Experience the magic of "The Nutcracker" with the Boston Ballet. Photo by Liza Voll Photography


'The Color Purple'

The Tony-winning 2016 revival of “The Color Purple” comes to Boston, bringing musical life to Alice Walker’s canonical novel, detailing the lives of rural black women in Georgia during the Great Depression, facing sexism from within and racism from without, but never giving up that good ol’ American pursuit of happiness, even if America itself is in the way.

Through Dec. 3, Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St., Boston, $48-$110,




A Thanksgiving, Tom Hanks marathon called ‘Hanksgiving? Genius. Avoiding Tom’s “serious” work (“Philadelphia,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Castaway”, etc.) in favor of '80s comedies like “Big,” “The Money Pit,” “Splash,” “The ‘Burbs” and “Joe vs. the Volcano,” plus half-forgotten period pieces like “That Thing You Do,” “A League of Their Own” and “Catch Me If You Can.” Righteous.

Through Nov. 28, Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, $9-$11,


Liam Gallagher

In Oasis, Liam and Noel Gallagher could seem like a two step process: Noel the manufacturer, writing all the music, and Liam the salesman, bringing that music to inimitable life. Perhaps that’s why it took Liam longer than Noel release a solo album, but “As You Were,” which dropped in October, shows the younger Gallagher is far from bereft of his own manufacturing skills.

Nov. 25, 7 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston,

Boston Tuba Christmas

Each year, as many as 200 tuba players gather to perform holiday tunes at Faneuil Hall. If you think this would sound like one giant foghorn, you’re wrong, because there many sizes of tuba aside from the classic “oompah” baritone variety and when you get them all together, you can play a lot more than bass lines.

Nov. 25, 2 p.m., Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 4 S. Market St., Boston, free,



Winter might not sound like the most obvious time to visit the zoo, but ZooLights transforms the Stone Zoo into a twinkling winter wonderland, and you can meet animals who tough out the winter, including bald eagles, the Canada lynx, arctic foxes and reindeer—not Santa’s, of course, but the big man will be in attendance. There’s also a carousel, special performers and more.

Nov. 24-Dec. 31, Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St, Stoneham, $10,


The Improvised Holiday Spectacular

The Holiday season hasn’t even begun in earnest and you’re already burnt out? Laugh away the pain at ImprovBoston’s annual season’s greeting. The venerable Central Square comedy hub is pulling out the big guns, their National Touring Company, to spin your suggestions into comedy gold, just like Rumpelstiltskin—not a holiday character, but you know what we mean.

Nov. 24-Dec. 29, ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge, $10,

Denis Leary

Worcester native Denis Leary has been one of the great “Massholes” in standup comedy, even though his persona owes a great debt to Texan Bill Hicks—ranting, profane, skeptical of everything, utterly unconcerned with “political correctness.” Now he’s got a book, “Why We Don’t Suck,” addressing America’s harshly divided political scene—and a host of other tangentially-related topics—as only he can.

Nov. 26, 7 p.m., Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston, $38,

Chris Rock

Chris Rock’s standup career has laid relatively low since his late 90’s heyday, but he’s done a lot else, writing and directing three of his own movies in addition to numerous other TV and film appearances. He hasn’t done a new standup special since 2008’s “Kill the Messenger,” but we’re confident he won’t be at a loss for words on Sunday.

Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m. Boch Center Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston,


'The Nutcracker'

The Boston Ballet returns with another glorious round of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” With its beautiful, instantly recognizable music and surreal, magical atmosphere, it’s a one-of-a-kind treat for ears and eyes. Boston Ballet choreographer Mikko Nissinen debuted his version in 2012, easily winning over the New England throngs for whom this is an unnegotiable holiday tradition. 

Nov. 24-Dec. 31, Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston, $55-$300,


#OptOutside Wachusett Hike

Blow off Black Friday and head out to Mt. Wachusett, from the top of which Boston will look tiny and unthreatening. “Sounds nice,” you’re telling us, “But I don’t own a car because I’m a #environmentalist and also #broke.” No problem, the organizers have a carpool system, and it’s taking off from Alewife. Excuse gone! Get more info at the website below.

Nov. 24, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Alewife Station, 35 Cambridgepark Dr., Cambridge, $25,


South End Holidaty Market

Here’s another chance to snag yourself some unique holiday gifts straight from the makers themselves. With 75 artists, artisans, and food makers from across New England, there should be enough to cross several names off your list. Pro tip: get there early. Judging from photos of last year, the place gets pretty crowded!

Nov. 25, 11 a.m.-6p.m., Benjamin Franklin Institute, 41 Berkeley St., Boston, $5,

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