Spotlight: Andersen classic 'Steadfast Tin Soldier' returns to Lookingglass Theatre

  • Lookingglass Theatre presents its holiday favorite "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," a play-with-music adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's children's tale.

    Lookingglass Theatre presents its holiday favorite "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," a play-with-music adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's children's tale. Courtesy of Liz Lauren

Posted11/9/2022 6:00 AM

True-blue trooper

Lookingglass Theatre remounts its acclaimed "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," a show that incorporates puppets and circus arts to tell Hans Christian Andersen's tale of the unwavering, one-legged toy soldier who battles all manner of villains and obstacles to reunite with his beloved ballerina. Created and directed by ensemble member Mary Zimmerman, the production has become a holiday tradition over the last few years.


Previews at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, and Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The show opens Thursday, Nov. 17. $50-$75. Masks recommended, required for certain performances. (312) 337-0665 or

KidSeries resumes

Duck desperately wants to win first prize in the county fair talent contest but is having trouble scheduling rehearsals under Farmer Brown's watchful eye in the children's musical "Dooby Dooby Moo," adapted by Lifeline Theatre ensemble member James E. Grote from Doreen Cronin's best-selling children's book. Heather Currie directs the production, which marks the resumption of Lifeline's KidSeries.

Previews at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, and 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. $15, $20. Proof of vaccination and masks required. (773) 761-4477 or

Farce for the holidays

Citadel Theatre revives "It Runs in the Family," a holiday farce by British playwright Ray Cooney ("Not now, Darling," "Run For Your Wife). Set in a hospital a few days before Christmas, the play centers on a noted physician preparing to deliver an important lecture who learns he has an 18-year-old son. Pat Murphy, retired director of Glenbrook North High School's theater department, directs.

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Previews at 7:30 Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 16-17, at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. The show opens Nov. 18. $15, $40, $45. Masks optional. (847) 735-8554, ext. 1, or

In other news

Check with venues about COVID-19 precautions.

• Comedian, improviser and former TBS late-night talk-show host Pete Holmes headlines The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Holmes, host of the "You Made It Weird" podcast, performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10-11, and 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. Also, The Den welcomes back actress/comedian Maria Bamford ("Big Mouth," "BoJack Horseman," "Bob's Burgers," "Puss in Boots"). She performs at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, and 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19. Two-beverage minimum. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required, masks recommended. (773) 697-3830 or

• Laugh Out Loud Theater, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg, hosts "Comedy Dance Chicago," a combination sketch, dance and physical comedy show. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11; 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 (all-ages show), and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. $25. COVID-19 vaccinations and masks recommended. (847) 240-0386 or

• Previews begin Friday, Nov. 11, for Court Theatre's production of "The Island," a protest play created by playwright Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona. Set on South Africa's Robben Island in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 (of 27) years for opposing Apartheid, the play centers on two political prisoners secretly rehearsing Sophocles' "Antigone" who find solace in their burgeoning friendship. Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent's production opens Nov. 19 at 5535 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago. Masks encouraged. (773) 753-4472 or


• "The Lion King," the popular musical adapted from the beloved animated film, returns to Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 17. Performances run through Jan. 14 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Masks recommended. (800) 775-2000 or

• Kokandy Productions extended its hit production of "Sweeney Todd," the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical chronicling the vengeance exacted by a wrongly imprisoned barber with assistance from his avaricious landlady. Performances run through Dec. 18 at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. Masks required. See

• TUTA Theatre, a company known for staging international plays, announced ensemble members Aziza Macklin and Aileen Wen McGroddy have joined artistic director Jacqueline Stone as the company's new co-artistic directors. The trio will help create and oversee artistic programming, educational offerings and community engagement. McGroddy will handle programming and directing, Macklin will oversee new work development and community engagement, and Stone will oversee digital programming.

• Filament Theatre marks its 15th anniversary by offering $15 tickets to all productions and announcing a space-sharing agreement with The Gift Theatre for its theater at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. Filament's season begins Nov. 19 with a remount of the family-friendly immersive play "Forts: Build Your Own Adventure." Its adults-only counterpart "Forts: Adult Night" runs Dec. 2 through Jan. 6. On March 18, Filament premieres "Think Fast, Jordan Chase!" a choose-your-own-adventure play about friendship that incorporates BIPOC and people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community. See

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