Elf The Musical - Al Hirschfeld Theatre (credit: Joan Marcus)

Elf The Musical – Al Hirschfeld Theatre (credit: Joan Marcus)

Every year, the magic of the holiday season transforms New York City, as evident by the unforgettable annual holiday shows. This year there are celebrated names in iconic venues performing classic tales. Traditional holiday shows such as the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular,” George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker,” and “Tim Janis: The American Christmas Carol” are joined with new favorites such as “Elf The Musical” and “Fancy Nancy Splendiforous Christmas” for the newest theatergoers. A list of the best 2015 holiday-themed stage productions in New York City is below, all starting immediately following Thanksgiving.

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Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Radio City Music Hall
1260 Avenue Of The Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 247-4777
www.radiocitychristmas.com

Date: From Nov. 13, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016 (check website for specific dates and times)

The title alone speaks volumes, drawing huge crowds year after year since 1933. The Rockettes kickoff the holiday season with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, although the Radio City Christmas Spectacular begins a short two weeks prior. From a beautiful rendition of “The Nativity” to a condensed version of “The Nutcracker” (complete with the iconic toy soldier line), the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is truly deserving of its label. And of course, there is an abundance of the most famous man in a red suit with a white beard.

Tim Janis: The American Christmas Carol
The Isaac Stern Auditorium
Carnegie Hall
881 7th Ave.,
New York, NY 10019
(212) 247-7800
www.carnegiehall.org

Date: Friday, Dec. 4, 2014 at 8 p.m.

Tim Janis’ annual holiday celebration returns to Carnegie Hall for one night only. The American Christmas Carol celebrates 10 years at the historic venue. Enjoy the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future with this year’s performers that include Sarah McLachlan, Zachary Levi and Loan Gruffudd, among others. Proceeds of “Tim Janis: The American Christmas Carol” benefit Kate Winslet’s Golden Hat Foundation and The Sarah McLachlan School of Music.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
David H. Koch Theater
20 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023
(212) 870-5570
www.nycballet.com

Date: From Nov. 27, 2015 at 8 p.m. through Jan. 3, 2016 at 2 p.m. (check website for specific dates and times)

Since 1954 George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” has been delighting New York City audiences for the holidays. The Nutcracker is an annual family holiday event, and an ideal opportunity to introduce young children to ballet and classical music. From the mischievous mice to the marching toy soldiers and the Land of Sweets, attendees will be drawn into Tschaikovsky’s dream and leave with a lifetime Christmas memory.

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Elf The Musical
The Theater At Madison Square Garden
4 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10001
(212) 465-6741
www.theateratmsg.com

Date: Dec. 9 through Dec. 27 (check website for specific dates and times)

The movie “Elf” has been added to the tradition of film and television programming for the holiday. “Elf The Musical” is following in its predecessor’s footsteps, returning to the Theater At Madison Square Garden this Christmas season. The tale of Buddy the Elf delights audiences of all ages as he renews the spirit of Christmas in New York City. Fact for Elf fans: “Elf the Musical” reveals personal information about Buddy not found in the film.

Fancy Nancy Splendiforous Christmas
The Theater at St. Jean Baptiste
184 E. 76th St.,
New York, NY 10021
(212) 579-0528
www.fancynancychristmaslive.com

Date: Nov. 28 through Dec. 27, every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Presented by the Vital Theatre Company of New York, “Fancy Nancy Splendiforous Christmas” is based upon the children’s “Fancy Nancy” books from bestselling author Jane O’Conner. This family-friendly holiday show has been hailed as the perfect opportunity to introduce young theatergoers into a live production. As the name indicates, Fancy Nancy loves extravagance. After selling some of her old items for a sparkly Christmas Tree ornament, however, things don’t turn out how Nancy intended. “Fancy Nancy Splendiforous Christmas” is recommended for families with children aged 2-7.

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Deirdre is a freelance writer from New York, fascinated with topics within her field of study such as beauty, hair and fashion, as well as guilty pleasures like reality TV, relationships, entertainment and dining.