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Holiday Theatre in the Chicago Loop

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Posted  21 days ago  in  Arts and Culture

5 MIN READ - Gather the family, get in the yuletide spirit, and find the holiday show that’s right for you.


As the air chills and the year comes to a close, holiday shows are at the top of Chicagoans’ minds. After all, Chicago is the birthplace of storefront theatre and improv, and home of world-famous, Tony Award-winning stages. To fuel the excitement, the City of Chicago designated 2019 the Year of Chicago Theatre, a nod to the city’s bustling theatre scene. Get in the festive spirit with these holiday-themed plays.

‘A Christmas Carol’ at Goodman Theatre

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November 16-December 29, 2019

Goodman Theatre’s classic A Christmas Carol is the heartwarming story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s discovery of kindness, compassion and redemption—a must-see Chicago holiday tradition enjoyed by 1.5 million theatergoers for over four decades. “Topnotch performances, spirited song-and-dance numbers” (Newcity), “amazing sets, gorgeous costumes, and eye-popping effects” (Chicago Reader) bring to life “the best Christmas story ever told” (Time Out Chicago). Get tickets.

’Twas the Night Before… by Cirque du Soleil

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November 29-December 8, 2019

‘Twas the Night Before… is an exhilarating new spin on the beloved Christmas classic as only Cirque du Soleil can imagine. This vibrant acrobatic show about the joy of sharing and friendship promises to spark lasting memories in the hearts of children and adults alike. Expect the unexpected! Find out what really happened before Santa dropped in. Get tickets.

‘The Nutcracker’ by the Joffrey Ballet

The Joffrey Ballet The Nutcracker Photo by Cheryl Mann 12

November 30-December 29, 2019

The Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker is a must-see tradition boldly reimagined for a new generation. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's acclaimed turn-of-the-century tale opens on Christmas Eve, 1892, mere months before the grand opening of the 1893 World's Fair, as young Marie and her mother prepare for a Christmas Eve potluck celebration. The magic of the season takes hold when a visit from The Great Impresario sets off a whirlwind journey of romance and adventure through a dreamlike World's Fair. Get tickets.

‘The Art Deco Nutcracker’ by A&A Ballet

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December 6-8, 2019

Set in 1920s America, Kremnev's The Art Deco Nutcracker, featuring Tchaikovsky's beloved score, is a fresh, yet traditional take on the beloved holiday favorite. The Chicago Tribune has described it as "a glossy rendition filled with gorgeous, glitzy costumes," and The Cincinnati Enquire writes that Kremnev has "brought dance to a whole new level." Get tickets.

Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’

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December 10-15, 2019

Start with a timeless tale of joy and goodwill, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs, top it off with glorious dancing and lots of snow, and head on over to the Cadillac Palace Theatre to see Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Performances begin December 10 for this must-see classic in a lavish new production that The New York Times says to “put on your wish list.” Irving Berlin’s White Christmas tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter, and some of the greatest songs ever written, give everyone the gift they’re dreaming of with this merry and bright holiday musical. Get tickets.

The Ruffians’ ‘Burning Bluebeard’

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December 13-27, 2019

Porchlight Music Theatre plays host to a fast-growing Chicago holiday tradition for a strictly limited engagement. Burning Bluebeard, created and performed by the critically acclaimed theatre troupe The Ruffians, has been touted as a "show you won't quickly forget and that you could only see in Chicago" by the Chicago Tribune, and NewCity says the production is "filled to the brim with irreverent humor, riveting dance sequences, and enough charm to fill a bucket." Told with music, clowning, tumbling, acrobatics, and dance, Burning Bluebeard is a physical-performance phenomena inspired by the true story of Chicago's former Iroquois Theatre and the unforgettable events that resulted in tragedy for 600 theatergoers at Christmastime in 1903. A holiday tradition for many since its debut in 2011, each performance excavates the poetic and poignant remains of a piece of Chicago's rich history and leaves the audiences with an unforgettable experience. Get tickets.

Merry, Merry Chicago!

Merry Merry Chicago at Symphony Center 1

December 14-23, 2019

Ring in the holidays with Symphony Center’s annual spectacular featuring members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Chorus, and special guests performing festive favorites. It’s the perfect celebration for the entire family. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra decks the halls of Symphony Center and teams up with guest conductor Michael Krajewski, the Young Naperville Singers choir, and vocalist Storm Large for an evening of holiday standards, including familiar carols that you can sing along to. Expect a visit from Santa Claus, enjoy some amazing classical music, and leave with plenty of Christmas cheer. Get tickets.

Holiday Concert 2019 by Ensemble Espanol

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December 15, 2019 

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater celebrates Spain in America through performance, arts education, and community programs that bring the dance, music, and song of Spain to U. S. audiences. For over 40 years, the organization has shared the rich history and contemporary importance of culturally specific art, and maintains this commitment for artists, students, and art lovers the world over. Get tickets.

TEATRO ZINZANNI Presents ‘LOVE, CHAOS & DINNER’

Teatro Zinzani Confetti

Now playing

Teatro ZinZanni is a whirlwind of international cirque, comedy, and cabaret served with a multi-course feast. Described as the “Kit Kat Klub on acid,” the fast-paced action unfolds around, above, and alongside guests as world-class acrobats, musicians, divas, illusionists, madmen, and aerialists fill the intimate Spiegeltent ZaZou, a unique jewel box mirror tent. Teatro ZinZanni’s signature blend of Love, Chaos & Dinner has played to sold-out audiences in Seattle and San Francisco. Don’t miss the show The New York Times calls “a feast for the senses” and the “city’s hottest ticket!” Get tickets.

For half-price tickets to a wide variety of Chicago theatre productions, be sure to visit HotTix. You can also find more theatres here.