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The Sun-Times Mix — Cool Weekend Things To Do, Dec. 5-7, 2014

No weekend plans yet? Here are suggestions that just might fill the bill:

Nutcracker for All

The Dance-Along Nutcracker returns to the Chicago Cultural Center on Sunday, December 7. For this fun affair, all would-be sugar plum fairies and mouse kings are invited to come leap, jump, spin and twirl for one of two performances inside of Preston Bradley Hall on the third floor. The event, held at 78 E. Washington Street, features members of Ballet Chicago who will teach basic ballet positions and movements. Then, everyone is invited to “point their toes” to Tchaikovsky’s classic. This particular nutcracker has roots in the LGBT community as it was copywrited by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, but the music for Sunday is provided by the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band. The event occurs twice, at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. The dance instruction occurs an hour before each performance, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The instruction will take place on the 5th floor of the Cultural Center — Adrienne Samuels Gibbs

Book It!

The Printer’s Row Lit Fest gets all the glory in Chicago when it comes to things literary, but there are smaller events as well. The annual Chicago Book Expo, which highlights local authors and publishers, is one of them, and it’s happening for the third time Saturday, Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Columbia College (1104 S. Wabash). There’ll be readings, panel discussions and even a pop-up bookstore. For more info, go to chicagobookexpo.org. — Mike Thomas

Sleigh bells ring

Most of the great musicians who helped shape the Christmas songbook — Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra — are gone now, but Johnny Mathis continues to share his distinctive spin on the classics, more than 50 years after the release of his definitive album “Merry Christmas.” He’s caroling on the road again and performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Rd. in Rosemont. Tickets here.

“GlamourTango” comes to the Athenaeum Theatre on Dec. 6.
“GlamourTango” comes to the Athenaeum Theatre on Dec. 6.

CELEBRATING WOMEN IN TANGO

GlamourTango, a multimedia show of music, dance and design, is billed as “a tribute to those women who quietly wrote the pages of tango from the very beginning.” Conceived and directed by Uruguayan pianist and musical director Polly Ferman, the program will be performed at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, for a single evening, Sat., Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. Featured as part of this celebration of women in tango will be an internationally renowned musical quintet, as well as dancers and a vocalist. GlamourTango, which is based in Buenos Aires and New York City, promises to take its audience “on a musical journey through the 20th century, showcasing a fresh and renovated vision of the role of women in tango.” For tickets ($25-$35) phone (773) 935-6875 or visit www.athenaeumtheatre.org. — Hedy Weiss

UNIQUE HOLIDAY SHOPPING

The annual One of a Kind Show & Sale continues through Sunday the Merchandise Mart, (between Wells and Orleans, at the river). The 14th annual event boasts the work of more than 600 artists from around the globe. Everything from fine art and sculpture to wearable art (the show’s massive “fashion district” features handcrafted jewelry, clothing, accessories) is for sale. Gourmet cafes, fashion shows, live music, crafting workshops round out the shopping experience. For times and tickets, visit www.oneofakindshow.com. — Miriam Di Nunzio

TAKE A TRIP TO THE RED TENT

If you’re in a book group, chances are good you’ve read Anita Diamant’s biblical best-seller “The Red Tent,” the fictional history of Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter. See it play out on the small screen in Lifetime’s two-part miniseries, debuting at 8 p.m. Sunday. (The second and final episode airs at the same time the following night.) The cast includes Minnie Driver, Debra Winger, Morena Baccarin and Rebecca Ferguson (“The White Queen”), who delivers a powerful performance as beleaguered Dinah. Her father is played by Iain Glen of “Game of Thrones,” the HBO series whose soundtrack is shamelessly ripped off in this production that nonetheless ranks as one of Lifetime’s better projects this year. — Lori Rackl