Redmoon's latest extravaganza, Spectacle '09, runs through Sunday at Belmont Harbor.
EXTREME BURESS  Hannibal Buress returns to Chicago to headline Make Chai Not War at the Lakeshore.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 12.09.09 through Tue 12.15.09:


comedy Hannibal Buress
Back when we first wrote about him in July 2008, this homegrown comedian still had a couple of game changers ahead of him: He’s since appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and signed on as a Saturday Night Live writer. Can we pick ’em or what? See him this week when Buress returns to town to headline the Lakeshore’s Make Chai Not War comedy showcase.
GO: Dec 13 at 6 and 9. $25. Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N Broadway.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Tickets are still available for some events on The Second City’s blowout 50th anniversary weekend schedule, including a screening of the documentary The First Cast with Bernie Sahlins, with cofounder Sahlins and original cast members in attendance.


concerts The Flat Five
Kelly Hogan, Scott Ligon, Nora O’Connor: There was a time when you could hear these luminaries of Chicago folk-pop practically weekly at the Hideout. Between having babies and touring with the likes of sometimes-Chicagoans Neko Case and Andrew Bird (whose own quartet of local shows is sold out, save for no-view seats), that time has come and gone, but you can catch them together again for one night only, with fellow musicians Gerald Dowd and K.C. McDonough.
GO: Dec 11 at 9. $10. The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia.

ALSO THIS WEEK: On Dec 12, the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival convenes top talents (Béla Fleck, Eddy Clearwater) and a ton of lesser lights; plus, participatory picking (BYO banjo).


theatre Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition
On off nights from The Addams Family, Jackie Hoffman—aka Grandma in the Broadway-bound musical—moonlights as a cabaret artist. A self-proclaimed holiday-hating Hebrew, Hoffman just might be the anti-hit of the season.
GO: Dec 14, 21, and Jan 4 at 7:30. $25. Royal George Cabaret, 1641 N Halsted.


film Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City
If you missed this documentary’s summertime preview in Millennium Park, here’s a chance to see its Chicago theatrical premiere, in the last month of the 100th anniversary year of Burnham’s city-shaping Plan of Chicago. Director Judith Paine McBrien will lead a discussion following both screenings. (Real slackers can catch the flick Dec 17 at 8 p.m. on WTTW.)
GO: Dec 13 at 3; Dec 14 at 6. $7-$10. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State.


dance Nutcracker
No surprise here, but the best is the best for a reason: Joffrey’s spirited, all-American take on this holiday classic is our top pick for flawless dancing and shimmering scenery. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the production, indulge your inner child. It’s Christmas, after all.
GO: Dec 11-27. $25-$100. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress.


Find out how to win tickets to Dreamgirls, open exclusively to subscribers of the Chicago Guide.


dance Duke It Out: Ellington vs Tchaikovsky
Another Nutcracker, this time for nontraditionalists (and frugalistas). Moscow Ballet soloists and other dancers perform a dueling side-by-side staging, pitting the classical and jazz versions against one another in a kid-friendly holiday smackdown. Think of it as preparation for Christmas dinner with the family.
GO: Dec 12 at 10. Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago, Evanston.

concerts Caroling at Cloud Gate
Hear the pros do it, then join in when choral groups perform and lead sing-alongs in the shadow of the Bean.
GO: Dec 11, 18 at 6. Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington.

tours Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Feed FLW fever with this rare chance to see Wright’s Oak Park compound done up for the season—gratis, with cocoa.
GO: Dec 12, 19: 9-11. 951 Chicago, Oak Park.

Photography: Ryan Robinson