While some may argue that the art of dinner theater is lost on us IE Philistines, the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont has got the clout, history and raw talent to bust that myth all the way from here to Victorville. The concept’s simple: You eat some white tablecloth victuals. Watch a great theatrical or musical production. Then, time for dessert. Sublime entertainment at its finest. And if you’re burned out on having It’s a Wonderful Life clog up your DVR’s memory, try the Pavilion’s latest yuletide offering with A Candlelight Christmas, which runs through Dec. 27. Part of the plot involves radio station WPOL fighting to remain on the air after the Ol‘ Greedy Owners begin contemplating shutting down the place and turning the facility into a Starbucks—even sending a soulless lawyer to sniff around. Corporate overthrow threatening the holidays? Not if Santa and Mrs. Claus, Candy Cane, Henderson P. Hatchford (the puppet man with a thousand voices) and Ursula the Swedish usherette have anything to say about it! Directed by Doug Austin, A Candlelight Christmas packs humor and sprightly musical numbers (check out the toy soldier romp) plus touches of audience participation that no Jimmy Stewart flick can match. Sorry, Bedford Falls.
A Candlelight Christmas at the Candlelight Pavilion, 455 Foothill Blvd., Claremont, (909) 626-1254; www.candlelightpavilion.com. Thru Sun, Dec. 27. $48-$75.