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Where to See A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker in California

Where to See A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker in California

Take a trip to the theater and see two Christmas classics: The Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker. Team


2 min read

November 29, 2023

As the holiday season approaches, the festive spirit in California reaches its peak with the return of two timeless classics: Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" and Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." For those eager to immerse themselves in the magic of these tales, California offers a myriad of options. This guide will help you find the perfect venue to experience these beloved holiday traditions.

"A Christmas Carol" in California

1. The American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco

San Francisco's esteemed American Conservatory Theater annually presents a breathtaking production of "A Christmas Carol." This year will be the final year to see "A Christmas Carol" at the ACT, so make sure to make it out. The performance runs from Dec. 6 to 24. Tickets are very affordable starting at $25. Known for its opulent costumes and stunning set designs, this rendition of Dickens' masterpiece is a must-see. The ACT's interpretation often incorporates contemporary elements, making it a unique experience each year.

The American Conservatory Theater has built its name on stunning live theater performances.

2. South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa

The South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa is renowned for its production of "A Christmas Carol." With over 40 years of performances, their adaptation is a Southern California tradition. The show's dates are Dec. 1 to 24 with a special American Sign Language performance on Dec. 9. Tickets range from $36 to $94. This show is famous for its loyal adaptation of Dickens’ story, complete with heartwarming performances that capture the essence of Christmas spirit.

3. A Noise Within, Pasadena

The standout A Noise Within company does their own take on "A Christmas Carol" in Pasadena. It's a world-class performance that brings the timeless show to life with vivid costumes and energetic performances. The show experience also includes themed snacks, pre-show arts and crafts, and chances to take photos with the performers in the fully decorated lobby. Tickets start at $25 and the show runs from Dec. 1 to 24. There are Pay What You Choose performances and Relaxed Performances that you can attend as well.

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"The Nutcracker" in California

1. San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco

The San Francisco Ballet's "The Nutcracker" is a cultural institution. As the first American company to perform "The Nutcracker," they offer a world-class rendition. Set in early 20th-century San Francisco, their production is a delightful blend of historical elegance and balletic excellence. The performance runs from Dec. 13 to 30 with most days featuring two performances. Tickets start at $25 and escalate form there.

2. Los Angeles Ballet, Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Ballet presents a traveling production of "The Nutcracker" across LA County, bringing Tchaikovsky's masterpiece to various venues. Performances are held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Royce Hall at UCLA, Redondo Beach PAC, and the Dolby Theater. The show runs from Dec. 1 to 26. For dates at specific venues, visit the Los Angeles Ballet website. Their performance is notable for its adherence to the traditional choreography of this ballet, making it a classic experience for purists and first-timers alike.

Royce Hall at UCLA will host dates of "The Nutcracker" by the Los Angeles Ballet.

3. The Sacramento Ballet, Sacramento

The Sacramento Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" is a feast for the eyes. Known for their elaborate sets and stunning costumes, this company brings a magical touch to the tale, making it a memorable experience for audiences of all ages. The shows are held at the Safe Credit Union Performing Arts Center from Dec. 9 to 23.

California, with its rich cultural landscape, offers a diverse array of options to experience "A Christmas Carol" and "The Nutcracker." Whether you prefer a traditional theater setting or an innovative, modern approach, there's something for everyone in the Golden State. These performances both entertain and bring to life the timeless messages of hope, resilience, and holiday joy. Make sure to book your tickets in advance, as these popular shows tend to sell out quickly!

As the holiday season unfolds, let these classic tales transport you to a world of wonder and delight. Enjoy the magic of "A Christmas Carol" and "The Nutcracker" in the heart of California, and make your festive season truly unforgettable.

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