News Column

In Chicago

November 29, 2013


A radio version of Frank Capra's classic film, family-friendly shows about elves and reindeers, a remount of a classic Chicago cabdriver's tale and assorted "Christmas Carols" are among the holiday shows running in Chicago this year.

Holiday classics

"A Christmas Carol," through Dec. 28 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Larry Yando returns to play Scrooge in Goodman's 36th annual production, directed by Henry Wishcamper and featuring onstage magic. $25-$83. (312) 443-3800 or .

"A Christmas Carol, Abridged," Nov. 29-Dec. 29 at 556 W. 18th St., Chicago. Three actors portray Charles Dickens' characters in Dream Theatre's condensed version of the beloved tale. $15-$18. (773) 552-8616 or .

"A Christmas Carol: a black and white silent play," Nov 30-Dec. 29 at Prop Thtr, 3504 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. Silent films inspired Silent Theatre Company's production, done without spoken words. It's directed by Matthew Massaro and features music composed and performed by Isaiah Robinson. $15, $20. See or .

"A Klingon Christmas Carol," Nov. 30-Dec. 29 at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. Commedia Beauregard adapts for the fourth year in a row the classic tale of redemption to reflect the Klingon's Warrior Code of Honor. Performed in Klingon with English supertitles. $20, $30. (773) 338-2177 or or .

"Q Brothers' Christmas Carol," Nov. 30-Dec. 22 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. A money- hungry Ebenezer Scrooge, a Jamaican Jacob Marley and a youngster named Lil' Tim are among the characters in this hip-hop re- imagining of Dickens' tale. This work in progress is recommended for audiences age 12 and older. $20-$35. (312) 595-5600 or .

"If Scrooge was a Brother," through Dec. 29 at eta Creative Arts Foundation, 7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago. Writer Ekundayo Bandele re-imagines Dickens' seasonal story as a ghost tale in this Chicago premiere. $30. (773) 752-3955 or .

"It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!" through Dec. 29 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Director Marty Higginbotham and ensemble members present the 12th annual production, which features holiday carols, period commercials, and milk and cookies following the performance. $19-$49. (773) 404-7336 or .

"It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play," through Dec. 29 at 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. American Theater Company artistic director PJ Paparelli directs for the first time the company's annual holiday offering featuring new Foley sound effects and 1940s-style commercial breaks. $25-$40. (773) 409-4125 or .

"The Nutcracker," through Dec. 29 at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Diversey St., Chicago. House Theatre ensemble member Tommy Rapley directs the company's annual, unique take on "The Nutcracker" story, which finds Clara trying to preserve Christmas for her family following the death of her older brother. $25-$45. (773) 769-3832 or .


"The People's A Christmas Wish," through Dec. 22 at The Blue Theater, on the campus of St. Gregory the Great Church, 1609 W. Gregory St., Chicago. Quest Theatre Ensemble artistic director Andrew Park and composer Scott Lamps created this musical about the attempt to reunite Dasher, who is mounted on a taxidermist's wall, with Santa and the rest of the team. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. (312) 458-0895 or .

"A Christmas Memory" and "The Thanksgiving Visitor," through Dec. 29 at Provision Theater, 1001 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago. Provision adapts Truman Capote's semi-autobiographical holiday tales about a young boy whose mother sends him

to live with extended family in a small town, where he develops an especially strong relationship with his elderly cousin. $10-$32. (312) 455-0066 or .

"A Very Merry Madrigal," through Dec. 22 at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre hosts a madrigal dinner incorporating Renaissance and contemporary music as well as poetry and variety acts. $15-$25, $15 extra for the full dinner. (800) 595-4849 or .

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical," through Jan. 5, 2014, at the Broadway Playhouse, Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. Emerald City Theatre and First Stage present the stage version of the animated classic about the misadventures of Rudolph and his pals. $31.30-$72.25. (800) 775-2000 or .

"Elf The Musical," through Dec. 15 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Buddy, a human child raised by Santa's elves since infancy, seeks his birth father in New York City in this stage adaptation of the 2003 film. $18-$90. (800) 775- 2000 or .

"The Christmas Schooner," through Dec. 29 at the Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Karl Hamilton and Cory Goodrich reprise their roles as Peter and Alma Stossel in this musical by John Reeger and Julie Shannon inspired by the true story of the "Christmas Tree Ship," whose crew brought trees from Michigan to needy Chicago families during the early part of the 20th century. $20-$55. (773) 325-1700 or .

"Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose," Dec. 11- 29 at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. Michael Menendian and John Weagly added some holiday spirit to their adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle." $20. (773) 338-2177 or .

Adults only

"Hellcab," through Jan. 12, 2014, at 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. Profiles Theatre's remount of its hit 2012 revival of Will Kern's classic Chicago drama about a cabdriver working on a dismal Christmas Eve. Paul Dillon returns to the role he originated in Famous Door Theatre's 1992 world premiere. $35, $40. (773) 549-1815 or .

"The Santaland Diaries," through Dec. 29 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Mitchell Fain reprises his role as Crumpet, the disgruntled elf, based on David Sedaris' recollections of his stint as a Macy's elf. $24-$35. (773) 975-8150 or

"Miracle on Wells Street," through Dec. 31 at UP Comedy Club, Piper's Alley, 230 W. North Ave., Chicago. The Second City Touring Company presents a 90-minute sendup of the holiday season. $23-$30. (312) 662-4562 or .

"We Three Lizas," through Jan. 5, 2014, at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. About Face Theatre's holiday musical about forgotten and forlorn Conrad who's visited by a trio of Liza Minnellis, who help him reinvent himself. $20, $45. (773) 327-5252 or or .

"Christmas Dearest," Nov. 29-Dec. 29 at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St., Chicago. Hell in a Handbag Productions' campy, musical version of "A Christmas Carol" features, as Ebenezer Scrooge, Hollywood star Joan Crawford. $15-$25. (800) 838-3006 or .

"HoliDAZE," Nov. 30-Dec. 22 at The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Chicago. A depressed court jester responsible for creating a holiday pageant, a family enduring a devastating loss and a middle-aged couple on a first date are among the scenarios showcased in ' "HoliDAZE," comprised of five one-act plays by Lisa Dillman, Tate Geborkoff, Nambi E. Kelley, Joshua Rollins and Steve Simoncic. (773) 935-6875 or .

"El Stories: Holiday Train," Nov. 30-Jan. 11, 2014, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The Waltzing Mechanics present the holiday edition of their ongoing series of vignettes inspired by real-life experiences of Chicago commuters. $20. See for information.

"A Sack Full of Coal," Nov. 30-Dec. 14 at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Whiskey Wry Productions examines commercialization, awkward gift exchanges and other holiday tribulations. $15. (773) 598-4549 or .

"Merry Christmas! (Stranger Things Have Happened)," Dec. 5-14 at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. This sketch comedy revue is from Natural Gas, the Gift Theatre's house improv team. $5. (773) 283- 7071 or .

"Silent Night of the Living Dead," Dec. 6-29 at Studio BE, 3110 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. The New Millennium Theatre Company puts a unique spin on their adults-only show about the challenges of celebrating Christmas during a zombie apocalypse. $15. (773) 248- 5900 or .

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