Spotlight on theater: Steel Beam, Raue Center serve up family-friendly holiday fare
Raue Center for the Arts partners with its school of the arts to produce "A Christmas Carol: A Holiday Pantomime," adapted from Charles Dickens' tale. "Our students are getting the opportunity to hone their musical theater skills alongside some of the best in the business and put it into practice for an audience by participating in a professional show," said Raue's school of the arts production manager Amanda Flahive in a prepared statement.
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 11; and 2 p.m. Dec. 12 at 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $25. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test and masking mandatory. (815) 356-9212 or rauecenter.org.
Steel Beam Theatre hosts "Home for the Holidays," a family-friendly cabaret revue in which three performers share Yuletide tales and sing holiday songs.
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19, at 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. $22-$28. COVID-19 precautions: Masking mandatory. (630) 587-8521 or steelbeamtheatre.com.
Sounds of the 1970s
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre invites audiences on a musical journey through the 1970s as part of "8-Track -- The Sounds of the 70s." Jamal Howard directs and choreographs the jukebox revue, which features songs made famous by Marvin Gaye, The Doobie Brothers, Labelle, The Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Carpenters and Helen Reddy, among others.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 and 10; 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 and 11; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at 721 Howard St., Evanston. The show opens at 8 p.m. Dec. 12 and 7:30 p.m. Dec 13. $35-$54; dinner courtesy of Good to Go Jamaican Cuisine an additional $29 (reservations required). COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination and masking mandatory. (773) 939-4101 or theo-u.com.
Scrooge (GQ) embraces the magic of the holiday season in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's annual remount of "Q Brothers Christmas Carol."
- Courtesy of Liz Lauren
Q Bros return
The Q Brothers' "Q Brothers Christmas Carol," a rap, reggae and rock-infused version of the classic holiday tale returns to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The popular hip-hop "ad-rap-tation" chronicling Ebenezer Scrooge's journey of rhythm, rhyme and redemption unfolds in CST's The Yard.
Previews at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 7-9, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. $38-$56. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test and masking mandatory. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.
Writers Theatre resumes in-person performances with its 2021-2022 season-opening production of "Dishwasher Dreams," written and performed by Alaudin Ullah.
- Courtesy of Amir Hamza
Writers Theatre resumes in-person performances with "Dishwasher Dreams," writer/performer Alaudin Ullah's biographical solo play about a comedian working in Los Angeles who returns to New York City to confront his family's history stretching from colonial India to Spanish Harlem to Hollywood. Former Victory Gardens Theater artistic director Chay Yew helms the show, which is produced in cooperation with Hartford Stage.
Previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9-10; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11; 2 and 6 p.m. Dec. 12; and through Dec. 16 at 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17. $35-$90. COVID-19 precautions: Proof of vaccination or negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of curtain or negative antigen test taken within 6 hours of curtain, and masking mandatory. (847) 242-6000 or writerstheatre.org.
In other news
Check with venues regarding COVID-19 precautions.
• Eclectic Full Contact Theatre streams its audio drama version of "A Christmas Carol," including passages from Charles Dickens' novel not typically included in some adaptations. The streamed production is available through Dec. 24. Tickets are $20. See eclectic-theatre.com.
• The Annoyance Theater's holiday offerings include: adults-only shows "Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas! A Die Hard Musical Parody," "It's Christmas (expletive)" and the seminude frolic "Burlesque is Christmas" and the family-friendly show "Kid Christmas." Performances take place at 851 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 697-9693 or theannoyance.com.
• TimeLine Theatre Company resumes live, in-person performances with First Draft: Playwrights Collective Festival introducing four new plays by Chicago writers Dolores Díaz, Kristin Idaszak, Osiris Khepera and David Rhee, all members of TimeLine's 2020-21 playwrights collective. Each play will be presented as a staged reading twice during the festival, which runs Fridays through Sundays, Dec. 3-5 and 10-12, at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Tickets are free, but advance reservations are required. (773) 281-8463, ext. 6, or timelinetheatre.com.
• Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe-winning writer/director/actor/comedian Ramy Youssef headlines The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4. Also performing at The Den Theatre is writer/stand-up comedian Gareth Reynolds ("Arrested Development," "You're the Worst") on Sunday, Dec. 5. Later this month, the Wicker Park venue welcomes comedian and off-Broadway favorite Colin Quinn ("Red State, Blue State," "New York Story," "Unconstitutional" and "Long Story Short"). Quinn brings his show "Colin Quin: The Last Best Hope" to the theater for performances on Dec. 17 and 18. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking required. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.
• Tony and Grammy Award-winning singer/actor Leslie Odom Jr. ("Hamilton," "One Night in Miami") brings his touring Christmas show to the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. Odom performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4. Tickets range from $135 to $234. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID test and masking required. (800) 775-2000 or broadwayinchicago.com.
• Victory Gardens Theater continues Ignite Chicago play readings on Saturday, Dec. 4, with "Tokens of Promise," Ada A's satire of corporate culture in the age of expanding cultural diversity. The reading takes place at Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 E. 26th St., Chicago. That's followed on Dec. 10 by "The Bottoming Process," Nicholas Pilapil's drama about two writers who fall in love and then struggle to negotiate issues of age, race and power. The reading takes place at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The readings are part of the theater's Ignition New Play Program. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the performance and masking is required. Tickets are free, but reservations are required. (773) 871-3000 or victorygardens.org.
• Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Angela Ingersoll brings her show "The 12 Dames of Christmas" to the Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Ingersoll channels such beloved singers as Judy Garland, Julie Andrews and Janis Joplin performing holiday favorites at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, and 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7. Tickets are $55. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test and masking required. (847) 634-0200 or artistsloungelive.com.
• "Last Comic Standing" comedian Rocky LaPorte headlines the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre along with special guest Bill Bunker. They perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Tickets are $30 and $35. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID test and masking required. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.
• "Winter in the Wildwood," Otherworld Theatre's immersive, holiday walking experience runs Thursday, Dec. 9, through Jan. 9 at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. The action unfolds in a magical realm where audience members experience stories, magic and puppetry as they attempt to restore magic to the forest. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID test and masking mandatory. See otherworldtheatre.org.
• Performances run Thursday, Dec. 9, through Dec. 19 for Pridearts' "Christmas Karol: A Holiday Intervention Cabaret." The show is about how Karol's decision to cancel her annual holiday party prompts her friends to attempt to save the tradition and win over the reluctant hostess by performing Christmas carols. Performances take place at 4139 N. Broadway. (773) 857-0222 or pridearts.org.
• Strawdog Theatre offers free performances of its in-person, family-friendly production "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins" through Dec. 12 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance time and masking mandatory. See strawdog.org.
• Writer/actor Ronnie Marmo's acclaimed solo show "I'm Not a Comedian ... I'm Lenny Bruce," chronicling the life and early death of the groundbreaking comedian, has been extended. Performances run through Jan. 2 at the Venus Cabaret Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (312) 423-6612 or mercurytheaterchicago.com or lennybruceonstage.com.
• "Estella Scrooge: A Christmas Carol With a Twist," a modern take on Charles Dickens' classic filmed last year and incorporating animation, live actors and digital enhancements, will stream online courtesy of Broadway On Demand. "Our goal was always to let audiences experience 'A Christmas Carol' through fresh eyes and a new perspective, and as the country slowly opens up with live performances, we are thrilled to be able to continue to showcase some of Broadway's best actors, singers and dancers," said director/co-writer John Caird and composer/co-writer Paul Gordon in a prepared statement. See estellascrooge.com.