- The Broadway musical version of the wildly popular Disney film “Frozen” comes to town just in time to make many wish lists come true. Caroline Bowman stars as Elsa and Caroline Innerbichler as Anna in the story of two sisters, one with magical powers to freeze objects and people, a skill she doesn’t know how to control. Features the songs from the movie plus new numbers written by the film’s Oscar-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Michael Grandage directs. From Nov. 19-Jan. 22 at Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph. Tickets: $33+. Visit broadwayinchicago.com.
- Based on the classic 1942 film, “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” follows a retired song-and-dance man’s attempts to bring entertainment to his small Connecticut town where he has opened an inn and plans to put on shows celebrating the holidays. Includes a hit parade of Berlin’s songs including “White Christmas.” From Nov. 19-Jan. 9 at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Tickets: $54-$74. Visit drurylanetheatre.com.
- Larry Yando returns as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 44th annual staging of the classic Charles Dickens holiday story “A Christmas Carol,” adapted by Tom Creamer. After co-adapting and directing the 2020 audio streaming version, Jessica Thebus returns to direct the play’s return for the holiday season. From Nov. 20-Dec. 31 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn. Tickets: $25+. Visit goodmantheatre.org.
- Spike Manton and Harry Teinowitz’s world premiere comedy, “When Harry Met Rehab,” features Dan Butler (“Frasier”) and Melissa Gilbert (“Little House on the Prairie”) in a humorous yet poignant look at an alcoholic on the edge of clueless annihilation. Loosely based on the real-life experiences of Teinowitz, a Chicago sports radio personality. Jackson Gay directs. From Nov. 24-Jan. 30 at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. Tickets: $42-$85. Visit whenharrymetrehab.com.
- “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” is Michael Dailey’s stage adaptation, with music and lyrics by Jacob Combs, of Eric Kimmel’s classic children’s holiday book about a traveling troupe of actors who must put on a show to save the holiday. The Strawdog Theatre production is directed by Hannah Todd. From Nov. 20-Dec. 12 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge. Admission is free. Visit strawdog.org.
- Theatre Above the Law presents the world premiere of Ryan Stevens’ holiday play “Eb & Belle,” a unique spin on Dickens that tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his first love Belle, before he became the curmudgeon we know today. Directed by Tony Lawry. From Nov. 18-Dec. 19 at Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis. Tickets: $23. Visit theatreatl.org.
- The Second City’s “Best of the Holidays” celebrates over 60 years of sketches, songs and comedy as the next generation of comedy superstars performs the company’s greatest holiday hits. From Nov. 22-Jan. 1 at Up Comedy Club, 230 W. North. Tickets: $39-$70. Visit secondcity.com.
- Black Ensemble Theater presents Jackie Taylor and Rhonda Preston’s “Ladies, Living and Loving Life,” a musical story about two 80-something sisters, YaYa and Raya, each of whom has owned her own Chicago nightclub for 40 years, one on the South Side, the other on the North Side, where they are still the main attraction singing jazz, standards, pop, rock and more. At 8 p.m. Nov. 19, 3, 8 p.m. Nov. 20, 3 p.m. Nov. 21 at Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark. Tickets: $45. Visit blackensembletheater.org.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns to the stage with “RE/TURN,” a program of premieres and audience favorites. Included are a new work by Jermaine Maurice Spivey making his Hubbard Street debut, Nacho Duato’s “Jardi Tancat” and Aszure Barton’s “BUSK.” At 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 8 p.m. Nov. 20 and 3 p.m. Nov. 21 at Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph. Tickets: $15-$110. Visit harristheaterchicago.org.
- Comedian-actress Janeane Garofalo began her career as a stand-up before breaking into television and movies. Garofalo was a cast member on “The Ben Stiller Show, “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Saturday Night Live” among many others. She would go on to roles in more than 50 movies. Also an outspoken activist and spoken-word performer, Garofalo brings her acerbic wit to town for four stand-up performances. At 7 and 9:30 p.m. Nov. 19-20 at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee. Tickets: $18-$48. Visit thedentheatre.com.
- Venus Cabaret Theater presents a monthly comedy series beginning at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21. The “Comedy at the Cabaret” line-up includes comedians Abi Sanchez, Victoria Vincent, Tyler Fowler and Casey Larwood. The evening ends with an open mic. Hosted by Scott Duff. At Mercury Theater Chicago, 3745 N. Southport. Admission is $15, plus a two-drink minimum. Visit mercurytheaterchicago.com.
- North Mississippi Allstars tour in advance of the new album “Set Sail,” due out Jan. 28 on New West Records. The songs continue the band’s tradition of creating roots music that displays remarkable variety, including an appearance by Stax Records legend Will Bell on the album standout, “Never Want to Be Kissed.” The Dickinson brothers — Luther and Cody, sons of legendary producer-musician Jim Dickinson — founded the band in 1996 and they continue to combine their two aesthetics to create the band’s unique style. Cedric Burnside opens the show at 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $38. Visit evanstonspace.com.
- Chicago Philharmonic presents “Simply Serenades,” a program including works by Brahms (“Serenade No. 2 in A Major”) and Dvorak (“Serenade for Winds”). Also performed is a serenade in one movement by Jonathan Bingham, recently selected as one of three winners of Chicago Philharmonic’s first Donna Milanovich Composer in Residence program. At 3 p.m. Nov. 21 at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Tickets: $10-$75. Visit chicagophilharmonic.org.
- New Orleans rock ’n’ roll minimalists Silver Synthetic tour behind a self-titled debut album. The band — composed of members of Bottomfeeders and Jeff the Brotherhood — has carved a niche for itself in a city where music is a life force. Relix magazine has praised the group for its “effortless, economical pop-rock songs.” Glyders and Constant Smiles open the show at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western. Tickets: $10, $12. Visit emptybottle.com.
- Bella Voce (formerly His Majestie’s Clerkes) presents its intimate-scale “Messiah.” The 24-voice chamber chorus is accompanied by the Bella Voce Sinfonia, presenting the full score similar to the way in which Handel would have overseen it in his day. At 7 p.m. Nov. 20 at Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams, and 4 p.m. Nov. 21 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman, Evanston. Tickets: $10-$65. Visit bellavoce.org.
- Kacy Hill has toured with Kanye West and Vanessa Beecroft as part of the YEEZUS tour, as well as collaborated and shared stages with Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, Bon Iver, Francis and the Lights, Cashmere Cat and countless others. Hill’s 2020 sophomore album, “Is It Selfish If We Talk About Me Again,” has been called “dazzling, heartbreaking and endlessly listenable.” She’s now in the midst of her first solo tour in support of her new album ”Simple, Sweet and Smiling.” Jack Larsen opens the show at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. Tickets: $16. Visit lh-st.com.
- A new exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art is the first major retrospective of Los Angeles-based artist Andrea Bowers. It highlights two decades of her wide-ranging work focusing on pressing social and political issues of our time ranging from women’s and workers’ rights to climate change and immigration. Bowers has built an international reputation for her large-scale installations, detailed color pencil drawings, neon works and impactful videos. From Nov. 20-March 26 at the MCA, 220 E. Chicago. Admission: $15. Visit mcachicago.org.
- “Anthro-obscene: What We Choose Not to See” features the work of photo-based artist Stefan Petranek, who works in a variety of media including historic photographs and video sculptures. Focusing on subjects that range from genetics to climate change, his work explores how contemporary culture, especially through advances in science and technology, affects our perception of nature. To Dec. 8 at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery (inside Norris University Center), 1999 Campus Dr., Evanston. Admission is free. Visit northwestern.edu/norris.
Family holiday fun
- The holidays get underway at Millennium Park (Michigan and Randolph) with the 108th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony (6:30 p.m. Nov. 19) and continue with the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (Nov. 19-March 6), an Art Market (3-8 p.m. Nov. 19, noon-8 p.m. Nov. 20, noon-5 p.m. Nov. 21) and the Millennium Park Holiday Sing-Along (6 p.m. Fridays Nov. 26-Dec. 17). All events are free. For more information, visit millenniumpark.org.
- The Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating Ribbon opens Nov. 19-March 13 with something new and unique for skaters to enjoy. The Chicago Park District and the popular “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit team up for “Gogh Skating,” which features static designs inspired by the Dutch artist’s iconic works (“Starry Night,” “Sunflowers”) embedded in the ice. Reservations are recommended and available online. Admission: $5-$20, skate rentals available. Visit maggiedaleypark.com.
- Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights returns for its 27th annual holiday display with the zoo grounds transformed into a land of twinkling lights. There are also photos with Santa, a light maze, an enchanted forest and much more. From Nov. 19-Jan. 2 at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark. Tickets: $5 with some free nights. Visit www.lpzoo.org.
- Michigan Avenue gets in the holiday spirit with the 30th annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (Nov. 19-20). The festive, free weekend is filled with family-friendly fun and culminates with a parade (5:30 p.m. Nov. 20) featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and the illumination of more than a million lights on 200 trees along Michigan Ave. For a complete list of events, visit themagnificentmile.com.
- The always popular Christkindlmarket returns this holiday season with two locations. Fans will find the usual traditional European feel and a wide array of gifts and food. From Nov. 19-Dec. 24 at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington; Nov. 19-Dec. 31 outside Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison. Admission is free. For more information, visit christkindlmarket.com.
- Children will enjoy the Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party, a charming puppet show starring Peter Rabbit and his favorite animal friends. There also are photos with the cast, coloring activities and cookies and cocoa. From Nov. 20-Dec. 24 at Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine. Tickets: $42+. Visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org.
- Rosemont’s AMAZE Light Festival features more than a million holiday lights, train rides, a holiday market, a tubing slide, Santa’s Workshop, holiday craft making, a candy shop, food and more. From Nov. 19-Jan. 2 at Impact Field, 9850 Balmoral, Rosemont. Tickets: $23, $18 for children 2-12. Visit amazerosemont.com.
NOTE: For COVID-19 safety protocols, visit the venues’ websites.