Boston-area to do list

Tamir Kalifa for The Boston Glob


Victory at sea

A wooden leg and 200-year-old bone fragments are a couple of the artifacts at a new USS Constitution Museum exhibit to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the ship’s victory over HMS Java. What was life at sea like in 1812? How did the battle begin? What was homecoming like? (Hint: Captain William Bainbridge’s comments: “The applause of my countrymen has for me greater charms than all the gold that glitters.”)
Daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (permanent exhibit with some artifacts on loan until December 2015). Admission by donation. Charlestown Navy Yard, Bldg. 22, Boston. 617-426-1812.


What does it mean? “If we are lucky, meaning shows itself: meaning that is always there, meaning that is always already, meaning that is always everywhere; meaning that is larger than we, meaning that we can never reach because meaning continuously extends.” This from Treacy Ziegler whose exhibit “Possibility of Being” features monoprints and animal studies in oil and gold leaf. Wednesday hours are 11 a.m.-
6 p.m. (through Jan. 27). Free. Chase Young Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston. 617-859-7222.

Sealed with a kiss He can play the viola, guitar, piano, and ukulele, but it’s his voice that made him the winner of “American Idol” in 2009 (and the first married contestant to win the competition). Arkansas singer Kris Allen sang “Kiss a Girl” with Keith Urban during the show’s finale. 7 p.m. $15-$58. Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston. 800-745-3000.


Full circle Singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Claudia Schmidt has said of her new album, “Bend in the River: Collected Songs,” that “listening to these songs is like watching a sped-up camera shot of a flower opening. I can summon up exactly what was happening in my life at the moments when I wrote and recorded these songs.” The blend of folk, blues, and jazz includes “You Can Call Me Baby.” 8 p.m. $12. 21+. Johnny D’s, 17 Holland St., Somerville. 617-776-2004.

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Cart before the horse Sandy Farrier lures you into the theater with his posters, but there’s one little problem — the plays haven’t been written. “Posters for Plays Not Yet Written” allows the Newburyport artist and actor to merge three of his passions: design, photography, and theater. How about a fourth: teasing. Wed-Sun noon-5 p.m. through Feb. 10. Free. Firehouse Center for the Arts, Market Square, Newburyport.


Another nut to crack Let’s move from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” to his Violin Concerto. New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra and violinist
Julian Rachlin in a program of this romantic piece plus three 20th-century works: Ravel’s “La Valse,’’ Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements, and Dutilleux’s “Métaboles” for Orchestra. Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. (through Jan. 15). $30-$124, $20 under age 40 (one-pair limit on a first-come, first-served basis). Symphony Hall,
301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston.

A spirited discussion Would you like to trade your morning java for a mug of flip? This rum drink was how many Puritans started their day, and you can learn more about our city’s relationship with booze from Stephanie Schorow who will discuss her book “Drinking Boston: A History of the City and Its Spirits.”
Jan. 10 at 6 p.m. Free. Old South Meeting House,
310 Washington St., Boston. 617-482-6439.