Theatre In Chicago's 2016 Holiday Show Round-Up
The holiday season has arrived and with it another season of spectacular holiday plays in Chicago. Along with traditional family favorites like "A Christmas Carol," "The Nutcracker" and "It's A Wonderful Life," Chicago theaters are presenting everything from elves in drag bars to interactive comedy to a Scrooge roast and much, much more. To see a complete list of the holiday plays, visit our Holiday Plays in Chicago page. Here is a peek inside the 2016 Christmas plays of the Chicago theater scene.
The top plays of 2016 begin with the Goodman Theater's presentation of the holiday classic "A Christmas Carol" in all its Dickensian splendor. From Scrooge's first "bah-humbug" to tiny Tim's "Bless us every one," this tale of the true meaning of Christmas is sure to move young and old alike. Each year it seems the Goodman makes small tweaks to the play and this year will be no exception so Scrooge will have an estranged niece instead of a nephew this year. So instead of visiting his nephew Fred he will be paying a visit to his niece Frida- so that should be interesting.
Then, it's off to Bedford Falls for the holiday play "It's A Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago" at the American Blues Theater located in the Greenhouse Theater Center. Presented as a live 1940s radio broadcast, audience members experience George Bailey's journey with active dialogue, traditional carols and Foley sound effects. Finally, take in the musical adaptation of "The Nutcracker" at Chopin Theater. Beautiful songs, amazing puppetry and enchanting dialogue combine to make this original show a magical treat for every age.
Fans of Dickens' iconic story will also appreciate "A Christmas Carol: An Evening of Dickensian Delights" at Indian Boundary Park as well. True to the original story, this holiday play is performed in its entirety by only three actors who, with the help of extraordinary makeup and a few costume changes, play every character. The Organic Theater Company at Meiley-Swallow Hall offers a twist on the traditional tale in "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" which follows the journey of Scrooge's dead partner, Marley as he discovers the only way to redeem himself and escape the shackles of hell is to redeem the still living Scrooge.
At Rosemont Theater, enjoy "Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker" and see Masha save Christmas in the traditional ballet story, or check out "The Hip Hop Nutcracker." Set in a Brooklyn nightclub in the 1980s and featuring electric violin, dancing and digital scenery, this adaptation promises to be epic.
Meanwhile, at the North Pole, Santa's evil son is taking over in the holiday play "Barney the Elf." Played by drag queen Dixie Lynn Cartwright, Barney finds himself in a drag bar in Chicago as he searches for his inner elf. Will he stay or will he return to his home? Come to The Greenhouse Theater to find out.
Audience participation is becoming more popular, especially for comedy shows. "Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night" at the Royal George Theater has the crowd playing bingo while answering Christmas and religious trivia. Halos, angel wings and re-creation of the Annunciation are just a few highlights of this production.
What do a bunny suit, a leg-lamp and Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle have in common? Ralphie Parker, of course. In the holiday play "A Christmas Story: The Musical," the Citadel Theater Company recreates this holiday classics for the stage and is perfect for the whole family.
Now it's the kids turn with the Emerald City Theater Company's production of "Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!" at the Apollo Theater. Follow the lovable Junie B. as she tackles the school play, a sing-along and Secret Santa Day in this holiday play. Funny, generous and full of holiday joy, kids and parents will love this show. Emerald City is also performing "A Charlie Brown Christmas" at the Broadway Playhouse.
Leave the kids at home for this one. The Underground Wonder Bar is promoting holiday terror in their production of "Krampus." This Christmas demon has his eyes on the Murray family as they spend Christmas in their cabin in the Wisconsin woods, in a snowstorm. ... It's a recipe for ho-ho-horror.
Finally, audiences won't want to miss "The comedy roast of Mr. Scrooge" at Chicago Theater Works. Touted as "a little more spice and a little less nice," Dickens' characters finally get to say what they really think about Ebenezer Scrooge.
Chicago's Christmas plays are perfect for date night, kid's night or a night out with friends and family. Whether you enjoy traditional, trendy or terrifying, the large variety of holiday plays in Chicago promise something for everyone.
To see a complete list of the holiday plays, visit our Holiday Plays in Chicago page.
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