Pop & Rock

MARSHALL CRENSHAW Crenshaw has been making it a habit in recent years to come to Harvard Square in solo singer-songwriter mode for a late December date. He’ll play “Someday, Someway,” “Favorite Waste of Time,” and other slices of pop perfection, and perhaps a few from his recent series of EP releases. Dec. 28, 8 p.m. $30. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-7679, www.passim.org STUART MUNRO

THE ROOTS The hardest-working band in hip-hop — in addition to a regular touring schedule, their musical choices as “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” house band helpfully reframe the American pop canon so that it includes more soul, funk, and hip-hop — hit the upper end of the Northeast Corridor. Lead MC Black Thought’s recent freestyle on New York hip-hop stalwart Hot 97, a 10-minute firestorm of intricate rhymes and searing politics, is an incredible statement on the current cultural moment that casually flaunts his unparalleled chops. Dec. 26, 7 p.m. $62 and up. House of Blues. 888-693-2583, www.houseofblues.com/boston

CYMBALS EAT GUITARS New York’s indie-rock true believers specialize in hooky, put-it-all-out-there chug. Dec. 28, 9 p.m. $15. Great Scott. 617-566-0914, www.greatscottboston.com


DEER TICK This year, the Providence-based kitchen-sink rockers released a pair of albums — “Vol. 1” revels in acoustic guitars and stretched-out vibes, while “Vol. 2” turns up the volume and amps up the garage-rock swagger. Dec. 30-31, 9 p.m. $25 and up. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200, www.sinclaircambridge.com


Folk & World

GIRLS, GUNS AND GLORY Their New Year Hank Williams tribute shows have apparently been shelved at least for the nonce, so Girls, Guns and Glory will end their year doing their regular thing Thursday night. Maine’s Mallett Brothers Band makes it worthwhile to show up for the opener. Dec. 28, 8 p.m. $14-$18. City Winery. 617-933-8047, www.citywinery.com/boston


GLEN YODER & THE WESTERN STATES You could just stay in Saturday and conserve your energy for whatever you have planned to celebrate the start of another year, or you could hit this eve of New Year’s eve show and enjoy some bracing roots-rock courtesy of former Bostonian Glen Yoder and his mates. Dec. 30, 10 p.m. $10. Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge. 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com


Jazz & Blues

JOE HUNT JAZZ QUARTET The master drummer, who’s played with such greats as Stan Getz, Bill Evans, and Charles Mingus, hosts New York-based trumpeter John Eckert, who will round out a quartet featuring pianist Yuka Hamano Hunt and bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa. Dec. 26, 8:30 p.m. $10. Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 617-395-1393, www.lilypadinman.com

DELTA GENERATORS The acclaimed, red hot blues band celebrates its new album, “Live at the Spire,” the first with singer-harmonica player Brian Templeton, formerly of the Radio Kings. With guitarist Charlie O’Neal, bassist Rick O’Neal, and drummer Jeff Armstrong. Dec. 29, 8 p.m. $18. Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. 978-425-4311, www.bullrunrestaurant.com

THE MAKANDA PROJECT The marvelous big band that keeps the musical flame of Boston’s late, great Makanda Ken McIntyre burning hosts a New Year’s Eve dance party featuring dancers Mickey Davidson and Brian Davis and interludes by local dance companies. Dec. 31, 9 p.m. Tickets $25 (individual), $40 (couple). Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley St., Roxbury. www.makandaproject.com



BOSTON BAROQUE Under Martin Pearlman’s direction, the period instrument ensemble once again rings in the new year with Baroque staples. This year, Handel’s “Water Music” and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, Sanders Theatre. 617-987-8600, www.bostonbaroque.org


BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA After a holiday hiatus, the BSO’s subscription season resumes with a debut by the young British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, to be heard as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21. Also on the program will be Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Francois-Xavier Roth conducts. Jan. 4-9, Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200, www.bso.org

BOSTON ARTISTS ENSEMBLE In a meaty program titled “The Art of the String Quintet,” the BAE players gather for two quintets by Mozart along with Brahms’s great G-Major Quintet (Op. 111). Jan. 5 at Hamilton Hall in Salem, Jan. 7 at St. Paul’s Church in Brookline. 617-964-6553, www.bostonartistsensemble.org  




THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: A VENETIAN CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE The Renaissance is the setting for the 47th annual Revels. The Doge of Venice, portrayed by the inimitable Richard Snee, decides to take a break from his burdensome duties and head out to meet some of his subjects — an escapade that brings him in contact with actors, musicians, convicts, and English folk dancers. Directed by Patrick Swanson. Music director is Megan Henderson. Through Dec. 27. Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge. 617-496-2222, www.revels.org

HOLD THESE TRUTHS Jeanne Sakata’s drama about Gordon Hirabayashi, who defied the internment of Japanese-Americans by the US government during World War II, provides a roomy showcase for the talented young actor Michael Hisamoto. He immerses himself in the role, delivering a subtly textured portrayal that conveys a vivid sense of the personality, as well as the fervent idealism, of a man who was willing to sacrifice his freedom for a cause. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush. Through Dec. 31. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com


A CHRISTMAS CAROL Adapted and directed by Debra Wise, this iteration of the Charles Dickens story features puppetry, dancing, and live music, and takes place in what is described as “a city suspended between Victorian London and the vibrantly diverse London of today.’’ Featuring Ken Cheeseman as Scrooge and Ramona Lisa Alexander as Marley. Through Dec. 31. Co-production by Underground Railway Theater and Nora Theatre Company. Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 617-576-9278, ext. 1, www.centralsquaretheater.org DON AUCOIN


WINTER WONDER DANCE FESTIVAL In the midst of a five-day intensive of classes and workshops, the Dance Complex hosts two nights of performances showcasing the festival’s guest artists. The wide-ranging program will include performances by Pam Pietro, David Parker, Levi Marsman, Boyko Dossev, Peter DiMuro, and Sean Bjerke. Dec. 29-30. $13-$21. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org

SHEN YUN This New-York-based classical Chinese dance touring company presents an extravaganza that mines centuries of China’s ancient cultural traditions, with an eye toward both preservation and entertainment. The production features original music played by a live orchestra and eye-popping costumes and sets. Dec. 27-Jan. 1, $80-$188. Boch Center Wang Theatre. 888-974-3698, www.shenyun.com


URBAN NUTCRACKER Tony Williams Dance Center’s intrepid little charmer is in its 17th year of bringing a lively multicultural Boston spin to the familiar tale. Amassing a crew of 150 performers, kids as well as professionals, the production spins through a wide range of dance styles to a mix of Tchaikovsky’s luminous score and Duke Ellington’s jazz interpretation. Through Dec. 28. $25-$85. John Hancock Hall. 888-596-1027, www.urbannutcracker.com



PAIGE JIYOUNG MOON: RECENT PAINTINGS From doing laundry to watching movies on a laptop, the scenes in Moon’s paintings spring from her own life. Her intricate detail, attention to pattern, and inventive use of space imbue ordinary moments with import. Through Jan. 13. Steven Zevitas Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-778-5265, www.stevenzevitasgallery.com

KIRSTEN REYNOLDS: SPIN, WALDO EVAN JESPERSEN: STRETCHED Reynolds and Jespersen each twist and exaggerate familiar forms. Reynolds turns architectural structures into a jazzy jungle gym; Jespersen bends planes into glowing, human-size shapes that together may look like a family. Through Jan. 28. Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Ave. 617-482-7781, www.bostonsculptors.com

RESA BLATMAN: DEEP: DRAWINGS & INSTALLATIONS OF THE SEA The artist comes at climate change voluptuously, painting haunting, watery habitats on delicately shaped surfaces. She will be working in the gallery weekends through Dec. 24. Through Dec. 28. 1630, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 4 South Market Building. 617-331-3119, www.resablatman.com



HENRY JAMES AND AMERICAN PAINTING The great chronicler of trans-Atlantic high society wrote like a painter. His heady circle included Isabella Stewart Gardner, John Singer Sargent, John La Farge, and James McNeill Whistler. This show investigates how they influenced one another. Through Jan. 21. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way. 617-566-1401, www.gardnermuseum.org

JOE BRADLEY This dexterous, Maine-born painter pivots from color field washes to grease-pencil iconography, constantly changing his style. All of his work links his protean inner rumblings to a larger conversation with the history of painting. Through Jan. 28. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham. 781-736-3434, www.brandeis.edu/rose

LINES OF THOUGHT: DRAWING FROM MICHELANGELO TO NOW: FROM THE BRITISH MUSEUM This exhibition shines a light on drawing as a foundational process, from mindless doodling to decision-making. It includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Cézanne, and Bridget Riley. Through Jan. 7. RISD Museum, 20 North Main St., Providence. 401-454-6500, www.risdmuseum.org  CATE McQUAID



JIM JEFFERIES The outspoken former Australian comic now gets to lampoon current events on his weekly “Jim Jefferies Show” on Comedy Central, but you’ll see him a bit more raw in person. The early shows on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 were sold out at press time. Dec. 29-30 at 10 p.m., Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. $51.95-$71.95. The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St., Boston. 617-248-9700, www.thewilbur.com

SAM MORRIL The former “Colbert Report” intern is handy with a one- or two-line bit, and sometimes pushes people’s buttons with divisive topics. He taped his first one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central earlier in December. Dec. 29-30 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. $29-$35. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844, www.laughboston.com

AL PARK, EMILY RUSKOWSKI & FRIENDS Park and Ruskowski on the same bill is an inspired pairing. Both are congenial in nature with sharp comic minds. Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m. $20. Dick Doherty’s Comedy Den at Howl at the Moon, 184 High St., Boston. 800-401-2221, www.dickdoherty.com



VACATION WEEK FUN AT DISCOVERY MUSEUMS Time for every kid’s favorite week of the year: school’s out for the holidays. Grab a thick pair of wool socks for some sock-footed ice skating, and then visit the building, learning, and crafting activities set up for the little ones. Dec. 26-30, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. $12.50 admission. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 978-264-4200. www.discoverymuseums.org/event/vacation-week-fun

DECEMBER SCHOOL VACATION WEEK AT FRANKLIN PARK ZOO They may not have Rudolph, but there are plenty of other options to keep kiddos occupied during the school holiday. Talk with zookeepers about red pandas, camels, birds, and more, with special winter activities. Dec. 26-29, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $9.95-$13.95 when you buy online. Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston. 617-541-5466. www.zoonewengland.org/engage/december-school-vacation-week-fpz

DECEMBER VACATION WEEK: EXTRAORDINARY ESCAPES The ICA is in on the holiday fun, too. Gather the tiny tots (young of age or of heart) from all sides of the extended family to stroll through galleries and participate in pop-up winter activities. Psst: Word is that on the 27th and 28th, animals from the New England Aquarium will be visiting. Dec. 27-29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $10-$15 admission, free for ages 17 and under. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100. www.icaboston.org/events/extraordinary-escapades



Jan. 21 MO and Cashmere Cat at House of Blues concerts.livenation.com

Jan. 21 Tennis at Royale www.axs.com

Jan. 24 Destroyer at Sinclair www.axs.com

Jan. 24 Henry Rollins at Wilbur Theater www.ticketmaster.com

Jan. 24 Sleigh Bells at Paradise Rock Club www.ticketmaster.com

Jan. 25 Snail Mail at Great Scott www.axs.com

Jan. 26 Blues Traveler at House of Blues concerts.livenation.com

Jan. 26 Maria Bamford at Wilbur Theater www.ticketmaster.com