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

When: Thursdays-Sundays and Wednesdays, Thursdays. Continues through Jan. 1 2009

Now on its 14th and final voyage as a holiday treat, this homespun heartland musical by John Reeger and Julie Shannon celebrates the intrepid sailors who brought the first Christmas trees to Chicago’s Clark Street dock. (The "Christmas tree ship" sailed for 30 years before an ice storm claimed it on November 22, 1912.) What could be cloying or cute is kept real by the show's details about vibrant post-fire Chicago, and the German-American Stossel family of upper Michigan--the "hardwater sailors" who braved the fall gales. Mary Beidler Gearen's staging stirs a strong cast to their personal bests. This show makes a fitting final production for Bailiwick Repertory Theatre in its Belmont Avenue home. --Lawrence Bommer

Price: $20-$25

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