Holidaze 2022: Holidaze … on the stage and with family

click to enlarge Holidaze 2022: Holidaze … on the stage and with family
Mariachi Sol De Mexico with Jose Hernandez’s Merry-Achi Christmas has become an annual tradition. (Submitted)

Tucson arts patrons can celebrate the holidays with traditional events like “The Nutcracker” or celebratory twists on traditional happenings. Want something low-key? Visit Oro Valley or Marana for their tree-lighting ceremonies.


Centennial Hall

1020 E. University Boulevard

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, and

Wednesday, Nov. 23

A Magical Cirque Christmas

Magical hostess Lucy Darling leads guests through dazzling performances and breathtaking cirque artists, accompanied by holiday music. Get into the spirit with this family-friendly show.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6

Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller has become a holiday staple as the show is one of the top performances of the season. Enjoy Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics in a multimedia setting.

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9

Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr. celebrates the holiday with his take on Christmas classics, as well as his originals and fan favorites like “(It Must’ve Been Ol’) Santa Claus” and “When My Heart Finds Christmas.”

4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10

TDA: Spirit of Christmas

Tucson Dance Academy’s “The Spirit of Christmas” embraces “New York City Broadway Holiday magic” (including Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and the Grinch) and the spiritual dimension behind Christmas.

The Century Room

311 E. Congress Street



7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23

Nossa Bossa Nova:

Jazz Christmas Italiano”

Celebrate the holiday season with Nossa Bossa Nova as it performs songs from its 2020 album, “Jazz Christmas Italiano.”

Featuring Brice Winston, Richard Katz and Alejandro Canelos with Theresa and Mike Levy, the evening will blend traditional holiday standards, sung in Italian with acoustic jazz quartet.

7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday,

Dec. 24

Britney Chauntae:

A New Orleans Christmas”

New Orleans vocalist Britney Chauntae travels to Tucson celebrate Christmas with jazz music. In 2009, she competed, won, and toured with (BET) 106 & Park “Wild Out Wednesday Competition.” After that win, Chauntae wrote and performed music while living in California. She then signed on to write music in Australia with the likes of world-renowned aboriginal actor David Gulpilil.

Chauntae first visited New Orleans in early 2012, when she volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club and also sung on Bourbon Street at night. She made it her permanent home in 2014 — the same year she auditioned for season 14 of “American Idol.” She made it to Hollywood Week.

Fox Tucson Theatre

17 W. Congress


7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27

Jake Shimabukuro

Jolly ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro will celebrate the holidays with his “Christmas in Hawai’i” show.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1

A Carpenters Christmas featuring

Lisa Rock

Singer/playwright Lisa Rock and her six-piece backing band are keeping the Carpenters’ holiday traditions alive with their stage show.

Based on the music of the Carpenters’ two holiday albums and Christmas variety shows, “A Carpenters Christmas” features “Merry Christmas Darling” and the jazzy “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.”

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Holiday 2022

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy turns holiday songs into their own with jazzy versions of “Jingle Bells,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Winter Wonderland.”

Expect “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” with an Andrews Sisters-meets-the-blues spin, and a take on Heat Miser’s song from the classic “A Year Without a Santa Claus.”

The band rips through Chuck Berry’s “Run, Run Rudolph” and Lou Rawls’ “Merry Christmas Baby” and slows things down for Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” There’s a New Orleans-flavored “Frosty the Snowman” and a calypso “A Party for Santa.”

2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4


The heartwarming “Elf” makes its way to the Fox Tucson Theater.

For the few who have missed “Elf,” the 2003 film stars Will Ferrell as the title character — a human raised by Santa’s elves — who learns about his origins and heads to NYC to meet his biological father. The Fox’s Mighty Wurlitzer plays a medley of holiday tunes 30 minutes before the movie starts.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9

In the Christmas Mood: A Holiday

Music Spectacular”

Produced by Khris Dodge Entertainment, “In the Christmas Mood” showcases holiday tunes such as “Sleigh Ride,” “Happy Holidays,” “Jingle Bells” and “The Christmas Song.”

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10

The Mavericks’ “Very Merry Christmas Tour” with special guest

JD McPherson

Grammy winners the Mavericks will play selections from their 2018 holiday album “Hey! Merry Christmas!” along with hits from their 30-year career. JD McPherson guests.

8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15

Doo Wop Project:

A Doo Wop Christmas”

Hear holiday hits with a doo-wop twist. The show features Christmas tracks as well as “doo-wopified” versions of hits by Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5 and Sam Smith.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16

Merry-Achi Christmas

Mariachi Sol De Mexico with Jose Hernandez’s Merry-Achi Christmas has become an annual tradition.

While his family tree is rooted in five generations of Mariachi musicians who hail from La Sierra del Tigre region of Jalisco, Hernandez grew mariachi music in new lands, in new musical genres and in the hearts of new audiences.

2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday,

Dec. 17

The Polar Express”

The computer-animated 2004 film “The Polar Express” stars Tom Hanks, with Daryl Sabara, Nona Gaye, Jimmy Bennett and Eddie Deezen.

The Fox’s Mighty Wurlitzer will play a medley of holiday tunes 30 minutes before the film begins.

7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18

All is Calm:

The Christmas Truce of 1914”

A German soldier sings “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace. A true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.

2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23

It’s a Wonderful Life”

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a 1946 American Christmas fantasy drama film produced and directed by Frank Capra.

Based on the short story and booklet “The Greatest Gift,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his personal dreams to help others in his community. His suicidal thoughts on Christmas Eve bring about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers). The Fox’s Mighty Wurlitzer will play a medley of holiday tunes 30 minutes before the movie starts.

Leo Rich Theater

260 S. Church Avenue, Tucson


Various times Friday, Dec. 2, to Sunday, Dec. 4

Reveille Men’s Chorus’ “The Gift”

With a mission of promoting acceptance of LGBTQI individuals through music, Reveille Men’s Chorus will present its 28th season holiday show.


Linda Ronstadt Music Hall

260 S. Church Avenue


2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11

Tucson Regional Ballet’s

A Southwest Nutcracker”


Tucson Regional Ballet’s “A Southwest Nutcracker” transports Tchaikovsky’s traditional Nutcracker to 1880s Tucson, giving the characters and events a Sonoran Desert twist.

Since 2003, Tucson Regional Ballet has collaborated with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for live accompaniment.

Various times Saturday,

Dec. 17, and Sunday, Dec. 18

Tucson Symphony Orchestra: “Happy Holidays ¡Feliz Navidad!”

Join Maestro José Luis Gomez, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Tucson Girls Chorus, the Tucson Boys Chorus and other special guest artists to celebrate the holidays with a multicultural Tucson flavor.

Various times Thursday,

Dec. 22, to Saturday, Dec. 24

The Nutcracker”

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra teams with Ballet Tucson for “the Nutcracker.”

Tucson Convention Center

260 S. Church Avenue


Various times Sunday, Nov. 20, to Sunday, Jan. 8

Tucson Holiday Ice

The Tucson Holiday Ice Rink, hosted by the city of Tucson, will be located on Church Avenue, south of Broadway, in front of the Tucson Convention Center.

Skates begin at size 8 for children and run as large as size 15 for adult men. Socks are required, and gloves are highly recommended. Tickets are for 90-minute sessions; adults $20, $14 for children younger than 12. Skate assists are $5. Private use is $700 per 90-minute session during off hours.

Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


11555 W. Civic Center Drive, Marana


3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3

Marana Holiday Festival & Christmas Tree Lighting

The Marana Holiday Festival & Christmas Tree Lighting features artisan and craft vendors; more than 30 food trucks and vendors; free rides on the holiday train; free bouncy castles/inflatables experiences; a photo booth with Desert Photo Booth; holiday laser projections in Santa’s Courtyard/Christmas Tree Lighting (6 p.m.); free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus; letters to Santa station; community performances and a creation station with Lucky Cat Social Art.

Oro Valley

Oro Valley Marketplace,

12155 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley


Various times Saturday,

Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4

Oro Valley Festival of the Arts and Holiday Tree Lighting

Oro Valley Marketplace hosts the Oro Valley Festival of the Arts and Holiday Tree Lighting. Known as one of the largest fine art and craft festivals in the region, the event is programmed for all age groups.

Hosted by Mayor Joe Winfield and Santa, the Oro Valley Tree Lighting Celebration is 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, preceded by cookie decorating and free photos with Santa and the Golder Ranch Fire Truck (3:30 to 5:30 p.m.). Arts Action Station will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 3 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 4.


Children’s Museum Tucson

200 S. Sixth Avenue, Tucson


10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m

Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4

Gingerbread Workshop

For $50, up for four guests can design a preconstructed house with tons of icing and candy. Reservations required.

Southern Arizona

Transportation Museum

414 N. Toole Avenue, Tucson


10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday,

Dec. 17

17th Annual Holiday Express

Features visits with Santa in front of “Oklahoma’s” Locomotive 1673, bilingual exhibits, a reading of “The Polar Express,” singing of holiday music, and an arts and crafts show.