Live theater makes a comeback for the holidays in the Rogue Valley

"Put 'em up!" John Tufts, left, and Brent Hinkley get a bit ruffled in a scene from last year's production of "It's Christmas, Carol!" The 2022 show with new songs and new jokes opens at the Bowmer Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving. OSF photo by Jenny Graham
November 1, 2022

This holiday season in the Rogue Valley, there’s more to cheer about than ever

By Jim Flint for Ashland.news

It’s not too early to make your reservations for one or more of the shows playing on the stages of Rogue Valley theaters this holiday season. Tickets are going fast.

The resumption of live performance after the long pandemic shutdown brought plenty to cheer about over the past year. After a slow start, theatergoers now are feeling more comfortable attending live shows. And this holiday season in the Rogue Valley, there’s more to cheer about than ever, with a variety of plays and musicals on the menu.

People are ready for a well-earned respite from streaming and binging TV shows, ready to reward themselves with a night out or two at the theater. Following is a guide to theatrical offerings on local stages this holiday season.

Craterian Theater
The Teen Musical Theater of Oregon will present “Cinderella” at the Craterian this holiday season.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is Teen Musical Theater of Oregon’s (TMTO) production for the holidays, with 7:30 p.m. performances set for Dec. 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18 at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. It’s the Broadway adaptation of the classic musical, with a contemporary take.

The score includes some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” along with the hilarious and romantic libretto by Tony Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane.

“TMTO isn’t creating any new videos this year since we’re back to live stage productions for our holiday season,” said Stephen McCandless of the Craterian. “We wish we had the resources to do a live show and do another ‘Countdown to Christmas,’ but the video series was pretty much like doing a full-scale production.”

However, the Christmas videos from the last two years are available online in the theater’s YouTube channel.

For links, updates, and tickets, go to craterian.org.

Randall Theatre

“Nunsense” plays Dec. 2-18 for a multi-weekend run at the Randall Theatre, 115 E. Main St., Medford, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

In the zany musical, the Little Sisters of Hoboken are on a mission after a mishap with tainted soup results in the deaths of their sister nuns. They find themselves without enough funds to properly bury them, so they decide to put on a show to raise the money they need — before the health inspector opens their freezers.

Purchase tickets at randalltheatre.com.

Camelot Theatre

“Matilda,” the Broadway smash musical about an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny, will be presented by Camelot Theatre, 101 Talent Ave. in Talent, Nov. 23 through 31. Evening performances are at 8 p.m. and matinees are at 2, including on Dec. 24 and 31.

Inspired by Roald Dahl’s novel, the Tony Award-winning musical is about a girl with psychokinetic powers, unloved by her parents, who impresses and is loved by her schoolteacher. The play is packed with high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs.

For more information and tickets, go to camelottheatre.org.

Collaborative Theatre Project

“Little Women,” Kate Hamill’s take on the beloved classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, will be produced Nov. 25 through Jan. 1 by Collaborative Theatre Project (CTP).

The story is about four dreamers — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March — destined to be imperfect little women. Semi-autobiographical, it’s loosely based on the lives of the author and her three sisters.
All performances are at the CTP theater, 555 Medford Center, across from Cold Stone Creamery.
For tickets and more information, go to CTPmedford.org or call the box office at 541-779-1055.

Rogue Theater Company

A one-man show, starring OSF veteran actor David Kelly, will be presented by Rogue Theater Company on the Grizzly Peak Winery stage, 1600 E. Nevada St., Ashland, with 2 p.m. performances set for Nov. 30, Dec. 1-4 and 6-10.

David Kelly will star in the Rogue Theater Company’s production of “Every Brilliant Thing.”

“Every Brilliant Thing” is the story of a man who begins writing a list — at the age of 7 when his mother first attempts suicide — of every brilliant thing that makes life worth living. While the play tackles the serious topics of mental health and depression, it also is filled with humor, joy and hope. Caroline Shaffer directs.

Tickets can be purchased online at roguetheatercompany.com.

OSF and Oregon Cabaret

See the separate story here on Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s production of Dickens’ “Christmas Carol,” Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s parody, “It’s Christmas, Carol!”, and the first-ever collaboration between OCT and OSF to present the Irving Berlin classic, “White Christmas,” at the Thomas Theatre with OSF hosting and OCT producing.

Reach writer Jim Flint at jimflint.ashland@yahoo.com.

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