(Courtesy Remy Bumppo Theatre Company)

Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has long been the standard-bearer of the December theater season. But a subsequent and far less familiar novella is now receiving a bravura solo rendition courtesy of Remy Bumppo Theatre.

Courtney Rikki Green, left, Tamara Rozofsky, center, and MacGregor Arney in “Teenage Dick,” at Theater Wit. (Photo credit: Charles Osgood)

Because Chicago is the storefront theater capital of this country, it’s worth looking at the situation now facing some of these small companies and how they are trying to deal with the global pandemic.

Linda Gillum in “Top Girls.” (Photo by Michael Courier)

The all-female cast of Caryl Churchill’s play made a statement from the very start, and now, the eight bravura actresses in the current cast turn in a collection of blistering performances that suggest the intentional irony of using the word “girls” (rather than “women”) in the title.

Eliza Stoughton and Mark Ulrich in “Howards End,” left, and Emma Brayndick and Miles Borchard “Sons and Lovers.” (Photos by Michael Courier, left, and Lisa Lennington)

Two groundbreaking novels – E.M. Forster’s “Howards End” and D. H. Lawrence’s “Sons and Lovers” – are currently receiving world premiere productions on Chicago stages. And despite their creation more than a century ago, they remain exceptionally timely.

Bryce Gangel in “Bloomsday,” presented by Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. (Photo by Michael Courier)

Steven Dietz’s hauntingly beautiful play is inspired by James Joyce’s groundbreaking novel “Ulysses,” but it is no stage adaptation. Rather, it’s a gorgeous, exquisitely imagined contemporary riff on Joyce’s essential themes.

David Darlow in “The Father” (Photo by Michael Courier)

The harrowing realism of “The Father” finesses a remarkable feat of imagination that makes the audience experience the same disorientation, confusion and anger that accompany the protagonist’s own loss of clarity and memory. 

Hedy Weiss

It's being praised as one of the best performances currently on stage in Chicago. Hedy Weiss reviews Larry Yando in Angels in America and three more shows.