The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, December 10 through December 16, 2014

1 The Second City That Never Sleeps 2014

Comedy: From 6 p.m. on Tuesday to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, an ensemble cast of some of the city’s best improvisers go to work, interspersed with musical performances by locals Jeff Tweedy, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, and Robbie Fulks. Keep an eye out for SNL alum Fred Armisen who’ll play drums and reprise his hilarious British punk rock character, Ian Rubbish. Proceeds go to the social service org Onward Neighborhood House.
12/16–12/17 at 6. $20. The Second City e.t.c. Theatre. 1616 N. Wells.

2 Burning Bluebeard

Theater: The Iroquois Theater fire of 1903 is the spark for the Ruffians’ near-perfect blend of tragedy and comedy, in which a corps of singed performers try to get through their show without setting their world ablaze. Prepare to laugh, cry, and be thoroughly dazzled by high-risk circus stunts.
12/13–1/4. $30–$50. The Ruffians at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont.

3 Dee Alexander Quartet

Jazz: The longtime Chicago singer has done gigs everywhere from Austria to Australia but her tight-knit quartet is most affecting in the city’s decades old jazz haunts.
12/12–12/14. $12. Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway.

4 The HoliDose

Markets: The folks behind the mega-popular Dose Market throw this holiday-centric iteration. Nosh on good food while getting that last-minute Christmas shopping done.
12/14 at 10 a.m. $8–$10. Venue One, 1034 W. Randolph.

5 Bob Seger

Rock: Seger’s new record, Ride Out, is his first studio album in eight years and features a cover of Irving Park-based Wilco’s “California Stars.” Given the Michigan native’s penchant for hosting onstage cameos, this could mean a live appearance by Jeff Tweedy.
12/11 at 7:30. $65–$95. United Center, 1901 W. Madison.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Matt Hovde
Karin Moen Abercrombie Photo: Courtesy of Karin Moen Abercrombie

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Karin Moen Abercrombie, executive director at the Swedish American Museum. St. Lucia Day celebrations take place all weekend.

“Friday, we’re going to be down at Daley Plaza for the St. Lucia crowning. Traditionally, December 13 is the longest and darkest night in Sweden and Lucia comes around early in the morning to homes with a white gown and a wreath of candles in her hair. She has attendants who follow her singing Swedish Christmas songs and giving out saffron buns and gingersnaps. Attendees at Daley Plaza can expect 12 to 15 young girls in their Lucia gowns singing traditional Swedish songs. Then we’re going to continue the American tradition of going to the Walnut Room at Macy’s.

“Saturday, I have two things planned. Breakfast with Tomten at the Swedish American Museum. Tomten is Swedish for Santa. We’ll have Swedish pancakes and crafts for kids. Then in the evening, we’ll have our St. Lucia procession where some of the kids will dress up as Lucia and sing holiday songs. Then we’ll have a family celebration at the museum. It will end at Ebenezer Lutheran Church for a more traditional Lucia celebration.

“Sunday, in my case, I will be back at the museum for another Breakfast with Tomten. Then I’ll walk the neighborhood and see the decorations. I’ll also go to Svea; I love their Swedish pancakes and meatballs.” —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week

OpenIce at the Hideout

Classical: Violinists Jennifer Curtis and David Bowlin play new music by Luciano Berio, John Zorn, and the Soviet composer Edison Denisov at the third of three free monthly concerts at the Hideout.
12/14 at 6. Free. The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia.