Chicago’s culture scene is bursting with offerings. Don’t miss the Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” “The Dinner Party” at the Mayne Stage, the World of Chocolate, Aces Up!, shopping event “Candy Canes, Silver Lanes” and Second City’s “Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue.”
“A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theatre
Through Dec. 29: Since 1980, hundreds of Chicago families have taken in this holiday tradition at the Goodman Theatre, and its production has set the standard for the Charles Dickens classic. From the richness of a diverse cast to the technical sophistication of its stage effects, the Goodman’s rendition is a truly engaging theater experience that never loses sight of its all-important message. Tickets: $25-$88, but all tickets $35 on Nov. 27. 170 N. Dearborn. Call (312) 443-3800 or visit Goodmantheatre.org.
The Dinner Party at Mayne Stage
Nov. 26: Everyone knows a dinner party is only as good as its guest list. But that’s hardly a problem for cultural journalist Elysabeth Alfano, who manages to round up an intriguing group for her live talk show, “The Dinner Party,” in which she invites creative types to dine and discuss. This installment includes chef Jared Van Camp of Nellcôte, “Saturday Night Live” alum Tim Kazurinsky and acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine, with vocalist Lynne Jordan kicking things off. The event is presented by Fear No ART. Tickets: $25 ($30 at the door), includes chef’s sampling. 6:30 p.m. Mayne Stage, 1330 W. Morse. Call (773) 381-4554 or visit Maynestage.com.
World of Chocolate
Nov. 29: Fundraisers don’t get any sweeter than this. For the 11th year, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago challenges dozens of chocolatiers to bring their best to this philanthropic competition. Chefs Mindy Segal (Mindy’s Hot Chocolate), Doug Psaltis (RPM Italian) and Dale Levitski (Sprout) are among the pros who will pass judgment on the decadent creations, and attendees will get a say in the People’s Choice category. Of course, wandering through a world of chocolate, everyone’s a winner. Tickets $125-$1,500. Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan. Call (312) 334-0961 or visit Aidschicago.org/chocolate.
Nov. 30: Local celebs and erstwhile card sharks don their best poker faces for a good cause when they sit down at Aces UP!, a poker tournament benefiting Urban Prep, the nonprofit that operates several charter schools for boys. Taking place at City Winery, the event is hosted by former Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper and former Chicago Bear Chris Zorich. $250 to play, $100 to watch. 1200 W. Randolph. For tickets contact Ed Briscoe, (312) 276-0259, ext. 1106, or visit Acesuptourney.com.
“Candy Canes, Silver Lanes”
Nov. 30: If you’ve yet to start holiday shopping, dash over to the Lincolnshire Marriott for the annual Christmas Prelude, sponsored by the Guild of St. Mary, a 78-year-old philanthropic organization affiliated with the Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest. Shop a pop-up boutique overflowing with items from vendors near (Chicago) and far (New York and California), enjoy a luncheon and fashion show featuring designs from The Lake Forest Shop and other style outposts. Boutique entry is free, admission to the fashion show and luncheon is $75. 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. Call (773) 398-7655 or contact Preludeinformation@gmail.com.
Santa Hustle 5K
Dec. 1: Is Thanksgiving dinner still weighing heavily? Burn off the last of the big feast at this fun run, benefiting Variety Children’s Charity of Illinois. Organized by Adrenaline Sports Management Inc., the 5K race is open to all, from 10 and younger to 70 plus. The day begins with a 100-yard dash at 8:30 a.m. and is followed by the main run at 9 a.m. Santa Claus costumes and other holiday gear highly encouraged. Entrance fee: $40. Takes place at the southeast side of Soldier Field along Waldron Drive. Call (312) 822-0660 or visit Varietyofillinois.org/santahustle.
Second City’s ‘Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue’
Through Dec. 31: Let’s face it, it’s not always love and light at the holidays, and nobody captures the reality of good cheer gone south like Second City. Never snarky but always incisive, this funny bunch finds the humor when family tries to make merry — or worse, refuses to get into the spirit of things. And as this show reminds us, crankiness and bad taste can be as much a holiday tradition as chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Tickets: $25. 230 W. North. Call (312) 662-4562 or visit Upcomedyclub.com.