Your whole family will enjoy this heartwarming story of the first Christmas Tree Ship and the people who risked their lives to fill Chicago with the holiday spirit. Based on the shipwrecked Rouse Simmons, The Christmas Schooner is a powerful, moving story with an exquisite score by Chicago favorites John Reeger (book) and Julie Shannon (music and lyrics). The musical has entertained audiences for hundreds of productions, including a 12-year run at Chicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre. Set in the late 19th century, this holiday musical tells the song and dance-filled story of a close-knit group of German immigrants who receive a message from a Chicago-based cousin lamenting the lack of traditional Christmas trees. A shipping captain and his crew then undertake a risky late-season journey across the notoriously violent Lake Michigan to deliver the precious timber to the city, carrying with them a full cargo of holiday hope and joy.
The Christmas Schooner is based on a beloved Chicago story. The ‘Rouse Simmons’, a Great Lakes schooner was known as “The Christmas Tree Ship.” Its captain risked life and limb to transport fir trees from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Chicago’s German immigrants during the late 19th century. A timely and stirring tale of love and loss, The Christmas Schooner reminds us of tradition, and our responsibility to celebrate the living while honoring our heritage.
A holiday favorite musical tradition, this production is helmed by the award-winning team of L. Walter Stearns (director), Eugene Dizon (musical director) and Brenda Didier (choreographer).
The Christmas Schooner is an Actor’s Equity Association affiliated production.
Running time is 2 hours and 15 minutes, including intermission.