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Have a Dickens of a time at local theaters

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Dec. 13 is opening night for “(Not) A Christmas Carol,” produced by Onstage Repertory Theatre at the Martinez Campbell Theater.

John Blytt appears with Luna Medina and Brooklyn Maya in “(Not) A Christmas Carol” by Onstage Repertory Theatre in Martinez.

John Blytt stars in this modern interpretation of the Charles Dickens classic. In this fun-filled work, which I wrote in 2015, Scrooge is a multibillionaire chairman of an oil conglomerate.

With more than 20 actors playing 60 roles, the play is full of laughs. Haley Keenan is Jacob Marley, comic actor Sarah Piane stars as a Valley girl, and Dodie Katague plays Cratchit. The show runs Dec. 13-22. www.campbelltheater.com.

Jason Graae is Ebenezer Scrooge in 42nd Street Moon’s “Scrooge in Love” in San Francisco. Concord resident Carmen Lessa plays in the Ensemble.

You can also cast out all the humbugs with lively area productions of the classic Dickens story “A Christmas Carol.” Center REPertory Company and the American Conservatory Theater both offer beautiful, traditional adaptations embellished with seasonal music, dance and spectacular ghostly effects. The show at ACT’s Geary Theater in San Francisco runs through Dec. 24; act-sf.org. The Center REP show closes Dec. 22 at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek; www.lesherartscenter.org or 925-943-SHOW.

Concord resident Carmen Lessa plays in the Ensemble of 42nd Street Moon’s beloved holiday musical “Scrooge in Love.” It runs through Dec. 22 at San Francisco’s Gateway Theatre. www.42ndstmoon.org/scrooge-in-love.

In its 8th season, Clayton Theatre Company is producing “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.” Directed by La Tonya Watts, with Roxanne Pardi assistant directing, the show will run March 19-April 4. www.claytontheatrecompany.com.

Transport yourself to 1937 for an electrifying evening with Bessie Smith, who recounts her incredible life, career, loves and losses and the songs that made her the show-stopping “Empress of the Blues.” Katrina Lauren McGraw stars in “The Devil’s Music, the Life and Blues of Bessie Smith,” Jan. 14-Feb. 22 at the Lesher Center. www.lesherartscenter.org or call 925-943-SHOW.

The mother-daughter team of Anna and Shay Oglesby-Smith play mother and daughter Amanda and Laura Wingfield in the Onstage Repertory Theatre and Plotline Theatre Company production of the Tennessee Williams classic “The Glass Menagerie.” Directed by Randy Anger, the show runs Jan. 17-Feb. 2 at the Martinez Campbell Theater. www.campbelltheater.com or 925-350-9770.

For more holiday magic, Cirque Du Soleil’s “Amaluna” takes audiences to a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Full of breathtaking spectacle and original music, it plays through Jan. 12 under the Big Top at Oracle Park in San Francisco. www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna.

Lindsay Kathryn Ford, front, and Lourdes Verde Lombardo star in “Cinderella: A Fairytale” at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette. (photo Stu Selland)

The West Coast premiere of “Cinderella: A Fairytale” features a slew of Bay Area performers of all ages. Town Hall’s Theatre’s former artistic director Clive Worsley directs the play by Sally Cookson and Adam Peck. Ella’s loving father teaches his little girl the names and calls of all the forest birds and they have a happy life together – until he remarries and her life is upended. Her only allies are a flock of very clever and magical birds. It’s a funny, feisty and enchantingly original take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale. The show runs through Dec. 21 in Lafayette. 925-283-1557 or www.townhalltheatre.com.

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