Bay Area’s holiday happenings to end 2014

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Diane Amos, Betsy Salskind (seated) and Marga Gomez, right, are gearing up for a big night of comedy on New Year’s Eve at Brava Theater Center. (Photo by David Wilson)

A final few tidbits for the last few days of 2014…

SCROOGE RUNS THE BAY

A few days left for a holiday tradition that is served up in every corner of the Bay Area. Popular versions of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” are running in Walnut Creek, San Francisco and San Jose, to name a few. American Conservatory Theatre is currently in its 38th year running their popular production, with Northside’s production in year 36 in San Jose. Center REP’s lavish production in Walnut Creek is in year 10.

If Scrooge just ain’t your thang, a few other shows also have some solid runs come to a close this weekend as well. SHN’s production of “Elf” is a take on the fun holiday movie of the same name, starring Will Ferrell is a big, overgrown elf with a big heart. “Kinky Boots” is by no means a holiday show, but it certainly has a joy and a spirit that encapsulates the feels of the holidays. Both shows close on the 28th. www.shnsf.com

LAST CALL FOR THE NUTCRACKER

Also closing this weekend is the Bay Area’s 2014 version of the Tchaikovsky classic, with beautiful music for anytime of the year. San Francisco Ballet’s production runs through the 29th at the War Memorial Opera House, while Ballet San Jose’s production runs through the 28th at the San Jose Center for Performing Arts.

The cast of "The Meshuga Nutcracker," finishing its holiday run in Campbell, from Dec. 25th - 28th.

The cast of “The Meshuga Nutcracker,” finishing its holiday run in Campbell, from Dec. 25th – 28th. (meshuganutracker.com)

A NUTCRACKER WITH A CHANUKAH TWIST

The Guggenheim family, who has spent countless hours and unbridled energy running South Bay’s “Retro Dome,” has returned for the holidays with eight stories of the magic of Chanukah set to the soundtrack of Tchaikovsky’s melodic ballet score. The show was workshopped in the Bay Area in 2003 and is currently in its seventh year of successful tours in the western United States. The production opens at the Heritage Theatre in Campbell on the 25th through the 28thwww.themeshuganutcracker.com

MOVIN’ ON TO 2015 WITH LOTS OF LAUGHS

Local theatre companies will feature some great entertainment to help turn the calendar to 2015.

First up is Brava Theater Center, who is doing it big. Entitled “Brava’s New Year’s Eve Comedy Fiesta,” the show features comedians Marga Gomez, Diane Amos & Betsy Salkind, as well as DJ Page Hodel. The benefit features complimentary champagne, snacks, and yes, party hats. The show is a benefit for Brava. www.brava.org

Comedysportz San Jose is also offering their annual New Year’s Eve bonanza, with two shows on the 31st. Comedysportz is fully interactive improvisational comedy featuring scenes based on audience suggestions. The 7:00 pm show features a special East Coast countdown, with the other show starting at 10:00 pm. www.comedysportzsanjose.com

Sticking with improv, Made Up Theater in Fremont has a special New Year’s Eve performance at 8 pm. The fun night will include snacks, a raffle with each audience member receiving a ticket upon entry, and a toast to the audience and with the audience toasting as well. www.madeuptheatre.com

One final column from me to end the year, a review of my top-10 favorite shows of 2014, coming up next week. My blessings and best to all of you who share in my love of theatre arts, and may you all have a wonderful holiday season. Cheers!

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