Don’t-miss picks for December 6 through December 12, 2017
1 Altar Boyz
Theater:Theo Ubique mounts Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker’s profane riff on Christian music, which takes the form of a concert by a five-member boy band. The show is hilarious—though the pope probably wouldn’t think so.
Through 1/14. $29–$64. Theo Ubique Theatre at the No Exit Cafe. theo-u.com
Theater:Straight out of London comes this a cappella show, which applies pitch-perfect precision to beatboxing and vocal harmonies. Starring performers billed as the Girl, the Woman, the Man, the Chap, the Engineer, and the Diva, the production promises a wall of sound built solely from human singing voices.
12/5–10. $39–$133. Broadway in Chicago at Broadway Playhouse. broadwayinchicago.com
3 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. $27–$237. Broadway in Chicago at Cadillac Palace Theatre. broadwayinchicago.com
4 Mike Birbiglia
Comedy:For years, Birbiglia was best known as a regular contributor to Chicago Public Media’s This American Life. But since 2012, he’s also written and directed two critically acclaimed indie flicks (including last year’s Don’t Think Twice), landed two Netflix specials, and made acting turns on Girls and Orange Is the New Black. Here, he pivots back to his brand of narrative standup.
12/8 at 7 p.m. $33–$53. Chicago Theatre. thechicagotheatre.com
5 Vacilon Columnar
Performance Art:The Chicago Architecture Biennial closes with this performance art event, which draws inspiration from a Miami dance party and asks how to make architecture more joyful. The answer? Music, dance, drag, a cash bar, and an installation on the Chicago Athletic Association’s former basketball court by fiber artist Melissa Leandro.
12/8 at 8 p.m. Free. Chicago Athletic Association. theside.show
6 The Nutcracker
Dance:Hyde Park School of Dance’s take on the holiday ballet boasts 200 performers and a hip-hop battle between the mice and soldiers, who’ll go toe-to-toe with dance in lieu of stage violence.
12/8–10. Free–$40. Mandel Hall. hydeparkdance.org
7 Angel Olsen
Rock:In a recent interview with WWD, this singer, who began her career in Chicago and is now based in Asheville, North Carolina, described 2017 as her “yes year.” And since releasing her third solo album, My Woman, Olsen has certainly said yes to a lot, including festival sets, Conan appearances, and nearly nonstop touring. She’ll take a break eventually, but not before this homecoming show.
12/9 at 8 p.m. $25. Riviera Theatre. ticketfly.com
8 Joe Biden
Speaker:The former VP’s sense of humor and down-to-earth personality have endeared him to those on both sides of the aisle, as well as to purveyors of political comedy (see the Onion’s Diamond Joe caricature). As he hits the road in support of his new memoir, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose (a copy of which is included in the price of admission), Biden attempts to appeal to both Democrats and Republicans, striving, per the press release, to go “beyond the 24-hour news cycle and 140-character arguments.”
12/11 at 7:30 p.m. $64–$256. Chicago Theatre. thechicagotheatre.com
9 Leonard Suryajaya
Art:In In Progress, photographer Suryajaya will create works in front of a live audience—an attempt at peeling back the curtain on his creative process. At the end, viewers can give feedback.
12/12 at 6 p.m. Free for Illinois residents. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. mcachicago.org
10 One of a Kind
Design:About 600 designers congregate for this ritzy craft fest, where the focus is handmade objects. Stroll the aisles for smaller items, like blown-glass sculptures and jewelry, or go all-out with custom furniture and large-scale paintings by artists on the rise.
12/7–10. $12–$20. Merchandise Mart. oneofakindshowchicago.com