The world of ballet has The Nutcracker, and theater has, well, lots of other shows to get arts lovers in a holiday frame of mind. This year, South Florida has shows for grownups and kids, sprinkled from Coral Gables to Boca Raton. Here's a quick peek at what's on or opening soon.
* A lavish production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas is the second show from the new Wick Theatre (formerly the Caldwell) in Boca Raton. Based on the 1954 Bing Crosby-Danny Kaye movie, the musical focuses on a pair of Army veterans who fall for two singing sisters. Heading the cast are James Cichewicz, Cannon Starnes, Kelly Shook, Julie Kleiner Davis and Missy McArdle.
The show runs through Dec. 25 at the Wick, 7901 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday. Tickets are $58. For info, call 561-995-2333 or visit the Wick's web site.
* For a different kind of holiday show, catch Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo at the Broward Stage Door Theatre. The Tony Award-winning play focuses on a German Jewish family in 1939 Atlanta, as the members find their prejudices brought into sharp relief by an outsider. The comedy with plenty of serious undertones features Alex Salup, Mary Sansone, Greyssan Filipe, Janet Weakley, Miki Edelman, Larry Kent Bramble and Stephen Kaiser.
The Last Night of Ballyhoo runs through Dec. 31 at Stage Door, 8036 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday. Tickets are $38 (students pay $16). Call 954-344-7765 or visit the theater's web site.
* For the kids, Actors' Playhouse is presenting Madeline's Christmas. In that one, Madeline and her schoolmates in Paris face not being able to go home for Christmas when everyone except little Madeline gets the flu. The show runs through Dec. 22 at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Performances are 2 p.m. Saturdays with special holiday performances at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 and 3 p.m. Dec. 22. A special sensory-friendly performance is set for 11 a.m. Dec. 14. Tickets are $23. Any child who brings a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the Neighbors 4 Neighbors holiday program by Dec. 7 will get a free ticket to a future Musical Theatre for Young Audiences show. For information, call 305-444-9293 or visit the Actors' Playhouse web site.
Also at Actors' in the upstairs Balcony Theatre is Sean Grennan's Making God Laugh. Previewing Dec. 4-5 and opening Dec. 6, the play focuses on a couple of empty nesters (Peter Haig and Angie Radosh) and their grown kids (Michael Focas, Deborah Sherman and Gregg Weiner) at different holidays -- including Christmas -- over a 30-year period. The play runs through Dec. 29, with performances at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday (additional matinee 2 p.m. Dec. 11). Tickets are $40-$48 (previews $35, student rush tickets $15, seniors get a 10 percent discount except Saturday-Sunday).
* Teatro de Broadway's lavish musical comedy Rescatando la Navidad (Rescuing Christmas) premieres at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Miami-Dade County Auditorium. Performed en español, the show by Josh Rivedal follows an angel-devised plan to move the birth of the baby Jesus to Miami. More than 20 actors and a live band perform the show, which is filled with traditional carols and headlined by José Joel and "El Gato" of 94.9 FM.
Additional performances of the show at MDCA, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami, are at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 8 p.m. Dec. 25. Tickets are $27-$196, plus fees. For information, call 305-547-5414 or visit the show's web site.
* David Sedaris' popular The Santaland Diaries seems to pop up each Christmas, and for good reason: It's a hilarious solo show about the NPR contributor's stint working as an Elf at Macy's. This year, Jamie Morris plays Crumpet the Elf Dec. 5-22 at Fort Lauderdale's intimate Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr.
Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $30. For information, call 954-678-1496 or visit the theater's web site.
* The adults-only Eight Reindeer Monologues gets three performances as a fundraiser for Kutumba Theatre Project's next full-length play, Julie Johnson. In the Jeff Goode show, Vixen accuses Santa of sexual harrassment, and the rest of the reindeer weigh in. Sally Bondi, Casey Casperson, Lexi Gaeta, Noah Levine, Nori Tecosky, Jessica Marion Welch and Bryan Wilson deliver the monologues.
Performances are at 8 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and Dec. 13 at the Galleria Studio Theatre in the Galleria Mall, 2542B E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (park in the Lime garage near Dillard's section 3J or 3H. Tickets are $25. For info, call 954-646-1000 or visit the Brown Paper Tickets web site.