Lauded by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as "a beautiful present for theater-goers" and by The Daily Beast as "a brilliant show that you should see immediately," a historical a cappella musical drama All Is Calm makes its Quad Cities debut at Moline's Black Box Theatre December 8 through 17, this landmark show also praised by the New York Times as "a beautiful musical recounting of a World War I cease-fire of gifts, poetry, and melody."

A celebrated seasonal event described by DC Metro Theater Arts as “an exhilarating must-see” and “a pulse-pounding pageant full of talent and praise,” Langston Hughes' iconic Black Nativity enjoys a December 9 through 11 run at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre, its presentation by Creative Resources sure to prove why the Maryland Theatre Guide deemed it “a celebration of life and spirit that is at once essential and timely.”

A familiar holiday tale will enjoy a novel retelling at the Mockingbird on Main from December 9 through 17, with the Davenport theatre hosting a new version of Charles Dicken's timeless yuletide story A Christmas Carol performed by a three-person cast in an abridged, radio-comedy format.

If you’re looking for a joyful way to feel a little extra Christmas-y this holiday season, might I suggest Santa Claus: The Musical at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse? This one-hour children’s-theatre offering packs a solid punch of yuletide warmth, and no matter how old you are, I wager you will appreciate this charming little tale.

Nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical and described by Broadway World as “a twinkling Christmas delight,” the yuletide treat A Christmas Story: The Musical closes the 2022 season at Moline's Spotlight Theatre with its December 2 through 11 engagement, the show's score by the Oscar- and Tony-winning team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul inspiring the New York Times to rave, “You'd have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face.”

Lauded by the New York Times as a "sweetly enjoyable holiday show" and praised by Broadway World for delivering "toasty, cozy, musical holiday cheer to assist us in appreciating all the good stuff around us," the holiday-themed revue Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings closes the 2022 season at Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse, the show's December 1 through 11 run reuniting audiences with the beloved doo-wop quartet who refuse to let their years-ago deaths get in the way of having a delightful musical-comedy time.

Holiday-minded audiences at the University of Dubuque's Heritage Center will have no reason to cry “Bah, humbug!” on December 5, given that the university's John & Alice Butler Hall will be transformed into a magical, Dickensian wonderland for Perseverance Productions' touring musical presentation of the yuletide classic A Christmas Carol.

Lauded by the Chicago Tribune as “hilarious and heartwarming” and praised for its “bright comic zest” and “swinging music” by the New York Times, the stage adaptation Elf: The Musical – based on the 2003 screen comedy starring Will Ferrell – enjoys a November 30 through December 4 run at Moline's Prospect Park Auditorium, this Quad City Music Guild season-ender treating patrons to a holiday tale that Broadway World called an “upbeat, oddball, and tuneful concoction.”

Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and named by New York Times reviewers in 2018 as the third-greatest American play of the past quarter century, playwright Annie Baker's The Flick enjoys its area debut at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre from November 18 through December 11, the Pulitzer committee labeling the work a "thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters ... rendering lives rarely seen on the stage."

While the holiday decor was gorgeous, and festive songs abounded during dinner, I honestly wasn't ready for anything holly-jolly. We weren't past Turkey Day, or even Veterans' Day yet. Nonetheless, director and choreographer Ashley Becher, music director Ron May, and the cast, crew, and staff put on a show that could warm even the Grinch's shriveled heart.

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