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The Twelve Plates of Christmas

12/4-12/18: Thu 5 PM

The Art Institute provides inspiration for your holiday meals with the Twelve Plates of Christmas. Tonight's 12-course tasting menu includes risotto with cranberry mousse, spiked hot chocolate, and a course called "It's a Wonderful Beef." Reservations are not accepted; seating is first come, first served. $38, $66 per couple

Art Institute of Chicago (map)
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Loop
phone 312-443-3600
The Twelve Plates of Christmas

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Richard Hunt: 60 Years of Sculpture

12/18-3/29

When the sculptor Richard Hunt was still a student at the School of the Art Institute, he sold a piece to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. That was back in 1957; Hunt was 22. When he was 35, in 1971, MOMA mounted the first retrospective of his work. Hunt is nearing 80 now, but he continues to work in his Lincoln Park studio, welding industrial metal into art. Several pieces from his personal collection, covering the full range of his nearly 60-year-long career, from his student days through work currently in progress, is on display at the Chicago Cultural Center through March. The Museum of Contemporary Art salutes Hunt with a retrospective, opening this week, featuring pieces (mostly) drawn from its own collection. "It's rare to see an artist active for so long," says Naomi Beckwith, the MCA curator who put the exhibit together. "You can see how things have shifted from his early work, the shift in scale, the shift in form. The early work is more figurative, but the later work pushes toward real abstraction." Continue reading >>

Chicago Cultural Center (map)
78 E. Washington St.
Loop
phone 312-744-6630

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Symphony Center (map)
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Loop
phone 312-294-3000

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Harris Theater for Music and Dance (map)
205 E. Randolph St.
Loop
phone 312-334-7777

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Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Cynthia Yeh

Thu., Dec. 18, 8 p.m., Fri., Dec. 19, 1:30 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 20, 8 p.m.

Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor (Prokofiev, MacMillan).

Symphony Center (map)
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Loop
phone 312-294-3000

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DJ Wayne Williams

Fri., Dec. 19, 12 p.m.
Randolph Cafe, Chicago Cultural Center (map)
78 E. Washington St.
Loop
phone 312-744-6630

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Made in Chicago Holiday Market

Sat 12/20, 9 AM-7 PM

Forget waiting with bated breath to see if that package from China will ship in time for Christmas. The Made in Chicago Holiday Market features local holiday items from vendors including Forbidden Root, Bashful Owl, and Chicago Glass Collective. Walk away with gift in hand, wrap it up that night, and relax while everyone else scrambles.

Block 37 (map)
108 North State Street
Loop Made in Chicago Holiday Market

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Lyric Opera's Porgy and Bess

Thu., Dec. 18, 2 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.

The great American opera Porgy and Bess got a very tardy and much celebrated premiere at Lyric Opera six years ago—seven decades after it was first staged in 1935. (George Gershwin composed it; the libretto was written by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward with Ira Gershwin, based on DuBose’s 1925 novel, Porgy, and Dorothy’s 1927 theatrical adaptation.) To Lyric’s credit, Porgy and Bess is coming back now, in the same picturesque Francesca Zambello production, with Zambello directing, but with significant changes in the cast. Bass-baritone Eric Owens, a Lyric favorite, takes on the role of Porgy, while soprano Adina Aaron makes her Lyric debut as Bess. Returning from the previous production are baritone Eric Greene, who’s moved up from a smaller role to that of Porgy’s nemesis, Crown, and tenor Jermaine Smith, reprising his performance as the irresistible Sportin’ Life. Ward Stare conducts. Initially dismissed by critics, this is some of the world’s most gorgeous music, perfectly complementing what might be the richest lyrics in opera. Opportunities to see and hear Porgy and Bess in a full-scale production that does it justice are still rare. —Deanna Isaacs $20-$229

Civic Opera House (map)
20 N. Wacker Dr.
Loop
phone 312-332-2244
Lyric Opera's <i>Porgy and Bess</i>

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Antonio Gaudi

Sat 12/20-Mon 12/22, times vary

The Gene Siskel Film Center presents its annual holiday tradition with the return of Hiroshi Teshigahara's classic film. "This 1984 documentary about the architect essentially lets Gaudi's work speak for itself, and it couldn't be more eloquent," writes former Reader film critic Lisa Alspector. $11

Gene Siskel Film Center (map)
164 N. State St.
Loop
phone 312-846-2600

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Porgy and Bess

Through 12/20: times vary, see website
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Like its hobbled hero, this great American opera has been constrained over most of the nearly 80 years since its first production. Between critical quibbles and more serious social concerns, George Gershwin's gorgeously tuneful masterpiece, with libretto by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin, didn't get to the Lyric Opera stage until 2008. This season Lyric has brought that same, busily choreographed Francesca Zambello production back. The strong, mostly new cast includes baritone Eric Owens as a mature and memorable Porgy; baritone Eric Greene as his convincingly explosive nemesis, Crown; and soprano Adina Aaron, in an able Lyric debut as the dicey redheaded woman, Bess. There's a treasure trove of outstanding performances by the huge supporting cast and chorus. Ward Stare conducts. —Deanna Isaacs $20-$229

Civic Opera House (map)
20 N. Wacker Dr.
Loop
phone 312-332-2244

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Apollo Chorus of Chicago

Sat., Dec. 20, 3 p.m.

Handel.

Harris Theater for Music and Dance (map)
205 E. Randolph St.
Loop
phone 312-334-7777

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Terra/Form: Cultivating a Community

11/20-12/20

A collaborative group show including Sung Moon, Paulina Ramirez Parra, and Landon Williams.

Art Institute of Chicago (map)
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Loop
phone 312-443-3600

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Civic Opera House (map)
20 N. Wacker Dr.
Loop
phone 312-332-2244
Lyric Opera's <i>Anna Bolena</i>

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Do-It-Yourself Messiah

12/21-12/22: Sun 3 PM, Mon 7 PM

Ever see a choir singing Handel's Messiah and think, "Hey, I could do that"? Now's your chance. A full orchestra and four soloists will lead the audience (seated according to vocal range) during the choral sections of the holiday piece. $15

Harris Theater for Music and Dance (map)
205 E. Randolph St.
Loop
phone 312-334-7777
Do-It-Yourself Messiah

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Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with the Chicago Symphony Chorus

Fri., Dec. 19, 7 p.m., Sat., Dec. 20, 3 p.m., Sun., Dec. 21, 3 p.m., Mon., Dec. 22, 3 p.m. and Tue., Dec. 23, 3 p.m.

Duain Wolfe, conductor.

Symphony Center (map)
220 S. Michigan Ave.
Loop
phone 312-294-3000

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