Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins with Strawdog Theatre Credit: Jenn Udoni Franco Images

Grab your dreidel and the whole mishpocha and head over to Strawdog Theatre Company’s annual hit show Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins. A festive and charming holiday treat in a cozy, black-box theater with blankets for kids to sit on the floor, Hershel immediately engages and warms up youth (and adults) with pre-show schmoozing, music, juggling, tap, and tumbling. The cast, energetic and playful, sings, dances, and plays Yiddish-influenced klezmer-style songs in this magical hour-long production centered around a traveling troupe of actors who come across a town not celebrating Hanukkah. 

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
Through 12/12: Sat-Sun 1 and 4 PM; understudy performance Fri 12/10, 7:30 PM, Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge, strawdog.org, free.

They share the story of Hershel of Ostropol who, like the troupe, save Hanukkah through performance—only Hershel has to outsmart a band of goblins who haunt the old synagogue. Based on Eric Kimmel’s Caldecott Honor-winning book and adapted by Michael Dailey, with music and lyrics by Jacob Combs, and directed by Hannah Todd, this must-see family show for everyone who loves Hanukkah delights with outlandish and amazing puppetry, solid Jewish humor, a play-within-a-play on a stage-within-a-stage, and entertaining audience participation. Morgan Lavenstein is charming and melodious as Hershel, Christopher Thomas Pow is playful as Sammy and rocks the viola and guitar, Rebecca Marowitz is a joy as Max, LaKecia Harris is exuberant as Sara on tambourine, Amy Gorelow shines as Al and thumps bass, and understudy Elizabeth McAnulty Quilter (in for Charlie Baker) as Leor pops with energy and delights with juggling, guitar, and washboard. What’s not to like!?