Time Out Chicago's Kris Vire runs down some of his favorite selections at timeoutchicago.com/theater.
A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre, 170 N Dearborn St (312-443-3800, goodmantheatre.org). $25-$82. Through Dec 29. The 35-year-old annual tradition, the grandaddy of holiday theater in Chicago, holds up well in Steve Scott's warmhearted staging. Larry Yando, in his fifth turn as Scrooge, finds nuance and humor in the curmudgeon's transformation.
It's A Wonderful Life: The Radio Play at American Theater Company, 1909 W Byron Ave (773-409-4125, atcweb.org). Through Dec 30. We're transported back to 1949 as the studio audience for a live radio adaptation of the Frank Capra classic, complete with Foley sound effects. This year's cast of American Theater Company's perennial is led by Cliff Chamberlain as George Bailey and Mike Nussbaum, doubling as dastardly Mr. Potter and benevolent angel Clarence.
The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance at The Hypocrites at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division St (773-989-7352, the-hypocrites.com). Through Jan 13. In both of the Hypocrites' cheeky adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan, performed in repertory, audience members roam the theater along with the actor-musicians. The updated scripts by director Sean Graney are goofy and family-friendly; kids will be totally engaged.
The Nutcracker at The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W Division St (773-769-3832, thehousetheatre.com). $25-$35. Through Dec 30. The House's kinetic take on E.T.A. Hoffmann's tale returns for a third annual outing at the Chopin, casting young Clara as a girl mourning the death of her brother, who magically returns as a nutcracker.
The Santaland Diaries at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont Ave (773-975-8150, theaterwit.org). $18-$35. Through Dec 30. Mitchell Fain has been embodying David Sedaris's acerbic Macy's elf, Crumpet, for years in Theater Wit's annual production, the perfect antidote to holiday sentimentality.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont, 5400 N River Rd, Rosemont (800-745-3000). $30-$89. Dec 14-30. The high-kicking Rockettes bring Radio City glitz and glamour for the holidays in their first visit to Rosemont since 2008, featuring new dance numbers and old favorites