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Finding the Spirit of Christmas on Stage

Whether you’re already feeling the holiday spirit or need a push to get into the Christmas mood, here’s a list of live performances from around the state — including “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” productions. Looking for other holiday events? Our calendar features craft fairs, opportunities to meet Santa, tree lightings, holiday house tours, holiday strolls and plenty more festive fun. Plus, visit our Holiday Guide page for a list of places to cut your own Christmas tree, gift ideas, recipes and everything else you might need to enjoy this merry season.

Where to see “The Nutcracker”

What’s it all about? Get whisked away with Clara to the Land of Sweets with these local performances of this magical holiday tradition.

The Palace Theatre

Don’t miss this classic ballet performed by the Southern New Hampshire Dance Theatre at Manchester’s historic Palace Theatre.

When: Friday, November 18 – Sunday, November 20, 2022
Shows at 7:30 p.m. on November 18 and 19, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. November 19, and 12 and 4:30 p.m. November 20.
Where: The Palace Theatre
80 Hanover St., Manchester
Tickets: $25-$46
More information


Salem High School Theater

This full-scale professional holiday production includes a cast of 100, featuring the NH Philharmonic Orchestra, plus Philadelphia Ballet and Nashville Ballet stars who will grace the Salem stage. Presented by the New England Dance Ensemble.

When: 4 p.m. November 26 & 27, 2022
Where: Seifert Performing Arts Center
44 Geremonty Dr., Salem
Tickets: $35-$50
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Lebanon Opera House

City Center Ballet presents “Clara’s Dream: A Nutcracker Story.” With evolving backdrops and shimmering winter costumes, watch Clara and the Nutcracker Prince overcome obstacles on their way to the Land of Sweets.

When: December 10 & 11, 2022
December 10: Shows at 1 p.m. and 7:o0 p.m.
December 11: Show at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Lebanon Opera House
51 N. Park St., Lebanon
Tickets: $11-$39
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Kingswood Arts Center

Begin the holiday season with a trip to the Land of the Sweets with Clara and her Nutcracker in Northeastern Ballet Theatre’s full-length, professional production of this classic ballet.

When: November 26 & 27, 2022
November 26: Show at 7:00 p.m.
November 27: Show at 2 p.m.

Where: Kingswood Arts Center
396 S. Main St., Wolfeboro
Tickets: $15-$25
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Exeter High School

This performance is put on by the Portsmouth School of Ballet.

When: December 3 & 4, 2022
December 3: Show at 5 p.m.
December 4: Shows at 10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Where: Exeter High School
1 Blue Hawk Dr., Exeter
Tickets: $25
Tickets are available for purchase at the Portsmouth School of Ballet office and will also be available for purchase at the theater the day of the performance.
More information


Capitol Center for the Arts

Follow battle-ready Clara with her beloved Nutcracker Prince as they battle the evil Mouse Queen and her minions, performed by Safe Haven Ballet.

When: December 17, 2022, at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $34-$45
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The Rochester Opera House

Sole City Dance returns for their 17th season with elaborate sets, costumes, special effects and outstanding dancers.

When: December 1-4, 2022
December 1: Show at 7:00 p.m.
December 2: Show at 7:00 p.m.
December 3: Show at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
December 4: Show at 2:00 p.m.

Where: The Rochester Opera House
31 Wakefield St., Rochester
Tickets: $24-$28
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Concord City Auditorium

Dancers from Concord’s Turning Pointe Center of Dance perform the full length ballet. This production has something for all ages, and is a tradition not to be missed.

When: December 10, 2022 at 2 p.m.
Where: Concord City Auditorium
2 Prince St., Concord
Tickets: $20
More information


Where to see “A Christmas Carol”

From the a production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.

What’s it all about? Follow Scrooge’s journey as he learns the true meaning of Christmas in this classic play by Charles Dickens.

The Palace Theatre

Voted Best Live Theatrical Production and Best Theatre Event of the Year in Manchester by Hippo Press readers in 2019, this show has become an audience holiday favorite at the Palace.

When: Various dates and times from November 25 – December 23, 2022
Where: The Palace Theatre
80 Hanover St., Manchester
Tickets: $25-$46
More information


The Rochester Opera House

This ghostly tale of the past, present and future is brought to life in this exciting new musical adaptation. Keeping true to the original text, it draws upon the themes of time, family and society’s ills to warm even the coldest of hearts. Bringing the atmosphere of Victorian Christmas traditions to the stage, this vibrant and joyous musical takes you on a journey of discovery.

When: December 9-17, 2022
Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: The Rochester Opera House
31 Wakefield St., Rochester
Tickets: $22-$28
More information


The Players’ Ring

The Players’ Ring presents Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” with action prevailing over narration in this engaging production. Adapted and directed by Michael J. Tobin, the show features over 100 costume pieces and wigs and plenty of period set pieces and props.

When: December 2-22, 2022
Shows at 7:00pm Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 7:00pm on weeknights.

Where: The Players’ Ring
105 Marcy St., Portsmouth
Tickets: $17-$30
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Nashua Community College

Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, will appear in a one-man show of the beloved holiday classic.

When: December 3, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Nashua Community College
505 Amherst St., Nashua
Tickets: $40
More information


Holiday Concerts and Entertainment

Even more great events from around the state to celebrate the holiday season.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

When: November 25, 2022 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Where: SNHU Arena
555 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: Starting at $70
Available in person at the box office, via Ticketmaster or by phone (800) 745-3000
More information


“A New England Christmas”

Each season, Pontine’s artistic directors, Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers, ring in the holiday season by staging a selection of stories and poems by New England authors. This year’s program features an original staging of Donald Hall’s “Christmas Snow,” written for the New Yorker Magazine in 1964. In the story, Hall recounts a holiday trip to Eagle Pond Farm, his grandfather’s home in Wilmot, New Hampshire, in 1938, when he was 10 years old. This memoir blends reminiscences, anecdotes and vignettes that capture continuity of family and the quiet delights of rural life.

When: November 25 – December 4, 2022
Shows at 7 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
Where: Pontine Theatre
1 Plains Ave., Portsmouth
Tickets: $26-$29
More information


A Kat Edmonson Christmas “Holiday Swingin’!”

Listen to Kat Edmonson — award-winning singer-songwriter who’s appeared on Austin City Limits, Tiny Desk Concerts and The Late Show with David Letterman — perform her band’s Christmas album at the acclaimed Portsmouth jazz club.

When: December 1, 2022 at 10 p.m.
Where: Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club
135 Congress St., Portsmouth
Tickets: $10-$45
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NH Gay Men’s Chorus’ 25th Anniversary 2022 Holiday Concert Series: “Suddenly Silver Bells”

NHGMC is giving four performances of their 25th Anniversary Holiday Concert Series, “Suddenly Silver Bells.”

When & Where: December 3, 4, 10 and 11, 2022
December 3: 7:30 pm at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 3 Lutheran Dr., Nashua
December 4: 4:00 pm at Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 22 Fox Run Rd., Newington
December 10: 7:30 pm at The Park Theater, 19 Main St., Jaffrey
December 11: 4:00 pm at The Derryfield School, 2108 River Rd., Manchester
Tickets: $20
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Tuba Christmas

This year marks the 49th anniversary of Tuba Christmas, an international event that started as a tribute to famous tuba player William J. Bell, born on Christmas in 1902. Hearing your favorite Christmas tunes in all-tuba form is not your usual yuletide tradition. The event is also an open invitation to all tuba players — registration times and fees are noted on the website, tubachristmas.com. Instructions include whether or not to bring a music stand and what colors to wear.

When: December 4-17, 2022
Where: There are four New Hampshire Tuba Christmas performances: December 4 at 1 p.m. in Keene, December 10 at 2 p.m. in Wolfeboro, December 17 at 1 p.m. in Keene and 2 p.m. in Plaistow.
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Holiday One-Acts

Franklin Footlight Theatre presents five one-act holiday plays in 2022: “The Little Match Girl” by Herman Ammann, “Sharing” by O.B. Rozell, “North Pole’s Got Talent” by Lavinia Roberts, “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” by Sally Bowman and “The Gift of the Magi” by Anne Coulter Martens.

When: December 8-11, 2022
Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Franklin Opera House
316 Central St., Franklin
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Celtic Christmas with Cherish the Ladies

Cherish the Ladies – a Grammy-nominated, Irish-American  group – presents classic Christmas carols the Celtic way. Their folksy approach, with singing, dancing and plenty of stage banter, marries Celtic pride and Holiday spirit.

When: December 9, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Dana Center for the Humanities
Saint Anselm College
100 Saint Anselm Dr., Manchester
Tickets: $45
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Rockapella Holiday

Rockapella returns for their annual holiday tradition at the Stockbridge, blending catchy pop songs and contemporary renditions of rock and soul.

When: December 10, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Where: Stockbridge Theatre
5 Pinkerton St., Derry
Tickets: $25-$35
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Boston Pops Holiday Concert

Join the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Conductor Keith Lockhart for this annual, beloved Holiday Pops concert. Attendees can look forward to their favorite holiday songs and crowd sing-alongs.

When: December 10, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: SNHU Arena
555 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $55-$130
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Holiday Pops

Ring in the holiday season with the annual yuletide program featuring the Capital Jazz Orchestra and guest vocalists CJ & Laura Poole, along with narrator Laura Knoy of NHPR reciting her traditional version of “The Night Before Christmas.”

When: December 11, 2022 at 4 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $27.50-$47.50
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“A Charlie Brown Christmas” Performed by the Heather Pierson Trio

Heather Pierson is a pianist, singer/songwriter and performer based in Conway. “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” originally telecast in December 1965, was an instant hit with audiences who connected with Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schultz’s relatable cast of characters. Catch the Heather Pierson Trio’s rendition of Peanuts’ inimitable jazz riffs.

When: December 15, 2022 at 6 p.m.
Where: The Loft at Hermit Woods
72 Main St., Meredith
Tickets: $25-$35
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Buzz Ball

Join Greg and the Morning Buzz for the ultimate holiday rock n’ roll variety show, featuring special guest musicians, comedians and actors.

When: Thursday, December 15, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts
44 S. Main St., Concord
Tickets: $45
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A New England Midwinter Revels

In a special celebration of New England, Revels and Abanaqi traditions, the Midwinter Revels celebrate new beginnings, old traditions and community.

When: December 16-18, 2022
December 16: Show at 7 p.m.
December 17: Shows at 2 and 7 p.m.
December 18: Show at 2 p.m.
Where: The Lebanon Opera House
51 North Park St., Lebanon
Tickets: $10-$25
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Ed Gerhard

Enjoy a very special evening with one of the country’s finest acoustic guitarists. Gerhard will perform soulful arrangements of well-loved carols, as well as his own concert favorites.

When: December 17, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Where: The Orchard Chapel
143 Exeter Rd, Hampton Falls
Tickets: $35
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Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Family Holiday Pops

Join the Portsmouth Symphony and Portsmouth High School Concert Choir and Percussion Ensemble for “Holidays at the Movies,” featuring favorites from “Home Alone,” “The Polar Express,” “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Grinch.”

When: December 17-18, 2022
December 17: Show at 7:30 p.m.
December 18: Show at 3 p.m.
Where: Portsmouth High School
50 Andrew Jarvis Dr., Portsmouth
Tickets: $17-$38
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Christmas With The Celts

The high-stepping spirited musical selections will have audiences clapping along from the first lively renditions of popular contemporary Christmas classics.

When: December 19, 2019
Where: The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center
39 Main St., Plymouth
Tickets: Start at $39
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Categories: Holiday Guide Events