Theater & dance

New Year’s Eve 2016

First Night picks: Let the fireworks begin!

Boston Ballet will present a New Year’s Eve “Nutcracker” at Boston Opera House.
Liza Voll
Boston Ballet will present a New Year’s Eve “Nutcracker” at Boston Opera House.


BLUE MAN GROUP In addition to their usual creative, high-spirited shenanigans, the Blue Men have added a few seasonal touches to their holiday performances, such as deploying their unusual musical instruments to perform tunes like “Jingle Bells,’’ “I Have a Little Dreidel,’’ and “Deck the Halls.’’ Dec. 31, 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. At Charles Playhouse, Boston. 800-258-3626,

DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS DARE TO DREAM Calculating but nonetheless beguiling, this figure-skating show offers just enough of those expertly engineered moments of enchantment that are so central to the Disney formula. Performers portray Disney princesses from “Tangled,’’ “The Princess and the Frog,’’ “Cinderella,’’ and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’’ with Taylor Steele a standout as Rapunzel, from “Tangled.’’ Dec. 31, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Feld Entertainment Inc. At Agganis Arena at Boston University. 800-653-8000,

THE DONKEY SHOW Shakespeare meets disco in this long-running dance party, inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’’ Dec. 31, 10 p.m. (doors open at 9 p.m.). American Repertory Theater, at Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge. 617-547-8300,

New Repertory Theatre presents "Fiddler on the Roof." Members of the cast of Fiddler on the Roof performing ÒTo Life.Ó Photo credit: Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures -- 09Fiddler
Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures
New Repertory Theatre presents "Fiddler on the Roof."

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Austin Pendleton, who was in the original 1964 Broadway cast of “Fiddler,’’ directs a vibrantly alive production that adds up to one of the most rewarding theatrical experiences of the year. Jeremiah Kissel gives it everything he’s got — and that’s a lot — as Tevye, a Jewish dairyman in an early-20th-century shtetl, sweating and struggling to cope with convulsive change in every corner of his life and his world. Dec. 31, 2 p.m. New Repertory Theatre, Mainstage Theater, Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487,

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MATCHLESS & THE HAPPY PRINCE In “Matchless,’’ an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s poignant “The Little Match Girl’’ by Gregory Maguire of “Wicked’’ fame, the young boy who finds one of the girl’s slippers becomes the protagonist of a new story. In Oscar Wilde’s “The Happy Prince,’’ a statue of a prince makes friends with a swallow; both ultimately sacrifice themselves to help the poor. Underground Railway Theater, Central Square Theater, Cambridge. Dec. 31, 2 and 7 p.m. 617-576-9278 ext. 1, DON AUCOIN


NEW YEAR’S EVE NUTCRACKER Boston Ballet celebrates New Year’s Eve with a special performance of “The Nutcracker” to close out the holiday season. It includes all the choreographic fireworks and grand spectacle we’ve come to expect, but also features some unique twists, including a super-size all-star cast and surprise special appearances. Go early for the pre-show brass quintet playing holiday favorites. Dec. 31, $45-$199. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955,

FIRST NIGHT FIRST DAY This treasured annual celebration includes a variety of free dance offerings, from mini-lessons and participatory events to family-friendly performances. Participants over the course of the celebration include OrigiNation, Chu Ling Dance Academy, Melody Dance Troupe, O’Shea Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance, Lil’ Phunk, and Phunk Phenomenon. Dec. 31, Free. Various locations. 617-439-7700, KAREN CAMPBELL

Pop music

Press photo of the funk band Lettuce. Members, left to right: Top: Ryan Zoidis, Neal Evans, Adam Deitch. Bottom: Nigel Hall, Erick "Jesus" Coomes, Adam "Shmeeans" Smirnoff, Eric "Benny" Bloom.
Courtesy photo
The funk band Lettuce. Left to right: Top: Ryan Zoidis, Neal Evans, Adam Deitch. Bottom: Nigel Hall, Erick "Jesus" Coomes, Adam "Shmeeans" Smirnoff, Eric "Benny" Bloom.

LETTUCE This Boston-bred funk outfit has been sweating it up since 1992, incorporating more and more influences as they roll along. With fellow funk travelers Jaw Gems and Tauk. Dec. 31, 7 p.m. $35-$50. House of Blues. 888-693-2583,


PINK TALKING FISH Splicing together the music of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, and Phish might not be your first idea for a Frankensteined-together tribute act, but the idea makes sense upon reflection, given the three acts’ similarly wide scope. The self-described “hybrid tribute fusion act” is teasing a Michael Jackson-themed show to ring in 2017. Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. $28. Paradise Rock Club. 617-562-8800,

ELLIS PAUL For the 25th straight year, this singer-songwriter, whose pointillistic folk-pop focuses squarely on meticulously rendered characters, will headline both New Year’s Eve shows at Club Passim. Dec. 31, 7 and 10 p.m. $50. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-5300,

SOMERVILLE SYMPHONY ORKESTAR Whirling, party-friendly folk-punk that sounds like what happens when a passed-between-generations songbook has been steeped in a particularly strong batch of homemade wine. Dec. 31, 8 p.m. $20-$25. ONCE Somerville. 617-285-0167,

Publicity photo of the band Somerville Symphony Orkestar. 30NewYearMusicPicks
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Press Photo
The Somerville Symphony Orkestar.

THE TIMBERFAKES For those who prefer to think that they’re ringing in 2007 and not 2017, this dance party headlined by a Justin Timberlake cover band should do the trick. With For The Record, whose repertoire is focused on pop’s reigning power couple of Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Dec. 31, 8 p.m. $30. Middle East Downstairs. 617-864-3278,

FIRST NIGHT FIRST DAY The annual all-city celebration of the calendar flipping features musical performances by Lynn roots-rockers TigermanWOAH, Berklee-bred theatrical rockers Drunken Logic, and bouncy geek-poppers Air Traffic Controller, among others. Various times beginning at noon. Free. Various locations. 617-439-7700,



Classical music

BOSTON POPS Symphony Hall’s stage screens “Back to the Future” in high definition at noon, with the Boston Pops playing Alan Silvestri’s original score live — including around 20 minutes of new music that Silvestri added for these performances. A full-scale replica of Doc Brown’s DeLorean will be parked outside before and after. Later in the night, ring in the New Year with the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra and bandleader Bo Winiker. Dec. 31, noon and 10:15 p.m. Symphony Hall. 888-266-1200,

BOSTON BAROQUE Boston Baroque’s New Year’s Eve gala includes Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks” and Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, starring concertmaster Christina Day Martinson. Complimentary champagne and chocolates will be offered at intermission. Dec. 31, 8 p.m., Sanders Theater, Cambridge. 617-987-8600,

OLD SOUTH CHURCH In a free First Night First Day event, organist George Sargeant demonstrates the “King of Instruments,” Old South Church’s bone-shaking 1921 Skinner organ, at 3 p.m. Later, brass and percussion players will join him for concerts of popular favorites at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Dec. 31, Old South Church. 617-536-1970,

BOSTON OPERA GUY You may have heard Marshall Richards serenading the streets of Boston in recent months, after he moved here in March. Catch him singing a free set in the Boston Public Library’s McKim building, part of the First Night First Day celebrations. Dec. 31, 2:30 p.m., Boston Public Library.



DRUNK WITH LAUGHTER An early show and a late show with Boston staples Joey Carroll and Jack Lynch. No alcohol will be served. Dec. 31, 7 and 9 p.m. $20. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 781-646-4849,

BOSTON COMEDY FESTIVAL NEW YEAR’S EVE SPECTACULAR Festival founder Jim McCue headlines this show also featuring familiar faces Matt Kona and Tom Dustin. Dec. 31, 8 and 10 p.m. $20-$25. The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville. 617-684-5335,

GODFREY The goofily animated Chicago native comes to town having just released a new album based on his last special, “Regular Black.” Dec. 31, 8 and 10:15 p.m. $34-$49. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844,

Jimmy Tingle plays the Cabot in Beverly on New Year’s Eve.

JIMMY TINGLE: MAKING COMIC SENSE OF 2016 Wrap up a crazy year with Boston’s longest-tenured political satirist, host of the “Humor for Humanity” project. Dec. 31, 8 p.m. $28.50. The Cabot, 286 Cabot St., Beverly. 978-927-3100,

KEN ROGERSON If you’ve gone this long without seeing Rogerson, one of Boston’s most inventive comics, you’ve got one more chance to remedy that this year. With Graig Murphy and Chris Tabb. Dec. 31, 8 and 10 p.m. $20. The Comedy Scene, 200 Patriot Place, Foxborough. 508-203-2200,

PAUL D’ANGELO As a former assistant district attorney and criminal-defense lawyer, D’Angelo has enough strange and funny real-life tales to fill two books, the latest of which, “More Stories to Tell,” came out earlier this year. Dec. 31, 8 p.m. $35. Larcom Performing Arts Theatre, 13 Wallis St., Beverly. 617-531-1257,

SCAMPS COMEDY: LAUGH IN THE NEW YEAR WITH ARTIE J AND FRIENDS A regular at Giggles, Artie Januario heads west to Framingham with Sean Sullivan and Kristin O’Brien supporting. Dec. 31, 8 p.m. $35. Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St., Framingham. 508-405-2787,

LENNY CLARKE A Boston favorite, Clarke plays Giggles, his home base, with openers Christine Hurley and Johnny Pizzi. Price includes the show and dinner. Early show is sold out. Dec. 31, 9:15 p.m. $70. Giggles Comedy Club, 517 Broadway (Route 1), Saugus. 781-233-9950,



FAMILY-FRIENDLY COMEDY End 2016 with a laugh at Improv Boston. Its all-ages comedy performances are interactive, unexpected, and made up on the spot. You’ve never seen this show before, and you’ll never see it again. Dec. 31, 4, 6, and 7 p.m. $16 adults, $10 kids. Improv Boston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. 617-576-1253,

FIREWORKS (EARLY AND LATE) It wouldn’t be New Year’s without fireworks, and there’s plenty for everyone with two presentations, at 7 p.m. and midnight. Bring your cameras, blankets, and earplugs. Dec. 31, 7 p.m. on the Common and midnight in Copley Square. Free.

Boston, MA - 12/31/2015 - People watch fireworks during first night festivities in the Public Garden Boston, MA, December 31, 2015. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)
Keith Bedford/Globe Staff
People watched fireworks during first night festivities in the Public Garden in Boston.

SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE The hills are alive with the sound of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Tony Award-winning music, and what better way to experience the magic of this timeless show than with a live performance? Ring in the new year with the Von Trapp family singers, and this will become one of your new favorite things. Dec. 31, 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets: $39-$84. Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 877-571-7469

BOSTON WINTER There’s something for everyone in City Hall Plaza as Boston Winter continues with an ice skating path, light show, chocolate tastings, and live music. Celebrate with a bicycle-powered Christmas tree and a spectacular menorah lighting ceremony. Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Skating path is $10 for adults, $8 for children. Skate rentals are $6. 1 City Hall Square. 800-773-5601,

Craig F. Walker/globe staff
Fireworks displayed during the First Night celebration at Boston Common in Boston.

BALLOON DROP DANCE PARTY Why wait until midnight to see one ball drop? At Kidville in Wellesley, tots can celebrate at noon with a balloon drop and Rockin’ Railroad concert that’s sure to rival the New York party. Dec. 31, 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Free for members, $15 per kid otherwise. Kidville Wellesley, 34 Central St. Wellesley. 781-235-4650,

NOON YEAR’S EVE Can’t wait for 2017? Get an early start with the Brighton branch of the Boston Public Library, offering crafts, music, prizes, snacks, and a countdown to noon. Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free. Brighton branch, Boston Public Library, 40 Academy Hill Road, Brighton. 617-782-6032,

PJ DANCE PARTY Zip up your festive footie pajamas and hit the dance floor at the Children’s Discovery Museum in Acton this year. A family-friendly midday event, this party is sure to tire you out. Thank goodness you’re already in your PJs! Dec. 31, 11:45 a.m. Free with admission. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St. (Route 27), Acton. 978-264-4200,

PUPPET SHOWPLACE THEATER Help Sylvie traverse magic lands to recover her stolen underpants from a mischievous squirrel. This special New Year’s Eve show features live music by the Gottabees. Dec. 31, 1 p.m. $15, $10 for members. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 617-731-6400,