If it's December, then that means there are plenty of holiday shows that annually crop up, including Orlando Shakespeare Theatre's production of Every Christmas Story Ever Told (December 2-27). If you're looking for dollar value, it doesn't get much better than every popular yuletide yarn milked thoroughly for laughs in 90 minutes by three men and their "reingoat." In Jupiter, there's a more focused spoof as a community theatre group fumbles their way through a production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in A Farndale Christmas (December 18-23), playing at the Atlantic Theatre. Meanwhile in Fort Myers, the Florida Repertory Theatre stages The Santaland Diaries (December 10-31), a hilarious look behind the scenes of a Macy's department store elf adapted from the essay by David Sedaris.
For more earthy fare, head to Tampa for Gorilla Theatre's staging of Christmas Trio (December 3-20). This story of a broken home brought together for the holidays is a tribute to the late author and Gorilla Theatre founder Susan Hussey. And for the more traditional Christmas theatergoer, Cape Coral's Cultural Park Theatre spices up their Dickens with a little song in their production of Ebenezer Scrooge: The Musical (December 4-13).
The Fort Lauderdale area turns into old-school Broadway this month, with the Broward Stage Door Theatre staging the bright lights-big city musical 42nd Street (December 11-January 24) in Coral Springs and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts playing host to the cabaret stylings of a theater legend with An Evening With Rita Moreno (December 4-5). Also at the Broward Center, catch the touring production of The Phantom of the Opera (December 23-January 17) on its only Florida stop this month. And further south, the Gable Stage at the Biltmore in Coral Gables has Farragut North (December 26-January 24), Beau Willimon's look behind the podium of a president's press secretary and his struggles to stay afloat in the muddy waters of Washington politics.
In West Palm, get an evening full of classic British humor with Delray Beach Playhouse's production of the Noel Coward comedy Fallen Angels (December 4-20). Palm Beach Dramaworks stages Copenhagen (December 18-January 31), Michael Frayn's drama of dueling philosophies between physicists Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr. And at the Kravis Center, you can see both the latest edition of the White Way send-up Forbidden Broadway (December 26-31) and the touring production of that scandalicious Kander & Ebb musical Chicago (December 21-23) before it heads west to the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples (December 26-28).
West to Sarasota, we find the Asolo repertory Theatre's season in full swing with productions of Bertolt Brecht's examination of The Life of Galileo (December 11-February 17) and Miklos Laszlo's The Perfume Shop (December 4-April 1), the inspiration for several classic romantic comedies. The Florida Studio Theatre takes a look at several immigrants' search for identity in the Big Apple with the one-woman show Bridge & Tunnel (December 16-February 13), while the Manatee Players stage the feel-good redheads and riches musical Annie (December 3-23) in Bradenton.
In the Fort Myers area, see Theatre Conspiracy's production of Over the River and Through the Woods (December 3-19), a comic look at the ties that bind an upwardly mobile Jersey boy to his too-doting grandparents. At the nearby Venice Theatre, it's The Great American Trailer Park Musical (December 4-20), a laughable night out in the sticks.
And lastly, the ribald singing puppets of Avenue Q make several blink-and-you'll-miss-it visits to Florida. Catch the award-winning musical at the King Center December 8-9, Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall December 10-11, the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach December 12 and the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center December 13.