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    Boston-area to do list

    Paul Lyden


    Coffee break

    For David Coffee (above), playing Scrooge must be seasonal second nature. The actor is humbugging for the 19th year in the North Shore Music Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol.” In the Dickens classic, Boston favorite Leigh Barrett does double duty as Ghost of Christmas Past and Mrs. Cratchit. 7:30 p.m. (through Dec. 23). $45-$60 (unwrapped toys for ages 2-12 will be donated to Toys for Tots). North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly. 978-232-7200.


    Milling around One of the goals of New York-based dance theater company LaneCoArts is to “inspire deep emotional exploration.” That’s a challenge for us shallow types, but check it out at Movement at the Mills where “Land•scape” explores the unconscious mind through “movement vocabulary.” Multidisciplinary artist Basil El Halwagy presents “electrostar: experimentalism in mystic reality.”
    7 and 8 p.m. Free. Mills Gallery, 551 Tremont St., Boston. 617-456-1132.

    Improv fest Giggle getters at the 24-hour improv marathon benefit for Globe Santa, “No Rest For the Wicked Funny,” include Steven Wright, former Celtics star Jo Jo White, and Dropkick Murphys’ Ken Casey. Tickets to the Red Sox, Celtics, “Conan,” and Boston’s “Book of Mormon” are some of the auction items. Dec. 7 from 8 p.m.-
    8 a.m. $20 minimum ($35 provides presents for an entire family). Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St., Boston. 617-263-6887.

    Coal in his stocking “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Some Day)” is our favorite title by Billy Joe Shaver, and a few others to choose from are “Honky Tonk Heroes,” “Georgia on a Fast Train,” “Live Forever,” “Tramp on Your Street,” and “Try and Try Again.” The Grammy-nominated tunesmith was called “my favorite songwriter” by Johnny Cash. 8 p.m. $25. Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. 978-425-4311. www.bullrun



    Peyton’s place With their cowboy boots and washboard, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band will take you to the church of Delta blues and Americana. The three-piece band from the southern Indiana foothills heats up the Red Room. Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. $15. The Red Room @ Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St., Boston. 617-747-2261.


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    Sweet On the track “Sweet” from “Away From the World,” the latest album by Dave Matthews Band, Matthews sings that he’s “too old to wanna be younger now.” We’re of the same mindset, but we’ll let Dave do our singing. Jimmy Cliff opens for the band at the TD Garden. Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. $75, $85. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. 800-745-3000.

    Season for Chestnuts This jazz pianist could mesmerize us with “Chopsticks,” but you’ll get a lot more when he and his Cyrus Chestnut Trio present their holiday program. The Berklee School of Music alum is known for his blend of gospel, blues, ragtime, and early jazz. Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. $18-$32. Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport. 978-546-7391.