Lauded by Theatre Reviews Limited's Carolyn Albert as "the sort of grand spectacle that leaves us with our eyes wide open and our mouths agape," a delightful take on Charles Dickens by Tony Award winners Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens arrives in the Spotlight Theatre's December 1 through 10 run of A Christmas Carol: The Musical, with Albert adding that this yuletide family treat is "a magnificent way to celebrate the season with loved ones."

A delightful pastiche of holiday songs - some familiar, some created with tongue firmly in cheek and double entendre abounding - The Ho Ho Ho Show makes its area debut at Moline's Black Box Theatre December 8 through 17, adding a little naughty and nice to theatregoers' yuletide season with a cabaret-style entertainment boasting music by Eric Lane Barnes, Michael Duff, Beckie Menzie and Tom Sivik and writer Cheryl Coons.

A sweetly nostalgic look at holiday traditions and life in rural America, the touring production of the musical-comedy hit Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas will be performed in the University of Dubuque's Heritage Center on December 5, the family-friendly production a holiday-themed sequel to the national audience favorite Church Basement Ladies.

Between December 1 and 10, Timber Lake Playhouse audiences are invited to spend some seasonal time with music icons Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvin Presley when the Mt. Carroll venue presents its run of Million Dollar Quartet Christmas, a yuletide-themed sequel to the Tony-winning Broadway smash Million Dollar Quartet boasting seasonal perennials such as “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Run Run Rudolph” alongside classics including “Don't Be Cruel” and “Ring of Fire.”

Augustana College’s latest production, directed and choreographed by multi-hyphenate Shelley Cooper, is an area debut and a pleasant surprise. While I knew nothing about Nine before the musical's Tuesday-night dress rehearsal, the show offers a slew of treats for anyone who chooses to attend, regardless of one's familiarity with the material.

Between November 24 and 26, a beloved animated special will come to delightful stage life in Countryside Community Theatre's A Charlie Brown Christmas, an hour-long theatrical entertainment being presented at Davenport's Lincoln Community Center, and one filled with all the memorable characters, crises, and music that made the Emmy-winning TV version a cherished holiday perennial.

With the show boasting, according to the Washington Post, “a momentum and ebullience worthy of the Pixar era,” playwright Ken Ludwig's family-comedy version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas enjoys a run of morning and afternoon performances at Rock Island's Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, this holiday delight's November 30 through December 23 sure to demonstrate why the Post added, “You might think the show itself was a product of Santa’s workshop.”

Hailed by Newsday as “a lusciously written, strangely poignant, dizzyingly modern spin on life,” and by Time Out New York as “utterly spellbinding,” playwright Will Eno's Middletown enjoys a November 30 through December 3 run in Scott Community College's Black Box Theatre, this expansive series of vignettes also lauded by the New York Times as a “delicate, moving, piercing, tart, funny, gorgeous” play that “glimmers from start to finish.”

Praised by Broadway World for "the raw honesty of the emotions" and its "tragic yet inspiring story," playwright Jordi Mand's historical drama Brontë: The World Without makes its United States premiere during a November 30 through December 10 run at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre, the stage work offering fascinating, deeply engaging insight into the lives of not one, not two, but three authors who share a surname.

Director/choreographer Ashley Becher, her performers, and her crew have whipped up one merry and delicious fudging indulgence. You don't need to know the movie to love this show.