This week: Eve of the Eve, Buddy Guy (above) and Chicago Winterdance.
December 30: Eve of the Eve
Get a jump on your New Year’s festivities at this bash in Union Station’s Grand Hall, a Chicago tradition for the last 20 years. Benefiting HighSight — which provides scholarships and college readiness programs for local youth — the black-tie optional evening swings with tunes from local musicians South of 80 and DJ Clik.
Time: 8 p.m.
Place: 500 W. Jackson
January 3-31: Buddy Guy
The renowned blues artist takes the stage for his annual residency at his famous club, Buddy Guy’s Legends, where he’ll perform Thursday through Sunday nights through the end of the month. Tables fill up fast for each show — which starts off with an acoustic set and opening band — so get there early to score a great view of the storied blues musician.
Time: Varies by day
Place: 700 S. Wabash
Cost: $55-$65. For tickets and a full schedule of shows, visit Etix.com.
January 3: The Butler Speaks
Channel “Downton Abbey” with Charles MacPherson, author and operator of the only accredited butler training school in North America, as he discusses the role of the majordomo in Edwardian England and offers household tips for today’s well-run home.
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Place: The Langham Hotel Chicago, 330 N. Wabash
Cost: Tea and talk $40 plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call (312) 923-7710.
January 3-5: Chicago Winterdance
We all slow down come winter, but cut the rug at this city-sponsored series and you’re bound to feel better. The one-hour lessons offer folks of all ages and skill levels a good intro to salsa, tango, milonga and more.
Time: Thursdays — Saturdays 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Sundays 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Place: Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph
January 7-March 16: Hedda Gabler
Actor Kate Fry and director Kimberly Senior take on one of the stage’s most frustrated and infuriating characters in the Writer’s Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play. Whether seen as a soul in search of release or an egoist out of control, this seductive and scheming woman is one of drama’s greatest creations.
Place: 325 Tudor, Glencoe
January 7-19: Ghost: The Musical
With the famous potter’s wheel scene, Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze’s chemistry and “Unchained Melody” tugging at the heartstrings, “Ghost” remains one of cinema’s most tear-jerking romantic tales. A team of award-winning talent brings the popular love story to the stage of the Oriental Theatre.
Place: 24 W. Randolph
January 9-19: Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival
As this 13th annual event — the largest of its kind in the nation — you’ll find 150 troupes, 1,000 performers and more than 170 shows taking place in just eight days, meaning there’s no way not to laugh this month. The wide-ranging roster includes such local favorites as Virgin Daquiri and The Cupid Players, along with talent from New York, England, Canada and Italy.
Place: Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont
January 9-February 9: Seven Guitars at Court Theatre
This blues-inflected musing on the meaning of manhood and the struggle for equality and self-determination remains one of playwright August Wilson’s most engaging and incisive works. Ron OJ Parsons directs.
Place: 5535 S. Ellis
January 10-February 1: Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Fest
Now in its fifth year, this solid series kicks off with the bands Leagues and The Autumn Defense (featuring John Stirratt and Pat Sansone of Wilco) at Concord Music Hall. Over the next three weeks, the fest features a range of musicians from across the country — including Rusted Root and Justin Townes Earle — at multiple venues.
Places: Concord Music Hall, 2047 N. Milwaukee; City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph; Tonic Room, 2447 N. Halsted; Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston