Friday, December 9, 2016

Too Many Christmas Carols!

The Goodman's Christmas Carol is one of over 13 playing in Chicagoland this December
According to Theatre in Chicago's Holiday Play Listings, there are over 50 Holiday plays performing in the Chicagoland area during the month of December.  This apparently doesn't include special Hallelujah events or other more musical events, including the Symphony's numerous holiday events and the Lyric Opera's production of Magic Flute.

This does includes at least 5 Nutcrackers (and I know of at least one Nutcracker on Ice in Evanston not on the list), 3 versions of It's A Wonderful Life , Two takes on A Charlie Brown Christmas, One takeoff on Lethal Weapon (Yippee Ki Yay, Merry Christmas) and thirteen (yes 13) versions of A Christmas Carol.

Also not on this list is Burning BlueBeard at the Neo-Futurists, whose entire weekend run was sold out about 12 hours after they went on sale.

How much is too much?  There is a Comedy Roast of Scrooge, a Second City sendup of Christmas Carol, a Klingon Christmas Carol, a Steampunk Christmas Carol (both performed at the same theatre, so maybe they just know their demographics?)

I'm pulling out of that long list 5 kid friendly shows that look like they would be good or demand your attention.  I'll also pull out three shows that I think might be good as a date night.

Please note, I'm including any actual Christmas Carols in the listings here,
 Almost all of them will be family friendly, (well, a couple are tilted towards R) and I know that the one at The Goodman Theatre is always very good.

If you don't see a show you like, please peruse the list.  I'm sure you will find something of interest.

Hope you enjoy your Holidays at the theatre!  There is no shortage of choices!


 The Snow Queen at Piccolo Theatre
The Snow Queen
Piccolo Theatre
600 Main Street Evanston
Set somewhere at some time in Happy Denmark most definitely during the winter, best friends Kai and Gerda are separated by the enchanted broken mirror of the fierce Snow Queen. With colorful comrades Erick, Derick, and Dame Grandmother, the shy Gerda must find the hero within as she quests across a wintry wonderland to save Kai, facing trolls, pesky snowflakes, and other magical obstacles. This holiday classic will warm your heart, thaw your toes, and tickle your funny bone!

Thru - Dec 18, 2016

Price: $10-$25

Box Office: 847-424-0089

 Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! at Apollo Theater
Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!
Apollo Theater
2540 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago
Based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park, this critically-acclaimed Emerald City Theatre remount explores the challenges of giving selflessly through humor and holiday joy as fan-favorite Junie B. Jones journeys through a Columbus Day school play, a holiday sing-along concert, and Secret Santa Day. "Dear Santa, I really hope you were watching me just now. That's all I hope. Love, Junie B. -Giver."

Thru - Jan 8, 2017
Running Time: 1hr; no intermission

 A Christmas Story: The Musical at Citadel Theatre Company
A Christmas Story: The Musical
Citadel Theatre Company
300 South Waukegan Road Lake Forest
A Christmas Story, The Musical is a brilliant rebundling of Ralphie Parker's hilariously desperate quest for a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200 shot range model air rifle into a musical sure to become every bit the holiday favorite as the movie that preceded it. All of your favorite highlights are here - the Old Man's leg lamp, the tongue-on-a-flagpole, the bunny suit, and all of Ralphie's extravagant daydreams! Bring the whole family to see this holiday classic in a new way with this Tony-nominated Best Musical.

Thru - Dec 18, 2016

Price: $20-$38

Box Office: 847-735-8554

 A Charlie Brown Christmas at Broadway Playhouse
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Broadway Playhouse
175 East Chestnut Street Chicago
Tis the season to celebrate everyone's favorite Peanuts pals as they dig past the commercialized gimmicks of presents and decorations to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Through a pageant and a spindly tree, Charlie Brown and friends bring the holiday spirit back to life for families once again! "And for Charlie Brown, it was truly the merriest Christmas ever."
Thru - Jan 8, 2017
Price: $15-$27
Running Time: 45mins

The Nutcracker at Auditorium Theatre
The Nutcracker

Auditorium Theatre
50 East Congress Parkway Chicago
This is a brand new Nutcracker, set during the time of Chicago's mysterious 1893 World's Fair  -- brilliantly reimagined by Tony Award-winning choreographer Wheeldon. Be part of dance history as the Joffrey celebrates Chicago and unlocks a world of wonder for the 21st century. An electrifying holiday tale that will leave you breathless.

Dec 10 - Dec 30, 2016
Box Office: 312-992-2110


This Way Outta Santaland at Theater Wit
This Way Outta Santaland
Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago
For eight years, my friend Mitchell Fain played the role of Crumpet in the classic Christmas one-man show The Santaland Diaries. After nearly a decade of restraining his most anarchic and improvisational instincts, Fain is finally letting loose in his own freewheeling holiday special with the help of cabaret goddess Meghan Murphy. In This Way Outta Santaland at Theater Wit in Chicago, Fain draws on 250 performances as Crumpet the Elf to tell true-life holiday tales of boozy Christmas carols, celebrity holiday gossip and the private lives of elves.

Mitchell is always hilarious.

Thru - Dec 23, 2016

Price: $25-$29

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773-975-8150

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

 The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular at Mary's Attic
The Rip Nelson Holiday Spectacular
Mary's Attic
5400 N. Clark Street Chicago
It's 1982 and a newly sober Rip manages to land another TV special after the death of his archrival, Paul Lynde. Rip is determined to get his career back on track but can he handle the stress of a network television special and stay sober? Luckily he's got help from a cavalcade of the hottest stars of 1982! Rip pulls every trick in the book to breathe some life in the dying variety series format and save his career but soon questions if his career is worth saving.

Presented by Hell in a Handbag

Thru - Dec 30, 2016

Price: $16-$30

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 800-838-3006

 Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley at Northlight Theatre
Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley
Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Blvd Skokie
In this charmingly imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the ever-dependable Mary Bennet is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings' romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary's hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love.

Thru - Dec 24, 2016

Price: $30-$81

Box Office: 847-673-6300

Running Time: 2hrs; one intermission


  Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical at Beverly Arts Center
Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical
Beverly Arts Center
2407 West 111th Street Chicago
This holiday classic and audience favorite returns for its 18th consecutive year. Our biggest and most colorful show will put children and adults alike in the holiday spirit. Join Mrs. Claus as she teams up with the new Elf Class of 2016 to find Santa’s missing list in time for Christmas. Can Mrs. Claus and the elves save the holidays? All CKC shows feature plenty of audience participation and run for one hour with no intermission. Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical is targeted for children from 2 to 8 years old.
Thru - Dec 23, 2016

Price: $12
Box Office: 773-445-3838

 Tidings of Tap! at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
Tidings of Tap!
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts
9501 Skokie Blvd Skokie
Chicago Tap Theatre presents a new version of its venerable Holiday offering at a new venue, the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, just in time for Tidings' 10th Anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of co-producer the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. For the first time CTT is adding a light narrative about a young girl (played by Russian Rhythmic Gymnast Master Dasha Merkulov) as she goes on a journey through the wintry woods. While audiences hear many of their favorite seasonal tunes, they also experience an array of performances including a guest appearance by the stilt concert dancers from Kristina Isabelle Dance Company and an opportunity for local tap performers to join the Holiday production*.. Tidings of Tap! has been described by the Chicago Tribune as "undeniably charming and wholesome fun."

Presented by Chicago Tap Theatre
Price: $24 - $40
Box Office: 847-673-6300

No comments: