Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Top Chicago Holiday Theatre Offerings And Half Price Tickets For 2023

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar



League of Chicago Theatres highlights seasonal productions in annual Holiday Guide and launches Half-Price Holidays


Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows we've seen hundreds of Chicago based plays and touring productions a year since 2008. Chicago's theatre scene is second to none, with 250+ theatres ranging from funky little storefronts to giant, ornate, downtown spaces that seat thousands. Make some memories with family and friends this holiday season and see a show! Tickets make excellent clutter busting gifts and the memories will last a lifetime. Check back like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We've noted in bold, red type below all the shows we're reviewing this season, and bold green for ones we have covered in past years, at (family friendly/family themed) and (adult).

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 has created a comprehensive Holiday Theatre Guide that is available at guest services at Block 37 Shops on State. The online Holiday Guide is available at

An updated list of holiday shows with additional details about each production will be available throughout the season at Additionally, Hot Tix is kicking off the holiday season with a brand-new promotion, Half-Price Holidays. From November 24 – December 3, half-price tickets will be available for select holiday productions from participating theaters like the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Greenhouse Theater, Oil Lamp Theater, Court Theatre, Three Brothers and more.  

League of Chicago Theatres Executive Director Marissa Lynn Jones comments, "There’s no better time than the holidays to gather with others for a shared theatrical event. The League of Chicago Theatres Holiday Guide highlights robust offerings from our member organizations throughout Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs, in-person experiences with a story for everyone to share. This year, we are introducing Half-Price Holidays, providing discounted tickets to encourage people to come out and experience a show this season."


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

Several theatres present the holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol. Goodman Theatre’s must-see annual production that has enchanted audiences for over four decades runs through December 30. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre presents an adaptation filled with warmth, humor, music, and holiday cheer, November 25 – December 24. Drury Lane celebrates 30 years of its Young Audiences production of A Christmas Carol, running November 24-December 30. Told through puppetry and music, the striking holiday experience of Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol comes to life at Writers Theatre, November 16 – December 24.

Audiences will be transported to the whimsical world of Whoville and be reminded of the true meaning of the holidays when Broadway in Chicago presents Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, December 19 – 31. 

Don’t miss the live theatrical adaptation of Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, based on the beloved television special originally created by the legendary puppeteer Jim Henson with music by the legendary Paul Williams, November 15 - December 30 at The Studebaker Theater at The Fine Arts Building.

For more than 20 years, American Blues Theater has treated audiences to a live retelling of the Frank Capra classic in a 1940s radio broadcast tradition, making It’s a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!, the second longest-running holiday play in Chicago. Running December 8 – 31, It’s A Wonderful Life will inaugurate the company’s new home at 5627 N. Lincoln Ave.

Take in a classic or contemporary production of holiday favorite The Nutcracker: Journey to Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair with The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker, reimagined by two-time Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon, at Lyric Opera House, December 2 – 7; Broadway in Chicago presents Hip Hop Nutcracker, a re-mixed version that smashes hip hop dance and Tchaikovsky's timeless music together into a heart-stirring and inspirational holiday event, December 12 -17 at Cadillac Palace Theatre; and Sugar Hill: The Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker reveals the glamour of 1930s Harlem in this jazz-steeped version of the classic tale, December 19 – 30 at the Auditorium Theatre.

Be enchanted by the magic of Cinderella this holiday season: It's the 47th Anniversary of Jackie Taylor's holiday classic hit The Other Cinderella, running at Black Ensemble Theater though December 31, while Drury Lane Theatre presents the beloved musical Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella through January 7.

Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever holiday production ‘Twas the Night Before… is a whirlwind of love, holiday cheer, riotous fun, and adorably endearing characters that will establish a new tradition for families to treasure. Running December 7 – 28 at The Chicago Theatre.

Dash through the snow to The Second City for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Sweater, where festive family gatherings, office parties, classic holiday movies, and Mariah Carey's entire catalogue will all get roasted like chestnuts on an open fire, November 21 – December 31.

The Gift of the Magi, O. Henry’s classic tale of selflessness and the true meaning of gift-giving runs atOil Lamp Theater, November 17 – December 30

Four Beatrix Potter favorites come to life in The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, a mesmerizing, interactive trunk and puppet show at Chicago Children’s Theatre, through December 31. 

Strawdog Theatre presents its sixth annual production of the beloved book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, in partnership with The Chicago Loop Synagogue, November 30 – December 23.

Inspired by The Gift of the Magi, The Little Matchstick Girl, A Christmas Carol, and the best 80s pop hits, VHS Christmas Carols is a brand-new retro holiday classic from sensation Team Starkid, running November 17 – 19 at the Apollo Theater.

It's Bethlehem or Bust in the road trip comedy 2,023 years in the making - Wise Guys: The First Christmas Story - at The Factory Theater, through December 16

Be spirited away by The Snow Queen in this new musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's fantastical coming-of-age adventure that inspired the hit Disney movie Frozen. Running November 17 – December 31 at Marriott Theatre.

Court Theatre presents The Lion in Winter - Tony Award-winning play that inspired the Oscar-winning film – through December 3. Ron OJ Parson directs this thrillingly clever epic with humor, heart, and renewed relevance.

Chicago's favorite holiday musical, The Christmas Schooner, sets sail once again from Beverly Arts Center's Baffes Theater, December 14 – 23.

Chopin Theatre presents the laugh-out-loud comedy Christmas With Elvis, November 24 – January 7.

Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus celebrates its 40th Anniversary with The Big 4-0, ho, ho! a celebration of CGMC’s holiday favorites over the last 40 years, at the Auditorium Theatre on December 8.

Enjoy the magic of movie music at Elf in Concert, played live to picture on November 25 at the Auditorium Theatre, then relive John Hughes' hilarious Home Alone in Concert, as members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra play one of John Williams’ most delightful scores live, December 8 – 10.

You better watch out, you better not cry, because "The Queens of Christmas" are coming back to the Auditorium Theatre with a brand-new edition of the internationally acclaimed The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show on December 10.

Experience the power of nearly 100 voices in magnificent harmony when the award-winning Chicago Symphony Chorus and four world-class soloists join Sir Andrew Davis in this must-see holiday favorite Handel’s Messiah, December 21 – 23 at Chicago Symphony Center.


Some notable non-holiday offerings this season include:

Broadway in Chicago presents the new Broadway-bound musical-comedy extravaganza Boop! The Musical at CIBC Theatre, November 19 – December 24 and an all-new 21st-Century production of The Wiz at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, November 28 – December 10

Northlight Theatre’s Dial M for Murder spins a web of suspicion and deception in this edge-of-your-seat adaptation of a modern classic, November 30 – December 31.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Islander, a WorldStage event featuring a contemporary folk-inspired score and epic storytelling as dramatic as the Scottish coastline. Running November 29 – December 17.

Experience the wacky world of Willy Wonka when Paramount Theatre in Aurora presents the fantastical musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory through January 14. 

Proboscis Theatre Company creates a new adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest featuring a cast of eight women on a journey from isolation to community using Shakespeare's text and stories from their own lives, December 7 – 17 at City Lit Theater.

Enjoy the inspiring true story of Carole King's remarkable journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in Beautiful at Marriott Theatre through December 31.

PlayMakers Laboratory Theatre’s ensemble brings stories from Chicago elementary school students to life in That’s Weird, Grandma! at The Neo-Futurarium, December 8 – 17.

When a White House PR nightmare spins into a legit sh*tshow, seven brilliant and beleaguered women must risk life, liberty, and the pursuit of sanity to keep the commander-in-chief out of trouble in POTUS: or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive. Running through December 10 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

TimeLine Theatre Company presents The Lifespan of a Fact, a comedic showdown between truth and fact set in the world of non-fiction publishing through December 23.

Mel Brook’s hilarious musical comedy Young Frankenstein continues at Mercury Theater Chicago through December 31, 2023.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago Theatres website, Tickets available in the Half-Price Holidays promotion will be listed at

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 6 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


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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