Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah

December 3, 2021

In January, “Too Hot to Handel,” a contemporary interpretation of Handel’s classic Messiah, returns to the Auditorium Theatre for two rousing performances. For 17 years, this inspirational musical event has brought Chicagoans together every Martin Luther King, Jr., weekend.

This unique performance features world-class musicians filling the Auditorium’s historic stage with an electrifying chamber orchestra, a fiery jazz combo, a huge uplifting choir, and three gifted soloists: Alfreda Burke, Karen-Marie Richardson and Rodrick Dixon.

The Chicago Tribune described the re-imagined oratorio as an “exuberant, jazz-gospel makeover,” and the Chicago Reader said “Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah is your grandmother’s choral classic sliced, diced, spiced, swirled, swung, amplified, and totally reinvented.”

Performances are set for January 15th at 7:30 p.m. and January 16th at 3:00 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive. Ticket prices range from $35 to $75 and can be pre-purchased online at

COVID safety protocols observed by the Auditorium Theatre and more than 60 performing arts venues and producers across Chicagoland require that guests either provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within six hours of the performance start time. Masks will be required at all times at the venue, except when eating and drinking.