Spotlight: Local theaters ring in 2024 with sketch comedy, stand-up

For folks who can’t stay up until midnight, comedian and WLS 890-AM radio personality Steve Cochran hosts his annual early-bird New Year's Eve show at the Raue Center. Joining him are fellow funny men John DaCosse, Mike Toomey and Tim Benker.

2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. Tickets are $28-$38.50 for RaueNOW members and $40-$55 for nonmembers. (815) 356-9212 or

Enter 2024 laughing

Laugh Out Loud Theater hosts two shows — an all-ages early show and a late-night, adults-only show — on New Year’s Eve. Both include holiday-themed improv courtesy of LOL cast members and sketch and physical comedy by members of Comedy Dance Chicago. Admission includes party favors, desserts, two complimentary beverage tickets per person and a champagne toast at midnight.

Family-friendly show at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31; adults-only show at 10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. Early show: $24 for kids, $59 for adults; late-night show $74. (847) 240-0386 or

NYE at Otherworld Theatre

Celebrate 2024 cosplay-style at Otherworld Theatre’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Rooted in “nerdy magic,” the party includes karaoke, a pizza party, board games, an improv performance from Portal-Prov! and a countdown to midnight. Revelers are encouraged to dress as their favorite characters.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, and the party continues through 1 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1, at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. $50.

Young playwrights festival

Pegasus Theatre Chicago hosts its 37th annual Young Playwrights Festival showcasing four one-act plays selected from 300 submissions by Chicago high school students. The featured plays have been workshopped and staged by Pegasus theater artists.

Previews at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 4-6, at Chicago Dramatists, 798 N. Aberdeen St., Chicago. The festival opens Jan. 7 and runs at 7 p.m. Fridays and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Saturdays through Jan. 28. $15-$30.

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