Now a beloved Chicago tradition, The Goodman Theatre ushers in the holiday season with its adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic holiday story A Christmas Carol. Audiences look forward to the "bah humbugs," the electrifying arrival of the ghosts, the jubilant musical numbers and dancing, and Scrooge's joyful rediscovery of life, love and the Christmas spirit. Goodman's Carol continues to lift heats and spirits after four decades more than a million visitors, and the timeless holiday tale promises to be merrier and more magical than ever. The Daily Herald says the play is "the crown jewel of the holiday season" -- find out for yourself or relive the magic again.
A List of Holiday Plays This 2022 Season
With the holidays near, here is a list of a few shows that may get you in the holiday spirit.
Check back soon as we continue to add more shows as the holidays get closer.
Most Popular Holiday Shows
From the songwriting team behind Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, and The Greatest Showman, A Christmas Story, The Musical, brings the beloved 1983 movie to musical life on stage! Set in 1940s Indiana, a young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder Air Rifle. A leg lamp, pink bunny pajamas, and a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish. Nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Musical, the Associated Press calls A Christmas Story, The Musical "a joyous Christmas miracle," while The New York Times writes "I was dazzled. You'd have to have a Grinch-sized heart not to feel a smile spreading across your face."
After discovering he is really a human raised as an elf, Buddy makes the journey from the North Pole to New York City to find his birth father, sharing the true meaning of Christmas along the way. Based on the hit film, Elf the Musical brings heart, hilarity, and joy to you and your family this holiday season. After all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!
The beloved characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice return for a third and final installment of the Pemberley trilogy (Miss Bennet, The Wickhams). The youngest Darcy and Bennet sisters have become fast friends, and eagerly await the arrival of Georgiana's secret correspondent. Mixups of manners and overprotective big brother Mr. Darcy keep romance from unfolding easily. But music, ambition, friendship, and sisterhood lead to happiness... and a love story that spans a lifetime.
George Bailey, the Everyman from small town Bedford Falls whose dreams of escape and adventure were stopped by family obligation and civic duty, has fallen onto desperate times. Only a miracle can save him from despair. Filled with original music and classic holiday carols, this critically acclaimed, warm "holiday favorite makes the bell ring every time." (Chicago Tribune) For 20 years, American Blues has treated audiences to a live retelling of the Frank Capra classic in a 1940s radio broadcast tradition, making It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! the second longest-running holiday play in Chicago!
Other Holiday Shows
Emmy nominee Angela Ingersoll captures the festive sounds of a dozen divas. Ingersoll is known for her outstanding Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow (Los Angeles, Chicago) and Get Happy Angela Ingersoll Sings Judy Garland on PBS. "The actress with the astonishing voice" (Chicago Sun-Times) joyfully shares her holiday bag of tricks with a haunting Judy Garland, a rockin' Brenda Lee, a purr-fect Eartha Kitt, a proper Julie Andrews, a soulful Edith Piaf, a sultry Marilyn Monroe, and plenty of surprises! Holiday favorites include "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Santa Baby," and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."
Set in 1920's America, A&A BALLET's The Art Deco Nutcracker, featuring Tchaikovsky's beloved score, is a fresh, yet traditional take on the beloved holiday favorite with a sumptuous costume and set design inspired by the unique sophistication of the Art Deco era. The Art Deco Nutcracker is Alexei Kremnev's eighth full-length ballet. His work has been presented at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Lincoln Center in New York, and the Opernhaus Zurich in Switzerland, among other prestigious venues across the globe. The Huffington Post describes his choreography as "encompassing the best and brilliance of what movement can be while breaking boundaries of what we know."
Splash along with Baby Shark and Pinkfong as they journey into the sea for the Holidays to sing and dance through some of your favorite songs in Baby Shark Live!: The Christmas Show! This one-of-a-kind immersive experience will have fans of all ages dancing in the aisles as they join Baby Shark and friends for exci0ng adventures into the jungle and under the sea to explore shapes, colors, numbers and so much more! Enjoy hit songs in this dazzling kids spectacular, including "Baby Shark," "Five LiFle Monkeys," "Wheels On The Bus," and "Monkey Banana Dance," as well as holiday classics such as "Jingle Bells" and more!
Now a popular annual tradition, The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party is the perfect way to kick off your family's holiday festivities. Three adorable Beatrix Potter favorite tales are unspooled in this mesmerizing, interactive trunk and puppet show, complete with live music. Then, audience members are invited on stage to pull the levers and turn the same cranks that produced such whimsical images of surprise and delight. After photos with the cast, families are whisked to a Victorian-style dining hall, which is adorned with beautiful holiday decor and open tables set with cookies and warm cocoa.
We guarantee yule laugh a whole latke as The Second City unwraps the most wonderful time of the year in our nut-cracking-est, jingle-bell-ing-est revue ever! Celebrate over sixty years of sketches, songs, and comedic conviviality as the next generation of comedy superstars perform our greatest holiday hits. Plus, The Second City's famous improvisation means every show is like a snowflake: no two are alike--or are impervious to climate change.
The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque© subverts the classic holiday ballet to promote diversity in body, gender expression, sexuality and race. The show utilizes the platform of parody to encourage audiences to imagine a more inclusive world, redefining the art of the tease through an alternative take on burlesque. This performance would not be possible without the generous support of individuals and companies who understand the value of having alternative adult entertainment during the holiday season, as well as supporting our mission of subverting audience's expectations of what live entertainment looks and feels like.
The Athenaeum Center is proud to present Tomaseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas! Now in its 27th season of touring nationally, Tomaseen Foley's A Celtic Christmas re-creates the joy and innocence of a night before Christmas in a remote farmhouse in his native parish of Teampall an Ghleanntain in the west of Ireland - in the 1950s . . . when the neighboring families gather around the fire to grace the wintry night with traditional Irish Christmas carols . . . to raise the rafters with the joy of their music . . . to knock sparks off the flagstone floor with traditional dances - and, of course, stories - they filled the night with the laughter of their stories.
Brush up on your Yuletide trivia, watch as audience members play for actual prizes in this uniquely interactive show. Laugh as the show tackles the wackiest myths and most outrageous facts about Christmas, including jolly old St. Nick's origins and where candy canes come from. There’s also a hilarious quiz pitting boys against girls on stage to see who knows the most about the holiday season! Watch and laugh from the comfort of your own home!
Set in Victorian-era London, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol tells the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts that visit him one fateful Christmas Eve, hoping to change his miserly ways. Continue your tradition or start a new one by gathering the whole family for the 30th anniversary of Drury Lane Theatre's heartwarming production.
This adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic is filled with warmth, humor, music and holiday cheer. Ebenezer Scrooge holds much of the world in contempt and has sacrificed everything to the worship of money. When visited by four spirits, they reveal to him his misguided past, reclusive present and tragic future, helping him to spark a dramatic change of redemption and embrace the kindness and generosity in his heart.
This totally funny show will again keep you on the edge of your seats and tickle your innards. The Royal Shakespeare Company is on its way to the theater to perform its heart rendering version of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol, but snow and other problems cause them to be delayed and they will not be performing tonight as planned.
THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER is based on the true story of the Rouse Simmons, a Great Lakes schooner whose captain during the late 19th century risked life and limb to transport fir trees from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Chicago's German immigrants, who missed the Christmas tradition in their home country of decorating evergreen trees. The treacherous voyage in the often-stormy December waters of Lake Michigan brought the Christmas Tree tradition to America. Following the musical's 1995 premiere, it immediately became a Chicago holiday tradition. It was performed every year by Bailiwick Repertory from 1995 to 2008 and has enjoyed at least six holiday season productions in the area since then.
Cirque Dreams Holidaze is set to dazzle Chicago audiences with its acclaimed and whimsical holiday spectacular! As the nation's premier family holiday tradition, Cirque Dreams Holidaze will convey the magic of the holiday season through a Broadway-style production infused with contemporary circus arts. As lights dim and the music swells, audiences will have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads as a fantastical cast of holiday storybook characters come to life. Broadway World exclaims, "Lose yourself for 90 minutes and go back to those wonderful dreams you had as a kid." Featuring an ensemble of aerial circus acts, sleight-of-hand jugglers, fun-loving skippers, breath-catching acrobatics, and much more, the Dayton Daily News proclaims, "A new set of eyes should be added to my Christmas list...there's no way the stunts I witnessed onstage actually happened as most of them aren't humanly possible."
Over two decades ago, Grammy nominee Dave Koz launched his first-ever Christmas tour. Now, fans and families across the country await his arrival with the kind of anticipation formerly reserved for St. Nick himself, earning the saxophonist extraordinaire the nickname "Santa Koz." Together, Dave Koz and Friends will perform fresh renditions of Christmas classics as well as a Chanukah medley and hits from their respective catalogs.
This holiday season, Ovation Academy is bringing the beloved holiday film, Elf, to Madison Street Theater! Join Buddy the Elf like you've never seen him before as he embarks on a journey of self discovery across New York City in this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy. Elf The Musical, JR. is adapted from the cherished New Line Cinema hit and is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays this year. After all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear! This all-ages production is performed by kids aged 8-18 with select adult performers.
The holidays take an unexpected turn for the gals when they find out that the infamous Shady Pines Retirement Community is on the verge of closing leaving most of Sophia's friends homeless for the holidays. Can the girls step in and save the day in time for Christmas? Will Rose be able to make it to St. Olaf in time for the ever-popular Herring Bowl Parade? These questions, and many more you never asked will be answered this newest installment of The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes.
A traveling troupe of actors comes to town to find no one celebrating Hanukkah. They must put on a show to save the holiday! Will they bring back the spirit of Hanukkah to the town? Will Hershel of Ostropol outsmart the goblins who haunt the old synagogue? In this adaptation of the Caldecott Honor-winning book, the story comes to life with music, puppets and a little bit of magic for families of all ages to enjoy.
Based on the heartwarming classic film, Irving Berlin's White Christmas is a holiday favorite for the whole family. With a sparkling new book by David Ives and Paul Blake, the musical delight features such classic Berlin songs as "Blue Skies," "I Love a Piano", "How Deep is the Ocean", and of course the perennial holiday favorite, "White Christmas".
Don't miss the final year and production of everyone's favorite holiday tradition, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Only seven actors bring the entire town of Bedford Falls to life in a 1946 radio play - complete with sound effects - to tell the story of George Bailey, whose troubles lead him to wish he had never been born. He is visited by the angel Clarence who comes to Earth on Christmas Eve to help George realize how many lives he has touched and just how blessed he has been and how different the world would be had he never been there.
It's Christmas Goddamnit, a long running Annoyance staple, is a dark comedy about a truly dysfunctional family at Christmas. Are you into messed up family relationships, secret marriages, racist uncles, and neighbors with secrets? Imagine all that, but add a Christmas tree. And some mistletoe. What could go wrong?
An uplifting, inspirational and fun musical tribute to the holiday, written and directed by Jackie Taylor, featuring Robin DaSilva, Rhonda Preston, Vincent Jordan, Jim Wynton, Dwight Neal, Colleen Perry and a live band.
The Second City's Unconventional Holiday Revue delivers a heaping serving of seasonal satire that's the perfect alternative to those same old holiday shows. Nothing's sacred: holiday film classics, family gatherings, beloved Christmas carols, and even Rudolph gets a wicked holiday slant in this fast-paced, interactive comedy revue filled with style, wit, and plenty of that famous Second City improv! May contain adult languages and themes.
David Robbins has been a professional entertainer, impersonator, and recording artist for over ten years. He has headlined various shows throughout the U.S. and Canada for audiences in excess of 20,000. David has a powerful and richly expressive voice; his genius for imitation is devastatingly accurate. He has performed with Aretha Franklin, The Contours, The Fifth Dimension, Jr. Walker and the All Stars, and The Reflections. David had also appeared on the CBS Miss U.S.A. State Pageant, PM Magazine and Lifestyle.
Celebrate the season with Damien Sneed, the multi-talented composer, conductor, musician, and vocalist, in his Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey. Sneed will perform on keyboards and vocals with a group of phenomenal singers and musicians as they render Sneed's unique arrangements of familiar Christmas carols, original holiday tunes, classical favorites, folk songs, spirituals, and more.
It's December of 1963, less than two weeks after the JFK assassination, and Judy Garland has a Christmas show to produce. Join Judy and her family in her live studio audience and enjoy the madness as she spirals through a twisted holiday special with guest stars Jack Jones, Mel Torme and her spirited musical ghosts. This riotous comedy send-up is guaranteed to put you into the spirit of Judy and her holidaze!
The teenaged Junior, like many others his age, is reluctant to take over the family business. Unsure of himself, Junior puts more faith in his technological inventions than in good old-fashioned Christmas magic, much to the chagrin of his father. But, when a sudden drop in Christmas spirit renders Santa incapable of making the great ride, Junior must take the reins. Meanwhile, a scheming, miserly elf takes advantage of Santa's absence as he plots to turn the workshop into a for-profit enterprise. Together with his overly cheery elf best friend, a gregarious penguin and a host of colorful characters, Junior must learn the true meaning of Christmas in time to save the day.
Leslie Odom, Jr. is a multifaceted, award-winning vocalist, songwriter, author, and actor. With a career that spans all performance genres, he has received recognition with Tony and Grammy Awards as well as Emmy and, most recently, two Academy Award nominations for his excellence and achievements in Broadway, television, film, and music. Odom currently stars and performs the songs of legendary singer Sam Cooke in the critically acclaimed Amazon film adaptation of the Olivier Award-nominated play, One Night in Miami, directed by Regina King. His portrayal of the soul icon has been met with widespread praise and critical acclaim, earning him nominations for an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards, among others.
Dancenter North's The Magic of the Nutcracker is the largest, most lavish production in Lake County! Featuring over 100 performers, elaborate sets, graceful dancers and Tchaikovsky's beautiful score, this 34th anniversary performance will delight audience members both young and old. Share the beauty of this dazzling holiday treat with your family!
The Christmas tale begins as the Guardian of Time, who manages the changing of the seasons with his giant magical clock, finds himself less than thrilled to face the countdown to the 2022 holidays. In other words, he's not feeling it. An optimistic, magical Christmas fairy played by the glamourous and comedic magician Lucy Darling whom David Copperfield calls "a true original - hilarious and delightful; An EXCEPTIONAL new talent in magic" appears to help but despite her best intentions, causes time to go haywire when she breaks the clock.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis has been America's favorite holiday tradition for over 35 years! Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics along with a selection of compositions from Chip's groundbreaking Fresh Aire series which introduced the distinctive Mannheim sound to all of America. The program celebrates the group's recent anniversary of 35 years since the first Christmas album and over 40 years since the first Fresh Aire album and includes dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller.
An avowed holiday skeptic, Aunt Trudy has been recruited to channel her late husband Joe's famous Christmas cheer over a Zoom call with family. But as Trudy becomes more absorbed in her own version of the Ebeneezer Scrooge story, the puppets take on a life of their own, and the family's call transforms into a stunning cinematic adaptation of Dickens's classic ghost story. After the stunning success of its online Christmas Carol, Manual Cinema uses its groundbreaking creativity and powerful storytelling to elevate one of the most famous holiday stories ever told to new heights in this unique theatrical experience. Featuring the combined talents of actors, puppeteers and musicians, come experience a new holiday tradition unlike anything else you've seen before.
Award-winner Kettenring's many memorable star turns include Broadway in Chicago's Wicked; The King and I, Funny Girl, and Oliver!. A storyteller sure to stir the heart, Kettenring tenderly chronicles Carpenter's troubles and triumphs with a familiar angelic radiance. Around the Town Chicago calls the show "Glorious... An elegant, tear jerking, sing-along concert event." Songs include "Close To You," "Merry Christmas Darling," "For All We Know," and "The Christmas Song."
he story of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins' famous impromptu session at Sun Records now has a holiday twist! Million Dollar Quartet Christmas springs to life with nostalgia, humor and electrifying Christmas songs performed by an uber-talented cast. This exciting follow-up to the Tony Award-winning musical also features great chart-topping hits, including Ring of Fire, Don't Be Cruel, Blue Suede Shoes and Great Balls of Fire. It's a jam-packed holiday show with a Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On!
Six-year-old Susan Walker doesn't fill her head with romantic notions like believing in Santa Claus. But when she meets the department store Santa who may in fact be the real Kris Kringle, a wave of love spreads across New York City and the little girl's beliefs make all the difference! Based on the film of the same name, this classic story will melt even the most cynical hearts!
In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kris Kringle fills in for an intoxicated Santa in Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a hit that he is soon appearing regularly at the chain's main store. But Kringle surprises customers and employees alike by claiming that he really is Santa Claus and it leads to a court case to determine his mental health and, more importantly, his authenticity. This family friendly adaptation is sure to please kids of all ages.
It's almost Christmas, and Santa's list is missing! Join Mrs. Claus and the Elf Class of 2022 as they try to find it in time to save Christmas. Who stole the list? How will they get it back? Will Mrs. Claus save the day? Chicago Kids Company's biggest and most colorful show will put you in the Holiday Spirit in no time! The show will be performing at both the Beverly Arts Center and the Stahl Family Theater so check website for times at each theatre.
This Christmas, bring the whole family back to a simpler time with NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet! The acclaimed holiday tradition is live in theaters for the 30th anniversary tour. Gather friends and family to relive your fondest childhood memories. NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet is overflowing with larger than life puppets, breathtaking acrobatics and dazzling costumes. Experience the exquisite artistry of the international cast featuring dancers from all over the world performing at the highest level of classical technique. Share in the message of peace and harmony and get your tickets now!
Through its inspiring story, beautiful music and charming choreography, The Nutcracker is a celebration of the joyous holiday season. The Nutcracker takes us on an unforgettable journey with young Marie as she travels from her home on Christmas Eve to the Kingdom of Snow and the Land of the Sweets, featuring George Balanchine's Sugar Plum Fairy Pas De Deux. For adults, it is a time to relive cherished memories of childhood. For children who wait with breathless anticipation for the holidays to arrive, it is the opportunity to create new memories. For everyone, it is a time for sharing and giving among family and friends.
Ballet Legere presents their 37th annual production of The Nutcracker ballet in its entirety. Follow Clara through the magical world of dance in Chicagoland's longest-running annual production of the Nutcracker. Artistic Director Donna Vittorio's rendition of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker is a perfect holiday tradition for the whole family.
Christopher Wheeldon's reimagined classic returns for the holidays. Follow young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince on a Christmas Eve journey through the 1893 World's Fair, a dazzling spectacle of sights, sounds, and enchantment. This annual holiday tradition celebrates the magic of the season and the rich cultural heritage of Chicago.
The McAninch Arts Center welcomes back Salt Creek Ballet to perform a holiday tradition: Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. This magical full-scale production features live accompaniment from New Philharmonic - a rare opportunity to see this magnificent ballet set to live music. A sell-out every year, get your tickets early.
Based on the Christmas fairy tale by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffman, you are the Nutcracker King's esteemed guest and invited to sample from the Realm's finest delights in a variety of beverages and delectable treats. However, be on the lookout for the Rat King! Who knows what nefarious plot they may be planning. Filled with character actors, puppetry, and dancing,
The original animated special you remember comes to life in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer The Musical! When a storm threatens Santa's sleigh from taking flight, it's Rudolph's shiny nose that guides his sleigh and saves Christmas. Relive this unforgettable story and the joyful songs, including those made famous by Burl Ives. This fun musical adaption features all of your favorite characters - Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snow Monster, and of course, Rudolph! Share this holiday treat and its uplifting message with your family.
Friends and family gather at Neville and Belinda's home to celebrate the holidays. Hilarious mayhem is quickly unleashed due to a tryst under the Christmas Tree, an unforgettable puppet show and maybe even a murder. "Season's Greetings" offers a seriously entertaining look at the anxiety and high jinks of an average family during the holidays. The Guardian notes, "...the action escalates into laugh-aloud ridiculousness...4-Stars."
From uproarious laughter to limitless libations, The Second City's Holiday Improv Brunch is the gift that keeps on giving! Bring your band of merrymakers as we scramble together two of everyone's favorites, comedy and brunch, for a scrumptiously seasonal breakfast with a totally improvised experience from the city's finest. Whether you side on the Naughty or the Nice List, come enjoy mimosas...we don't judge.
Have a holly jolly holiday season with Chicago's famed improv and sketch comedy troupe. I Saw Mommy Kissing The Second City is a new revue starring Second City's freshest young talent, presented in Paramount's beautiful, newly-remodeled Copley Theatre, where you're never more than 70 feet away from this side-splitting, song filled holiday spectacular. Whether you are on the nice list or the naughty list, this show will have you laughing so hard you'll shoot eggnog out your nose.
Acclaimed singer, storyteller, actor, and multi-instrumentalist John-Mark McGaha (THE RAY CHARLES LEGACY, SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE) shares Stevie Wonder's musical messages of Joy, Love, and Peace on Earth with a set that includes Wonder's Christmas songs along with some of his greatest hits. BROADWAY WORLD calls his voice "crystal clear perfection." Songs include "Someday At Christmas," "My Cherie Amour," "That's What Christmas Means To Me," "For Once in My Life," "Ave Maria," and "I Just Called to Say I Love You."
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Ensemble Member Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses, Treasure Island) fashions an extravagant and exhilarating spectacle. The unlikely adventure of a little tin soldier, brimming with love and unblinking bravery, is infused with Zimmerman's dazzling blend of storytelling through image and movement, accompanied by live musicians. Unsuspecting travelers make unexpected discoveries in this luminous tale, destined to enchant any and all of us not made of tin.
Midsommer Flight's seventh annual holiday season staging of Shakespeare's comedy in the beautiful Lincoln Park Conservatory. On a voyage to Illyria, the twins Viola and Sebastian are separated by a storm that wrecks their ship. Viola decides to go by the name Cesario and dons a disguise in order to find employment with Duke Orsino. Orsino, pining for the Lady Olivia, then sends Cesario to romance her on his behalf. But complications arise when Olivia falls for Cesario, who, in turn, harbors feelings for Orsino. Orsino isn't the only one who seeks Olivia's love: her steward Malvolio imagines he can win her, but his hopes are dashed by a ruse devised by Olivia's kinsman Sir Toby and her servant Maria. The performance is pay-what-you-can, but a $30 donation is suggested. Reservations are highly recommended.
With over 150 million YouTube and Facebook views, Voctave is the rising superstar of the a cappella world. These eleven incredible singers will leave you feeling merry and bright with a program packed with holiday favorites, such as "O Holy Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Carol of the Bells of Notre Dame" and more. Audiences of all ages will delight in Voctave's heart-warming sounds this holiday season.
It's just not the holidays without hot cocoa...and hot takes! Make merry at The Second City with this original sketch, variety, and improv celebration of the season. After all, what better time to look back and laugh at 2022? Let's toast to the best...and roast all the rest.