A Charlie Brown Christmas | Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge The cast of A Charlie Brown Christmas

The cast of A Charlie Brown Christmas

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 3 2016
Price: $16-$30
This Emerald City Theatre children's show opens on a big old television set of the type that would've been in use around 1965, when the original A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted on CBS. Kids gather around it, flipping through shows until they find the one about Charlie's search for the true meaning of December 25. Then the stage adaptation kicks in. The TV bit is more than an homage: It pulls us back to a time when few thought twice about a major network running an animated special that—spoiler alert—ends up extolling the Jesus-as-savior narrative found in the Gospels. If things have changed since then, that change isn't reflected here. Eric Schaeffer's script and Ernie Nolan's 45-minute staging hold tight to anachronism, supplying a production that's as Christian as it is jolly. Don’t expect nonsectarian holiday cheer a la A Christmas Carol. —Tony Adler

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