The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, December 18, through Tuesday, December 24

1 Annie Get Your Gun 

musical: As far as gun-toting proto feminists go, Annie Oakley can’t be beat. Collette Todd stars in this hit-packed rom com musical. 
12/21–31. $32–$92. Light Opera Works at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson. Evanston. 

2 Taiko Legacy 

dance: It’s a drum circle for the ages:  three generations of Taiko (Japanese) drummers plus butoh master Judy Kajiwara.
12/21–22. $10–$18. Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 E Chicago.

3 Mark Kozelek  

Rock: Don’t miss the prolific songwriter behind Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters, whose 2012 release, Among the Leaves, is a showcase of masterful narratives over silky nylon-string guitar work.
12/19 at 8. $20. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. 

4 Late-er Night in Andersonville 

shopping: Even if you’re done all your holiday shopping, wintry Andersonville is a nice sight for sore eyes.
12/20 at 6–10 p.m. Free. Clark Street. 

5 Don Stienberg Quintet

Jazz: Keeping the spirit of Django Reinhardt alive, the Chicago mandolinist heads this locals-only showcase, featuring Andy Brown on guitar, Jim Cox on bass, Phil Gratteau on drums, and Larry Harrison on piano.
12/21–22. $16. Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln. 

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Stevi Marks, choral director for Voices Rising, the youth chorus participating in Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus' annual "Welcome, Yule!" program. There are four family friendly shows this weekend and a fifth closing show on Monday, 12/23. 

I have some family and friends coming to see "Welcome Yule!", and we will be having dinner in that area. One of the evenings, we are going to one of my favorite restaurants, the Gage. I love that restaurant. They have the greatest fried dill pickles. It's also a landmark architectural building. It's a fantastic space, really cool space. Good energy, right across from the Art Institute.

In between shows, I love to walk through the Art Institute and sit and gaze at the beautiful things that are there. It's a treasure, just the way the Chicago Symphony is a treasure.

I'm also seeing some theatre. I actually did professional theater for 25 years in between my choral teaching. My husband is also on the Jeff Awards  committee, so I will be going to a few things with him. We are headed to The Normal Heart at TimeLine Theatre, and to Great Expectations at Strawdog Theatre.

As for after the final show, I wish I could say, "I'm going to Disneyland!" But I'm not. I'm going to get some well-needed rest. I'm also the choral director at Glenbrook South High School, and I also direct the variety show and the musical there in December. So I definitely will spend the holiday time with family and friends, and I will be catching up on sleep. I have a Golden Retriever that I love to walk in the woods in Deerfield, so I will be doing a lot of that leisurely walking and playing with her, too.

Freebie of the Week

Ice Skating at Lincoln Park Zoo 

seasonal: Yeah, that’s right. The zoo got an ice rink this year. And after you’re done, take a stroll through the always popular Zoo Lights.
Free. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark.