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The Five Best Things to Do in Chicago This Week

Car Town, High School Hoops, Illumination, Nerdette’s Holiday Spectacular!, and The Other Cinderella

LAST DASH For down-to-the-wire shoppers, the Christkindlmarket runs through Christmas Eve in Daley Plaza.   Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, December 21 through December 27, 2016

1 Car Town

Art:In perhaps his best new collage series in years, Tony Fitzpatrick toasts the people who built Chicago with portrayals of signs he’s spotted in working-class neighborhoods. Displayed among Fitzpatrick’s love poems for Chicago are collaborations with street-wear brand Saint Alfred, such as T-shirt and hat designs.
Through 12/31. Free. AdventureLand Gallery, 1513 N. Western. adventurelandgallery.com

2 High School Hoops

Sports:Simeon and Whitney Young, two of the city’s storied basketball programs (between them, they’ve won 8 of the last 11 large-school-class state championships), go at it in a game being held at a bigger venue because of fan interest. On view will be Simeon’s 6-foot-5 thick-bodied, soft-touch junior Talen Horton-Tucker, who is fielding a number of Division 1 scholarships (including from Northwestern and DePaul), and Whitney Young’s emerging senior star Lucas Williamson.
12/21 at 8 p.m. $15–$25. UIC Pavillion, 525 S. Racine.

3 Illumination

Outdoor:At this year’s mile-long light show, the Morton Arboretum invites guests to hug the trees (quite literally): Certain trunks will ignite in color and sound when touched or spoken to. If that seems a bit too trippy, wait out the show in a complimentary warming station.
Through 1/2. $7–$22. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. mortonarb.org

4 Nerdette’s Holiday Spectacular!

Podcast:WBEZ’s Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen host this holiday-themed evening of pop-cultural guests (like Easy director Joe Swanberg) and gags (like a Trekkie take on A Christmas Carol performed entirely in Klingon). Just don’t forget to dress warm: Peter Sagal has a prize for the ugliest holiday sweater in the audience.
12/21 at 8 p.m. $25. Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln. wbez.org

5 The Other Cinderella

Theater:In this contemporary take on the story of Cinderella, Black Ensemble Theater founder Jackie Taylor situates the damsel in a modern-day city (and tones way down on the distress).
Through 1/8. $50–$65. Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark. blackensembletheater.org

What I’m Doing This Weekend

“What I’m Doing This Weekend” is taking the week off for the holiday. See you in 2017!

Freebie of the Week

Christkindlmarket

Seasonal:Now in its 21st year, the Christkindlmarket is something of a holiday institution. The compact layout can make for a traffic jam (especially the week before Christmas), but it’s hard to turn cynical with spiced wine and warm apple strudel on a cold winter’s night.
Through 12/24. Free. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington. christkindlmarket.com

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