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A look at the best kid-friendly holiday shows

Three to see

“A Christmas Carol” at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. (, through Dec. 28. $25-$83.

Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway. (, Dec. 6-28. $31-$132.

“Elf: The Musical” at Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. (, Nov. 26-Dec. 15. $18-$90.

Based On:

Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella

E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”

Jon Favreau’s blockbuster 2003 film starring Will Ferrell

Go if you ...

…want to give your kids a quick lesson in Karma 101.

… have kids with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

… eat four basic food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup.

Kids will love:

Dickens: When a scaredy-cat Scrooge first takes flight with the Ghost of Christmas Past.

The Nutcracker: The Sugar Plum Fairy’s five “divertissements” — short dances celebrating sweets from around the world — set to Tchaikovsky.

Elf: The musical:  “Nobody Cares About Santa,” a scene where department store Santas break into a Rockettes-style chorus line in a Chinese restaurant.


Dickens: First-time director Henry Wishcamper has some top-secret special effects planned.

The Nutcracker: Joffrey’s Nutcracker has more designated roles for kids than most productions: 60, including one especially for an actor in a wheelchair.

Elf: The musical: Will Blum, who plays Buddy, previously starred in the not-so-G-rated “Book of Mormon.”

Parents should note:

Dickens: The show is not without its frightening moments, thanks to Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come.

The Nutcracker: Almost 120 years old, the enormous Auditorium Theatre can be tricky to navigate with small kids. The big bathrooms are in the basement, and most aisles to the seats involve stairs.

Elf: The musical: If your family’s seen the film dozens of times, you may be surprised by some plot tweaks, including a storyline involving one character’s disbelief in Santa.

Want more? See for more fam-friendly holiday shows.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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