I’m someone who waits until the day after Thanksgiving to put up our Christmas tree and start working on Christmas cards. Still, we’ve been chatting about holiday plans as we have relatives from all over who need to request vacation days, purchase airplane tickets, arrange for pet boarding, etc. Last week our plans shifted a bit when someone asked if we were all going to see a show during our holiday gathering. I wanted to say that it was too soon to start thinking about tickets, but it’s really not. If we’re going to see a show together, we do need to start thinking about which one and looking into ticket availability. We shifted from discussing to planning. Since I went online to research holiday shows, I’m sharing some highlights so you don’t have to do the work. Tickets for all these performances are all on sale now.
There are so many great, local performances that I’m sure I missed some. If you know of another show to share, please add it into the comments section.
Traditionalists will want to put Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical on their schedule. For everyone who loves Cindy Lou Who, Whoville and roast beast, the live stage show will be at the Chicago Theatre November 20 – 29. The New York Times called the musical “100 times better than any bedside story.” Spectacular sets, designed for the Chicago Theatre stage, will bring the show to life. You can be sure the audience will count down until the cast performs “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas.” We sing both songs when we watch the TV show, but it’s probably best if you just sing it in your head during the stage performance.
The Drury Lane Theatre features a one hour version of A Christmas Carol as part of its Theater for Young Audiences series. What’s great about the shorter version is younger children will be captivated, but there’s not enough time for them to get restless. Families can combine the show with Breakfast With Santa options that include options before or after the show. Conveniently located in Oak Brook, there is plenty of free parking at the theater.
A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre is an annual tradition for many families. Every year you see little girls in holiday dresses and young boys in dress clothes walking to the theater with their parents. This year, A Christmas Carol runs November 15 – December 28 in the Albert (aka the big stage). On the Owen, a fabulous location for emerging playwrights, the Goodman Theatre is teaming up with The Second City to present a comedy send-up of A Christmas Carol called Twist Your Dickens. The Goodman Theatre describes the show by saying, “The famous Victorian streets spring to frenzied life as Scrooge, Tiny Tim and those know-it-all ghosts find themselves hopelessly mixed up with characters from the Peanuts holiday special, the island of misfit toys and even little orphan Annie. Add in Second City’s trademark improvisation and it makes for a heaping host of holiday hilarity. The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens is written by former The Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort.” Twist Your Dickens, running December 5 – December 28, is recommended for “savvy” teens and up.
The Nutcracker ballet is such a popular holiday outing that there is an entire website dedicated to listing performances. There are many local production, but the grandest performance comes from The Joffrey Ballet. This year The Joffrey Ballet takes to the stage December 5 – 28 at the Auditorium Theatre. You can easily combine a trip to see Chicago’s festive holiday decorations with a performance.
Families with younger children will want to visit the Hundred Acre Woods in the delightful musical A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail, December 1-2, 4-6 and 8-13 at the Theatre at the Center. Located in nearby Munster, IN, the Theatre at the Center is a lovely location to introduce small children to the joys of live theater. A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail is a story about how both friendship and teamwork prosper as Winnie-the-Pooh and the gang work together to find Eeyore’s missing tail. The Theatre at the Center has a great gift shop with lots of unique, artisan-designed items that would make great holiday gifts. You can take in the show and do a little gift shopping in a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.
Shari writes about life with tween twins at Two Times the Fun. Images courtesy of the respective shows.
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