GORILLAZ Damon Albarn’s mysterious motley band of animated musicians has been churning out collaborations all year with the like of Cure frontman Robert Smith, St. Vincent, and Fatoumata Diawara, part and parcel of a project titled “Song Machine”; all these songs make their live debut on Dec. 12 as Albarn and animator Jamie Hewlett join forces with a cartoon trio that has proven to be anything but two-dimensional. Three performances, Dec. 12-13. www.live-now.com

TONY TRISCHKA AND TIM ERIKSEN Banjo maven Tony Trischka honors the 25th anniversary of his holiday Americana album “Glory Shone Around” with multi-instrumentalist and singer Tim Eriksen. Expect shape-note hymns, old carols, and perhaps a string band “Sleigh Ride.” Holiday Pops this isn’t. Dec. 13, 4 p.m. www.passim.org

DEMAE London-based future-soul chanteuse and rapper Demae zaps her debut record “Life Works Out … Usually” straight to your living room via Bandcamp’s new ticketed livestream platform. Available for 24 hours after initial performance. Dec. 17, 3 p.m. demae.bandcamp.com



MUSICIANS OF THE OLD POST ROAD Specializing in chamber music on period instruments, this veteran ensemble offers an intriguingly eclectic livestreamed Christmas program with works by Caccini, Daquin, Charpentier, and Leopold Mozart. Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m. www.oldpostroad.org

A FAR CRY The intrepid collective just keeps chugging along, now with a new program entitled “Amazonita” focusing on music from Peru, Colombia, and Brazil — with works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Jacqueline Nova, Clarice Assad, and Paulinho Nogueira. Dec. 12, 8 p.m. www.afarcry.org




ARTS & HEALING: BANGSOKOL VIRTUAL FESTIVAL This two-week festival will explore the making of the multimedia stage production “Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia.” Presented in Boston by ArtsEmerson three years ago. “Bangsokol” honored the victims and survivors of the Cambodia genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. It was created by composer Him Sophy and filmmaker Rithy Panh, both survivors of the genocide. The festival will include online performances, film screenings, conversations, and new music and dance pieces created for the festival. Dec. 12-20. Presented by Cambodian Living Arts and ArtsEmerson at www.artsemerson.org. Tickets free with registration, at www.artsemerson.org.

BLACK NATIVITY: 50 YEARS OF TRIUMPH AND TRANSITION A retelling of the Christmas story via a “gospel song-play’’ by the great Langston Hughes, “Black Nativity” has long been a beloved holiday tradition in Boston. This year, in place of the traditional live production by the National Center of Afro-American Artists, there will be a premiere of an online documentary, presented as part of a virtual gala and auction, about that production’s remarkable history. Along with interviews with some of the artists involved in the production, the documentary will explore the legacy of the legendary arts educator Elma Lewis, founder of the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts and the National Center of Afro-American Artists, as well as John Andrew Ross, the composer and choral conductor who served as music director of “Black Nativity.” Produced by ArtsEmerson, “Black Nativity: 50 Years of Triumph and Transition” will be presented on Dec. 18, and will be available on demand after that date. www.blacknativity50.org

THE CHRISTMAS REVELS 2020 Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is the special guest for this year’s Revels, written and directed by Patrick Swanson, with musical direction by George Emlen. It will be the first time in 50 years that the show will not be performed live in Sanders Theatre. In response, Swanson has devised a story in which the marble statues of James Otis (played by Paula Plum) and Josiah Quincy (Richard Snee, Plum’s husband) that stand on either side of the Sanders stage come to life and recount their memories of the songs, dances, and rituals they have heard and witnessed over the years. Subtitled “A 50th Anniversary Virtual Celebration,” this year’s Revels will also feature performances drawn from the Revels archives. Christmas Revels 2020 Event Passes are $50/household for unlimited VOD access from Dec. 18-31. On sale at www.christmasrevels2020.org.



THE GIFT Though it’s part of the [email protected] series, Boston Ballet is wisely offering this one as a standalone to complement its virtual airings of “The Nutcracker.” Set to Duke Ellington’s bluesy jazz classic “Nutcracker Suite,” the holiday offering consists of divertissements newly created by company dancers plus a finale from the original “The Nutcracker” — the regal Act II grand pas de deux. Dec. 17-27. $40 or $180 for the full series of six different programs. www.bostonballet.org

NOZAMA DANCE COLLECTIVE The company’s new “Today She Saw” is a virtual concert that addresses the realities of being a woman in contemporary America. Inspired by Kayleen Schaefer’s book “Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship,” the performance aims to show the power of the supportive feminine bond. Dec. 11 and 13, $12. www.eventbrite.com/e/nozama-dance-collective-presents-today-she-saw-tickets-124545925215


Visual Arts

ROBERT FRANK: THE AMERICANS In 1954, Frank, a recently-arrived Swiss making his way in New York fashion photography landed a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation for a project: He would drive to every corner of his adopted homeland, photographing it as he saw it. The result was “The Americans,” an unvarnished, often bleak view of the country from coast to coast at a time when the prevailing rhetoric of sunny postwar boosterism reigned. Through April 11, 2021. Addison Gallery of American Art, 180 Main St., Andover. 978-749-4000, addison.andover.edu


THE PANDEMIC LENS Photographer Steve Bennett’s curated website of photos, paintings, music, and more sprang from his own Instagram posts documenting street life in North Cambridge as his neighborhood reopened back in June. It has blossomed into an artful contemplation of life, disease, waiting, heroism, and mortality during COVID-19. The work comes from all over; Massachusetts contributors include photographers Jenn Wood and Katherine Taylor and writer Jacquelyn Mitchard. www.pandemiclens.com




IMPROV ASYLUM Audiences can see IA’s troupe of improvisers just about anywhere but their home theater is in the North End. They will be doing an in-person show at The Comedy Scene with a socially distanced audience, and streaming the antics for online viewers. Dec. 11, 8 p.m. $30 in person, $15 online. The Comedy Scene, 200 Patriot Place, Foxborough. www.thecomedyscene.club

LAUGHING FOR LIBERATION: A COMEDY FUND-RAISER FOR COMMUNITY CHANGE INC. A great mix of Boston stand-up talent, including Josh Gondelman, Bethany Van Delft, Sam Ike, and Courtney Pong, hosted by Tooky Kavanagh, to benefit CCI, an organization devoted to racial justice and education. Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m. Free. www.twitch.tv/2mbstudios

TEA PARTY TONIGHT! In an online comic talk show with a historical bent, Rob Crean discusses the Boston Tea Party with scholar William Fowler, Ben Carp, and Chernoh Sesay broadcast live from the Old South Meeting House, plus some prerecorded segments. Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. Free (registration required). www.revolutionaryspaces.org



VIRTUAL PARADE OF LIGHTS In years past, boats decked with lights have floated through the Delaware River for onlookers to observe while celebrating the holidays. This season, Philadelphia-based Independence Seaport Museum has created a virtual rendition of the beloved tradition. Attendees will have access to a prerecorded parade of boats coupled with holiday crafts and activities suitable for the whole family. Event hosts will also provide recipes for themed cocktails and mocktails to enjoy during the show. Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m. Free. phillyseaport.org

UGLY SWEATER AND FESTIVE PJS WEEKEND Got some festive garb or an ugly holiday sweater you’ve been dying to wear out? Show it off at Boston Children’s Museum this weekend. Peruse the exhibitions throughout the museum and stick around for winter-themed programs, from snowflake making to holiday-themed photo opportunities. Keep an eye out for Jack Frost and other festive friends throughout the museum. Dec. 12-13, all day. Tickets $18. Boston Children’s Museum, 312 Congress St., Boston. bostonchildrensmuseum.org

SILHOUETTE PORTRAIT Looking for a hand-crafted gift or just a new piece of art for your home? Third-generation silhouette artist Karl Johnson can help. Armed with a pair of scissors and a piece of paper, Johnson will complete freehand cut-out portraits of all attendees via Zoom. Each work takes only a few minutes and will be shipped following the event. Dec. 16, 10 a.m-4 p.m. Tickets $30. cutarts.com


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