Hosting their 88th annual Christmas production, The Chicago Bar Association casts aside its collective briefcase in favor of costumes and comedy for a laughter-packed revue. Throughout the show, a talented lineup of performers legally splits sides with well-tuned ditties, choreographed dances, and irreverent parodies that poke fun at local and national legal figures, politicians, sports stars and more. Leaving no stone or gavel unturned, acts will also address many of the year's top headlines, allowing audience members to discard silly-putty replicas of newscasters and relive 2011 in style.
Kenneth Donald Rogers—an American country-music star, photographer, producer, actor, and fellow with a nice beard—has won three Grammys and more than a dozen American Music Awards for his sweet, stirring crooning. Though he won't be toting his dozens of awards, Mr. Rogers will be bringing an impressive showcase of selections from his extensive collection of country hits. To prep the crowd for the main event, The Herndon Brothers—a local act lead by Ray Herndon, a country star known for livin' the dream—will layer the crowd in hometown vibes from their wide library of inspiring and honest tracks.
The beaming vertical letters of "C-H-I-C-A-G-O" ascend six stories high on a sign that seems to be the establishing shot for any movie set in the Windy City. Tourists and natives often stand outside snapping pictures of the marvelous marquee, where the biggest names in music, theatre, and comedy are writ large under a miniature replica of Paris's Arc de Triomphe. The Parisian aesthetic continues inside The Chicago Theatre?s grand lobby, which recalls the Royal Chapel at Versailles with its gallery promenades. The staircase ascending to the Grand Balcony resembles that of the Paris Opera House, rounding out a French Baroque architecture that would cause Louis XIV to do a spit-take. Inside the seven-story-high, 3,600 seat auditorium, terra-cotta tiles, crystal chandeliers, and luxurious drapes give audiences visual overtures before every show.
As vital to Chicago as hot dogs and mustard fire hoses, The Chicago Theatre was America's first munificent movie palace upon its 1921 unveiling, where it was declared "The Wonder Theatre of the World." Beyond its silver screenings, the theatre became a beacon for live entertainment, as artists such as John Phillip Sousa, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman filled its first 40 years with oompah and swing. After a multi-million dollar restoration in 1986, the landmark venue remains the heart of art in the city, attracting the world's most popular entertainers to its stage almost every evening of the year.
Amid Chicago's capricious and ever-changing bar scene, Lonie Walker's Underground Wonder Bar has remained a downtown fixture for more than 20 years, and it's no wonder why. Whether it's the live blues, jazz, world, and funk music that echoes through the bar each night, the 4 a.m. closing hour, or the fact that the owner herself regularly takes the stage to sing with her band, the bar seems to embody the Chicago nightlife. An eclectic set of live acts plays to an equally eclectic crowd every night of the week at the spot's two-level, three-stage River North location.