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updated: 12/15/2011 2:33 PM

Best bets: 'Blue Nativity'

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  • Catch Quest Theatre Ensemble's "Blue Nativity" in Arlington Heights Sunday. The company's 10th anniversary tour is also its last.

      Catch Quest Theatre Ensemble's "Blue Nativity" in Arlington Heights Sunday. The company's 10th anniversary tour is also its last.

  • Kenneth von Heidecke's Chicago Festival Ballet teams up with the New Philharmonic for performances of "The Nutcracker" at College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn.

      Kenneth von Heidecke's Chicago Festival Ballet teams up with the New Philharmonic for performances of "The Nutcracker" at College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn.

  • Aurora's own Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl performs regional Mexican dances at the Paramount Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 17.

      Aurora's own Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl performs regional Mexican dances at the Paramount Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 17.

  • The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band will entertain guests at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe as part of a special Hanukkah dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

      The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band will entertain guests at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe as part of a special Hanukkah dinner on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

  • Ron Hawking brings his show "Home for the Holidays" to the newly refurbished Des Plaines Theatre.

      Ron Hawking brings his show "Home for the Holidays" to the newly refurbished Des Plaines Theatre.

  • Selena Gomez headlines the B96 Jingle Bash 2011.

      Selena Gomez headlines the B96 Jingle Bash 2011.
    Associated Press file photo

 
 

Puppet crèche

Quest Theatre Ensemble's 10th anniversary tour of its "Blue Nativity" is also billed as its last. So if you haven't seen it yet, catch "Blue Nativity" Sunday courtesy of the First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Free, but donations appreciated. (312) 458-0895 or questensemble.org. 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 18

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Nutcracker of the week

Unlike some other dance companies that use a taped version of Tchaikovsky's classic ballet score, von Heidecke's Chicago Festival Ballet's "The Nutcracker" features the live New Philharmonic for its performances this weekend at College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $37; $35 seniors; $27 kids. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18

Mexican dance

Aurora's own Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl performs regional dances of Mexico on Saturday at the Paramount Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $25; $18 kids. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17

'Messiah' music

If you want a performance of Handel's classic oratorio "The Messiah" that isn't participatory, be sure to check out performances by the Apollo Chorus of Chicago and the Elgin Choral Union. The Elgin Choral Union performs Saturday and Sunday at Elgin Community College's Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. $18-$23. (847) 622-0300 or elginchoralunion.org. The Apollo Chorus performs Sunday at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago. $40-$55. (312) 334-7777 or harristheaterchicago.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, in Elgin, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, in Chicago

Celtic Christmas

The all-female ensemble Celtic Woman marks the holiday season with "A Christmas Celebration -- The Symphony Tour" Saturday at North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. $65-$80. (630) 637-7469 or northcentralcollege.edu/showtix. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17

Britten bounty

The Music Institute of Chicago Chorale teams up with the Rogers Park and Humboldt Park Neighborhood Choirs of the Chicago Children's Choir this Sunday for an all Benjamin Britten concert at the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. $15; $10 seniors; $7 students. (847) 905-1500, ext. 108, or musicinst.org. 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18

Hanukkah dinner

Usher in Hanukkah with a special dinner celebration and a performance by the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band Wednesday at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. $43; $37 kids ages 3-12 (includes admission to the Wonderland Express exhibit). (847) 835-5440 or chicagobotanic.org. 5:30 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. concert Wednesday, Dec. 21

Standard-bearer

Local jazz standards stalwart Ron Hawking performs his "Home for the Holidays" show starting Thursday for a special run at the newly refurbished Des Plaines Theatre, at the intersection of Dempster and Miner streets, Des Plaines. $38-$50. (630) 254-5466 or ronhawking.com. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22; 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23; and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24

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