Chicago Symphony Orchestra's WELCOME YULE! is the Perfect Holiday Show for all Ages.

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Welcome the Holiday Season!

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 16th year of presenting WELCOME YULE! offering a unique holiday tradition to the Windy City.  Performances kick off December 17 and continue through December 23, 2010.  Conceived and conducted by Duain Wolfe, director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, this full-length musical production is a feast for eyes and ears, with dancers, children’s chorus, sing-alongs and appearances by holiday characters.

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The age-old custom of gift giving is the inspiration for this year’s incarnation of Welcome Yule! The first half of the concert takes shape as a musical, theatrical telling of O. Henry’s parable “The Gift of the Magi.”

 It is 1905, and Jim and Della are a young married couple, very much in love but facing very difficult financial times. At Christmas, each makes a truly generous sacrifice to give the other a very special gift.

The 145-voice Chicago Symphony Chorus perform songs of the season including the Shepherds’ Chorus from Amahl and the Night Visitors, “The Little Drummer Boy” and a newly commissioned arrangement of “We Three Kings.” O. Henry’s text is brought to life by rising Chicago actors Demetrios Troy and Laura Coover as Jim and Della, joined by the Welcome Yule! Dance Ensemble.

The charitable theme is carried through to Act 2, when the Welcome Yule! Children’s Ensemble (Midwest Young Artists Voices Rising) joins the onstage merriment to sing the praises of Chicago’s own wonders and the musical and cultural gifts it’s given to the world.  Following this SANTA makes a special appearance to deliver a surprise gift.

Tickets and Performance Dates.
December 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, and 23.
Tickets can be purchased at the CSO box office at 220 S. Michigan, or by phone at 321 294 3000 or online at cso.org. $20 through $130.

Nearby Fine Dining.

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There are many restaurants nearby from fast food to fine dining.  Four fine dining options within walking distance of the CSO are listed below.  Reservations are recommended.
1.  Rhapsody Restaurant.
In conjunction with the Welcome Yule! extravaganza, Symphony Center’s own restaurant, Rhapsody, has a holiday gift for families. For $10, children up to age 12 can enjoy one entrĂ©e, dessert and beverage before and after all Welcome Yule! performances. The restaurant features fresh Italian flavors enhanced with local, seasonal ingredients.  65
E. Adams, (312) 786 9911.
2.  The Gage.
The Gage serves upscale comfort food, fine wines, boutique beers and whiskeys in the ambience of vintage decor.  24 S. Michigan Ave. (312) 372 4243.
3.  Henri.
Henri is a relatively new Chicago hotspot that has been receiving a lot of good press.  Named after famed Chicago architect, Louis Henri Sullivan, Henri is all about fine dining in an atmosphere of subdued posh.  Look for French and contemporary American cuisine, prepared under the watchful eye of one of Chicago’s best chefs, Dirk Flanigan. 18 S. Michigan Ave. (312) 578 0763.
4. Russian Tea Time.
 Russian Tea Time offers a mix of “hearty” and “comfort” Russian, Slavic and Jewish classics well complemented by upscale dishes of Imperial Russian Courts.  77 E. Adams St. (312) 360 0000.

Parking.
As always, public transportation is recommended–it is easy, convenient and economical.  However, if you do drive the Millennium Garages are probably your best bet.
Grant Park South, 325 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 922-1156.
Grant Park North, .25 N. Michigan Ave., (312) 443-1533.

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