Holiday music is playing, decorations are going up and parties and festivities are being planned. Yes, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”
For enthusiastic theater-goers this season is stuffed tighter than a Thanksgiving turkey.
Throughout Chicagoland venues plan an array of performances to cater to any taste. The only problem is choosing which and how many shows to attend.
Here is a sampling of some of the many traditional as well as new live entertainment options available.
Topping the list is the Goodman Theatre’s 35th annual production of the incomparable “A Christmas Carol.”
The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his Christmas Eve visit from four ghosts, adapted from the classic novel by Charles Dickens, is a seasonal staple.
Larry Yando, a Chicago favorite, takes on the title role for a fifth season.
The play is runs through Dec. 29. Visit the Goodman Theatre’s website for tickets and information.
Coming in a close second is another Chicago favorite, “The Christmas Schooner” at The Mercury Theater.
Maybe not as well known as Dickens’ classic, this one has embraced the hearts of many who’ve seen it during its 12-year run at the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre and starting last year, at the Mercury.
Based on a true story, this year’s production commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the fateful voyage of what became known as “The Christmas Tree Ship.”
This musical tells the story of the family that each year braved the often treacherous waters of the Great Lake Michigan to bring Christmas trees by ship from the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Chicago’s German immigrants.
“A Christmas Schooner” runs through Dec. 30. Visit the Mercury Theatre website for tickets and information.
For some family fun take in “Cinderella.” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical fairy tale is ideal for young audiences and runs through December 31.
Another family-friendly production of “A Christmas Carol” is staged at Drury Lane Children’s Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace through Dec. 22. This musical version offers special dates that include an opportunity for the kids to visit Santa.
In the far western suburbs the Fox Valley Repertory concludes its 2012 theater series with the nostalgic 1960s holiday musical by Roger Bean, “The Winter Wonderettes” at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. The show runs through Dec. 30.
Also playing at Pheasant Run is Second City’s “Dysfunctional Holiday Revue,” Fridays Dec. 7-21.
This Second City revue is also staged at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on select dates Dec. 13-23.
“Dysfunctional Holiday Revue” is rated R for adult language and themes.