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

Tim Trumble

MUSIC

Pop & Rock

SLUSHII “Dream,” the just-released full-length from this 21-year-old DJ and producer, is full of pillowy synths and murmured rhythms, with hooks bubbling up and receding into each other the way images do in a . . . well, you know. Dec. 30, 10 p.m. $30 and up. The Grand. 617-322-0200, www.thegrandboston.com

MDOU MOCTAR Hailing from Niger, this guitarist and songwriter is one of Tuareg music’s leading lights; his latest album, “Sousoume Tamachek,” is windswept and gorgeous, its lo-fi production highlighting the intricate way the self-taught Moctar stitches together drones, fingerpicking, and layered vocals. Dec. 31, 8:30 p.m. $25, $20 advance. ONCE, Somerville. 617-285-0167, www.oncesomerville.com

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ED BALLOON The Roxbury-born singer-MC, who blends genres with a zeal that energizes even his more downtempo offerings, kicks off his four-week “Hi Series” residency in the heart of Allston. Jan. 2, 9:15 p.m. $12, $10 advance. Great Scott. 617-566-0914, www.greatscottboston.com

MAURA JOHNSTON

Folk & World

JULIET SIMMONS DINALLO An opportunity to celebrate both the new year and new music with this Boston-to-Nashville transplant: Juliet Simmons Dinallo marks the release of her soulful Americana collection, “Dream Girl,” along with some of the folks who helped her make it, including husband Michael Dinallo and harmonizing pals Amber Caseres and Anita Suhanin. Jan. 1, 6 p.m. $15. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-7679, www.passim.org

KEITH MURPHY, HALEY RICHARDSON AND JOEY ABARTA A powerful triple-shot of Irish traditional music is on tap with this trio, which brings together singer-guitarist Keith Murphy, uilleann piper Joey Abarta, and Haley Richardson, all of 16 years of age and fresh off winning the prestigious Fiddler of Dooney competition, the first American to do so in half a century. Jan. 2, 7:30 p.m. $23. The Burren, Somerville. 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com

PAT BYRNE Byrne is a rising singer-songwriter, hailing from County Carlow in Ireland, who came stateside to Austin, Texas, to make his latest record, “Rituals.” The results — Irish Americana, by turns rollicking and resonating, that’s driven by his gruff growl of a voice — suggest that he’s one to keep an eye on. Jan. 3, 10 p.m. $10. Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge. 800-838-3006, www.brownpapertickets.com

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STUART MUNRO

Jazz & Blues

BERT SEAGER PRESENTS TETRAPTYCH Soulful and elegant pianist-composer Seager’s seemingly telepathic chamber jazz quartet includes tenor saxophonist Hery Paz, bassist Max Ridley, and drummer Dor Herskovits. Jan 2, 7:30 p.m. $10. Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 617-395-1393, www.lilypadinman.com

LOUIS HAYES: SERENADE FOR HORACE Over the years, the legendary drummer has played with everyone from John Coltrane to George Benson, but he first emerged in the quintet of iconic hard bop pianist-composer Horace Silver, to whom he pays tribute for this gig. Jan. 4, 8 and 10 p.m. $35. Scullers, Boston. 866-777-8932, www.scullersjazz.com

POPA CHUBBY The Bronx-born singer-guitarist has been slinging his gritty and gutsy take on the urban blues for more than a quarter century, evoking both the classicism of Willie Dixon and the expansive explorations of Jimi Hendrix. Jan. 5, 8 p.m. $25-$30. The Center for Arts in Natick, 14 Summer St., Natick. 508-647-0097, www.natickarts.org

KEVIN LOWENTHAL

Classical

BOSTON BAROQUE Ring in the New Year Boston Baroque-style with concertos by Bach and Vivaldi and champagne and chocolates at intermission. Dec. 31-Jan. 1. Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge. 617-987-8600, www.bostonbaroque.org

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BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Former BSO assistant conductor Shi-Yeon Sung leads the orchestra in the first concerts of 2019, with an overture by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring soloist Ingrid Fliter, and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8. Jan. 3-5. 888-266-1200, www.bso.org

BOSTON CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY Schubert’s String Trio in B-Flat Major, Mozart’s Trio in E-Flat Major, “Kegelstatt,” and Messiaen’s stirring, vicious Quartet for the End of Time are on offer at the Boston Chamber Music Society’s first monthly concert of the year. Jan. 6, 3 p.m. Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge. 617-349-0086, www.bostonchambermusic.org

ZOË MADONNA

ARTS

Theater

BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES Featuring a dynamic cast of 12, this play by Nigerian-born Inua Ellams is an illuminating depiction of African men who are seeking solidarity as they settle into a barber chair. Its title notwithstanding, “Barber Shop Chronicles’’ registers less as a collection of stories than as a medley of voices. While that approach limits a sense of narrative cohesion, there is considerable upside when the voices are as vivid and the issues are as resonant as they are here. Directed by Bijan Sheibani. Through Jan. 5. Coproduction by Fuel, National Theatre, and West Yorkshire Playhouse. Presented by American Repertory Theater. At Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org

TWO MILE HOLLOW Prize-winning playwright Leah Nanako Winkler takes satirical aim at what she calls the “white people by the water’’ genre of theater. In “Two Mile Hollow,’’ secrets spill out when the members of a privileged, dysfunctional white family — portrayed by actors of color — gather together in order to divvy up their belongings after the clan’s waterfront mansion has been sold. Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques. Through Jan. 20. Apollinaire Theatre Company. At Chelsea TheatreWorks, Chelsea. 617-887-2336, www.apollinairetheatre.com

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SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS In a quest for inner peace, half a dozen strangers embark on a weeklong spiritual retreat in the woods, guided by voice-over instructions from an unseen guru who’s got troubles of her own. The cast includes Marianna Bassham (as the guru), Nael Nacer, Barlow Adamson, Celeste Oliva, Kerry A. Dowling, Sam Simahk, and Gigi Watson. Bess Wohl’s comedy is directed by M. Bevin O’Gara. Jan. 4-Feb. 2. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com

DON AUCOIN

Dance

THE NUTCRACKER Last opportunity of the season for Mikko Nissinen’s version of the beloved classic for Boston Ballet, which remains the region’s most resplendent. Lavish production values and live music complement robust choreography, accomplished dancing, and — of course — a lively corps of adorable kids. Through Dec. 30, $37-$325. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

URBAN NUTCRACKER Anthony Williams’s Boston-centric classic takes the holiday tale in a whole different direction, with a multicultural spin on casting, dance styles, and music (juxtaposing Tchaikovsky’s lushly romantic score with Duke Ellington’s jazz interpretation). In its 18th season, the show moves to new digs at the Shubert and involves more than 150 performers, including professionals from the newly launched City Ballet of Boston and a crew of enthusiastic students. Through Dec. 30, $28-$118. Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Boston. 866-348-9738, www.bochcenter.org

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DORRANCE DANCE With the New Year looming, now might be a good time to plan ahead for what’s coming down the pike. In January, expect one of the hottest tickets to be the World Music/CRASHarts presentation of Michelle Dorrance’s dynamite tap troupe performing the Boston premiere of her innovative “Myelination,” for 12 dancers and live music. Jan. 18-19, $40-$65. Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org

KAREN CAMPBELL

Galleries

DAVID A. LANG: FLIGHTS OF FANCY, JESSICA STRAUS: TRANSATLANTIC Lang, who died in 2017, crafted sly, playful, kinetic works. Closely examine one, and it springs into action. Straus’s politically pointed installation casts back to World War II with maps, planes, and more, celebrating alliances between nation states and an open hand to strangers. Through Jan. 27. Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Ave. 617-482-7781,  www.bostonsculptors.com

M. BENJAMIN HERNDON: GRAPHITE PAINTINGS The term “shades of gray” doesn’t do justice to what Herndon strives for in abstract works made from graphite and gelatin-based paint, polished and drawn over with silverpoint. The spectrum includes glossy silver and black. Reflectivity makes tones shift as you move past. Through Jan. 27. A R E A, 460 Harrison Ave., through Jan. 27. 857-209-1321, www.area.gallery

JEFFREY MARSHALL | WORKING THE WATERFRONT Marshall chronicles what he calls “the contested landscape,” or environments under stress. In 2016, he moved into a studio at the Morse-Sibley Wharf in East Gloucester. These composite drawings of pickup trucks, fishing nets, and trash bins detail life and work on the old pier. Through Jan. 27. Jane Deering Gallery, 19 Pleasant St., Gloucester. 917-902-4359, www.janedeeringgallery.com

CATE McQUAID

Museums

ANSEL ADAMS IN OUR TIME The landscapes of perhaps America’s most revered nature photographer have come to be seen as inviolate documents of a pristine wilderness. The MFA teams him up with contemporary photographers to better understand a more complex point of view. Through Feb. 24, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

TURNER AND CONSTABLE: THE INHABITED LANDSCAPE The 2014 film “Mr. Turner” says all you need to know about the position the painter J.M.W. Turner holds in the popular imagination — and his chief rival, John Constable, less so. A new exhibition makes the quiet case for Constable as an artist just as persuasive, though by wildly different means. Through March 10. Clark Art Institute, 225 South St., Williamstown. 413-458-2303, www.clarkart.edu

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, still qualifying for the “ancient distinction.” Borders and eras from ancient Rome, West Africa, China, and beyond are crossed. Through March 3. Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel St., New Haven. 877-274-8278, britishart.yale.edu

MURRAY WHYTE

EVENTS

Comedy

100 FIRST JOKES 2019 An ImprovBoston tradition, more than 100 comedians welcome the New Year by trying out brand-new jokes over the course of two shows. Hosted by Danielle Andruskiwec and David Thomas. Jan. 1 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. $10. ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. 617-576-1253, www.improvboston.com

DC YOUNG FLY Quick on his feet with a put-down, DC Young Fly is at his best on “Wild N Out,” and he was just cast in MTV’s “How High 2” with Lil Yachty. Jan. 4, 7:30 p.m. $27-$35. Wilbur Theatre. 866-448-7849, www.thewilbur.com

NEW YEAR’S HANGOVER CURE COMEDY FESTIVAL Ben Kronberg brings his understated delivery and cache of one-liners to headline this two-day fest, which also packs a lot of local talent, including Tim McIntire, Phoebe Angle, Kylie Alexander, Sean Sullivan, and Reece Cotton. Jan. 4 at 7 p.m., Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. $10-$15. Middle East Downstairs, 480 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-864-3278, www.mideastoffer.com

NICK A. ZAINO III

Family

THE LITTLE PRINCE In 2016, Netflix brought Mark Osborne’s stop-motion “The Little Prince” to American screens, and it became one of the most popular French animated films outside of France. Now, you can watch a play adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic. Jan. 4 at 7 p.m., Jan. 5, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. $10. East Boston Playhouse, 260 Sumner St., East Boston,  eventbrite.com

HAPPY NOON YEAR Why wait until midnight? Ring in the new year while the kids are still awake. Festivities include hat making and watching a ball drop when the clock strikes noon. Dec. 31, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Free with admission, $17. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston.  bostonchildrensmuseum.org

FIRST DAY HIKE Take a note from Thoreau this year: “Meet [your life] and live it.” Begin 2019 with a hike to the famed poet’s cabin site, followed by hot chocolate. Jan. 1, noon-2 p.m. Free. Walden Pond Visitor Center, 915 Walden St., Concord. www.mass.gov

JENNI TODD

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Jan. 8 Caitlin Canty at City Winery  citywinery.com

Jan. 17 Cracker at Middle East Downstairs  ticketweb.com

Jan. 18 Dylan Scott at Paradise Rock Club  ticketmaster.com

Jan. 19 Guster at House of Blues  livenation.com

Jan. 24 Brothers Osborne at House of Blues  livenation.com

Jan. 30 Basstracks at Brighton Music Hall  ticketmaster.com

Feb. 4 Poppy at House of Blues  livenation.com

Feb. 7 Sarah Brightman at Orpheum Theatre  ticketmaster.com

KAYA WILLIAMS