Ever since it moved Uptown from Winston-Salem 23 years ago, North Carolina Dance Theatre has staged the most enchanting celebration of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. First there was a darker, Freudian choreography by the late Salvatore Aiello, and in recent years, the more traditionally festive and candy-colored version choreographed by NCDT artistic director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. Since landing at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in the early ’90s, each year Belk Theater is transformed into a hall of wonder. The Nutcracker is a sensational explosion of resplendent sets, eye-popping costumes, live music by the Charlotte Symphony, the grace of the adult NCDT corps augmented by legions of adorable children, and a precious young Clara who annually flies off to Tchaikovsky’s special fairyland. More than 100 dancers perform the 2013 Nutcracker at Belk, Dec. 13-22, with conveniently early curtain times, since it’s all about the kids. (Perry Tannenbaum) $25-$90
Based on the classic file Miracle of 34th Street. The Davidson Community Players, presenting this production, aim to create a radio station in the theater. $12-$20
CAST brings back the comedy classic "A Tuna Christmas" by Jaston Williams, Ed Howard and Joe Sears with the same zany antics that make audiences roar holiday season after holiday season. Tom Ollis and Jack Utrata play more than 20 characters with 364 costume changes. Expect 1,003 laughs. The directors are Lena Olson and Michael R. Simmons, CAST's Artistic Director. $28 adults; $22 seniors (60+); $18 students.
A production of the classic holiday tale in which a white-bearded man claiming to be the real Santa Claus surfaces in New York City, bringing belief, love and unity to New York. Tickets start at $14
Charlotte Fine Art Gallery presents "Small Works for Gift-Giving," December 3-21, 2013. CFA represents nearly 25 award-winning artists from across the country--from Charlotte to California. The December exhibit will feature their diverse work: paintings, photography, woodturning, silk, jewelry, pottery, sculpture and more. Special emphasis on small works for holiday gift-giving. Free gift wrapping. Meet the artists at the exhibit's opening reception on Friday, December 6, 6-9 p.m. CFA is open Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Check website for holiday hours. FREE
Blumenthal Performing Arts presents a musical produced by the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Contains explicit language. Winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical.
Starring Chris Distefano, Carly Aquilino, and Jessimae Peluso from MTV's Girl Code and Guy Code. $20-$22.50
Comedy that takes audience on a journey back through American history. Presented by Stephen Seay Productions.
Charlotte’s premier sketch comedy group performs their monthly show at Upstage in NoDa. Its hilarious, live and it does use some colorful language so you should assume it is R-Rated. Come for the comedy, stay for Upstage’s full bar and food. See facebook.com/robotjohnson for further details and humorous cat pictures. Doors open at 9:00, show starts at 9:30. $7
THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (abridged) Written by Adam Long, Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor Starring: Rob Brafford, Chris Herring, Christopher Jones, Tania Kelly, Jay Russell & Stephen Seay 6 actors will take you on a hilarious journey through American history. This fast-paced comedy hits everything from discovery of America to Obama Care. "History of America (abridged)" will be the perfect way to spend some time with your family this holiday season ... or the perfect excuse to get away from them ... $12 advance online. $17 at the door
The Chuckleheads present its "The What’d Santa Bring Ya Comedy Improv Musical Variety Extravaganza." Includes holiday-themed improv games (similar to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Improv-a-ganza, and Second City) and the heavy-duty audience participation. Family-friendly show at 6 p.m.; Adult show at 8 p.m. For more information or to purchase advanced tickets, call 704-301-1564 or visit www.planetimprov.com. $10 in advance; $15 at the door
It’s a holiday themed family friendly (suitable for all ages) comedy improv musical variety extravaganza. If you like the television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and/or have ever seen an improv show (Second City, the Groundlings, Upright Citizen Brigade, etc.) and/or like to smile, laugh, and have a good time you will enjoy your evening with the Chuckleheads. Be prepared for heavy-duty audience participation. $10/$15http://www.planetimprov.com
It’s a holiday themed comedy improv musical variety extravaganza. If you like the television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and/or have ever seen an improv show (Second City, the Groundlings, Upright Citizen Brigade, etc.) and/or like to smile, laugh, and have a good time you will enjoy your evening with the Chuckleheads. Be prepared for heavy-duty audience participation. $10/$15http://www.planetimprov.com
CCT is Charlotte's longest running professional improv ensemble. Shows are high energy, interactive, improv comedy that rated this amazing ensemble "Best in Charlotte". Audiences are encouraged to shout out suggestions which the talented cast turns into comedic genius. 21 and over, rated R for content. $10http://www.charlottecomedytheater.com
The exhibit features works by Walter Arnold, an artist who is frequently inspired by abandoned buildings, vehicles, penitentiaries and closed businesses.