What an amazing show of support for Michelle Fire and her Big Chicks bar. I don't think I have ever received as many e-mails for a protest as I did in advance of the Nov. 24 one outside Big Chicks, the night before her hearing in front of the city's license commission. That Nov. 25 hearing resulted in a further delay, but Big Chicks can remain open during the process. A status hearing is set for Jan. 13, with more maneuvers expected, including a possible change in state law. Right now, the bar is less than 100 feet from a religious building—a violation. This despite the Chicks being there 18 years. But Michelle has not just her thousands of loyal customers behind her—she also has politicians.
Thanks to all of the great contestants in our Windy City Suburban Gay Idol finals at Temptations. Matt, Suzi and Debbie were the three finalists, with Matt taking top honors. For pics, see www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com .
AIDS Foundation of Chicago's World of Chocolate benefit is Dec. 4. The evening features a light buffet, open bar, and a holiday bazaar with ornaments and gifts for purchase—plots lots of chocolate. From 6-9 p.m., Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus, (312) 922-2322, ext. 302, www.aidschicago.org .
Windy City Performing Arts' Don We Now XXV Silver Bells, with performances by Windy City Gay Chorus, Unison and Windy City Slickers, is Dec. 5-6, 8 p.m., (773) 404-9242.
Homolatte, Scott Free's weekly showcase of queer words and music, Dec. 4 features Carlos T. Mock and Anne-Marie Akin, No Exit Cafe, 8 p.m., 6970 N. Glenwood, (773) 743-3355, www.scottfree.net .
Stella Productions makes its debut at Buddies' in a new venue, the first Friday of every month, Dec. 5, 11 p.m., 3301 N. Clark.
Stop by Cellblock Dec. 5 and drop off non-perishable food for a food drive to benefit AIDSCare, 7 p.m.-midnight, 3702 N. Halsted.
Lakeshore Theater hosts The Lavender Cabaret's newest burlesque show, FemmeTV, opening Dec. 5, 10:30 p.m., $20, 3175 N. Broadway.
Sissy Butch Brothers' A Gurlesque Burlesque Extravaganza Dec. 6 features performances by Chicago favorites as well as special guests Kitty Diggins from LA, Miss Indigo Blue from Seattle, and the Naughty Librarian from New York; 9 p.m., $15, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace.
Literary Exchange hosts a benefit for prison and shelter programs, featuring a discussion and book signing with Beth Richie, author of Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Battered Black Women, Dec. 5, 6-8 p.m., $20, Ina's Restaurant, 1235 W. Randolph, (773) 768-2688.
Comedian Vicki Shaw performs Dec. 6 at Kindred Hearts, 8 p.m. $15, 2214 Ridge Ave., Evanston, (847) 604-0913.
Northalsted Area Merchants' 9th holiday walk with special appearance by Santa Claus, Lakeside toy instrument band, She-Devil Elves and Buttons T. Clown, Dec. 6-7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Halsted between Briar and Sheridan. Lots of prizes.
Awaken Performances presents the Obie-winning comedy Parallel Lives: The Kathy and Mo Show, starring Bev Spangler and Lisa Samra, and written by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy, Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 20, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, (773) 275-2036. Great laughs, great energy, don't miss the fun.