Staging the Holidays

Theatrical venues go all outthis November and December with holiday fare from snarky and gay to sexy cirque to traditional opulence and beyond.

By Mike Fleming

This weekend makes it official. Thanksgiving means that the holidays are upon us, and if you haven’t cheated already, on Friday you can start listening to Christmas music – as long as the nearest Grinch who’d strangle you for it is out of earshot.

The season also means a slew of gay-popular shows on Atlanta stages. Whether youre after a taste of Christmas past with traditional holiday shows or a thoroughly modern milieu, there’s a play, musical or other live production just waiting to please you.

The gayest – and for diehard fans, the greatest – is the return of Harold Leaver in The Santaland Diaries at Horizon Theatre. This year marks his 18th year in the lead role as David Sedaris’ bitchy department store elf. As an unhappy helper in the Santa section of a Macy’s during the busy shopping season, he has plenty of audience participation, snappy one-liners, and funny, irreverent current event updates grabbed from today’s headlines to keep it fresh. The show runs through Dec. 31. Visit horizontheatre.com

Another don’t-miss spectacle comes with hot bodies in spandex contorting for you pleasure – albeit in a totally rated G way. Get your tickets Cirque Dreams: Holidaze at the Fox from Nov. 23 – Nov. 25. Find tickets and more information at cirqueproductions.com and at foxtheatre.org.

And Christmas in gay Atlanta wouldn’t be the same without the annual concert program from Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus. This year’s “Comfort & Joy” show stages three performances Dec. 2 and Dec. 3 at St. Philip Cathedral in Midtown.

Besides those sure-fire hits, Atlanta’s arts community rolls out its usual slate of holiday fare for all ages from the young to the young at heart. Here’s our list of must-see shows.

The Santaland Diaries
Horizon Theatre
Through Dec. 31

Cirque Dreams: Holidaze
Fox Theatre
Nov. 23-25
cirqueproductions.com and foxtheatre.org

AGMC: Comfort & Joy
St. Philip Cathedral
Dec. 2-3

A Christmas Story: The Musical
Fox Theatre
Dec. 1-4

Winter Wonderland Around the World
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Through Jan. 8

Dave Koz
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Dec. 2
Gay saxophonist and vocalist Jonathan Butler with musical friends in annual concert.

Scrooge: The Musical
OnStage Atlanta
Dec. 2-18

The Nutcracker
Atlanta Ballet
Dec. 9 – 24

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