On stage: Second City, Oil Lamp, Metropolis serve up holiday offerings this week

  • Oil Lamp Theater stages a radio play adaptation of Frank Capra's beloved film "It's A Wonderful Life."

    Oil Lamp Theater stages a radio play adaptation of Frank Capra's beloved film "It's A Wonderful Life." Courtesy of Oil Lamp Theater

Posted11/30/2019 7:28 AM

• One of several suburban productions of "The Second City's Holiday Revue: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Sweater" opens Friday, Nov. 29, at the Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.

• Oil Lamp Theater celebrates the season with "It's a Wonderful Life -- A Live Radio Play," adapted by Joe Landry from the 1946 film directed by Frank Capra about everyman George Bailey who gets a glimpse at what his community would have been like had he never been born. Seven actors play all the characters in this 1940s-style radio play performed with sound effects and in a space transformed to resemble a New York radio station on Christmas Eve, 1946. Performances begin Friday, Nov. 29, at 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview. (847) 834-0738 or oillamptheater.org.


• The Goodman Theatre remounts "The Santaland Diaries," adapted by Joe Mantello from David Sedaris' novel about his experiences working as an elf at Macy's department store. Steven Strafford stars as Crumpet the Elf in the solo show directed by Steve Scott. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 29, at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. The show opens Thursday, Dec. 5. (312) 443-3800 or goodmantheatre.org.

• The Q Brothers Collective comprised of GQ, JQ, Jax and Pos returns to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater with "Q Brothers Christmas Carol," an irreverent, "ad-rap-tation" of Charles Dickens' holiday classic. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 29, at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. The show opens Tuesday, Dec. 3. (312) 595-5600 or chicagoshakes.com.

• Peformances begin Friday, Nov. 29 for Cirque du Soleil's new holiday production "'Twas the Night Before ..." incorporating characters from Clement Clarke Moore's poem. Performances run through Dec. 8 at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. (800) 745-3000 or chicagotheatre.com/cirque.

• Pride Films and Plays premieres "America's Best Outcast Toy," a holiday reality TV musical about outcast toys rescued by Rudolph who reunite for a series of challenges. Previews begin Friday, Nov. 29, at 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago. The show opens Tuesday, Dec. 3. (773) 857-0222 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

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• Hey Nonny, at 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights, inaugurates "Late Night Laughs," an adults-only comedy showcase at 10:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29. Featured comedians include Vince Carrone, Katie Meiners and Paul Farahvar. (224) 202-0750 or heynonny.com.

• Five volunteers staffing a hotline that helps callers deal with holiday blues are forced to shelter in place during a cold snap in "Cold Town/Hotline: A Chicago Holiday Story," by writer/director Eli Newell. Raven Theatre's premiere begins previews Saturday, Nov. 30, at 6157 N. Clark St., Chicago. The show opens Dec. 6. (773) 338-2177 or raventheatre.com.

Steven Strafford plays Crumpet the Elf in Goodman Theatre's "The Santaland Diaries."
Steven Strafford plays Crumpet the Elf in Goodman Theatre's "The Santaland Diaries."

• Filament Theatre remounts the immersive, family-friendly experience "Forts: Build Your Own Adventure," in which parents and their children create a new play space using cardboard boxes, sheets and other items. Performances begin Saturday, Nov. 30, at 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. The show opens Sunday, Dec. 1. (773) 270-1660 or filamenttheatre.org/forts.


• Chicago Immersive marks its Chicago-area debut with "Grace and the Hanukkah Miracle," a glimpse into one family's holiday traditions by the creative team responsible for Strawdog Theatre's "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins." The show opens Sunday, Dec. 1, at Grace Lutheran Church, 1430 South Blvd., Evanston. (773) 236-2172 or chicagoimmersive.com.

• The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre's holiday programming continues with "It's a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre," a 1940s radio-style adaptation of Frank Capra's film. The performance takes place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Also at the Metropolis, actress/singer Angela Ingersoll returns with her show "The 12 Dames of Christmas" during which the Joseph Jefferson Award-winner channels such stars as Judy Garland, Edith Piaf, Julie Andrews, Eartha Kitt and others. Ingersoll performs at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

• Midsommer Flight hosts its fifth annual holiday production of William Shakespeare's comedy "Twelfth Night," about love and mistaken identity, mostly centered around Viola, a woman who washed ashore after a shipwreck and disguised herself as a man to keep safe. Director Dylan S. Roberts sets the play during the early 20th century. It runs Thursday, Dec. 5, through Dec. 22 at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 Stockton Drive, Chicago. See midsommerflight.com.

• A doctor discovers a cure for a plague that is killing people over 45, but what price will he demand for a cure? Czech playwright Karel Capek asks that question in "The White Plague." Trap Door Theatre's production opens Thursday, Dec. 5, at 1655 W. Cortland Ave., Chicago. (773) 384-0494 or trapdoortheatre.com.

• Previews begin Thursday, Dec. 5, for Pride Films and Plays' production of "The Christmas Foundling," Norman Allen's play about a 10-year-old boy abandoned as an infant in the California Sierras and raised by two Gold Rush miners until his aunt arrives to take him back to Boston. The show opens Dec. 7 at 4147 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 857-0222 or pridefilmsandplays.com.

Jackie Seijo, right, plays Viola and Chad Bay plays Sebastian in Midsommer Flight's "Twelfth Night."
Jackie Seijo, right, plays Viola and Chad Bay plays Sebastian in Midsommer Flight's "Twelfth Night." - Courtesy of Zack Whittington

• Tandy Cronyn, daughter of famed actors Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, stars in "The Tall Boy," adapted by Simon Bent from Kay Boyle's story "The Lost." Cronyn plays the director of an American orphanage who tells the story of three boys, "unaccompanied children" found in Germany after World War II, who are desperate to get to America. Performances run Thursday, Dec. 5, through Dec. 15 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 327-5252 or stage773.com.

• The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, presents the adults-only holiday burlesque and drag production "The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque." Performances begin Thursday, Dec. 5. See the buttcrackerburlesque.com.

• The Factory Theater hosts its annual fundraiser The Shameless Ball, including a raffle, food and beverages at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at Chief O'Neill's Pub & Restaurant, 3471 N. Elston Ave., Chicago. See thefactorytheater.com.

• Citadel Theatre announced an extension of its production of "Annie." Performances run through Jan. 5 at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. (847) 735-8554, ext. 1, or citadeltheatre.org.

• First Folio Theatre is offering two-for-one tickets for Wednesday or Friday performances of "Jeeves Saves the Day" (Feb. 1 to March 1) and "Little Women" (March 28 to April 26) for anyone who uses the code "cybermonday" when ordering tickets on Monday, Dec. 2. See firstfolio.org.

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