Don’t-miss picks for November 29 through December 5, 2017
1 In the Presence of Chasms
Dance:Race and politics bubble up in five works by rising choreographers Megan Rhyme and Tanniqua-Kay Buchanan. See “Two Dancers with Contrasting Styles Unite for One Goal” to find out more.
11/30–12/1. $10–$15. Hamlin Park Fieldhouse. rhymedance.com
2 Bitchin Bajas
Rock:After an extended stint working on collaborative albums (one with Joshua Abrams’s Natural Information Society and another with indie legend Bonnie “Prince” Billy), this local electronic outfit returned to their own act in November with Bajas Fresh. The seven-song album, their first since 2014, finds the band experimenting with the same sonic textures and New-Agey synth pads that gained them a cult following back in 2010. Here, they’ll greet a hometown crowd upon their return from the national stage.
11/30–12/1 at 8:30 p.m. $10. Hungry Brain. hungrybrainchicago.com
3 Nick Offerman
Comedy:As the gleefully gruff Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, Offerman, a native of Minooka, Illinois, made a strong case for an old-school, hirsute brand of masculinity long presumed dead. That his standup mines similar territory should come as no surprise, since much of the Swanson persona was inspired by Offerman’s off-screen penchant for carpentry and the outdoors. See “Nick Offerman’s Influences: His Wife, Steve Martin, and (Actually) Nature” for more on his Full Bush tour.
12/1 at 7 and 9:30 p.m. $50–$60. Chicago Theatre. thechicagotheatre.com
4 Little Red Cyrano
Theater:Red Theater smashes together the wolfish violence of “Little Red Riding Hood” and the romantic eloquence of Cyrano de Bergerac in this fairy tale–swashbuckler hybrid. The performance, which features hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf actors using American Sign Language, uses physicality and clowning to blend the stories of a child’s encounter with a deceptive wolf and a besotted young man who outsources his wooing.
12/1–1/7. $15–$40 donation. Red Theater at Strawdog Theatre. redtheater.org
5 Run the Jewels
Hip-Hop:They may be known for their half-political, half-hypersexual lyrics, but this hip-hop duo can be goofy, too. Take their zombie-fighting statuette, a collectible that features the two emcees rendered as action figures perched atop a mound of defeated undead. If you aren’t willing to scour the depths of eBay for one of those figurines, drown your sorrows at this raucous live show (tickets are in almost equally high demand). Also performing: Queens of the Stone Age and Biffy Clyro.
12/2 at 7 p.m. Sold out; see resellers. Aragon Ballroom.
6 Jana Rush
Electronic:Rush emerged from Chatham more than two decades ago (at the unlikely age of 10) and had built a following by age 13, but eventually called it quits and headed to school. After studying at UIC and holding jobs as a CT scan tech, chemical engineer, and volunteer firefighter, Rush pivoted back to music, this year releasing the debut full-length Pariah, a boundary-pushing collection of songs that challenge just what it means to make footwork in 2017.
12/2 at 11:59 p.m. $5. Hideout. hideoutchicago.com
Seasonal:Now in its 12th year and showing no sign of slowing, this adults-only holiday bash sees dozens of drinkers take to the streets of downtown for a day of Yuletide bar-hopping. Santa costumes are required, though full beards are optional.
FREE 12/2 at noon. Various venues. originalchicagosantacon.com
Seasonal:Hit this holiday market for its Scandinavian handicrafts; stay for the candlelit St. Lucia processions and gratis folk-dance performances. Just keep an eye out for the tomten, a mischievous, elf-like creature who’ll make appearances throughout the day.
12/2–3 at 10 a.m. $2 donation. Swedish American Museum. swedishamericanmuseum.org
Classical:Of the many holiday choral perennials, the concerts put on by this Bay Area–based all-male chamber choir rise above, and not just because the men frequently perform mixed-chorus music with some singing falsetto. The precision, chronological scope, impressive arrangements, and virtuosity on display exceed the expectations of those waiting for yet another version of “Silent Night.”
12/5–6 at 7:30 p.m. $39–$61. Fourth Presbyterian Church. cso.org
10 Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Theater:King was a teenager when she penned “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” in 1960. Since then, her music has provided the soundtrack for countless lives. This jukebox musical tracks her long career, including sure-to-please renditions of “You’ve Got a Friend,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “It’s Too Late,” and more.
12/5–1/28. $30–$275. Broadway in Chicago at Cadillac Palace Theatre. broadwayinchicago.com
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