Hell in a Handbag "Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer" (Rick Aguilar Studios )
Had it with the holidays already? It's the mid-season slump—that point in December when you can feel like the last thing you want to do is attend one more seasonal function, wrap one more gift or watch one more Very Special TV special. But there's still almost a week to go!
So, if your seasonal spirits are sagging, how to gear yourself up for the home stretch? A good laugh never hurts. And you can revive your love for all things festive—along with your sense of humor—at these six seasonal comedies, three of which—that's right, three—are parodies of that most holiday-esque of all movies, "It's a Wonderful Life."
Got an embarrassing Hanukkah anecdote? A New Year's Eve disaster? A less-than-stellar Kwanzaa caper? An epic fail at Christmas? Share these tales with the Chemically Imbalanced Comedy ensemble who use them as fuel for improv scenes about holidays gone wrong.
Go: 8 p.m. Saturday at Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park Road
Tickets: $10. 773-865-7731; cicomedy.com
A Big Lebowski Christmas Musical: It's a Wonderful Life, Dude
What would the world be like without The Dude? George Bailey becomes Jeff Lebowski in this musical satire of the classic Frank Capra film, "It's a Wonderful Life," starring characters from the Coen brothers' cult classic, "The Big Lebowski." Feeling a little anxious about the prospect of a potentially Dude-less world? Steady your nerves with a $6 Caucasian cocktail at the theater's lobby bar.
Go: 10:30 p.m. Saturday through Dec. 29 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Tickets: $14. 773-327-5252; stage773.com
Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer
Hell in a Handbag productions celebrates the 15th year of this so-not-for-kids spoof of the kids' "Rudolph" TV special by artistic director David Cerda, a cross-dressing, politically incorrect romp through the North Pole which explores the ways it's okay to be, well, different.
Go: 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Dec. 29 at Mary's Attic, 5400 N. Clark St.
Tickets: $20-$35. 312-409-4357; handbagproductions.org
It's a Wonderful Pro-Life
Comedy troupe 4 Days Late—of last year's "Jersey Shore: The Musical"—return with a new parody in which they cast themselves in the scenario where they're writing a radio satire of "It's a Wonderful Life" for National Public Radio about the evils of holiday commercialism. But chaos ensues when a renegade troupe member hijacks the script and sends the George Bailey character off to a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Go: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Dec. 29 at Studio Be, 3110 N. Sheffield Ave.
Tickets: $15. 773.248.5900; studio-be.org
Season's Geekings: A Gorilla Tango Burlesque Holiday Special
Techies, tinsel and tease abound in this sexy, comedic tribute to the season featuring dueling Princess Leias, dancing dragons, lovestruck zombies and other nerd-tastic creatures taking it off to your favorite carols.
Go: 9 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and 9 p.m. Dec. 28 at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Tickets: $20. 773-598-4549; gorillatango.com
It's a Bieberful Life
Under the hashtag #TeenGazillionaireProblems, we've got Justin, who's going through a rough time: Selena keeps dumping him, record sales are underperforming, media scandals are running rampant. But in the midst of his despair, an angel arrives—and the angel looks an awful lot like that other tween heartthrob, Robert Pattinson.
Go: 11:59 p.m. Friday through Dec. 29 at Comedy Sportz Theatre, 929 W. Belmont Ave.
Tickets: $10. 773-549-8080; comedysportzchicago.com