Espresso Nutcracker, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and more virtual holiday shows to check out
This holiday season, let the cheer come to you.
No matter what sort of live entertainment you're looking for this time of year — be it ballet, drag shows, classic rock and pop or one of the best bad movies you've ever seen — it's all available online this year, ready to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.
So pass the nog, throw another yule log on the fire and settle in for some great holiday shows, 2020-style.
'Darlene Love: Love for the Holidays'
It wouldn't be a holiday season without Darlene Love.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and pop legend's voice is all over the classic 1963 LP "Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift for You," meaning chestnuts like "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and "A Marshmallow World" are pure Love.
Love stars in a streaming concert presented at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5., filmed at Sony Hall in New York City, with a portion of ticket proceeds supporting venues and arts institutions, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and the Count Basie Center for the Arts. Tickets also include on-demand access to the show through Dec. 25.
Watch: 'Darlene Love: Love for the Holidays,' 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, from Sony Hall in New York, $35, www.sonyhall.com/events/darlene-love-live-stream.
'The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special'
"RuPaul's Drag Race" stars Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme have spent the last few holiday seasons on the road with a seasonal variety show that is by equal measures heartfelt and irreverent — and this year, they're bringing the show to you.
"The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special," executive produced and directed by BenDeLaCreme, premieres online on Tuesday, Dec. 1, with a soundtrack album to follow on Dec. 11.
Watch: "The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special" premieres Tuesday, Dec. 1, $13.99, jinkxanddela.com.
'Lindsey Stirling: Home for the Holidays'
Electronic artist and violinist Lindsey Stirling has become a modern seasonal staple since the release of her hit 2017 LP "Warmer in the Winter."
And even though she and pretty much everyone else have been forced off the road in 2020, Stirling is still bringing holiday cheer to the masses.
"Lindsey Stirling: Home for the Holidays" is her live-streamed special, airing at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, and then available on-demand for 72 hours.
A VIP behind-the-scenes experience, complete with virtual meet-and-greet, is also available.
Watch: "Lindsey Stirling: Home for the Holidays," 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, $23.50 to $128.50, onlocationlive.com/category/lindseystirling.
Calling all home bakers: Show us your cookies!
The Dallas Black Dance Academy will present its third annual "Espresso Nutcracker" as a virtual offering on Saturday, Dec. 12.
Choreographed by DBD Academy director Katricia Eaglin with assistance from instructors of the academy's Pre Pro Division, "Espresso Nutcracker" utilizes elements of both Tchaikovsky's classic "Nutcracker" score and Duke Ellington’s "Nutcracker Suite."
Watch: Dallas Black Dance Academy's "Espresso Nutcracker," 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, $40, dbdt.com.
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'A Virtual Christmas Vacation With The Griswolds: An Evening With Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo'
This season, the "Holiday Road" leads to your home, as stars Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo share their memories of the modern classic "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989), presented by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28.
Chase and D'Angelo, in a conversation moderated by comedian Tim Krompier, will share behind-the-scenes stories from the history of the "Vacation" franchise, take live audience questions and more. Limited VIP tickets, which include one minute of interaction with the stars, are also available.
Watch: "A Virtual Christmas Vacation With The Griswolds: An Evening With Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo," 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, presented by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, $25 to $150, njpac.org/event/christmas-vacation-with-the-griswolds.
The Bouncing Souls' 'Home for the Holidays: Volume 2'
New Jersey punk kings The Bouncing Souls are reviving their long-running December tradition of Home for the Holidays seasonal throw-downs for the streaming show "Home for the Holidays: Volume 2," airing 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.
The show celebrates the band's latest album from earlier this year, "Volume 2," which featured acoustic re-imaginings of classic Souls material and the timely new single, "World on Fire."
Watch: The Bouncing Souls' "Home for the Holidays: Volume 2," 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, $15, liveatstudio4.com/collections/bouncing-souls.
'A Christmas Carol @HOME'
Princeton's prestigious McCarter Theatre Center won't let this pandemic stop them from delivering Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" to the masses — in fact, they're bringing the story to your front door for 2020.
"A Christmas Carol @HOME" is a program sponsored by Bank of America that will deliver to your home a box filled with ingredients to stage your own production of the classic tale. There are scenes to perform, character sketch postcards to color and conversation cards with suggested talking points about the story and its contemporary relevance.
McCarter also will host an online portal including a full script and stage adaption, where patrons will be able to submit photos and videos from their own stagings.
Join in: "A Christmas Carol @HOME," presented by the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, $40 plus $5 handling, orders must be received by Dec. 7 to ensure delivery by Dec. 24, mccarter.org.
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'A Christmas Carol' supporting George Street Playhouse
New Brunswick's George Street Playhouse has partnered with streaming platform On the Stage to present a filmed production of Tony winner Jefferson Mays in a one-man staging of "A Christmas Carol," with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Hub City theater.
Directed by Michael Arden, the production debuts at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, and will be available through Jan. 3, 2021. Ticket purchasers will have 24 hours to watch the performance after activating their link.
Watch: "A Christmas Carol," debuting 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, $50, georgestreetplayhouse.org.
'The Mads: Santa Claus vs. The Devil'
Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu, former co-stars of the cult classic sci-fi comedy series "Mystery Science Theater 3000," will be cracking wise during a special online screening of the 1959 Mexican children's fantasy film "Santa Claus vs. The Devil," also known simply as "Santa Claus."
The film, directed by Rene Cardnoa, was previously riffed on a classic 1993 episode of "MST3K," and will become the latest installment of Conniff and Beaulieu's streaming shows under the banner of The Mads.
A portion of the proceeds from the 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, show will support the Friends In Need Food Shelf in Minneapolis.
Watch: 'The Mads: Santa Claus vs. The Devil,' 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, $10, santaclausvsthedevil.eventbrite.com.
Laurie Berkner's 'Holiday Party'
Kid-friendly musician Laurie Berkner, who grew up in Princeton, will be throwing a virtual "Holiday Party" for all ages with shows at noon and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.
The shows promise classic favorites and selections from the 2012 LP "A Laurie Berkner Christmas." Kids are encouraged to play, sing and dance along at home.
Watch: Laurie Berkner's "Holiday Party," noon and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, $20 or $80 for meet-and-greet package, laurieberkner.com.
'Favorites from The Nutcracker'
The Philadelphia Orchestra will take to its Digital Stage this holiday season to perform “Favorites from The Nutcracker” along with other seasonal sing-along selections.
Conductor Erina Yashima will lead the performance of the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky classic, which premiers at 8 p.m. Dec. 17.
The show will run through Dec. 31 with a 72-hour window to watch on-demand from the time of purchase. Tickets are available at philorch.org for $15.
Watch: The Philadelphia Orchestra's "Favorites From The Nutcracker," 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, philorch.org.
'It’s a Shore Holiday'
The Atlantic City Ballet is set to hit the virtual stage Nov. 25 to 29 for “It’s a Shore Holiday,” a dance review the group says will feature a blend of classic and contemporary performances set to “your most beloved holiday tunes.”
Singers and a live band will be included in a show that attempts to transport viewers to a “Winter Wonderland that will capture your inner-child imagination.”
Tickets are available for a minimum $10 donation at acballet.org.
Watch: The Atlantic City Ballet's "It's a Shore Holiday," Wednesday through Sunday, $10, acballet.org.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra's 'Christmas Eve and Other Stories Live in Concert'
This year marks the first holiday season in decades that Yuletide rockers Trans-Siberian Orchestra are not on tour, so instead they're unleashing one of their most popular productions into your home.
The band will present a one-time live-streamed concert based on its classic 1996 album "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" on Friday, Dec. 18.
Watch: Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve and Other Stories," 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, $30, www.trans-siberian.com.
Los Lobos' 'Still Home For the Holidays'
Beloved rockers Los Lobos will stream "Still Home for the Holidays," a seasonal concert live from the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California, at 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11.
The show will feature selections from the band's 2019 album of Christmas material, "Llegó Navidad," and other Los Lobos favorites.
Watch: Los Lobos presents "Still Home for the Holidays," 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, $20, bellyuplive.com/los-lobos.
'Dad's Christmas Miracle'
Nonprofit community theater Somerset Valley Players in Hillsborough, New Jersey, will present the family-friendly comedy "Dad's Christmas Miracle" for online performances on select dates throughout December.
Written by Pat Cook, the production is directed by Emily M. Windus and kicks off Friday, Dec. 4.
Watch: "Dad's Christmas Miracle," 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 followed by 4 p.m. Dec. 12, 8 p.m. Dec. 19 and 4 p.m. Dec. 27, $10, svptheatre.org.
'Big Band Holidays'
Jazz at Lincoln Center will celebrate the season with the virtual concert "Big Band Holidays" at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, with ticket holders having on-demand access to the show through 3 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 27.
The show will feature performances by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, as well as vocalists including Rubén Blades, Catherine Russell and Kurt Elling.
Watch: Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Big Band Holidays," 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, $25, jazz.org/bbh.
Alex Biese has been writing about art, entertainment, culture and news on a local and national level for more than 15 years.