Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See Milva DiDomizio and June Wulff's picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend.
SWEET CHAIN Those clever folks at MIT give the Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction Event an appropriate acronym of F.A.T. This year's theme of "Sweet 16" features the 3:30 p.m. climax when the machines are linked together to form a huge chain reaction (with a surprise ending). Contraptions are made by more than 20 teams including school groups, Girl Scouts, artists, and engineers. Nov. 29, 1-4 p.m. $15; $5 seniors, students, ages 5-17 (includes same-day admission to MIT Museum). MIT's Rockwell Cage Gymnasium, 120 Vassar St., Cambridge. 617-253-5927, web.mit.edu/museum
WHAT'S NEW Straight from the namesake's dialogue in "Becky's New Car": "When a woman says she needs new shoes, what she really wants is a new job. When she says she needs a new house, she wants a new husband. And when she says she wants a new car, she wants a new life!" Larry Coen directs Celeste Oliva and the rest of the cast in Steven Dietz's comedy. Nov. 29-30, 8 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 3 p.m. Through Dec. 22. $25-$54, $10 senior discount. The Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St., Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com
TRADITION George Frideric Handel wrote "Messiah" for Easter, but the oratorio is as associated with the Christmas season as that red suit we mentioned above. The Handel and Haydn Society performed selections in 1815 at its first concert, and started its annual tradition in 1854. Harry Christophers conducts the H&H Period Instrument Orchestra, Chorus, and soloists. Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m. (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 3 p.m.). $25 and up. Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 617-266-3605, www.handelandhaydn.org
ABBA-DABBA DISCO Those who are thankful for ABBA, head to Episode 95 of Videodrome Discotheque focusing on disco, new wave, retro pop, and modern artists with a vintage aesthetic. "Thank You for the Music" shines the spotlight on the Swedish pop sensation that brought us hits including "Dancing Queen," "The Winner Takes It All," and "Mamma Mia." The night also features drag performances by Katya Zamoldchikova and Frieda Fries. Nov. 29, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. $10. 18+. Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. 617-496-8004, www.cluboberon.com
BLACK, WHITE, AND GRAY For more than 30 years, this troupe has poked, prodded, and pulverized our politicians, whether they need it or not. And there's plenty of poking at The Capitol Steps' "Fiscal Shades of Gray" starring Obamacare, the government shutdown, and the Mitch McConnell/Harry Reid duet "My Gay." Nov. 30, 5 and 8 p.m. $31-$39, $5 student discount. Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-496-2222, www.ofa.fas.harvard.edu/boxoffice
NUTTY NUTCRACKER Here's an irreverent scene-by-scene spoof of "The Nutcracker" described as a "sexy-freaky holiday zeitgeist spectacular." "The Slutcracker" gives the holiday story a burlesque twist. Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 8 p.m. (through Dec. 31). $25. Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville. 617-625-5700, www.somervilletheatreonline.com
BIG SOUND FROM A LITTLE CHILD During a rebellion of the Tuareg people against the Niger government, relatives of Omara Moctar left behind a guitar. The youngster taught himself to play, joined Haja Bebe's band, and was nicknamed Bombino ("little child"). The Tuareg guitarist, singer, and songwriter celebrates his release, "Nomad," and brings his desert blues to the Sinclair. Dec. 1 doors at 8 p.m. $20, $22 day of show. 18+. The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge. 800-745-3000, www.sinclaircambridge.com
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.