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So Many Holiday Shows, So Little Time

By Julienne Bilker in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 3, 2009 9:20PM

Image credit: Charlie Brown Christmas: © 1965 United Feature Syndicate Inc.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year (groan) when we force ourselves to once again face some hard truths: we will not be gifted with a Lexus adorned with a giant bow or (thankfully) a generic piece of jewelry designed by Jane Seymour, nor will we slip while ice skating and fall right into the arms of a stranger who turns out to be our soul mate. And for a special 2009 bonus, President Obama’s speech preempted our favorite Christmas special of all time. We’re hopeful that one of the many holiday shows on stage this month will lift our spirits.

Here’s our list of best bets for the season - we haven’t seen any of them yet and probably won’t get to all of them, so, readers: help us out. Tell us what you’d like us to check out and we’ll do our best to make it happen. After all, we should probably take a break from drinking hot toddys and scowling at the tourists outside Macy’s.

A Christmas Carol - Goodman Theatre
Based on Charles Dickens' 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol is the tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who is opposed to holiday cheer and indifferent to the sufferings of the poor in Victorian London.

It's a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph! - American Blues Theater
The classic story, based on the 1946 Frank Capra masterpiece is performed as a period radio play complete with commercial breaks. The same creative team who brought this classic piece to Chicago audiences for six years once again brings the town of Bedford Falls to life, this time with a new adaptation at the new Victory Gardens Studio.

It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play - American Theater Company
Bedford Falls. 1948. ATC transforms into a 1940’s radio studio to tell Capra’s classic story of one man’s affect on his community. This year ATC brings new life to this holiday tradition with a new cast, new Foley sound, and new scenes. Free milk and cookies are served after every show.

The Santaland Diaries - Theatre Wit
A celebration of the desperation of unemployment, the insanity of Christmas shopping and the ineffable "cheer" of the holiday spirit.

The Snow Queen - Victory Gardens
The mysterious Snow Queen holds talking animals, wooden soldiers, witches, and lost children under her spell. Adapted by director Frank Galati and composer Michael Smith, with design and puppets by Blair Thomas.

Winter Pageant 2009 - Redmoon Theater
Redmoon's family friendly annual event returns to celebrate the changing seasons and the coming of spring. Redmoon's longest-running spectacular tradition.

A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant - Next Theater
A jubilant cast of children celebrates the life of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the controversial religion, in uplifting pageantry and song. The actual teachings of The Church of Scientology are explained and dissected against the candy-colored backdrop of a traditional nativity play.