Christmas steals the stage

The holidays make some people merry, and drive others to drink. They inspire local thespians to take the stage.

Although there are a few non-Christmas shows in theaters, most area stages are currently consumed with holiday cheer.

The most prevalent show, of course, is Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol.” Seacoast stages are crawling with Scrooges and Tiny Tims and Ghosts of various Christmases, including at Players’ Ring Theatre in Portsmouth and the Leddy Center for the Performing Arts in Epping.

Meanwhile, George Hosker-Bouley plays Dickens himself in his annual dinner theater production, “A Dickens of a Christmas,” taking place at The Old Salt in Hampton.

There are some alternatives to “A Christmas Carol,” including “The Nutcracker” at the Rochester Opera House, as well as “Ring in the Rhythm at Duke’s Place,” a jazz and tap holiday show at The Dance Hall in Kittery, Maine.

The Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth is staging “Rudolfoletto,” a Christmas operetta about a gifted reindeer, conceived and written by UNH Prof. Douglas Wheeler.

The Garrison Players’ Arts Center in Rollinsford is presenting “Miracle on 34th Street,” a holiday show performed as a 1940s radio broadcast.

Finally, Pontine Theatre in Portsmouth is presenting “A New England Christmas.” Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers perform Christmas stories and poems by New England authors, featuring toy theater figures and animated storytelling.