Chicago’s Top 12 Musicals in December

The Dead Prince, Wicked, five Christmas shows, and more good picks this month.

The Dead Prince plays at Storefront Theatre through December 22.   Photo: Courtesy Strange Tree Group

Annie Get Your Gun

12/21–31 Colette Todd stars as the gun-toting proto-feminist Annie Oakley in Irving Berlin’s hit-packed (“There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Anything You Can Do,” “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun”) rom-com. $32–$92; $34–$94 New Year’s Eve. Light Opera Works at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson, Evanston. lightoperaworks.com

CHILD FRIENDLY

A Christmas Carol: The Musical

Through 12/22 The composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid) sets music to Charles Dickens’s holiday staple. $38–$42. Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge, Munster, Ind. theatreatthecenter.com

Christmas Dearest

Through 12/29 David Cerda, who deserves to be a contender on RuPaul’s Drag Race, dons his heels to portray Joan Crawford in a camptastic mash-up of Mommie Dearest and A Christmas Carol. $15–$110. Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N Clark. handbagproductions.org

The Christmas Schooner

Through 12/29 The seasonal ship sails again in John Reeger (book) and Julie Shannon’s (music and lyrics) musical tale of the Rouse Simmons, a vessel bound for Chicago with a cargo of Christmas trees. $20–$55. Mercury Theater, 3745 N Southport. mercurytheaterchicago.com

The Dead Prince

Through 12/22 From the delightfully macabre mind of playwright Emily Schwartz comes the fractured fairy tale of a princess seeking to bring her true love back from the dead. Paul Holmquist directs. $10. Strange Tree Group in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Storefront Theater, 66 E Randolph. strangetree.org

CHILD FRIENDLY

Elf: The Musical

Through 12/15 What happens when a human orphan inadvertently ends up at the North Pole among a tribe of toy-making elves? Find out in the story of Buddy, who discovers both his real father and the true meaning of Christmas in a musical based on the 2003 movie. $18–$90. Broadway in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace, 151 W Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com

Hello Dolly!

Through 1/5 Jerry Herman’s musical tale of the Yonkers matchmaker Dolly Levi boasts a score of indomitable standards. $42.25–$77.25. Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury, Oakbrook Terrace. drurylaneoakbrook.com

CHILD FRIENDLY

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

Through 12/29 Emerald City Theatre presents the kid-friendly fable of an outcast reindeer who saves Christmas with the help of an elf and an abominable snowman. $31–$51. Emerald City Theatre at the Broadway Playhouse, 175 E Chestnut. emeraldcitytheatre.com

CHILD FRIENDLY

The Snow Queen, or When Christmas Freezes Over!

Through 12/21 The composer Rich Maisel turns Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale into a musical with ingenious puppetry. $10–$25. Piccolo Theatre, 600 Main, Evanston. piccolotheatre.com

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Through 12/15 The travails of six overachieving students become fodder for laughs and life lessons in this one-act musical conceived by Rebecca Feldman, William Finn (music and lyrics), and Rachel Sheinkin (book). $36. $31 students, seniors. Griffin Theatre at Theatre Wit, 1229 W Belmont. theatrewit.com

We Three Lizas

Through 1/5 Who needs the three magi when you’ve got three Lizas? The titular trio star in Scott Bradley (book and lyrics) and Alan Schmuckler’s (music) relatively new production concerning a designer who has lost his mojo and the incarnations of Minnellis who help him get it back. Look for a cast of musical theatre powerhouses, including Bethany Thomas, Dana Tretta, and Danielle Plisz. $10–$45. About Face Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W Belmont. aboutfacetheatre.com

Wicked

Through 12/21 The ever-popular Elphaba returns to defy gravity once again in the megablockbuster prequel to The Wizard of Oz. $40–$107. Broadway in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph. broadwayinchicago.com

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