"The Nutcracker" Gilbert dance company Ballet Etudes' staging of the classic has become a 25-year-old East Valley holiday tradition. DETAILS >> Nov. 25-28 and Dec. 2-4 at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., and Dec. 8-11 at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $16-$25. (480) 558-2080 or www.balletetudes.net.
"A Christmas Carol" Southwest Shakespeare Company presents Dickens' unforgettable holiday tale about Ebenezer Scrooge for the first time ever. DETAILS >> Nov. 26-Dec. 17. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $12.50-$33.50. (480) 644-6500 or www.mesaartscenter.com.
"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" A couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the most inventively awful kids in history in this play based on the best-selling same-named book by Barbara Robinson. DETAILS >> Runs Dec. 1-11. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $11. (480) 644-6500 or www.evct.org.
"A Christmas Carol" "Snow" descends upon the actors and the audience in this award-winning annual telling of the Dickens' classic that sells out each year. DETAILS >> Dec. 1-23. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert. $20-$30. (480) 497-1181 or www.haletheatrearizona.com.
"A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail" Join Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and their friends in this Valley Youth Theatre musical that's delighted families for 16 seasons. DETAILS >> Dec. 2-23. Valley Youth Theatre, 525 N. First St., Phoenix. $20-$23. (602) 253-8188 or www.vyt.com.
"Black Nativity" Black Theatre Troupe presents this song-play of the Nativity in scripture, verse, music and dance, based on the Gospel of St. Luke and combined with the poetry of Langston Hughes. DETAILS >> Dec. 2-11. Playhouse on the Park in the Viad Tower, 1850 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $30.50. Two-for-one tickets available before Dec. 1 using promo code "InformAz." (602) 254-5121, ext. 4, or www.blacktheatretroupe.org.
The Phoenix Children's Chorus From a delicate German lullaby to carols of the season, this concert showcases holiday songs performed by five individual choirs and the entire 350-member chorus. DETAILS >> 7 p.m. Dec. 3. Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Road, Gilbert. $12-$27. (480) 279-7194 or higleyarts.org.
Tempe Symphony Orchestra The orchestral group presents its holiday concert. DETAILS >> Dec. 5. Boyle Auditorium at McClintock High School, 1830 E. Del Rio Drive, Tempe. Free. (480) 350-2829 or tempe.gov/arts/events/tso.
"Irving Berlin's White Christmas" Two pals putting on a show in a Vermont inn find their perfect mates in this new musical based on the classic 1954 holiday movie starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney. DETAILS >> Dec. 6-11. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe. Tickets start at $23.50. (480) 965-3434 or www.asugammage.com.
Nutcracker Ballet Arizona An innovative and provocative professional ballet company under the artistic direction of former New York City Ballet dancer Ib Andersen. DETAILS >> Dec. 9-24. Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St., Phoenix. (602) 381-1096 or balletaz.org.
Symphony of the Southwest: Holiday Celebration Symphony of the Southwest and Youth Symphony of the Southwest perform side by side in this festive concert. DETAILS >> Dec. 10. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $19. (480) 644-6500 or www.mesaartscenter.com.
Spirit of Christmas Variety Show Tom Booth hosts this 24th annual holiday spectacular put on by more than 100 dancers and performers associated with Tempe Dance. DETAILS >> Dec. 10-11 and 17-18. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. $24-$28. (480) 782-2680 or chandlercenter.org.
"Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold" A tart-tongued, ruler-wielding Catholic nun teaches her students - the audience - the story of Christmas and asks for their help to solve who swiped the gold given to Baby Jesus by the Three Wisemen. DETAILS >> Dec. 13-23. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. $29-$35. (480) 994-2787 or scottsdaleperformingarts.org.
The Nutcracker Ballet Southwest Youth Ballet Theatre presents this holiday classic, with music performed live by Chandler Symphony Orchestra. DETAILS >> Dec. 16-17. Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Road, Gilbert. $10-$30. (480) 279-7194 or higleyarts.org.
"A Christmas Story" Mesa Encore Theatre presents this play based on one of the most-watched Christmas films of our day - the story of Ralphie and his burning desire to find a Red Ryder air rifle under the tree. DETAILS >> Dec. 16-30. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $20-$25. (480) 644-6500 or mesaartscenter.com.
Salt River Brass The musical group presents its holiday pops concert, complete with favorites like "The Twelve Days of Christmas," "Oh, Holy Night" and a Christmas carol sing-a-long. DETAILS >> Dec. 18. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $17-$22. (480) 644-6500 or www.mesaartscenter.com.
"Annie" Copperstar Repertory Company presents this musical about a spunky Depression-era orphan. DETAILS >> Dec. 22-30. Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Road, Gilbert. $13-$24; family packages of four tickets available for $54. (480) 279-7194 or higleyarts.org.
"Lyle the Crocodile" A tap-dancing, roller-skating, oh-so-lovable crocodile is a holiday guest in this uplifting family musical presented by Childsplay. DETAILS >> Through Dec. 24. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. $12-$25. (480) 350-2822 or www.childsplayaz.org.
The Phoenix Boys Choir The Grammy Award-winning local choir performs holiday staples and plays English Handbells at this concert. DETAILS >> Dec. 23. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway. $35. (480) 350-2822 or www.lakeshoremusic.org/tcaseries.
"A Christmas Carol" Based on the Charles Dickens story, this production is the Broadway version of the classic Christmas tale. DETAILS >> Through Dec. 25. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 5247 E. Brown Road, Mesa. $22-$49. Broadway Palm also puts on a "Nutcracker" for children Nov. 25-Dec. 23; tickets for that show are $16. (480) 325-6700 or www.broadwaypalmwest.com.
"A Christmas Story" Phoenix Theatre presents this play based on the beloved movie about Ralphie, his quest for a Red Ryder air rifle, and a tacky leg lamp. DETAILS >> Through Dec. 24. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. $25-$75; discount tickets available for groups and via ticket packages. (602) 254-2151 or www.phoenixtheatre.com.