The Holidays Take Center Stage in Scottsdale

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Scottsdale’s stages and concert halls are bustling with longtime favorites and innovative new shows this holiday season. Here’s a quick look at the season’s highlights:


A Christmas Story: The Play

Weekends from November 30 - December 23, 2018

Based on the motion picture of the same name, this presentation at Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre follows nine-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas.


The Ten Tenors: Home for the Holidays

December 3, 2018

Join Australia’s rock stars of opera for a holiday concert of traditional and contemporary seasonal favorites at Highlands Church. This magical performance, part of the annual Arizona Musicfest concert series, includes soaring versions of “Joy to the World,” “White Christmas,” “Feliz Navidad,” and more.


Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold

December 7-9 and 14-16, 2018

Sister, the tart-tongued, ruler-wielding nun, teaches her students the story of the Nativity and asks for their help to solve the greatest Christmas caper ever: Who swiped the gold that those three wise men gave to Baby Jesus? Using the latest forensic technology and her uncanny ability to detect guilt, Sister creates an unforgettable living Nativity with her students to expose the culprit.


Dianne Reeves: Christmas is Here

December 8, 2018

Join Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts for a heartwarming evening of holiday music from her album, Christmas Time is Here. You’ll hear unforgettable jazz renditions of seasonal favorites such as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Let it Snow,” and “Carol of the Bells.”


Handel’s Messiah

December 12, 2018

This holiday favorite returns to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. The Phoenix Symphony and its Chorus bring the magic of Handel’s masterpiece to life, including the ever-popular “Hallelujah” chorus.


The Nutcracker

December 13-16 and 20-24, 2018

This version of “The Nutcracker,” choreographed by Ballet Arizona Artistic Director Ib Anderson, is rated among the Top 3 in the country by The New York Times. Don’t miss this holiday spectacular as the stage comes alive with 30 world-class professional ballet dancers; 150 children performing as angels, dancers and soldiers; and larger-than-life dancing mice.


Windham Hill’s Winter Solstice

December 15, 2018

This season marks the 30th anniversary of the multiplatinum-selling A Winter Solstice album series originally released on Windham Hill Records. Grammy Award-winning guitarist Will Ackerman joins other talented musicians for two concerts at the Musical Instrument Museum for a joyous holiday concert.


Irish Christmas in America

December 16, 2018

Now in its 14th year, the wildly popular “Irish Christmas in America” show features Irish music, song and dance in two engaging performances at the Musical Instrument Museum. This family-friendly performance features stirring Irish ballads, lively instrumentals, and thrilling Irish step dancing.


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas

December 16, 2018

Where would the Christmas season be without songs like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “White Christmas”? Surprisingly, these songs, and many other holiday favorites, were written by Jewish songwriters! Discover the largely unknow stories behind some of the world’s most well-known Christmas songs during this show at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.


Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

December 27, 2018

This production by Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has been an American holiday favorite for more than 30-years. This year’s program at ASU Gammagecelebrates the magic of the season with unforgettable music and dazzling multimedia effects.


To plan your Scottsdale holiday getaway, click here!