December is already bustling with activity, but catching a theatrical performance or show can lead to even more quality time spent with family and friends. From Nutcracker performances to live music from the Reno Jazz Orchestra or the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, December is full of theatrical and musical experiences for the whole family.
Here's our list of 14 shows to see this year:
"The Unbelievables Christmas Extravaganza" is showing now at the Eldorado Resort Casino and features circus acts, dynamic singing and show-stopping performances. Included in the line-up are Sarah and her dog Hero, who made their way to fame in Season 12 of "America's Got Talent." Performances run nightly through Dec. 31 with standard seating priced at $29.95 on weekdays and $39.95 on weekends. Click here for details.
Catch "Spirit of the Season" performed on by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus during two performances on Dec. 2 and a matinee on Dec. 3 at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. This performance features jazzy tunes, orchestral arrangements and, of course, traditional holiday songs. Expect even more with dancers, singers, performers on stage and Santa Claus himself. Ticket prices range from $16 to $70. Click here for details.
The Reno Little Theatre has ongoing performances of "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" through much of the month of December. Written by Tom Mula and directed by Chad Sweet, this four-person show takes a look at what is really necessary to redeem the soul of Scrooge. Anyone who has watched Charles Dickens' classic tale knows about the type of life that Scrooge led. Performance dates are Dec. 1-3, Dec. 7-10, Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 17. Ticket prices range from $12 to $25. Click here for details.
Looking for something truly different this holiday season? Then head to the Good Luck Macbeth Theatre Company to catch "The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" showing Dec. 1-2, Dec. 8-10, Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 22-23. This performance provides insight into what Santa Claus' eight sleigh-pulling reindeer really think of Santa – and there is no holding back. Tickets are $15. Click here for details.
Be sure to join Clara as she travels from the Snow Forest to the Land of Sweets during the Bay Pointe Ballet's rendition of "The Nutcracker" at the Grand Theatre at the Grand Sierra Resort. Matinee performances are scheduled for Dec. 2-3 and feature choreography by Bruce Steivel. This ballet company, out of San Francisco, traditionally performs at the Grand Theatre. Ticket prices start at $26. Click here for details.
"Elf, The Musical Jr." plays Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 14-16 at Reed High School in Sparks. Enjoy memorable moments from the 2003 comedy, "Elf," which was directed by Jon Favreau. Tickets cost $10-12 for adults and $5-$7 for children. Click here for details.
"Buttcracker 7 – Ozmosis," headlining at the Bruka Theatre, makes an irreverent poke at "The Nutcracker." This year's parody takes Clara on a wacky adventure through the Land of Oz and promises hilarity under the direction of Mary Bennett and choreography of Alexander Biber. Show dates are Wednesdays through Sundays during December with matinees scheduled for Dec. 4 and Dec. 18. A 'talk-by' with the players is scheduled after the Dec. 18 matinee. Tickets cost $20-$22 in advance, $25 at the door. Click here for details.
Looking for a different – Irish-oriented – spin on the holidays? Then head to the Grand Sierra Resort Theatre on Dec. 7 to enjoy the Reno Irish Dance Company in its performance of "Siamsa – A Celtic Christmas." Siamsa, pronounced Shim-sa, means "to celebrate" in Gaelic and this celebration tells the story of a young girl and her sister as they travel from Gaelic village to Gaelic village looking for the true meaning of Christmas. Founded in 1997 in Reno, the dance company is made up of dancers as well as musicians and vocalists. Tickets start at $25. Click here for details.
A.V.A. Ballet Theatre and the Reno Philharmonic team to present "The Nutcracker" at The Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. Performances run Dec. 8-10 and include an opportunity to meet the characters following the Saturday and Sunday afternoon performances. Live music, gorgeous lights, the drinks and snacks for sale right outside the doors and, of course, the dancers, make this show incredible. Lead roles are played by dancers from other ballet companies, but local dancers compose some of the cast. Tickets prices start at $27. Click here for details.
To hear the tale of a shy, unpopular and all-together clumsy elf interested in saving Christmas, head to Victorian Square on Dec. 9 to catch "Egg Nogged." This is a free performance produced through Reno's Laughing Owl Productions, Inc. and written by Adam Whitney. Click here for details.
TOCCATA, Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, performs Handel's "Messiah" on Dec. 10 in Reno at St. Rose of Lima's Catholic Church. Handel's composition was first played many years ago in Ireland, in 1742, for the benefit of the sick, the imprisoned and the orphaned. The performance is just one of several dates in TOCCATA's 2017 "Winterfest" series and includes other performances in December in Gardnerville, Incline Village, South Lake Tahoe and Olympic Village. Tickets range from $5 to $40. Click here for details.
Find all the joy of Charles Schulz in a stage version of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," showing at Dec. 15-17 at Destiny Community Center. Nearly everyone knows the story of Charlie Brown's attempt to organize a Christmas play, the challenges he endures and the little Christmas tree that provides the true focus of Christmas. This 60-minute play is put on by Theatreworks of Northern Nevada and is suitable for all ages. Tickets cost $10-12. Click here for details.
To get a little jazz in, head out to Whitney Peak's Cargo Concert Hall Dec. 16-17 to hear the Reno Jazz Orchestra and its Gospel Choir perform "Gospel Christmas Show with the RJO." Expect to hear big band, gospel choir, jazz and soul during this performance by the 17-piece orchestra and its choir. Ticket prices start at $35. Click here for details.
Additional opportunities to catch "The Nutcracker" occur at John Ascuaga's Nugget on Dec. 16-17 and Dec. 22-24. The Reno Dance Company presents performances at the Nugget year after year, showcasing the ballet's cast of talent from youths to adults. Dance, costuming and choreography make this a show not to miss. Meet the cast members afterward when they come out into the audience. Show times vary, but include several matinees. Ticket prices range from $19.95 to $36.95. Click here for details.