The perks of being a Wallflower
See The Wallflowers up close at the intimate Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago. They're touring on the heels of their latest album, "Glad All Over." Tickets cost $30. (773) 929-5959. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
The international art fair SOFA CHICAGO 2012 displays masterworks of contemporary and modern arts and design, sculpture and more for purchase this weekend at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. $15 single-day admission; $25 three-day pass. (312) 587-7632 or sofaexpo.com. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4
Meet Ina Garten
"Food Network" chef and author Ina Garten signs copies of her book, "Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof Recipes You Can Trust," at Barnes and Noble -- Old Orchard, 55 Old Orchard Center, Skokie. Numbered tickets for the signing line will be given out, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, to customers with copies of the book and a proof of purchase from Barnes and Noble or barnesandnoble.com. Call (847) 676-2230 or visit barnesandnoble.com. Noon Friday, Nov. 2
Grammy Award-winning vocalist Steve Tyrell,a regular at New York's exclusive Cafe Carlyle,croons popular songs of yesteryear this weekend at Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire. $20-$50. (847) 499-5000 or viper-alley.com. 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, and 6:30 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
Celebrating folk music
Grammy Award winners Jay Ungar and Molly Mason perform American folk and traditional music in concert at Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham Road, St. Charles. The duo is best known for Ungar's composition "Ashokan Farewell," the musical centerpiece of Ken Burns' PBS series "The Civil War." $22; $15 with student ID. (630) 584-7200 or NorrisCulturalArts.com. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
The itinerant Guild Theater opens its 2012-2013 season with David Harrower's "Blackbird," about a 27-year-old woman who seeks out the now 55-year-old man who went to prison for sexually abusing her when she was 12. David Schaplowsky and Jocelyn Adamski star in the adults-only show at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., Elgin. $15. (847) 297-6365 or theguildtheater.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4
The progressive-pop band Asia emerged in the early 1980s and featured vets from a number of legendary prog-rock bands of the day like Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Asia melded the grand, keyboard-heavy sound of progressive rock to contemporary pop melodies, and as a result scored huge hits like "Only Time Will Tell" and "Heat of the Moment," both of which landed in heavy rotation on the young cable network MTV. The original members of the band -- John Welton, Carl Palmer, Steve Howe and Geoff Downes -- are touring again and have a stop scheduled at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $39 to $125. Go to oshows.com. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
To borrow a line from the TV sitcom inspired by Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple:" can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy? Audiences find out when Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, revives the classic 1960s comedy under artistic director BJ Jones. Chicago-area theater veteran Marc Grapey and Tim Kazurinsky star as the mismatched roommates in a production that also features 1979 Second City alumni Danny Breen and Bruce Jarchow. Tickets cost $25-$72. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. The show opens Friday, Nov. 9.
Back with 'Brick'
Ian Anderson, former frontman for the legendary British band Jethro Tull, will bring his flute to the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago, to perform Tull's classic concept-album parody, "Thick as a Brick," in its entirety. Tull's sound consisted of traditional, blues-based guitar rock and instrumental touches more commonly associated with progressive rock -- Anderson's aforementioned flute along with strings and keyboards. Anderson has said "Thick as a Brick," the 1972 album that featured just one song spread out over two sides of an LP, was intended to spoof what he saw as the pretentiousness of prog-rock bands. Tickets cost $48 to $103. Go to thechicagotheatre.com. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
Lovers of modern country music, especially the number "Best Song Ever," shouldn't miss the Katie Armiger Trio at the College of Lake County's Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. $20-$25; $19-$24 seniors; $12-$15 kids and teens. (847) 543-2300 or clcillinois.edu/tickets. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
Day of the Dead tribute
Chicago Sinfonietta presents "Dia de los Muertos" at Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center at North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets cost $10-$50. (312) 284-1554 or chicagosinfonietta.org. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
Straight No Chaser
The a cappella group Straight No Chaser takes to the stage at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $29.50-$49.50. (847) 782-2366 or geneseetheatre.com. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried may have been fired as the voice of the Aflac duck, but you can't stop him from doing standup. Catch him at three Zanies locations this weekend: 1548 N. Wells St., Chicago, (312) 337-4027; Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6342; and 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, (847) 813-0484. $25 plus a two-item menu purchase. zanies.com. 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in Chicago; 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in St. Charles; 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, in Rosemont
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Athletes from Kindergarten through High School will compete Saturday at the Cheeribean: 2012 Cheer and Poms Competition, a qualifying event for the Illinois Recreational Cheerleading Association's State Championship. Cheer them on at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. $8. (888) 732-7784 or searscentre.com. 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
Calling all Girl Scouts!
All Girl Scouts -- past and present, from Daisy-level to senior and adults -- are welcome to join the Girl Scout singalong with Miss Carole of Macaroni Soup at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum and Heritage Gallery, 110 W. Fremont St., Arlington Heights. The event features songs and dancing, relating to the celebration of Girl Scout Founder's Day. $10. Call the museum at (847) 255-1225 or see ahmuseum.org for registration details. 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
See how physics and pumpkins combine (especially when hurled by trebuchets!) at two weekend events: The Pumpkin Launch at Century Park Sled Hill, 1001 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills. $2 per pumpkin; free to view. (847) 996-6800 or vhparkdistrict.org. And the Annual Pumpkin Drop at Keith Mione Community Park, 1401 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein. Free to view. (847) 566-0650 or mundeleinparks.org. 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, in Vernon Hills; 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, in Mundelein
Local dancers exploring Chinese performing arts traditions are featured in The Sunny U Cultural and Education Center Performing Arts Group Dance Showcase performance of "The Broomcorn is Red -- Harvest Time is Here" Saturday at the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. $15-$35. (847) 782-2366 or geneseetheatre.com. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" and the U.S. premiere of Michael Daugherty's Georgia O'Keefe-inspired "Ghost Ranch" are featured in Elgin Symphony Orchestra concerts this weekend under conductor Steven Jarvi at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. $18-$68. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4
For nearly 30 years, the Indigo Girls have been creating and performing literate folk-rock for a devoted group of fans. The duo of Amy Ray and Emily Sailers has been releasing albums steadily since the late 1980s, and its most recent is 2011's "Beauty Queen Sister." See them at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $45 to $55. Go to paramountaurora.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
An estimated 20 miniatures dealers display and sell their products at Cantigny's Toy Soldier Show in the visitors center at Cantigny Park and First Division Museum, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Guests can see the works of dealers who make and paint toy figures, both military and civilian. Admission is free. Parking is $5 per vehicle ($2 before 10 a.m.). (630) 668-5161 or cantigny.org. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4
Who makes Palatine's best pizza? Decide for yourself Sunday at the annual pizza showdown hosted by the Palatine Jaycees. More than 20 Palatine-area pizza restaurants, including Artistic Cuisine, Papa Saverios, Slice of Chicago, Pizza Bella and Vini's Pizza, will put their pies and reputations on the line at Durty Nellie's Bar and Grill, 120 N. Smith St., Palatine. A $10 donation gets you samples and a ballot. Find out more at (847) 604-0288 or palatinejaycees.org. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4
See "Fuddy Meers," David Lindsay-Abaire's comedy about a woman who wakes every day with her memory erased, at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave., Batavia. Show is for mature audiences. $10-$13. (630) 406-8838 or albrighttheatre.com. 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4
The Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra presents a classical concert featuring works by Brahms, Sibelius and Shostakovich at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. $36-$75. (847) 673-6300 or northshorecenter.org. 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4
The Northbrook Symphony presents its "Eastern European Folk Fest" concert at the Sheely Center for the Performing Arts at Glenbrook North High School, 2300 Shermer Road, Northbrook. Visit thenso.org. Tickets are $25-$45 for adults; children and students (with an ID) are $8. (847) 272-0755. 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4
Cultura Festival 2012, which features regional folklore from Mexico and flamenco from Spain with performances by award-winning folkloric groups, Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council Folkloric Ballet and Soul & Duende Flamenco, takes over the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. Tickets cost $10-$20. (630) 962-7000 or oshows.com. 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4