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10 fresh ideas for Twin Cities holiday entertainment

Let past favorites guide you to new plans this holiday season. 

William Clark

If you like “Masterpiece” on PBS, you might like ...

“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley”

Empire waists and entailed estates mingle in a new sequel to Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” featuring Mary Bennet, younger sister of “P&P” heroine Elizabeth. Romance doesn’t come easily for her, either, in a comedy that reminds us that Christmas trees were introduced to the English in Austen’s day. (Nov. 18-Dec. 30, Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., $15-$45, 612-822-7063,

Provided photo

If you like David Sedaris’ “Santaland Diaries”

“The Polarizing Express: Dysfunction Junction”

In a tradition as reliable as the return line at Target, Brave New Workshop spotlights holiday foibles without forgetting the potential joys of the season. (Ends Jan. 27, 824 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $20-$38, 612-332-6620,

Provided photos

If you like Dolly Parton

“Hard Candy Christmas”

Taking its name from a rootsy holiday neoclassic tune that has been covered by Parton and Tracey Thorn, among others, “Hard Candy Christmas” showcases four women (Brennen Leigh, Courtney Patton, Sunny Sweeney and Jamie Lin Wilson) welcoming the holidays with a folky/twangy/country “Howdy!” (7 p.m. Dec. 7, Turf Club, 1601 W. University Av., St. Paul, $15-$20,

Star Tribune photo

If you like “The Voice”

“Nicholas David Holiday Show”

The St. Paul singer, “Voice” finalist and barber eschewer offers fans a very beardo Christmas. (7 p.m. Dec. 16, Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., $30-$40, 612-332-5299,

Star Tribune photo

If you like “Arrested Development”

“Blithe Spirit”

Speedy banter and absurdist jokes (one of the main characters is, after all, a ghost) establish a kinship with the cult TV show, albeit in a comedy that Noel Coward wrote more than 75 years ago. (Nov. 25-Jan. 14, Guthrie Theater, 818 S. 2nd St., Mpls., $15-$77, 612-377-2224,

Provided photo

If you like Roz Chast’s graphic memoir about aging parents, “Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?”


Colman Domingo, who was in the musical “The Scottsboro Boys” at the Guthrie in 2010, sets his play at the holiday festivities of a family whose matriarch has Alzheimer’s. (Dec. 8-Jan. 7, Park Square Theatre, 20 W.

Joe Dickie Photography

If you like reading O. Henry’s bittersweet “The Gift of the Magi” while listening to Bing Crosby’s “Merry Christmas” album

“A Christmas Carole Petersen”

Tod Petersen's affectionate account of growing up in a Christmas-crazed Mankato household is also a wry story about an adult who is ambivalent about some of the traditions that were once meaningful to him. (Nov. 29-Dec. 30, Ritz Theater, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls., $32-$49, 612-339-3003,

Dan Norman Photography

If you like “Mad Men”

“Nutcracker (not so) Suite”

With a midcentury sensibility so strong you can practically taste the pink squirrels, James Sewell Ballet’s production of Myron Johnson’s (nutcracker-less) dance piece is a kitschy fable that stars Barbie and Ken, rather than sugar plum fairies. (Dec. 15-30, Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $25-$50, 612-206-3600,

Star Tribune photo

If you like “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

“2020 Vision: A Holiday Survival Guide”

Miss Richfield 1981 may never have competed on “Drag Race,” but whether she’s telling hard-luck holiday stories or making crafts with audience members, her annual holiday show demonstrates that she can werk. (Dec. 1-23, Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $32-$49, 612-339-4944,

Minnesota Historical Society

If you like “10 Buildings That Changed America”

James J. Hill House holiday activities

The stately St. Paul manor hosts more holiday events than there are maids a-milking. Victorian Christmas stories, house tours that spotlight bygone traditions, carols and participatory crafting give a taste of what it was like to party in the Hill house more than a century ago. Bone-chilling drafts not included. (Nov. 22-Dec. 23, 240 Summit Av., St. Paul, free-$12,

More holiday activities


Classical music

Pop music

Family & kids



9 movies that offer surprises and thrills this holiday season.

The Ebenezer Club

5 actors who’ve played Scrooge in the Guthrie’s “A Christmas Carol.”

Glen Stubbe • Star Tribune

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