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Performing Groups @ Your Home For the Holidays

We may be stuck at home for the holidays, but Bay Area performing companies have found ways to bring their favorite shows to us — from a drive-in ballet, to a sing-it-@-home Messiah, to a one-man dramatization of A Christmas Carol.

While you’re enjoying these shows, remember that the pandemic has hit performing artists and companies very hard. Even if the show is free, think about donating.

San Francisco’s Presidio Dance Theater’s drive-in holiday film, Beyond the Land of Sweets, shows on Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m., part of Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture’s Flix. Tickets are $50 per car.


You don’t have to drive to San Francisco for holiday entertainment. Everything else here can be enjoyed from your couch, in your pajamas. We can’t list all of them here, but you can find a complete list on our website, [2020 holiday shows].

Santa Clara Chorale celebrates its virtual return with an evening of special music that remembers what we’ve all missed in 2020 and what we hope for in 2021. The free concert is on Dec. 13 at 4 p.m. and streams on the Chorale’s YouTube channel. Visit for information and links.

On Dec. 6 at noon, the Portuguese Church of the Five Wounds presents Cal Arte Ensemble in a free concert commemorating the 380th  anniversary of the Restoration of Portuguese Independence, featuring music by Portuguese composers. The concert streams on the Church’s Facebook page, Cal Arte also has a virtual Valentine’s Day opera planned for February.

San Jose Symphonic Choir, directed by Santa Clara’s Leroy Kromm, presents You Sing It Messiah@Home via Zoom on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., details on the Choir’s Facebook page,

The Choir celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a marathon online concert on Dec. 17, and a holiday concert on Dec. 14. Concerts stream on the Choir’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Charles Dickens was renowned in his lifetime for his dramatic public readings of A Christmas Carol. City Lights Theater Company brings back this tradition with its on-demand one-man dramatization of the beloved holiday story.

City Lights also offers a film of its 2014 show about the Christmas Truce of WWI, A Christmas Wish from the Great War, on-demand during December. On Dec. 27, City Lights also presents a virtual production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Tickets at

Smuin Modern Ballet presents a virtual version of its annual Christmas Ballet from Dec. 11-23. The show features both classical ballet and contemporary dance — including a delightful Santa Baby, from the song of the same name. Visit for tickets.


Nutcrackers, Nutcrackers

If Christmas isn’t Christmas without Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, there are hundreds of traditional productions online, including classic productions with legendary dancers. Santa Clara Ballet is presenting its Best of The Nutcracker shows from 2012 through 2019. A $25 donation will give you access to the video Dec. 12 & 13. A $50 donation adds the 45thAnniversary Nutcracker video on Dec. 19 & 20. A $100 donation gives you access to all the shows from Dec. 12 through Dec. 31. Visit for information.

San Francisco Ballet presents an online Nutcracker through Dec. 27. For $49 you get 48-hour access to the show. Visit for information and tickets.

For a non-traditional Nutcracker, check out Mark Morris’ The Hard Nut contemporary take on the story. A video version is available on YouTube in two parts: and

Another unusual Nutcracker is Pacific Northwest Ballet’s, with costumes and sets by Maurice Sendak, and available on DVD, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play.

Soon we’ll say ‘goodbye and good riddance’ to 2020. To ring in 2021,  San Jose Stage presents its virtual Kiss 2020 Goodbye, New Year’s cabaret show from Dec. 31 – Jan. 3. Tickets at the company’s website,


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