HIGHLIGHTS: Our PICKS of the WEEK, Nov. 23-29

Thanksgiving exercise

Thursday 11/24, various locations

You know Thanksgiving is going to come with an excess of calories. The average American consumes 4,500 calories during a typical Thanksgiving Day meal—that’s more than many people eat in an entire day. It’s too late to get into the annual Eastbay Turkey Trot (registration is full), but other fitness options abound. Check with each organization to ensure the event is still open.

• If you really had your heart set on an organized Turkey Day run, head to Stevens Point for Portage County Can’s Turkey Trot, 9 am at Pfiffner Pioneer Park. Sign up through the Portage County Can website, bring some canned goods to donate and you’re set to run the 5k.

• In Weston, check out “Thank your body by giving it,” a free exercise class at 8 am at the Greenheck Field House. The class includes intervals, weights and core, for ages 13 and up. Bring a non-perishable item for D.C. Everest Blessings in a Backpack. All are welcome, membership isn’t required.

• Get your aerobics on with a Turkey Jam Thanksgiving Day Aerobics 8 am at the Wausau YMCA. Try some yoga, Zumba, Insanity, kickboxing and RIPPED, free with a non-perishable food donation.

• If skating is more your speed, head to Stevens Point’s K.B. Willet Ice Arena 10 am-noon Friday for a Turkey Skate. Skate for free with a canned food donation, doesn’t include rental.


Kelly O’Day

Dig Deep, Feed the Dog, Linus and the Lute

Friday 11/25, The Glass Hat, Wausau

Three bluegrass bands on one ticket. What’s not to like? Dig Deep combines a big, deep voice with bluegrass instrumentation. Linus and the Lute brings a more traditional vocal set with their grass. And Feed the Dog brings a progressive rock, Americana vibe. The latter, an Oshkosh-based band, has a cool approach to traditional bluegrass that blends folk-Americana, with unique instrumentation such as a five-stringed fiddle and a 12-string guitar. The Glass Hat is a pretty cool place to hang out at anyway— local art hangs on the walls and the bicycle theme is prevalent, down to the bike rack and fix-it station outside. Show starts at 10 pm. 715-298-0016.

The Last Revel

Friday 11/25, Minocqua Brewing Co., Minocqua

Miss their show at the Grand? Luckily for you, there’s another chance to see this bluegrass sensation, and in the cozy confines of a popular brew pub. Take a road trip up north and enjoy Minocqua’s scenery before settling back and taking in this award-winning bluegrass band. The Last Revel takes the best of bluegrass and combines it with a The Decemberists vibe, giving the music a modern post-bluegrass feel. The two-level Minocqua Brewing Company is a great place to watch a show and have a beer, with a beautiful lounge that overlooks Lake Minocqua. minocquabrewingcompany.com. 8 pm. 715-356-2600.


Bradley Sperger

Friday 11/25, Great Dane Pub, Wausau

Saturday 11/26, City Grill, Wausau

Great Dane has been bringing in some pretty good acts from out of town lately, but Wausau’s own Bradley Sperger should not be overlooked. This guy is a one-man-band powerhouse, using looping techniques to build his songs in a live music environment. His music styles vary from almost a deep Chicago blues to a reverb-heavy, surf rock-like jam. Again, with one guy, who seems just as comfortable on his hollow-body guitar or on an electric bass. Sperger’s had a busy summer, playing throughout central and northern Wisconsin. If you haven’t seen him yet, it’s a performance worth checking out. At Great Dane: 9 pm. 715-845-3000. At City Grill: 8 pm, 715-848-2900.


Elf, The Musical Jr.

Fri.–Sat. 11/25-26, DC Everest High School, Weston

Don’t miss this Central Wisconsin Children’s Theatre show! That lovable human who thinks he’s an elf has brought so much laughter and joy to our lives, it has become a holiday tradition to watch (and recite) this hilarious Will Ferrell film. Now imagine the story as a musical, with Buddy singing wildly original and goofy songs like “Sparklejollytwinklejingley”—yes, that’s all one word, and it definitely suits Buddy’s Christmas-loving nature. Experience the musical version of Buddy’s journey from the North Pole to New York on a search for his biological father. This is the annual Thanksgiving weekend show by CWCT, and no matter what they put on stage it never fails to be a sure-fire family pleaser for all ages. Shows 2 & 7 pm both days. Tickets $12 general, $10 children and seniors. Order in advance at 715-842-4416 (leave message) or purchase at showtix4U.com. Tickets also at the door, if available.

Shriner’s Breakfast with Santa

Saturday 11/26, Masonic Lodge, Wausau

After your Thanksgiving dinners, it’s time to think about Christmas. What better way to do that than letting the kiddos dine with Santa himself? Held at the Masonic Lodge on River Drive, enjoy an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, see Santa Claus himself, and let the kids enjoy other Christmas activities such as face painting. Money raised from the event goes to the Shriners Children’s Hospital, a 22-hospital network that specializes in pediatric care, pediatric research and training doctors who work with children. 8 am-noon. $6 adults, $3 ages 5–12, free under five. wausaumasons.com.



Saturday 11/26, Arrows Sports Club, Weston

Hard rock band Hyde brings their arena rock to Weston. Think hard-driving guitars, high-pitched powerful vocals and anthem rock that never really went out of style. If you’re more likely to head-bang those Turkey Day calories off rather than shop, this is your show. Lead singer Alexis Walton has bright red hair, looks pretty badass, and her vocals will kick your butt. Look up Hyde’s cover of The Cranberries’ “Zombie” and you’ll get an idea of their range that goes far beyond anthem rock. You might be jamming along to Cranberries and Megadeath in the same set. 8 pm. 715-359-2363.

On the Prowl food & wine event

Saturday 11/26, Kozy Yak, Rosholt

It’s a little out of the way for those living in the Wausau area, but a venture to the Kozy Yak is always worth the trip. It’s tucked into a little building in downtown Rosholt, and feels like you’re walking into someone’s cozy living room when you stop there. Not only is Rosholt the smallest town in Wisconsin to have a brewery, but that brewery is also a winery, and this event pairs gourmet food with more than a dozen of the wines Kozy Yak produces—that includes a cherry merlot made with Ruby Coffee Roasters coffee. The event also is a good excuse to check out Rosholt’s Enchanted Forest, a spectacle of light spread out over the entire Rosholt Fairgrounds, a short walk from the Yak, with an indoor Christmas exhibit and splendid outdoors lights. 2-6 pm. $25. Email [email protected] to reserve tickets. 715-677-3082.

A Darlene Love Christmas: Love for the Holidays


Tuesday 11/29, The Grand, Wausau

Coined “one of the greatest singers of all time” by Rolling Stone, this Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has been seen both on Broadway (Grease, Hairspray) and on the big screen (Lethal Weapon). She’s also been a successful backup singer since the 1960s, singing vocals for Elvis and Marvin Gaye. Her vocals were center stage on the 1963 classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” In 2010, Rolling Stone put this at the top of The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs list and said, “Nobody can match Love’s emotion and sheer vocal power.” Love was a favorite on Late Show with David Letterman, performing “Christmas” for 27 years, 2014 being the final performance. As Letterman said, “Christmas doesn’t start until Darlene Loves sings that song.” 7:30 pm. $44, $52, $62. 715-842-0988, grandtheater.org.