When you hear "classical music," you think lots of money, stuffy people, stuffy clothing and entertainment castor oil. Instead, let's call it a different kind of fun. As we know, the city is home to a pair of world-class institutions, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Both organizations are constantly doing outreach to get people who don't come to get with the program. But you don't need that kind of stuff, because we are your outreach. Go. Now. If you don't go to one of the Big Two, there are other, smaller outfits that might be more to your liking, such as Music of the Baroque, Civic Orchestra of Chicago or Chicago Chamber Musicians. There's Chicago Opera Theater as well, offering up a different kind of presentation. We also will tell you that the Big Two cost less than you think, thanks to upper balcony seating that can cost less than $100 for a pair of tickets.
"Tchaikovsky, Elgar and Shakespeare," Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 8 p.m. Thursday, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave. $27-$207; 312-294-3000 or cso.org
"The Magic Flute," Lyric Opera of Chicago, through Jan. 22, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive. $54-$224; 312-332-2244 or lyricopera.org