Top things to do in Columbus for Nov. 15-17

Will Shortz, Friday, Nov. 15

What is a 12-letter word, starting with e, that describes the one-of-kind major that Will Shortz designed for himself at Indiana University? You can solve this enigmatic question Friday at 7 p.m. when the longtime New York Times crossword puzzle editor and NPR Sunday Puzzle host speaks at Grandview Heights Public Library. ghpl.org/support/ghpl-foundation/

Wildlights, through Jan. 5; Conservatory Aglow, through Jan. 4

Two holiday light shows kick off the season by opening this weekend. Visit Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens starting Saturday for Conservatory Aglow, featuring works from internationally acclaimed artists like Dale Chihuly and Jen Lewin. Other holiday faves—poinsettia trees, a gingerbread competition—are there, too. Daytime and evening experiences run through Jan. 4. And on the opposite end of town, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium opens Wildlights on Friday, with daily experiences beginning at 5 p.m. (Note that the Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.) Expect impressive light shows, character appearances by Rudolph and friends, appearances by Santa and more. columbuszoo.org, fpconservatory.org

“The Humans,” through Sunday, Nov. 17

In mid-October, Red Herring Productions announced that it will be leaving the Franklinton Playhouse at the end of the year due to a rent increase. The theater company plans to begin producing plays at the Riffe Center in early 2020 while looking for a new home, but this weekend is the last chance to catch the troupe at the playhouse, where audiences can see a performance of “The Humans,” Stephen Karam’s Tony winner about a family reuniting and hashing out problems over a raucous Thanksgiving dinner. Tickets for the final weekend are $25 apiece. redherring.info/coming-soon

Modigliani Quartet, Saturday, Nov. 16

The Paris-based ensemble, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, has played throughout Europe, Asia, South American and the U.S., including in many of the world's top venues. Chamber Music Columbus will host the quartet at the Southern Theatre for a concert featuring the works of Stravinsky, Haydn and Tchaikovsky. chambermusiccolumbus.org

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