James Joseph, Ian Paul Custer, Gwendolyn Whiteside, Zach Kenney, and Dara Cameron in It's a Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago! Credit: MICHAEL BROSILOW

Spend the long holiday weekend at one of Chicago’s goings-on about town. Here’s some of what we recommend:

Fri 12/22-Sat 12/23: The Lincoln Lodge (956 W. Newport), one of Chicago’s finest independent stand-up collectives, ho-ho-hosts Christmas Feztacular—evenings of cheery comics, yuletide tunes, and holiday-inspired dance numbers. On Friday night, stick around afterward for music and more holiday happiness. 8 PM, $25

Fri 12/22-Sat 12/23: In “Re:picture at Linda Warren Gallery (327 N. Aberdeen), Peter Drake captures stills from TV’s idyllic portrayals of suburban life in the 1950s (Leave It to Beaver and such) through “subtractive” paintings in both color and black and white. 11 AM-5 PM, free

Sat 12/23: It’s painful to think how much worse the holiday season would be without the contributions of Motown and Phil Spector. The Bangers will be paying tribute to this golden age of holiday tunes with a spectacular girl-group Christmas party tonight at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia), accompanied by the Congregation. 8 PM, $12

Metal band Macabre plays its own kind of cheery music at its annual Holiday of Horror concert Sat 12/23.
Metal band Macabre plays its own kind of cheery music at its annual Holiday of Horror concert Sat 12/23.Credit: MICHELLE MARGAUX

Sat 12/23: For 20 years, murder metal has ushered in holiday cheer at Macabre’s Holiday of Horror—this year at Reggie’s Rock Club (2105 S. State). The Reader‘s Luca Cimarusti writes, “Perhaps Macabre’s greatest mark on the world is the 2000 death-metal “rock opera” Dahmer, which explores—in exhausting detail—the life and death of the notorious cannibal of the title.” Christmas dinner, yum. 6:30 PM, $17 in advance, $20 at the door

Sun 12/24: Though games are largely a visual medium, their sound design should not go overlooked. The “sound games” in the exhibit “The Ears Have Walls” at VGA Gallery (2418 W. Bloomingdale) demonstrate the power and range of aural experiences in games. Noon-5 PM, free

Sun 12/24: It’s a Wonderful Life is a holiday classic, and this radio-play version at Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont), by American Blues Theater, caresses the ears with cheer. The Reader‘s Tony Adler writes, “Zach Kenney creates his own, entirely believable George, John Mohrlein makes a weary villain of rich old Potter, and the easy command of music director Michael Mahler is quietly astonishing.” 2:30 PM, $19-$49

Daisy Ridley swings a real-deal lightsaber in <i>Star Wars: The Last Jedi.</i>
Daisy Ridley swings a real-deal lightsaber in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Sun 12/24: It’s Christmas Eve—time to get a jump on eating Chinese food and watching a movie (unless Christmas mass is your number-one plan). Our film department humbly suggests indie darling Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The Reader‘s Leah Pickett writes that this, the franchise’s eighth installment, ” . . . proves its worth with exhilarating action, well-developed characters, and moments of humor and emotion that director Rian Johnson balances better than any of his predecessors.” Various times, various prices

For more things to do this weekend—and every day—visit our Agenda page.