Your 3CR Guide to a Better December

Best Of - Skyline - 350 by 210Stages

Twist Your Dickens @ Goodman Theatre

December 2-30, 170 N. Dearborn St.

The Second City brings its annual holiday satire to the Goodman stage, with a revised script and always unpredictable improv. Script is by former Colbert Report writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort. It’s directed by and stars Second City alum Ron West as Scrooge. Get tickets for $20-45 here.

Honky Tonk Angels by Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre

December 9-January 29 @ No Exit Café, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave.

This jukebox musical combines classic country songs with a story of three women who form a country music singing trio and follow their dreams to Nashville. The play by Ted Swindley, writer of Always… Patsy Cline, takes its title from the Kitty Wells 1951 song, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” Tickets are $20 for previews and $34-39 regular run.

Deathscribe 2016 by Wildclaw Theatre

Monday, December 5, 8pm @ Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.

Wildclaw will present five original radio plays in its ninth annual International Festival of Radio Horror Plays for one night only. The plays were selected from more than 100 submitted by theater and horror writers around the world. Tickets range from $25 for standing room to $30 and $35 for seats. Tickets are on sale now at The event is 18+.

Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde by Promethean Theatre

December 9-18 at City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.

Promethean will use gender-blind casting for this documentary drama with females playing Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, his lover, and Edward Carson, the lawyer who prosecuted Wilde. Moisés Kaufman’s drama about Wilde’s trials for homosexual behavior in late 19th century England is gripping and supremely relevant today. Tickets are $25 with some discounts available.


Shakespeare on Film @ Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

December 3 – January 5, various showtimes

This series of ten film adaptations of plays by William Shakespeare was carefully curated by a set of parameters necessary to pare down the nearly 1,200 known film adaptations of the Bard’s work. The first guideline was that the films were rooted in Shakespeare’s original language (even if it is cut down and/or rearranged). To narrow the choices further, the programmers have included only one version of each selected play, and only one film by each director. Films include Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight; Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing; Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet; Laurence Olivier’s Richard III; Roman Polanski’s The Tragedy of Macbeth; Franco Zeffirelli’s The Taming of the Shrew; and Kenneth Branagh’s four-hour, all-star Hamlet.

The 33rd Annual Music Box Christmas Double Feature & Sing-A-Long @ Music Box Theatre

December 10 – 24, various showtimes

Who could have predicted on that snowy Christmas Eve in 1983, when the operator of a vintage movie theater in Chicago decided to show two old holiday movies and sing a few Christmas carols during the intermission, that more than 30 years later the Music Box Christmas Show would become a nine-day extravaganza that grows more popular with each passing year? Holiday revelers are greeted by Santa Claus, live and in person, who welcomes the audience and, accompanied by Music Box organist Dennis Scott, leads them in the singing of the most cherished Christmas songs of all time, with the lyrics projected on the theater screen. The sing-a-long is followed by double-feature screenings of White Christmas (with timeless lyrics by Irving Berlin) and It’s A Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart.

Interspersed among these more traditional holiday fare, the Music Box is also playing two programs under the banner of  Alternative Christmas Double Features. The “Mistletoe Mayhem”  bill includes Die Hard and Gremlins, while the “Jolly Holidays” bill features Elf and Love Actually, both from 2003


One of a Kind Show and Sale, Merchandise Mart

December 1-4

The annual bazaar of more than 600 exhibitors and their handmade work—fashion, jewelry, visual art, ceramics, food, etc. The sale is open from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Art AIDS America at Alphawood Gallery, 2401 N Halsted St.

Opens December 1

The Alphawood Foundation, an advocate for arts and civil rights, renovated a bank into a gallery space at its headquarters for this exhibition of 140 works. Artists whose work will be shown include Keith Haring and Robert Mapplethorpe. Because the gallery is small, timed-admission passes will guarantee entry. Free admission. Reserve passes here. Runs through April 2.

Holidays 2016: Open Something Greater @ the Art Institue of Chicago

The halls of the Art Institute of Chicago are all decked for the holiday season. Check out the Christmas tree in the Victorian English Drawing Room, see some Neapolitan Nativity scene models, and discover the debut of the newest additions to AIC’s collection in Gifts to The City throughout the museum. Open Something Greater runs through January 8th and is open during regular museum hours. Tickets start at $29 for non-members. Entry is free for members.


Songs of Good Cheer Caroling Party @ Old Town School of Folk

Old Town School of Folk’s annual holiday party hosted by Chicago Tribune columnists Mary Schmich and Eric Zorn and featuring a cast of exceptional musicians from the Old Town School, presents its 18th annual edition. The charity concert benefits Chicago Tribune Holiday Giving, a campaign of the Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund. Tickets are $48. Performances begin on Thursday, December 8th and run until Sunday December 11th at 7:30 p.m.

Taylor Bennett Holiday Bash @ The Metro

Friday, December 23rd

Chance the Rapper’s little brother will perform songs from his album Broad Shoulders at an all ages holiday show at the Metro. Tickets are $18 and the doors open at 6:00 p.m.

The Bad Plus @ Evanston Space

December 14

Tickets start at $20 for this modern jazz band’s Chicago show.


Tuesday Funk #100 @Hopleaf

December 6

Celebrate the 100th episode of Tuesday Funk. Readings by Connor Coyne, Reinhardt Suarez, Hallie Palladino, Sara Ross Witt and William Shunn — plus current cohosts, Andrew Huff and Eden Robins. Doors open at 7p.m. and attendees must be 21 or older.

Chicago Review of Books Awards Ceremony @ Volumes Bookcafe

The Chicago Review of Books—in partnership with Chicago’s independent bookstores—wants to recognize the best books published in 2016 by writers in the Chicago metropolitan area. The winners in each category will be announced live on December 8 from 7:30 to 9p.m. at Volumes Bookcafe in Wicker Park, at a free awards ceremony and book signing that will feature panel conversations between some of the authors in each category about their books, writing process, and Chicago inspirations.

Unabridged Books Holiday Party

Celebrate with Unabridged Books on December 10 at 6p.m. Mark the occasion with 10% off the entire store, home-baked treats, wine & beer, raffles, a literary photo booth, and much merrymaking.


Decorate your own gingerbread house @ the Art Institute of Chicago

Bring the whole family to AIC’s gingerbread house workshop. Choose from an array of colorful, candy-coated decor to construct your very own dream gingerbread house. Build an extravagant display and take it home for the holidays. The workshop is on December 10th, 11am-1:30pm and 2pm-4:30pm. Reservations required. $55 for members, $70 for non-members.


The Last Speakeasy @ the Chicago History Museum

On Dec. 1st take a step back in time. Get dressed up like a flapper and dance like one too! Tickets are $100 for this old-timey party. Celebrate the repeal of prohibition with Manhattan and Old Fashioned cocktails all night long.

Sauced Night Market Before Xmas @ Chicago Athletic Association

On Dec. 13 get sauced at the Chicago Athletic Association from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. This holiday shopping market is just the right speed. It starts after work and includes drinks, food, and a live DJ along with tons of vendors to satisfy your shopping needs.

Emma Terhaar
Emma Terhaar