December Staff Picks

Close out the year in style…

Make the end of 2018 count with cutting edge exhibitions, powerful performances, and countless concerts. What’s on your arts and culture bucket list you can tick off this year?

What We’re Recommending:


Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights | Presented by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

December 5

“This year, Hanukkah technically starts at sundown on December 2, but one could say the holiday does not really begin in Boston until December 5, which is when the Museum of Fine Arts opens its doors for its annual Hanukkah celebration. The MFA, in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative and Combined Jewish Philanthropies, will present a free evening of lively musical performances, engaging tours of the museum’s collection of Judaica, art-making activities, and a family-friendly scavenger hunt. Make sure to catch the community candle lighting in the grand Shapiro Family Courtyard, which is always a highlight of the event. And then cap off your night at Taste Café with some traditional treats — rugelach, kichlach (Star of David cookies), and sufganiyot, a top-your-own-donut bar!”


Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical | Presented by Boch Center

Now – December 9

“I’ll admit it…I can be a little bit of a Grinch around the holidays. I’ve always identified with Dr. Seuss’ infamous green villain, so I’m excited to see his story told on stage with song. With the new Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced animated film out now, too, the Boch Center is a great alternate venue to experience this classic tale like you never have before.”


Man in the Ring | Presented by Huntington Theatre Company

Now – December 22

“The production photos for Man in the Ring are gorgeous, and the story is an important one. Fans of boxing, new plays, and world-class theatre will love this dramatization of the life of six-time world champion prizefighter Emile Griffith.”


Winter People | Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

December 6 – 16

“While I love a good classic, I find that new plays are always the most exciting to see! Boston Playwrights’ Theatre is committed to workshopping and producing new works from local artists, and since I live around the corner, I’m always eager to see what they have in store. In BPT’s second production of the season, local playwright Laura Neill explores the secret lives of the Hamptons locals who remain behind once the summer tourists have left. In the midst of what would normally be the quiet season for the town, their lives suddenly burst into flames — literally. Intricate secrets, tense encounters, and families slowly turning against each other? I’m absolutely in. A timely piece as we move into our snowy months, I can’t wait to see Winter People, the new whodunit opening next week!”


Christmas with Back Bay Ringers | Presented by Back Bay Ringers

December 14

“What’s more seasonal than sleigh bells? Back Bay Ringers is Boston’s premiere handbell ringing ensemble, and their holiday performances are the pinnacle of their season each year. I’m eager to catch them in Boston, but they’ll be performing all over greater Boston, so check out the ArtsBoston Calendar to see when the Back Bay Ringers will come a-caroling near you.”


The Christmas Revels: A Nordic Celebration of the Winter Solstice | Presented by Revels

December 14 – 29

“Revels is a long-standing and much beloved holiday ritual in Boston. This 48th annual celebration pays tribute to Nordic holiday traditions with music, dance, and puppetry. Make your way to the historic Sanders Theatre to welcome winter in a festive style!”


Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella | Presented by Emerson Colonial Theatre

December 18 – 30

“Truth be told, I have never seen Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.  You may ask then why it’s my staff pick for December.  Although I haven’t seen it, Cinderella is not only my favorite fairy tale but the musical Cinderella contains some of my all-time favorite Rodger and Hammerstein songs….’Impossible’, ‘Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?’, and ‘A Lovely Night.’  Getting to see this classic at the newly refurbished Colonial Theatre during this season is truly a holiday gift!”


Urban Nutcracker | Presented by Tony Williams Dance Center

December 20 – 30

“My favorite thing about the Nutcracker is when a dance company puts its personal touch on the classic.  I’m excited to see Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and other favorite characters make their way through Boston’s landmarks in Urban Nutcracker. With the addition of Duke Ellington’s smooth take on the score, this might be my new favorite holiday tradition!”

Check out all these picks and more on the ArtsBoston Calendar.

What arts or cultural event are you most excited for this month? Let us know on Twitter by tweeting us, @artsboston!

Want weekly recommendations on what to see and do in Boston?

Pictured above: The Christmas Revels 2015 performance.

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