5 unexpected holiday shows you don’t want to miss

In a town like Chicago, there’s a great holiday show for just about every day of the week (more, if you include matinees!) Here are five of our favorite, unexpected ways to ring in December onstage. Give them a go, and have a merry season!

… Because there’s only so many times you can feign surprise about Rudolph’s nose.

Chicago Tap Theatre’s “Tidings of Tap”

Everyone expects ballet at the holidays; for a little one-two change up, how about some tap? Tidings of Tap, now in its tenth year, blends impressive dance with a wintry storyline and favorite seasonal tunes. Keep an eye out for Russian Rhythmic Gymnast Master Dasha Merkulov in the starring role, and local child performers lucky–and talented–enough to join in on the percussive fun.

Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie

chicagotaptheatre.com

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

Literary lovers, unite! Is the brashness of the holiday season starting to wear on you? Consider this your formal invitation to a more refined–if no less fraught with familial relations–Christmas party. Two years after the conclusion of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” this imagined sequel picks up on the storyline of Mary Bennet; dependable, dutiful and done with it. But when the family gathers and hosts an unexpected guest, anything can happen in this charming and clever Christmas celebration.

Runs through Dec. 24, 2016

Northlight Theatre, Skokie

northlight.org

Christmas Bingo: It’s a Ho-Ho-Holy Night

Vicki Quade, the sharply witty mind behind the Late Night Catechism hilarity, is back with a take on bible bingo–with the audience as the slightly unsuspecting bingo hall congregants. Vicki Quade, Kathleen Puls Andrade, Cheryl Roy and Lisa Braatz will be sharing the role of the gal in charge for this run and everything from St. Nick trivia to the origins of candy canes will be discussed. Additionally, if you’ve ever wanted to play a much bigger role in the Annunciation, you just may have your chance.

Runs through Jan. 1, 2017

The Royal George Theatre, Chicago

theroyalgeorgetheatre.com

A Klingon Christmas Carol

Proving that, once again, theater is for everyone, sci-fi fans will love this take on Dickens’ classic to the tips of their Vulcan ears. It may be slightly different than the tale you studied in school: Three Klingon ghosts help the curmudgeonly Scrooge change his evil ways through the Klingon warrior code of honor and courage. Not as much a Trekkie as the pal you came in with? No worries; the Klingon language comes with handy English subtitles.

Runs through Dec. 18, 2016

Heartland Studio Theatre, Chicago

theatre.edgeoforion.com

The Snow Queen

Piccolo’s got the answer to a hectic, often over-commercialized holiday time: A beautiful winter Panto celebrating bravery and friendship. The Snow Queen, remounted from its successful run in 2013, tells the gentle tale of Kai and Gerda, two friends separated by an evil queen and a shattered mirror. Can a magical landscape and funny pals help save the day? (You bet your last gumdrop it can.)

Runs through Dec. 18, 2016

Piccolo Theatre, Evanston

www.piccolotheatre.com

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