If you’re trying to avoid attending the umpteenth production of The Nutcracker in your lifetime, Marin theater companies are providing several other entertainment options for this holiday season.
Last year, the Marin Theatre Company (marintheatre.org) was one of the participants in the rolling world premiere of Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, a smashing success that continued Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and featured the folks celebrating Christmas “upstairs” at the manor. Gunderson and Melcon have created a companion piece titled The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, more of a “downstairs” piece focusing on the estate’s staff as they deal with an unwelcome visitor and a potential holiday disaster.
The College of Marin Performing Arts Department (pa.marin.edu) will be presenting the musical comedy Nuncrackers in the Kentfield Campus Studio Theatre. Nunsense creator Dan Goggin’s Little Sisters of Hoboken return to the stage for a Christmas special in their new basement cable access TV studio to raise funds for the Mount Saint Helens School. The nuns will be singing songs like “The Twelve Days Prior to Christmas” and “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” dancing in their habits and handing out fruit cake. I think Sister Amnesia makes a return appearance, but I can’t remember.
Actors Basement is staging Pac Sun contributor David Templeton’s one-man holiday show Polar Bears at the Belrose (thebelrose.com) in San Rafael. It’s the autobiographical tale of a father’s attempt to keep his children’s belief in Santa Claus alive way past the point most others do.
The Ross Valley Players (rossvalleyplayers.com) are giving audiences the chance to completely forget about the holiday season with their production of The Odd Couple. The Neil Simon classic comedy about a mismatched pair of middle-aged roommates has been a proven laugh-getter since its 1965 Broadway premiere.
There’s nary a Sugar Plum Fairy in sight on these North Bay stages.