(credit: Jeremy Daniel)

(credit: Jeremy Daniel)


Adding more culture to your life just got a lot easier with the fantastic performances on stage at these fabulous Orange County theaters. Finish the year with a Christmas classic and start off the New Year with Shakespeare or an award-winning musical. Kid-friendly shows are included at some of these venues, and they are a great way to cultivate a love of the arts in children. Igniting the imagination and nurturing an appreciation of art has never been easier thanks to these outstanding Orange County theater productions.

(credit: South Coast Repertory

(credit: South Coast Repertory


“A Christmas Carol”
South Coast Repertory
655 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 708-5555
www.scr.org

The holidays would not be complete without getting out to see Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” playing now through December 27 at the South Coast Repertory. If the holidays are too busy, then start the New Year off with the poignant “Whipping Man” or the timeless tale of “Tristan and Yseult,” both of which play in January 2015. The South Coast Repertory has been bringing high-quality stage productions to Orange County since 1964, and continues to be one of the top theater venues. With a full season of award-winning plays, musicals and actors, the South Coast Repertory is your ticket to theater entertainment and culture.

(credit: Matthew Murphy)

(credit: Matthew Murphy)


“Kinky Boots” / “Dirty Dancing” / “Guys and Dolls” / “Annie”
Segerstrom Center For The Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 556-2787
www.scfta.org

A cultural hub for Orange County, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts offers award-winning musicals and dramas on stage all year long, starting in December with the widely acclaimed “Kinky Boots.” This musical features an amazing score written by Cyndi Lauper, and will most definitely be a sold-out performance, so grab your seats now! Other first-rate shows include “Dirty Dancing” in February, “Guys and Dolls” in April and “Annie” in May. Performances for kids are also offered, such as the “Cinderella Opera for Kids” in January. Cultural fun for the whole family is at your fingertips starting this winter at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

(credit: Jane L./Yelp)

(credit: Jane L./Yelp)


“Billy Elliot, the Musical” / “Marry Poppins” & More
La Mirada Theater
14900 La Mirada Blvd.
La Mirada, CA 90638
(562) 944-9801
www.lamiradatheatre.com

With a wide array of theater offerings, the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts is sure to stimulate your imagination and move your spirits. “Billy Elliot, the Musical” launches the 2015 season in January, followed by a one-night-only performance of “The Outsiders” in February. For younger audiences, the “Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” will be on stage in February. Interesting renditions of popular stories include “Carrie, the Musical” in March, and “Pride and Prejudice, the Musical” in April. Later in the year, a don’t-miss performance of “Mary Poppins” will be playing, and it is sure to sell out so now is the time to get tickets for this outstanding show.

Related: Best Dinner Theater In OC

(credit: Nick H./Yelp)

(credit: Nick H./Yelp)


“Hamlet”
Waltmar Theater At Chapman University
1 University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 977-6815
www.chapman.edu

Chapman University is home to an outstanding performing arts program, and the Waltmar Theater is the school’s home venue. In February, Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” will be on stage, directed by the amazing professor and creative giant Thomas Bradac. Bradac knows Shakespeare inside and out, and his vision of this timeless tragedy is guaranteed to captivate. Bradac’s direction of “Hamlet” is a must-see performance, and the location at Chapman University near the Old Town Orange Historic District makes it a perfect night out at the theater.

(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)


“Nicholas Nickleby” / “City Of Angels”
Stage Door Repertory
1045 N. Armando St., Suite A
Anaheim, CA 92806
(714) 630-7378
www.stagedoorrep.org

The Stage Door Repertory in Anaheim has two upcoming performances theater-lovers will not want to miss. Starting in January is Dickens’ “Nicholas Nickleby.” With an array of memorable characters typical of Dickens, this stage adaptation brings the novel to life and engages audiences with themes of social injustice and cruelty. Following this performance is the multiple award-winning musical “City of Angels.” Audiences will be transported to Hollywood in the 1940s and get wrapped up in a murder mystery that explores the dark nature of humanity. Thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable, these are two must-see upcoming performances.

Related: Best Movie Theaters In Orange County

David McDonald is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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