Nightmares Before Christmas

Between Halloween and Christmas Day we’re somehow expected to transform from death-worshipping Satanists into selfless and giving purveyors of jingle-jangle bell cheer. For those ghost-loving creepers who have a harder time transitioning between the tentpole holidays, there is one holiday traditional that falls somewhere in the middle.

The Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, manages to blur the lines of horror and cheer with a spooky Christmas ghost story. The holiday play, presented by the Southwest Shakespeare Company at Mesa Arts Center, features the incorrigible Scrooge and three spooky spirits – representatives of Christmases past, present, and future – as well as lovable Tiny Tim, and the Cratchit family. Scrooge faces the mistakes and joys throughout his life with the help of three spirits and ultimately comes to realize the evil in his greedy, heartless ways.

Sat., Nov. 26, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 27, 3 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 4, 3 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 10, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 11, 3 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 17, 2 & 7:30 p.m., 2011