First, he’s an ill-tempered old crab, then a man whose eyes are opened when he pays attention to the people around him from his past and present, and then he becomes the very spirit of the holidays, greeting strangers on the street and stopping by his nephew’s house for dinner. The Playhouse does a bang-up job with magical special effects, funny moments and genuine emotions. Stock up on some cheer this week and you’ll be able to keep Christmas in your heart all through the year. Through Dec. 30. Cincinnati Playhouse, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams. 513-421-3888, cincyplay.com.