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Entertainment and Culture

Have fun in Chicago — Things to do Nov. 16-18

Annual Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights Parade. along Michigan Avenue. Minnie and Miickey Mouse light up Michigan Avenue Saturday night. November 17, 2012 I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Minnie and Mickey Mouse light up Michigan Avenue for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times/File


House Theatre's production of "The Nutcracker." | Courtesy House Theatre

House Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker.” | Courtesy House Theatre

WHAT: The House brings this wholly original, ballet-free show back for another holiday season. Fast-paced, beautifully choreographed and family-friendly, this take on the holiday classic centers on young Clara’s journey to save Christmas in the face of grief. With the help of a magical nutcracker, the brave girl risks the darkness, fights the Rat King and saves her family. The production combines astonishing puppetry, original songs and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope.

WHEN: Through Dec. 30

WHERE: Chopin Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division

COST: Tickets, $20-$50

INFO: thehousetheatre.com


Jeff Buckley | Merri Cyr Photo

Jeff Buckley | Merri Cyr Photo

WHAT: In February 1994, singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley performed a now legendary set at Uncommon Ground in Lakeview. For the past 21 years, the venue has hosted a tribute concert in memory of the late artist, featuring a wide array of artists celebrating Buckley’s life and legacy. This year’s lineup features Ashley Peacock, B. Forrest, Eleanor’s Room, Fiona McMahon, Laura Glyda, Polarizer, RJ Redline, Thin Hymns, VVLightbody and Zion Rodman.

WHEN: Nov. 17-18

WHERE: Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark

COST: Tickets, $55 (includes a three-course dinner). Proceeds go to the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Scholarship Fund

INFO: uncommonground.com

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

WHAT: The spectacular holiday extravaganza returns with a full lineup of free family-friendly activities. The annual parade takes place Nov. 17 followed by tree lighting and fireworks. All events take place on North Michigan Avenue. The live music lineup includes Cailee Rae at 11:30 a.m., DCappella at 12:30 p.m., Cozi Zuehlsdorff at 1:30 p.m. and Cody Simpson + The Tide at 2:30 p.m at the BMO Harris Bank Stage.

WHEN: Family-friendly activities from 4-8 p.m. Nov. 16 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 17. The parade kicks off at 4 p.m. Nov. 17

WHERE: Michigan Avenue, from Wacker Drive to Water Tower Place

INFO: themagnificentmile.com.


Jonah Ray (left) and Joel Hodgson with two very familiar bots to fans of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." | Courtesy "MST3K"

Jonah Ray (left) and Joel Hodgson with two very familiar bots to fans of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” | Courtesy “MST3K”

WHAT: The always-hilarious “Mystery Science Theater 3000” is once again on the road. The 30th anniversary tour features, for the first time in 25 years, original host and “MST3K” creator Joel Hodgson along with current host Jonah Ray. They are joined by their robot pals as they skewer cheesy B-movies of the sci-fi/horror category at two separate shows: “The Brain” and “Deathstalker II.”

WHEN: “The Brain” (7 p.m.) and “Deathstalker II” (10 p.m.) Nov. 16

WHERE: Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport

COST: Tickets, $43.50-$303

INFO: athenaeumtheatre.org


Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#04-04), 2004. © 2004 Rebecca Morris. | Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#04-04), 2004. © 2004 Rebecca Morris. | Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

WHAT: The Midwestern roots and intersecting lives of now well-known West Coast artists are examined in this new exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Lured away by career opportunities and warmer weather, these artists continued to be influenced by each other and their shared experiences. A wide variety of work by more than 60 artists, including Ed Ruscha, Judy Chicago and Billy Al Bengston, is featured.

WHEN: Nov. 17, 2018-Jan. 27, 2019

WHERE: Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago

COST: Admission, $8-$15

INFO: mcachicago.org


Joy Williams | Andy Barron Photo

Joy Williams | Andy Barron Photo

WHAT: After the dissolution of the Grammy-winning duo Civil Wars, Joy Williams surprisingly stepped into bold pop territory with the 2015 album “Venus,” a move that started many of her fans. Now on her new release “Front Porch,” she seems to have refound herself as she returns to acoustic folk-driven songs that lyrically dig deep into emotions and melodically could be sung on a front porch anywhere. Anthony da Costa opens the show.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Nov. 17

WHERE: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln

COST: Tickets, $26

INFO: oldtownschool.org

For even more suggestions of fun things to do this weekend in Chicago, check out:
Free and cheap things to do in Chicago this weekend: Nov. 16-18
The Grid: Our weekly guide to Chicago’s neighborhoods