Arts

The Ticket: What’s happening in the arts world

THE 39 STEPS

A delectably funny staging of Patrick Barlow’s labyrinthine stage adaptation of the 1915 John Buchan novel and the classic 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. Directed by Allison Olivia Choat and featuring a cast of talented and indefatigable actors who race with gusto through the play’s razzle-dazzle absurdities. Through Dec. 9. Moonbox Productions. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.moonboxproductions.org DON AUCOIN

DAILY LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE

The 250 objects in this new gallery have been examined and treated by MFA conservators, some for the first time in a century. Now visitors can explore how, more than 2,500 years ago, Greeks cooked, fished, honored the dead, and more. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org
CATE McQUAID

Pop & Rock

EMILY HAINES AND THE SOFT SKELETON The leader of agit-dance band Metric and member of Canadian kaleidoscope-pop collective Broken Social Scene returns with her solo project the Soft Skeleton, whose latest album, “Choir of the Mind,” is a reflection on 21st-century femininity that layers and swirls her voice to stunning effect. Dec. 3, 8 p.m. $28 and up. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

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KRIS ALLEN: SOMETHIN’ ABOUT CHRISTMAS The soul-pop crooner (and season eight “American Idol” winner) will deploy his charm during his holiday show, which features yuletide chestnuts, some Allen-penned seasonal tunes, and perennials like his 2016 call to action “If We Keep Doing Nothing.” Dec. 3, 8 p.m. $20 and up. City Winery Boston. 617-933-8047, www.citywinery.com/
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ANGEL OLSEN One of rock’s most stunning songwriters, this North Carolina-based belter is touring in support of “Phases,” which collects demos and other rarities from her recent recording output. With Heron Oblivion, the storming psych-rock supergroup whose just-released live album, “The Chapel,” captures the pummeling fury of their stage show. Dec. 4, 7 p.m. $25 and up. House of Blues. 888-693-2583, www.houseofblues.com/boston

MAURA JOHNSTON

Folk & World

JOE HENRY The literate singer-songwriter-producer comes to town with his band in support of the clutch of offspring on his new album, “Thrum.” “Though of my own invention,” says Henry, “these songs nonetheless will survive as they do, and well outside of my control, wild imaginings, and inevitable misgivings.” Cambridge regular Rose Cousins, who worked with Henry on her latest, “Natural Conclusion,” will open. Dec. 7, 8 p.m. $25-$35. City Winery. 617-933-8047, www.city
winery.com/boston

THE MAVERICKS Sure, since it’s a December show, they’ll throw in a Christmas chestnut or two. But basically, the Mavericks will do what the Mavericks always do: play a show that lasts for two hours or more and leaves you thinking that it was the best Mavericks show you’ve ever seen. Dec. 9, 8 p.m. Lynn Auditorium, Lynn. $37-$47. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

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THE RAGING TEENS HOLIDAY SHINDIG If you prefer your holiday musical celebrations redolent with the scent of pomade, this is where you should be Saturday night. With a Raging Teens sighting and Nate Gibson, marvelous Sean Mencher, and Montreal wildman Bloodshot Bill also on tap, it should make for a formidable evening of rockabilly music. Dec. 9, 9 p.m. $15. Great Scott. 888-929-7849, www.axs.com

STUART MUNRO

Jazz & Blues

SHEPLEY METCALF Cabaret singer Metcalf and pianist Ron Roy return with “It’s About Time,” a musical journey through life’s chapters featuring standards and rare nuggets by such greats as Jacques Brel, Carole King, Johnny Mercer, and Laura Nyro. Dec. 6 and 9, 7 p.m.; Dec. 10, 4 p.m. $20. Central Square Theater, 450 Mass.Ave., Cambridge. 617-576-9278, www.central
squaretheater.org

MANTECA: DIZZY GILLESPIE AND THE BIRTH OF LATIN JAZZ The New England Conservatory celebrates the centennial of the trumpet virtuoso and bebop innovator who also helped create Afro-Cuban jazz. For this concert, the NEC Jazz Orchestra will perform seminal Gillespie-associated Latin jazz compositions “Manteca,” “Cubano Be, Cubano Bop,” and more. Performers will include trombonist Chris Washburne and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón. Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. Free. NEC’s Jordan Hall. 617-585-1260, www.necmusic.edu/concerts

DANIEL ROSENTHAL QUINTET The Boston-based trumpeter, composer, and longtime member of Either/Orchestra celebrates his engaging new CD, “Music in the Room,” with the musicians on the album: saxophonists Charlie Kohlhase and Rick Stone, bassist Jef Charland, and drummer Luther Gray. Dec. 10, 3 p.m. $10. Third Life Studio, 33 Union Square, Somerville. www.thirdlifestudio.com

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KEVIN LOWENTHAL

Classical

LENNY AT LONGY Longy School of Music honors the Bernstein centennial with its own two-day tribute featuring performances by faculty, students, and guest artists. Thursday’s program explores the private dimensions of an intensely public figure through a selection of Bernstein’s “Anniversaries,” short works written for individual family members and friends, with Jamie Bernstein serving as narrator. Also on the bill will be “Arias and Barcarolles,” featuring mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy and baritone David Kravitz. Friday’s program will include “The Age of Anxiety.” Dec. 7-8, Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music of Bard College. 617-876-0956, www.longy.edu 

MESSIAH Under the veteran direction of Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque has made the holiday favorite one of its signature annual offerings. This year’s vocal soloists will be Ava Pine, Paula Murrihy, Aaron Sheehan, and Stephen Powell. Dec. 8-9, Jordan Hall. 617-987-8600, www.boston
baroque.org
 

NEW ENGLAND PHILHARMONIC At this holiday family concert, former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis serves as narrator and lead inspector for an orchestral whodunit: Lemony Snicket’s “The Composer Is Dead.” Also on the program will be works by John Adams and Copland as well as Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen,” to be performed by violinist Keila Wakao, the 11-year-old winner of this year’s Young Artist Competition. Richard Pittman conducts. Dec. 10, Tsai Performance Center, Boston University, 855-463-7445, www.nephilharmonic.org 

JEREMY EICHLER  

ARTS

Theater

SHE LOVES ME This 1963 Bock and Harnick musical is no masterpiece, but it remains a pretty tasty confection, especially as whipped up by director-choreographer Ilyse Robbins. Featuring Jennifer Ellis and Sam Simahk as feuding clerks in a Budapest parfumerie who are unaware they are carrying on an anonymous romantic correspondence. Through Dec. 23. Greater Boston Stage Company, Stoneham.
781-279-2200, www.greater
bostonstage.org

JULIUS CAESAR A darkly compelling all-female production of Shakespeare’s tragedy of power, ambition, and bloodshed that is highlighted by Marianna Bassham’s many-shaded portrayal of Antony and Marya Lowry’s brooding Brutus. Directed by Bryn Boice. Through Dec. 17.
Actors’ Shakespeare Project.
At Studio 210, Huntington Avenue Theatre, Boston. 617-933-8600, www.actorsshakespeare
project.org

TARTUFFE As the title character of Moliere’s comedy, a religious fraud and con man, Brett Gelman delivers a performance of comic dexterity that’s a treat to watch. Directed by Peter DuBois. Through Dec. 10. Huntington Theatre Company at Huntington Avenue Theatre, Boston. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre
.org

DON AUCOIN

Dance

NEW WORK FOR GOLDBERG VARIATIONS This one should be a brilliant two-fer, as choreographer Pam Tanowitz and classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein team up for a new interpretation of Bach’s titanic “Goldberg” Variations. The evening-length work features seven dancers, with Dinnerstein playing her iconic interpretation of the piano score live. Dec. 8-10. $25-$35. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3103, www.icaboston.org

REVELATIONS: THE LEGACIES OF ALVIN AILEY AND BOSTON’S ELMA LEWIS Since the Celebrity Series booked a one-night engagement of a promising African-American dance company nearly 50 years ago, Boston audiences have had a special relationship with Alvin Ailey’s groundbreaking troupe. That same year, educator-activist Elma Lewis founded Boston’s National Center of Afro-American Artists. Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita for the Ailey company, headlines a panel discussion honoring the two cultural pioneers. Dec. 6, 7 p.m. Free with RSVP. John Hancock Hall. 617-482-2595, www.celebrityseries.org/ailey50/

AURORA BOREALIS: A FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND DANCE Amid the bright lights and shiny tinsel of the season, Boston University’s annual exploration of the magical relationship between light and form features a festive but decidedly non-sectarian celebration, featuring dance and movement pieces by faculty and students. Dec. 3-4. Free. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-353-1597, www.bu.edu/fitrec/dance/dance-theater

KAREN CAMPBELL

Galleries

MELVIN EDWARDS: FESTIVALS, FUNERALS, AND NEW LIFE Since the 1970s, this sculptor has used industrial steel to contend with themes of labor, power, and race. More recent pieces engage the work of his late wife, poet Jayne Cortez. Through Feb. 11. David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, 64 College St., Providence. 401-863-2932, www.brown.edu/bellgallery

SAMANTHA FIELDS: MISTRESS, MISS, MRS OR MS, MADAM? “Underprimping,” an enormous petticoat form, is the centerpiece of this show. Surrounded by fiber and ceramic works, it evolves over time during Wednesday afternoon performances. Through Dec. 12. Gallery at Barrington Center for the Arts, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham. 978-867-4751, www.gordon.edu/gallery

 THE FUTURE OF WORK Joshua Fischer curates this group show in which artists turn a lens on labor at a time when technology, work life, and employer-employee relationships are shifting beneath our feet. Artists include Cody Justus, Andrew Fish, and Heather Kapplow. Through Jan. 6. Gallery at Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St. 617-423-4299, www.fortpointarts.org

 CATE McQUAID

Museums

THE PARIS OF TOULOUSE-LAUTREC: PRINTS AND POSTERS FROM THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec inhabited a Paris filled with wine, song, dance, and prostitutes. His legendary depictions portray the city’s beauty, its bawdiness, and its underside. Through Jan. 7. Currier Museum of Art, 150 Ash St., Manchester, N.H. 603-669-6144, www.currier
.org

CONVERSATIONS IN CRAFT Artists affiliated with North Bennet Street School have crafted custom desks, chairs, and more in response to historic pieces from Trustees of Reservations homes, including Fruitlands, which was acquired by the Trustees in 2016. Through March 25. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard.
978-456-3924, fruitlands.the
trustees.org/exhibitions

 CATE McQUAID

EVENTS

Comedy

SWEET! Zenobia del Mar headlines this free show at a bake shop in Dorchester, with Terence Pennington, Denise Morin, Craig Martin, Lauren Kirby, and Susanne Boitano. Dec. 7, 7 p.m. Sweet Life Cake and Bakery, 2243 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester. 617-696-6510, www.sweetlife
lowermills.com

MICHELLE WOLF Currently a contributor to “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” and formerly a regular on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” Wolf comes to town on the heels of her HBO stand-up special, “Nice Lady.” Dec. 8-9, 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. $29. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844, www.laughboston.com

THE HOLIDAY SHOW Improv Asylum turns its usual mainstage offering, which features a mix of improv-ed scenes and pre-written sketches, into a holiday-themed show. Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 14-31. Check website for times and ticket prices. Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St., Boston. 617-263-6887, www.improvasylum.com

NICK A. ZAINO III

Family

Anchored in Tradition Add some history to your holiday spirit with nautical-themed ornament craftmaking. Take your creation home to add to your family’s holiday decor, or contribute it to the Christmas tree on “Old Ironsides.” Dec. 3-24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Free with suggested donation of $3-10 for admission. USS Constitution Museum, Building 22 Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown. 617-426-1812. ussconstitutionmuseum.org/event/anchored-in-tradition-2/

Winter Workshop: Make a Stamp and Wrapping Paper Too! Are your kiddos looking to add a personal touch to the gifts they’re giving this holiday season? Now they can design their own stamp and make homemade wrapping paper to ensure that their gifts stand out in the pile. Dec. 7, 10-11 a.m. Free with $12.50 museum admission. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St. (Route 27), Acton. 978-264-4200. www.discoverymuseums.org/event/winter-workshop-make-stamp-and-wrapping-paper-too

A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Regent Theatre The heartwarming holiday story that needs no introduction; Christmas cheer guaranteed to abound. Dec. 7-24, various times. $15-$25. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 781-646-4849. www.regenttheatre.com/details/a_charlie_brown_christmas

Kaitlyn Locke

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Dec. 10 Matt Bellassai at The Wilbur www.ticketmaster.com

Dec. 12 The Dear Hunter at Royale www.axs.com

Dec. 14 Daedelus at Middle East Downstairs www.ticketweb.com

Dec. 17 Harry and the Potters’ 13th Annual Yule Ball at Middle East Downstairs www.ticketweb.com

Dec. 19 Tyler Hilton & Kate Voegele at Brighton Music Hall www.ticketmaster.com

Dec. 21-23 The Hip-Hop Nutcracker at Shubert Theatre www.bochcenter.org

Dec. 22 Emo Night Brooklyn at Brighton Music Hall www.ticketmaster.com

Dec. 28 Lettuce at Paradise Rock Club www.ticketmaster.com

Terence Cawley