Things to do in Chicago Dec. 8-14: The Mix

Daddy Yankee’s farewell tour, the Music Box Theatre’s holiday double feature and several stagings of ‘The Nutcracker’ are among the entertainment highlights in the week ahead.

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Daddy Yankee performs in July in Inglewood, California.

JC Olivera/Getty Images



“Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins”

Jenn Udoni-Franco

  • Strawdog Theatre presents “Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins,” Michael Dailey and Jacob Combs’ adaptation of the classic Eric Kimmel children’s book about a traveling troupe of actors who put on a show to save the holiday. Hannah Todd directs. From Dec. 11-31 at The Edge Off-Broadway Theater, 1133 W. Catalpa. Admission is free. Visit
  • “The Christmas Schooner” is Julie Shannon and John Reeger’s holiday musical about the shipping captain who brought Christmas trees to homesick German American families in turn-of-the-century Chicago. The new production is directed by David G. Zak, who directed the world premiere in 1995 at Bailiwick Arts Center. From Dec. 8-11 at Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th. Tickets: $40. Visit

Esther Fishbein (clockwise from left), Stephanie Fongheiser, Shelby Lynn Bias, and Jamie Herb in “Little Women.”

D. Rice

  • First Folio Theatre presents the world premiere of Heather Chrisler’s adaptation of “Little Women,” the Louisa May Alcott novel chronicling the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the four March sisters: Jo (Shelby Lynn Bias), Meg (Stephanie Fongheiser), Beth (Jamie Herb) and Amy (Esther Fishbein). Melanie Keller directs. From Dec. 14-Jan. 15 at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 31st, Oak Brook. Tickets: $49, $59. Visit
  • “Joy to the World — A Holiday Celebration” is an inspirational musical tribute to the holidays, written and directed by Jackie Taylor and featuring Robin DaSilva, Rhonda Preston, Vincent Jordan, Jim Wynton, Dwight Neal, Colleen Perry and a live band. From Dec. 10-18 at Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark. Tickets: $55. Visit
  • “Tales from the Wandering Wyvern Inn” is an immersive, high-fantasy journey to a tavern beneath the snowy foothills beneath Heightswatch, where whispers abound of an ancient town of warriors who await the appearance of the Mortal King. From Dec. 9-Jan. 29 at Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark. Tickets: $65. Visit
  • The Second City serves up seasonal satire in the holiday revue “Jingle Bell Ruckus.” Nothing is off-limits as performers take aim at everything from holiday film classics to family gatherings and Christmas carols. At 5 and 8 p.m. Dec. 10 at McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn. Tickets: $30-$48. Visit

‘The Nutcracker’


The Hyde Park School of Dance presents “The Nutcracker.”

Marc Monaghan

  • In the Hyde Park School of Dance staging of “The Nutcracker,” more than 175 dancers perform in a version of the classic that features ballet, modern dance and hip-hop. The 75-minute narrated production is staged by August Tye. From Dec. 9-11 at Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th. Tickets: $13-$44, children 5 and under free. Visit Meanwhile, Ballet Chicago celebrates the season with its own staging of “The Nutcracker,” filled with beautiful music and charming choreography. From Dec. 9-18 at Athenaeum Center, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets: $19-$59. Visit
  • The Music Institute of Chicago and Dance Chicago present “Duke It Out! Nutcracker,” a holiday favorite that pairs Tchaikovsky’s classical score with the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn version. The score is performed by Quintet Attacca and members of Braeburn Brass. At 2 p.m. Dec. 10 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago, Evanston. Tickets: $10. Tickets:


  • Last March, Daddy Yankee stunned fans when he posted a video announcing his retirement from the music industry. Since then the 45-year-old “King of Reggaeton,” who is credited with introducing the genre to audiences worldwide, has been on his farewell tour, “La Ultima Vuelta,” and performing tunes from his final album, “Legendaddy,” as well as fan favorites from his 32-year career. At 8 p.m. Dec. 12-13 at Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim, Rosemont. Tickets: $99+. Visit

Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff of Nefresh Mountain.

Shervin Lainez

  • The songs Nefresh Mountain founders Eric Lindberg and Doni Zasloff write are inspired by Jewish history and tradition but are musically based in bluegrass. Their holiday Hanukkah Tour celebrates the season with original tunes and Hanukkah songs by Woody Guthrie as well as songs from the band’s recent album “Songs for the Sparrows.” Taylor Ashton opens the show at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt, Berwyn. Tickets: $25. Visit

Elizabeth Moen

Cassie Scott

  • Chicago singer-songwriter Elizabeth Moen celebrates the release of her new album, “Wherever You Aren’t,” at two area performances. She brings her unique style of indie folk-rock and soul to songs that are both personal and eerily relatable. At 10 p.m. Dec. 9 at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western ($15-$18), and at 9 p.m. Dec. 16 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport ($15). Visit or
  • Celtic Woman: A Christmas Symphony is a family-friendly concert featuring holiday classics and ancient Gaelic carols. The singers perform with the Chicago Philharmonic. At 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells. Tickets: $39+. Visit



Bing Crosby (from left), Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney in “White Christmas.”

Paramount Pictures

  • It’s time once again for a beloved movie double feature: “White Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Plus, Santa leads audiences in a sing-along of holiday tunes with accompaniment by organist Dennis Scott. The two classics are screened from Dec. 9-24 at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets: $10-$21. Visit
  • Pride Film Fest returns with its winter lineup of four streaming selections: the documentary “Pat Rocco Dared” (Dec. 7-18), the road-trip movie “Unidentified Objects” (Dec. 14-25), a series of short films (Dec. 21-Jan. 1) and the award-winning “Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor” (Dec. 28-Jan 8). Tickets: $12 per film. Visit



The art of Edra Soto will be exhibited at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art.

Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus

  • “The Myth of Closure” is an exhibition of works by Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist Edra Soto. The artist has created a deeply personal body of work exploring loss, home and closure as she seeks a path of acceptance for the transition of her aging mother ,who suffers from Alzheimer’s. From Dec. 10-March 5 at Cleve Carney Museum of Art, 425 Fawell, Glen Ellyn. Admission is free. Visit

Holiday Fun


Felix May and Lily Emerson at the Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party.

Charles Osgood

  • The annual Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party is a charming puppet show that brings to life four of Potter’s classic tales starring Peter Rabbit and friends. After the performance, the audience gathers to meet and take photos with the actors, play with the puppets and enjoy chocolate milk and cookies. To Dec. 24 at Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine. Tickets: $43.25+. Visit

Christmas Around the World

Museum of Science and Industry

  • Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light are a beloved holiday tradition that highlights the rich customs of countries and cultures from across the globe. There’s a 45-foot Grand Tree surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays. Established in 1942, the display began with a single tree to show solidarity with fellow Allied nations during World War II. To Jan. 2 at Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. DuSable. Admission: $21.95, $12.95 (ages 3-11). Visit

Sparkle Light Festival


  • Sparkle Light Festival is an immersive display of holiday lights featuring five illuminated villages. Other activities include a children’s maze, see-saw, train rides and winter tubing. Food and beverages also are available. To Jan. 1 at Impact Field, 9850 Balmoral, Rosemont. Tickets: $25, $20 children 2-12. Visit
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