12 Holiday Shows You Should See This Season

Some are classics, others are eccentric, and all are worth a look before the year ends.

A scene from Elf: The Musical   Photo: Joan Marcus

Theatre


Elf: The Musical

If you thought Will Ferrell’s 2003 blockbuster movie was delightful, wait till you hear it in song.
Through Dec. 15, Cadillac Palace Theatre

A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol

The holiday classic with a hip-hop twist.
Through Dec. 22, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Christmas Dearest

A campy take on A Christmas Carol, starring a drag-queen Joan Crawford.
Through Dec. 29, Hell in a Handbag at Mary’s Attic

El Stories: Holiday Train

Nothing says Christmas like chaotic commuters at the Belmont Red Line stop.
Through Jan. 11, Greenhouse Theater Center

Comedy


That’s Weird, Grandma: Holiday Edition

CPS students write—and Barrel of Monkeys adapts—the darnedest stories for this family-friendly show.
Dec. 9 to Jan. 13, Neo-Futurist Theater

Winter FUNderland

Drunken caroling and bad turkey-bowling bets make for delicious comedic fodder.
Through Dec. 19, iO Theater

Kiss Kiss Cabaret

If you’re not already on Santa’s naughty list, you will be after a night with these babes in bustiers.
Through Dec. 20, Greenhouse Theater Center

Miracle on Wells Street

R-rated improv and abundant drinks—so, basically, the opposite of the movie.
Through Dec. 31, UP Comedy Club

Music and Dance


Chanticleer

Angels’ voices may be heavenly, but these famous falsettos are truly divine.
Dec. 4 to 5, Symphony Center

Handel’s Messiah

The Apollo Chorus’s 134-year-old tradition is even longer-lived than the Cubs’ championship drought.
Dec. 7, Symphony Center; Dec. 21, Harris Theater

Andrew Bird

This famed local folkie heads to church for his annual “cozy concert.”
Dec. 9 to 12, Fourth Presbyterian Church

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Three singers croon songs of mistletoe mishaps and sexy Santas.
Dec. 12, Driehaus Museum; Dec. 15, North Central College

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