'Tis the season for holiday theatre in Chicago! While Goodman's A Christmas Carol is always a sure-fire family-friendly bet, sometimes we require a little holiday entertainment that's a little... irreverent. I mean, we can only take so much Tiny Tim at one time. So here are some options for those who want to celebrate the holidays with a bent.
Nov. 29 - Dec. 24, 2012
The Building Stage
If the title alone doesn't sell this one, maybe the description will: "In 1853, ten years after having dashed off his surprisingly successful holiday story, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens gave his first public reading of the work. The effort was so well received that he continued to perform these celebrated readings for the rest of his career. The only problem is that Dickens, himself, has long grown tired of this annual reading. Reports of his death in 1870 were greatly exaggerated, and year after year he has sustained himself with these solo performances - albeit with dwindling enthusiasm as he has moved from the grand concert halls of London to finally, this year, The Building Stage in Chicago's industrial West Loop. Now, as the world celebrates the 200th anniversary of his birth, Dickens has finally reached the breaking point. He knows he must grant the holiday wishes of his audience but desperately hopes to entertain them with anything but another performance of A Christmas Carol."
Nov. 30 - Dec. 30, 2012
Commedia Beauregard at Raven Theatre
Yup, you read that right. It's a Klingon retelling of A Christmas Carol. I'm *so* not a Star Trek/scifi fan, but I caught this production two years ago when it made its Chicago debut, and I knew it was a perennial hit -- there's just nothing else like it, anywhere. Here's how press materials describe it: "Scrooge has no honor, nor any courage. Can three ghosts help him to become the true warrior he ought to be in time to save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate? Performed in the Original Klingon with English Supertitles, and narrative analysis from The Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology."
Nov. 29 - Dec. 30, 2012
Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary's Attic
Another beloved Chicago holiday classic, Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer, the campy parody by David Cerda of the beloved 1964 television special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, reminds us that accepting who you are is a real challenge, especially when friends, family, and that nosy Joan Crawford clone, all want you to conform. However, if you simply slip into some sling pumps, snap on a pair of sparkly clip-on earrings and sing out a showtune, happiness will eventually follow.
Nov. 23 - Dec. 30, 2012
David Sedaris' beloved account of his time in the trenches as an Elf at Macy's during the holiday season has been called the "24 funniest pages ever written in the English language." This holiday classic returns for it's eighth straight year, once again starring Mitchell Fain who plays to rave reviews and soldout houses every year. Don't miss this antidote to Christmas cheer. A celebration of the desperation of unemployment, the insanity of Christmas shopping and the ineffable "cheer" of the holiday spirit.
Nov. 30 - Dec. 22, 2012
About Face Theatre at Steppenwolf Theatre
We Three Lizas hijacks Christmas classics to create a dark, sexy holiday musical for a queer new world. In a quest for unrivaled glory, Conrad Ticklebottom and his anxious assistant Reggie conjure the Great Queen of Wishes to bestow upon him the trinity of power: youth, wealth and beauty. Instead, Liza Minnelli knocks at Conrad's door bearing holiday gifts and all hell breaks lose.