The Willers in the New York production of Absinthe
(© Joan Marcus)
The Willers in the New York production of Absinthe
(© Joan Marcus)
The winter holiday season comes to the Sunshine State this December and with it comes a number of theatrical migrants from the more frigid regions of the world. From Ross Mollison and P.S. 122 Artistic Director Vallejo Gantner comes Absinthe @ Spiegelworld (December 20-February 17). This sultry combination of traditional vaudeville, Berliner Kabarett, and cirque nouveau recently finished its second summer at New York's South Street Seaport. As in New York, Absinthe performs in its own temporary performance venue, the Spielgeltent, which can be found in Collins Park, right in the heart of Miami Beach. For a more family-friendly circus event, try Cirque Eve, a spectacular show featuring performers from around the world (Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, December 27-29).

For a more traditional evening of theater, catch the touring production of the recent West End revival of My Fair Lady, Lerner & Loewe's classic musical adaptation of Shaw's Pygmalion, at the massive new Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami (December 18-23).

Musical lovers will also want to see Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell in concert at the Kravis Center (December 12). Also at the Kravis Center are Philadelphia native Vince Valentine in the one-man comedy tour-de-force Defending the Caveman (December 6-9), Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (December 13-15), and New York's Forbidden Broadway: Special Victim's Unit (December 26-31).

A home grown production certain to make a big splash is John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt, about the questionable behavior of a priest in a Bronx Catholic school, which receives its South Florida premiere at the Caldwell Theatre Company (December 2-January 6). Also not to be missed is the musical comedy spoof The Boy Friend (Maltz Jupiter Theatre, December 4-16) and New Vista Theatre's Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (First at the Miniaci PAC December 20-January 6, then at West Boca Performing Arts Theater January 17-February 3). Sarasota's Florida Studio Theatre presents the Civil War-era horse racing drama Pure Confidence (December 5-January 26), while across town Asolo Rep begins performances of the classic comedy of manners, The Constant Wife (December 5-March 12).

Get in the holiday spirit with Babes in Toyland (December 10) and A Christmas Carol (December 22), both at Melbourne's Maxwell King Center for the Performing Arts. George Balanchine's The Nutcracker comes to the Carnival Center (December 14-16), along with The Manhattan Transfer Christmas Concert (December 20). For a variation on the traditional holiday Nutcracker, see Atlantic Dance Theater's The Mixed Nut (The Atlantic Theater, December 14-16). Atlantic Theater also offers their own rendition of A Christmas Carol (December 21-23). Orlando Shakespeare Theatre presents the off-beat two man comedy, A Tuna Christmas (through December 23). Celebrate the season as only the British know how, with Davy Jones (of The Monkees) starring in Gold Coast Theatre's traveling Pantomine, Aladdin (Kravis Center, December 23; Broward Center December 26-27; Colony Theatre December 30).

On the Panhandle, Tallahassee Little Theatre presents Alan Ball's 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress (December 7-16). Meanwhile, Pensacola Little Theatre presents the holiday favorite, A Christmas Story, about 9-year-old Ralphie Parker who wants an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle more than anything for Christmas (December 7-16).

Finally, ring in the New Year with GC Comedy and their New Year's Eve Spectacular (Atlantic Theater, December 31), a blend of improvised, sketch, and musical comedy. Audience members are also invited to welcome 2008 by watching the ball drop in Times Square on the large screen in the theater.