Get into the holiday spirit by seeing a holiday-themed show the whole family can enjoy! There are plenty of live performances in the area and some virtual ones, too.
BergenPAC (30 N. Van Brunt Street, Englewood)
New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker; $19-$49
December 4 and 5 at 1:00 PM 4:30 PM
New Jersey Ballet has thrilled audiences for more than half a century with its spectacular performances. Audiences of all ages will feel the holiday magic when these iconic toys come alive in beautiful fashion and dance to the beloved music of this timeless tale.
State Theatre New Jersey (15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical; $29-$59
November 29 and 30 at 7:30 PM
The beloved TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. Don’t miss this wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.
Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas; $15-$35
December 1 at 7:30 PM
Lightwire Theater is keeping the holiday season merry and bright this year with their show, A Very Electric Christmas! Semi-finalists on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Lightwire uses total darkness and electroluminescent technology to bring stories to life on stage. In their Christmas spectacular, you’ll see colorful birds, marching nutcrackers, evil rats, and a variety of beautiful, bright holiday displays. Based in New Orleans, the group has presented their innovative theatrical experiences to audiences all across the world including Hong Kong, Canada, China, and Paris.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze; $40-$98
December 8 and 9 at 8:00 PM
Cirque Dreams Holidaze takes State Theatre’s stage this holiday season! The critically-acclaimed performance presents the ultimate holiday experience for families, combining Broadway musical and Cirque extravaganza. The show features classic Christmas, Chanukah, Thanksgiving songs, and original music. Come enjoy gingerbread men soaring through the air, toy soldiers skillfully marching on thin wires, snowmen upon balance beams, icemen sculpting with ice and snow, penguins spinning, puppets caroling, and reindeer soaring high above a landscape of holiday wonderment!
The Nutcracker American Repertory Ballet; $25-$65
December 17 at 7:30
December 18 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
December 19 at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM
The only American Repertory Ballet performances featuring a live orchestra! This holiday favorite tells the magical story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they battle toy soldiers and larger-than-life mice, and travel through a whirlwind of dancing snowflakes to the Land of Sweets. Greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, Clara enjoys a suite of brilliant and joyful dances before opening her eyes to the familiar sights of her own home. Was it all a dream?
The Hip Hop Nutcracker; $35-$65
January 2, 2022 at 4:00 PM
The Hip Hop Nutcracker is coming to the State Theatre with a holiday mash-up for the whole family! Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. A unique and joyful event, this production features a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set. With new-age visuals and digital graffiti, the classic ballet is reset in contemporary New York City. With the same heart as the original, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince go on a winter adventure battling an army of mice, meeting sugarplum fairies, and visiting a land of candy and treats!
NJPAC (1 Center Street, Newark)
The Nutcracker-The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine; $29-$79 –
December 11 at 3:00 PM
‘Tis the season for making unforgettable memories with your family! Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, The Nutcracker is sure to become your favorite Christmas tradition. The State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine’s holiday spectacle transports you to a dazzling winter wonderland in this special matinee performance. Step into choreographer Andrei Litvinov’s magical world of toy soldiers and colorful characters. Tchaikovsky’s beloved score is full of instantly recognizable music, including “Waltz of the Flowers,” “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “Waltz of the Snowflakes” and more. It’s a magical classic for all ages.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker With MC Kurtis Blow; $29-$79
December 18 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker returns to the stage for its seventh season on tour. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, this contemporary dance spectacle is a re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, smashing hip hop dance and Tchaikovsky’s timeless music together into a heart-stirring and inspirational holiday event. The Hip Hop Nutcracker is brought to life by a powerhouse cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, who opens the show with a short set. Grab your family and friends and let the dynamic performers of The Hip Hop Nutcracker take you on a journey that celebrates love, community, and the magic of the holiday season.
The Growing Stage: The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey (7 Ledgewood Avenue, Netcong)
The Story of the Nutcracker; $18-$28
December 3, 10 and 17 at 7:30 PM
November 27, and December 4, 11 and 18 at 4:00 PM
November 28, and December 5, 12 and 19 at 2:00 PM
The Growing Stage’s original adaptation transforms the classic holiday ballet into a fully formed theatrical production laced with the music of Tchaikovsky. The mysterious Uncle Drosselmeir brings his niece, Clara, a very special gift, a Nutcracker. After the family has gone to bed, Clara sneaks out from her bedroom to see her gift. As the clock chimes twelve, the adventure begins! Clara and the Nutcracker, who is really a prince, journey through the Land of Sweets, battle an army of mice, sail on the Lemonade Sea, rescue the Sugar Plum Fairie all to finally reclaim the prince’s crown from the Dowager Mouse Queen and her inept son.
Mayo Performing Arts Center (100 South Street, Morristown)
A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage; $29-$69
November 28 at 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM
Your favorite Peanuts characters come to life in this all-new stage adaptation of Charles M. Schulz’s classic Emmy® and Peabody Award-winning animated television special – all set to Vince Guaraldi’s unforgettable music. Join the gang as they put on their own Christmas play and discover the true meaning of the season. It’s a present the whole family can enjoy!
A Magical Cirque Christmas; $39-$69
December 4 at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM
The world’s greatest entertainers unite for a spell-binding and incredible holiday production – A Magical Cirque Christmas! Experience the magic of Christmas with dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get into the spirit of the season with this merry treat that’s perfect for the entire family.
Axelrod Performing Arts Center (100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park)
The Nutcracker Rocks; $26-$56
December 11 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
December 12 at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM
December 15 at 3:00 PM
December 17 at 7:00 PM
December 18 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
December 19 at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM
A magical reimagining of a family holiday classic! The Nutcracker Rocks is a mixture of high-power music and dance that will transport you to a land of brave toy soldiers and sweet sugar plum fairies. Based on Hoffman’s original story, choreographer Gabriel Chajnik translates the Victorian-era Nutcracker from the bustles and ruffles of the 1890s to contemporary times. The beloved Tchaikovsky score is reimagined in collaboration with renowned rockers Alex Rosamilia and Alex Levine, members of The Gaslight Anthem.
Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre at Basie Center Complex (99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank)
The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical; $35.50-$84.50
December 23 at 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM
This holiday season, the beloved tradition that has captured the hearts of families everywhere returns to the live stage! The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical is the thrilling spectacle of music and dance that transports audiences to the North Pole to glimpse the magical lives of Santa’s Scout Elves. Featuring an original story and score, dazzling sets and costumes, and heartfelt moments that will bring the family together, this joyous and uplifting celebration will leave audiences captivated by the splendor of the season.
New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble
The Nutcracker; $50
December 19 at 7:00 PM
NJDTE Ensemble invites you to join us for our 52nd anniversary of our holiday classic “The Nutcracker” LIVE at NJDTE Studios. The production, set to the music of Peter Tchaikovsky, is choreographed by award-winning NJDTE Artistic Director Nancy Turano and features 48 talented pre-professional dancers from New Jersey and metro area. Note that all live shows are already sold out.
Laurie Berkner’s Holiday Party 2021, $20
December 18 at 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM
Join Laurie Berkner for an 80+min LIVE interactive, virtual performance (plus pre-show!) for the whole family! Sing, dance, & play games through your device with Laurie as she performs fan favorites and Holiday songs, interacts with you through the screen, & brings in a few surprises – from her house to yours! Your ticket gives you access to BOTH shows (12p & 5pET) and helps the LBB team continue operations while we can’t tour! You can purchase a meet & greet add-on above. Group rates available, email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire. Please note there will now be a 15% service fee added to tickets, which supports the wonderful folks at the platform that hosts our events. Thanks so much for understanding!