SHOW OF THE WEEK
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: In a celebration of 20 years of Shakespeare at Navy Pier, director Joe Dowling revisits his 1999 production of The Bard’s classic comedy, a vibrant reimagining featuring striking visuals and an eclectic score blending rock, jazz, blues and doo-wop. The cast of 21 features T.R. Knight (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as Bottom, the overconfident weaver who has an unfortunate run-in with the mischievous, prank-playing Puck. Previews begin Dec. 6, opens Dec. 14; to Jan. 27. Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand, $48-$88; (312) 595-5600.
“The Art Deco Nutcracker”: Set in 1920s America, this is a fresh take on the holiday favorite. Nov. 30-Dec. 2. A&A Ballet at Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan, $30-$50.
“Best of The Infinite Wrench”: The best plays of the year from the Neo-Futurists’ ongoing attempt to shift the conventions of traditional theater. Opens Nov. 30; to Dec. 9. The Neo-Futurists Theater, 5253 N. Ashland, $10-$15.
“Cendrillon (Cinderella)”: The storybook kingdom of Cinderella in operatic form. Dec. 1, 5, 8 and Jan. 11, 17, 20. Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker, $49-$299.
“Christmas Mubarak”: A musical/theatre interplay of the Quranic and New Testament stories that celebrate the birth of Jesus as told by Muslims and Christians. Opens Nov. 30; to Dec. 11. Silk Road Rising at First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington, $25, $35.
“El Stories: Holiday Train”: A retelling of true stories from Chicagoans’ experiences riding the CTA. Opens Nov. 30; to Dec. 22. Waltzing Mechanics at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, $25.
First Draft — TimeLine Playwrights Collective Festival: Readings of plays by Collective members: “Campaigns, Inc.,” by Will Allan; “Greetings from Moscow! A Love Story” by Calamity West; “Kent State Jackson State” by Maureen Gallagher, “Relentless” by Tyla Abercrumbie. Dec. 1-3. TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington, Free.
“Great Russian Nutcracker”: Moscow Ballet’s staging of the classic features world-class Russian dancers, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens and Nesting Dolls. Dec. 2. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont, $28-$89.
“Hellcab”: Will Kern’s Chicago classic about a cabdriver who journeys through the city on Christmas Day picking up bizarre characters; directed by Cordie Nelson. Previews begin Nov. 30, opens Dec. 6; to Dec. 30. Agency Theater Collective at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark, $20 suggested donation.
“Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins”: A new stage adaptation of the classic children’s holiday book by Eric Kimmel; directed by Jacqueline Stone. Previews begin Dec. 1, opens Dec. 2; to Jan. 5. Strawdog Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice, $20-$25.
“The Hip Hop Nutcracker”: Family show that re-imagines the classic score via hip-hop choreography. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont, $25-$75.
“It’s Christmas, God—–t!”: Nostalgic family get-togethers get a comedic twist in Charley Carroll’s play. Opens Nov. 30; to Dec. 28. The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, $20.
“Legalize Lutefisk Live!”: A one-act radio play about a Minnesota family whose holiday includes a visit from Great Uncle Sven and the traditional meal of lutefisk. Dec. 1-2 at Saint Sebastian Players, St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, $30.
“The Nutcracker”: The Joffrey Ballet’s staging of Christopher Wheeldon’s re-imaging of the classic tale now set at the Chicago Columbian Exposition. Opens Dec. 1; to Dec. 30. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, $35-$199.
“The Nutcracker”: Ruth Page’s original staging of the holiday classic. Dec. 1-2. Ruth Page Civic Ballet at Northeastern Illinois University, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr, $20, $32.
“The Play That Goes Wrong”: The madcap comedy about the opening night at a theater where nothing seems to want to go right. Preview Dec. 4, opens Dec. 5; to Dec. 16. Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, $25-$98.
“The Santaland Diaries”: Matt Crowle stars in David Sedaris’ hilarious take on the holidays; directed by Steve Scott. Previews begin Nov. 30, opens Dec. 6; to Dec. 30. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, $15-$45.
“Scarecrow”: A mix of language, gesture, video and elaborate costumes in a story of inter-species communication; co-devised by Matthew Goulish and Essi Kausalainen. Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Presented by Every house has a door at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, 1700 N. Halsted, $15.
“The Second City’s 107th Mainstage Revue”: The latest from the comedy troupe; directed by Matt Hovde. Opens Dec. 6; open run. The Second City, 1616 N. Wells, $31-$80.
“Stomp”: The percussion troupe finds the beat in everyday objects. Opens Dec. 5; to Dec. 30. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut, $39-$84.
Writers Series: A festival of staged readings of new works by local writers: “Man and Moon” by Siena Marilyn Ledger, “The Candidate” by Jenny Seidelman, “Snakeroot” by Levi Shrader. Dec. 1. AstonRep Theatre at Vagabond School of the Arts, 4001 N. Ravenswood, Free.
“Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas: A Die Hard Musical Parody”: Musical numbers and ’80s references in a parody about a grizzled cop who must foil a terrorist plot. Previews begin Dec. 1, opens Dec. 5; to Jan. 12. Yippee Productions at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, $45.