By Kacie Whitman By Kacie Whitman | December 13, 2021 | Lifestyle Feature
Discover six fab, festive and family-friendly stage productions coming to a Windy City stage near you.
Catch the Joffrey Ballet’s beloved Nutcracker at its new home in the Lyric Opera House.
Reimagined in 2016 by Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, the critically acclaimed Joffrey Ballet unveils The Nutcracker in its new home at the historic Lyric Opera House. Tchaikovsky’s iconic score relocates young Marie at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 before she embarks on a whirlwind adventure with the Nutcracker Prince in dance. The Lyric Opera House brings a grand flair to the premiere ballet performance with large-scale animated projections and a renowned orchestra performance. Dec. 4-26, 20 N. Upper Wacker Drive, joffrey.org
A costume rendering for The House Theatre of Chicago’s The Snow Queen
Hans Christian Andersen’s winter fable celebrates the holiday spirit of hope in an all-new adaptation by new House Theatre of Chicago artistic director Lanise Antoine Shelley. Following the titular heroine and her magical mirror, the fantastical story presents a host of vivid characters coupled with the troupe’s hallmark puppetry and live music. “Although this play was published in 1844, the story still rings true today,” notes Shelley. “We bring this modern perspective into our Snow Queen world, thereby broadening the possibilities of the Snow Queen becoming a hero who looks just like you or me.” Nov. 12-Jan. 2, 2022, Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., thehousetheatre.com
The world of Beatrix Potter comes to life at Chicago Children’s Theatre.
A seasonal rite of passage for Chicago’s little ones, this popular family theater event features Beatrix Potter’s most adorable animal friends and their charming adventures in a 3D puppet show. Moms, dads and grandparents treat their little theatergoers to a dazzling weekend morning of dressing up, awe-inspiring puppetry and photos with the talented cast. Following the show, be sure to stop by the Victorian-style dining hall for cookies and warm cocoa. Nov. 20-Dec. 24, Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine Ave., chicagochildrenstheatre.org
Promising an array of musical styles from old-school jazz and gospel to rock and the blues, this feel-good live cabaret is guaranteed to lift your spirits and soothe your soul. The Black Ensemble Theater’s concert series features performances of favorite holiday numbers including “O Holy Night,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and more to move audiences with a strong message of faith through song. Dec. 11-19, 4450 N. Clark St., blackensembletheater.org
Larry Yando makes an unforgettable Scrooge in Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol.
A beloved Chicago holiday tradition, Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol makes a triumphant return to the stage this season for its 44th annual production, transporting its audience to a frosty Christmas Eve in 19th century London. The heartwarming Charles Dickens tale is brought to life with exquisite costumes, eye-popping effects and a legendary performance by veteran actor Larry Yando as Ebenezer Scrooge. Nov. 20-Dec. 31, 170 N. Dearborn St., goodmantheatre.org
Cirque du Soleil puts its signature creative spin on the holiday.
Known for its glamorously acrobatic productions, Cirque du Soleil presents its 49th original show, ‘Twas the Night Before…, an exhilarating spin on the terrific tale about the wonders of friendship. After selling out a 17-show Chicago debut in 2019, the cheerful show returns, yet again filled with rip-roaring fun with lovable characters brought to life by the magic of Cirque du Soleil’s international cast. Create a new holiday tradition with this terrific entertainment here to delight children and adults alike. Nov. 26-Dec. 5, The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., msg.com
Photography by: CHERYL MANN; SULLY RATKE; CHARLES OSGOOD; LIZ LAUREN; ALAN DAVIS