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posted: 12/23/2013 5:45 AM

Best bets: Harlem Globetrotters amuse, amaze at Allstate

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  • The Harlem Globetrotters play two exhibition games Friday, Dec. 27, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

      The Harlem Globetrotters play two exhibition games Friday, Dec. 27, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

  • Anastacia Holden is one of the Joffrey Ballet company dancers who rotates in the role of Clara in Robert Joffrey's production of "The Nutcracker," playing at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago through Saturday, Dec. 28.

      Anastacia Holden is one of the Joffrey Ballet company dancers who rotates in the role of Clara in Robert Joffrey's production of "The Nutcracker," playing at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago through Saturday, Dec. 28.
    Courtesy of Herbert Migdoll/Joffrey Ballet

  • Comedian and ventriloquist Taylor Mason will perform at Zanies Comedy Club in Rosemont.

      Comedian and ventriloquist Taylor Mason will perform at Zanies Comedy Club in Rosemont.

  • "The Magic of Bill Blagg" takes the stage of the Paramount Theatre in Aurora for two shows on Saturday, Dec. 28.

      "The Magic of Bill Blagg" takes the stage of the Paramount Theatre in Aurora for two shows on Saturday, Dec. 28.

  • Faith Evans is on the bill for the Holiday Jam at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 27.

      Faith Evans is on the bill for the Holiday Jam at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 27.
    Associated Press

  • Hairbangers Ball performs at Durty Nellie's in Palatine on Saturday, Dec. 28.

      Hairbangers Ball performs at Durty Nellie's in Palatine on Saturday, Dec. 28.

  • Comedian Ron White heads to the Genesee Theatre on Friday, April 11.

      Comedian Ron White heads to the Genesee Theatre on Friday, April 11.

 
 

Top pick

B-ball fun
The Harlem Globetrotters, the world-famous comedy and exhibition basketball team, makes a return to the Chicago area for two games at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. $22-$170. (800) 745-3000or allstatearena.com. 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27

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This weekend

Joy from Joffrey
Time is running out to catch the final few performances this year of the Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker." The classic Tchaikovsky Christmastime ballet plays through Saturday at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. $31-$132. (800) 982-2787 or joffrey.org or auditoriumtheatre.org. 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27-28

Puppet man
Comedian, ventriloquist and Hinsdale native Taylor Mason returns with his puppet entourage for a run of performances this weekend at Zanies Comedy Club at MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $22 plus a two menu-item purchase. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28

Twitter accounts
Learn all about Winter Birds that brave the cold in Illinois in a special lecture and outdoor stroll Saturday at the Creek Bend Nature Center within LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles. Free, but advance registration required. (630) 444-3190 or kaneforest.com. 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28

Illusionist extraordinaire
Get ready for a bevy of illusions and stage effects when "The Magic of Bill Blagg" is offered up for two performances Saturday at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $35; $25 kids younger than 12. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com. 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28

R&B holiday
Kem, Faith Evans and El DeBarge are the R&B stars of the specialHoliday Jam Saturday at the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place, 2301 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. $55-$95. (800) 745-3000 or ariecrown.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28

'80s hair
Fans of 1980 heavy metal music can revel in their favorite hits when the cover band Hairbangers Ball plays Saturday at Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. $7. (847) 358-9150 or durtynellies.com. 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28

Plan ahead

Go fish
Be sure to let the fishing fans in your family know all about the upcoming Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, returning in late January to the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg. $12 daily admission; $3 kids ages 5-11. (847) 303-4100 or sportshows.com. Noon to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Jan. 23-24; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26

Tough guy
Hear about the humorous hard-living exploits of comedian Ron White when he performs on Friday, April 11, at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $45.75-$55.75. (847) 782-2366 or geneseetheatre.com. 8 p.m. Friday, April 11

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