There is nothing like the holiday season to warm the heart, to cultivate and nurture everyone’s best spirits and wishes for peace on Earth and good will to all.
But no Yuletide celebration is quite complete without the imagery, conjured in the mind’s eye through the lyrics and melodies of the timeless Christmas classics.
From the soft pop of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, to the tinkling of silver bells amid the whitewashed grandeur of a winter wonderland, or the glory of the herald angels, calling all ye faithful to follow yonder star and bear their gifts to the manger once more, the music of the holiday season ranks foremost among the elements that make the holly jolly season the most wonderful time of the year.
As the calendar flips from the season of Thanksgiving to the season of giving, theaters and other venues throughout Kane County will offer merrymakers the opportunity to exult in some of the season’s finest musical traditions, no matter your preference in music or style.
And some will offer holiday entertainment designed to produce a slightly different kind of merriment and mirth.
Here are just a few of the best local live entertainment events to enjoy this Christmas in the Fox Valley region:
“Candlelight Carols.” The St. Charles Singers will again ring in the holiday season in style, with their annual traditional Yuletide show. According to their website, each set of music presented in the concerts “will set familiar themes of the season into motion,” including “peace, hope and joy,” with a variety of music. The musical selections have also been chosen to pair with the aesthetics and acoustics of the concerts’ venues, the Baker Memorial Church and Fourth Presbyterian Church in St. Charles. Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for students. Concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. each evening.
“An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas.” Vocalist Evan Tyrone Martin, a musical theatre “sensation” according to his bio, “brings the velvety vocal style of music legend Nat King Cole” to life in this holiday concert. Martin, who has been featured in recent productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Side Show and Dreamgirls, will “intimately relate Cole’s personal journey,” according to a listing promoting this show. The show will feature Nat King Cole holiday classics, including “All I Want for Christmas” and “The Christmas Song,” as well as other Cole hits, including “L-O-V-E” and “Mona Lisa.” The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Blizzard Theatre at Elgin Community College. Tickets cost $34.
Wizards of Winter Holiday Rock Show. Originally founded in 2010 as a cover band performing renditions of the modern holiday rock hits produced by the Trans Siberian Orchestra, Wizards of Winter have since blossomed into a frosty force of their own, performing entirely their own original works from three full-length albums. The band has also added to their ranks two former Trans Siberian Orchestra performers, as well.
This holiday season, the Wizards land in the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles for an evening of rocking and rollicking holiday magic, fueled by the Spirit of Christmas. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $29-$79.
Elgin Master Chorale Children’s Chorus Holiday Concert. The EMC Children’s Chorus is a professional organization designed to educate and develop young students’ singing and performance abilities. Each year, the chorus presents a number of concerts, and in December, they will perform a selection of holiday favorites. The holiday concert will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Elgin Community College’s Blizzard Theatre. Tickets are $24 adults and $19 for students and seniors.
“A Swingin’ Little Christmas” with Jane Lynch. Featuring Kate Flannery, Tim Davis and The Tony Guerrero Quintet, this jazzy holiday show swings into the Batavia Fine Arts Centre as part of its run through the region this Christmas season. The show stars actor and comedian Jane Lynch, best known for her role as Sue Sylvester in the musical television series, “Glee.” Lynch and her musical co-stars will dazzle audiences with their renditions of many holiday favorites. Can’t make the Batavia show? Lynch & Co. will take the show to Crystal Lake’s Raue Center for the Arts Dec. 13-15, as well.
Dec. 13 – Dec. 14
“Ho Ho Ho Holiday Show” Featuring Dennis O’Brien. The MainStage Theater at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles will serve as the venue for this holiday frolic featuring the Dennis O’Brien Band. According to the band’s bio, the members of the Dennis O’Brien Band are accomplished professional musicians who have shared the stage and studio with some of the recording industry’s brightest lights and biggest names. For more than four decades, band has used their “blend of vocal harmonies and strong musical arrangements” to entertain audiences around the world, performing classic covers of many beloved musical numbers. The shows begin at 8 p.m. each evening. Tickets cost $25.
Dec. 14-Dec. 15
Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s “Deck the Halls Holiday Concert.” The ESO will reprise Elgin’s perennial holiday tradition. Pairing with the Elgin Master Chorale, the ESO will offer the community the chance to exult in the splendor and joy of the season with this community sing-along event conducted by Stephen Squires of the Elgin Master Chorale. The show even includes a visit from Santa Claus. Concerts will be at the Hemmens Auditorium, at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 14 and Dec. 15, with an additional performance Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40-$60.
Nov. 29-Dec. 22
For those seeking some laughs this holiday season, the Paramount Theatre in Aurora will offer the right dose, with the Second City’s Holiday Revue, “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Sweater.” Celebrating “the most wonderful-ish time of the year,” this Second City show will be presented five teams each week from Thanksgiving weekend until just before the man in the red suit takes flight on his annual rounds. The show is designed to “roast the chestnuts outta all the things we lovingly loathe about the holiday season,” according to its official description. Tickets are $37.