The holiday season is one of tradition, or not. That is definitely the case with the region’s arts groups and organizations this December. Whether your tastes run to classics like A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life, or you grew up on Lethal Weapon and comedy marathons, there is an event just for you.
Start the month with local playwright David Elendune’s adaptation of Winnie the Pooh & Tales of the 100 Acre Wood as part of Intrepid Theatre’s New Play Reading series, Dec. 1 at the Intrepid Theatre Club. Intrepidtheatre.com
A Christmas Carol, adapted by Michael Shamata, returns to the Belfry Theatre Dec. 1-20 with many original cast members from Victoria’s inaugural 2013 production. This family-friendly show was a big hit then, and is sure to be again. Belfry.bc.ca
Add art to your holiday with the Oak Bay Gallery Walk, Dec. 3 from 6-8pm. Stores are open, the streets are closed and a festive air reigns supreme. While in Oak Bay that night, why not stay and take in The Great Gatsby, presented by Company C, the third year repertory company of the Canadian College of Performing Arts. Dec. 3-6. Return later in the month for the TD Festival of New Works (Dec. 15-17) featuring original works by Year II students. ccpacanada.com
If you like your holiday entertainment with a cheeky and slightly risqué bent, don’t miss Winter Happening/Homo for the Holidays as the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria teams up with Intrepid Theatre to create a unique night of art, performance, camp, cocktails, and frivolity on Dec. 4. intrepidtheatre.com aggv.com
Broad Theatrics celebrates with the fifth annual HO HO HO Show, a festive night of stand-up comedy as students of comedy diva Kirsten Van Ritzen make their debuts at the mic. Heckler’s Upstairs at the Ramada. Limited seats. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org
The young adult chorus Sing Your Joy performs in concert with Thank YOU for The Music Dec. 4 at the Christian Reformed Church. Singyourjoy.ca
Victoria’s emerging opera company, Fear No Opera presents Marriage and Misdemeanours (two comedies sung in English, and lightly staged: The Telephone, and The Old Maid and the Thief) Dec. 5 at the Phillip T Young Recital Hall. Fearnoopera.com
Oak Bay Music’s December concert is by the On the Verge Trio with members: Shima Takeda (violin), Erik Abbink (saxophone), Josh Layne (harp) Dec. 6. oakbaymusic.ca
A Place to Listen, Victoria’s newest monthly experimental music series, provides an opportunity for respite in the midst of a season that can become quite frantic. Dec. 23 at James Bay United Church. Aplacetolisten.ca
In the vein of non-traditional fare, Lightning Theatre offers A Very Pantalone Christmas (a commedia dell’arte) Dec. 11/12 at the Intrepid Theatre Club (TicketRocket.co) and Paper Street Theatre continues their fifth season with A Lethal Christmas, an improvised action movie, inspired by 1980s films like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Dec. 16-19 at the Intrepid Theatre Club. Paperstreettheatre.ca
Traditional pantomime is alive and well in Victoria, and extremely popular. If you are fortunate indeed you will be able to obtain tickets. St Luke’s Players present Mother Goose Dec. 18-Jan. 2 and the Peninsula Players, Jack and the Beanstalk (Dec. 11-13 at Berwick Royal Oak, Dec. 18-27 at the Charlie White Theatre). Stlukesplayers.org thepeninsulaplayers.ca
Blue Bridge Theatre’s perennial favorite Its A Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play returns Dec. 17-20 to the Roxy Theatre. Ticketrocket.co. No holiday arts calendar is complete without a ballet. Join Ballet Étoile for The Holiday Ballet Dec. 18-20 at Berwick Royal Oak.
Wrap up the month and celebrate the year to come with the inimitable Atomic Vaudeville New Year’s Eve Cabaret, one of Victoria’s most fun year-end parties Dec. 29-31. Ticketrocket.co