Love traditional Christmas programs with a twist? Ease your way into the season with American Blues Theatre’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life. How can they possibly bring this classic to the stage? ABT does a wonderful job adapting the piece as an old time radio show. If you are a true fan of the movie give the live stage version a try at the Greenhouse Theatre Center. ABT gets the whole audience involved with music with some very special guests.
If you are in the mood for a more musical way to warm up the holiday season try Theo Ubique, A Very Merry Madrigal at the No Exit Café as they re-create and reinvent the Madrigals of olde with revelry, cheer, new twists on classic songs, a robust feast, and tomfoolery. The experience includes figgy pudding and wassail for all.
We Three Lizas is back and better than ever. The showbiz twist on A Christmas Carol has the bitter disillusioned Conrad Ticklebottom visited by a trio of Liza Minnelli’s one evening. They take him on a fabulous journey through ‘what-was,’ what-could-be’ and ‘what-the’f*?’ to redeem his lost promise. As About Face Theatre says, “It’s a darkly sparkly holiday musical spinning a tale of hope, transformation… and the power of Liza!” Prepare yourself for some belty tunes and Broadway jazz hands playing at Stage 773 through January 5.
Just next door at Theater Wit, The Ruffians have brought back a production inspired by the true story of Chicago’s 1903 Iroquois Theatre Fire, which isn’t your typical Christmas show. Burning Bluebeard is the story of six singed clown performers who emerge from the burnt remains of history to perform their spectacular Christmas Pantomime but to finally reach the true happy ending of their second act. Each night is a vaudevillian delight with a story that excavates the poetic and poignant remains of a piece of Chicago’s rich history.
To really get off the traditional Christmas path head north to the Raven Theatre for the fourth annual A Klingon Christmas Carol. Can three ghosts help Scrooge become a true warrior and save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate? The show is performed in the Original Klingon with English Supertitles, and narrative analysis from The Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology. This is co-production of Commedia Beauregard and the IKV Spirit of Honor of the Klingon Assault Group.