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The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world

“The Hip Hop Nutcracker” is at the Emerson Colonial Theatre Dec. 15-16.Tim Norris


Pop & Rock

KIMBRA This Kiwi is still a presence on safe-for-work radio stations thanks to her cameo on Gotye’s fluke hit “Somebody That I Used to Know,” but she’s even better on her own: Her 2018 album “Primal Heart” frames her lithe voice in genre-agnostic, sprawling gems, some of which get stripped to their bones on her recent EP “Songs From Primal Heart: Reimagined.” With shape-shifting electro-soul visionary DAWN, whose forthcoming full-length “New Breed” looks back on her journey from New Orleans to pop’s vanguard. Dec. 9, 8 p.m. Advance tickets sold out, call box office regarding day-of availability. Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org


DOE PAORO “Soft Power,” the new album from this Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, takes cues from soulful pop classics ranging from Shirelles 45s to “Tapestry” to Adele’s sparest tracks, with Paoro’s robust voice leading the way. Dec. 12, 8 p.m. $15, $12 advance, $7 students. The Red Room at Café 939, Boston. 617-747-2261, www.berklee.edu/cafe939

J MASCIS The Dinosaur Jr. guitar god comes back in support of his new, hook-studded solo record, “Elastic Days.” Dec. 13, 8 p.m. $33, $30 advance. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200, www.sinclaircambridge.com


Folk & World

OLD 97’S The Old 97’s love the holidays — so says the title of their just-released contribution to the Yuletide genre. No hoary classics for them (well, just a couple); the band wrote nine originals for the album, and they’ll be firing them up for their “holiday extravaganza” show Sunday. Frontman Rhett Miller will also be performing a solo acoustic set. Dec. 9, 8 p.m. $25. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 888-929-7849, www.axs.com

DOUG PAISLEY Canadian singer-songwriter-guitarist Doug Paisley arrives in support of “Starter Home,” his first album in five years. Birthed in part by the sorts of concerns reflected in its title (Paisley started a family between albums), it’s another fine collection of his relaxed, burnished, meticulously crafted country-folk. Bonus: Sam Moss will open. Dec. 9, 9 p.m. $15. Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge. 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com


ASHLEY MCBRYDE With her singer-songwriter acuity and heartland sound redolent of the likes of John Mellencamp and Chris Knight, rising artist Ashley McBryde is taking advantage of the space that Chris Stapleton has opened for folks like her in mainstream country. Get there early and you can also hear another of those folks in opener Dee White. Dec. 14, 8 p.m. $15. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 888-929-7849, www.axs.com


Jazz & Blues

THE RHYTHM FUTURE QUARTET Bringing Django Reinhardt’s gypsy jazz into the 21st century, the virtuosic string band, helmed by American violinist Jason Anick and Finnish guitarist Olli Soikkeli, celebrates its engaging new CD, “Rhythm Future & Friends.” Dec. 13, 8 p.m. $25. Scullers, Boston. 866-777-8932, www.scullersjazz.com

JEFF PITCHELL & TEXAS FLOOD The dynamic guitarist, singer, and bandleader has played with everyone from blues giant Buddy Guy to the Monkees’ Peter Tork. Dec. 14, 8 p.m. $20-$22. Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining, 267 Main St., Woonsocket, R.I. 401-765-1900, www.chanseggrollsandjazz.com

41st ANNUAL JOHN COLTRANE MEMORIAL CONCERT: MY FAVORITE THINGS This year’s tribute to the supreme jazz master also honors two great saxophonists with lengthy Boston ties: Bill Pierce and Stan Strickland. Comprising a passel of Boston’s favorite jazz players, the 14-piece JCMC Ensemble, directed by Dr. Carl Atkins, performs new arrangements of Coltrane-associated numbers from the headline Rodgers & Hammerstein standard to “Afro Blue” (featuring Strickland) and “Like Sonny” (featuring Pierce). WGBH’s Eric Jackson hosts. Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. $25-$40. Blackman Auditorium, Northeastern University, Boston. www.northeastern.edu, 617-373-4700; www.friendsofjcmc.org, 617-671-0789




WINTERREISE Journey to Rockport to hear dramatic soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and pianist Brian Zeger traverse Schubert’s chilling “Winterreise.” The song cycle is most often sung by tenors or baritones; Pieczonka is one of a small but growing number of women who have explored it. Dec. 9, 3 p.m. Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport. 978-546-7391, www.rockportmusic.org

TRANSIENT CANVAS The bass clarinet/marimba duo offers scenes from “Exposure,” a new opera about power and consent in visual art by composer Daniel Felsenfeld and librettist Bea Goodwin. The program includes other new works based around visual art, including the world premiere of Osnat Netzer’s “meshulashim.” Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. First Church in Boston. Free. www.transientcanvas.com

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY This year’s mostly-Italian Baroque Christmas promises sparkling selections by Vivaldi, Corelli, and more. Ian Watson directs from the keyboards, and soprano Amanda Forsythe joins the ensemble for cantatas by Bach and Scarlatti. Dec. 13 and 16. Jordan Hall. 617-266-3605, www.handelandhaydn.org,

MUSICIANS OF THE OLD POST ROAD This period-instrument ensemble spends Christmas with the Bach family, playing pieces for the season by Papa Bach, sons, and cousins. Tickets are available for $10 to students with ID. Dec. 14, Gloucester. Dec. 15, Boston. Dec. 16, Worcester. 781-466-6694, www.oldpostroad.org





BREATH & IMAGINATION Davron S. Monroe brings a combination of elegantly expressive artistry and emotional clarity to his virtuosic portrayal of pioneering Boston tenor Roland Hayes, a son of former slaves who used his glorious voice to topple color barriers on concert stages in the early 20th century. Maurice Emmanuel Parent makes a strong professional directing debut at the helm of Daniel Beaty’s memory-play-with-music. Through Dec. 23. Lyric Stage Company of Boston and the Front Porch Arts Collective. At Lyric Stage. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com

MAN IN THE RING Michael Cristofer’s very fine play about prizefighter Emile Griffith, who responded to an opponent’s anti-gay epithet in 1962 with a beating so ferocious that the opponent died, is a drama of guilt and forgiveness that unfolds like a duet between the present and the past. Cristofer persuasively frames the boxing ring — and a boxer’s life — as a moral and existential battleground where the stakes could not be higher. John Douglas Thompson is superb as Griffith in old age, achingly conveying the boxer’s haunted quality, that compound of torment, confusion, and determination to somehow untangle the riddle of his own story. As young Griffith, Kyle Vincent Terry is simply electric. Directed by Michael Greif. Through Dec. 22. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

THE CHRISTMAS REVELS: A NORDIC CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE This year’s edition begins in Sweden in the early 20th century, where young Sven is brooding over the recent death of a beloved uncle while his family prepares to host a party for Scandinavian dignitaries. After receiving three unusual Christmas presents, Sven is transported into an alternate realm where he is reunited with his late uncle and encounters superheroes, witches, and snakes. Also featuring the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance; Susan Cooper’s poem “The Shortest Day’’; and the climactic event of the Revels, “Lord of the Dance.’’ Directed by Patrick Swanson, with music direction by Megan Henderson. Dec. 14-29. Sanders Theatre, Cambridge. 617-496-2222, www.revels.org




THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER In the return of this touring production, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s familiar story is set in 1980s Brooklyn, with Drosselmeyer sending Maria-Clara and her prince back in time to the moment her parents met in a nightclub. Choreographed by Jennifer Weber, the mash-up includes 12 dancers, as well as an onstage DJ and electric violinist to complement the Tchaikovsky score with musical remixes. Dec. 15-16. $45-$134. Emerson Colonial Theatre. 866-616-0272, www.emersoncolonialtheatre.com

FUNNY UNCLE CABARET & NUT/CRACKED David Parker’s The Bang Group takes “The Nutcracker” way off center in a wickedly irreverent parody that’s sometimes hilarious, sometimes discomfiting. But the performers dance their socks off in a range of dance styles, and it’s a goofy antidote to the holiday craziness. The evening’s first half is “Funny Uncle Cabaret” by Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion, which examines the season through an LGBTQ lens. Dec. 14-16, $13-$31. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org

WHAT THE DICKENS! Deborah Mason Dudley’s Cambridge Youth Dance Program celebrates the 10th season of its popular dance-theater interpretation of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” With choreography ranging from ballet and tap to hip-hop and flamenco, this original family-oriented production features talented youth as well as seasoned professionals. Dec. 14-23. $25-$65. John Hancock Hall. 617-616-5124, www.cydp.org



MEASURE For this Radcliffe Institute commission, fiber artist Anna Von Mertens researched Henrietta Swan Leavitt, an early-20th-century astronomer at Harvard College Observatory. Von Mertens’s quilts and drawings, which link measures from a single stitch to a light year, celebrate Leavitt’s work. Through Jan. 19. Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 8 Garden St., Cambridge. 617-496-1153 www.onviewatradcliffe.org/measure-1

HALF-SILVERED | ANNE LILLY & KARIN ROSENTHAL Rosenthal’s photos and Lilly’s kinetic sculptures depend on inference and misdirection to project an inner world. Lilly’s moving stainless-steel surfaces reflect and fracture the viewer. Figures in Rosenthal’s images are camouflaged by, or mistaken for, the landscapes they inhabit. Through Feb. 15. Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University, 515 South St., Waltham. 781-736-8102, www.brandeis.edu/wsrc/arts

MODEL AND MUSE: INTIMATE CONNECTIONS Relationships between artists and those who inspire them are mysterious, sometimes fraught, and often loving. This exhibition looks in on several artists and models of the last century, including Paul Cadmus and his lover Jon Anderson, and Will Barnet and his wife Elena. Through Jan. 6. Childs Gallery, 169 Newbury St. 617-266-1108, www.childsgallery.com



SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF ANCIENT RITUAL: Some 3,000 years separate the oldest object in this exhibition of sacred objects from its newest — made in 1500 A.D., still qualifying for the “ancient distinction.” The thesis, that cultures across the ages may have shifted and changed, but totems of faith have remained constant, is borne out in this display that crosses borders and eras from ancient Rome, West Africa, China, and beyond. Through March 3. Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. 877-274-8278, britishart.yale.edu

SKY HOPINKA: DISLOCATION BLUES The standoff at Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota dominated headlines — and Kyrie Irving’s cultural awakening — in 2016 as band members challenged the Dakota Access Pipeline project, slated to slice right through their ancestral lands. Sky Hopinka, of the Ho-Chunk/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Native Americans, offers a peaceful reflection of the flashpoint with this short film, and refutes the portrayal of “the incomplete and imperfect portrait” he says emerged in the popular media glare. Through Dec. 16. Davis Museum at Wellesley College, 106 Central St., Wellesley. 781-283-2051, www.wellesley.edu/davismuseum

NO MAN’S LAND: PRINTS FROM THE FRONT LINES OF WWI: In the early days of the great war, spirits were high: It would be over quickly, and glorious battle would be a potent muse. Many young artists signed up not to find inspiration but devastation as the war dragged on, and these 50 drawings from the frontlines help capture that enduringly bleak scene. Through Feb. 17. Smith College Museum of Art, 20 Elm St., Northampton. 413-585-2760, www.smith.edu/artmuseum




WILL MILES & GIULIA ROZZI They are cohosts of the relationship-themed “Hopefully We Don’t Break Up” podcast, and now they are sharing a stand-up bill for CitySide’s free Monday show. Hosted by Zach Russell, with Alex La and Big D. Dec. 10, 8:30 p.m. Free. CitySide, 1960 Beacon St., Brighton. 617-566-1002, www.citysidebar.com

TRES GATOS STAND-UP & COMEDY VIDEOS Tres Gatos has been producing some great short videos the past couple of years, and you can see their latest, the funny and oddly compelling “Space Force,” starring Tony V, only at screenings like this one for now. Also, stand-up from Tony V, Will Noonan, Orlando Baxter, and Corey Rodrigues. Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m. $5. Bill’s Bar, 5 Lansdowne St., Boston. 617-247-1222, www.billsbarboston.com

THE (2ND ANNUAL) SKETCHY HOLIDAY HA-HA ImprovBoston presents a late-night show stocked with homegrown holiday-themed sketches, skewering Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, the solstice — whatever you’re celebrating, it’s a potential target. Saturdays through Dec. 19, 11 p.m. $12. ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. 617-576-1253, www.improvboston.com



DICKENS HOLIDAY FESTIVAL Charles Dickens fans assemble! The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation will celebrate Dickens by showcasing “A Christmas Carol” and “Tea With Mrs. Dickens.” Actors will read famous sections of “A Christmas Carol” out loud and one will perform as Catherine Dickens, sharing stories of her life with Charles Dickens. There will also be singers, carolers, and vendors selling holiday treats. Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $10. Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, 154 Moody St., Waltham, charlesrivermuseum.org

CHANUKAH IN THE CITY  If you’re looking for a social gathering in the last few days of Chanukah that the whole family can enjoy, then head over to the Back Bay Events Center for the return of Chanukah in the City. The day will be filled with giveaways, music from Josh & the Jamtones, and a make-your-own latke bar. The day will also include Chanukah-themed crafts and activities, divided into two age groups (0-6 and 6-12). Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-noon. $18 per family in advance, $25 for walk-ins. Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St., vilnashul.org

SOUTH BOSTON HOLIDAY MARKET The fourth annual South Boston Holiday Market kicks off its weekend of festivities on Saturday. More than 120 New England artists, artisans, and more will gather to sell everything from gifts for the family to treats for yourself. There will also be four Container Restaurants serving delicious food for the shoppers. Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. The Innovation and Design Building, 21 Drydock Ave.,newenglandopenmarkets.com



Dec. 16 Street Dogs at Brighton Music Hall  ticketmaster.com

Dec. 16 Cavetown at the Sinclair  axs.com

Dec. 21 The Slackers at the Sinclair  axs.com

Dec. 22 Chadwick Stokes at Paradise Rock Club  ticketmaster.com

Dec. 31 Lake Street Dive at Wang Theatre  ticketmaster.com

Jan. 2-3 Joshua Radin at City Winery  ticketmaster.com

Jan. 5 Ja Rule at House of Blues Boston  livenation.com

Jan. 13 The Revivalists at House of Blues Boston  livenation.com