What to Do After the Turkey Settles

Football only lasts so long. Your agenda for the weekend ahead: A local premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater … two films worth skipping the multiplex for … The Swell Season’s Markéta Irglová goes solo … Thanksgiving with Green City Market’s head honcho

Singer Markéta Irglová, and Diane D'Aquila in 'Elizabeth Rex'
RED ALERT Indie-rock darling Markéta Irglová plays Lincoln Hall on Saturday; Diane
D’Aquila stars in Elizabeth Rex, in previews at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

THE FIVE

Don’t-miss picks for Wed 11.23.11 through Tue 11.29.11:

1

theatre Elizabeth Rex
Arguably the next best thing to a Shakespeare script? Timothy Findley’s play about the Bard and Co. performing for the queen on the eve of her lover’s date with the executioner. We’ve been waiting all fall for this one, with the Stratford vet Diane D’Aquila reprising the role she originated.
GO: Previews 11/29­–12/6; $44. Run continues through 1/22; $55–$75. Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E Grand. chicagoshakes.com

2

pop MarkÉta IrglovÁ
The clear-as-a-bell female half of The Swell Season goes solo, playing songs from her new recorded-in-Chicago album of moody chamber pop, Anar. Fingers crossed that some of the local free-jazz community pillars who played on the record—the cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, the trombonist Jeb Bishop—join her onstage. Bonus: Read about Irglová’s marriage to the Chicago sound engineer Tim Iseler.
GO: 11/26 at 9. $18–$20. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N Lincoln. lincolnhallchicago.com

ALSO THIS WEEK: Will Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s new effort, Hysterical, come close to recreating the indie-rock perfection of the band’s self-titled first—and still best—album? Judge for yourself when the group plays Lincoln Hall 11/29–30. Or catch the onetime Tuareg warriors Tinariwen, who traded their Kalashnikovs for Stratocasters, when they bring their hypnotic desert grooves to Metro 11/25.

3

film West Side Story
Skip the multiplex this holiday (Tower Heist? Really?) and relive a classic when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra plays Leonard Bernstein’s score live alongside a high-def screening of the newly remastered film. One note: Try to keep the humming to a minimum. With seats as much as $136 a pop, your armrest-mate will appreciate it.
GO: Previews 11/25–26 at 8, 11/27 at 3. $41–$136. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Support local talent! The Ryan Opera Center alum Amber Wagner stars in the Lyric production of Ariadne Auf Naxos, Strauss’s playful opera within an opera, 11/19–12/11.

4

film Sing-Along The Sound of Music
This one, you can sing along: The Music Box comes alive with the sound of off-key belting when the theatre hosts its eighth annual Thanksgiving run of the beloved Julie Andrews flick. Pro: Related festivities include a costume contest. Con: All seats typically sell out. Call ahead.
GO: 11/25–27; see website for showtimes. $8–$15. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N Southport. musicboxtheatre.com

5

museums Lost Panoramas
If you haven’t perused our December photo essay, Sunken Treasures, a collection of images made from a century-old trove of glass-plate negatives chronicling the reversal of the Chicago River, check it out. It’s a beauty. And if the haunting pictures of Chicago’s long-ago past leave you wanting more back story, head to the Nature Museum 11/25, when you can inspect the photos up close while the article’s coauthor, Richard Cahan, gives a guided lecture. And then? You can consider yourself a Chicago River expert.
GO: Cahan lecture: 11/25 at 11. Museum open Mon–Fri 9–5, Sat–Sun 10–5; closed 11/24. Free (kids under 3) to $9; free Thu for Illinois residents. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon. naturemuseum.org

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

Dana Benigno, foodie and executive director of the Green City Market
Dana Benigno

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like: Dana Benigno, sustainable foodie and executive director of the Green City Market, which runs indoors at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Saturdays through 12/17, with special holiday markets on 11/23 and 12/21.

“Wednesday, I’m leaving for St. Louis after the Green City Market. My family is down there, and Thanksgiving is the holiday we all get together. I’m contributing the turkey, stuffing, and dessert. I want to make sure I’m getting a turkey breast from a farmer I know, so I’m getting mine from TJ’s Free Range Poultry at the market. I’m buying stuffing already made from Sarah Stegner and Prairie Fire. I figure why reinvent the wheel? I’ll let the James Beard award winner make my stuffing. I’m also getting my dessert from Sarah, a delicious fudge cake. My brother is a chocoholic, so it’ll be hard for me to even get a slice. It’s kind of embarrassing for him.

“Thanksgiving day we’ll all head to downtown St. Louis for the parade. Then we’ll watch football and cook. Fortunately, my nephew has chef’s training, and it’s the first time he has the holiday off. So I’m just going to hang out and drink wine. My favorite for this season is Beaujolais. It’s a nice tradition that comes out for Thanksgiving, and it’s so fruity and light that it goes well with turkey.

“I’m coming back on Friday. I’m not going to do Black Friday; instead, I’m going to decorate my house. I moved into an itty bitty cottage in Ukrainian Village that has a big front yard, so I’m seeing lots of greenery and white lights and lanterns in the yard. I always see what Anthropologie does for decorations and get inspiration from that. I’ll just see what the house wants.” —As told to Brooke Still

FREEBIES OF THE WEEK

concerts Caroling at Cloud Gate
Talk about Friday night lights: This holiday tradition—a hybrid choral concert/sing-along in the shadow of the Bean—promises to get even the most ardent humbug’s toes tapping. Week one features the Chicago Chamber Choir.
GO: 11/25–12/16: Fri at 6. Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington. millenniumpark.org

ALSO THIS WEEK: Four- and two-legged participants in this year’s McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade include members of Ringling Bros and Joffrey Ballet. Work up an appetite watching the proceedings march down State Street on Thanksgiving morning, 11/24.

festivals Christkindlmarket
Daley Plaza transports holiday revelers to the Black Forest circa the 1500s with vendors—more than two-thirds of whom travel from Germany—peddling traditional trinkets (nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks) and treats (schnitzel, Glühwein) at this open-air bazaar. Yes, it’s as cheesy as a big old hunk of Munster on a slab of rye. And yes, we love it just the same.
GO: 11/23–12/24: Sun­–Thu 11–8; Fri–Sat 11–9; 12/24: 11–4. Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington. christkindlmarket.com

 

Photography: (IRGLOVÁ) Sion Fullana; (ELIZABETH REX) Peter Bosy; (BENIGNO) Courtesy of Green City Market

 

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