If you're starting to look into holiday shows and holiday gifts, look at the offerings on Goldstar. You'll save 50% on most tickets. (I do get a small commission on bookings through here with my code, but I wouldn't offer them if they weren't a good deal).
Peter and the Starcatcher - in Palo Alto
Peter and the Starcatcher, the multiple Tony Award-winning show that The New York Times called "the most exhilarating storytelling on Broadway in decades," is the swashbuckling, madcap prequel to Peter Pan. Inventive stagecraft and an imaginative story combine to reveal the origins of "the boy who wouldn't grow up" in this madcap music-filled adventure. A hilarious romp through the Neverland you never knew, join in on an action-packed adventure that brings pirates, orphans and secret agents of the Queen together on the high seas. Based on the bestselling novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and written by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys), Peter and the Starcatcher boasts an all-star creative team and weaves an enchanting tale that appeals to both adults and kids.
This link will take you to all the Bay Area Nutcracker offerings.
The MeshugaNutcracker! in Campbell
This show (which I'm featuring later in the season) combines Tchaikovsky's score and Chanukah lore. It's good for the family. Their description:
Take the melodious music from Tchaikovsky's classic The Nutcracker Ballet, mix in eight poignant and witty stories celebrating the miracle of Chanukah and what you get is The MeshugaNutcracker! The libretto tells the tale of eight Chelmniks (citizens of Chelm, the fictional town of fools) who gather once a year to perform their Chanukah festival. Through the course of the two-act musical they revel in traditional Jewish songs and honor the triumphs of Chanukah heroes, all in their delightfully foolish Chelm style. Add spinning dreidels and twirling chanukiot and you'll have visions of sufganiyot dancing in your head.
Cirque du Soleil's Holidaze - in San Jose
Experience gingerbread men flipping in midair, snowmen intricately balancing, icemen sculpting, penguins spinning, puppets dancing and reindeer soaring high above a landscape of holiday wonderment in Cirque Dreams: Holidaze. This visual marvel features an original music score along with some seasonal favorites, more than 30 international artists in beautiful costumes and marvelous settings filled with colossal candy canes, gigantic gifts and 30-foot-tall towering soldiers. Now in its sixth year, this touring production, which "dazzled" at The Kennedy Center (The Washington Post), brings the magic of the holidays to life before your eyes.
Cirque du Soleil's KURIOS -- Cabinet of Curiosities - in San Francisco
I haven't seen a bad Cirque show yet. Their description: What if, by engaging your imagination and opening your mind, you could alter reality and unlock the door to a world of wonders? Welcome to the realm of KURIOS -- Cabinet of Curiosities from Cirque du Soleil. Step into the curio cabinet of an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimension in order to reinvent everything around him. Suddenly, the visible becomes invisible, perspectives are transformed, and the world is literally turned upside down in a place that's as beautiful as it is mysterious. Stunning acrobatics blend with unusual curiosity acts, and otherworldly characters spring to life before your eyes. Is this magical, mechanical land real, or just a figment of your imagination? You have to see it to disbelieve it. This offer gets you great discounts on tickets purchased in groups of 2 to 8.
A Christmas Carol - A.C.T. - in San Francisco
A.C.T.'s acclaimed, music-infused adaptation of Dickens' beloved tale returns in a sumptuous production that's become one of the Bay Area's favorite holiday traditions. A large, lively cast tells the story of lonely old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, a bah-humbuggy sort who's shown a second chance by four ghosts who visit him one spooky Christmas Eve. A classic story of redemption and forgiveness, A Christmas Carol captures the true spirit and magic of the holiday season, especially in this imaginative version written by A.C.T.'s own artistic director Carey Perloff and alumnus Paul Walsh.
Smuin Ballet's Uncorked - in Mountain View
A nontraditional Christmas tradition, Smuin Ballet's Uncorked: The Christmas Ballet is an utterly enjoyable night of dance set to an eclectic mix of music, from Mozart to Elvis to Irish folk band The Chieftains. This enchanting evening is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. The first half of the program will display Smuin's mastery of traditional ballet, while the second half lets loose with a collection of fresh, fun and fantastical pieces. Founded by Tony-winning choreographer-dancer Michael Smuin, Smuin Ballet has for 20 years been dedicated to fusing the spirit of American popular culture with ballet.
Moscow Ballet's Famed Great Russian Nutcracker - in Cupertino
Experience all the wonder and beauty of Moscow Ballet's famed Great Russian Nutcracker, a dazzling holiday tradition that features gorgeous Swarovski crystal-laden costumes, life-sized matrushka dolls, 10-foot-tall silk puppets and a show-stopping "Dove of Peace" formation in which two dancers become one bird with a 20-foot wingspan. Interwoven into this year's production is a peek inside Masha's magical toy cabinet plus a charming display of authentic Russian Christmas puppetry. This is your chance to see the award-winning principal dancers and corps de ballet perform Olympic-worthy leaps, lifts and pirouettes as they tell the heartwarming tale of Masha meeting her prince.
Ballet San Jose's The Nutcracker: "Strikingly Original" in San Jose
Costumes designed by Oscar and Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Theoni V. Aldredge and the graceful leaps and pirouettes of close to 100 talented dancers highlight Ballet San Jose's visually-stunning version of Tchaikovsky's holiday classic. Since its premiere in 2012, this full-length production has charmed and impressed Bay Area audiences and critics alike, providing an exciting new annual tradition for Nutcracker fans and families. In fact, CriticalDance.com calls choreographer Karen Gabay's take on E.T.A. Hoffmann's timeless story "a thoughtful and fresh interpretation ... complete with elegant dancing and striking originality."