The House Theatre's

The holidays are so much fun in Chicago! The city feels like a winter wonderland: Trees covered in snow, sparkling lights and lots of unique stores where you can find that perfect gift. There are also a wide array of holiday plays in Chicago that are sure to get you in the spirit. If you haven't made Chicago theater a part of your holiday tradition, it's time you do! Read on to discover four Chicago holiday shows that are really worth dashing through the snow for. 

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"The Nutcracker" // Through December 30

Presented by the House Theatre at Chopin Theatre

The House Theatre's

The House Theatre's heart-warming, ballet-free reinvention of the classic holiday story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse," by E. T. A. Hoffmann delights theatergoers of all ages. "The Nutcracker" ballet has been a timeless tradition for many families, but the House's version (adapted by Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O'Donnell, and Tommy Rapley) manages to pack in more magic, whimsy and heart than you can imagine.

In the wake of tragedy, Clara must help her family overcome grief, in order to save Christmas. With the aid of her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer, her dolls and nutcracker come to life to fight the evil rats and bring back Christmas to her home.

Will Clara and her merry crew find the light and rescue Christmas? There is only one way to find out: head to the Chopin Theatre! The enchanting production filled with original songs and amazing puppetry and will bring your family back to the theater season after season.


The Details

  • Show times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.
  • Tickets are $15–$45
  • Recommended for ages 5 and up
  • Chopin Theatre | 1543 W. Division Street

 

 

"It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!" // Through December 31

Presented by American Blues Theatre at The Greenhouse Theater Center 


It's a wonderful life, indeed! For the past 15 years, American Blues Theatre has brought Frank Capra's beloved film to the stage in Chicago. The production keeps getting better and better, delighting theatergoers every holiday season. "It's A Wonderful Life" has a charming twist that audiences adore: instead of a fully staged adaption, it is performed as a 1940s radio broadcast—complete with a live Foley artist, commercial breaks and audiograms. The theatre audience is transformed into the studio audience of a live radio recording of "It's A Wonderful Life."

Experiencing this holiday classic as a radio performance is a special treat. It allows our imaginations to run wild and create our own version of the classic piece, giving us a taste of what the holidays would have been like during the golden age of radio.

This year, George Bailey's story is directed by producing artistic director Gwendolyn Whiteside with music direction by Michael Mahler. Plus, American Blues Theatre's production brings extra holiday cheer with bonus audience participation, including Christmas carol sing-alongs, meet and greets with the cast and even milk and cookies. The production is full of spirit, and it's guaranteed to remind you of the true meaning of Christmas.


The Details

  • Show times: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m.
  • Tickets are $19–$49
  • Recommended for ages 8 and up
  • The Greenhouse Theater Center | 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue

 

 

"A Christmas Carol" // Through December 31

At Goodman Theatre 

A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre

No joke: "A Christmas Carol"and Goodman Theatre might be the best production of "A Christmas Carol" that you will ever see. The enormous sets, the splendid costumes, the flying spirits—they wrap you up like a cozy blanket and warm even the hardest of hearts.

As we watch Ebeneezer Scrooge take his journey to redemption through past, present and future, we can't help but wonder at the state of our own spirits. We laugh, we cry, we self-reflect, hoping we have more Tiny Tim in our hearts than we do Scrooge.

This season marks the 39th year of the Goodman's beautiful and thought-provoking production of the timeless holiday tale. More than 1.2 million theatergoers have witnessed the magic of "A Christmas Carol" at the Goodman Theatre, and you should too! The Goodman Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" is the sure cure for the holiday humbugs.


The Details

  • Show times: Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 pm.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Tickets are $25–$102
  • Recommended for ages 8 and up
  • Goodman Theatre | 170 N. Dearborn Street

 

 

"Christmas at Christine's" // Through December 23

Presented by Silk Road Rising at the Historic Chicago Temple Building

christmas at christine's
Join Chicago actress Christine Bunuan as she hauls out the holly just in time for Christmas! The world premiere musical revue is directed by J. R. Sullivan and written/performed by the very talented Bunuan.
 
The audience is warmly welcomed into Christine's stage-turned-living-room as she prepares for Christmas, decorating her space and hanging ornaments on the tree. She shares personal stories and favorite holiday songs with the audience as she weaves through her Christmas memories.
 
As a first generation Filipino-American actress with a Jewish husband, Christine celebrates a multi-cultural, all-inclusive Christmas, leaving no one out in the cold. The 90-minute musical revue features American Christmas classics along with traditional Filipino Christmas songs, musical numbers, and even a few original songs too. "Christmas at Christine's" is a heartwarming show that will make you thankful for what you have and put you in the holiday spirit, no matter your faith or background.
 

The Details

  • Show times: Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8p.m.; Sundays at 4 p.m.
  • Tickets are $20–$25
  • Recommended for ages 8 and up
  • The Historic Chicago Temple Building | 77 W. Washington Street, Lower Level

 

For more holiday events in Chicago, special seasonal tours and of course, where to see all the colorful lights displays, visit choosechicago.com/holidays.