South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa will present its annual production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" until Dec. 26.

Jerry Path's adaptation of one man's redemption and new lease on life stars Hal Landon Jr. as Ebenezer Scrooge for the 34th consecutive year. The 33-person cast, including 16 local child and teen actors, will regale audiences with a traditional holiday story while dressed in period costumes and framed by dazzling sets.

"A Christmas Carol" will be hosted in the Folino Theater Center at 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. Tickets, which start at $21 for children and $26 for adults, are sold out except for the final performance at 7:30 p.m.

For show times and more information, visit http://www.scr.org or call the box office at (714) 708-5555.

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The Newport Theatre Arts Center, at 2501 Cliff Drive, Newport Beach, hosts its first Holiday Variety Show at 6 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 22.

The community-based concept is culturally inclusive and religiously neutral, while telling the tale of the Field Mouse Family of Newport Beach. Family members fear that their modest Christmas tree will be overlooked by Santa Claus amid other decorations and festivities. Guests can partake in the celebrations and discover whether Santa makes a stop at their Noble Fir condo.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Doors open 30 minutes ahead of each performance. Pre-show entertainment includes magic acts, swing dancing, refreshments and a holiday boutique.

For more information, visit http://www.ntaconline.com or call (949) 631-0288.

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Members of Newport Harbor Lutheran and Mesa Verde United Methodist churches team up for a performance of George Frederic Handel's "Messiah" at 4 p.m. Dec. 22.

The popular Christmas concert selection features tunes including "Hallelujah" and "For unto us a child is born" and will be showcased at Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, 798 Dover Drive.

The suggested ticket donation is $20.

For more information, call (949) 548-3631 or visit http://www.nhlcs.org.

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"The Nutcracker" comes to the Irvine Barclay Theatre until Dec. 24, courtesy of Fountain Valley-based Festival Ballet Theatre.

Starting with a 19th-century holiday party, the show follows a young girl's journey into the Sugarplum Fairy's kingdom. The story of Clara and her beloved Nutcracker Prince is accompanied by Peter Tchaikovsky's music.

This production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre's artistic director Salwa Rizkalla and features more than 100 Southern Californian dancers as well as guest artists including Fabrice Calmels, Beckanne Sisk and Stella Abrera.

Tickets are $40 for adults, $37 for seniors and $35 for children.

For show times and further information, visit http://www.thebarclay.org.