by Lenise Willis

The holiday season is upon us and so are several joyful productions. Of course, those not yet ready for all the jubilance can catch an ongoing play lagging behind the holiday.

Through Sunday, No Rules Theatre Company continues its production of The Last Five Years, a beautiful modern musical about a five-year relationship, at Hanesbrands Theatre.

Wednesday through Sunday, Greensboro College presents the Tony Award-winning musical Cabaret. Set in 1931 Berlin, the play tells the story of English nightclub singer Sally Bowles and her romance with American writer Cliff Bradshaw during the time of the Nazi rise to power.

The Barn Dinner Theatre’s Black Nativity comes back for its annual holiday performance Friday through next Wednesday, and Sundays and Mondays in December. NC A&T University will also be performing their annual tradition of Black Nativity Thursday through Sunday. The play tells the biblical nativity story infused with African drum and song.

Performances of traditional Russian ballet The Nutcracker abound this season.

Friday through Sunday and Dec. 16-18 Greensboro Ballet presents its annual performance at Carolina Theatre. Saturday UNCG will perform a classical and jazz concert of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite at Aycock Auditorium. The Dance Center of Greensboro presents Nutcracker Suite in the Dana Auditorium of Guilford College Dec. 11. UNCSA will perform the traditional ballet at the Stevens Center Dec. 10, 11, 15-18.

Theatre Alliance’s GI Holiday Jukebox runs on the weekends Friday-Dec. 18. Filled with song and comedy, the play is a salute to the Stage Door Canteen of the 1940s. Set during WWII, Christmas time, the show features four fictitious Hollywood stars who put together a string of 1940s hits and Christmas music to entertain “the boys” at the front.

A Christmas Carol is another holiday tradition thriving in the area. NC Shakespeare Festival’s performance of Dickens’ story runs Friday-Dec. 20 at High Point Theatre. Open Space Café Theatre’s adaptation Tim and Scrooge runs Dec. 8-18. See preview in next week’s issue.

Triad Stage provides a cure for the craziness of holiday havoc with the satirical comedy of a fed-up elf in The Santaland Diaries which runs Tuesday-Dec.23 in the UpStage Cabaret.