Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Chicago Holiday Plays On Our Radar 2021

ChiIL Live Shows on our Radar


League of Chicago Theatres’ annual Holiday Guide highlights seasonal productions


Yes, I know there are still pumpkins on the porch and spider webs decking the halls, but it's November and time to start thinking about those gift lists. There's a host of fabulous theatre productions this holiday season, for a variety of ages and tastes. Make a present of tickets and make your presence known in audiences all over town. It's the clutter-free way to make memories with friends and family. The smiles will last long after the final curtain call. Check out the League of Chicago Theatres' comprehensive Holiday Theatre Guide, Hot Tixs site for half price deals, and (adult)/ (family friendly) for giveaways, original reviews, interviews, arts and entertainment news, and the scoop on fun in Chi, IL and beyond. 

Chicago theatres will present a wide variety of festive plays, musicals, dance, and comedy offerings this Holiday season. In support, the League of Chicago Theatres will create a comprehensive Holiday Theatre Guide that will be available for distribution beginning in mid-November.

An updated list of holiday shows with additional details about each production will be available throughout the season at Additionally, many holiday shows will be available at Hot Tix (, Chicago’s local, half-price ticketing service.


The following is a selection of Holiday-themed work playing in Chicago this season:

We've marked family options with an asterisk to designate some of our favorite family friendly options as *ChiIL Mama’s Chi, IL Picks List. Several theatres are producing original productions of the holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol. *Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, a holiday tradition for more than 44 years, will be presented from November 20-December 31, 2021. Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents the return of the wildly entertaining ad-rap-tation of the Dickens’ classic, *Q Brothers Christmas Carol, December 7-23, 2021. Theatre Above the Law has a unique spin on the classic with Eb & Belle, telling the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his first love, before he became curmudgeonly, November 18-December 19, 2021. Hell in a Handbag Productions’ Christmas Dearest is a holiday parody starring Joan Crawford as Scrooge, from November 27-December 31, 2021.

This season also brings unique retellings of classic Holiday stories. The House Theatre introduces a new wintertime tradition with a reimagination of Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved fable, *The Snow Queen, November 12, 2021 - January 2, 2022. In *'Twas the Night Before..., Cirque du Soleil puts an exhilarating spin on the beloved Christmas classic, at The Chicago Theatre, November 26 - December 5, 2021.

Journey to Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair with *The Joffrey Ballet’s reimagined The Nutcracker at Lyric Opera House, December 4-24, 2021. A&A Ballet will perform *The Art Deco Nutcracker at the Athenaeum Theatre on December 4, 2021, while Ballet Chicago will perform its production of *The Nutcracker at the Athenaeum Theatre, December 10-19, 2021.

Holiday radio plays are back on stage this season with American Blues Theater presenting the 20th Anniversary production of its beloved, live 1940s radio broadcast tradition It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, November 26 - December 31, 2021 at Victory Gardens Theater. Oil Lamp Theater will perform its version of It’s a Wonderful Life: Live Radio Play on stage November 26 - December 30, 2021. BrightSide Theatre will present Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play at North Central College’s Meiley-Swallow Hall, December 10-19, 2021.

Love Actually? The Unauthorized Musical Parody, the Off-Broadway hit and holiday season sendup of the iconic romantic comedy and Christmas movie Love Actually, debuts in Chicago at the Apollo Theater, November 17, 2021 - January 2, 2022.

Deck the Hallmark: A Greeting Card Channel Original returns to The Second City’s Up Comedy Club Thursday-Sundays starting November 5, 2021. The Second City’s Best of The Holidays, performed by the cast of The Second City Touring Company, plays Monday evenings and weekend matinees starting November 22 on The Second City Mainstage. The Second City’s Holiday Revue: It’s a Wacky, Wonderful Life will be presented at Paramount Theatre, November 26 - December 23, 2021.

Who's Holiday! is a wildly funny and heartfelt adults-only comedy that tells the story of Cindy Lou Who as she recalls that Christmas Eve she first met the Grinch and the twisted turn of events her life has now taken. Presented at Theater Wit, November 26 - December 26, 2021.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Christmas Bingo: It’s a Ho-Ho-Holy Night invites audience members to play bingo and win prizes, while answering questions about Christmas traditions. Presented by Vicki Quade’s Nuns4Fun at Greenhouse Theater Center, November 28, 2021 - January 2, 2022.

With story, music and magic, Strawdog Theatre brings to life the family-friendly stage adaptation of Eric Kimmel’s book *Hershel and The Hanukkah Goblins, November 20 - December 12, 2021.

Northlight Theatre is producing the world premiere of Mr. Dicken’s Hat, a warm winter’s tale with music directed by David Catlin and featuring colorful characters, constables, and carolers, November 26, 2021-January 2, 2022.

Holiday concert offerings this season include Home Alone in Concert performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, November 26-28, 2021; Holiday Baroque performed by the Rembrandt Chamber Musicians, December 5, 2021; and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Brandenburg Concertos at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, December 8, 2021.

Popular Broadway performers will also perform Holiday concerts this season, including Leslie Odom, Jr.—The Christmas Tour, presented by Broadway In Chicago at the CIBC Theatre, December 4, 2021; Sarah Brightman - "A Christmas Symphony," at the Auditorium Theatre, December 10, 2021; and Merry Christmas, Darling: Heidi Kettenring Sings Karen Carpenter, at the Marriott Theatre, December 13-14, 2021. Plus, Emmy-nominee Angela Ingersoll captures the voices of a dozen divas in a yuletide spectacular The 12 Dames of Christmas, at the Marriott Theatre, December 6-7, 2021.

PlayMakers Laboratory welcomes back live audiences for its holiday play *That’s Weird Grandma: Comes Home For the Holidays from December 10-19, 2021.

Drury Lane Theatre rings in the season with Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, a joyous, family-friendly musical featuring thrilling dance numbers, laugh-out-loud comedy, and a parade of Irving Berlin’s hit songs, November 19, 2021 – January 9, 2022.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, Available half-price tickets will be listed at

Chicago theatres prioritize safely gathering. Patrons are encouraged to confirm current protocols at each theatre. Shows and protocols are subject to change.

About Chicago theatre 

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theatres to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. Each year Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world. For more information, visit #ChiTheatre

The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement

Theatre is essential to the life of a great city and to its citizens. The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres, which leverages its collective strength to support, promote and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry. Through our work, we ensure that theatre continues to thrive in our city.

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