Mind of Mencia
If you loved seeing comedian Carlos Mencia on TV, then don't miss his live standup set starting Thursday at the The Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. (847) 240-2001 or improv.com. 8 and 10:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8; 7 and 9:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus returns to the suburbs and then the city with its 143rd edition called "Built to Amaze!" at two locations: the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. Also at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago. $15-$25; $40 VIP tickets; $50-$60 front-row seats. (800) 745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. Various performances in Rosemont from Friday, Nov. 8, through Monday, Nov. 11
Celebrating Greek culture
Dig in to a variety of Greek fare while you browse for holiday crafts at the Greek Food Fest and Holiday Craft Bazaar at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, 525 Church Road, Elgin. Free admission. (847) 888-2822. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
See elaborate quilts and other handcrafted cloth items at the Fine Art of Fiber show starting Thursday at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. Free admission, though parking is $25 per car. (847) 835-5440 or chicagobotanic.org or fineartoffiber.org. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 8-10
'Nutcracker' for kids
Marriott Theatre gets a jump on the holiday season with its young audiences production of "The Nutcracker." It stars Dara Cameron ("Old Jews Telling Jokes") as Marie, the young girl whose Christmas gift comes to life. Devin DeSantis ("Mary Poppins") plays the Nutcracker prince in the show featuring Tchaikovsky's music with additional music and lyrics by frequent Marriott director and choreographer Marc Robin. 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. (847) 634-0200 or marriotttheatre.com. Previews begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8
Chicago Opera Theater teams up with the Chicago Park District to present composer Ricky Ian Gordon's 70-minute one-act opera "Orpheus and Eurydice" in a special staging in and around water this weekend at Eckhart Park Pool, 1330 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago. Free tickets, but reservations required. (312) 704-8414 or chicagooperatheater.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday, Nov. 8 and 10
City on fire
Siblings Chelle and Lank find their business -- an after-hours club located in the basement of their parents' home -- and their relationship threatened by an eruption of violence in "Detroit '67," Dominique Morisseau's retelling of that city's late-1960s racial unrest through the experiences of one family. Northlight Theatre's regional premiere is helmed by Ron OJ Parson, in his Northlight directing debut at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. The show opens Nov. 15. $25-$75. (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org. Previews begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8
All that jazz
The Oakton Community College Jazz Band headlines a concert in the Performing Arts Center lobby at Oakton Community College, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines, $3-$5. Call the box office at (847) 635-1900. 8 p.m. Friday Nov. 8
A new old sound
The Deadstring Brothers, based in Nashville by way of Detroit, is a band that specializes in putting a new spin on classic rock 'n' roll sounds. Frontman Kurt Marschke and his collaborators revel in the kind of messy, bluesy rock that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards championed back in the day, but the Deadstrings give it a contemporary edge with lyrics that capture life as it is lived now. The band is touring behind its latest album, "Cannery Row," and will be playing in the suburbs this weekend. Pearls Mahone and the Ditchrunners are also on the bill.
9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Brauerhouse, 1000 N. Rohlwing Road, Lombard. $7. Go to brauerhouse.com.
DiCarlo drink fest
DiCarlo's Fall Wine, Food & Craft Beer Festival is an afternoon of hundreds of wines, dozens of craft beers and bites from local restaurants. $35 per person. Overnight reservations are $89 per night and include complimentary breakfast at Karma Restaurant at the DoubleTree Hotel, 510 E. Route 83, Mundelein. dicarlofinewine.com. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
Find out about the celebrated poet who first deemed Chicago as the "City of Big Shoulders" in the exhibit "Carl Sandburg in Elmhurst" starting Saturday at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst. Free. (630) 833-1457 or elmhursthistory.org. 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, and Sunday, Nov. 10
Grab a dance partner to jive and jitterbug at Let's Dance "November Splendor" featuring John Smith and Shananigans Big Band on Saturday and the Johnnie Kaye Orchestra on Sunday at the Northern Illinois University Duke Ellington Ballroom, 340 Carroll Ave., DeKalb. $65-$110 package deal per person. (815) 753-1444 or justmakeithappen-dekalb.com. 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
"Les Miserables" co-director John Caird helms a new Lyric Opera of Chicago production of composer Richard Wagner's final opera, "Parsifal," starting Saturday at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. $34-$274. (312) 332-2244, ext. 5600, or lyricopera.org. 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
Opera in Focus
The Rolling Meadows Puppet Opera Theater, Opera in Focus, presents a tribute to America's "Singing Sweethearts" from the 1930s, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, in a program at 3000 Central Road, Rolling Meadows. The group re-enacts scenes from well-known operas -- using puppets. Tickets are $7-$12. Call (847) 818-3220 Ext. 186 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Visit operainfocus.com. 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
The Great Turkey Hunt
The Wheels Rallye Team hosts The Great Turkey Hunt road rallye on Saturday, Nov. 9, beginning just west of Firestone Tire Center in the Woodfield Mall parking lot, at light pole B-2, on Golf Road, Schaumburg. Participants must follow posted signs and objects along a set course to get their vehicles to the endpoint, Garibaldi's on Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. Awards are given at the endpoint. Newcomers are always welcome. $10 per vehicle. For information, call Dennis at (847) 975-2075 or visit wheelsrallyeteam.com. Registration begins at 6 p.m.; rallye school at 6:45 p.m.; cars head out at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9
Kristallnacht 75 is a solemn event to mark the 75th anniversary of the organized act of Nazi violence against the Jewish people of Germany and Austria. Cantors Albert Mizrahiand Benjamin Warschawski are two of the participants Saturday at the Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette. Free; reservations required. (847) 967-4800 or kristallnacht75.org. 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
Conductor Andrew Grams and concertmaster Isabella Lippi lead the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in music of Sibelius, John Adams and Tchaikovskythis weekend at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. $25-$60. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
The Chicago Sinfonietta may be a bit late to officially mark "Día de los Muertos," but that hasn't stopped music director Mei-Ann Chen from gathering the talents of violinist Ade Williams, soprano Elizabeth Norman, the DePaul University Singers and Redmoon Theater for a Latin concert at Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center at North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. $42-$54; (312) 236-3681 ext. 2 or chicagosinfonietta.org; 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 in Naperville
Two members of suburban alt-pop band Lucky Boys Confusion will perform this weekend for local fans. LBC's Adam Krier and Stubhy Pandav will take the stage not too far from the DuPage County neighborhoods where they grew up. Lucky Boys Confusion doesn't play as a full band very often these days, so here is a chance to get a quick fix.
9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Fitz's Spare Keys, 119 N. York Road, Elmhurst. $14. Go to fitzssparekeys.com.
H.O.M.E. Bar -- the House of Music and Entertainment in Arlington Heights -- celebrates its one-year anniversary with cover band Sixteen Candles. Saturday night drink specials include $3 Newcastles, as well as the specialty cocktail and specialty wine of the month -- for $3 each. There's an $8 cover. H.O.M.E. Bar is located at 1227 N. Rand Road, Arlington Heights. (847) 577-4663 or homebarchicago.com. 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
Photographic and digital artist Deborah B. Orloff layers landscapes on top of each other in her exhibit "Holzwege" (a German word meaning "wood path"), starting Sunday at North Central College's Oesterle Library Gallery, 320 E. School St., Naperville. No admission charge. (630) 637-5300 or northcentralcollege.edu. Noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
Maestro Joel Smirnoff returns to conduct the Chicago Philharmonic in a concert called "Romantic Serenade" featuring music of Berlioz, Brahms and Richard Strauss this Sunday at Nichols Concert Hall in the Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston. $25-$75. (847) 866-6888 or chicagophilharmonic.org. 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
New York story
Academy Award-nominee Chazz Palminteri ("Bullets Over Broadway," "Modern Family") brings his autobiographical Broadway show "A Bronx Tale" for a special Sunday performance at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $49-$79. (630) 962-7000 or oshows.com. 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10
One of the great bands of the indie-rich 1990s is back with a new album. Sebadoh, the band formed by Lou Barlow after his split with Dinosaur Jr., recently released "Defend Yourself," its first record in 14 years. Barlow and longtime bandmates Jason Lowenstein and Bob D'Amico will perform this weekend in the city. Sebadoh originally provided a way for Barlow to vent his frustration during and after his acrimonious departure from Dinosaur Jr. (a band he has since rejoined). The songs bristle with anger and spiky guitar work, and Sebadoh albums like "Bakesale" and "Sebadoh III" are considered to be among the best to come out during the "alternative" era.
8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at Schuba's Tavern, 3159 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. $20. Go to schubas.com.
Eddie Brill marks 35 years of Zanies
See comedian Eddie Brill as he performs his stand-up routines at Zanies Comedy Club at 1548 N. Wells St., Chicago. Brill performs as part of Zanies Comedy Club's 35th anniversary celebration, running throughout November. Free admission for Brill's show for anyone over age 35. (312) 337-4027 or zanies.com. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10