Roger McGuinn of the '60s rock group, The Byrds
BYRD WATCHING What is Roger McGuinn, the Chicago native and leader of the
influential ’60s rock group the Byrds, doing this weekend? Find out below.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 12.01.10 through Tue 12.07.10:


comedy The Interview Show
Roughly 14 polite, if somewhat ego-deflating, rejections later, Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!, has agreed to be a featured guest at our favorite local talk show set in a bar—just one of the 40 reasons we love Chicago (read the backstory). The evening’s other invitees—including Jake Nickell, cofounder of the Chicago T-shirt empire Threadless—are no chopped liver. Even if they didn’t play quite so hard to get.
GO: Dec 3 at 6:30 (go early). $5 at the door. The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia.


theatre Deathscribe 2010
The perfect holiday show—for Halloween. For one night only, Wildclaw Theatre unleashes its annual nightmare before Christmas: a selection of original ten-minute radio plays vying for the coveted Bloody Axe award.
GO: Dec 6 at 8. $20. Mayne Stage, 1328 W Morse.

ALSO THIS WEEK: And also on the radio-play beat: For the second year in a row, American Blues Theater and American Theater Company mount dueling productions of It’s A Wonderful Life. Every time a bell rings, an angel has to pick a side.


theatre Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer
The drag queen extraordinaire David Cerda turns his attention to everyone’s favorite wannabe dentist and misfit fawn. Those who grew up on the Burl Ives classic surely will smile as the subtext is dragged out into the open. Pun intended.
GO: Previews Dec 2–3; $12. Run continues through Jan 1; $15–$30. Hell in a Handbag Productions at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N Clark.

ALSO THIS WEEK: In other gay-elf news, David Sedaris’s gimlet-eyed monologue about a season in the department store trenches, The Santaland Diaries, returns to Theater Wit, with the witheringly droll Mitchell Fain once again donning the role’s pointy shoes.


concerts Sonny Burgess
The rockabilly icon was one of the most riotous artists to sign with Sun Records in the 1950s, rivaling even Jerry Lee Lewis in fevered frenzy. Nearing 80, he’s still capable of tearing up the stage (note to Abbey Pub management: Secure all breakables). Plus, a Burgess bonus: The rocker and his band, the Legendary Pacers, will play an encore following the Dec 2 performance of Million Dollar Quartet, the long-running musical memorializing the Sun Records session—54 years ago, almost to the day: Dec 4, 1956—that convened Burgess’s labelmates Lewis, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins.
GO: Burgess at Million Dollar Quartet: Dec 2 at 7:30. $25–$77.50. Apollo Theater, 2540 N Lincoln. 773-935-6100. Concert: Dec 3 at 8:30. $12–$15. Abbey Pub, 3420 W Grace.


dance Harold and the Purple Crayon: A Dance Adventure
Parents, you can thank us later. Hubbard Street Dance Company’s apprentice ensemble, Hubbard Street 2, creates an interactive treat for kids based on the 1955 children’s book by Crockett Johnson. You don’t have to care what color the crayon is or to whom it belongs. You should just care that there’s a non-Nutcracker option this December and that it features music by Andrew Bird.
GO: Dec 3 at 11 (Dec 4 is sold out). $5. Harris Theater, 205 E Randolph.


Up next in our series of plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): The Chicago native Roger McGuinn returns for a sold-out show Dec 4 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, where he learned to play guitar before going on to help pioneer the jangle-pop genre as leader of the Byrds.

“I’m in San Francisco right now for a concert, then I’ll catch the train from here to Chicago, but this trip actually started when we sailed from Miami to Los Angeles. I like traveling the old-fashioned way, turning the clock back 100 years. It’s much more leisurely than going through airport security.

“In Chicago, my favorite things to do include visiting the Old Town School, my alma mater, but also the Museum of Science and Industry. My grandfather was an engineer in Chicago and helped build some of the bridges that span the river. He would take me to the museum every Sunday, from around age 3 on, and that developed my love of gadgetry.

“I also like going for walks, just enjoying the scenery and the people. It’s refreshing to see a little bit of snow and winter. Psychologically, knowing I don’t have to stay in it all year is a big plus.”


dance Dance-along Nutcracker
What’s cheaper than a $5 Harold? Busting a move to Tchaikovsky, gratis. This annual favorite opens the dance floor to all ages, no professional pirouette skills required.
GO: Dec 5 at noon and 3 (with optional lessons for kids age 3–8 at 11 and 2). Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington. 312-744-6630

galleries Cover Stories: The Art of the Book Jacket
A feel-good story with a happy chapter that, we hope, is far from an ending: The local gallery Printworks celebrates 30 years in the business with a show of faux book covers (think Oliver Twist and The Scarlet Letter) by longtime friends of the gallery (think artists Karl Wirsum and Audrey Niffenegger—plus Audrey’s mom).
GO: Dec 3 opening reception from 5 to 8. Show continues through Feb 12. 311 W Superior.