Chicago productions heat up in December

| November 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

The Nutcracker The House TheaterDecember offers new works and seasonal favorites in Chicago’s theaters. Whether you need a night out, a special gift or a family outing, there’s something for every interest including these family-friendly events.

The American Blues Theater brings It’s a Wonderful Life:  Live in Chicago! to stage at the Greenhouse There Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago through December 28. Based upon Frank Capra’s film and a short story by Philip Can Doren Stern, this full-scale production features Foley sound effects, an original score and a talented cast of eight actors. The Bedford Falls story is told as a 1940s radio broadcast, giving audience members a true nostalgic experience complete with milk and cookies served after the show. Tickets are $19 to $49 per person. For more information visit www.americanbluestheater.com.

Chicago’s oldest musical organization, the Apollo Chorus, performs their signature rendition of Handel’s Messiah on Saturday, December 6 at Orchestra Hall (220 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago) and Saturday, December 20 at the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph, Chicago). What’s great about attending this Messiah is that you become part of a tradition that goes back to 1879. What’s amazing about the Apollo Chorus is that the 120-auditioned members are all volunteers. They sing for the love of singing. For more information, visit www.apollochorus.org.

The House Theatre of Chicago offers its take on The Nutcracker with a stage play that TimeOut Chicago called “on the whole this Nutcracker is an engaging, family-friendly treat.” This version centers on Clara’s journey to save Christmas after her family experiences a tragedy. You’ll still find the nutcracker, Rat King and Uncle Drosselmeyer, so it’s the story you know. You’ll also experience original songs, interesting puppetry and a captivating fight scene. This modern holiday production runs at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, in Chicago through December 28. Tickets range from $15 to $45 per person.  For more information visit www.thehousetheatre.com.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago holds its Winter Series at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 200 E. Chicago, in Chicago. Three diverse, Princess Grace Award-winning choreographers are featured:  2013 MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham (Counterpoint), 2015 Works in Progress Resident at the Baryshnikov Arts Center Robyn Mineko Williams (Waxing Moon) and RUBBERBANDance Group Founder and Artistic Director Victor Quijada (World Premiere). Tickets are $35 per person. The Winter Series runs two weekends, but the first weekend is already sold out. Tickets are still available for the December 11 – 14 performances. For more information, visit www.hubbardstreetdance.com/winter.

Chicago’s acclaimed Spectacle company Redmoon hosts its annual family-friendly Winter Pageant December 12- 14 and December 19 – 21.  This year the Winter Pageant “explores the idea of grand love and honors the four seasons of the human heart. Set atop a massive glacier, the love stories are brought to life by a cast of more than 40 performers – 10 professional spectacle performers alongside 30 community collaborators. These include internationally acclaimed break dancers, aerialists ages 8 to 35, a teen choir and beautiful, handmade Redmoon puppets and costumes, with a live original score performed by a one-man/10-instrument band.” Redmoon, located at 2120 S. Jefferson Street in Chicago, has plenty of free parking at its theater.  Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids 3+. For more information, visit www.redmoon.org.

The Ruth Page Civic Ballet brings its traditional take on The Nutcracker to Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, December 6 & 7. This version features the original Ruth Page staging, which was seen on the Arie Crown Theater stage from 1965 through 1997. The magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets will delight children seeing it for the first time and adults re-living their childhood memories. Tickets are $12 to $25 for the public. NEIU students/faculty/staff can purchase tickets for just $5 with a school ID. For more information, visit www.ruthpage.org or www.boxoffice.neiu.edu.

Shari writes about life with twin daughters at Two Times the Fun. Image courtesy of The House Theatre of Chicago website.

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Category: Shari's Corner

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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