Top upcoming holiday shows, performances across Minnesota

men in backyard with flamingos
Trailer Trash's Trashy Little Xmas show
Courtesy of Steve Wolf

Minnesota offers up a riot of Holiday events this time of year. There will always be dependable local classics, such as the Guthrie’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” which has been a Twin Cities tradition for approaching 50 years.

And there are newer traditions, such as “A Christmas Carol Petersen,” at Crooners this year, which again finds local performer Tod Petersen literally playing his own mother, as he has for almost two decades.

A comprehensive list of holiday events in Minnesota would be overwhelming. Instead, for the next three weeks we’d like to offer a sampler platter, a seasonal charcuterie board of festive occasions, from the classic to the outrageous. 

Dec. 9: Trailer Trash’s Trashy Little Xmas Show “Xmas By The Pool”

Trailer Trash has kicked around the Twin Cities for 30 years in work boots and cowboy shirts, producing rollicking honky tonk music. Every Christmas they drag audiences onstage to play a “jingle stick,” a bell-bedecked, Yule-themed instrument that they promise will make anyone a star. Catch them Dec. 9 at Hook and Ladder Theater, 3010 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis. Visit trailertrashmusic.com for additional holiday shows.

Dec. 9: Katie McMahon Celtic Christmas 2022

Dublin-born singer Katie McMahon was legendarily one of the original featured soloists in the original Riverdance troupe. Since settling in Minnesota with her husband, she has been performing in and hosting an annual Christmas selection of Celtic-inflected carols and Irish dance. This year’s dancers will be the Rince na Chroí dance troupe. McMahon performs at The O'Shaughnessy on Dec. 9. For more information visit oshag.stkate.edu.

Now through Dec. 30: Christmas is a Drag bus tour

Host and drag artist Luna Muse offers a memorable way to experience Twin Cities’ holiday customs: seated on a motor coach, enjoying a menu of seasonal cocktails. The tour starts from the Wabasha Street Caves, Fridays and some Saturdays through Dec. 30. For more information visit Wabashacaves.com.

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drag queen posing on Christmas outfit
Christmas is a Drag bus tour with Luna Muse
Courtesy of Cam Pederson

Now through Dec. 23: Georgiana & Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley

Playwrights Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon have made a seasonal tradition of exploring characters from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” This third holiday play inspired by Austin tells of a troubled Christmas with Georgiana Darcy and Kitty Bennet, young sisters from the novels and now close friends. It plays at the Jungle Theater through Dec. 23. Visit jungletheater.org for showtimes and reservations.

two woman on stage
Marisa B. Tejeda and Becca Hart in Georgiana & Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley at the Jungle Theater
Courtesy of Dan Norman

Now through Dec. 30: The Happy Holiday Fun Time Variety Show Extravaganza

Revisit the holiday television specials of the 1960s and 1970s at Huge Theater with a cast of improv artists. In an act of theatrical daring that Dean Martin would never have attempted, the entire special will be created on the spot, including holiday songs and commercials. It plays through Dec. 30 at Huge Theater. For tickets and showtimes visit hugetheater.com.

Now through Dec. 24: Black Nativity

Poet Langston Hughes’ adaptation of the Nativity story, retold as what Hughes called a “Gospel Song-Play,” was first staged at Penumbra Theatre in 1990. It’s played annually since. This adaptation is directed by Penumbra founder Lou Bellamy. Music for the show is provided by Sanford Moore with the Kingdom Life Church Choir and friends. Marciano Silva dos Santos choreographed the production. It’s playing at the Penumbra Theatre through Dec. 24. For information visit penumbratheatre.org.

Now through Dec. 18: Christmas City Express

Perhaps the most storybook holiday event of the season takes place annually at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. The event begins with the performance of a literal storybook called “Christmas City Express,” followed by caroling, followed by a 30-minute train ride along Lake Superior. The event runs through Dec. 18. For more information visit duluthtrains.com.