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Craig: Chicago Street Theatre holiday double feature, more

Jim Henry plays Crumpet Elf David Sedaris' 'The SantalDiaries' which runs from Nov. 29-Dec. 21 Chicago Street Theatre Valparaiso.

Jim Henry plays Crumpet the Elf in David Sedaris' "The Santaland Diaries," which runs from Nov. 29-Dec. 21 at Chicago Street Theatre in Valparaiso. | Mary d'Aloisio photo

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Updated: December 30, 2013 9:46AM



With the holidays approaching, area theaters are gearing up for their annual seasonal shows involving comedy, drama and music.

Those at Chicago Street Theatre, 154 W. Chicago St., Valparaiso, aim to please all of the people all of the time with a double feature.

David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries” for adults will open Nov. 29 and run to Dec. 21, while “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” for children will run from Nov. 30-Dec. 22 with a combination of matinee and evening performances.

Sedaris has become a well-known literary figure, particularly to those who are regular National Public Radio listeners. He has authored a number of story and essay collections.

His first brush with success came in 1992 when NPR broadcast his reading of “The Santaland Diaries,” a funny and satirical collection of stories recalling his time working as an elf during the Christmas season at Macy’s department store in New York.

The Chicago Street production is directed by Kelly Hite and Dona Henry and will feature Jim Henry performing solo as Sedaris’ alter ego, Crumpet the Elf.

“Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!” is adapted from the books of Barbara Park and asks the question, “What would you do if you got the worst Secret Santa ever?”

In Junie’s world, things are very clear: Christmas means you get presents, elf costumes are awesome and May is a blabbermouth tattletale.

Things are going well until Junie pulls May’s name in the Secret Santa gift exchange.

With Santa watching her like a hawk, what will Junie do?

Also directed by Hite and Dona Henry, the show features a cast including Heather Chaddock, Jane Strayer, Jim Drader, Jeff Schultz, Diane Smith, Rodney Thornton, Jason Kaplan, Marcia Gienapp and Caroline Rau Geldernick.

Information: (219) 464-1636, Ext. 1 or chicagostreet.org.

‘Little Women’

The Memorial Opera House, 104 E. Indiana Ave., Valparaiso, will present the musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale “Little Women” from Nov. 29-Dec. 15.

Life in Civil War America isn’t easy and for the March sisters that is combined with the normal trials and tribulations of growing up.

The musical follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March as they deal with issues as relevant now as when they were written.

Directed by John Peluso, with musical direction by Chris Stalbaum, the show’s cast includes Kyrie Anderson, Mike Glorioso, Kelli Manigrasso, Colleen Peluso, Rachel Livingston, LuAnne Pezel, Andy Polomchak, Mary Fridh, Michael Greenlief Jr. and Kevin Sherman.

Information: (219) 548-9137 or memorialoperahouse.com.

Bob Craig is a local freelance writer.



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