Holiday Theater Chicago 2012: Show Me Chicago's Guide to the Best in Family, Adult and Children's Entertainment.

Holiday Theater Chicago 2012: Show Me Chicago's Guide to the Best in Family, Adult and Children's Entertainment.
Larry Yando in his fifth turn as Scrooge in Goodman Theatre’s 35th annual production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (November 17 - December 29).

CHICAGO, Friday, November 30, 2012. If you’re thinking about getting tickets for the theater this holiday season, you have a lot of choices from traditional fare, children’s shows or something a little more dysfunctional and irreverent. Show Me Chicago has put together its list of holiday happenings–we checked it twice–so that you can pick out something naughty or nice.


A Christmas Carol is alive and well this holiday season at many venues. The timeless holiday tale of hope and redemption tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who receives a Christmas Eve visit from the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley, warning him to mend his ways. During the night, three spirits appear before Scrooge showing him visions of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future to reveal the results of his selfish life.  Scrooge promises to redeem himself and vows to honor the spirit of Christmas with all his heart, spreading good cheer, kindness and generosity to everyone he encounters.

Three of the larger productions of A Christmas Carol are:

  •  Chicago’s Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol”.  This year, the Goodman Theatre celebrates its 35th  anniversary production of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale.  The show, always a top notch production, has become a holiday tradition for many families and is perhaps the biggest and most popular of the many “Christmas Carols” in the area.
    Chicago’s Goodman Theatre’s performances run now through December 29.
  • Drury Lane Theatre in suburban Oakbrook Terrace presents a classic production of A Christmas Carol enhanced with traditional carols along with select performances that will offer breakfast or dinner for an additional fee. 100 Drury Lane. 630 530 0111.
  • Or you can head out to the Heights, Arlington, that is, to A Christmas Carol at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre  from November 23 – December 24.

Once again this holiday season features a cornucopia of Nutcracker performances.. The shows listed here are just the tip of the Nutcracker iceberg.

  • Joffery Ballet Nutcracker, the Auditorium Theatre, December 7 through December 27, 2012.
  • The Dance Along Nutcracker at Chicago’s Cultural Center is more of a DIY than a performance. The audience gets to join in the fun at Preston Bradley Hall on the 5th floor of the  Cultural Center for this family-friendly event.  December 9 at noon and 3 p.m.
  • Ruth Page Civic Ballet enchants the entire family with the classic ballet The Nutcracker at James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at Lake County College in Grayslake.  December 15 and 16.

Capra’s classic story of It’s a Wonderful Life takes the audience back to Bedford Falls, circa 1948, for this Chicago fav at the American Theater Company.  Lucky us, the popular show,  It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, has returned for this holiday season transforming the intimate ATC space into a 1940’s radio studio complete with audiograms and commercial breaks.   Enjoy complimentary milk and cookies after every performance.  American Theater Company  1909 W Byron St.November 23 – December 30.  773 409 4125.

An all-new production of Annie is at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora with the classic rags to riches story everyone loves. It has little girls, little girls, little girls, everywhere you turn, and is always a crowd pleaser.  The Paramount Theatre in Aurora.  Now through December 30, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora; $34.90 to $46.90 at 630 896 6666.

“The Gifts of the Magi”, the classic story by O. Henry, celebrates the power of love, even when the holidays mean struggling at Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773. Through December 23 by the Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.; $39 at 773 327 5252.

James Joyce’s “The Dead” teams up artistic Director Charles Newell and Music Director Doug Peck for a delightful re-imagining of Court Theatre’s eccentric holiday classic, James Joyce’s The Dead.  Filled with the warmth of a flickering hearth, the fervor of an Irish folk song, and the mystery of a snowy winter’s eve, this piece tells the tale of a group of family and friends as they gather to sing and dance in celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany in Dublin at the turn of the last century.  5535 S. Ellis Avenue, 773 753 4472,  $45 – $65 Through December 9, 2012.

Chicago a capella brings NAVIDAD EN MEXICO, a concert of Mexican Christmas to Nicholas Concert Hall in Evanston. December 1 – December 9.

The 7th Annual Amahl and the Night Visitors comes to Harold Washington Library Center, Saturday, December 1, 2 p.m. and Sunday, December 2, 2 p.m., Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 South State Street, tickets $25 adults, $10 children, available at door.

The Christmas Schooner, is the heartwarming true story of the first Christmas Tree ship. The award winning production is a powerful moving tale of the family who risked their lives to bring the Christmas spirit to Chicago 100 years ago.  Mercury Theater, November 23 – December 30, 2012.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring the Rockettes comes to the Akoo Theatre in Rosemont, December 14-30.

The Music Box Christmas Show, fun for all,  takes place December 14 through December 24 at the Music Box Theatre with Santa, sing-alongs and classic holiday movies. 3733 N. Southport Avenue.

Welcome Yule! rings in the holidays at Chicago’s Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, December 14, 15 and 16 and December 21, 22, and 23. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Infants will not be admitted.

James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at Lake County College will present The Moscow Boys Choir – Christmas Around The World, December 4, only.

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 – December 16.

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

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


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. Profiles Theater, November 9 through December 23.

About Face Theatre blends classic Christmas tales with queer pop culture for its world premiere holiday production We Three Lizas. The production hijacks Christmas classics to create a dark, sexy holiday musical for a queer new world. In a quest for unrivaled glory, Conrad Ticklebottom and his anxious assistant Reggie conjure the Great Queen of Wishes to bestow upon him the trinity of power:  youth, wealth and beauty. Instead, Liza Minnelli knocks at Conrad’s door bearing holiday gifts and all hell breaks lose. Pre-show cocktails are served in Liza’s Lounge in the Steppenwolf Garage space. From November 30 through December 23 by About Face Theatre in the Steppenwolf Garage, 1624 N. Halsted St., $25.

The Santaland Diaries is David Sedaris’ beloved and hilarious account of his time in the trenches as an Elf at Macy’s during the holiday season. If you want to see this one, get your tickets soon as the show has been sold out in past years. Theater Wit, November 23 through December 30.

The Second City presents a seasonal blend of hilarious scenes, songs, and improvisation in NUT-CRACKING HOLIDAY REVUE at its Up Comedy Club, November 22 – December 30. Also at The Second City is their Dysfunctional Holiday Revue Dec 13 – Dec 23, 2012

The Second City from inebriated Santas at the mall to couples therapy with Joseph and Mary is heading to downtown Aurora to deck the halls with laughter at their Second City Dysfunctional Holiday Revue – a comedy act that delivers a healthy dose of seasonal satire with holiday film classics, family gatherings, improvised Christmas carols, even Joseph and Mary.  Paramount Theater, December 13  through December, 23.

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.

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….PLUS, there’s more with…The Comedysportz Crew Meets the Snow Queen, a special take on the Hans Christian Anderson story, November 17, 2012 – January 19, 2013.

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. 5400 N. Clark in the 2nd floor lounge at Hamburger Mary’s.

It’s Christmas, Goddamnit has equal parts dysfunction, distrust, and disaster surrounding a Christmas celebration. If you’re looking for some irreverent fun head to this Annoyance Theatre special.  4830 N. Broadway, December 1 through December 29.


The national tour of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” will be seen in Chicago for the first time this year at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. Max the Dog narrates the show about the Dr. Seuss’ tale of the green, mean one (he with the heart two sizes too small).  December 5 through 16,  151 W. Randolph St., Tickets, $18-$85.  800 775 2000.

The Chicago Kids Company Theatre for Children presents the popular holiday classic, Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical, for a 14th holiday season at St. Patrick Performing Arts Center- Stahl Family Theater. November 24 – December 21.

Piccolo Theatre presents BAH, HUMBUG!, a kid-friendly retelling of “A Christmas Carol” at Evanston Arts Depot, through December 22, 2012.

MADELINE’S CHRISTMAS based on the popular children’s story of the same name by Ludwig Bemelmans is a kid-friendly treat, especially little girls at The Theatre of Western Springs.  November 30 through December 9.

The moving holiday story, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey tells the tale of a sad little boy who loses the treasured wooden nativity given to him by his now deceased father. The boy’s mother goes to the local woodcarver, Jonathan Toomey, a scrooge-like man, in hopes to obtain a replacement in this heartbreaking tale.  Provision Theater, 1001 W. Roosevelt Road, November 21 – December 23, 2012.

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