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    The holiday season is now upon us, and the Louisville theater scene has no less than nine plays to celebrate and explore the season.

    Plays from classics to original works will take place over the course of the next month from companies like Actors Theatre, Pandora Productions, Bunbury Theatre, Hayswood Theatre, Louisville Ballet, Whodunnit Murder Mystery Theatre, Derby Dinner Playhouse, and The Bard's Town.  

    Already running

    Two shows are already in progress, including a murder mystery and a comedy.  

    Christmas is a time for caroling, which the Sanders family does in Sanders Family Christmas, now playing at Derby Dinner Playhouse.  The Sanders family realizes this will be an important performance of Christmas carols at its church, as it will be the last one before one of their own gets shipped off to WWII.  

    Sanders Family Christmas is running from now until Dec. 31 at Derby Dinner Playhouse.  Tickets are $34-$43 per person, depending on the night.

    For those wanting a little mystery alongside their Christmas, Whodunnit Murder Mystery Theatre's Sherlock Holmes and Twas the Murder Before Christmas provides that outlet.  Holmes will attempt to discover who the Christmas Eve murderer is before that person strikes again.

    Sherlock Holmes and Twas the Murder Before Christmas is running until Dec. 17 at the Hyatt Regency downtown.  Tickets, including dinner, are $43.95 per person.  

    Returning classics and other favorites

    The holiday season would not be what it is without Louisville Ballet's annual production of The Brown-Forman Nutcracker.  The Nutcracker features a girl who receives a nutcracker, carved like a person, for Christmas.  The girl will soon find herself literally shrinking into a world that includes a mouse king and a handsome prince.  

    The Brown-Forman Nutcracker runs from Dec. 10-23 in Whitney Hall at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.  Tickets are $27-$97 per person.

    Actors Theatre brings forth the story of Scrooge, his bah-humbug attitude, and three ghosts in Fifth Third Bank's A Christmas Carol.  In the production, based on Charles Dickens's book, Scrooge will learn the true meaning of Christmas during one fateful night into his past, present, and future.

    A Christmas Carol will run from Dec. 6-23 in the Pamela Brown Auditorium inside Actors Theatre.  Ticket prices vary by show and seat.

    Another classic is Hayswood Theatre's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  Delinquent children have been cast in a Christmas show.  The whole town has come out to watch, expecting to see a total disaster.  Will it actually be, or can the children find the Christmas spirit and put on a great show?

    The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will run at Hayswood Theatre from Dec. 2-18.  Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for children, and $10 for senior citizens.

    Original plays 

    The Bard's Town's string of original plays continues with The Kings of Christmas.  This comedy features an eccentric family celebrating its tenth Christmas since its Elvis-impersonating family patriarch passed away (or did he?).  One member of the family, Carter, says this will be his last Christmas he spends with the family.  Can the rest of the family give him his Christmas spirit back?

    The Kings of Christmas runs from Dec. 8-17 at The Bard's Town.  Tickets are $15 per person.  A cash bar will be available during the show.

    Pandora Productions, meanwhile, presents its own original show Gays in Toyland.  The production centers on a toyshop where abandoned and broken toys get a second chance thanks to an old toymaker.  His utopian-like world is shattered, however, when vandalism takes place and brings reality inside the shop.

    Gays in Toyland will run from Dec. 1-11 at the Victor Jory Theatre inside Actors Theatre.  Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 day of show.  

    Two plays, one place

    Bunbury Theatre will play presenter to two holiday-related plays, The Santaland Diaries and A Hanukkah Christmas with Klurman and Goldstein.  

    The Santaland Diaries is a one-man show dedicated to showing the adventures of an otherwise out of work slacker trying to make money as a Macy's department store Christmas elf.  Ted Lesley performs as the elf, who becomes bitter and frustrated with the job.  That is, until a Santa, who is actually passionate about his job, comes along.

    Meanwhile, A Hanukkah Christmas with Klurman and Goldstein.  Anyone who saw the play Assisted Living may recognize the lead characters, who have now left the facility and are living with Goldstein's daughter in law.  When Klaus Klurman's estranged family arrives for the holidays, things get a little dysfunctional and very funny.

    Santaland Diaries (not intended for children) runs on Dec. 7, 8, 11, 15, 17, and 18 while A Hanukkah Christmas runs on Dec. 2, 3, 4, 9-11, 14, 16-18 at Bunbury Theatre.  Each show is $21 for adults. $18 for seniors, and $15 for students.  

    Happy holidays everyone!  

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    About Brian Kennedy

    A near life-long resident of Louisville, Brian has written for since spring 2010. He has also written for various publications and online sites, including the Mount Vernon Democrat and Louisville Catholic Sports. Brian spends most of his free time enjoying the theatre scene, hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, and enjoying life.

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