Two Dudes A-Drinking

Drinking & Writing Vol. IV: The 12 Steps of Xmas

Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be over and everyone will need a drink. Or three. In Drinking & Writing Vol. IV: The 12 Steps of Xmas, Neo-Futurists Steve Mosqueda and Phil Ridarelli ruminate on hard-drinking authors from Kerouac to Bukowski to Cheever and Capote, as well as on their own drunken Christmases past. The show opens 10:30 p.m. Friday, November the 28th in the lobby bar of Victory Gardens Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.) and continues Fridays through December 19th. Tickets are $20.

Best Bets for Things to Do This Week

An attorney, an educator, and an accountant walk into a bar: It’s not just the start of a joke, it’s what to expect when the estimable comedy institution Zanies (1548 N. Wells St.) celebrates its 30th anniversary with the culmination of its yearlong search for the Zaniest Person in Chicago. The show starts 8:30 p.m. Sunday, November 30th, and tickets are $20.

Forget Rudolph and his animated ilk. The best made-for-TV holiday special around is Jim Henson’s underappreciated 1977 Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas, playing 4 p.m. Sunday, November 30th and 6 p.m. Thursday, December 4th at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.) as part of a series devoted to the Muppets. Tickets are $9.

What, irreverent comedy isn’t your cup of holiday tea? For a more heartfelt option, catch The Benchmark, a bittersweet play by Rick Roberts about a homeless man who weathers three seasons on a city bench. The show, partially inspired by Roberts’s father’s experiences, opens 8 p.m. Saturday the 29th in Pierce Hall of the Chicago Temple (77 W. Washington St.). Tickets are $25 at and benefit various homeless services; canned and dry food donations will be taken at the door.

Belting holiday classics at the top of your lungs might not count as post-turkey exercise, but it sure is fun. Don’t wait for carolers to come knocking on your door; hoof it to the Bean, a.k.a. Cloud Gate (Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street), where weekly caroling sessions begin 6 p.m. Friday, November 28th and continue through December 19th. Participation is free; earplugs are at your discretion.

Or leave the music-making to the pros: Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook, an aural response to the traveling AIDS quilt, features performances of 15 new songs by Chicago composers, plus a few classics, 8 p.m. Monday, December 1st—Worlds AIDS Day—at the Court Theatre (5535 S. Ellis Ave.). Tickets are $25 to $75 at; proceeds benefit Season of Concern.

Suddenly your holiday snapshots look a whole lot less scintillating: This Is Xmas: A Look into John Lennon’s Life Through His Artwork includes some 100 images made by the rock star, including a series of lithographs depicting his and Yoko Ono’s honeymoon that were once seized by Scotland Yard. The exhibition is on view Friday, November 28th through Sunday the 30th at the Hard Rock Hotel (230 N. Michigan Ave.); a $2 donation benefits the Greater Chicago Food Depository.