Reviewed by Nancy Chen (N.C.), Bill Chenevert (B.C.), Hugh Hunter (H.H.), Julia M. Klein (J.M.K.), Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Jim Rutter (J.R.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).
The Carols (1812 Productions/Plays & Players Theatre). Jennifer Childs' original musical brings together some oddball folks at Christmastime 1943. A corny, hilarious piece of holiday fare. Ends Saturday. - T.Z.
A Christmas Carol (Delaware Theatre Company). Energetic version as five actors take on all the roles in Dickens' sprawling tale. Ends Friday.
A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theater). A new, reimagined version, promising more magic and merriment. An adorable sugarplum of a production. Ends Saturday. - W.R.
A Christmas Story (Media Theatre). Musical version of the great Jean Shepherd tale, doubling down on the nostalgia, keeping all the good things, and adding more. Through Jan. 8 - H.H.
Murder for Two - The Holiday Edition (Bucks County Playhouse). Part whodunit, part musical, part slapstick, all performed by two people. Ends Saturday.
The Nutcracker (Pennsylvania Ballet/Academy of Music). The beloved George Balanchine version, to Tchaikovsky's music. Monday through Saturday.
The Road: My Life with John Denver (People's Light). David Lutken stars as Denver in a road show of his greatest hits. Best for big Denver fans. Through Jan. 15. - N.C.
Sleeping Beauty: A Musical Panto (People's Light). Keeps the great tradition of British panto alive, with song, action, and laughs. A charming production, visually and aurally dazzling. Through Jan. 15. - J.R.
Wilde Tales (Quintessence Theatre Group). An anthology musical reenacting five of Oscar Wilde's tales for kids. Billed as holiday fare, but most of the humor is dark, with an edge of melancholy. Ends Saturday. - J.M.K.
The Wizard of Oz (Walnut Street Theatre). The great tunes, great lines, great story, plus a few surprises. Amazing special effects, fine singing, and a great getaway from a world of turmoil. Through Jan. 8. - B.C.
A Year with Frog and Toad (Arden Theatre). They're back - grumpy Toad and can-do Frog in the popular family show. A marvelous, funny production for children of all ages. Through Jan. 29. - T.Z.