Erik Gratton plays Buddy in "Elf" at the John W. Engeman Theater...

Erik Gratton plays Buddy in "Elf" at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport. Credit: John W. Engeman Theater/Michael DeCristofaro

While red velvet and twinkling lights are certain to put anyone in the holiday spirit, their power to elicit joy heightens when adorning a stage. Through the end of the month, crimson gold-fringed curtains rise and bright footlights beam on a pageant of yuletide-themed productions across Long Island, from cherished classics to whimsical fare.

THE SHOW “White Christmas”

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 30, Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St.

INFO $25-$38; 631-724-3700,

This perennial adapted from the eponymous 1954 motion picture, adds significant color to the Smithtown Performing Arts Center’s playlist this season. The tale about two song-and-dance men who team up with a sister act to save a failing Vermont inn may not be heavy on plot but serves up the perfect dose of holiday nostalgia and timeless Irving Berlin tunes including “Blue Skies,” “Happy Holidays” and the iconic title song.

THE SHOW "Elf the Musical"

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m.. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, and 3 p.m. Monday, through Dec. 30, John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St. Northport

INFO $73-$78, 631-261-2900,

This modern-day fantasy based on the popular 2003 Will Ferrell movie follows Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly ends up in the North Pole miscast as an elf. When he grows up, he heads to New York City to find his biological father and spread his joyful, if wacky, spirit, which includes "singing loud for all to hear.”

THE SHOW "Annie"

WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at the CM Performing Arts Center, 931 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale 

INFO $18-$42; 631-218-2810,

The sun will come with “Tomorrow” belted out by the young talent in “Annie” at Oakdale’s Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at the CM Performing Arts Center. The feel-good musical based on the long-running comic strip has proved to have staying power of its own, enchanting fans since its 1977 Broadway debut. Nothing says holiday cheer more than watching everyone’s favorite redhead get a “New Deal for Christmas.”

WHAT “A Christmas Story: The Musical”

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, and 2 p.m. Wednesday, through Jan. 6, BayWay Arts Center, 265 E. Main St., East Islip

INFO $15-$30; 631-531-2700,

Based on the semi-autobiographical writings of Indiana-born radio personality and author Jean Shepherd, the throwback tale and its catchy, period-tinged score brings audiences back to the childhood excitement of hoping for the Christmas gift of your dreams. The nostalgia will glow as bright as the Parkers' leg lamp.


Christmas without Rudolph? Bah humbug! The Interplay Jazz Orchestra, the only big band on Long Island that composes and arranges its own music, delivers the classics we all know and love in its third annual concert to ring in the festive season. The CMJ Jazz Radio chart-topping ensemble puts its own spin on newer additions to the holiday canon, including Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” and “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late),” along with jazzing up other standards. A performance worthy of topping your Christmas list.

WHEN/WHERE Saturday, Dec. 22, 2 p.m., The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Avenue, Stony Brook

INFO $15-$25, 631-751-1895,

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