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Winter Theater Roundup: What to See this Holiday Season in New Orleans

The Saenger Theater (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

It’s the holiday season in New Orleans and it’s time for spectacular lights, festive decor, and Mr. Bingle stories (you’re either scared of him, or you’re a fan of the lovable snowman). While it’s always fun to hop in the car, blast “The 12 Yats of Christmas” and head to one of the many holiday festivities outdoors, you also have the option to see one of many marvelous theater productions happening this season.

The New Orleans theater scene has a little bit of everything to offer- musicals, opera, dance – the list goes on. From the Orpheum Theater to the Mahalia Jackson to the Saenger and more, these world-class theaters will transport you to another world just upon entering. So go ahead, treat yourself to a show or two this holiday season in New Orleans.

Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I (Photo: Courtesy of Laura Aviles)

Broadway in New Orleans

The Broadway in New Orleans series brings a taste of the Big Apple to New Orleans. There’s no better time to catch a musical than the holiday season. The King and I runs from November 14-19 and tells the tale of a British schoolteacher brought to Bangkok at the request of the king. If you’re a fan of the 1954 movie White Christmas, the stage adaptation will have you laughing and singing along with the audience. White Christmas runs from December 19-24, to close out the holiday season. Ticket prices vary and both shows will be performed at the Saenger Theater.

New Orleans Ballet Association

This November, NOBA is bringing the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet to New Orleans as a part of their 2017/2018 season. Held at the Freda Lupin Memorial Hall on NOCCA’s campus, these performances offer a more intimate experience than any other shows in the season. See the show November 10 at 8 p.m. and November 11 at  2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets start at $35.


Though not in Orleans Parish, the trip to the Jefferson Performing Art Society’s theater is worth it. Located on 6400 Airline Dr., the theater is home to their 40th season which includes five productions throughout 2017 and 2018. Running from December 8-17 is Tuck Everlasting, which tells the story of a young girl on an incredible journey where she must choose between fantasy and real life. Tickets start at $20.

The Saenger will host the Moscow Ballet’s performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker this December (Photo: Courtesy of the Moscow Ballet)

The Nutcracker

There’s plenty of chances to see this holiday classic in New Orleans this December. The Nutcracker Suite presented by the New Orleans Ballet Association is held at Tulane’s Dixon Hall on December 3 and features a multigenerational cast of almost 200 dancers aged 6-70+. New Orleans Ballet Theatre’s production of the Nutcracker will be held at the Orpheum Theater on December 16, 17, and 22. Delta Festival Ballet’s Nutcracker will be performed December 22 and 23 at Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker makes its way to the Saenger Theatre on December 26. Ticket prices vary. See the theaters’ websites for more information.

New Orleans Opera

In their 75th anniversary season, New Orleans Opera has a season of exciting and dramatic operas making their way. Orpheus in the Underworld, November 10 and 12, parodies Orpheus poking fun at 19th-century French politicians. With a witty composition, this performance is a fun trip through Greek Mythology. Tickets start at $25 and performances are held at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is gearing up for the holidays with a few different shows. One that you can’t miss is the Orpheum Holiday Spectacular with the 610 Stompers on December 9 and 10. These performances will get you into the holiday spirit with help from everyone’s favorite ‘ordinary men with extraordinary moves’. If classical is more your style, Baroque Christmas is the show for you. On December 14, head to the Orpheum Theater for the show which features Handel’s Messiah and a host of world-class vocalists. Ticket prices for both shows start at $20.

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