Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chicago area Children's Holiday Theater productions

'Tis the holiday season, and there are lots of fantastic family holiday theatre productions to enjoy! Here are some of the productions taking place now through the holidays, and you can visit our Children's Theater Listing page to see more.

A Christmas Carol
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
November 25 - December 24
The beloved tale brings miserly old Scrooge to life, taking you along on his journey with the spirits of Christmas as he discovers there is more joy in the world than he ever thought possible. It’s an enchanting, musical adaptation of the holiday classic that’s sure to delight the whole family.
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A Christmas Story, The Musical!
Governors State University
December 14-30
America's #1 Christmas movie comes to life on stage as a hilarious holiday musical. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a double-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between young Ralphie and his Christmas wish.
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The Christmas Schooner
The Mercury Theatre
November 16 - December 31
The whole family will enjoy this heart-warming story of the first Christmas tree ship, and the people who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the Christmas spirit. THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER reminds us of tradition, and our responsibility to celebrate the living while honoring heritage.
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The ComedySportz Crew Saves Santa
The ComedySportz Theatre
November 19 - December 17
The ComedySportz Crew has never been more excited! They are using the Imagination Machine to meet Santa Claus! But at the North Pole, Santa's been kidnapped by the evil Expensivo. The crew must use their ComedySportz imaginations to save Santa and stop Expensivo!
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Hannukatz the Musical
National Pastime Theater
December 2-31
The National Pastime Theater presents its first annual holiday show, the only Hannukah musical on earth. The National Pastime Theater unveils Terry Abrahamson’s newly penned (newly spelled), rocking, irreverent, interactive theater event for “that other December holiday,” for those who celebrate Hannukah and those who don't.
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Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Stahl Family Theater
October 19 - January 1
One of America’s most beloved silver screen classics is now a brand new stage musical – Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS. Packed with hits like "Blue Skies," "Count Your Blessings," and the title song "White Christmas," your entire family will celebrate this magical time of year with this beautiful new musical.
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Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
Emerald City at Apollo Theater
November 17, 2011 - January 8, 2012
In Junie B. Jones’ world, things are very clear – Christmas means you get presents, elf costumes are awesome, and May is a blabbermouth tattletale. Things are going so well, until Junie B. pulls May as her Secret Santa! With Santa watching her like a hawk, what will Junie B. do?
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Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker
Governors State University
December 9-27
The world renowned Joffrey Ballet once again transforms the Auditorium Theatre into a winter wonderland full of magical toys and waltzing snowflakes during the annual production of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker.
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The Sound of Music
Drury Lane - Oakbrook
Playing October 20 - January 8
Set in Austria on the brink of WWII, Maria a postulant, proves too high-spirited for the religious life and is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval Captain. Her growing rapport with the youngsters, coupled with her generosity of spirit, gradually captures the heart of the stern Captain.
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Tinsel! the Musical
Lil Buds Theatre at Greenhouse Theater
November 26th - December 20th
Telling the story of a nearsighted reindeer's rise from life as a clumsy waitress in Frosty's diner to being a famous recording artist, TINSEL! THE MUSICAL will put the star on top of your holiday season with its unique blend of country, jazz, blues and pop music. Young audience members will learn about the pitfalls of fame and the rewards of being true to yourself.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Family Fun

If you're staying in town for Thanksgiving, you'll find that there's no shortage of activities this weekend! In addition to Thanksgiving fun, many of this year's Holiday events are now getting underway. So forget shopping on Black Friday - get out there and do something fun!

November 25-27
Shrek the Musical
Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd., Rosemont
Shrek the Musical tells the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim the deed to his land. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess and learns that real friendship and true love aren’t only found in fairy tales. Ages 4 and up. See web site for show times. Ticket prices range from $22.50 - $87.50. Read more...

November 25
From Trash to Table: Transforming Leftovers into Delicious Dishes
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago
Join Chef Jill Houk as she shares her passion for food this Friday by turning Thanksgiving leftovers into all new meals! She'll take you through cooking with your surplus turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, and will explain how food doesn't have to be boring the second time around. All ages. 1:30 -3:00 p.m. Included with admission. Read more...

November 26
The Flying Karamazov Brothers
The Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
For more than 35 years, The Flying Karamazov Brothers have brought their signature brand of physical humor and entertainment to theaters around the globe. Direct from Broadway, their latest show 4-Play is 100 minutes of cleverness and comedy with endless juggling (including items from the audience), a zany ballet, and banter that's part Marx Brothers, part Monty Python - 100% pure glee! 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. $28.50-$38.50. Read more...

November 26
Vienna Boys Choir
Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago
One of the oldest boys' choirs existing in the world and a symbol of Austria for nearly 500 years, Vienna Boys Choir returns to Symphony Center with a variety of traditional and holiday songs that are sure to delight the whole family. Kick off your holiday celebration with this popular and essential Thanksgiving weekend event! Ages 8 and up. 3pm. $22 - $83. Read more...


November 19
Ice Skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Randolph/Monroe, Chicago
Skate of those holiday calories -The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park is open! The rink, now in its eleventh season, draws more than 100,000 skaters annually and is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available for $10. This weekend, the rink is open Thanksgiving 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Friday 12pm - 10pm, Saturday 10am - 10pm, Sunday 10am - 9pm. Read more...

November 24
McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade
State Street from Congress to Randolph
Start your holiday with a parade! The McDonald’s® Thanksgiving Parade features sky-high balloons, dazzling equestrian units, the nation’s top marching bands, talented dance troupes and the best in varied cultural entertainment. It takes place on State Street on Thanksgiving Day, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. This year’s lineup includes a wide range of spectacular group performances including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® present Fully Charged, Million Dollar Quartet and more. Free. Read more...

November 24
Thanksgiving Day Feast for the Animals
Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield
The annual Thanksgiving Day feast for the animals begins at Noon and features guests helping dish out tasty nutritious treats to the goats, cows, llamas and horses. Menu items include apples, carrots, sweet corn, oranges, timothy hay, alfalfa, hog chow, grapes, lettuce, bananas, and duck chow. After helping out, guests can watch as zookeepers feed some of the not-so-tame animals like the hawks, owls, woodchucks and raccoons. All ages. Starts at noon. Free admission! Read more...

November 25
20th Annual Wreathing of the Lions
Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Celebrate the start of the holiday season with the 20th anniversary of this Chicago family favorite as the lions are adorned with traditional evergreen wreaths! Performances by the Wooten Choral Ensemble add melodic cheer outside during the ceremony and inside the museum immediately following. Hot tea, provided by Argo Tea, will keep your taste buds happy and your insides toasty warm. Families can stop by the Ryan Education Center to create wreaths inspired by the many treasures in the museum’s collection and meet Artie the Lion! All ages. 10am - 3pm. Free. Read more...

November 23 through December 24
Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, Chicago
The Christkindlmarket outdoor market is no longer just a German tradition, it has become a Chicago institution. The unique shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, as well as diverse holiday entertainment make the Christkindlmarket Chicago a preferred and popular destination. Admission is FREE! Read more...

November 26
Santa's Craft Corner at Cosley Zoo
Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton
Can’t make it to the North Pole? Do the next best thing and come to Cosley Zoo! Enjoy a visit with Santa, make a craft or two and enjoy cookies, punch and coffee. Photos with Santa are available for a small fee. Free Zoo admission! For ages 2 and up. 10am - 2pm. Zoo admission is free; $2/person suggested donation. Read more...

November 25-27
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
Opening this weekend! Zoo lights takes place weekends through the 11th, and then nightly from December 16 - January 1. You can visit with Santa, see animals from around the world, watch live ice carving, try holiday crafts, and enjoy delicious food, hot spiced wine and holiday shopping. All ages. 5-9 p.m. Free. Read more...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Goodnight Moon the Musical!

Margaret Wise Brown books have always been a staple of our night-time story book routine, and I've always associated them with putting kids to bed. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the storyline behind "Goodnight Moon the Musical" was less about kids falling asleep, and more humorously about one little bunny that simply does NOT want to go to bed.

I was a bit hesitant about the concept at first, because it was hitting too close to home - every night at our house is a challenge with what we call "nonsense." But for that very reason, my 3-year-old daughter Mia seems to find it hilarious, as she could totally relate to Bunny.

This is a great show for the younger audiences. The set was fantastic and looked just like Bunny's room from the book, so kids start off with a sense of the familiar. Also familiar to young kids - doing "nonsense" at bedtime! So when Bunny asks for more water, and jumps on the bed, and continues playing, kids were on board.

Bunny sings, dances, and clowns his way around his room in an epic battle against bedtime, encountering characters that come to life, from the pictures on his wall to the toys on his shelf. Memorable antics include the Hey Diddle Diddle characters acting out their story in his bedroom, the Three Bears calling ahead before visiting Bunny in his room, and the goofiness that goes on between Bunny and his pal Mouse.

This is a great show for young audiences, and parents will relate as well.

Chicago Children's Theater at Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre

2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
$26 children, $36 adults
(773) 871-3000

Through December 23, 2011