Over 11 million individuals in the U.S. are undocumented and live in the shadows. Out of the Shadows: Undocumented and Unafraid reveals how art can be a deliberative and imaginative forum for exploring complex issues about immigrant labor, education, and legal status. Participants in this show belong to United 4 the Dream or Immigrant Youth Forum. These groups share a commitment to equality for all immigrant youth, regardless of their legal status, and derive their names from the national Dream Act legislation being considered in Congress. $0-$8
Corny as it is, the folks at Carolina Actors Studio Theatre are bringing back A Tuna Christmas, its favorite (or so we’re guessing, based on numerous past runs — last year was an exception) holiday hell-raiser. Set in the “third smallest town in Texas,” a rambunctious Christmas Eve simmers with the vandalism of Christmas lawn displays, a production of A Christmas Carol that’s threatened by unpaid bills and the arrival of aliens from outer space. Actors Tom Ollis and Jack Utrata portray more than 20 characters (yep — that’s a lot of costume changes), including a duo of radio personalities, snowed in at the station, who report on the town’s chaotic current affairs over the airwaves. (Anita Overcash) $18-$28
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
Santa and his associates are an open book in David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries. The essay turned one-man seasonal stage fare made its jolly debut on an NPR broadcast. In the midst of classic holiday material, this tale polishes the ugly side of Christmas as seen through the eyes of an unemployed writer working as an elf at a department store. Yes, it sounds terrible, and yes, it is, as we learn through our protagonist’s experiences, loathing and gradual loss of pride. But listen closer to the deadpan delivery from the man with pointy ears and little green shoes and you’ll feel the full effect of Sedaris’ critique on consumer culture. This is something we tend to forget while shoving our way through the mall and swiping our plastic. Robin Tynes directs and Scott A. Miller stars as Santa’s pissy and pessimistic little helper. For more information on Three Bone Theatre, visit www.threebonetheatre.com. (Anita Overcash) $20
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
Written by noted humorist David Sedaris, THE SANTALAND DIARIES is a brilliant evocation of what it's like to work as an elf in Macy's. This hilarious one-man, one-act play is the perfect antidote to the overwhelming sugary sweetness of the holiday season. Presented by Three Bone Theatre Directed by Robin Tynes Starring Scott Miller $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
The exhibit features works by Walter Arnold, an artist who is frequently inspired by abandoned buildings, vehicles, penitentiaries and closed businesses.
A holiday exhibit featuring arts and crafts. Opening reception Nov. 1, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
We know what happens to Scrooge, but what about his old business partner Marley? Is he truly past redemption, or does every person deserve a chance to change, to do better? In this funny and touching holiday play, see Jacob Marley’s heroic efforts to save Scrooge’s soul – and in the process, save his own. $16-$18
A clever take on the fabled story of Scrooge's holiday redemption done in the Commedia dell'arte style. Tickets start at $14
This exhibition features approximately 40 different decorative tiles.
The exhibit features garments and accessories spanning three centuries of fashion history.