The holidays are a great time of the year for the performing arts. Theater, music, comedy and dance celebrate the season with themed work appropriate for all ages. The East End of Long Island has a wealth of performing arts offerings, from classics like A Christmas Carol to original work like How the Big Duck Saved Christmas.
Bay Street Theater is hosting a holiday season filled with drama, comedy and dance. The Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival runs from December 1 to December 4, with films like Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, Zero Days, In Search of Israeli Cuisine and more. On December 10, the East End Special Players will perform Trouble in Jamaica—A Dirty, Stinking Musical. The East End Special Players, which features learning-disabled adults performing original work, worked for two years developing this show. Studio 3 returns on December 16 with Mixed Nuts, a fun, wacky take on The Nutcracker. Studio 3 provides a professional environment where kids and adults can learn the art of dance in a supportive, non-competitive environment. Goat on a Boat at Bay Street continues its slate of impressive puppet theater with Turn Over a New Leaf with…The Doubtful Sprout on December 31. This great show, ideal for kids 2–8, features hand and rod puppets, marionettes, motorized puppets and more. On January 7, Nancy Atlas returns with more Fireside Sessions and performs with various amazing musicians she’s worked with throughout her career. Bay Street Theater is located at 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor.
Suffolk Theater kicks off its holiday season on Black Friday, November 25, with Mister Cee & Friends. Then on November 26, That ‘70s Band returns for another night of Earth, Wind and Fire, Hall & Oates and more. The Lords of 52nd Street, the beloved Billy Joel tribute band, rock their holiday show on December 2. Celebrate Sinatra’s birthday with a big band bash on December 3. An exciting original production premieres at Suffolk Theater on December 4 with How the Big Duck Saved Christmas. An original play with illustrations by Frosty the Snowman’s Don Duga, this charming tale stars the Flanders Big Duck. There’s also original music by Daniel Koontz. On December 9, blues and folk legend Jorma Kaukonen plays a special acoustic show. The annual SantaCon pub crawl returns on December 10 to Suffolk Theater and Riverhead’s Main Street. American Idol’s Bo Bice performs with Blood Sweat & Tears on December 15. WLNG’s Rockabilly Christmas 2016 hits Suffolk Theater on December 16, featuring Jason D. Williams, Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks and Prentiss McNeil. Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals Holiday Show follows on December 17. On December 18, see a live radio play production of It’s a Wonderful Life by Joe Landry. Finally, bid 2016 adieu with a comedy show on December 31, followed by an after-hours dance party. Suffolk Theater is located at 118 East Main Street, Riverhead.
Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts has a vibrant holiday season, kicking off with Joe Landry’s radio play production of It’s a Wonderful Life on November 26. See a special live production of the beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas on November 27. The American Dance Theatre of Long Island presents Clara’s Dream, The Nutcracker on December 2 and December 3. Check out Irish Christmas In America on December 9, featuring Séamus Begley, Samantha Harvey, Niam Farrell and others performing fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes and harp, along with Irish dancing. Ovations: The Nutcracker Suite runs on December 10 and December 11. Patchogue Theatre is located at 71 East Main Street, Patchogue.
It’s not too late to see Legends in Concert at The Gateway Playhouse! This show features tributes to Adele, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and ABBA and runs through November 27. Kids will love the return of Mooseltoe, featuring the voice of Al Roker, on December 3. The Gateway’s Holiday Spectacular On Ice transforms Patchogue Theatre into a glistening ice rink from December 15 to January 1. The Gateway Playhouse is located at 215 South Country Road, Bellport.
Theatre Three in Port Jefferson continues its annual holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol, through December 30. This beloved annual production is a Port Jeff staple. A special “Behind the Curtain with A Christmas Carol” buffet dinner and talk with Artistic Director Jeffrey Sanzel will be held on December 8 before the 7 p.m. performance. Tickets for this always go fast, so purchase them soon. For some lighter theater for younger kids, see Barnaby Saves Christmas on weekends through December 30. A special sensory sensitive performance will be held on November 27. And close out the year in Port Jefferson with New Year’s Laughin’ Eve, featuring comedians Paul Anthony, Rich Walker and Kevin Anthony, on December 31. Theatre Three is located at 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson.
The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook is quickly becoming a hot destination for musical performances. On December 1, 2, 8 and 9, the Big Band performs Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. The Bad Little Big Band greets the season with selections arranged by Richie Iacona and sung by Madeline Kole. Interplay Jazz Orchestra plays a Big Band Holiday Concert on December 22. Spend New Year’s Eve at the Loft’s end-of-year show, with guests to be announced. The Jazz Loft is at 275 Christian Avenue, Stony Brook. Also in Stony Brook is the Staller Center for the Arts. Broadway star Kelli O’Hara performs on December 10, and the annual production of Seiskaya Ballet’s The Nutcracker runs from December 16–19. The Staller Center is located at Stony Brook University.