The Wizard of OzFollow the yellow brick road through this whirlwind adventure with some of pop culture’s most beloved characters. Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and even the Wicked Witch herself get a facelift in this new adaptation, featuring new songs by musical geniuses Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Bring the whole family to the land of the munchkins, take on the winged monkeys, and make a date with Oz the Great and Powerful. Just try to avoid the whole house-dropping thing.
The Peace Center, 300 S Main St, Greenville. Dec 31–Jan 5; Tues–Thurs, 7:30pm; Fri, 8pm; Sat, 2pm & 8pm; Sun, 1pm & 6:30pm. $45-$75. (864) 467-3000, peacecenter.org
Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful LifeIf you can sit through this classic screen-to-stage performance without tearing up, you may have a heart three sizes too small. After losing his company and putting the finances of an entire town in jeopardy, businessman George Bailey is at his wit’s end. Peering over a New York bridge, he contemplates suicide. With the help of angel-to-be Clarence, George soon realizes that the biggest gift of all is life itself. Every time a bell rings . . .
Greenville Little Theatre, 444 College St, Greenville. Dec 6–8, 12–15; Thurs–Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. Adults, $26; children, $18. (864) 233-6238, greenvillelittletheatre.org
Jingle Arrgh the Wayust because you’re a pirate with an eye patch doesn’t mean you can’t get into the holiday cheer. Sail the seven seas with miniature pirate Jeremy Jacobs as he boards Captain Braid Beard’s ship yet again in the hopes of seeking out the mysterious Christmas snow. Based on the story by Upstate author Melinda Long of the bestselling How I Became a Pirate series, the musical features great singalong tunes like “Yo Ho Who Knows.” Guaranteed to warm even the iciest buccaneer hearts.
The Gunter Theatre at the Peace Center, 300 S Main St, Greenville. Dec 6–8, 13–15; Fri, 7pm; Sat–Sun, 1:30pm. Adults, $26; juniors, $17. (864) 467-3000, peacecenter.org
Skating on the Big IceYour skating skills may not be worthy of Tonya Harding’s wrath, but you can still have a gliding good time on the Road Warriors’ ice. Open for all ages, the massive arena is the ideal setting to bundle up in all your winter gear and spend the day trying not to connect bum to ice. The largest in the Upstate, the rink is just right for warming up the long winter days—and getting your kids out of the house on the second week of holiday break.
Bon Secours Wellness Arena, 650 N Academy St, Greenville. Dec 14–15, 21–23, 26, 31; 1–5pm. Adults, $7; juniors, $5; rentals, $3. (864) 674-7825, bonsecoursarena.com
Avenue QIf Big Bird and the gang tackled issues like sexuality and binge-drinking instead of what starts with the letter “A,” the world might be a different place. A recent college grad, Princeton struggles to find meaning in his new life. When he moves to an outer-outer neighborhood of the city, he meets a band of eccentric, oddball characters who turn the world he knows upside down. The award-winning show is one of Broadway’s longest-running and has spawned hit songs like “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist,” “The Money Song,” and “The Internet Is for Porn.”
The Warehouse Theatre, 37 Augusta St, Greenville. Dec 6–21; Thurs–Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. $35. (864) 235-6948, warehousetheatre.com
Roper Mountain Holiday LightsSure, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear, but then the Roper Mountain Holiday Lights must run a close second. For 22 years, thousands of Upstate families have been piling into the wonderland of glittering lights, marching soldiers, Santa on his sleigh, and playful teddy bears tossing snowballs. Sponsored by the Rotary Club, proceeds from the event go toward the science center and local youth organizations.
Roper Mountain Science Center, 402 Roper Mountain Rd, Greenville. Thru Dec 30; Mon–Sun, 6–10pm. $10-$50. (864) 355-8900, ropermountainholidaylights.com
St. Francis Festival of TreesThere’s just something magical about Christmas trees: maybe it’s the crisp green smell, the countless light strands, or the treasure trove of mysterious gifts underneath. Whatever your reasons, the St. Francis Foundation invites you to take in all the wonder at their annual holiday event. Dozens of brightly decorated trees will be on display at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, the Courtyard Greenville Downtown, and the Hampton Inn & Suites RiverPlace, with local businesses, schools, and organizations vying for the title of Best Tree. Proceeds will benefit the Mack Pazdan Neonatal Care Center.
Locations vary. Thru Jan 1; times vary. Free. (864) 255-1199, stfrancisfoundation.com
A Christmas StoryWhile this film may be the reason that BB-gun sales crashed during the ’80s (surprisingly, not many parents want one-eyed kids), it has certainly become a classic holiday tale. Join our young hero Ralphie as he battles for the perfect Christmas gift in the wake of creepy Santas, ceaseless bullies, and the most memorable f-bomb of all time. Kids can relate to the “I’ll-die-without-the-Barbie-Dream-House” mentality, while parents will feel the pain of trying to plan a family Christmas without any pouting, crying, or lost eyes.
Flat Rock Playhouse, 2661 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock. Dec 4–22; Wed–Thurs, Sat–Sun, 2pm; Wed–Sat, 8pm. $35. (866) 732-8008, flatrockplayhouse.org
Slow Food Upstate Holiday MarketFill your holiday table with all-local fare from this market of seasonal goods. Enjoy the finest cuts of beef courtesy of Gibson Farms, fresh produce from Appalachian Organics, sweet honey products from Carolina Honeybees, and more, including gifts for the foodies in your life. Produce is brought in from regional farms, and the ingredients are only those that nature itself provides.
NoMa Square, 220 N Main St, Greenville. Sat, Dec 14, 10am–1pm. Free. slowfoodupstate.com
The NutcrackerIt’s that time of year again. Drawing in renowned talent from around the globe, the International Ballet Academy presents The Nutcracker, a seasonal tradition for many. The Orlando Ballet’s Lamin Pereira and Melissa Gelfin will take the spotlight again as principal dancers, while Telmo Moreira and Stephen Nakagawa will be featured as guest performers. The story is a favorite for hearts young and old, making this one fairy tale that never loses its magic.
The Peace Center, 300 S Main St, Greenville. Dec 13–15; Fri, 10am (school performance); Sat, 8pm; Sun, 3pm. School performance, $9; public performances, $15-$45. (864) 467-3000, peacecenter.org