refreshing, yet still familiarly nostalgic experience for audiences.
Dec 2–Dec 24. $10–$30. 4617 Montrose Blvd. 713-963-9665. classicaltheatre.org
Dickens on the Strand
Galveston Island transforms into 19th-century Victorian England for the annual Dickens–themed celebration, and it would not be complete without a stage production of Carol. The weekend-long street festival features jugglers, carolers, bagpipers, and numerous performers on six different stages. The Carol performance kicks off Strand’s festivities, and what better way to enjoy this time-honored theater tradition than to dress up as if you are actually in the play itself? Go nuts, y’all.
Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Post Office St., in Galveston, TX. Dec. 4, $35–$60 (festival admission not included). 409-765-1894. galvestonhistory.org
John Stevens at Queensbury Theatre
Veteran actor John Stevens returns to the Houston theater scene in this one-man rendition of the play. Stevens embodies all the major characters of the play, giving new life, warmth, warmth and sentimentality to it. This version gives a subtle nod to Dickens himself, who actually traveled throughout Europe in the 19th century for “reading tours” of his eternal holiday oeuvre.
Nov 27–Dec 24. $16–$20. 12777 Queensbury Lane. 713-467-4497. queensburytheatre.org
Company OnStage: A Christmas Carol in 60 Minutes or Less
With all the party planning and gift shopping, sometimes you can’t spare a few hours for a play. Luckily, Houston’s nonprofit, community–based performing arts theatre is featuring a shortened Carol adaptation that does not lack in substance. Company OnStage showcases local talent and its version of the play embodies all the passion and fun of a typical stage adaptation.
Dec 5–Dec 19. $12. St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 5020 West Bellfort Blvd. 713-726-1219. companyonstage.org