MONTREAL — The holiday season brings with it unique stage performances.
Here are a few Montreal productions not to miss.
La Tohu, Montreal’s premier circus arts venue, presents “Traces” by the circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main. The family-friendly show enjoyed its debut at La Tohu in 2006 and has since traveled the world garnering rave reviews in the likes of Time Magazine and The New York Times. The updated show returns to La Tohu and features a band of seven performers who, when in the face of destruction, opt to live in the here and now the way they know best — through music, song and high-flying acrobatics.
It runs various dates from Dec. 17 through 31. Adult tickets range from $32 to $48, with discounts for seniors and youths. At 2345 Jarry St. E. Call (514) 376-8648 or visit www.tohu.ca.
More circus fun can be had by the masters of the art with the colorful return engagement of the Cirque du Soleil production of “Varekai” at the Bell Centre Dec. 20 through 30. The show explores a reinvention of the myth of Icarus, a character in Greek mythology who escapes Crete on a pair of fashioned wings but falls to Earth by flying too close to the sun. Tickets cost $62 to $191. Tickets are available at www.evenko.ca.
The lyrics may be different, but the tunes and melodies are as memorable as a cherished holiday memory. “Decembre” (December) is a lush stage musical production that offers classic takes on seasonal Christmas carols — all sung in French. “Decembre” is performed at Place des Arts on various dates beginning tonight through Dec. 29. Adult tickets range from $49.50 to $84. Call the PDA box office at (514) 842-2112 or visit www.pda.qc.ca.
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens presents the perennial holiday favorite “The Nutcracker” on various dates beginning tonight through Dec. 30. This year’s edition offers a Montreal milestone as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of Fernand Nault’s version of the classic tale. Nault was a former GBC co-artistic director and resident choreographer who brought his unique vision to “Nutcracker,” which has since become a Montreal mainstay for the past five decades. Adult tickets range from $63 to $124. Call the PDA box office at (514) 842-2112 or visit www.pda.qc.ca.
The Centaur Theatre presents its annual “Urban Tales,” seasonally untraditional, original cabaret-style stage works for mature audiences only. This year’s theme tackles “Ladies’ Night” and offers a bevy of seven local Montreal actresses who “spoof the ideal of seasonal holiday cheer.” It runs tonight through Dec. 14. Tickets cost $22 for adults. At 453 St. François Xavier St. Call (514) 288-3161 or visit www.centaurtheatre.com.
The Rialto Theatre presents “A Holiday Celebration” performed by the Lyric Theatre Singers in a special benefit concert for the Montreal Children’s Library on Dec. 15. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $23 for students and seniors, and $12 for children. At the Rialto Theatre, 5723 Avenue du Parc. Call (514) 770-7773 or visit www.rialtotheatre.ca.
Then ring in a most elegant New Year with “Salute to Vienna,” an annual orchestral tradition always held on the afternoon of Jan. 1. The production features a cast of 75 musicians, European singers and graceful dancers. A Strauss waltz is never far away. Tickets range from $54 to $99. Call the PDA box office at (514) 842-2112 or visit www.pda.qc.ca.
Finally, start the New Year on a musical note with the touring production of the Broadway hit “American Idiot” featuring the music of Green Day. It’s performed Jan. 4 and 5 at Place des Arts. Tickets range from $44 to $78. Call the PDA box office at (514) 842-2112 or visit www.pda.qc.ca.
Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at iTunes.com.