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The best things to do in Chicago this month,
selected by our culture criticsDecember 2015

Theater
Comedies

CHAPTER TWO

Through 12/20 Jessica Thebus directs the tale of a man who vows never to date again after the death of his wife—a solemn promise that a gorgeous, single soap star upends. $25–$45. Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park. windycityplayhouse.com

Domesticated play
Domesticated   Photo: Saverio Truglio
 

DOMESTICATED

12/3–2/7 Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris’s scathing tale of a philandering politician is as shocking as it is hilarious. Norris (Clybourne Park) directs a cast of local standouts, including Mary Beth Fisher and Tom Irwin. $49–$86. Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. steppenwolf.org

FALLEN ANGELS

Through 1/10 Noel Coward is at his witty best in this play about two rich, bored housewives whose lives change when a guy they both bedded shows up. Shannon Cochran directs a fine cast that includes Annabel Armour, Emjoy Gavino, and Eliza Stoughton. $33–$58. Remy Bumppo at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. remybumppo.org

Nate Burger as Eraste and Emily Peterson as Isabelle in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Heir Apparent  Photo: Bill Burlingham

THE HEIR APPARENT

Through 1/17 Tony winner John Rando (Urinetown) tackles playwright David Ives’s saucy take on this Jean-François Regnard rhyming-couplet comedy. It’s about a handsome young chap whose rich uncle insists on bequeathing his fortune to someone else. $48–$88. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand. chicagoshakes.com

HOLIDAZE

Through 12/20 Step Up Productions presents its annual series of new works that celebrate and skewer the holiday season. Watch stagings of pieces by Mia McCullough (Temperance vs. Tolerance), Steven Simoncic (Later in the Strange), and others. $14–$26. Step Up Productions at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. stepupproductions.org

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MULCH PILE!

12/3–6 In gender-queer artist Dakota Parobek’s Santa-centric story, St. Nick is so over Christmas and all its attendant merriness. Then he meets Laura, a young trans woman who helps him recapture the spirit of the season. $10–$15. Mercy Street Theatre at Hairpin Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee. mercystreettheatre.org

THE ORCHESTRA

12/9–1/10 Finnish playwright Okko Leo’s headbanging comedy follows a group of has-been rockers who stumble onto one last shot at stardom. Can the boys escape the world of “Hotel California” covers and rec center wedding receptions? Brad Akin directs. $10–$20. Akvavit Theatre at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge. akvavittheatre.org

PLAYING GOD

Through 12/20 In Matt Rieger’s surreal comedy, several lost souls challenge their creator (who is having a “mideternity crisis”) to a board game that will determine their fate. $12–$15 (or pay what you can). Curious Theatre Branch at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston. curioustheatrebranch.com

POCATELLO

Through 12/13 The manager of an Olive Garden–style Italian restaurant struggles with isolation in this Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale) comedy directed by the prolific Jonathan Berry. $23–$36. Griffin Theatre at Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice. griffintheatre.com

A Q BROTHERS’ CHRISTMAS CAROL

Through 12/31 Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge, and the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future rap their way to Scrooge’s redemption in a show that captures the spirit of the original with a rhythmic verve that’s irresistible. $30–$48. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand. chicagoshakes.com

TWELFTH NIGHT

12/4–19 Women disguised as men, canny shipwreck survivors, lofty royals, witty rustics, and lovesick fools—Shakespeare’s familiar types fill this dark-edged rom-com. Donations accepted. Midsommer Flight at Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N. Stockton. midsommerflight.com

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