The Christmas Schooner | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Performing Arts Review

The Christmas Schooner


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


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.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Add a comment