As we enter the final month of 2023, there is plenty to sink your teeth into in the cultural space, from live music to comedy shows, plays, ballets and more. Whether you want to get into the festive spirit or are simply seeking your final fix of culture before the end of the year, here is our guide to everything to book tickets to in December.
Concerts By Candlelight: Christmas Classics
Immerse yourself in the festive spirit with the upcoming, Christmas-themed Concerts by Candlelight. Across two concerts in December, one on Saturday the 9th (at the Presbyterian Church St Luke’s by the Real Entertainment String Quartet, directed by Anna-Marie Alloway), the other on Thursday the 21st (at Holy Trinity in Parnell by the Kulios String Quartet), these events will capture the magic of Christmas. Attendees will be able to enjoy captivating musical performances featuring timeless scores from films like Love Actually and Home Alone, alongside other festive classics. Promising an unforgettable experience that perfectly blends the spirit of the season with the elegance of live orchestral arrangements, these Concerts by Candlelight are not to be missed! See here for more information and to book.
Australian multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter (and universal heart-throb) Matt Corby is heading back to New Zealand to play one show only tonight at The Powerstation. Set to be an unmissable show in one of the best venues, this is one you’ll want to try to secure tickets if you can. See here for more information and to book.
Christ! What a Night!
Delight in the holiday hilarity of Christ! What a Night! by internet and comedy personalities Chris Parker and Tom Sainsbury. This festive twist on the classic nativity story unfolds at the struggling Bethlehem Motor Inn, promising uproarious laughter as owners Mathew-Mark and Lucan John navigate a Christmas crisis. A blend of Kiwi comedy and Christmas charm, the play stars Parker and Sainsbury alongside a cast of some of New Zealand’s brightest talents. Don’t miss this campy cult hit that sold out in Christchurch and is set to dazzle in its return season. On from the 12th until the 16th of December at Q Theatre, see here for more information and to book.
Outdoor film screening: Home Alone in Aotea Square
Embrace the holiday spirit with a free screening of John Hughes’ timeless Christmas classic, Home Alone, at Aotea Square’s Outdoor Cinema on the Auckland Live Digital Stage. Join Macaulay Culkin’s character, Kevin, in his hilarious escapades as he defends his home from burglars with ingenious booby traps. Arrive early, secure your spot, and indulge in drinks and delicious treats from Container in the Square — the perfect evening under the stars for the whole family. See here for more information.
Concert By Candlelight: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and more, with ballet
Experience the magic of live music in an extraordinary setting at the Candlelight Concert in Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell. Set to take place on Thursday the 21st of December, this incredible performance will feature renditions of timeless melodies from the likes of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and other ballet classics performed by the Kulios String Quartet. Offering a serene ambience, enhanced by candlelight, the stage will be set for a 65-minute performance, featuring special guest appearances by accomplished ballerinas. Secure your tickets for an unforgettable evening where classical music and ballet come together in a unique and awe-inspiring way. See here for more information and to book.
The War on Drugs
Get ready for an electrifying comeback as The War On Drugs’ returns Down Under this month with a highly-anticipated tour (featuring the sensational Spoon and Indigo Sparke) set to ignite stages across Australia and New Zealand. Supporting the band’s latest album, I Don’t Live Here Anymore, the tour comes to Auckland’s Spark Arena on Saturday the 2nd of December and promises an unforgettable experience into the band’s signature rock and roll synthesis, led by Grammy-winning Adam Granduciel. See here for more information and to book tickets.
APO 4 Kids Christmas
Gather the whole family for a festive celebration at Auckland Philharmonia’s Family Christmas Concerts, taking place both on Saturday the 9th of December at Auckland Town Hall (with one session at 10am and another at 11:30am), and Sunday the 17th of December at Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna (with one session at 10am and another at 11:30am). Tailored to the youngest music lovers, this special series of events promises a joyful hour of music, singing and hands-on activities for little ones. Embrace the holiday spirit together in a fun-filled and interactive atmosphere that will delight the children as much as it will the parents. See here for more information and to book now.
The Sound of Music
Experience the timeless magic of The Sound of Music this December at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, courtesy of Encore Theatre Collective. This beloved musical, captivating audiences for over six decades, recounts the heartwarming story of Maria and the von Trapp family. Filled with cherished classics like ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ and ‘Edelweiss,’ the production promises enchanting performances from a stellar cast of talented young performers. Blending beautiful costumes, glorious music and the enduring charm of a universal classic, this production is not to be missed. On from the 8th until the 10th of December, see here for more information and to book tickets.
Hansel & Gretel RNZB
Embark on a mesmerising visual journey into the enchanting realm of Hansel & Gretel with the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s upcoming production. This fantastical show, drawing inspiration from silent movies and vaudeville, promises a magical experience with cinematic effects and original music. Follow Hansel and Gretel through a whimsical forest, pirouette with forest fairies and enter the Gingerbread House at the Witching Hour for a delectable and slightly sinister treat. On now in Auckland until the 9th of December, this ballet is a must-see for those craving a unique and deliciously theatrical experience. See here for more information and to book tickets.
APO Celebrate Christmas
On Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th of December, the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra will put on two incredible shows at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell in its annual celebration of the festive season. Join conductor Leonard Weiss, tenor Frederick Jones, and the Graduate Choir New Zealand for this Yuletide celebration, where the orchestra will enchant the audience with selections from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve Suite and Handel’s Messiah, alongside a line-up of beloved Christmas carols. This cherished event promises joyous music fit for the season, creating a special holiday experience for the whole family. See here for more information and to buy tickets.