Music and a visit from Santa Claus mark Improv Playhouse’s 1940s-style, radio play adaptation of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which tells the story of everyman George Bailey, who discovers what his absence would mean to the people he loves. Artistic director David Brian Stuart directs and plays George Bailey.
7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 9-10 and 16-17, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 11 and 18, at 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. In advance: $15 adults, $7.50 students. At the door: $20 adults, $10 students. Masks are optional. (847) 968-4529 or improvplayhouse.com.
Strawdog Theatre Company remounts for the fifth time its family-friendly, musical adaptation of “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins,” whose cast is seen here in a photo from the 2021 production. – Courtesy of Jenn Udoni-Franco Images Hershel returns
Strawdog Theatre launches its 35th season with “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins,” a musical adaptation of Eric Kimmel’s book, which has become a holiday favorite in the five years since the Chicago company premiered it. Ensemble member Michael Dailey adapted the story about a traveling theater group that puts on a show about a young man who outsmarts the goblins haunting a local synagogue. Hannah Todd directs.
Previews at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago. The show opens at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Free, but reservations are required and donations are accepted. Proof of vaccination and masks required. strawdog.org.
Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Angela Ingersoll channels Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Janis Joplin and other noteworthy female singers in her holiday show “The 12 Dames of Christmas with Angela Ingersoll” at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre.
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7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $45-$50. Masks recommended. (847) 577-2121, metropolisarts.com or artistsloungelive.com.
Joseph Jefferson Award-winner Angela Ingersoll channels her favorite divas in her show “The 12 Dames of Christmas with Angela Ingersoll” at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre. – Courtesy of Artists Lounge Live In other news
Check with venues about COVID-19 precautions.
• Otherworld Theatre Company presents a hybrid immersive theater, live-action role playing and escape-room event titled “Tales of the Wandering Wyvern Inn: A One-Shot Immersive LARP.” Performances run through Jan. 29 at 3914 N. Clark St., Chicago. See otherworldtheatre.org.
• Haitian Canadian comedian Che Durena headlines The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, at 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Masks recommended. (773) 697-3830 or thedentheatre.com.
• The Second City sends up holiday films, family gatherings and other traditions in its adults-only holiday revue “Jingle Bell Ruckus” at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org.
• Black Ensemble Theater founder and artistic director presents “Jackie Taylor’s Joy to the World: A Holiday, Celebration” showcasing seasonal favorites on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10-11 and 17-18, at 4450 N. Clark St., Chicago. (773) 769-4451 or blackensembletheater.org.
• CirquesExperience performs its holiday show “Wheel Thru the Season” at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at Senn High School, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. The show features acrobatics, gymnastics and aerialists performing to holiday music. cirquesexperience.org.
• Marriott Theatre presents “Someday at Christmas: John-Mark McGaha Sings Stevie Wonder,” featuring the singer/actor/storyteller performing such hits as “Someday At Christmas,” “My Cherie Amour,” “That’s What Christmas Means to Me,” “For Once in My Life,” “Ave Maria” and others, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, and 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. $55. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com.
• The cast of Mercury Theater Chicago’s “Clue” performs a holiday cabaret as part of “Cluebaret,” Season of Concern’s annual benefit, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at 3741 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Season of Concern provides financial assistance for theater artists unable to work because of illness or injury. Tickets are $25. seasonofconcern.org.
• The National Museum of Mexican Art hosts a reading of “Macha,” Nancy Garcia Loza’s play about an ordinary day in the life of three sisters. It takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago. See nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.
• TimeLine Theatre added 2 p.m. performances Thursdays, Dec. 8 and 15, for its revival of Alice Childress’ 1955 drama “Trouble in Mind” at 615 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. (773) 281-8463, ext. 6, or timelinetheatre.com.
• Nothing Without a Company ensemble member Hannah Ii-Epstein has been named artistic director. In 13 years with the company, Ii-Epstein has served as director, writer, literary manager and co-artistic director. Ii-Epstein will focus on ensuring LGBTQIA+, women, nonbinary and BIPOC people “have a safe and creative space to explore their voices and talents.”
• Redtwist Theatre named Dusty Brown its new artistic director. Also, the Chicago company named Eileen Dixon community director and Michael Dias development director.