Darwin, Dinosaurs, Drag: Must Be Christmas at the Hideout
Here’s one you won’t see in back-to-back rotation on the ABC Family channel: The Third Annual Hideout Christmas Dinosaur Panto—a play modeled on the traditional British style of pantomime, which calls for lots of audience participation in the form of hissing and booing—follows Charles Darwin in his quest to discover the origins of Christmas, and stars such local luminaries as rocker Jon Langford (as a woman) and Hideout co-owner Tim Tuten (as the father of evolutionary theory). If that’s not trippy enough, Old Style cans are a mere $2. The show runs 7 and 10 p.m. Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.; hideoutchicago.com). Tickets are $12.
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Some of us go for the beef and merely tolerate the hubbub; others head to the heavy-metal burger joint Kuma’s Corner with equal appetites for the din and the dinner. Those in category two, Kuma’s salutes you with the inaugural Kuma’s Fest, a two-day ode to thrash and doom, featuring metal acts both local and exotic. The bash runs Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st at Double Door (1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.; doubledoor.com). Tickets are $15 per day.
Nerds, rejoice! The original cast and writers of the Peabody Award–winning TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 reunite in Cinematic Titanic, a traveling road show that sounds pretty much like the classic MST3K formula: awesomely awful flicks plus snarky commentary. The crew comes to Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway; lakeshoretheater.com) to trash talk such paragons of cinema as Blood of the Vampires (7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday the 19th) and Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday the 20th). Tickets are $35.
It has to be one of the best Christmas traditions in Chicago (Langford in drag notwithstanding): The 25th annual Music Box Christmas Show presents single and double features of It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Bad Santa, and Miracle on 34th Street preceded by unabashedly cheesy carol sing-alongs. Shows run Friday the 19th through Wednesday the 24th at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.; 312-902-1500). Tickets are $10 for one show; $15 for a double feature.
Hoping for something besides Chinese food and a movie come December 25th? The Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies (610 S. Michigan Ave.; spertus.edu) hosts Something Else!, featuring live entertainment and oodles of kid-friendly activities, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday the 25th. Tickets are $10 each, and donations of non-perishable food items are encouraged.
He’ll be home for Christmas: MacArthur “genius” award recipient George Saunders returns to his native Chicago for Collaboraction’s world-premiere staging of his New Yorker short story Jon. A discussion with Saunders and director/adaptor Seth Bockley follows the 8 p.m. Friday the 19th show at The Building Stage (412 N. Carpenter St.; collaboraction.typepad.com). Tickets are $15-$25.
Photograph: Jason Creps