Get ready for holiday entertainment with arts planner

Although we're still eating leftover Halloween candy and Thanksgiving is more than a week away, it's time to look ahead to the packed calendar of holiday-themed performing-arts events in the area.

From a flurry of Nutcrackers (both regular and "Nutty"), to some intriguing shows with clever names -- Cirque Dreams' Holidaze; The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) -- there's something this season for everyone. Even Scrooges and Grinches.


Friday-Dec. 22: Artisan Center Theater opens The Forgotten Carols. 418 E. Pipeline Road, Hurst. $7-$18. 817-284-1200;

Friday-Dec. 23: Dallas Children's Theater spreads twice the holiday cheer with Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells as its main-stage production (through Dec. 22) and The Nutcracker presented in the Studio Theater by the Kathy Burks Theater of Puppetry Arts. Rosewood Center for Family Arts, 5938 Skillman St., Dallas. $16-$27. 214-740-0051;

Nov. 20-Dec. 23: Dallas Theater Center continues its tradition of A Christmas Carol, directed by Joel Ferrell, at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., Dallas. $15-$85. 214-880-0202;

Nov. 24-Dec. 23: The Children's Theatre at Casa Mañana brings a holiday classic to life with 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. 3101 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. $20-$28. 817-332-2272;

Nov. 28-Dec. 2: The Reduced Shakespeare Company presents the holiday season in a nutshell with The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged) at McDavid Studio, 301 E. Fifth St., Fort Worth. $27.50-$38.50. 817-212-4280;

Nov. 30-Dec. 16: Annie celebrates the holiday season at Theatre Arlington, 305 W. Main St., Arlington. $12-$17. 817-275-7661;

Nov. 30-Dec. 16: Runway Theatre presents It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. 215 N. Dooley St., Grapevine. $12-$15. 817-488-4842;

Dec. 7-22: The story of Scrooge gets a little zany with Creative Arts Theatre & School's A Seussified Christmas Carol. 602 E. South St., Arlington. $8-$10. 817-861-2287;

Dec. 7-23: The fictional city of Tuna, Texas, brings Yuletide cheer to Onstage in Bedford for A Tuna Christmas. 2819 Forest Ridge Drive, Bedford. $12-$15. 817-354-6444;

Dec. 14-23: Kids Who Care presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center's Scott Theatre, 1300 Gendy St. $15-$18. 817-737-5437;


Friday & Saturday: Ballet Frontier of Texas dances The Nutcracker at Will Rogers Auditorium, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. $20. 817-852-6887;

Nov. 23-Dec. 8: The world-famous Rockettes take the stage for a two-week run of the annual "Radio City Christmas Spectacular" at Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. $19.95-$125. 972-854-5111;

Nov. 23-Dec. 23: Texas Ballet Theater presents its annual production of Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker. Nov. 23-Dec. 2 at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas; Dec.7-23 at Bass Hall in Fort Worth. $20-$110. 817-828-9200;

Nov. 30-Dec. 2: The Nutcracker, presented by Ballet Ensemble of Texas, will be performed at the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving. $21-$26. 972-745-0199;

Dec. 1 & 2: North Central Ballet will also stage The Nutcracker, at Will Rogers Auditorium, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave, Fort Worth. $25-$30; get one free child's ticket with two adult tickets. 817-428-8232;

Dec. 6 & 7: Ballet Concerto will perform its annual Holiday Special at Will Rogers Auditorium, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. $6-$25. 817-989-7168;

Dec. 7-9: Dallas Black Dance Theatre performs its Winter Series at Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, 2400 Flora St., Dallas. $15-$55. 214-880-0202;

Dec. 18-23: Dallas' AT&T Performing Arts Center hosts Cirque Dreams for Holidaze, performed at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. $25-$150. 214-880-0202;

Dec. 21: Texas Ballet Theater is back with the irreverent The Nutty Nutcracker, for one performance only. 7 p.m. at Bass Hall, Fort Worth. $25-$100. 817-763-0207;


Nov. 24 & 25: The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performs the pops concert "Home for the Holidays." Sing along with Christmas favorites and expect an appearance by Santa himself. $27-$79. 817-665-6000;

Nov. 30 & Dec. 7-23: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra boasts a full Christmas season, with a performance Nov. 30 with the Irish Tenors ($21-$115); an It's A Wonderful Life-themed Christmas Celebration, Dec. 7-23 ($28-$143); "A DSO Family Christmas" on Dec. 8 ($10-$55); and a Dec. 13 Fiesta Navidad performance with Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano ($21-$70). Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., Dallas. 214-692-0203;

Dec. 3: The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is joined onstage by the Southwestern Seminary Master Chorale for the groups' annual performance of Messiah. Bass Hall, Fort Worth. $19-$65. 817-665-6000;

Dec. 6: Asleep at the Wheel brings a country Christmas to Casa Mañana with "Santa Loves to Boogie." 3101 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. $25-$35. 817-332-2272;

Dec. 6 & 7: The Arlington Master Chorale wishes you "Christmas Tidings" with a performance at First Baptist Church Arlington, 301 Center St. 817-460-7464;

Dec. 9 & 14: Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis perform their annual Christmas Show. Dec. 9 ($35.20) at McDavid Studio, 301 E. Fifth St., Fort Worth, 817-212-4280; Dec. 14 ($30-$40) at the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Wyly Theatre, 214-880-0202;

Dec. 9-11: Schola Cantorum holds its Christmas concert "When We Were Young!" at three venues. Dec. 9 at White's Chapel United Methodist Church, 185 S. White's Chapel Blvd., Southlake; Dec. 10 at Arborlawn United Methodist Church, 5001 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth; Dec. 11 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1200 W. Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington. $10. 817-485-2500;

Dec. 10: Michael Martin Murphey returns to Cowtown for his annual "Cowboy Christmas" at Bass Hall. $34.65-$79.20. 817-212-4280;

Dec. 12: Bass Hall hosts big names in music for Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2012, featuring new spins on Christmas classics. $27.50-$88. 817-212-4280;

Dec. 13: Symphony Arlington presents "Felices Fiestas!," its holiday concert within a season of Spanish music. The program includes works by Donizetti and Granados, as well as a holiday sing-along. Arlington Music Hall, 224 N. Center St., Arlington. $16.50-$46.50. 817-385-0484;

Dec. 14: The University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band presents its annual "Holidays With the One O'Clock" Christmas show at McDavid Studio, 301 E. Fifth St., Fort Worth. $5-$30. 817-212-4280;

Dec. 17: The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Brass Choir performs "Holiday Brass" at White's Chapel United Methodist Church, 185 S. White's Chapel Blvd., Southlake. $5-$10. 817-665-6000;

Dec. 21: The Grammy-winning Dentonites of Brave Combo perform a "Holiday Extravaganza" at McDavid Studio, 301 E. Fifth St., Fort Worth. $22. 817-212-4280;

Dec. 21-22: The Dallas Bach Society gives its own performances of Handel's Messiah at the Church of the Incarnation, 3966 McKinney Ave., Dallas. The afternoon performance Dec. 22 will be a sing-along version. All performances $20-$50. 214-320-8700;

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