December 5

Return of the Exquisite Corpse Dr. Frankenstein lives on in this group show by 105 artists in which the head, torso, and feet of a figure drawing are crafted by different individuals. Printworks Gallery. Free.

December 6

Ensemble Dal Niente The new-music ensemble premieres composer Johannes Kreidler’s Stil 1i, a musical commentary on capitalism. Constellation. $15.


December 12

Bel Canto The Lyric Opera stages its first world premiere in 11 years; this one is based on Ann Patchett’s best seller. Civic Opera House. $20 to $349.

December 13

Domesticated Bruce Norris’s new play examines a family ripped apart by a sex scandal. Steppenwolf. $49 to $86.


December 19

Music Box Christmas Show Don’t miss the chance to binge on It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas back to back (to back to back). Music Box Theatre. $13 to $24.

December 20

Shemekia Copeland’s Holiday Party Get into the Christmas spirit with the reigning queen of blues, though her most recent album, Outskirts of Love, veers country. City Winery. $28 to $38.


December 26

Mike Lebovitz Expect scatological, adolescent humor with a wink of the eye and a tug of the mustache. Zanies. $25.

December 27

Waco Brothers Trade in the leftover eggnog for Jon Langford’s whiskey-soaked country tunes. Schubas. $14 to $15.


January 2

Beautiful Abby Mueller steps into the lead role in this jukebox musical about the life and career of Carole King. Oriental Theatre. $30 to $135.

January 3

Chicago Authored The Chicago History Museum’s first-ever crowdsourced exhibit celebrates Chicago authors past and present. Chicago History Museum. $12 to $14.


January 9

Byhalia, Mississippi Rising playwright Evan Linder’s latest examines what happens when a white couple has a half-black baby. Den Theatre. $15 to $30.

January 10

Pop Art Design The contemporary answer to the Art Institute’s behemoth new show features pop art you can sit on. Museum of Contemporary Art. $7 to $12.


January 16

Another Word for Beauty José Rivera’s new musical tells the story of the annual beauty pageant in a Colombian women’s prison. Goodman Theatre. $25 to $77.

January 17

Tomorrow Never Knows The final day of Chicago’s dead-of-winter indie-rock fest features Lou Ballow and Andrew St. James. Various locations. $13 to $100.


January 23

Tortoise The jazz-rock quintet performs music from The Catastrophist, the group’s first album in seven years. Thalia Hall. $20.

January 24

Romeo and Juliet The Bard’s classic love story as performed by 55 dancers from the State Ballet Theatre of Russia. Harris Theater. $25 to $85.


January 30

In Time This triennial fest features performance artists from around the globe, including Norway’s Ingri Fiksdal and dancer Anna Martine Whitehead. Various locations and prices.

January 31

Fillet of Solo The annual storytelling festival cements Chicago’s reputation for great live lit. Various locations. $10 to $50.


February 6

The Flick Three theater employees wax (un)poetic on art’s place in the zeitgeist in this Pulitzer winner. Steppenwolf. $49 to $54.

February 7

Looking Over the President’s Shoulder James Still’s one-man show narrates the story of real-life presidential butler Alonzo Fields. American Blues Theater. $19–$49.