The Christmas Schooner | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

The Christmas Schooner

by

comment

Sure, there are plenty of reasons to be snarky about Bailiwick Repertory's warhorse musical, currently receiving its tenth annual production (if the show were a child, it would be in fourth grade). Half the songs are superfluous, the set appears to have mothball dust on it, and director David Zak seems to have phoned in the blocking. And yet, maybe I'm a sucker, but by the time John Reeger and Julie Shannon's story--about a man determined to cross stormy Lake Michigan to bring Christmas trees to Chicago in the 1880s--reached the end of the first act, I understood why families return to the show year after year. As actors run through the aisles with real pine branches, caroling in warm, majestic harmonies (coached by musical director Cynthia Stevens), the whole thing looks, sounds, and smells like Christmas. Don't fight it. Through 1/2: schedule follows. 12/3-12/5: Fri 7:30 PM, Sat-Sun 2:30 PM. Then 12/10-12/12: Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 2:30 and 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM. Upcoming holiday schedule varies; call for information. Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 773-883-1090. $20-$35. + Also at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Ramsey Auditorium, Wilson Hall, Kirk and Pine, Batavia, 630-840-2787. Sat 12/4, 8 PM. $10-$20.

Add a comment