The Christmas Schooner | Mercury Theater Chicago | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Christmas Schooner The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 28 2014

Have you noticed how tenuously Christmas sits on most Christmas shows? Even A Christmas Carol treats the holiday more as a metaphor than an end in itself. Not so The Christmas Schooner. The characters in this perennial are so ardent on the subject of yuletide that they're willing to risk their lives for it. Loosely based on fact, Julie Shannon and John Reeger's musical gives us Peter Stossel, a prosperous ship's captain living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula during the late 1800s. When he gets a letter from a cousin in Chicago bemoaning the lack of Christmas trees there, he organizes a rescue mission even though sailing across Lake Michigan in winter with a load of firs is just plain foolhardy. A strong cast, serviceable songs, and Brenda Didier's folksy, fun choreography make for a solid entertainment. But Schooner isn't for Christmas flakes; its ideal audience wears Santa hats and reindeer sweaters all December long. —Tony Adler

Price: $25-$65

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