ArtsBoston Holiday Special 2023 – Staff Picks

ArtsBoston Staff Holiday Picks: A Diverse Palette of Performances to Spark Your Festive Spirit

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by immersing ourselves in the magic of live performances? Members of the ArtsBoston staff are kicking off the season right with their top picks for this week and next, promising a diverse array of shows to suit every taste and festive mood.


Catherine’s Pick: Chicago at Emerson Colonial Theatre

Catherine kicks off the recommendations with a classic – “Chicago” presented by Broadway in Boston at the Emerson Colonial Theatre. Catherine, who already has a calendar full of Messiahs and Nutcrackers, is eager to start the holiday season with the razzle-dazzle of one of her favorite musicals. She highlights the joy of experiencing the beautiful Emerson Colonial Theatre, a classic venue for Broadway shows. Get tickets here.

Nate’s Pick: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf with Theater Uncorked

Nate directs our attention to Edward Albee’s classic play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” a show that has everything you can expect at the holidays: pitch-black comedic jabs, big dramatic speeches, and lots and lots of alcohol. This masterpiece of American drama explores a dysfunctional and self-destructive marriage, all seen in this intimate production at BCA Plaza Black Box. Discover more about the play here.

Arlene’s Pick: Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights, presented by the MFA and JArts

Arlene invites you to celebrate Hanukkah in style at the MFA with “Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights.” This annual event promises something for everyone, from face-painting to story-telling, pop-up art exhibits, and live music by Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band. Arlene’s only caution: arrive early to ensure you don’t miss out on the latkes! Join the celebration here.

Eve’s Pick: The Rocky Horror Show (Central Square Theater)

Eve’s recommendation brings a touch of unconventional holiday cheer with “The Rocky Horror Show” in Central Square. Having experienced the energy and brilliance of the performers during its opening week, Eve is eager to see it again. This production promises a different and dance-worthy way to celebrate the holidays, as two stranded young lovers happen upon a crazy castle of characters presided over by the “Sweet Transvestite” themself, Dr. Frank-n-Furter.  Expect a glammy, gothy, rock’n’roll holiday experience. Get your tickets to the party here.

Claire’s Pick: Castle of Our Skins: As I Heard When I Was Young

Claire, a fan of Celebrity Series’ Neighborhood Arts shows, suggests the FREE “Castle of Our Skins: As I Heard When I Was Young.” This unique performance at Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain, celebrates the holiday season through chamber music with African roots. It’s a wonderful opportunity to broaden your musical horizons in a unique concert setting. Learn more about this musical journey.

Ola’s Pick: Anthony Williams’s Urban Nutcracker from City Ballet of Boston 

Ola, our Network for Arts Administrators of Color Director, says the joy of the season and the joy of Boston can both be found in Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker presented by City Ballet of Boston. Tchaikovsky’s classic music gets a jazz-up from the rhythms of Duke Ellington for a one of a kind dance performance that’s anchored in classical ballet and includes a helping of tap, hip hop, flamenco and jazz dance.


As the holiday season unfolds, let the arts light up your days and nights with these captivating performances. Whether you’re drawn to the classic allure of Broadway, explosive theater, the festive celebration of Hanukkah, the unconventional energy of Rocky Horror, the cultural fusion of chamber music, or re-imaginings of the classics, ArtsBoston has you covered. Gather your loved ones and make this holiday season one to remember with the gift of live performances.

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