Burning Bluebeard

Through 1/5 Half a dozen partially charred clowns emerge from the smoldering embers of the 1903 Iroquois Theatre Fire to finish the show that went up in smoke. Although 600 people died in the conflagration, the Ruffians (directed here by the lovely and talented Halena Kays) promise a vaudevillian show rich in slapstick, tumbling, and dance. $18–$36. The Ruffians at Theatre Wit, 1229 W Belmont. theatrewit.org

El Stories: Holiday Train

Through 1/5 From feces-flinging commuters to annoying delays, everybody has a CTA horror story. The Waltzing Mechanics collected some true tales just in time for the holiday season. $15. Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N Lincoln, waltzingmechanics.org


Through 1/12 A Chicago cabbie endures one arduous Christmas Eve in this sharply written Will Kern play. $35–$40. Profiles Theatre Main Stage, 4139 N Broadway. profilestheatre.org


Through 12/22 Amid the seasonal glut of Scrooges and sugarplums, Step Up Productions brings an evening of new holiday-themed one-acts by Chicago playwrights Lisa Dillman, Tate Geborkoff, Nambi Kelley, Joshua Rollins, and Steve Simoncic. $15–$30. Step Up Productions at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport. stepupproductions.org

A Klingon Christmas Carol

Through 12/29 Scrooge goes to outer space as theatre troupe Commedia Beauregard mounts its fourth annual Star Trek–infused take on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. $20–$30. Commedia Beauregard at the Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark

The Merry Wives of Windsor

12/3–1/19 Sir John Falstaff graduates to leading man in Shakespeare’s situational comedy. Barbara Gaines sets the story in the postwar 1940s and directs a cast that includes Scott Jaeck as Falstaff and Heidi Kettenring as the object of his affections. $48–$78. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E Grand. chicagoshakes.com

Port Authority

Through 2/16 Conor McPherson returns to monologue form in this play about three generations of men who recount stories of lost love, big dreams, and irrevocable choices. William Brown directs. $35–$70. Writers Theatre at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon, Glencoe

The Second City’s Holiday Nutcracking Revue

12/6–22 Live, from Aurora, it’s the Second City Touring Company—with plenty of seasonal sketches to bring the chuckles. $35. Copley Theatre, 8 E Galena Blvd. paramountaurora.com

They Died Where They Lied

Through 12/1 A pair of drunken campers have an adventurous run-in with some wild berry pickers. $15–$20. Akvavit Theatre at the Den Theatre, 1333 N Milwaukee. akvavittheatre.org


The Upstairs Concierge

12/7–22 The playwright Kristoffer Diaz (The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity) skewers America’s obsession with fame in a comedy told from the viewpoint of a concierge at an upscale hotel. Part of the Goodman’s New Stages Series. Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn. goodmantheatre.org

Yikes! There’s a Phantom in My Opera!

12/5–21 Follow a crackerjack team of paranormal investigators as they apply their Scooby Doo skills to solve the case of a cursed opera house and the mysterious entity intent on messing up everybody’s arias. $15–$20. Chicago dell’Arte at the Side Project, 1439 W Jarvis. chicagodellarte.com