Johann Strauss's comic opera Die Fledermaus turns on what Reader's Deanna Isaacs calls a "delicious conceit": a husband unwittingly attempts to seduce his own wife at a masquerade ball. It plays at the Lyric this month through 12/21, with a second run in January. $34-$254
Johann Strauss Jr. was the brilliant young waltz king of Vienna when he crossed over into operetta and hit it big with Die Fledermaus, which premiered in 1874. Adapted from a French play racy enough that it had to be tamed for an Austrian audience, this three-act cream puff turns on a delicious conceit: a husband unwittingly attempts to seduce his own wife at a masquerade ball. The ebullient melodies are irresistible; the “traditional” but new-to-Chicago production is a loan from the San Francisco Opera. Soprano Juliane Banse is Rosalinde, the wife (with her own outside love interest); baritone Bo Skovhus is her deluded husband, Eisenstein; and mezzo-soprano Emily Fons, a Ryan Opera Center alum, plays the trouser role of Prince Orlofsky, who hosts the ball. Ward Stare conducts; the operetta is sung in German with English surtitles. —Deanna Isaacs $34-$264
This postpunk band from Lafayette, Indiana, recorded its first songs in 2007, when some of its members were still in high school, and this fall Madison label Kind Turkey released them as the Television Ghost seven-inch—two tracks of blown-out, sinister garage rock with the bad vibes and nervous energy pushed to 11. Television Ghost could stand on its own as a weirdo-punk masterpiece, but it’s even more interesting alongside TV Ghost’s fourth album, the epic double LP Disconnect (In the Red), which came out the same month. The amount of evolution that the band has undergone over the past six years is astounding. Disconnect is airy, spooky, and gothic, trading in the overdriven organ of Television Ghost for somber, icy synth—and the deranged howl of front man Tim Gick has become a desperate, dramatic wail. TV Ghost’s recent live sets have consisted mostly of Disconnect material, and the record’s theatrical, over-the-top feel makes for an almost supernaturally engaging live show. —Luca Cimarusti Holograms headline. $10
This show features two very different bands that both include explosive Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen—in his country’s creative-music scene, playing radically divergent styles is par for the course. Bushman’s Revenge started out in 2003 as a relatively conventional jazz-guitar trio, but by their second album, 2009’s You Lost Me at Hello, they’d become a proggy power trio—and Nilssen, bassist Rune Nergaard, and guitarist Even Helte Hermansen took advantage of their rhythmic flexibility and fearsome chops to do much more than play a lot of notes. On the recent Electric Komle—Live! they display stop-on-a-dime precision in their control of the band’s storming power; they pull back for a surprisingly tender reading of Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman,” then turn on the jets with “No More Dead Bodies for Daddy Tonight.” On the forthcoming Thou Shalt Boogie! (due in January on Rune Grammofon), the Hammond B-3 of guest keyboardist David Wallumrod ups the prog-rock quotient while adding a touch of serenity—“Waltz Me Baby, Waltz Me All Night Long” could almost pass for Bill Frisell tackling a Radiohead song.
Nilssen maintains his energy and focus in Cortex, a quartet led by trumpeter Thomas Johansson, but here it’s in the service of top-flight post-Ornette freebop (a la fellow Scandinavians Atomic). On last year’s forceful Göteborg (Gigafon), Nilssen and bassist Ola Høyer provide sleek, muscular propulsion for Johansson, one of the most agile and robust trumpeters I’ve heard in years, and saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts; the horn men blow tart unison melodies, then break apart to deliver high-velocity improvisations that fall somewhere between the tempo-shifting alacrity of John Zorn’s Masada and the harnessed chaos of Hal Russell’s NRG Ensemble. Both groups are making their Chicago debuts. —Peter Margasak Bushman’s Revenge headlines; Cortex and SoSaLa open. $5 suggested donation
Roosevelt students present new work.
Young discusses his book Everybody In, Nobody Out: Memoirs of a Rebel Without a Pause.
Kellye Howard headlines this night of stand-up with special guests Rob Wilson and Jamie Campbell of the Whiskey Journal. 21+
Stephane Deneve (Weber, Shostakovich).