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Theatre In Chicago's 2011 Holiday Show Round-Up

Holiday Plays in ChicagoChicago is a pretty good place to be for the holidays. We have Christkindlmarket, a wondrously Teutonic market/fairground in Daley Plaza selling all manner of Christmas tree ornaments and ridiculously detailed hand-carved Bavarian wooden clocks. We have Michigan Avenue, lit up and festive and able to provide enough egregious shop-till-you-dropness for even the most insatiable suburbanite or out-of-towner. And we have the Bears, who are doing pretty well this year but will never catch the Green Bay Packers.

Alas, all of these things must be done out-of-doors, in the Windy City's seasonable frigid windiness. Fun as that may be, eventually you're going to want to come inside and do stuff, which is why TheatreInChicago is pleased as Christmas punch to bring you the 2011 edition of our annual Holiday Theatre Round-up. You will see a lot of shows on this list you recognize, and some you will not. Venture out and explore, find something new, but please be advised that some of these offerings are not appropriate for the whole family. Use the links provided in the list to learn more about each show, and when in doubt, it is always best to call the theatre's box office and ask.

At the top of anyone's holiday theatre list (and most assuredly ours) is the Goodman Theatre's annual production of A Christmas Carol. It's the Goodman Theatre. It's A Christmas Carol. Need I say more? No. (In addition, there are few other productions of A Christmas Carol playing around town as well. You'd think people liked this story or something.)

Also perennially popular is American Blues Theater's It's A Wonderful Life: Live At The Biograph. This stage version of the Frank Capra film is presented as a live 1940s-era radio "broadcast", complete with old-fashioned microphones and live Foley sound effects. Two other productions of It's A Wonderful Life are also playing at Fox Valley Repertory and American Theater Company.

New to Chicago this year is Donnie and Marie - Christmas In Chicago. In the tradition of the Osmond Family Christmas TV specials of yore, Donnie and Marie Osmond do what they do (I'm not entirely sure what that is; singing may be involved) onstage at the Ford Oriental Theatre.

As always, audiences looking for something other than the more traditional, sentimental holiday stories will find plenty to amuse them. A favorite is The Santaland Diaries at Theatre Wit, a staging of humorist David Sedaris's stories of his woes working as an elf in a shopping mall Santa Claus exhibit. Probably not for children.

Definitely not for children: Fa La La La...F*ck It. Presented by Annoyance Theatre, it is the story of one Catherine Sims, a mother trying not to go insane over the holidays while dealing with an alcoholic husband, an angsty teenage daughter, and a pain pill addiction. Whee!

And for those more into dance than drama, the Joffrey Ballet is presenting it's annual production of The Nutcracker ballet. This is not to be confused with The Nutcracker, an annual holiday production by The House Theatre, which takes the familiar story and gives it a modern, hipster spin.

The full list is below, and is still being added to as more shows are announced, so check back often for the latest.

For a complete list of the holiday shows go to our Holiday Plays page.


Luke Heiden
Contributing Writer

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