Weekend picks: Polar Express rolls into South Elgin; Mother Truckin' Booze Fest at Sears Centre
The beloved Christmas children's book by Chris Van Allsburg is the inspiration for The Polar Express, a train that travels to the "North Pole" to meet up with Santa. Train rides for another season begin on Sunday at the Fox River Trolley Museum, 35W003 Route 31, South Elgin. $35-$50. (312) 473-0993 or foxtrolley.org/polarexpress. Various times Sunday, Nov. 24, and Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 14, 15, 28 and 29; plus Friday, Dec. 13, and Tuesday, Dec. 24
The renamed and expanded Mother Truckin' Booze Fest features craft beers, craft spiked seltzers, wine coolers, small-batch cocktails and other tastings at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. $45 (includes a sampling glass, 25 tasting tickets and The Messengers concert); $20 designated driver ticket. (847) 649-2222 or mothertruckinfest.com or searscentre.com. 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23
Making a splash
Cirque Italia, with its mix of acrobatics and a massive water stage, continues its tour of "Water Circus" at Spring Hill Mall, 1072 Spring Hill Ring Road, West Dundee. (941) 704-8572 or cirqueitalia.com. $10-$40. 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24
Six Flags Great America offers up its expanded second winter season called Holiday in the Park starting this weekend at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. $54.99-$79.99; $59.99 for people under 48 inches tall. (847) 249-1776 or sixflags.com/greatamerica. Select hours and days from 2 to 8 or 9 p.m. from Saturday, Nov. 23, through Tuesday, Dec. 31
The Elgin Symphony Orchestra promises music of Bach, Stravinsky and Dvorák with guest conductor José Luis Gomez this weekend at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. $35-$85. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org. 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24
See the great outdoors colorfully decorated in two interactive light and sound displays this season: Illumination: Tree Lights returns for another run starting Saturday at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. $18-$23; $12-$15. (630) 968-0074 or mortonarb.org. And new on the scene is Lightscape starting today at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. $17-$27; $8-$15 kids 3-12. (847) 835-6801 or chicagobotanic.org. Illumination: Tree Lights runs from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. select dates from Saturday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Jan. 5, in Lisle; Lightscape runs select hours through Sunday, Jan. 5, in Glencoe
Three of four nights remain as the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) serves up NXT Takeover War Games Live, Survivor Series and Monday Night Raw at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. $20-$225 per event; $15-$25 parking. (800) 745-3000 or allstatearena.com. NXT Takeover War Games at 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23; Survivor Series at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24; Monday Night RAW at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25
Darling Suns's 'Afterglow' release
The West suburban indie-folk darlings of The Darling Suns have been making a name for themselves this year on the Chicago circuit, with a string of touching new releases and increasingly high-profile shows. This weekend the band celebrates the release of its "Afterglow" single, a new track that dives deep into the band's trademark heartfelt sound while channeling an upbeat and dancey vibe. Mike Mains & the Branches headlines the bill, which also features Chicago alternative rock favorites Molehill and The Burst & Bloom. 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Cubby Bear, 1059 W. Addison St., Chicago. $15. (773) 327-1662 or cubbybear.com.
Jake Johannsen at Zanies
Jake Johannsen, a fixture on comedy club stages and late-night talk shows for more than 30 years, headlines Zanies in Rosemont this weekend. The Iowa native got his start at an open mic night in San Francisco during the early 1980s. He subsequently appeared on "The Late Show With David Letterman," "The Tonight Show" and a number of comedy specials including 1991's acclaimed "This'll Take About an Hour." 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Parkway Bank Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, (847) 813-0484. $25 plus a two-item minimum. See zanies.com.
Chicago Fringe Opera remounts "The Rosina Project," its hip-hop adaptation of Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville." The famed opera bouffe centers on the wily barber Figaro, who assists lovesick Count Almaviva in wooing the comely Rosina, ward of the curmudgeon Bartolo. CFO's production pairs singers with a DJ, beatboxer and street dancers in a contemporary, immersive production. 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Newport Theatre, 956 W. Newport Ave., Chicago. $20-$45. See chicagofringeopera.com.
From down under
Bangarra Dance Theatre is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organization and one of Australia's leading performing arts companies. See them this weekend at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago. $35-$140. (312) 334-7777 or harristheaterchicago.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23
• Information is provided by entertainment venues and is subject to change. Check with the venue before purchasing tickets. For more concert listings or to add an event, visit dailyherald.com/calendar.