With barely a breath between their fall productions and holiday specials, Western New York's theaters are already in the full swing of the holiday season. For those whose theatrical appetites at this time of year run to the Santa-themed and Christmas-infused, plenty of options are already up and running.
*O'Connell and Company's popular "Once Upon a Celtic Christmas" is on the stage of Erie Community College's Gleasner Hall (6205 Main St., Williamsville; 270-5947) through Dec. 18.
*The Irish Classical Theatre Company presents its remount of the adaptation of James Joyce's beloved short story "The Dead," which delighted critics and audiences alike last year, through Dec. 18 in the Andrews Theatre (625 Main St.; 853-4282).
*"A Christmas Story" remains on the stage of the Lancaster Opera House (21 Central Ave., Lancaster; 683-1776) through Sunday, after which the Opera House's own production of Kevin Oakes' play "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" runs from next Friday to Dec. 21.
*The Alleyway Theatre (1 Curtain Up Alley; 852-2600) opened its wildly popular original adaptation of "A Christmas Carol," starring John Smeathers as Scrooge, on Thursday night. The show, which almost always sells out, runs through Dec. 18.
*Plenty of church and community theater productions abound as well, including Lion and Lamb Productions' "The Glory of Christmas" through Saturday in Gateway Theatre (621 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda); "I'll Be Home for Christmas" through Sunday in Lockport's Ridgewood Bible Church (7073 Ridge Road, Lockport; 434-5774); the Alden Christian Theatre Society's "Two Christmas Tales: The Littlest Angel and Gift of the Magi" through Dec. 11 at 1470 Church St. in Alden (937-7770); "It's a Wonderful Life," through Dec. 18 at the Ghostlight Theatre (170 Schenck St., North Tonawanda); and Theatre in the Mist's "Christmas Belles" through Sunday in the Stella Niagara Theatre (4421 Lower River Road, Lewiston; 856-0694)
*At Theatre of Youth (203 Allen St.; 884-4400), the nominally holiday-themed "Junie B. Jones, Jingle Bells, Batmans Smells" runs through Dec. 18.
Meanwhile, three more local theaters are gearing up for their own holiday productions to begin shortly:
*Mike Randall will perform his own one-man version of "A Christmas Carol," impersonating Charles Dickens, in Buffalo East under the auspices of the American Repertory Theatre of Western New York (1410-12 Main St.; 634-1102). The show runs for two performances, on Dec. 16 and 17.
*The Kavinoky Theatre (320 Porter Ave.; 829-7668) hosts its production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," from Thursday to Dec. 18.
*And in one final pre-Christmas production, MusicalFare Theatre (4380 Main St. 839-8540) will host two performances of the recently announced show "The Holiday Guys," a yuletide revue featuring Broadway actors Jeffry Denman and Marc Kudisch, on Dec. 21 and 22.