Dec 1 at 7
Chicagoans have been picking and grinning at the Old Town School of Folk Music fo half a century; the institution’s progression from lefty fringe to cultural mainstream is truly worth celebrating. This 50th anniversary concert features Jeff Tweedy, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, David Bromberg, Lonnie Brooks with Wayne Baker Brooks and Nicholas Tremulis, Frank Hamilton, The Bloodshot Family Band (featuring The Robbie Fulks Band with Jon Langford, Kelly Hogan, Sally Timms, and Nora O’Connor), Bonnie Koloc, Sones de Mexico Ensemble, Corky Siegel, and Luna Negra Dance Theater. $35-250. Auditorium Theater, Roosevelt U, 50 E. Congress, 773-728-6000.

Dec 1 at 9
The galvanic German saxophonist celebrates the tenth anniversary of his transcontinental juggernaut, which numbers open-minded locals Ken Vandermark, Jeb Bishop, and Fred Lonberg-Holm among its stellar lineup. $20. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago. 312-397-4010.

Dec 5 at 5:30
Pulitzer-winning journalist Thomas Friedman lectures. $30. Open Sun-Wed 10-6; Thu 10-7; Fri 10-3. $7. 610 S Michigan. 312-322-1700.

Dec 6 at 8
The seminal house-music duo Daft Punk has shot its first feature film. A reception with beats by Tone B Nimble precedes the screening; a cocktail party follows; and rumor has it an unidentified guest (or guests) will host a Q & A; here’s hoping it’s the DJs-turned-directors. Free with RSVP: scion.com/route/electroma.html. Scion Film Series at Pipers Alley, 1608 N Wells.

Dec 6-9
One of a Kind Show and Sale. Handmade works by more than 400 artisans. Thu noon-9; Fri 11-8; Sat 10-8; Sun 10-5. $10. Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Plaza. mmart.com/oneofakindshow.

Thru Dec 9
The latest ethics drama by Tony- and Pulitzer-winner John Patrick Shanley, in which a young black captain on a North Carolina marine base is promoted to ease racial tensions. Thu at 7:30; Fri, Sat at 8; Sun at 2. $27-$38. Next Theatre, Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St, Evanston. 847-475-1875.

Dec 15
A pirate-themed holiday bash and auction from the art collective (make that arrrrrt collective) ThreeWalls. Call for time. $25 includes a bottomless beer stein. 119 N Peoria, #2A. 312-432-3972.

Thru Jan 20
Redmoon’s restaged take on the classic Victor Hugo novel includes shadow puppetry, masks, and acrobatics. Thu-Sat at 8; Sun at 4. $15-$35. Redmoon Central, 1463 W Hubbard. 312-850-8440.

Thru Dec 21
Caroling at Cloud Gate, sing-alongs on the Chase Promenade. Fri at 6. Michigan, between Randolph and Monroe. 312-742-1168.


Photography: (tweedy) ap photo/robert e. klein, (electroma) daft arts, (one of a kind show) clayton glass design, (hot dog stand in a box) courtesy of vienna® beef, ltd., (walk hard) gemma lamana/© 2007 columbia pictures industries, inc. and gh three llc. all rights reserved, (bûche de noël) kim thornton, (airplane) blindelinse/istockphoto.com