Friday | November 22
If you’ve grown tired of reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet, experience a new twist on the old classic by attending Hamletmachine, yet another compelling production put on by University Theater/Theater and Performance Studies. This 1977 work by Heiner Müller will be directed by Scarlett Kim and is sure to intrigue you and get you thinking with its postmodern flair. The Logan Center, Theater West, 7:30 p.m., $6 in advance, $8 at door.
Saturday | November 23
Nothing beats spending a Saturday night in the heart of Chicago, surrounded by the twinkling lights, the bustle of shoppers, and plenty of music and fireworks. Come out to the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, now in its 22nd year. Festivities begin at 11:00 a.m., but you don’t want to miss the Tree-Lighting Parade at 5:30 p.m., featuring various floats and marching bands. Stick around for fireworks right over the Chicago River, and keep your eyes peeled for celebrities like Debby Ryan and Deborah Gibson. Try watching from Michigan Avenue’s supposedly less-congested east side. North Michigan Avenue, Oak Street to Wacker Drive, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., free.
What’s better than French cheese, French croissants, and the beautiful French language? Yup, French wine, and Beaujolais Nouveau, to be exact. If you’re a wine aficionado, be sure to check out the Beaujolais nouveau Wine Celebration at the Chicago French Market. Try some of this four-month-old French red wine. Not over 21? Don’t worry. You’ll still have a good time, as there will be over 30 vendors offering their various products and a selection of delicious French fare. 131 North Clinton Street, 1:00–2:30 p.m., free.
Sunday | November 24
Whether you’re 5 or 25, something about listening to someone recount a tale is fascinating, engaging, and relaxing. If your inner kid is calling out for story time, check out the Adult Evening Concert at The Chicago Storytelling Guild’s 17th Tellabration! at the Experimental Station just south of the Midway. Storytellers recognized regionally as well as nationally will grace the stage, from Mama Edie Armstrong to Jeff Solotorff. This is, no doubt, an effective source of stress relief as you kick back, relax, and listen before jumping into the fury of ninth week. The Experimental Station, 6100 South Blackstone, enter from Dorchester. 7:00–10:00 p.m., $5.
Christmas will be here before you know it. Jump into the festivities early and head to Rockefeller Chapel for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, a relaxing and engaging musical performance that’s sure to put you in that special holiday mood. The Rockefeller Chapel Choir and various instrumentalists will accompany Kaitlin Foley, Angela Young Smucker, Matthew Dean, and Andrew Schultze as they perform Parts I–III of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Part III of Robert Kyr’s O Word of Light and Thunder. Rockefeller Chapel, 3:00–5:00 p.m., $20 or free with UCID.