Chicago Holiday Theater Productions: A Comprehensive Guide

Chicago Holiday Theater Productions: A Comprehensive Guide

The Chicago theater community will present a wide variety of festive plays and musicals, as well as dance and concert offerings this Holiday season.  The League of Chicago Theatres has created a list of offerings (below) with an updated list of holiday shows that will be available throughout the season at  The following is a selection of Holiday-themed work playing in Chicago, thus far,  this season.

 Classic Chicago favorites include:

1) The Goodman Theatre presents the beloved Chicago tradition, Charles Dickens’ classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL, November 17 - December 29, 2012.

2) Capra’s holiday staple gets the 1940’s radio treatment with IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: The Radio Play, now in its eleventh year at American Theatre Company, November 23 – December 30, 2012, and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Live at the Biograph! presented by American Blues Theater at Victory Gardens, November 23 – December 30, 2012.

3) The House Theatre presents its fantastical version of THE NUTCRACKER, weaving dance, text, and songs to tell a story of magic and mystery, November 8 – December 30, 2012.

4) THE SANTALAND DIARIES, David Sedaris’ beloved account of his time in the trenches as an Elf at Macy’s returns, now in its eighth year, starring Mitchell Fain at Theater Wit, November 23 – December 29, 2012.

5) The Mercury Theater presents the Chicago holiday favorite, THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER, November 23 – December 30, 2012.

6) Black Ensemble Theater presents THE OTHER CINDERELLA, ajoyous retelling of the familiar fairy tale with an Afro-centric twist, November 23, 2012 – January 6, 2013.

 Holiday-themed musicals include:

1) Artistic Director Charles Newell and Music Director Doug Peck team up for a delightful reimagining of Court Theatre’s eccentric holiday classic, James Joyce’s “The Dead,” November 8 – December 9, 2012.

2) Fox Falley Repertory presents THE WINTER WONDERETTES a holiday musical full of classic “60s hits” and a missing Santa, at Pheasant Run Resort and Spa, November 15 – December30, 2012.

3) Porchlight Music Theatre celebrates the true meaning of the holiday season with the new musical THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI, at Stage 773, November 17 – December 30, 2012.

4) The National Pastime Theater presents HANNUKATZ THE MUSICAL, a totally new spin on Dreidl Days, November 29 – December 30, 2012.

5) Broadway in Chicago brings Dr. Seuss' classic to life in Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, featuring the hit songs "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas," at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, December 5 – 16, 2012.

Holiday comedies include:

1) The Second City presents a seasonal blend of hilarious scenes, songs, and improvisation in NUT-CRACKING HOLIDAY REVUE at Up Comedy Club, November 22 – December 30, 2012.

2) ComedySportz gets in the holiday spirit with IT’S A BIEBERFUL LIFE, a parody of the classic story featuring a fictional Justin Bieber visited by an angel with a distinct resemblance to Robert Pattinson, November 16 – December 29, 2012, as well as THE COMEDYSPORTZ CREW MEETS THE SNOW QUEEN, a special take on the Hans Christian Anderson story, November 17, 2012 – January 19, 2013.

3) Hell in a Handbag Productions returns to Mary’s Attic with the hilarious and politically-incorrect holiday escape RUDOLPH THE RED HOSED REINDEER, November 29 – December 30, 2012.

4) Dickens reaches his breaking point in Charles Dickens Begrudgingly Performs “A Christmas Carol.” Again., at the Building Stage, November 29 – December 24, 2012.

5) Chemically Imbalanced Comedy presents Dirty 30’s Christmas, December 7, 2012 – January 19, 2013.

Music and Dance offerings include:

1) Dominican University Performing Arts presents A LEAHY FAMILY CHRISTMAS, a multifaceted Christmas-themed show combining music, dance, and song, December 1, 2012.

2) Chicago a capella brings NAVIDAD EN MEXICO, a concert of Mexican Christmas, at Nicholas Concert Hall, December 1 – December 9, 2012.

 3) James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts presents THE MOSCOW BOYS CHOIR - CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD, December 4, 2012 only.

4) Chicago Tap presents TIDING OF TAP!, a dance celebration of all things wintry, including pieces recognizing Christmas, Chanukah and the snowy season at UIC Theater, December 14 – Dec 16, 2012.

5) Ruth Page Civic Ballet enchants the entire family with the classic ballet THE NUTCRACKER at James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, December 15 and 16, 2012.

6) MCA Stage presents Taiko Legacy, celebrating winter solstice with two of the world’s finest percussionists: Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake,at Edlis Neeson Theater, December 21 and 22, 2012.

 Family-friendly holiday fare includes:

1) Piccolo Theatre presents BAH, HUMBUG!, a kid-friendly retelling of “A Christmas Carol” in Panto-fashion, at Evanston Arts Depot, November 9 – December 22, 2012.

2) Theatre of Western Springs presents MADELINE’S CHRISTMAS,based on the charming children’s story, November 30 – December 9, 2012.

3) Raven Theater presents the delightful holiday mystery SHERLOCK HOLMES THE CASE OF THE CHRISTMAS GOOSE,  December 14 – December 30, 2012.

 Other notable works include:

1) The 20th Anniversary Production of HELLCAB portrays the story of a cab driver in for the longest night of his life as he transports a bizarre and mysterious array of customers through the gritty streets of Chicago on Christmas Eve, at Profiles Theater, November 9 – December 23, 2012.

2) The moving holiday story, A Christmas Miracle for Jonathan Toomey, at Provision Theater, November 21 – December 23, 2012.

3) Street Tempo Theatre takes audiences on a seasonal adventure with singing, dancing, stories, interactive games and eggnog in It's a Wonderful Santa Land Miracle Nut-Cracking Christmas Story… Jews Welcome,at Stage 773, November 23 – December 30, 2012.

4) When a blizzard turns their neighborhood into a snowscape, three young adventurers climb out of their chimneys and create a new land in Foreverendia, presented by The Black Ship Co. at the Athenaeum Theatre, November 29 – December 23, 2012.

 Hot Tix

Hot Tix offers half-price tickets to more than 200 Chicago area theaters, full price tickets to all Ticketmaster events including concerts and sports, and Play Money gift certificates. Hot Tix tickets are always half-price and may be purchased up to a week in advance of the performance.  Hot Tix ticket centers are located in the Loop at 72 E. Randolph Street, at the Chicago Tourism Center and on North Michigan Ave. at the Waterworks Visitors Center located at 163 E. Pearson. Hot Tix are available for purchase online at

 About Chicago theater

Chicago theater is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theaters throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theaters in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theaters serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theaters send new work to resident theaters across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theaters which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago's theater industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theater in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theaters and theater professionals.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago website,  Discounted tickets are available at

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