Beyond the Swastika and Jim Crow

1/2 to 4/14
When the Nazis forced Jewish academics to flee Europe, some scholars relocated to the United States and found refuge in an unlikely place: historically black colleges. This exhibit explores the surprising relationship between two oft-marginalized groups.
$10. DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl.


Kurt Elling

1/3 at 9 p.m., 1/4 at 8 p.m.
The consummate baritone comes to Uptown for an annual January set at his old haunt.
$15. The Green Mill. 4802 N. Broadway.


The 17th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival

1/3 to 1/19
The Kates, 2nd Story, Write Club—the city’s most popular live reading clubs unite for 16 days of midwinter tall tales.
$10 to $30. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 Glenwood, and the Heartland Studio, 7016 Glenwood.


Otis Clay

1/4 at 8 p.m.
Cross your fingers for the 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee’s version of “Trying to Live My Life Without You.”
$16 to $36. Space, 1245 Chicago.


Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum

Through 1/4
Hug a tree and it lights up—just one of the cool features of this new holiday lights nature walk at the arboretum.
$10 to $15. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rte. 53, Lisle.


Hedda Gabler

1/7 to 3/16
Director Kimberly Senior (due to make her Broadway debut this year) teams up with leading lady Kate Fry for Ibsen’s scathing, tragic, and relentlessly unblinking look at a master manipulator struggling with middle-class malaise.
$35 to $70. Writers Theatre at Tudor Court, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe.


Jay Z

1/9 at 8 p.m.
Even though Jay Z’s latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, was sonically tepid, he’s still considered one of the best rappers of all time for a reason.
$32 to $150. United Center, 1901 W. Madison.


Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival

1/9 to 1/19
It’s a smorgasbord of sketch comedy, as more than 170 groups from around the country, and in some cases across the pond, swarm Stage 773 for a weekend of scripted funny stuff.
$14 to $15. Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont.


Seven Guitars

1/9 to 2/9
Ubiquitous director Ron OJ Parson (TimeLine Theatre’s A Raisin in the Sun) helms this staging of August Wilson’s elegiac play about a group of grieving musicians. Also featuring Tony nominee Felicia P. Fields.
$35 to $65. Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis.


The Phantom of the Opera

1/9 to 3/2
The megamusical that’s too big to fail comes to town with Chicagoan Ben Jacoby taking the role of the Phantom’s rival, the handsome Vicomte de Chagny.
$32 to $105. Broadway in Chicago at Cadillac Palace, 151 W. Randolph.


Ralph Stanley

1/11 at 8 p.m.
You probably recognize Stanley from his work on the soundtrack for the Coen brothers’ classic O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but the bluegrass legend has been touring for 46 years. He performs material both old and new with his family band.
$40 to $42. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln.


Madama Butterfly

1/11 to 1/26
Soprano Patricia Racette, who earned critical raves when she recorded the showstopping aria “Un Bel Di” with the Met Opera Orchestra in 2012.
$44 to $300. Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker.



1/12, 1/19
In case you missed Music Box’s 2011 screening of this much-heralded National Theatre production directed by Danny Boyle (and starring dueling Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller), here’s your chance to see it.
$15. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport.


Nora Schultz

1/12 to 2/23
Norwegian export Solveig Øvstebø curates her first show, featuring the sculptural installations of Berlin artist Nora Schultz.
Free. Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis.


Tomorrow Never Knows Festival

1/15 to 1/19
Temporary relief for summer music festival fiends, this year’s TNK includes indie-pop act Cayucas and rootsy Brooklyn throwback trio the Lone Bellow.
$15 to $100. Multiple venues.


Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show

1/16 to 1/20
The annual McCormick Place aquatic-vehicle showcase has free fishing and scuba diving lessons for kids, in addition to hundreds of boats and RVs for grownups to admire.
$10 to $12. McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lakeshore.


Luna Gale

1/18 to 2/23
A social worker (played by the phenomenal Mary Beth Fisher) makes a harrowing decision when she meets a pair of teenage addicts and their newborn baby in this world premiere by Rebecca Gilman.
$25 to $75. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn.


Archive State

1/20 to 4/6
Displaying personal collections of found photographs and YouTube clips, six artists consider the effects war has on the state.
Free. Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan.


Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo

1/24 at 8 p.m.
Vertigo’s soundtrack sounds so much more ominous when the CSO plays it live.
$85 to $250. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan.


Savion Glover

1/24 at 7:30 p.m.
Tap’s single biggest star heads this percussive production that explores tap dancing’s African roots.
$30 to $55. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph.


Christopher Williams

1/24 to 5/18
Revitalizing the tradition of pop art, Williams parodies consumer culture by photographing realistic-looking fake advertising and fashion spreads.
$17 to $23. Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan.


Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate!

1/29 to 2/9
The kids will be eternally grateful for the opportunity to watch Mickey and Minnie do triple axels on the ice.
$22 to $77. United Center, 1901 W. Madison.


Yo-Yo Ma

1/30 to 2/1
Composer Giovanni Sollima and cellist Yo- Yo Ma team up to perform a world premiere of Sollima’s double cello concerto.
$50 to $285. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan.


Branford Marsalis Quartet

1/31 at 8 p.m.
The eldest Marsalis handles his role as impending jazz statesman well, as evidenced by the relaxed sound and cheeky title of his quartet’s latest album, Four MFs Playin’ Tunes.
$28 to $88. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan.


Patty Griffin

1/31 at 8 p.m.
The veteran folk singer and songwriter tours behind Silver Bell, her 13-year-old album finally released in October.
$20. Metro, 3730 N. Clark.