Carrie Underwood | GETTY IMAGES
Updated: January 8, 2013 6:17AM
Sure, country star Carrie Underwood will be belting out hits such as “Good Girl” and “See You Again” from her “Blown Away” album — and, given her graceful but powerful pipes, you’ll be blown away, indeed — but since it was recently announced that Underwood will star as Maria von Trapp in an NBC holiday special next year, can we hope for a farmer’s-daughter take on “The Lonely Goatherd,” too? Hunter Hayes opens at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at United Center, 1901 W. Madison. Tickets: $46-$66. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com. — Thomas Conner
MR. ‘WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL’
Velvet-voiced Johnny Mathis celebrates the season at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at Akoo Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont. Tickets are $65-$95. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com .
‘STRAIGHT’ TO THE POINT
Straight No Chaser, one of today’s hottest a cappella groups, which began as 10 students at Indiana University in 1996, has concerts at 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets are $29.50-$49.50. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com .
Blind Boys of Alabama’s “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” Christmas show is at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. Tickets are $38-$45. Ernie Hendrickson rounds out the bill. Visit citywinery.com/chicago/tickets.html .
West Town’s Grand Avenue Design District’s Cookies and Shopping Night is from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13 in shops from the 1800-2200 blocks of West Grand. Visit grandavedesign district.com .
Jim Belushi performs at 10 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Comedy Bar, 157 W. Ontario. Ryan Dalton from TBS’ “Sullivan and Son” is also on the roster. Tickets are $15. The 8 p.m. show is sold out. Visit fanfueled.com/venue/details/455-the-comedy-bar .
Michelle L’Amour and the Chicago Starlets’ “All I Want For Christmas” burlesque extravaganza is at 8 p.m. Dec. 7-8 at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse. Tickets are $24-$45. Must be 18 or older. Visit maynestage.com .
BEST OF SHOW
The Skokie Valley Kennel Club Dog Show & Expo opens to the public at 10 a.m. Dec. 8 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River, Rosemont. Highlights include: two all-breed conformation, obedience and rally shows, dog show tours, a chance to meet and learn about the breeds, classes. The Will County SAR K9 team demonstrate their skills. Vendors offering gifts for pets and owners will be on hand. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8-9. Admission is $5; $2, kids. Visit skokievalleykc.org .
The Chicagoland Pops Orchestra and Chorus’ multi-media concert “Distant Worlds: Music from ‘Final Fantasy’ ” is at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at Akoo Theatre, 5400 N. River, Rosemont. Call (800) 745-3000; ticketmaster.com .
ALL DOGS ALLOWED
The Houndstooth Ball, benefitting One Tail at a Time Dog Rescue, is at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood. Tickets are $50-$60, and include a dinner buffet, open bar, photo booth and silent auction; $20, for canine companions. Call (773) 348-0622; onetail.org/events/houndstoothball .
This was a big year for bluegrass band Punch Brothers, touring behind a third album “Who’s Feeling Young Now?”and contributing the song “Dark Days” to “The Hunger Games” soundtrack. The band performs at 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets are $23-$25. Visit jamusa.com or etix.com.
Second City, kicks the saccharine sweet traditional holiday fare to the curb opting for an R-rated (for language and themes) satirical production when “The Second City Dysfunctional Holiday Revue,” swings into motion at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at The Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena, Aurora. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sundays. Through Dec. 23. Tickets are $35. Visit paramountaurora.com .
More than 100 artists will be in attendance during the Winter Craft Expo at the Evanston Art Center, 2603 N. Sheridan. The show runs through Dec. 19. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Visit evanstonartcenter.org .