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On Stage: Holiday Laughs

As we round the corner of Thanksgiving and head straight into the holiday season, you may be wondering how you're going to manage the sudden influx of calories, but fear not! Studies have shown that an hour of hearty laughter burns around 100 calories—that's about the same as vacuuming for 45 minutes or lifting weights for half an hour. So go ahead and indulge a little, then treat yourself to some comedy.

You won't have to look far to find it; laughter is in great supply onstage this season. If you love audience participation, don't miss the Tom Frye-penned melodrama about firefighters, Is Jack Frost Nipping at Your Hose? or Christmas at the Firehouse at Mosley Street Melodrama. This show plays Wednesdays through Sundays, now through December 28; it is rated PG13 for innuendo.

If satire is more your flavor, check out A Tuna Christmas, onstage at Roxy's Downtown. This two-man cast plays more than 20 characters in this show about a small Southern town's annual Christmas Yard Display contest; it features Tom Frye and Allan Baker. A Tuna Christmas runs Wednesdays through Sundays, now through December 22nd. Many of the shows have sold out, so if you want to see this one, don't wait too long.

And if you just can't get enough Nutcracker, and are open to a different spin, check out Ellington's Nutcracker, a jazz version of the holiday favorite from Friends University, featuring a live jazz band and guest dancers. You can catch it onstage at Sebits Auditorium, December 13 through December 21.

Sanda Moore Coleman received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University in 1991. Since then, she has been the arts and community editor for The Martha's Vineyard Times, a teaching fellow at Harvard University, and an assistant editor at Image. In 2011, she received the Maureen Egan Writers Exchange prize for fiction from Poets & Writers magazine. She has spent more than 30 years performing, reviewing, and writing for theatre.