8:15—9:15 p.m. Listen to Make a Joyful Noise (MaJN) channel Christmas spirit through a cappella. There will be free Insomnia Cookies and hot chocolate! Logan Penthouse. Free.
4—6 p.m. Celebrate the launch of Miriam's Cafe (in honor of Miriam Graham) at the Smart Museum with free food, a latte art competition, and live jazz, baroque music, and coffee and tea! Smart Museum. Free.
7:30 p.m. See the complex threads of justice unravel as Shakespeare returns to Theater West with Seph Mozes’s adaptation of Merchant of Venice [check Facebook event page for content warning details]. Logan Center, Theater West. Free on Thursday, $6 advance / $8 door for subsequent shows.
7—9 p.m. Tell your best jokes, perform a poem, sing a song, or debut a new skill at the I-House Open Mic night! International House. Free.
8—9 p.m. Come laugh to absurdist humor and absolutely no political jokes (a welcome reprieve after Thanksgiving dinner) with Occam’s Razor. FXK Theater, Reynolds Club. Free.
7:30 p.m. Contempo Concert Series continues to explore contemporary classical music in its 52nd season with Interplay, a concert featuring the Talea Ensemble. There will be a pre-concert lecture by assistant professor of music Seth Brodsky at 6:30 p.m. Logan Performance Hall. $5 for students.
8 p.m. Hear violinist and recipient of 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant Alexi Kenney perform Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto with the USO at their last concert of the quarter. Mandel Hall. Suggested donation: $10 general / $5 students.
7:30—11 p.m. Join the Chicago Swing Dance Society for a holiday-themed dance, complete with a November birthday jam and snowball! There will be a beginner lesson from 7:30–8:30 p.m., followed by open dancing. Ida Noyes. Free.
3—5 p.m. Usher in the holidays, surround-sound style, as Jeri-Lou Zike leads the Rockefeller Chapel Choir, Motet Choir, Chicago Men's A Cappella (CMAC) and Haymarket Opera Orchestra in the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. $25–50 general / $5 students.