Mavis Staples (left) and Gold Motel (right)
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES Mavis Staples sings Saturday at Park West; Gold Motel
plays Subterranean the same night. Tickets are available for both.


Don’t-miss picks for Wed 11.24.10 through Tue 11.30.10:


theatre The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde’s subversive attack on Victorian hypocrisy is cleverly disguised as a fizzy rom-com. Don’t let the frivolity fool you: Earnest’s fangs are sharp enough to satirize any self-righteous bigot into shreds—perfect for a little post-turkey togetherness with the in-laws.
GO: Previews Nov 24–28; $35–$40. Run continues through Jan 9; $40–$55. Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln.


concerts Mavis Staples
Looking for something multigeneration friendly to do while the extended family is in town? Mavis Staples: Done and done. You’re welcome.
GO: Nov 27 at 8. $30. Park West, 322 W Armitage.


nightlife Frankie Knuckles
Staples may be the godmother of soul, but Knuckles is the granddaddy of Chicago house. Before you’re strapped with a long weekend of kith and kin, shake it like you’re 21 again.
GO: Nov 24 at 10. $15–$20. Smart Bar, 3730 N Clark, lower level.


concerts Gold Motel
It’s been a while since we fell so hard for a new band, we listened to the album three times in a row—or maybe four. But who’s counting? Suffice it to say, we like these newbies, a Chicago crew helmed by The Hush Sound’s Greta Morgan that cranks out melodies so warm and sunny, we practically forget what’s coming. Oh, right: winter. Winter is coming.
GO: Nov 27 at 7:30. $10–$12. Subterranean, 2011 W North.


film Eyes Without a Face: Films Curated by Luc Tuymans
Luc Tuymans is a Very Important Artist: Though not a household name in the states, he creates work that responds to modern-day traumas (World War II, 9/11) and is one of Europe’s best-known living painters. Judging by his cinema preferences, he’s also extremely weird. Starting this weekend, the MCA screens a series of flicks handpicked by Tuymans, from 1960’s Les yeux sans visage (Eyes Without a Face) to 1974’s Angst essen Seele auf (if you translated that from the German as “Fear Eats the Soul,” you’re right).
GO: Nov 27–Dec 12; see website for full schedule. $6–$8 per film. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago.


Chicago artist Deb Sokolow
Gary Griffin

Up next in our series of plans from notable, in-the-know locals (a.k.a. people we like): Gary Griffin, the Rockford-born Broadway director (The Color Purple), who returns to the Lyric to helm Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado in the wake of last year’s The Merry Widow.

“Since I’ve been in rehearsal for two shows [The Mikado and As You Like It, at Chicago Shakespeare Theater], this weekend is my first two days off in ages. I’ll be hibernating: having some friends over, having a conversation not about work, just being with my animals. Two cats and a dog: Adeline, Victor, and Jack. Adeline is the dog. No, I won’t be cooking. God, no. I’m not a huge sports fan, so to get away from that wall-to-wall game thing, I like to find some movie I haven’t seen and watch it. I haven’t picked one yet. Things come and go so quickly."

GO: The Mikado runs Dec 6–Jan 21. $33–$207. Civic Opera House, Madison and Wacker.


holidays Caroling at Cloud Gate
Sometimes we like head-scratching cinema. Sometimes we like holiday schmaltz. To wit: the launch of this weekly sing-along, bringing cheer and carols to the base of the Bean.
GO: Nov 26 and every Fri at 6 through Dec 17. Millennium Park, Michigan and Washington.

holidays Christkindlmarket
Speaking of schmaltz (not to mention angst, but that’s another issue): Quench your thirst for German-flavored festivities—or just Glühwein—at this annual open-air market, a traditional bazaar featuring nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, and ample Gemütlichkeit.
GO: Nov 24–Dec 24. Sun­–Thu 11–8, Fri–Sat 11–9, Nov 25 11–4. Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington.

lit/lectures Patti Smith
Consider camping out: The Chicago native’s last talk in town, back in February, filled up faster than you could say “Because the Night.” And that was before she won a National Book Award.
GO: Nov 30 at 7. Walk-up registration limited; seating not guaranteed. Film Row Cinema, Columbia College, 1104 S Wabash, 8th floor.

kid friendly Brookfield Zoo
A llama’s gotta eat, holiday or no. On Thanksgiving Day, families are invited to help feed the children’s zoo brood—including goats, cows, and horses—a feast of Turkey Day items both traditional (sweet corn, carrots) and non (alfalfa, duck chow).
GO: Nov 25 at noon. Parking $9. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W 31st, Brookfield.

Photograph: (STAPLES) Steven E. Gross