10 Holiday Favorites on Stage at Virginia Theaters

Do you remember George Bailey learning just how wonderful life is or Scrooge’s enlightenment by the ghosts of Christmas past? Enjoy these favorites and create a new holiday tradition by spending an evening at a Virginia theater with the ones you love.

Which holiday classics are your favorite for the stage? Leave a comment to share!



The state theater of Virginia, Barter Theatre dates to 1933 and is named for the practice of bartering for goods and services. Patrons were known to bring a bushel of vegetables in exchange for admission. Treat your family to this season’s entertainment:

Miracle on 34th Street
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol

Miracle on 34th Street. Photo courtesy of Barter Theatre.

Miracle on 34th Street featuring Rick McVey and Ella Combs. Photo courtesy of Barter Theatre.



Regardless of the performance, The Lincoln Theatre must be on your list of “must see” places in Virginia. Built in 1929 for vaudeville, it’s one of only three remaining Art Deco Mayan Revival style theaters in America. The Lincoln is a well known music performance venue in southwest Virginia, but plays also take the stage. This season, check out Christmas Belles by the Royal Oak Players.



This incredible venue is the world’s only re-creation of William Shakespeare’s own indoor Blackfriars Playhouse, and it is intricately detailed to deliver you back in time. The performances, including the use of universal lighting and actors portraying multiple characters in a piece, are true to those that would have been delivered in Shakespeare’s lifetime. This season’s performances:

The Santaland Diaries
The Twelve Dates of Christmas
A Christmas Carol

Allison Glenzer as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Photo by Michael Bailey.

Allison Glenzer as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Photo by Michael Bailey.



When you’re seeking Broadway quality performances, consider Riverside in Fredericksburg. Established in 1998, you can be confident of comfortable seats for enjoying your three-course gourmet meal. Oh, you didn’t know it was dinner theater, did you? Have your meal and entertainment in one fell swoop this season when you purchase tickets for MAME, a Broadway classic featuring Sally Struthers as Agnes Gooch and Sandy Bainum as Mame Dennis.



This 1929 theater has experienced fire and restoration, a heyday in the midst of Phoebus’s “Little Chicago” era, and sadly, decline until saved and given new life in 1998. Renewed, The American Theater reopened in 2000 and presents 50 performances annually. This season, check out It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre, an adaptation that spins the classic It’s a Wonderful Life on its head and into a “golden age” radio show.



Built by state Senator Benjamin Pitts in 1938, The State Theatre is a richly revitalized gem with state-of-the-art equipment and a robust annual calendar featuring musical guests, films, and performing arts. The community gives back with a special two-nights-only dramatization of A Christmas Carol this December.



While the organization of MetroStage has been around since 1984, the performance location has bounced around. Find the spotlight centered squarely on the converted Smoot Lumber Company warehouse in Old Town, where it has been since 2001. Seating only 130, it’s an intimate space for interaction between the audience and the actors. This season, see A Broadway Christmas Carol, an annual favorite for MetroStage audiences.



The Paramount opened its doors the evening before Thanksgiving in 1931. Those who love Thomas Jefferson and Charlottesville history will appreciate its octagonal auditorium chamber, the painted tapestries, and delicate plaster work. The Paramount is a crown jewel of Charlottesville and showcases musical acts, films, and popular ballets and musicals. On the bill for this holiday season is the Moscow Ballet performing The Great Russian Nutcracker, complete with 40 world-class dancers, more than 200 costumes, and 10-feet-tall puppets. It’s a show you don’t want to miss!


 Find more great holiday events at Virginia.org.

© Casey for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2015. |

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We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!

Casey Higgins

We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!