Must See Holiday Theater & Shows

Let Minneapolis entertain you this holiday season!

The holiday theater scene in Minneapolis is bustling with classics like The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol, but also those unique gems you may not find elsewhere. Think Elf The Musical or It’s A Wonderful Life radio play (this show sells out by the way). From shows that push the limits to family-friendly traditions, theater and musical performances are all the rage in Minneapolis during the holidays. Check out the must-see shows of the season.

Family Dinner

When: Fridays & Saturdays, November 2 - December 28th, 2019

Where: HUGE Theater, 3037 Lyndale Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Cost: $10

The improvised holiday show you can relate to returns! A family coming home for the holidays, each with a secret you suggest...It's just like your family, if your family were played by some of the funniest improvisers in the Twin Cities!

A Christmas Carol at Guthrie Theater

When: November 12 – December 29, 2019

Where: Guthrie Theater, 818 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Cost: $15 - $134

A miserly and miserable man, Ebenezer Scrooge greets each Christmas with a “bah humbug,” until he is visited one Christmas Eve by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. Through a restless night, the spirits show him happy memories from his past, cruel realities from the present and the grim future should he continue his cantankerous ways. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a perennial favorite that continues to be a Minneapolis holiday tradition. Now is the time to experience this cherished production with your loved ones!

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis

When: November 15, 2019

Where: Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372

Cost: Starting at $39

Mannheim Steamroller, founded by Grammy award winner Chip Davis, revolutionized traditional holiday music by blending synth-pop with beloved Christmas carols. The bestselling artist puts on a dazzling show with flashy multimedia effects to captivate audiences of all ages and spread holiday cheer across the country. During the 34th anniversary of the acclaimed tour, Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller play their holiday hits and original compositions heard on their PBS special. Don’t miss out on the spectacular Christmas show that’s fun for the whole family!

The Brian Setzer Orchestra: Christmas Rocks! Tour

When: November 15, 2019

Where: State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55402

Cost: $54 - $89

Legendary rockabilly guitarist Brian Setzer returns to the State Theatre for his annual Holiday Show with his big band, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, in their 16th Annual Christmas Rocks! tour. The show will feature rockabilly versions of Christmas standards, plus Brian Setzer’s hits from Stray Cats and his solo work. The Imaginaries will give an opening performance.

Miss Bennet

When: November 20 - December 29, 2019

Where: Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Cost: $20 - $55

The beloved Bennet sisters and their spouses gather at the Darcy home for Christmas a few years after Jane Austen left off their story. When the middle Miss Bennet, Mary, unexpectedly encounters shy bookworm Arthur de Bourgh, she finds a kindred spirit and intellectual equal. But, since Arthur is a “single man in possession of a good fortune,” she’s hardly his only suitor. Mary must learn to be the heroine of her own story in this charming holiday romance.

Black Nativity at Penumbra Theatre

When: November 21 – December 22, 2019

Where: Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St, St. Paul, MN 55102

Cost: $15 - $40

It’s that time of year again! Penumbra’s timeless holiday tradition returns to light up the stage and your heart. Under the direction of Lou Bellamy and the musical direction of Sanford Moore, our homegrown Christmas show features exceptional lead vocalists, the outstanding Kingdom Life Church Choir, and the stirring choreography of Uri Sands of TU Dance. Join us for a celebration full of joy, community, and spirit.

Stevie Ray's Comedy Cabaret — Mistletoe Mischief

When: November 23 - December 29, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $28 - $43

The gang at Stevie Ray’s is once again ready to take on the holidays. Laugh as the Stevie Ray’s Comedy Troupe performs improv, sketches and music about holiday shopping, department store Santas and family visits. As always, the comedy at Stevie Ray’s is audience-interactive, hilarious and inoffensive.

All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce Of 1914

When: November 27 - December 22, 2019

Where: Theater Latté Da, 345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Cost: Tickets start at $33

The Western Front, Christmas, 1914. Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.

Keri Noble — A Very Special Christmas

When: November 29 - 30, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $40 - $50

In her finale holiday concert at CDT, join singer-songwriter Keri Noble as she performs songs from her gorgeous holiday album More Than Santa, plus holiday songs to delight all audiences.  Keri knows how to write and deliver her music and this concert elegantly captures the mood and spirit of the holidays. Come celebrate the season with Keri and friends.

Garrison Keillor's Praire Home Christmas Show

When: November 30, 2019

Where: Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $46 - $66

The cast of “A Prairie Home Companion” reunites for a Christmas show all about coming together during these politically divisive times. The Royal Academy of Actors, Tim Russell and Sue Scott, join with the Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band, sound effects wizard Fred Newman, writer/host Garrison Keillor, the delightful Heather Masse and Rich Dworsky with his band will bring you the show you’ve been missing on your radio dial ever since Keillor’s retirement in 2016. Expect witty scripts, parody songs, sweet duets, and of course, the latest News from Lake Wobegon. “A Prairie Home Christmas” will be playing in select cities only.

A Three Tenors Christmas

When: November 30, 2019
December 1, 2019
December 3, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $40 - $50

Welcome the Christmas season this year with A Three Tenors Christmas - where style, opera, and holiday spirit collide.  Don’t settle for your typical Christmas music fare when you can experience spine-tingling high notes sung by world-class tenors LIVE!  Honoring "The Three Tenors," (Domingo, Carrerras, and Pavarotti) Nathan Bird’s Three Tenors Christmas, featuring Aaron Humble and David Walton, is a musical feast - ranging in musical styles and sung by master tenors who create an unforgettable evening of music and joy. Our concert at the Fireside Theatre features a 3-piece orchestra of piano, percussion and bass. Audiences rave about the fortes and fun of A Three Tenors Christmas featuring classical show-stoppers like “Nessun Dorma,” Mario Lanza favorites such as “Serenade” and of course NorrSound’s signature arrangement of “O Holy Night.

A Very Die Hard Christmas

When: Varies, starts November 30, 2019

Where: Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater, 810 W Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55408

Cost: $18 - $20

“Yippee Ki Yay, Father Christmas!" Back for the eighth year comes the holiday treat with all the trimmings: singing, dancing, and bloodshed! Don't miss this yuletide tradition combining the action and suspense of Die Hard with the sentiment of everyone's favorite TV Christmas specials loaded with music, magic, and mayhem!

A Drag Queen Christmas

When: December 3, 2019

Where: Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Cost: $43 - $59.50

A Drag Queen Christmas — The Naughty Tour. It’s a magical (and hilarious) evening of holiday performances featuring contestants from the reality television show on VH1. All ages welcome. Warning ­— adult content.

Rock & Roll Christmas Show

When: December 4 - 8, 2019
December 11 -15, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $40 - $55

Get ready to crank your holiday spirit all the way up! Returning for the fourth time to our holiday series is this hugely popular rockin’ event. This production will surprise and thoroughly delight, and don’t be deceived; this isn’t a send-up to the '50s and '60s, but rather it’s a multi-media, musical extravaganza mixing rock hits of the '70s to today with hilarious stories and parodies favorite yuletide songs as you’ve never heard them before. Join an 8-piece all-star cast of musicians as they uniquely rock their way through Christmas classics in the most imaginative way possible delivering as much fun as Santa himself! For example, hear the blending of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” set to Peter Frampton’s “Show Me The Way!” Each song is funnier and yes, even more cleverly done than the one before it.

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

When: December 5 – December 24, 2019

Where: The Saint Paul Hotel, 350 Market St., St. Paul, MN 55102

Cost: $79 - $105

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, performed at The Saint Paul Hotel, presents playwright Joe Landry’s acclaimed take on the classic 1946 Frank Capra film, It’s a Wonderful Life. The shows are accompanied by a three-course luncheon for afternoon performances and a three-course dinner for evening performances.

Celtic Woman: The Best of Christmas Tour

When: December 6, 2019

Where: Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372

Cost: Tickets start at $39

As the spirit of Christmas is celebrated worldwide, Celtic Woman shares its Irish heritage in a musical experience that illuminates the season. The all-female Irish musical ensemble will bring timeless holiday favorites accompanied by a full symphony orchestra. Celtic Woman promises to be an enchanting and festive evening, with a few Celtic twists that are as memorable as the Irish global phenomenon.

The Great Russian Nutcracker

When: December 6 - 7, 2019

Where: Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $33 - $103

This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza. The New York Times, “Hot Ticket!” Celebrate this cherished holiday tradition and relive the dream with Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Get tickets for the whole family now!

The New Standards Holiday Show

When: December 6 - 7, 2019

Where: State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Cost: $25 - $120

For more than ten years The New Standards and friends have been dazzling audiences with their soulful, funny and spectacular Holiday Show. Chan Poling (The Suburbs), John Munson (Trip Shakespeare, Semisonic) and Steve Roehm act as ringleaders for a merry troupe of musicians, dancers and an all-star lineup of surprise special guests featuring local and not-so-local music pals. Expect the unexpected at what will surely become your new holiday tradition.

Handel's Messiah

When: December 6 - 7, 2019

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $12 - $135

Celebrate the season with the enduring power of Handel’s Messiah in a performance that features the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Chorale and a lineup of acclaimed vocalists.

Jim Brickman: A Christmas Celebration

When: December 7, 2019

Where: Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Cost: $29 - $79

Jim Brickman returns to Minneapolis this Christmas to wow the crowd with his uplifting, family-friendly, holiday concert tradition. The best-selling piano artist of our time, Jim Brickman and his special guests will dazzle audiences with holiday favorites, number one hits, vibrant vocals, laughter and joy in this bright, festive winter’s night celebration that the Dallas Morning News calls “Pure Entertainment.”

Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas 2019

When: December 7, 2019

Where: Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372

Cost: Tickets start at $39.25

The most wonderful time of the year brings country superstar Martina McBride and her Joy of Christmas tour to Minnesota. The Grammy-nominated artist has sold over 18 million albums on the strength of hits like “Blessed,” “This One’s For the Girls,” “Independence Day,” “When God-Fearin’ Women Get the Blues” and “In My Daughter’s Eyes.” McBride recently released the album “It’s The Holiday Season,” featuring nine classic Christmas songs with accompaniment from dozens of world-class musicians. Experience the magic and music of the holidays with one of the most beloved voices in country music.

A St. Thomas Christmas: Comfort and Joy

When: December 8, 2019

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: TBD

The 32nd year of the University of St. Thomas Christmas concert celebrates the Christmas season by drawing from both the familiar traditional carols and innovative contemporary selections. This year's concert will feature the world premiere performance of a new piece by Jocelyn Hagen for the massed ensembles. More than 300 student performers in the Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Donne Unite, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, Brass Ensemble and Guitar Ensemble will perform in the concert.

Wynonna & The Big Noise Rockin' Roots Christmas

When: December 12, 2019

Where: Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372

Cost: Tickets start at $35

Celebrate the holiday season with Wynonna and her band, The Big Noise, for an inspiring Christmas show. Like no one else, Wynonna’s rafter-rattling voice has made her a country, rock, pop and folk icon. Wynonna will be front and center for what promises to be an evening of music and holiday magic.

Concordia College Christmas Concert

When: December 12, 2019

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $27 - $36

My Spirit Sings is performed by approximately 400 student musicians and marks the 93rd anniversary of the region’s grandest Christmas celebration.

The Blenders: Holiday Soul Tour 2019

When: December 12 - 15, 2019

Where: Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Cost: $48

The Blenders have spent over 25 years touring the U.S. with their unique style of vocal, harmony-based music. They have appeared with such acts as Jay Leno, Howie Mandel, Savage Garden, Blues Traveler, Chicago, The Righteous Brothers, Lou Rawls, Chuck Berry and many more. They have appeared on a variety of national and regional television shows including The Arsenio Hall Show (FOX), The Today Show on NBC, Crook and Chase (TNN), and WGN. Don’t miss the return of their magnificent Holiday Soul Tour at the intimate Pantages Theatre.

Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

When: December 13, 2019

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $55 - $143

It’s the most wonderful time of year! The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and music director Marcus Printup continue a beloved annual tradition with Big Band Holidays. Featuring soulful, big band versions of classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Joy to the World,” and “Brazilian Sleigh Ride,” Big Band Holidays is a fun, one-of-a-kind holiday extravaganza that’s sure to brighten up your season.

The Tenors: Wonder of Christmas Tour

When: December 13, 2019

Where: Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372

Cost: Tickets starting at $29

Blending classical music and contemporary pop, The Tenors have thrilled audiences around the world since 2008, performing at events like the Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony and the XXI Olympic Winter Games. The Canadian vocal group, composed of Clifton Murray, Fraser Walters and Victor Micallef, have shared the stage with legends like Sir Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli. Now, The Tenors: Wonder of Christmas Tour is celebrating the most wonderful time of the year by putting a signature spin on treasured holiday classics.

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy

When: December 13 – 23, 2019

Where: State Theater, 805 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402

Cost: $30 - $75

A holiday must-see for audiences throughout the region, Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy continues its tradition of enchanting audiences as it enters its second half century. More than 150 dancers, artists and production professionals collaborate to create the magical and beloved production.

Home for the Holidays with the Minnesota Orchestra

When: December 14, 2019
December 15, 2019
December 19, 2019

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $30 - $75

Now in its third year, this merry mix of storytelling, carols and comedy speaks to the meaning of family, Christmas and home, with a uniquely Minnesotan twist. Celebrate the season with a hilariously heartwarming event featuring Minnesota’s favorite storyteller, Kevin Kling. Led by Sarah Hicks, the Minnesota Orchestra, Kling and special local guest performers illuminate the joy of the season through music, only-in-Minnesota traditions, the power of family and the story of a lost mitten.

Let it Swing - JazzMN Plays the Holidays

When: December 16, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $40 - $55

Take a break from the stress of the holiday season and join Minnesota’s premier big band for an evening experience of swingin’ holiday favorites with featured guest vocalist, Yolande Bruce.

Christmas on the Prairie

When: December 17 - 18, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $40 - $55

Spend your Christmas holiday with two of the Twin Cities most talked about groups as they join together for a rare and very special holiday concert! Mary Jane Alm and Aimée & Boyd Lee combine with the “New Shoes” band featuring Richard Kriehn, Joe Savage, Gary Raynor and Peter Johnson – members of the “Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band,” a fixture on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion for over 20 years. Topping it off will be A Prairie Home Companion Grammy Award-winning guitarist and songwriter, Pat Donohue! This will be a truly fabulous and extremely musical experience – Don’t miss it!

Sounds of Blackness – The Night Before Christmas

When: December 18 - 19, 2019

Where: Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $29 - $59

Sounds of Blackness is bringing their traditional holiday show, The Night Before Christmas, back to the Pantages stage this holiday season. The vocal and instrumental ensemble from Minneapolis performs music from several genres, including gospel, R&B, soul and jazz. The group scored several hits on the Billboard R&B and Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts in the 1990s and is currently lead by Gary Hines.

North Country Christmas with Kat Perkins

When: December 19 - 21, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $40 - $55

Christmas is Kat Perkins' favorite time of year! A Kat Perkins Christmas is an incredible blend of traditional Christmas songs with Kat's modern spin.  She incorporates her audience in fun crowd participation holiday songs and even features an up and coming young star at each venue. Together she has created a fun, rockin show to celebrate the holidays filled with great music, laughter and even her own original Christmas songs! It's a must see all ages opportunity to bring the entire family!

Merry and Bright with Charles Lazarus

When: December 20, 2019

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $12 - $89

Give your holidays a boost of big, brassy joy in a performance by Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus and his dazzling ensemble, including the fabulous Lazarus Brass. A holiday tradition created by our own trumpeter extraordinaire Charles Lazarus, this concert brings the exuberance of brass to swing arrangements of carols, soulful gospel tunes and boppy pop favorites. Joined by powerhouse vocalists and his high-energy ensemble, Lazarus brings renewed brilliance to beloved classics. (Note: the Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program.)

It's a Wonderful Life Live in Concert

When: December 21 - 22, 2019

Where: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Cost: $35 - $113

Just in time for Christmas, join us as we screen the Oscar®-winning classic film It’s a Wonderful Life accompanied live by the Minnesota Orchestra and the Minnesota Chorale. Everyone’s must-watch holiday movie becomes a heartwarming live concert event as the Minnesota Orchestra performs Dimitri Tiomkin’s entire score alongside the movie. James Stewart plays down-on-his-luck George Bailey who is rescued on Christmas Eve by his guardian angel Clarence, who shows George what his town would be like if he had never existed.

Sara Evans at Christmas

When: December 22, 2019

Where: Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372

Cost: Tickets start at $29

The holiday season will be a little bit brighter when country superstar Sara Evans brings timeless holiday classics for a magical and memorable evening. Evans created a prolific career with hits “No Place That Far,” “Suds in the Bucket,” “A Real Fine Place to Start,” “Born to Fly” and “A Little Bit Stronger.” Sara Evans at Christmas will bring the holiday spirit to the young and young at heart.

Celtic Holiday Hooley

When: December 22 - 23, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $40 - $55

Returning by popular demand is Celtic Holiday Hooley! Come for some holiday family fun! This hosted variety show is a party for all ages with Irish music, stories, sketches, step dance, caroling and more. Beyond that, it’s wacky good fun for everyone with brief guest appearances from well-known holiday characters including The Grinch and yes, even Santa Claus! Presented by the O’Shea Irish Dancers (who appeared at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in sold-out performances of Kickin’ It Irish.) Choreography and music by original Riverdancer, Cormac O’Sé, of Dublin.

An Andy and Bing Christmas

When: December 26 - 31, 2019

Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen, MN 55317

Cost: $40 - $55

When people are asked what their favorite Christmas albums are, the vast majority of people mention two albums: The classic "Andy Williams Christmas Album" and Bing Crosby's "Merry Christmas" album. The songs are timeless and the treatments are a perfect reflection of the holiday season.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

When: December 28, 2019

Where: Xcel Energy Center, 199 W Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55102

Cost: $37 - $77

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), the multi-platinum, critically-acclaimed progressive rock group, has announced its highly-anticipated "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" Winter Tour. "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" is based on the triple-platinum album of the same name and follows a story by O'Neill. In keeping with the classic line "If You Want To Arrange It, This World You Can Change It," the story is set on Christmas Eve when a young angel is sent to Earth to bring back what is best representative of humanity. Following favorite TSO themes of "strangers helping strangers" and "the kindness of others," "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" takes listeners all over the world to help reunite a young girl with her distraught father.