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THE TICKET

Things to do around Boston this weekend and beyond

Hasan Minhaj (pictured in November 2022 at the Stand up for Heroes benefit in New York) will perform Dec. 8 at the Boch Center Wang Theatre.Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images/file

MUSIC

Pop & Rock

ANJIMILE The folk explorer returns to Boston to showcase his latest album, the searing exploration of identity and faith “The King.” Dec. 8, 8 p.m. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100, icaboston.org

MORA On his latest album, “ESTRELLA,” this Puerto Rican producer and songwriter blends the perpetual-motion beats of reggaeton with dreampop atmospherics and electronic glitches. Dec. 9, 7 p.m. House of Blues. 888-693-2583, houseofblues.com/boston

SKY FERREIRA For the past decade, this electropop singer-songwriter has been one of alt-pop’s biggest enigmas. In 2012 she released the plush single “Everything Is Embarrassing,” which gave a gentle funk-pop crash pad to the bad feelings conjured by rejection; the following year she released her debut album, “Night Time, My Time,” which surrounded her desperate alto in sparkly, grungy sonics. Her long-gestating follow-up, “Masochism,” has so far been preceded by two spectacular singles, the stompy goth-pop fantasia “Don’t Forget” and the brooding “Downhill Lullaby.” Dec. 10, 7 p.m. Paradise Rock Club. 617-562-8800, crossroadspresents.com

MAURA JOHNSTON

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Anjimile (pictured in 2018 at the Wicked Good Festival on Boston Common) will perform Dec. 8 at the Institute of Contemporary Art.Ben Stas for The Boston Globe/file


Folk, World & Country


UNDER THE COVERS It’s an annual three-night December tradition at Club Passim, but it ain’t December songs; rather, it’s Mark Erelli, Rose Cousins, Jake Amerding, and Zach Hickman combining forces for a wide-ranging foray into singing and playing songs that none of them wrote. Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; Dec. 9-10, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. $35. Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492-7679, www.passim.org

ASHLEY MCBRYDE Ashley McBryde is one of the few mainstream country artists around today who also has one foot planted firmly outside of the mainstream. She straddles a rock-country line as well, perhaps no more so than on her new record, “The Devil I Know.” She’s in town Saturday in support of the album. Dec. 9, 8 p.m. $28-$68. Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Place. www.livenation.com

OVER THE RHINE Married couple Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler, who perform as Over the Rhine, are fond of Christmas (“What is it about Christmas music and the undeniable gravitational pull it exerts on some songwriters?,” they ask). They’ve released three Christmas albums to date — all of them imbued with the pair’s distinctive perspective, which they call “reality Christmas” — and invariably do a Christmas tour as well. This year’s will be an acoustic affair. Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. $30-$45. City Winery, 80 Beverly St. 617-933-8047, www.citywinery.com

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STUART MUNRO


Jazz & Blues

AARDVARK JAZZ ORCHESTRA: 51st ANNUAL CHRISTMAS CONCERT The venerable, Boston-based big band’s inaugural performance was a Christmas benefit — and all these years later the tradition continues, with a mix of carols, spirituals, and original compositions by bandleader Mark Harvey, including, this time, a tribute to the recently departed saxophonist and Aardvark stalwart Arni Cheatham. Proceeds will benefit Rosie’s Place. Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. $20. Church of the Covenant, 67 Newbury St. 617-776-8778, www.aardvarkjazz.com

ALBERT CUMMINGS The chart-topping bluesman and Williamstown native is a stinging guitarist, strong singer, and super songwriter. Over the years, he’s shared stages with everyone from Buddy Guy to Susan Tedeschi. Dec. 9, 8 p.m. $30. Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan St., Fall River. 508-324-1926, www.narrowscenter.org

BERKLEE WORLD STRINGS: THE HISTORY OF JAZZ VIOLIN Directed by boundary-bending cellist and Berklee Professor Eugene Freisen (Paul Winter Consort, Trio Globo), a group of Berklee students and faculty will explore the long, rich journey of one of jazz’s most underrated instruments. Dec. 11, 8 p.m. $12-$17. Berklee Performance Center. www.berklee.edu/BPC

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KEVIN LOWENTHAL


Classical

JEREMY DENK In the first half of this week’s program, the pianist and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient presents a tapestry of short pieces by women composers from across the centuries, from Louise Farrenc and Clara Schumann to Tania León and Meredith Monk. The program also includes Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel and Robert Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major. Presented by Celebrity Series of Boston. Dec. 9, 8 p.m., NEC’s Jordan Hall; Dec. 10, 3 p.m., Groton Hill Music Center, Groton. 617-482-2595, www.celebrityseries.org

MUSICIANS OF THE OLD POST ROAD Soprano Adriana Ruiz, mezzo-soprano Hilary Anne Walker, and musicians from early music ensemble La Fontegara Mexico join Musicians of the Old Post Road to salute the season with music from Spain and New Spain. Dec. 9, 4 p.m. First Unitarian, Worcester; Dec. 10, 4 p.m. Church of the Covenant. www.oldpostroad.org

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY H+H principal keyboardist Ian Watson directs this year’s H+H Baroque Christmas bash, featuring the H+H Orchestra, soprano Teresa Wakim, and baritone David McFerrin performing Christmas classics by J.S. Bach, Scarlatti, Charpentier, and more. Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 17, 3 p.m. NEC’s Jordan Hall. 617-262-1815, www.handelandhaydn.org

A.Z. MADONNA


ARTS

Theater

THE BAND’S VISIT The undertow of melancholy pervading Paul Daigneault’s exquisite production reveals a musical that knows all about human sadness, and how many shapes it can take. But it also knows about the quite real possibilities for human connection as it tells the story of an Egyptian police orchestra and the residents of the small Israeli town where the musicians end up due to a transportation error. With an indelible score by David Yazbek, a book by Itamar Moses, choreography by Daniel Pelzig, and music direction by José Delgado. Presented by the Huntington and SpeakEasy Stage Company. Through Dec. 17. Huntington Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave. 617-266-0800, huntingtontheatre.org

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL: A MUSICAL GHOST STORY According to North Shore Music Theatre, more than 1 million people have seen this annual production since it premiered in 1989. David Coffee once again portrays the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Jon Kimbell’s adaptation of the Dickens story about a man’s transformation over the course of one magical, revelation-filled night. Directed and choreographed by Kevin P. Hill, “A Christmas Carol: A Musical Ghost Story” features traditional holiday songs like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” and “Here We Come A-Wassailing.” Dec. 7-23. North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly. 978-232-7200, nsmt.org

ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 A 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. Original direction and choreography by Ilyse Robbins, remounted by Arthur Gomez. Dec. 8-23. Greater Boston Stage Company, Stoneham. 781-279-2200, greaterbostonstage.org

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HANUKKATS In this musical interactive puppet show by Talking Hands Theatre, Ziva the cat travels through time to the period of the first Hanukkah, seeking to recover the missing letters on her dreidel. Audience members can sing, dance, and act out parts of the story as Judah Meowcabee, Oliver the olive oil maker, and other characters help Ziva figure out the connection between the dreidel letters, the Hanukkah story, and the way the game of dreidel is played. Dec. 9-17. Puppet Showplace Theater, Brookline. puppetshowplace.org

DON AUCOIN


Dance

JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE’S THE NUTCRACKER Known for its intimate charm and accessibility, Mateo’s original production of the popular classic spans 35 years as it brings its magic to 13 performances at the Strand. In addition to guest artists from renowned companies around the world, more than 100 children, ranging in age from 6 to 18, will perform as Clara, mice, soldiers, party children, polichinelles, cherubs, and angels. Dec. 9-24. $25-$90. The Strand Theatre, Dorchester. www.ballettheatre.org/tickets

CLUB DROSSELMEYER 1940 The setting for this immersive and interactive theatrical experience, now in its seventh year, is a lively Boston nightclub in 1940. The show takes elements of “The Nutcracker” in a wildly different direction and features performances by aerialist Molly Baechtold, swing dance troupe Green Line Stomp, and hip-hop dancer Brian Washburn. Live music will be original swing arrangements of “The Nutcracker Suite,” adapted and performed by Danny Fratina and his eight-piece band Rocco and the Stompers. Dec. 9-17. $60-$105. Cambridge Masonic Temple, Cambridge. www.clubdrosselmeyer.com

ROOTS & ROUTES The Dance Complex’s teaching artists concert highlights some of the dedicated dance educators who enliven the center’s offerings each year. Featured performers for this production include Back Pocket Dancers, Eight Feet Tall, Junior Cius, Laura Sanchez Flamenco, Mladost Folk Ensemble, Power of Skirts Collective, Sambanismo Academy, and The Click. Dec. 9-10. $10-$30. Dance Complex, Cambridge. www.dancecomplex.org

NORTHEAST YOUTH BALLET’S THE NUTCRACKER The nonprofit ballet company celebrates the 25th anniversary of its popular production this season. The full-length production featuring lavish sets and costumes is especially family-friendly, showcasing more than 85 young dancers from all around the Greater Boston area. Dec. 8-10. $30-$45. J. Everett Collins Center for the Performing Arts, Andover. www.nsbinc.org

KAREN CAMPBELL


Visual art


BETWEEN WORLDS: THE ART AND DESIGN OF LEO LIONNI It’s about this time of year when I can’t help but think of Frederick, to me the most iconic of Leo Lionni’s countlessly iconic field mice, who lazed about all autumn while his family labored to gather provisions for winter. Frederick, it turned out, was busy gathering something else: sunshine, which he shared with warm thoughts deep in the family burrow as winter closed in. If there’s anything in common among the dozens of children’s books Lionni made over his career, it’s warmth — something much needed and, fortunately, on ample display at this exhibition, just in time for the cold. Through May 27. Norman Rockwell Museum, 9 Glendale Road, Stockbridge. 413-298-4100, www.nrm.org

INVENTING ISABELLA Mild hagiography of its namesake is typically an at least marginal element in most of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s program; with this exhibition, any such facade drops. A full-throated celebration of its eccentric founder, “Inventing Isabella” isn’t mere hero worship (though it’s surely that): Through a wealth of images, objects, and articles of clothing, the museum sketches a broader portrait of a willfully enigmatic figure whose public persona was carefully crafted to mask her private self. Through Jan. 15. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way. 617-566-1401, www.isgm.org

E.J. HILL: BRAKE RUN HELIX A real, rideable roller coaster occupies Mass MoCA’s gargantuan Building 5, its ribbon of pink track snaking from a platform shrouded by two-story-high green velvet drapes. The theatricality adds a performative flair to the piece, by E.J. Hill, for whom roller coasters are a loaded symbol of the privilege of leisure and a history of segregation that denied Black Americans its simple thrills. Through Feb. 11. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams. 413-662-2111, www.massmoca.org

MURRAY WHYTE

SOMERVILLE PRINTS! Printmakers often work collaboratively where the presses are. Somerville is a hub of active print shops, such as Abrazos Press, Weinberg Art & Design, Mixit Print Studio, Muskat Studios, and New Impressions Print Studio. This show features prints by more than 20 artists who have worked in those shops, and provides a local counterpoint to the Boston Printmakers 2023 North American Print Biennial, up through Dec. 9 at Boston University’s 808 Gallery. Through Dec. 30. Brickbottom Gallery, 1 Fitchburg St., Somerville www.brickbottom.org/our-exhibitions

CATE McQUAID



EVENTS

Comedy

HASAN MINHAJ: OFF WITH HIS HEAD TOUR The comic storyteller and former “Patriot Act” host is at the beginning of his new tour, with current events providing plenty of grist for the mill. Early show is sold out. Dec. 8, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $53-$103.50. Boch Center Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St. www.bochcenter.org

THE MAIN STAGE HOLIDAY SHOW The holidays are a time to improvise, from last-minute gifts to what to say during an awkward dinner with the extended family. Improv Asylum would like you to leave some of the holiday improvising to the professionals with this mix of scenes created from audience suggestions and comic sketches, Thursdays through Saturdays through December. Thursdays at 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. $29-$35. Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St. 617-263-6887, www.improvasylum.com

AWKWARD SEX & THE CITY This edition of the long-running touring show features creator Natalie Wall and Karolena Theresa doing extended sets on sex and relationships, with some holiday flavor sprinkled in. Dec. 9, 7 p.m. $15. The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville. www.therockwell.org

NICK A. ZAINO III


Family

MERRY MOAKLEY Families can celebrate the season with an evening of music, cocoa, crafts, and more with Boston Harbor Now. There will also be pizza, games, free books, and even more. Dec. 7, 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. South Boston Neighborhood Preschool, 1187 Columbia Road. eventbrite.com.

PASTRIES & PLAY WITH SANTA Head to the POP Center for some sweet treats, hot cocoa, and lattes from Tatte. Kids can meet and greet Santa Claus, listen to a story told by Mrs. Claus, and dance to some festive holiday tunes. They can also make holiday crafts, and toys and games will be available in the winter wonderland-themed playroom. Dec. 9, 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. $15-$45. 1037 Chestnut St., Newton eventbrite.com

FAMILY FUN CHANUKA CELEBRATION Celebrate the Festival of Lights with the whole family at the Boston Synagogue. Children can decorate their own menorahs, learn some more about the holiday in a round of Chanukah Jeopardy, and play with dreidels. There will also be latkes, sufganiyot, sparkling blue lemonade, and cocktails for the parents. Dec. 10, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The Boston Synagogue, 55 Martha Road. Donation required for tickets. bostonsynagogue.org

ELENA GIARDINA