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Good For Otto  
The Gift Theatre Good For Otto
Haunted by his own childhood, a psychologist tries to minister to the distressed souls who find their way to the doors of the health center he runs in a cluster of Connecticut hamlets and villages. Absurd at times, sadly comic and touching in the twists and turns of their simple humanity, men and women, young and old, rich and poor bring their pain in from the bucolic setting of trees, white churches, streams and mountains ranges for Dr. Michaels and his collogues with hopes of relief in the world premiere of this whimsical, yet tornadic, ensemble piece.
The Great Annoyance Melodrama and Vaudeville Holiday Revue  
Annoyance Theatre The Great Annoyance Melodrama and Vaudeville Holiday Revue
"The Great Annoyance Melodrama and Vaudeville Holiday Revue" presents a seasonal comedy show packed full of talent, excitement and the worst gingerbread cookies in the world. In a theater experience straight out of yesteryear, the assembled cast puts on a melodrama titled "The 12 Games of Christmas" or "How a Town Pined for a Tree." The story is of Carol Christmas, a brave park ranger who must protect the largest Christmas tree in the nation against her resort owning nemesis who has set out to destroy it. While the action unfolds, the vaudevillian players tap dance, tell jokes and profess their love to classic Holiday song! "The Great Annoyance Melodrama and Vaudeville Holiday Revue" is full of pratfalls, music, running gags, and dancing guys and gals. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll boo, you'll cheer at high-drama thrills and the winter chills.
The Greatest Story Never Told  
Under The Gun Theater The Greatest Story Never Told
The Greatest Story Never Told begins with an underprepared narrator who opens a storybook only to discover it has no text. The solution is the audience must help create and perform an original story made up on the spot along with "The Greatest Interns" (professional improvisers). Suggestions for location, character and plot are taken throughout the entire show as volunteer performers of all ages are invited on stage to perform a 4560 minute improvised story. A professional writer and artist create text and illustrations from the show and the story is ultimately transformed into a purchasable storybook.
Greenroom Improv  
Hemmens Cultural Center Greenroom Improv
Imagine an hour and a half of complete improvisation, a la Whose Line is it Anyway? GreenRoom’s improvisers take audience suggestions and true-life audience stories and turn them into hilarious theatre pieces right before their eyes! With competing improv teams, improvised songs and audience members on stage, this clean, high-energy show brings the laughs to The Hemmens. Oh, and did we mention there’s live music?
The Heir Apparent  
Chicago Shakespeare Theater The Heir Apparent
Staged by Tony Award-winning director John Rando, this cheeky romp is another hilarious retooling of a classic from acclaimed playwright David Ives, creator of Chicago Shakespeare's wildly popular The School for Lies and A Flea in Her Ear. Young Eraste has it all-good looks, a beautiful fiancee and the prospect of a sizable inheritance from an elderly uncle. There's just one snag: the uncle won't die and he has bequeathed his entire fortune to someone else. Whatever will the young man do? Hilarious rhyming couplets and contemporary slang abound as seventeenth-century bawdiness is catapulted into the twenty-first.
Profiles Theatre - The Main Stage Hellcab
For the fourth consecutive season, Profiles remounts its acclaimed production of Will Kern's Hellcab for the holidays. During the longest night of his life, a cab driver transports a bizarre and mysterious array of customers through the gritty streets of Chicago. Kern draws from personal experience as a former cabbie to create this alternately frightening, hilarious and poignant journey. Throughout his long shift, the eclectic collection of passengers includes a trio of drug-addicts, a born-again couple, a smug lawyer, and a randy duo on their way to a motel. Set during a bitter cold Christmas Eve, Hellcab presents a rear-view image mirroring the passing parade of humanity.
Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin  
Royal George Theatre Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin
Hershey Felder returns to Chicago in this hit production of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin at Royal George Theatre. Even if you don't know him by name, you've heard plenty of Irving Berlin's songs: "God Bless America," "White Christmas," "Anything You Can Do," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "There's No Business Like Show Business" -- the list goes on and on. Now you have the opportunity to experience the quintessential American composer through the performance of an immensely talented actor, pianist and playwright. Hershey Felder has previously performed as George Gershwin, Beethoven and Chopin, and in Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, he takes on the role of one of America's most prolific composers. Felder's masterful creation of character and performance features Berlin's songs performed by Felder, as well as stories about Berlin's life and how he created the music we still love today. Don't miss this memorable show -- hailed as "richly entertaining and ultimately touching" by the Los Angeles Times.
Step Up Productions at Athenaeum Theatre HoliDaze
Due to popular demand, Step Up's popular holiday round up returns for its third year! This series of original one-acts showcases the crazy, zany, dysfunctional chaos of the holiday season. Ten talented playwrights and directors put relationships, family and friends in the holiday pressure cooker for an unforgettable evening!
Hope Throws Her Heart Away  
Genesis Theatrical at Profiles Theatre - The Alley Stage Hope Throws Her Heart Away
Hope Throws Her Heart Away is a comedy/drama about a woman who has gone adrift trying to be all things to all people, pleasing everyone but herself. It's the journey of growing up after growing up and finding a path by getting lost. In tune with Hope's conflicted personality, this is a one-woman show-performed by three actresses.
Ibsen's Ghosts  
Mary-Arrchie Theatre at Angel Island Theater Ibsen's Ghosts
Despite the traditional teachings of the Bible and her Pastor, Mrs. Alving has discovered new enlightenment through literature, including the works of Henrik Ibsen. Armed with "the truth" and the knowledge that she might be trapped as a character in an Ibsen play, she attempts to subvert the traditional narrative and find an alternative to the gloomy doomed destiny of her son Oswald and his lover/sister Regina.
Incident at Vichy  
Redtwist Theatre Incident at Vichy
Master dramatist, Arthur Miller, conducts a highly-charged debate among the detained locals in small-town France during the German occupation. While exploring the concepts of free will, integrity, and courage, Miller probes precisely what human beings will do when forced to make split-second decisions that will change many lives forever.
It's A Wonderful Life  
American Blues Theater at The Greenhouse Theater Center It's A Wonderful Life
From the original Ensemble that brought this holiday tradition to Chicago since 2002, the American Blues family takes you back to a 1940s radio broadcast of Frank Capra's holiday classic-It's a Wonderful Life (based on the short story "The Greatest Gift" by Philip Van Doren Stern) with live Foley sound effects, an original score and a critically-acclaimed cast of eight that bring the entire town of Bedford Falls to life. This production that has been called "perfect Christmas theater" and "first-class holiday fare" returns to the Greenhouse Theater Center this season
It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play  
Oil Lamp Theater It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Watching It's a Wonderful Life each year has become a beloved holiday tradition. So what better way to kick off the season than to see this old favorite in a whole new way -- live on stage at the Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview! This show-within-a-show transports you back to Studio A at WBFR Radio on December 24, 1946, where a cast of actors prepares to present It's a Wonderful Life live to a studio audience. Aided by a sound-effects artist, the ensemble re-enacts the beloved story of George Bailey, a young man who's given up on his dreams and is considering ending it all on Christmas Eve. A guardian angel intervenes and shows him the many lives he's touched throughout the years without even realizing it in this classic holiday tale that remains as powerful -- and as heartwarming -- as ever.
It's a Wonderful Santaland Miracle, Nut Cracking Christmas Story... Jews Welcome!  
Stage 773 It's a Wonderful Santaland Miracle, Nut Cracking Christmas Story... Jews Welcome!
Directed by Stage 773 Creative Director Brian Posen with choreography by Matter Dance, this family-friendly, interactive show features original Christmas carols, dance numbers, spoken word, puppets and everything in between. Stage 773 puts their own twist on the traditional holiday show, packing the world's most beloved stories and traditions into one extravagant cavalcade. To heighten the holiday spirit, both cookies and non-holiday-specific eggnog will be served.
It's Christmas, Goddamnit  
Annoyance Theatre It's Christmas, Goddamnit
If you're sick of all the good cheer and warm-and-fuzzy holiday shows, The Annoyance Theatre has the antidote: It's Christmas, Goddamnit, a comedy about one majorly dysfunctional family coming together for the holidays. But this is no run-of-the-mill miserable family gathering. Along with the traditional passive-aggressive silences and sniping, Dad has surprising news: he's having an affair with the next-door neighbor. The plot thickens when a loathed uncle is accidentally killed by the son of Dad's sweetheart, and the family reunion quickly devolves into a hilariously disastrous Christmas Eve.
Late Nite Catechism  
Royal George Theatre Late Nite Catechism
Late Nite Catechism is an uproariously funny play, written by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan, where the irrepressible Sister teaches class to a roomful of "students." Throughout the course of the play the benevolent instructor rewards audience members for correct answers with glow-in-the-dark rosaries and other nifty prizes. Naughty students may well find themselves on stage sitting in a corner reflecting their actions. Now in its 20th year in Chicago, Late Nite Catechism is a sharp satire, but never mean. It’s simply an evening of fun and laughter.
The Lisbon Traviata  
Eclipse Theatre Company at Athenaeum Theatre The Lisbon Traviata
In The Lisbon Traviata, a sharply funny, yet deeply tragic, story centers on a revealing conversation between Stephen, a depressed literary editor and opera fanatic, and Mendy, a flamboyant opera queen. The two dish late into the night, distracting Stephen from his failing relationship with hilarious riffs on records, divas and more. But when Stephen returns home to confront his boyfriend, a tragedy unfolds on the scale of the grand opera he loves so much. The Eclipse production will feature the ending from the original 1985 production.

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