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Things to do around Boston this weekend and beyond

Pianist Conrad Tao will make his Celebrity Series headlining debut Dec. 1 at Longy School of Music's Pickman Hall.Brantley Gutierrez


Pop & Rock

MAX GREGOR The bassist of riff-heavy trio Lemuria comes to town on a solo tour. He’s supported by two locals: Choke Up frontman Sam Johnson, who’s fresh off releasing his solo debut,“Along the Dark Edges of Everything,” and indie rocker Gia Greene. Nov. 26, 8 p.m. The Back Room at Faces Brewing Company, Malden. 781-851-4672,

JESSY LANZA This DJ and producer just released her contribution to the long-running “DJ-Kicks” mix series, blending her own tracks like the fizzy “Seven 55″ with cuts by other denizens of club music’s cutting edge. She supports Caribou, the electro alter ego of the pop auteur Dan Snaith. Nov. 29, 8 p.m. Royale. 617-338-7699,


CHVRCHES “Screen Violence,” which this Glasgow trio released earlier this year, throws back to the synthpop era in thrilling ways — and sometimes those shocks come in horror-movie-evoking form, like the glassy, existentially bothered “Final Girl.” Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m. House of Blues. 888-693-2583,


Folk, World & Country

NEFESH MOUNTAIN Nefesh Mountain call themselves a bluegrass-Americana band, and they are certainly all that. But they also add an infusion to those forms that reflects their Jewish heritage and culture. They’re currently celebrating that with their Hanukkah Holiday Tour, which stops in Rockport Saturday evening. Nov. 27, 8 p.m. $24- $29. Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. 978-546-7391,

HOT TUNA/DAVID BROMBERG QUINTET A double-bill for the patchouli set: Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen come to town in Hot Tuna’s electric mode along with opener David Bromberg, who has been making a virtue of rootsy eclecticism since about the same time as Hot Tuna cranked up its version. Nov. 28, 8 p.m. $50-$65. The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St. 800-653-8000,

EMILY SCOTT ROBINSON Robinson is a singer-songwriter whose country-flecked folk music is starting to gain notice, which is attested to by the fact that John Prine’s record label, Oh Boy, saw fit to release her fine new album, “American Siren,” in partnership with her. Dec. 1, 8 p.m. $20. Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492-7679,



Jazz & Blues

CAROL O’SHAUGHNESSY Acclaimed singer, actress, and funny woman O’Shaughnessy — the doyenne of Boston cabaret — has been compared with the likes of Bette Midler and Ethel Merman, though she’s clearly one of a kind. Nov. 27, 7 p.m. Reservations required. Napoleon Cabaret Room, Club Café, 209 Columbus Ave. 617-536-0966,

SHANE ALLESSIO BAND The accomplished acoustic bassist and his ace band — tenor saxophonist Bill Jones, guitarist Christopher M. Brown, and drummer Tom Arey — will play original music from the new album “Everything and Nothing,” combining the compositional foundation of Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, and Charles Mingus with contemporary concepts. Nov. 28, 7 p.m. $10. The Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge.

CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT WITH NEC STUDENT JAZZ ENSEMBLES This concert culminates the miraculously gifted singer’s New England Conservatory residency. A once-in-a-generation talent, McLorin Salvant combines the vocal virtuosity of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan with the actress-in-song directness of Billie Holiday and Abbey Lincoln. Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. Free, tickets required. Jordan Hall, 290 Huntington Ave.



BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL It’s a double bill of Telemann for BEMF’s annual Thanksgiving chamber opera feast, as soprano Danielle Reutter-Harrah and baritone Douglas Williams face off in the slapstick “Pimpinone” and soprano Amanda Forsythe takes center stage for the Greek mythology-inspired cantata “Ino.” Nov. 27, 8 p.m; Nov. 28, 3 p.m. Jordan Hall. 617-661-1812,


CONRAD TAO Given the frequency with which he’s appeared on local stages and livestreams, it seems impossible that pianist Conrad Tao hasn’t made his Celebrity Series headlining debut yet, but that is in fact the case. Program to feature music by Bach, Beethoven, Robert Schumann, John Adams, Jason Eckardt, and the performer himself. Virtual tickets also available. Dec. 1, 8 p.m. Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music, Cambridge.

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY: BACH CHRISTMAS Making his H+H debut, French conductor Raphaël Pichon leads holiday music by two Bachs (J.S. and C.P.E.) and Giovanni Gabrieli. Dec. 3, Saint Cecilia Parish, Boston; Dec. 4 and 5, First Church in Cambridge. 617-266-3605,




THE LAST FIVE YEARS Jason Robert Brown’s semiautobiographical musical about the dissolution of a marriage is a thing of intricacy and delicacy, with much depending on the execution — a challenge director Leigh Barrett more than meets, with an invaluable contribution from set designer Jenna McFarland Lord. Scene by alternating scene, Barrett maps the musical’s emotional trajectory with a combination of subtlety and lucidity. Her stars, the real-life husband and wife Jared Troilo and Kira Troilo, acquit themselves not just admirably but beautifully, in terms of both story and song. Through Dec. 12. Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678,


THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE Engulfed in scandal after her affair with a married man becomes public, with the Nobel Prize committee asking her not to attend the ceremony at which she will be awarded her second Nobel, the pioneering physicist seeks refuge with her close friend, the British engineer and suffragist Hertha Ayrton. As Marie, Lee Mikeska Gardner again demonstrates her gift for inhabiting not just a character’s behavior but even, seemingly, her thought process. Debra Wise delivers a briskly commanding performance as Hertha. Lauren Gunderson’s play is directed by Bryn Boice. Through Dec. 12. Presented by The Nora@Central Square Theater. A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT production. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. Also available on-demand from Nov. 28-Dec. 26. 617-576-9278,

ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 A “documentary musical” inspired by episodes during the first year of World War I, when German and Allied troops emerged from their trenches and shared a Christmas celebration, complete with the singing of carols, exchanges of gifts like cigarettes and plum puddings, and an impromptu game of soccer. Written by Peter Rothstein, with vocal arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach. Directed by Ilyse Robbins. Music direction by Matthew Stern. Featuring Christopher Chew, David Jiles Jr., Michael Jennings Mahoney, Bryan Miner, and Gary Thomas Ng. Nov. 26-Dec. 23. Greater Boston Stage Company, Stoneham. 781-279-2200,

THE RISE AND FALL OF HOLLY FUDGE Karen MacDonald stars as Carol, a single mother renowned for the “Holly” fudge, named after her daughter, that she makes each holiday season. Amid the pandemic Christmas of 2020, Holly (Kristian Espiritu), now in her 20s, springs a surprise on her mother by coming out to Carol and bringing home her girlfriend (Eliza Simpson). Meanwhile, noisy protests are escalating against the city councilor who lives across the street. World premiere of Trista Baldwin’s play is directed by Courtney Sale. Live onstage Nov. 26-Dec. 12. Then available as video-on-demand Dec. 16-26. Production by Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell. 978-654-4678,




MIKKO NISSINEN’S THE NUTCRACKER After more than a year and a half, Boston Ballet returns to live performance at the Opera House with its most beloved production. ‘Tis the season we let those visions of sugarplums dance in our heads, and this lavish, beautifully constructed production promises to bring those visions to life with vivid dancing, opulent sets, and soaring live music. Nov. 26-Dec. 26. $39 and up. Citizens Bank Opera House.

METHUEN BALLET ENSEMBLE’S THE NUTCRACKER Methuen Ballet Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Vanessa Rae Voter, has staged the popular ballet for more than 25 years, creating more and more elaborate productions to showcase both student and professional performers. This year, the company welcomes guest artists from Festival Ballet Providence — Eugenia Zinovieva and Mamuka Kikalishvili in the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. Nov. 27, noon and 4 p.m., $34. Dana Center at St. Anselm College, Manchester, N.H.

The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory's "The Nutcracker" features new scenery and lighting designs by Broadway veteran Christine MillerErb Photography

HANOVER THEATRE AND CONSERVATORY NUTCRACKER When Ballet Arts Worcester became a part of the Hanover Theatre & Conservatory three years ago, the company began envisioning a whole new look for its annual semi-professional production of “The Nutcracker.” This year, it all comes to fruition with a vivid and whimsical new design by Broadway veteran Christine Miller that artistic director Jennifer Agbay calls “a real-life pop-up book come to life with childlike charm.” Nov. 26-28. $39-$52. Hanover Theatre & Conservatory, Worcester.


Visual Arts

WENDY RED STAR: APSÁALOOKE: CHILDREN OF THE LARGE-BEAKED BIRD Installed in Mass MoCA’s educational galleries, Red Star’s exhibition has much to teach. Its lessons are both specifically about the 1880 Crow tribe delegation that traveled from their reservation in Montana to negotiate with the federal government, concerned with settler encroachment violating treaty agreements and, more broadly, the bad faith that underpinned those negotiations and countless others like it for decades. Government promises disappeared in a whisper, along with millions of acres; delegations were toured to sprawling military installations as a tacit “or else.” They were also made to sit for portraits — for posterity, government officials thought, a record of a people soon to be no more. It didn’t work out that way, and Native American tribes like the Crow have traveled a gauntlet of adversity to thrive in the 20th century. Red Star’s work reclaims those portraits, infusing them with dignity and history through dense hand annotations, making vibrant and whole a series of pictures intended at the source to be partial and fading. Through May. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams. 413-664-4481,

JEFFREY GIBSON: INFINITE INDIGENOUS QUEER LOVE Gibson’s career survey at the Brooklyn Museum in 2020 fell victim to on-again, off-again pandemic closures, so this show is a welcome second chance. Gibson, whose work blends the aesthetics and motifs of his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage with his identity as a queer man, champions resistance on both fronts, making space for his twice-marginalized self with provocative, often-spectacular pieces that span traditional fabric and textiles, sculpture, and video. Through March 13. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln. 781-259-8355,

DIEDRICK BRACKENS AND KATHERINE BRADFORD The Carpenter Center at Harvard returned from its 18-month COVID hiatus at the end of last month with a serendipitous flourish: Painter Katherine Bradford, one of the two artists featured in its re-inaugural exhibition, had just been named the 2021 winner of the annual $35,000 Rappaport Prize a month before. The prize helps pique interest in the show, which shouldn’t need it: Bradford’s work is a natural pair with Diedrick Brackens’s intricate textile pieces, both of them radiating oblique, seductive mystery. Through Dec. 23. The Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University. 24 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-496-5387,


WOOD QUILTS: WORKS BY LAURA PETROVICH-CHENEY Quilts can be like comforting pieces of home, made from familiar scraps. After Hurricane Sandy demolished Petrovich-Cheney’s childhood home in New Jersey, she thought to make a quilt from the recovered wood. Now, she salvages wood from churches and barns destroyed by natural disasters, measures it with a quilting ruler, shapes it with a bandsaw, and fits the painted, chipped, and weathered scraps into intricate patterns. Through Dec. 31. New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St., Lowell. 978-452-4207,


"Homesick Summer," 2020, by Laura Petrovich-CheneyLaura Petrovich-Cheney



LAURA SEVERSE Severse was aghast one day when her husband told her their 11-year-old son had Googled Kim Kardashian’s butt. “I said, ‘You had the talk right?’” she remembers. “He’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah! Totally had the talk. Showed him how to clear the history.’” Nov. 26-27, 8 p.m. $20. Nick’s Comedy Stop, 200 Warrenton St.

SEAN SULLIVAN When on a diet, it’s tough to just buy a drink at Dunkin’, says Sullivan. “I’d be like, ‘Hi, can I get a large iced tea, black, no sugar, no lemon.’ They’d be like, ‘Sure. Do you want 17 doughnuts for a dollar? We’re having a special where for $1 we’ll give you 17 doughnuts, just for today, we’ll also give you that dollar.’” Nov. 27, 8 p.m. $20. The Comedy Scene, 2 Patriot Place, Foxborough. 508-203-2100,

TOTAL LOSS: A COMEDY SHOW ABOUT DEATH Will Martin had intended to record this one-man show, the moving and sometimes inappropriate story of the deaths of his brother and best friend, as a special in 2020. Those plans got scuttled, and now he’s recording it as his comedy swan song, as he intends this to be his final stand-up show. Nov. 27, 8 p.m. $18. The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville.



FALL FAMILY SCAVENGER HUNT What better excuse to get outside after a Thanksgiving feast than to go on a scavenger hunt? In this self-guided scavenger hunt, families will hike beautiful trails, learn about the outdoors, and have the chance to win prizes along the way. Registration is not required. Nov. 26, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Hale Reservation, 80 Carby St., Westwood.

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS Ring in the holidays with a free photo with Santa, steaming hot cocoa, and other fun activities like face painting and ornament making. Guests are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys to fill their toy bin to support local families in need and make the holiday season a little brighter. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the holiday tree market, either. Nov. 27, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Free. Suffolk Downs, 525 William F McClellan Hwy.

INAUGURAL HOLIDAY SHIP LIGHTING The wooden play ship will be illuminated for the first time ever with a special visit from Kris Kringle himself, who will be arriving by boat. Tuscan Kitchen and Flour Bakery will provide hot cocoa, and Ball in the House will be performing holiday classics with Seaport’s very own Betty the Yeti. Nov. 27, 4-6 p.m. Free. Martin’s Park, 64 Sleeper St.

FROG POND SKATING SPECTACULAR Skate into the winter season with U.S. Olympian Scott Hamilton and Skate America and US champion Matt Aaron. The Skating Spectacular takes place before the Boston Common tree lighting and features national and international veteran skaters for a night full of fun. Be sure to stick around to see the Common lit up. Dec. 2, 5-6 p.m. Free with admission. Frog Pond on Boston Common, 38 Beacon St.