4 can’t-miss versions of ‘A Christmas Carol’

You’re probably familiar with “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens’ tale of Scrooge and Bob Cratchit. It was first published in 1843, and today a few Chicago-area theater companies are offering their own modern and unique twists on this holiday classic.

These performances are sure to drive away any bah humbugs you may have and would be either a great night out with your older kids or make for a fun holiday date night with your partner.

If you love classic musicals with lots of dancing, check out Scrooge and the Ghostly Spirits

Now through Dec. 23

Citadel Theater

300 S. Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest

Local playwright Douglas Post crafted this original musical version of the tale, writing the book, music and lyrics. At just 90 minutes with no intermission, the world premier presentation is a fast-paced version that hits all the highlights, doesn’t deviate too far from the well-known story, and warms the heart with holiday spirit. 

If you’re a fan of hip-hop and rap, go see A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol

Now through Dec. 31

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

800 East Grand Avenue, Chicago

This fun and charming hip-hop reimagination of the tale also serves a history of rap. But rap isn’t the only style of music you’ll hear. The show also features everything from reggae to epic rock ballads and “they combine to create a memorable journey full of rhythm, rhyme and redemption,” according to the show’s website. Adding to its uniqueness, the performance takes place in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new space, the Yard. 

If you’re a Trekkie, head to the Klingon Christmas Carol

Now through Dec. 17

Raven Theatre

6157 N. Clark St., Chicago

Wondering if the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future want Scrooge to “live long and prosper?” Check out this play, which is the first to be performed entirely in Klingon, a language from Star Trek. Thankfully, there are also English supertitles to help out the audience. Klingon values of courage and honor are incorporated into the theme of redemption that makes “A Christmas Carol” so endearing.

If sci-fi is your thing, Steampunk Christmas Carol is for you

Dec. 6 – 16

Raven Theatre

6157 N. Clark St., Chicago

E.D.G.E. Theatre describes this version as “Charles Dickens meets Jules Verne (the Father of Science Fiction).” The characters are a little different with this tale’s industrial setting: Bob Cratchit becomes Barb Ratchet, Mr. Fezziwig morphs into Mad Madam Fizzlewig, and the ghosts are mechanized. But it’s the message about mankind that really resonates.

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