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Curtain Call — ‘A Xmas Cuento Remix,’ ‘Q Brothers Christmas Carol’ and more theater openings Nov. 28-Dec. 4

From comedy and drama to musicals and dance, Chicago’s stages are alive with vibrant productions.

The cast of “A Xmas Cuento Remix features Isabel Quintero as Dolores (center, front).
The cast of “A Xmas Cuento Remix features Isabel Quintero as Dolores (center, front).
David Skorpen

Looking to take in some live theater in the week ahead? Here are some previews and openings to consider:

Pick of the Week:

“A Xmas Cuento Remix”: Charles Dickens’ holiday chestnut “A Christmas Carol” gets a makeover in Maya Malan-Gonzalez’s modern-day retelling that celebrates Latinx culture. Isabel Quintero plays Dolores (aka Scrooge) who thinks Christmas is a scam and has no time for charity in any form. When her niece Anita (Claudia Quesada) faces eviction, she turns her out into the cold. As in the often-told tale, three spirits take Dolores on a journey to show her the value of love and compassion. “I wanted to bring to the stage an homage to classic Christmas stories while also highlighting Latinx culture, which is so often invisible in mainstream Christmas content,” says Malan-Gonzalez. “And I wanted to see strong female characters, while celebrating the importance of family and the magic of Christmas.” Directed by Miguel Nunez with music composed and arranged by Emiliano Valdez and Daniel Caldez. Previews begin Nov. 29, opens Dec. 6; to Dec. 29. 16th Street Theater, 642016th, Berwyn, $$25, $32; 16thstreettheater.org

More previews and openings:

“America’s Best Outcast Toy”: Larry Todd Cousineau and Cindy O’Connor’s musical about what happens to the outcast toys after they are rescued by a certain famous reindeer; directed by Donterrio Johnson. Previews begin Nov. 29, opens Dec. 3; to Jan. 12. Pride Arts Center, The Broadway, 4139 N. Broadway, $30, $40; pridefilmsandplays.com

“A Christmas Carol” is being staged in a 60-minute version at Drury Lane Theatre.
“A Christmas Carol” is being staged in a 60-minute version at Drury Lane Theatre.
Brett Beiner Photography

“A Christmas Carol”: A 60-minute version of Charles Dickens classic tale. Opens Nov. 29; to Dec. 23. Drury Lane Theatre for Young Audiences, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, $20; drurylanetheatre.com

“A Christmas Carol”: Celebrate the holidays with Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and three magical ghosts. Opens Nov. 29, to Dec. 24. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, $15, $30; metropolisarts.com

“A Christmas Carol the Musical”: Alan Menken, Lynn Aherns and Mike Okrent’s musical adaptation of Charles Dickens holiday classic; directed by Jeffrey Cass. Opens Nov. 29; to Dec. 15. Brightside Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth, Naperville, $30; brightsidetheatre.com

“Cold Town/Hotline — A Chicago Holiday Story”: Eli Newell’s comedy about five volunteers answering calls at a hotline created to help Chicagoans cope with the holiday blues; directed by Newell. Previews begin Nov. 30, opens Dec. 6; to Dec. 22. Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, $30; raventheatre.com

“The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Sweater”: The Second City roasts all the things we love to loathe about the holidays. Opens Nov. 29; to Dec. 22. Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena, $37; paramountaurora.com.

“Grace and the Hanukkah Miracle”: An immersive holiday show celebrating home, family and the traditions that bring us together; directed by Jacqueline Stone. Opens Dec. 1; to Jan. 5. Grace Lutheran Church, 1430 South Blvd., Evanston, $25; chicagoimmersive.com

“The Nutcracker”: Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet’s staging of the classic ballet. Dec. 1. Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago, Joliet, $22.50-$38.50; rialtosquare.com

The Nut Tapper: Reggio “The Hoofer” McLaughlin’s annual staging of the holiday classic recreated with rhythms of tap, Spanish flamenco and Mexican zapateado. Dec. 1. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, $18; oldtownschool.org

A Rastafarian Jacob Marley (JQ, center) and his crew of reggae spirits (left to right, Jax and Pos) haunt Scrooge in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Q Brothers Christmas Carol.”
A Rastafarian Jacob Marley (JQ, center) and his crew of reggae spirits (left to right, Jax and Pos) haunt Scrooge in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Q Brothers Christmas Carol.”
Liz Lauren

“Q Brothers Christmas Carol”: A hip-hop reinterpretation of the holiday classic; directed by GQ and JQ and developed with Rick Boynton. Previews begin Nov. 29, opens Dec. 3; to Dec. 23. The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand, $32-$56; chicagoshakes.com

“The Santaland Diaries”: Steven Strafford stars in David Sedaris’ hilarious take on the holidays; directed by Steve Scott. Previews begin Nov. 29, opens Dec. 5; to Dec. 29. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $15-$50; goodmantheatre.org

“Twas the Night Before…”: The Cirque du Soleil production, an acrobatic spectacle, takes a new spin on the holiday classic. Opens Nov. 29; to Dec. 8. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, tickets start at $30; chicagotheatre.com/cirque

“The Nutcracker”: Christopher Wheeldon’s reimagining of the holiday classic sets the tale on Christmas Eve, 1892, months before the opening of the 1893 World’s Fair. Opens Nov. 30; to Dec. 29. The Joffrey Ballet at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., $35-$200; joffrey.org.

Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.