It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The season ushers in beautiful, festive lights with beacons of joy amidst Michigan’s glistening, new-fallen snow. The lights burn bright on the stages of Detroit theatres, too, as production companies deck their halls with boughs of holly and mistletoe, aromatic Christmas trees and twinkling lights dancing to beloved holiday songs. There are dozens of holiday spectacles to attend this year. Here are some of the best.
Detroit Opera House
1526 Broadway St.
Detroit, MI 48226
Dates: December 18-30, 2012
If you enjoyed watching Dr. Seuss while you were a child, you will love “How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical.” Running throughout December, this is the most anticipated show of the season. Max the Dog spins a delightful tale while the nasty, bullying Grinch (whose heart is two sizes too small) burgles Whoville with the intent to steal Christmas. The Grinch is an icon of Christmas albeit a parody of the commercialism that usurped the spiritual meaning of the holiday.
Grosse Pointe Theatre
Performs at Fries Auditorium at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial
32 Lake Shore Drive
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
Dates: December 1-2, 2012
For your holiday pleasure, the Grosse Pointe Theatre presents an all children version of “Seussical The Musical,” a rather complex amalgamation of all the Dr. Seuss stories we hold near and dear to our hearts. Running for a limited time, this play gives the community’s children an opportunity to share the spirit of wonder and excitement of their innocent years. From the mouths of babes, audiences will hear familiar tunes from Dr. Seuss’ classic shows.
1185 Washington Road
Rochester, MI 48306
Dates: November 30 through December 15, 2012
Avon Players presents a unique show for the holidays, bringing to stage a novel twist of the variety-show format featuring Christmas carols, traditional works and contemporary works. New songs by Grammy and Dove Award-winning composer, arranger and orchestor David T Clydsdale, “Come On, It’s Christmas” and “Let’s have a Christmas Celebration” will enjoy their Michigan stage debut. “Forever Christmas” is a traditional event for the theatre troupe, directed by John (JD) Deierlein, that has been held biennially over the past decade. Each year, the show is original with new songs and new themes. The forthcoming show will feature actors in comedy skits with lots of fun, lighter moments. A new rendition of “Hark The Herald” by David Phelps is included in this not-to-miss stage show.
Meadow Brook Theatre
207 Wilson Hall
Rochester, MI 48309
Dates: November 16 through December 23, 2012
An annual tradition for the past 31 years, “A Christmas Carol” is the flagship production for Meadow Brook Theatre’s holiday season. The stagecraft is fascinating. With amazing costumes and superb acting, this Christmas favorite never gets old. Based on the novella by English author Charles Dickens, this play offers a biting commentary on exploitation of the poor in Victorian London. If you arrive about 30 minutes prior to curtain, you will get the bonus feature of carolers in the lobby dressed in historic costumes.
The Fox Theatre
2211 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
Date: December 14, 2012
America’s sweetheart, Clay Aiken, comes to the Detroit stage to share selections from his ”Merry Christmas with Love” album, plus hits from his five studio CDs. His holiday show includes stories, jokes, songs and audience interaction. Since his rise to fame on “American Idol,” Aiken has become a history-breaking, award-winning singer, Broadway actor, television star and activist for disabilities and gay rights. Tickets will go fast. The last time he came to Detroit, the house was completely sold out.