Henry VIII


Henry VIII


Through January 5
Modern Theater
Suffolk University
525 Washington St., Boston
$28-$40, 866-811-4111


Among Shakespeare’s last works was this biographical drama, which concerns itself with one of England’s most notorious kings. The play is itself notorious for the mysterious fire that burned down the Globe Theater on the night of its first performance—no such bad luck yet at the Modern, but the superstitious may want an aisle seat.


The Heart of Robin Hood

Through January 19
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle St., Cambridge
$25-$35, 617-547-8300

This version of the Robin Hood myth by David Farr reaches back to older renditions of the tale, in which Robin and his Merry Men didn’t redistribute their stolen wealth, but kept it for themselves. This time it’s up to Marion (here she’s no maid) to change (wait for it) the heart of Robin Hood from selfish to selfless.


John Medeski

John Medeski

Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
$22, 617-876-4275

As a member of the funky jazz trio Medeski, Martin and Wood, keyboardist John Medeski has demonstrated a depth and range matched by very few. Surprisingly, he waited until 2013 to drop first solo album “A Different Time”. It shows a lesser-explored, more introspective side of his musical personality, but one just as rich as those we’re already familiar with.

Feliz Navidad: A Spanish Christmas

Saturday, 7 p.m.
First Church in Cambridge
11 Garden St., Cambridge
$15-$50, 617-349-3400

Musica Sacra presents a program of Christmas music from across the Spanish-speaking world, drawing on the sacred motets of the Church as well as popular “villancicos,” a variable folk form with roots in the Renaissance. Though they’re commonly conflated today with carols, villancicos have a unique history and evolution as a song form that bears distinction from our Anglo-American tradition.

Marta Gomez


Saturday, 8 p.m.
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second St., Cambridge
$20-$25, 617-577-1400

Marta Gomez is a Columbian-born, Berklee-educated singer-songwriter with a warm, gentle, but expressive voice. Her style moves between Latin jazz and folk, at turns slinky, at turns heartfelt, and sometimes both. Like all very good songwriters, she’s convincing across many moods and concerns—her songs are never simply vehicles for her singing, but stand in their own right.


Kendall Square Holiday on Ice

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Kendall Square Community Ice Skating Rink
300 Athenaeum Street Cambridge
Free, 617-350-6200

Kendall Square’s Community Ice Skating Rink in is offering free admission all day Saturday (but you’ll still have to pay for skate rentals). At 2 p.m. Frozen Frog Productions will present a figure skating show featuring Olympians and international medalists, as well as some clowning around—which should only make the serious stuff look all the more stunning.


Inside Llewyn Davis


Monday, 7 p.m.
Brattle Theater
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
Free, 617-876-6837

Die hard Coen brothers fans will want to catch this preview screening of the famed duo’s latest, the tale of a down-and-out, semi-famous folk singer in early 60’s New York. Admission is free, but it’s first-come-first-serve, so don’t come crying to us if you get there too late, and end up just wandering around Harvard Square in a melancholic stupor like Llewyn Davis.


Eleanor Friedberger

Thursday, 9 p.m.
Great Scott
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$13-$15, 18+, 800-745-3000

Originally half of the brother-sister indie duo the Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger went solo in 2011 and released her second album, with the beautifully deadpan title “Personal Record”, this past June. Her solo work is not as relentlessly exploratory as the sometimes-exhausting Furnaces, but it’s just as intelligent and well-crafted, marked by the understated, aloof-yet-engaged cool of her vocal delivery.

Ms. Lauryn Hill


Wednesday, 7 p.m.
279 Tremont St., Boston
$75, 18+, 800-745-3000

Why the “Ms.”? Who knows, but it’s not like Lauryn Hill doesn’t deserve the formality. She was a singular talent in 90’s hip-hop/R&B, both as a part of the Fugees and with her Grammy-sweeping solo album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”. New material and even live performances have often been sporadic since, so this tour is a treat.

The Breeders

Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Paradise Rock Club
967 Comm. Ave., Boston
$25, 18+, 800-745-3000

The song “Gigantic” proved there was a stifled songwriting talent in Pixies bassist Kim Deal, so when she started her own band, the Breeders, no one was surprised they were amazing. Here they’ll perform their second album, “Last Splash” with the record’s original lineup. Be sure to catch local openers Speedy Ortiz, whose neo-90’s style ought to delight Breeders fans.


SoWa Holiday Market

Saturday and Sunday
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
41 Berkeley St., Boston

Here’s another opportunity to do some outside-the-box holiday shopping from among a diverse selection of handcrafted items and confections sold direct by their handcrafters, who hail from across New England. Last year’s photos show a selection ranging from the traditional to the charmingly quirky to the delightfully weird, and in case you were wondering, it’s certainly not all holiday-themed.


Boston Tea Party Annual Reenactment

Monday, 6:30 p.m.
Old South Meeting House
310 Washington St., Boston
$12-$20, 800-838-3006

Perhaps we love the Boston Tea Party because of its deeply American combination of principled and roguish behavior—a serious, provocative political statement clothed in a gleefully gratuitous act of vandalism. This popular reenactment starts with the spirited debate in the Old South Meeting House, followed by the fife-and-drum-accompanied march to the harbor, and of course the tea throwing.



Thursday, Friday and December 20
Davis Square Theater
255 Elm St., Somerville
$18, 617-426-1999

ComedySportzBoston is a brand of improv comedy with elements of a sports game—there are two teams and a referee who divvies out points based on who gets the most laughs from the audience. You even may be “drafted” for a sketch or two—so if you don’t know how to “yes and,” just smile and nod.


The Whimsical World of Miriam Shenitzer

Through December 22
Gold Gallery
655 Tremont St., Boston
Free, 857-239-8972

Miriam Shenitzer’s world is indeed whimsical, and in the best sense of the word. Her deceptively loose cartoon line reminds us of the classic cartoons of the mid 20thcentury in magazines like the New Yorker, especially the work of William Steig. She also does more serious images of animals that show a deep love for natural forms.

All Things Change

Through December 31
Scollay Square Gallery, Boston City Hall
1 City Hall Plaza, Boston
Free, 617-657-4278

Allston-Brighton’s Unbound Visual Arts curated this exhibition of mostly paintings and photographs, all exploring the phenomenon of change, both here in Boston and in the Universe at large (Boston, as we all know, being the hub of the Universe). The styles range widely, from abstract expressionism to peaceful still lives to photojournalistic images to a single composite portrait of Tom Menino.