Five Best Things to Do in December

THE SHORTLIST: Five musts from our December culture calendar

Patrick Watson

PATRICK WATSON

The Montreal-based indie crooner’s signature falsetto and acoustic melodies will fill Lincoln Hall for the second time this year, on the heels of his quartet’s newest album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard.

DETAILS:

12/2 The haunting, spirited folk-pop songwriter marks his music with beguiling falsetto singing. At 8. $15 ($18 at the door). Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com.

 

  NEXT: THE BOOK OF MORMON »

 

Photograph: Brigitte Henry

 

An acrobat from La Soirée

THE BOOK OF MORMON

The irreverent Tony-winning musical from the creators of South Park about two naïve Mormon missionaries opens at the Bank of America Theatre December 11.

DETAILS:

12/11–6/2 Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s highly irreverent, Tony-sweeping take on Mormon missionaries lives up to the hype. It’s hilarious—so long as you leave all political correctness at the door. $45–$115. Bank of America Theatre, 18 W Monroe. broadwayinchicago.org.

 

  NEXT: TROMBONE SHORTY »

 

Photograph: Jeff Christensen/AP

 

Trombone Shorty

TROMBONE SHORTY

Love jazz? Rock? Funk? Hip-hop? Troy Andrews, on the titular instrument, and his band meld all those genres into a unique, Grammy-nominated sound. Their Park West show will satisfy every musical craving.

DETAILS:

12/6 Immensely talented, the young New Orleans trombonist-singer plays an infectiously danceable mix of jazz, funk, rock, and hip-hop. His enormous energy and impressive technique are particularly breathtaking. At 7:30. $25. 322 W Armitage. etix.com, jamusa.com.

 

  NEXT: HUBBARD STREET DANCE COMPANY’S CASI-CASA »

 

Photograph: Kirk Edwards

 

Hubbard Street dancers Alejandro Cerrudo, Jessica Tong, and Meredith Dincolo

HUBBARD STREET DANCE COMPANY’S CASI-CASA

Call it the Dyson disco. Choreographer Mats Ek pairs dancers with vacuum cleaners to the tune of jazz, swing, and, yep, disco.

DETAILS:

12/6–9 For its Winter Series, the progressive contemporary troupe premieres Casi-Casa, the avant-garde Swedish choreographer Mats Ek’s topsy-turvy commentary on household distress. Dancers partner with vacuum cleaners for performances set to disco, swing, and jazz. Also on the bill: the remount of Aszure Barton’s dramatic, intimate Untouched. $25–$94. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph. hubbardstreetdance.com.

 

  NEXT: ONE BY ONE »

 

Photograph: (Hubbard Street dancers: Alejandro Cerrudo, Jessica Tong, and Meredith Dincolo) Todd Rosenberg

 

‘Eyes That Turn In or Out’ by Sam Jaffe

ONE BY ONE

Painter-cum-sculptor Sam Jaffe’s wildly inventive multicolored installations, produced from items found in thrift stores, provide a welcome respite from the ubiquitous white of December in Chicago, and her new project at 65 Grand is no exception.

DETAILS:

12/7–1/5 Sam Jaffe’s soft sculptures have an urban-tribal feel to them, yet they’re made out of grandmotherly materials like thrift-store afghans and crotcheted pillows, which Jaffe combines with additional fabrics she knits or crochets herself. The gorgeous results evoke sea anemones, dreamcatchers, and the feather headdresses, or “juju hats,” worn by the Bamileke tribe in Cameroon. 1369 W. Grand. 65grand.com.

 

Photograph: Eyes That Turn In Or Out, Sam Jaffe

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