I’ve always loved Christmas, but the holiday has taken on an even more special meaning since moving to Chicago.
This city is brimming with wonderful opportunities to make holiday memories and start family traditions. And one tradition I’ve held onto since I was a child: seeing a holiday-themed play each year. We’d get dressed up and enjoy the day together during what can be an otherwise hectic time of year.
For members of our community, “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey” is just such an opportunity. Presented by Provision Theater, located on the corner of Roosevelt and Morgan, it’s a wonderful chance to support local artists without the hassle (and cost) of visiting a downtown theater.
The critically acclaimed play is a story about a young boy who loses the wooden Nativity scene given to him by his late father. Hoping to cheer her heartbroken son, the boy’s mother visits a local woodcarver to commission a replacement. Carver Jonathan Toomey, known as “Mr. Gloomy” to the villagers, agrees to the task — but won’t promise it will be ready for the holiday.
When young Thomas decides to watch the woodcarver as he recreates the treasured Nativity scene, the figurines take shape — and so does the relationship between two. “As Christmas approaches, the real miracle is in the transformation created in each of their lives,” reads the show’s description.
The play is back again this year based on great reviews of its world premiere production last season. The Chicago Tribune dubbed it “the kind of community-building show that families build into their holiday tradition.”
This event is ideal for families because it’s appropriate for children ages 6 and up, and the production includes music and dancing — which are sure to entertain audiences of all ages. Video clips from the show are available online.
Based on the children’s book by Susan Wojchiechowski, the play stars Provision Theater Company member Susan Moniz. The play is directed by Tim Gregory, who co-wrote the play (with Michael Mahler) and is the founding artistic director of the eight-year-old company.
Regular performances at Provision Theater run Friday and Saturday evenings, and matinees are available on Wednesdays and Sundays. The play opens Nov. 21 and runs through Dec. 23.
Ticket prices are very reasonable at $10 for children, $15 for students and $28 or $32 for adults attending the matinee or evening performances, respectively. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Provision Theater online.