by Lenise Willis

By now, many have finished holiday shopping and prep-for-the-in-laws chores and are starting to settle down to actually enjoy the season. This week is the perfect week, if you’re still in town, to sit back, relax and celebrate with a holiday show. Of course, there are fewer shows this week as many theatre groups are also wrapping up their holiday work and taking a break to entertain their own family’s company.

Thursday, for one night only, High Point Theatre delves into the visual world of what goes on beneath the ‘On Air’ sign with its production of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre. Set in 1946 and based off of Frank Capra’s classic film, the play shows what goes on behind the scenes as a radio crew broadcasts the story of It’s a Wonderful Life. But there’s one catch: A blizzard has prevented most of the actors from showing, so a team of four employees must take on the show on their own.

Friday, for one night only, Carolina Theatre hosts Awake the White and Wint’ry Queen, an original winter-solstice concert that blends music, dance, narrative and digital media. (See feature to left) Triad Stage continues its production of David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries through Friday. Performed in the UpStage Cabaret, the one-elf show uses a little sarcasm and dirty humor to lighten the mood of the stressful holidays.

Play is not recommended for younger audiences.

Triad Stage’s A Christmas Carol adaptation is running now through Christmas Eve. This year’s entirely new approach is far less dark than last year’s adaptation.

The Barn Dinner Theatre continues its annual holiday performance, Black Nativity, every Sunday and Monday in December. The play uses African drums, songs and dance to tell the Biblical story of the birth of Christ.

Also continuing until Dec. 31 is Barn Dinner’s Groovin’ Christmas, a high-energy musical featuring the Barn Band. Show is family friendly. The New Year’s Eve encore performance of Groovin’ will feature a postproduction hot breakfast bar and a champagne toast at midnight in addition to the pre-show dinner buffet.