Weekend picks: Kenny G brings 'Miracles' to Waukegan's Genesee
Die-hard fans of smooth jazz and "adult contemporary" music won't want to miss Kenny G and "The Miracles Holiday & Hits Tour 2016" at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $49.50-$89.50. (847) 263-6300 or geneseetheatre.com. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15
The Christkindlmarket Chicago outdoor market and holiday village honors German and European traditions with holiday items for purchase, German food and drinks and holiday entertainment. Find it at Daley Plaza, between Dearborn, Washington and Clark streets, through Dec. 24. Free. christkindlmarket.com. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24
Meet Santa Claus and Coop the boomer, the mascot for the Schaumburg Boomers baseball taem, at the team's annual Hot Dogs with Santa event.
- Courtesy of the Schaumburg Boomers
Hot Dogs with Santa
What goes better with cookies than hot dogs? Find out when the Schaumburg Boomers baseball team hosts its annual Hot Dogs with Santa event at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium, 1999 Springinsguth Road. Visitors can pose for photos with Santa Claus and the Boomers mascot Coop the Boomer, take part in the decorate-the-tree contest, and eat hot dogs and cookies. Free. (847) 461-3695 or boomersbaseball.com. 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16
Improv Playhouse remounts its radio adaptation of "It's a Wonderful Life," Frank Capra's 1946 holiday classic about everyman George Bailey who glimpses how his community would have fared had he never been born. David Brian Stuart directs and stars as George. Egon Schein, of Libertyville, plays Clarence the angel, who takes George under his wing, and Mr. Potter, the greedy developer who wants to pull the rug out from under him. See it at 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. $20. (847) 968-4529 or improvplayhouse.com. 4:30 and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Broadway veteran Ashley Brown appears with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for its series of "Merry, Merry Chicago" holiday concerts at Symphony Center in Chicago.
Broadway star Ashley Brown and the Chicago Children's Choir are guest stars for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's series of "Merry, Merry Chicago!" holiday concerts at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. $38-$110. (312) 294-3000 or cso.org. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16
Drive-Through Christmas Nativity
See actors and animals portray the birth of Jesus Christ at the annual Drive-Through Christmas Nativity at Faith World Outreach Church, 1280 S. Route 59, Bartlett. The event features a narrated CD (also available via live stream), mini-sets of various scenes, and cider and cookies. Free. (630) 830-0196. 7 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16-17
LOL holiday show
Laugh Out Loud ensemble members riff comedic on holiday traditions including gift exchanges and family reunions as part of the comedy club's "Yet Another Holiday Show" at 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. Early performances of the improv show are family-friendly. Late shows are for adults only. $20 adults, $12 kids. (847) 240-0386 or laughoutloudtheater.com. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16-17, and Dec. 23 and 30
Quest Theatre Ensemble commences its annual mini-tour of its "Blue Nativity" show in Schaumburg on Friday. Conceived and written by artistic director Andrew Park, Quest's retelling of the birth of Christ features large puppets and is accompanied by live music to serve, Park says, as a "reminder that a simple light can rise from complicated darkness." See it at Christ Community Mennonite Church, 888 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg. Free, but donations are accepted. (312) 458-0895 or questensemble.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16. Subsequent performances take place Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18, at Chicago churches.
Jim Peterik plays the Arcada Theatre's annual The Ides of March Christmas Friday, Dec. 16.
The Ides of Christmas
The Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, brings back an annual tradition: The Ides of March Christmas with Jim Peterik. Catch the rock band as they play their hits, plus maybe a few hard-core holiday favorites. A few surprise guests also will be on hand to rock the night. $39-$49. (630) 962-7000 or arcadalive.com. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16
Comedian Finesse Mitchell returns to the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.
Fans of comedian Finesse Mitchell ("Saturday Night Live," "Showtime at the Apollo") won't want to miss his ongoing standup gigs this weekend at the Improv Comedy Showcase at Woodfield Mall, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. $19 plus a two-item purchase. (847) 240-2001 or chicago.improv.com. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16; 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18
Shed the shivers with some musical sunshine: Indie rock band Minor Characters dabbles in strums and chords at once both classically pop and comfortably tropical. Not too light and not too heavy, Minor Characters' music is just right -- like that fun, chill early evening set at a breezy summer music festival. Minor Characters -- featuring Roselle natives Andrew Pelletier and Thomas Benko, as well as Shelby Pollard and Adam Wayne -- will be joined by fellow Chicago rock bands Furr and Great Moon. 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago. $8-$10. (773) 276-3600 or emptybottle.com.
Spend Saturday watching four classic animated holiday programs on a 40-foot screen at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. See the 1965 TV special "A Charlie Bown Christmas" at 10 a.m.; the 1964 Rankin/Bass special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" at 10:45 a.m.; 1966's "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at noon; and the 1969 Rankin/Bass animated film "Frosty the Snowman" at 12:45 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and free for kids 12 and younger. arcadalive.com. 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
More than 120 performers are featured in Berkshire Ballet Theatre and Summers Academy of Dance's production of the classic Tchaikovsky Christmas ballet "The Nutcracker," which returns this weekend to the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $28-$30. (815) 356-9212 or rauecenter.org. 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18
Sing out loud
Sing along to the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah" as well as traditional carols at the Messiah and Carol Sing-Along at First United Methodist Church, 128 N. Martin Luther King Drive, Waukegan. Specific sections of the church will be designated for those singing alto, soprano, baritone/bass and tenor. Adult general admission is $15; free for students 18 and younger. Advance tickets at brownpapertickets.com. Tickets can also be purchased with cash or check at the door. For details, call the Waukegan Park District at (847) 360-4740 or see waukeganparks.org. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, performs iconic hit songs like "Think," "Daydreaming," "Freeway of Love" and more in a rescheduled concert at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. $49.50-$149.50. (800) 745-3000 or thechicagotheatre.com. 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Comedian Ralphie May will headline on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
- Courtesy of Stacey Pokluda
May we laugh?
Catch up with comedian Ralphie May following his 2015 Netflix comedy specials "Unruly" and "Imperfectly Yours" at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $25-$65. (630) 962-7000 or arcadalive.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Cheer on Crystal Lake singer Megon McDonough when she performs selections from her recent holiday album "Season of Light" at the Wilmette Theatre, 1122 Central Ave., Wilmette. $30. (847) 251-7424 or wilmettetheatre.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Susan McFadden of Celtic Woman, which brings its "Home for Christmas Symphony Tour" to North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18.
- Courtesy of Günter Distler
Fresh off the release of the holiday album "Voices of Angels," the Irish ensemble Celtic Woman returns with the "Home for Christmas: The Symphony Tour" concerts this weekend at North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall, 310 Benton Ave., Naperville. $90-$105. (630) 637-7469 or finearts.northcentralcollege.edu. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18
Steamrolling into the holidays
With Mannheim Steamroller's revolutionary 1984 album "Christmas," Chip Davis and his new-age progressive rock group put a fresh and sparkly face on many well-loved holiday classics. And 32 years later, his take on favorite carols still draws huge crowds to live performances. If you're in need of a dose of cheer (complete with a light show), head to the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, for this holiday tradition. $39-$199. (847) 671-5100 or rosemont.com/theatre/events/mannheim-steamroller. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
Revel in seasonal music
Enjoy the music of the season, including traditional carols, holiday classics and jazzy updates of Christmas favorites, when the Illinois Brass Band presents it Holiday Classics concert at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles. Tickets are available in advance for $5-$10 at illinoisbrassband.org or for $6-$12 at the door. 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18
Hanukkah and Christmas
Chamber Opera Chicago pairs Victoria Bond's new one-act children's opera "The Miracle of Hanukkah" with Menotti's classic 1950s Bible-inspired Christmas opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" on Sundays at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago. $20; $15 students; $10 kids ages 12 and under. (312) 988-9000 or chamberoperachicago.org. 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18