Chicago’s cultural scene has a thing or two that’s bound to hit just the right note this holiday season.
On a snowy Christmas Eve in 1983, the operator of the Music Box Theatre—a historic movie palace—decided to show two old holiday movies and sing a few Christmas carols during the intermission. Now, 29 years later, the Music Box Christmas Show has become a ten-day extravaganza (Dec. 14-24)—featuring eight shows—that grows more popular with each passing year.
The Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre is an ongoing tradition during the holidays in Chicago. The story, set in 19th-century England, follows the prominent Ebenezer Scrooge who receives unexpected visits from past, present and future ghosts who convince him to change his ways and become a kinder person (runs through Dec. 29).
A beloved Brothers Grimm fairytale originally published in 1812, the opera version of Hansel & Gretel by German composer Engelbert Humperdinck will perform at the Lyric Opera of Chicago Dec. 7 through Jan. 19.
Experience breathtaking performances by the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago in The Nutcracker (Dec. 7-27) at the Auditorium Theater. This production, now in its 25th year, has toured all over the country and features elaborate costumes, life-like scenery and extraordinary storytelling.
Mischief, Music & More
Instead of cracking under the pressure of the holidays, why not laugh about it? The Second City’s Nutcracking Holiday Revue features a seasonal blend of hilarious scenes, songs and their trademark improvisation (with a sprig of holiday mischief) for a night of spirited fun—it’s the perfect alternative to the same old holiday shows.
Celebrate the New Year with music, comedy, juggling, magic acts and burlesque beauties at Kiss Kiss Cabaret’s New Year’s Eve Hullabaloo. Added bonus? You’ll be counting down to midnight with hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast and post-show dance party on the stage with the cast and crew.
What would Chicago's list of holiday shows be without Theater Wit's revival of The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris at the top of the naughty column? A sad holiday indeed. But fear not, because Mitchell Fain is unfurling his candy stripe tights once more for the ninth consecutive outing of The Santaland Diaries, running through Dec. 30.