DANCE: DEC. 1-3
There's the usual "Nutcracker" — and then there's "The Hawaiian Nutcracker Ballet," presented by Honolulu Dance Theatre. King Kalakaua and Princess Ka'iulani come to life in this Christmas tribute to the people of the Islands. Be on the lookout for ancient-warrior battles, the waltz of the hibiscus flowers and the magical land of the rainbows.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 / Hawai'i Theatre / $10-$24 plus $2 restoration fee / 528-0506, www.hawaiitheatre.com
DANCE: DEC. 6
Bayanihan, the Philippine National Folk Dance Company, brings traditional folklore, music, dance and costumes of the Philippines to Honolulu — the first time since November 2001.
7 p.m. Dec. 6 / Blaisdell Concert Hall / $15, $25 and $40 / (877) 750-4400, 680-0451, www.ticketmaster.com
STAGE: DEC. 6-10
It's the attack of New York's Macy's Santaland! The horrors of the holidays are documented in "The Santaland Diaries" with screaming children, ferocious mothers and crazed Santas. David Sedaris wrote this one-man show filled with satire and much political incorrectness. Andrew Meader, left, reprises the role from last holiday season.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7, 8 p.m. Dec. 8-9 and 4 p.m. Dec. 10 / Manoa Valley Theatre, 2833 East Manoa Road / $20 general, $15 for MVT season subscribers / 988-6131, www.manoavalleytheatre.com
ETC.: DEC. 9-JAN. 28
And you thought the Tyrannosaurus Rex was extinct. ... Meet some of the most amazing creatures to have roamed the Earth at "Dinosaurs Alive!" the traveling exhibit that lands at the Bishop Museum. There'll be hands-on activities and special teaching displays among the prehistoric surroundings.
9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, Dec. 9-Jan. 28 / Bishop Museum, Castle Memorial Building / $14.95 general, $11.95 youths and seniors; discounts for kama'aina, and military; free for keiki 3 and younger and museum members / 847-3511, www.bishopmuseum.org
CONCERT: DEC. 10
You'll be carolling along the way to Hawaiian favorites with kumu/composer/singer Keali'i Reichel, below, as he guest stars with the harmonious Ho'okena in the group's annual Christmas concert. Reichel's "Maluhia" and Ho'okena's "Home for the Holidays" will serenade the audience, with occasional hula accents.
7 p.m. Dec. 10 / Ala Moana Hotel, Hibiscus Room / $65 general, $32.50 for children 4 to 11 (prices include buffet dinner) / 955-4811
CONCERT: DEC. 16
Pop music icon Billy Joel comes to Hawai'i for the first time in two decades with six Grammy awards, 100 million CDs sold and 33 Top 10 hits under his belt. The singer, songwriter and "Piano Man" is known for hits such as "New York State of Mind," "Uptown Girl," "Goodnight Saigon" and "We Didn't Start the Fire," to name a few. Billy Joel's live shows are milestones in concert history and this tour is his first major set of solo concert performances since his fabled 1998-99 run of 64 shows in front of 1.1 million fans.
8 p.m. Dec. 16 / Blaisdell Arena / $65 and $95/ (877) 750-7500, www.ticketmaster.com
Also: Joel performs at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's A&B Amphitheater. $75, $95 (VIP packages also available). (808) 242-7469, www.mauiarts.org
CONCERTS: DEC. 21-23
The true aloha spirit resides in "A Cazimero Christmas," featuring The Brothers Cazimero (from left, Roland and Robert), the ever-popular duo of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music. Also celebrating the season: The Caz' longtime hula pal Leina'ala Heine, the Royal Dance Company, Halau Na Kamalei, The Honolulu Boy Choir and the Miss and Master Keiki Hula from the Lili'uokalani Keiki Hula Festival.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-23 / Hawai'i Theatre / $28-$73 plus $2 restoration fee / 528-0506, www.hawaiitheatre.com