Your Chicago Guide’s tickets for two to the media viewing of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins courtesy of Strawdog Theatre Company.
On the first night of Hanukkah, a weary traveler named Hershel of Ostropol eagerly approaches a village, where plenty of latkes and merriment should warm him. But when he arrives not a single candle is lit. A band of frightful goblins has taken over the synagogue, and the villagers cannot celebrate at all! Hershel vows to help them. But can one man alone stand up to the goblins, save Hanukkah, and live to tell the tale? Based on the Caldecott Honor-winning classic children’s book, In this musical adaptation by Strawdog Theatre is currently playing at the Chicago Loop Synagogue.
A traveling musical group comes upon an inn, seeking shelter and food from the innkeeper in return for entertaining his guests. To do so, they tell the tale of their leader’s grandfather, Hershel of Ostropol. By tricking the Goblin King into lighting the Hanukkah candles, Hershel saves the holiday for the rest of the village residents. Strawdog’s talented cast sings, dances and plays the instruments live, to the delight of the children in attendance. The group interacts with the audience in sweet and comical ways, encouraging the young one s to sit on the floor in front of the stage. The show runs one hour, and with kids being engaged at every step, it flies by in a blink.
The grand finale is an interactive song about making latkes and preserving traditions. The message is clear: if the traditions are passed on to the younger generation, they will live on, the evidence of things that once were, and people that once lived. The goblins are portrayed by shadows and puppets, at once spooky and harmless enough for even the youngest kiddos in the audience.
In a generous holiday gesture, the show is offered free of charge, with only a reservation required. Donations to benefit Strawdog Theatre are encouraged, to help the company keep their tickets free. When arriving at the synagogue, please, be prepared to pass security measures in place at the venue (back checks and metal detector). The play is appropriate for kids of all ages and adults alike, and speaks to the generosity of spirit and charitable holiday giving. Encouraged by Hershel, let us all take care of our neighbors this holiday season. Happy Hanukkah!
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Strawdog Theatre is now playing through December 23rd, 2023, at Chicago Loop Synagogue, 16 South Clark Street, in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood. Tickets are free and available by reservation via Strawdog Theatre’s website.