I Didn’t See You There, Priestess of Twerk, and moreKerry Reid, Micco Caporale and Taryn Allenon December 9, 2022 at 7:30 pm

Miley Serious Credit: Courtesy Bright Lights Big City

For one night only, catch a special screening of the I Didn’t See You There (2022)in the presence of director Reid Davenport. The award-winning disabled documentarian will attend the 6 PM screening of his film tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State) and participate in a discussion moderated by disabled artist Reveca Torres. I Didn’t See You There considers the legacy of P.T. Barnum’s “Freak Show” and how it intertwined with ableism, shot mostly from Davenport’s POV in an electric wheelchair. Tickets are $12, or half off for Film Center members. (TA)

If you prefer classic holiday films over the cheesy Hallmark rom-coms (or maybe you have range and love both! See Reader contributor Marah Eakin’s article about the local film industry producing the latter here), you won’t want to miss the 39th Annual Music Box Christmas Sing-A-Long & Double Feature. Today marks the opening of the film series at the theatre (3733 N. Southport). Santa will welcome you into the lobby, resident organist Dennis Scott will lead you in a Christmas carol sing-along, and you can enjoy 1954’s White Christmas (9:45 PM), 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life (6:15 PM), or both as a double feature. Single films are $14 ($12 for members) and double feature tickets are $21 ($19 for members), with discounted tickets for kids under 13. See the Music Box website to purchase advance tickets and for screening times for both films on dates through 12/24. (TA)

A made-in-Chicago seasonal favorite, The Christmas Schooner hasn’t set sail locally in a few years. Beverly Arts Center (2407 W. 111th St.) brings it back for a short run continuing tonight at 7:30 PM, Sat 12/10 at 2 and 7:30 PM, and Sun 12/11 at 2 PM. John Reeger and Julie Shannon’s musical is based on the true story of the Rouse Simmons, or “the Christmas Tree ship,” an early 20th-century vessel that brought evergreens from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Chicago for German immigrants homesick for their tannenbaums (until it sank in a winter storm in 1912). It first premiered with now-defunct Bailiwick Repertory in 1995 and has been seen periodically since then at theaters around town, including Mercury Theater Chicago. Tickets for the BAC production are $40 at 773-445-3838 or thebeverlyartscenter.com. (KR)

Theatermaker, vocalist, and composer Nia Witherspoon presents her latest piece, Priestess of Twerk, as a work in progress tonight at 8 PM at Links Hall (3111 N. Western) and in two separate events tomorrow. Tonight’s event is subtitled “An Intergalactic Ritual-Concert,” and promises to be “a participatory evening of invocations, conversations, conscious trap, sacred twerk, and spirit-filled song.” (ASL interpretation is provided.) Tickets for the concert are $10-$40. Tomorrow’s events are billed as the “Sunset Temple Experience” (3-7 PM) and “Night Temple Experience” (9 PM-1 AM). These are focused on Black femme healing rituals and are limited to ten participants each, with tickets $12. Witherspoon, a recipient of a National Theater Project award from the New England Foundation for the Arts, found inspiration for this work in the “bad bitches” of hip-hop, as well as those working for reproductive justice and the “sacred sex workers that graced ancient Egyptian temples.” Information and reservations at linkshall.org. (KR)

If I was forced to pick a singularly memorable night of dance music in 2021 (perish the thought!), it’d have to be when Miley Serious played Debonair Social Club. The renowned French DJ had been slated for a Chicago debut at an underground rave pre-pandemic, but the cops shut the party down before she was able to play. Then last December, party organizers Dark Heaven and Tropikal Solution brought her for an unforgettably sweaty, door-busting night at the Wicker Park bar. Now Tropikal Solution is bringing Miley back for a headlining set at Podlasie Club (2918 N. Central Park). Opening for her are Indiana’s Duck Trash, who’s been making some waves at the local raves, as well as mistress of the dark sounds and Tropikal Solution founder Kona FM. The party kicks off at 9 PM. Don’t forget: Podlasie is a cash-only bar, and you must be over 21! (MC)

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