When Chicago’s holiday season is in full swing, there are countless numbers of festive shows to see with your family. Each year, my family has a tradition to see at least one, although I stomp my feet and beg to see more. Here are my absolute favorites since I was a little girl wearing tights, Mary Janes and a big poofy dress.
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol is my father’s all-time favorite. We have seen this amazing production so many times I can’t even count them. There is something about the way the Goodman Theatre puts on this classic that brings the Christmas spirit straight to your heart. All Ebenezer Scrooges of Chicago will learn Jacob Marley’s lesson and become “three times the man he ever was.” God Bless Us, Everyone.
170 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60601
Radio City Music Spectacular
It’s a kickin’ good time when you see the Rockettes. This show is a fantasy world of life-sized teddy bears, toy soldiers, gifts and Santa Claus. While I appreciate it for the kicks and formation changes, normal people love the holiday excitement exploding throughout the entire show. Of course, CHRISTmas isn’t Christmas without the birth of baby Jesus, so the Rockettes end the celebration with a dramatic and touching nativity scene to remind us why Christmas is so magical. While they skip Chicago every once in a blue moon, be sure to snag tickets when they’re in town.
5400 North River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018
It’s a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph
If you love Frank Capra’s holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life, you will be brought to tears all over again with this show. Think back to the days of the 1940s radio broadcast that first told the story of “an angel getting its wings.” Sound dull? Think again. The Victory Gardens Theater does an amazing job with live Foley sound effects and a phenomenal cast that brings the story of George Bailey and the true meaning of Christmas to life. Harry Bailey: “A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town.”
2433 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
While not everyone loves a ballet, you have to appreciate at least one of three things: the music, the talent of the Joffrey Ballet or the creativity of using movements to tell such a wonderful story. The Snow Queen, Rose Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy dance so gracefully with Clara and her Nutcracker to Konstantin Ivanov’s soothing and flawless music through the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets. I always dreamed of being Clara as a little girl, gliding through the Waltz of Snow, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Bon bons, Flowers and Merlitons. Isn’t that every child’s fantasy?
50 East Congress Parkway
Chicago, IL 60605
Dysfunctional Holiday Revue
It wouldn’t be the holidays without a silly rendition of the awkward moments. Just like there is always the goofy movie that comes out every year, Chicago loves to bring those out to the theaters as well. Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue maintains the traditional over-extended humor that we can all relate to (although we choose not to admit it). From embarrassing family gatherings to inappropriate gifts for children, we’ve seen it all during the holidays. If you need to get that stress of shopping off your shoulders, take an evening and let it go at Second City.
1616 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Alycia Nicole is a concierge in the heart of Downtown Chicago. Santa Claus still comes to her house every Christmas Eve.