The morning after our girls overindulged in Halloween candy, we woke to find Sunday newspapers filled with holiday shopping inserts. It’s a sign that the holidays are right around the corner, so it’s time to start planning your holiday entertainment. While the big shows receive the most attention, there many wonderful — and often unique — shows at the Chicago area’s medium and small theaters.
A CHRISTMAS STORY takes the Theatre at the Center stage through December 27. Based on the award-winning film, the play brings the story of Ralphie Parker, who longs for a genuine Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, to life. This is truly a Midwestern story. The source material for the film came from In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by local Hammond, Indiana native Jean Shepherd. For more information, visit TheatreAtTheCenter.com.
A SNOWY DAY WITH BEATRIX POTTER & FRIENDS is a new, interactive show created by Chicago theater artist Will Bishop. The stories are told “through a series of mechanical suitcase sculptures, which invite the child in all of us to pull levers and turn cranks to reveal images that surprise and delight.” Designed for children ages 3 and up, the Chicago Children’s Theatre presents the show in different locations every Saturday through December 19. For more information, visit Chicagochildrenstheatre.org
ELF takes center stage at the Marriott Theatre through December 31. This hilarious holiday musical tells the story of Buddy, who grows up at the North Pole thinking he is an elf. When he discovers he is actually a human, he goes to find his family. The show has special family-friendly events at select performances. For more information, visit MarriottTheatre.com.
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE returns to the Greenhouse Theater Center through December 27. A holiday tradition since 2002, the American Blues Theater re-imagines the Frank Capra story as a 1940s radio broadcast. A cast of eight performers bring all your favorite Bedford Falls characters to life on stage. IT’S A WONDERFL LIFE runs through December 27. For more information, visit AmericanBluesTheater.com.
TWIST YOUR DICKENS returns to the Goodman Theatre’s smaller stage with Second City’s “irreverent and interactive seasonal satire.” TWIST YOUR DICKENS, written by former The Colbert Report
writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, has been called a “wicked parody and daring improv run rampant.” This is a show recommended for ages 16+ due to its mature content and language, so it’s best to keep younger kids at home. The comedy runs through December 27. For ticket information, visit Goodmantheatre.com
WHITE CHRISTMAS is an annual tradition for our family. We watch it every year, so it feels natural to head to the Drury Lane Oakbrook to see the stage show. You’ll hear all your favorite songs, including White Christmas. There are special theater/dining packages for those seeking the complete experience. WHITE CHRISTMAS runs through December 31. For ticket information, visit DruryLaneOakbrook.com
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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.