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11 holiday shows to see in Chicago

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Tis the season for festive entertainment! Whether you’re in the mood for music or dance, drama or comedy, classic or contemporary – we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of yuletide shows, that are sure to boost your holiday spirit.

1) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical is playing for just 2 weeks in Chicago before heading to New York City. It runs Nov. 20-29 at the Chicago Theatre. Check out this timelapse by TimeOut Chicago, showing Tony-winner Shuler Hensley’s makeup transformation into the green and grouchy Grinch.

2) Dee Snider, the legendary lead singer of Twisted Sister, is celebrating the season with a heavy-metal Christmas musical he created and stars in. You can see Dee Snider’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale at the Broadway Playhouse now through Jan. 4.

3) The Goodman Theatre is teaming up with Second City to present Twist Your Dickens or Scrooge You! It’s an irreverent satire featuring parody, improv and celebrity guests. Written by former Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort, Twist Your Dickens is a holiday hoot. It runs Dec. 5-28.

4) How about a Cirque show with a holiday theme? Cirque Dreams Holidaze is a one-of-a kind performance with more than 300 costumes, 30 artists and 20 acts.  It’s playing at the Chicago Theatre Dec. 17-21. 



5)  Don’t forget the reason for the season. Check out A Nativity Story: More than a Miracle put on by Congo Square Theatre Company. The African American troupe performs a new take on the classic story of Jesus’ birth. There are shows Dec. 18-28 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.

6) The Do-It-Yourself Messiah has been a Chicago tradition since 1976. Handel’s Messiah, also known as the Hallelujah Chorus, is one of the most beloved Christian anthems. In this annual rendition at the Harris Theater, the orchestra is made up of volunteer musicians and the audience is invited to join the choir in singing. This year’s performances are on Dec. 21 and 22. Check out this video from the audience during Chicago’s 2010 DIY Messiah.

7) Irish singing sensation Celtic Thunder is bringing its first-ever symphony tour to the Chicago Theater for a special holiday performance on Nov. 30. Don’t miss this!

8) Tidings of Tap is a holiday dance show put on by the Chicago Tap Theatre. Shows are Dec. 12-14 at UIC Theatre.

9) The Second City’s Holidazed and Confused Revue is a sketch comedy show, riddled with laughs about the pros and cons of the holiday season. Consider this show R-rated. It’s playing now through Dec. 31.

10) The Drinking & Writing Theater presents A Beer Carol, a live radio play performed at the Haymarket Pub & Brewery. It’s about the evil CEO Bud Miller, who’s visited by four spirits – hops, barley, water and yeast. The show runs Nov. 29-Dec. 28.

11) If movies are more your thing, the Music Box Theatre in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood is showing a few classic Christmas movies – “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas” – at its 31st annual Music Box Christmas Show, happening Dec. 12-24. You can purchase tickets to just one of the films, or upgrade for a double-feature. This vintage movie house is the perfect setting to watch your old favorites.

BONUS: Don’t forget the annual Chicago highlights – A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre, the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s holiday performance, Welcome Yule!

If you catch any of these holiday shows, send us your photos (using the red button below) and they might be featured in a future Urban Agenda post. Now get out and enjoy Chicago!

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