Perhaps more than any other time, the weeks surrounding the holidays seem perfect for enjoying a production of a fairy tale classic. What can be more captivating than graceful heroines, plotting villains and soaring ballads — all with an inspiring lesson to boot? Lucky for Long Island theatergoers, there is still time to catch three shows with all the magic and just the right message for the season.
“A Christmas Carol”
WHEN | WHERE Friday and Saturday, 3 and 7 p.m., Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson
INFO $20-$35, 631-928-9100, www.theatrethree.com
Evoking the notion of Christmas spirit in more ways than one, the Charles Dickens story “A Christmas Carol” visits Port Jefferson’s Theatre Three with its 35th annual telling of the redemptive tale of everyone’s favorite mean-spirited miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. Adapted for the stage by Jeffrey E. Sanzel, the transformative journey comes courtesy of a ghostly trio who guide their charge through the past, present, and future — and ultimately his own bitterness — to discover the joy of the holidays.
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
WHEN | WHERE Friday, 8 p.m., Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, 2 p.m., The Argyle Theatre, 34 W. Main Street, Babylon
INFO $49-$74, 844-631-5483, www.argyletheatre.com
At the Argyle Theater in Babylon Village, the Hunchback of Notre Dame experiences less a transformation than a revelation. The musical, based on Victor Hugo’s novel with songs from the Disney animated film, recounts a deformed church bellringer’s quest for acceptance in the world beyond the cathedral spires. The disfigured Quasimodo strikes up a friendship with Esmeralda, an enchanting and kind-hearted gypsy who is lusted after by the hunchback’s callous guardian, the archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo. Esmeralda quickly sees who is the true monster of Notre Dame and who is its benevolent soul.
“Beauty and the Beast”
WHEN | WHERE Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m., Sundays, 7 p.m., Patchogue Theatre, 71 E. Main St.
INFO $29.50-$89, 631-286-1133, www.thegateway.org
Another “tale as old as time” captivates at Patchogue Theatre, where guests will be served up a smorgasbord of entertainment with the Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast.” Castle residents, from dancing dinnerware to a warbling wardrobe, put on a great show in an effort to win over the lovely Belle in the hope she will do the same for their monstrous master. Belle’s ability to look beyond the Beast’s mangy coat and see his worth brings about the revelation of his true princely self.
All three of these classic productions extend the luster of the holidays, not least by reminding us that no beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.