It happened again: it was September, you blinked, and suddenly the holiday season arrived. You vaguely remember Halloween happening sometime after the back-to-school blur, but it’s a distant memory now that the stores are brimming with festive fare. Before the madness gets out of control, make sure you kick off the season right with a screen-free family outing. Take a breath—then take a few minutes to score some tickets to one of these live holiday performances.
Miracle on 34th Street
Nov 15-Dec 23
Theatre at the Center, Munster
“Miracle on 34th Street is certainly familiar from the classic 1947 film and its more modern remakes,” says Linda Fortunato, the show’s director and choreographer. “The story of the real Kris Kringle hired as a Macy’s Santa Claus still touches hearts and reminds us of the power of the imagination. I’m excited to share this classic story in musical form with audiences of all ages. From the littlest believers to those who may have lost sight of the magic of Christmas, this musical brightens the holiday season for all.”
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Nov 23-Dec 16
Chicago Street Theatre, Valparaiso
This musical, based on the iconic—and beloved—television special, brings to life the Peanuts characters everyone knows and loves. Nostalgic theatergoers will thrill to hear the timeless jazz tracks from the TV special, including “Christmas Time is Here.”
It’s a Wonderful Life! The Musical
Nov 30-Dec 16
Memorial Opera House, Valparaiso
Wrapping up its 125th anniversary celebration, Memorial Opera House presents this faithful adaptation, based on the holiday-staple 1946 film. With warmth and humor, the musical—which follows the life of everyman George Bailey—explores themes of childhood dreams, disappointing adult realities, and George’s illuminating journey to discover whether his life has made a difference.
Nov 30-Dec 16
Towle Theater, Hammond
Since 2003, Towle Theater has offered A Fabulous 50’s Christmas to loyal theatergoers—until this year. “Instead, we are thrilled to offer Plaid Tidings, the holiday spin on the ever-popular Forever Plaid,” says Jeff Casey, the show’s director. “The music isn’t a huge departure from Fab 50’s, as it highlights very traditional, wholesome holiday music. The four Plaids are back on Earth for a concert to ‘find their higher purpose,’ and the show includes all the familiar Plaid bits, including an entire Ed Sullivan episode performed in just over three minutes. They even sing back-up to a video of Perry Como singing ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.’”
A Doublewide, Texas Christmas
Footlight Theatre, Michigan City
In this outrageous comedy, residents in the newest (and tiniest) town in Texas are not only dealing with the stress of the holiday season, but they’ve also discovered that Doublewide is being double-crossed by the county.
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus
LaPorte Little Theatre, LaPorte
This heartwarming play follows two stories: On Christmas Eve 1897 in New York City, 8-year-old Virginia ponders the existence of Santa after a series of difficult events, while in the meantime, a young newspaper editor is faced with losing his job if he can’t find his writer’s voice by morning. The spirit of Christmas brings these strangers together in the cherished Christmas classic.