5 Kickass… Holiday Shows in Chicago

chicago holiday shows

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means… ugly Christmas sweaters and peppermint schnapps, of course! But for those searching for a little intellectual stimulation and entertainment between the white elephant exchanges and ornament hanging, there is no lack of holiday theater options. Check out 5 kickass holiday shows in Chicago:

White Christmas Sing-Along | Music Box Theatre

Location: 3733 N. Southport Ave., Lakeview
Phone: 773.871.6604
Dates: T.B.A.
Website: musicboxtheatre.com

There are plenty of holiday shows in Chicago to choose from, but if you want to experience a classic with a twist, you must check out White Christmas at the Music Box Theatre. This holiday event is a family favorite, complete with a pre-show Christmas carol sing-along and a visit from Santa. Of course, this one isn’t just for the kiddos… any White Christmas lover will have a great time singing along with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. Be sure to bring your best Christmas sweater and some jingle bells. You’ll understand when you get there…

A Christmas Carol | Goodman Theatre

Location: 170 N. Dearborn, Loop
Phone: 312.443.3800
Dates: November 18 – December 31
Website: goodmantheatre.org

What is Christmas without the classic story of Scrooge and his ghostly friends? The Goodman Theatre has been producing this show for more than 30 years and, in my humble opinion, puts on the best version of this holiday classic in the city. Of course, you can catch A Christmas Carol at plenty of local community theaters around the city (including a nice production at the Drury Lane in Oakbrook), but nothing compares to this extravagant yet traditional version. Get into the holiday spirit with Tiny Tim and good old Ebenezer at the Goodman. It’s a show you aren’t likely to forget anytime soon.

The Nutcracker | The Joffrey Ballet at the Auditorium Theatre

Location: 50 E. Congress Pkwy., Loop
Phone: 312.386.8905
Dates: December 10 – 26
Website: auditoriumtheatre.org

There are those who love the ballet, and there are those who love The Nutcracker. I fall into the latter category. I’ve seen The Nutcracker countless times, but have not been to one other ballet production in my life. And though I don’t know the differences between a pirouette and padebure, the magic of The Nutcracker is not lost on me. There’s nothing like watching these extravagantly-costumed dancers kick-ball-change their way into the holiday season, and there’s no better place to experience it than at the Auditorium Theatre with the world-class Joffrey Ballet. If you’ve never seen a grand production of this show, do yourself a favor and get your butt there this season.

It’s Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph | Victory Gardens Theater (Biograph Theatre)

Location: 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park
Phone: 773.871.3000
Dates: November 18 – December 31
Website: victorygardens.org

Like Oreos and milk, nothing goes better with a classic than, well, another classic. That’s why the Biograph’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life finds itself a member of this “5 Kickass…” group. The historic Biograph, now occupied by the Victory Gardens Theater, puts on a fabulous version of the holiday favorite, complete with an original score and stellar cast. The old theater is a perfect place for a Christmastime classic, and will put you in the holiday spirit like nothing else.

A Christmas Story: The Musical | Chicago Theatre

Location: 175 N. State St., Loop
Phone: 312.795.0034
Dates: December 14 – 30
Website: thechicagotheatre.com

On a list of holiday shows in Chicago, who could leave off the famous tale of little Ralphie and his oh-so-serious plot to ask Santa for a Red Ryder BB Gun? A Christmas Story takes the stage at the Chicago Theatre, set to music and rife with hilarity. A fun tidbit that may just have you buying tickets tonight: The production is directed by the original Ralph Parker, Peter Billingsley. With that piece of info, you know it’s gotta be good.

Photo Credit

Jackie Berkery

About Jackie Berkery

With a strong phobia of cubicles and those three little words (“nine to five”), I am thrilled to be working on UPchicago from the comforts of my own couch at three o’clock in the morning. I love to write. I love Chicago. Hello, dream job!

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