Nothing beats the winter blues as quickly as the whimsical spectacle of Redmoon Theater's annual Winter Pageant. A 45-minute fantasia of puppetry and mystical circus magic created in collaboration with various Chicago communities, the pageant is a kaleidoscope animated by an enthusiastic collective of children and hell-bent-for-pleasure grown-up actors and volunteers. This year's celebration of the mysteries of winter and the promise of spring offers puppets created and scenes performed by children from the Logan Square Children's Art Class and from Gallery 37 and DCFS programs. The director is company member Jessica Thebus, who also staged the remarkable play Building Sympathy, a creative biography of Chicago architecture legend Richard Nickel told by human and puppet storytellers. For those who haven't yet made the Winter Pageant an annual pilgrimage to the raucous, irreverent, rejuvenating world of Redmoon, this would be a good year to start. Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, 773-388-9031. December 12 through 14: Friday, 7:30 PM; Saturday-Sunday, 5 and 7:30 PM. $7; $25 for the 7:30 PM benefit performance and postshow party on Saturday. --Carol Burbank
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): theater still.