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  The Christmas Schooner at Mercury Theater

The Christmas Schooner

Mercury Theater
3745 N. Southport Ave Chicago

The shipwreck of the Rouse Simmons, known as ‘The Christmas Tree Ship’, served as inspiration for THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER. Her captain and crew risked the notoriously violent winter lake to bring Christmas trees from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Chicago’s German immigrants. Each year, Captain Herman Schuenemann would sell trees right off of the ship at the Clark Street Docks, and was known to give free trees to the needy. On November 23rd 1912, the ship was swept up in a terrible storm. It was not until 59 years later that she was discovered, lying in 170 feet of water. Today the Rouse Simmons and her cargo of 5,500 well stacked trees remain preserved in the cold, fresh waters of Lake Michigan and her legend has grown to mythical proportions. The Blaine Nickelodeon - the silent film theater that now houses the Mercury - opened that very same year.

Thru - Dec 30, 2012

Wednesdays: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sundays: 1:00pm

Price: $29-$59

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-325-1700

Mercury Theater Seating Chart

Nearby Restaurants

  The Christmas Schooner Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Under the hands of Stearns, greatly aided by Eugene Dizon's well-balanced musical direction and seven-piece band, the cast brings full-throated sweetness to Shannon's score, which blends period folk songs and traditional carols with pop ballads. Karl Hamilton as Capt. Peter Stossel, who concocts the scheme, along with Cory Goodrich as skeptical wife Alma and Jim Sherman as his stubborn father, Gustav, are first among equals in the cast, but the entire ensemble conveys the warmth and wistfulness underpinning the show."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Recommended

"...Disavowing the profit motive, Reeger's script presents this undertaking as selfless, heroic, and terribly important. Only the captain's wife has the sense to point out that they're just trees. Still, Shannon's songs are rousing and the yuletide traditions of the mostly German-American characters are warmly and engagingly staged by director L. Walter Stearns."
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Zac Thompson

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"... “The Christmas Schooner” has run in Chicago now for over a decade. With its wonderful music, this knockout cast, and a heart-rending, love-affirming story, it is easy to see why people keep coming back for more. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but that’s what the holidays are about: spending time with old friends and family, those who you know and who you will go home to."

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The Christmas Schooner is wonder holiday family show filled with empathetic characters, a warm spirit, and a nice lesson of giving that is wrapped up in a ‘feel-good' musical honoring the human spirit. This sweet show sings marvelously, contains humor and lovable characters. The enhanced music soars to the beautiful singing that rings to the rafters."
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Tom Williams

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...There are a lot of holiday shows vying for Chicago's attention. Mostly, the familiar and tried and true. To set sail on a new, unique, holiday tradition, THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER THE MUSICAL is most definitely see-worthy."
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...It is 100 years since the "Christmas Tree Ship" sank, bring Christmas trees to Chicago ( in fact the actual date was November 23rd, 1912) and over the years, the legend of the man and his crew that brought the trees from Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Chicago in order for the German Immigrants to recapture the traditions they left back home,has continued to grow. How fitting that this musical story of the legend is being housed in The Mercury Theater, which also opened that same year( which was then the Blaine Nickelodeon)."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...The cast is once again ably led by Cory Goodrich and Karl Hamilton as Alma and Peter Stossel. Both of these gifted Chicago actors breathe new life into their characters, singing magnificently with all the power and passion Reeger and Shannon intended for these roles. Elizabeth Haley continues to beautifully portray cousin Martha, as well as bringing her talents to the rest of the magnificent ensemble. James Sherman also reprises his longstanding role of Gustav, Captain Stossel's stubborn German father. It's difficult to imagine any other actor as fine in this role after Sherman's made it his own for over a decade. And Mark Kosten once again brings exuberance and conviction to his roles, both in the ensemble and as Karl at age 15. This cast, whether going solo or harmonizing as an ensemble, has to be one of the finest groups of vocalists ever heard in the Mercury Theatre."

Colin Douglas

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