A week of events in Cambridge, Somerville: Winter Wonder dance fest, 100 First Jokes
“Thumbelina: A Little Musical” from 10 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. (and repeating Tuesday) at the Loeb Mainstage, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for kids. It should be interesting to see an update to this Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a tiny girl whom everyone keeps trying to marry, or marry off, until she meets a prince who’s just her size … and they get married. This new musical adaptation by Julia Riew, however, is described as being about “a girl who forges her path, embraces her differences and finds her place.” It’s directed by Emma Watt. Information is here.
Winter Wonder popup dance performances from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. General admission is $26 in advance (with fees, $29.21), or $35 at the door. Four days of Winter Wonder classes ends with performances led by Yosi Karahashi and Christina Harrington, Jean Appolon and Peter DiMuro, Hollis Bartlett and Nattie Trogdon and 10 Hairy Legs under the direction of David Parker. The reception includes food and drink. Information is here.
Boston8Bit’s “It’s Freakin’ Freezing” show from 8 to 11:30 p.m. at The Jungle, 6 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville. Free, but 21-plus. The Boston8Bit music and art collective – devoted to showcasing local chiptune music and other stuff reminiscent of classic videogame style – brings The Gothsicles, Fuzzy Proxy and T-T)b to the stage with live visuals from Thresher. There’s a chiptune open mic too. Information is here.
“The Slutcracker” from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square. General admission is $30. This burlesque event retelling Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic with a sex-positive (to put it mildly) message has been selling out shows since 2008. This special performance is – obviously – the final of the year. Information is here.
New Year’s concert with Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys and Devil’s Twins from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Once Somerville, 156 Highland Ave. Tickets are $10 (with fees, $12.83) for a show that’s 18-plus with guardian). We wouldn’t recommend just any band for a New Year’s Eve show, but Sickert and the gang will bring you into 2020 with the kind of creative bacchanalia appropriate for the era, aided by Boson noir punk duo The Devil’s Twins; flamboyant soulsters Johnny Blazes and the Pretty Boys; and the proggy superband Lunar Throne. Information is here.
New Years Eve Comedy Countdown from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Central Square. Tickets are $35 for this 21-plus show. Improv away 2019 with a show that includes party hats, favors, a champagne toast and an interactive countdown to 2020. Information is here.
Annual Flag Raising from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting at Somerville City Hall, 93 Highland Ave., in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville. Free. March to Prospect Hill for a commemoration of the raising of the first American flag, learning about the role Somerville played in the American Revolution and singing Patriotic songs (and enjoying light refreshments). Information is here.
Marx Brothers Marathon from 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Marathon tickets (good for three or more consecutive films) are $20; regularly priced tickets are also available for screenings. A quintuple feature of anarchic hijinks – the five first Marx Brothers films, taking them from stage adaptation to full-fledged cinema anarchy: “The Cocoanuts,” “Animal Crackers,” “Monkey Business,” “Horse Feathers” and “Duck Soup.” General admission is $20; individual film pricing is also available. Information is here.
100 First Jokes marathon at 7 or 9 p.m. at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Central Square. Tickets are $10. This local tradition gives dozens of comics the mic for two minutes or less for their first never-before-told jokes of 2020. The show is certain to feature adult comedy, so it might be best to leave the kids at home. Information is here.
Evening Reading Series at Lesley University at 5 p.m. (and continuing through Jan. 8) at the Marran Theater, 34 Mellen St., on Lesley’s Doble Campus in the Agassiz neighborhood near Harvard Square. Free. Four-time National Book Award finalist poet Carl Phillips headlines this cold-weather series of writers reading from works in nonfiction, poetry, fiction, writing for stage and screen and writing for young people. Today: memoirist Lisa Gruenberg (pictured) and novelist Hester Kaplan. Information is here.
Film Friday: “Schitt’s Creek” from 7 to 9 p.m. at CultureHouse, 500 Kendall St., Kendall Square. Free. With the final season arriving Jan. 7 for this modern classic of a sitcom, in which a family loses its wealth and is forced to relocate to the town it bought as a joke, CultureHousers are inspired to break the “film” rule for a rewatch of best (or at least favorite) episodes. They’re talking suggestions for which these are. Information is here. This event was canceled after publication.
“Angels We Have Heard on High” tour from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge. General admission is $12. Docent Rosemarie Smurzynski helps visitors spot angels in the cemetery and explore what they meant to the Victorians. Information is here.
Evening Reading Series at Lesley University at 6 p.m. (and continuing through Jan. 8) at the Marran Theater, 34 Mellen St., on Lesley’s Doble Campus in the Agassiz neighborhood near Harvard Square. Free. Four-time National Book Award finalist poet Carl Phillips reads as part of this cold-weather series with writers of nonfiction, poetry, fiction, writing for stage and screen and writing for young people. Information is here.
Somerville Songwriter Sessions from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Admission is $10. Kirsten Manville with her Americana, folk, country and blues storytelling; angel-voiced Molly Pinto Madigan; and protest-inspired folkie Mark Bishop Evans perform after a short open mic.
Show + Tell: a [sort of] open mic fundraiser from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Free, with donations of $5 to $10 at the door encouraged. A Lady BOS Productions works-in-progress mini-festival featuring performances, dance lessons, tarot card readings, photo booths and more, with chances to win prizes such as earrings from Ear Clothes, a photoshoot with Mickey West Photography, lessons at Revolution Trapeze and a gift certificate to Mint Julep. Money raised at this series pays for the upcoming season of performances. Information is here.
Schubert, Arensky and Tchaikovsky from 3 to 5 p.m. at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., near Harvard Square. Tickets are $9 to $63. The Boston Chamber Music Society performs Schubert’s difficult Sonata in A minor D. 821, or “Arpeggione,” from 1824; Arensky’s Cello Quartet in A minor Op. 35, from 1894 (dedicated to the memory of friend and mentor Tchaikovsky); and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50, from 1882 (also a tribute, but to pianist Nikolai Rubinstein, and also challenging for the performer). Information is here.
Evening Reading Series at Lesley University at 6 p.m. (and continuing next week) at the Marran Theater, 34 Mellen St., on Lesley’s Doble Campus in the Agassiz neighborhood near Harvard Square. Free. Children’s fiction author Susan Goodman and playwright and scriptwriter Sinan Ünel take to the dais. Information is here.
“Chiseled” game demo from 6 to 9 p.m. at Pandemonium Books & Games, 4 Pleasant St., Central Square. Free. Check out an intriguing, simple card-based game (one to for players, with around a half-hour of play) using an art metaphor, with creator Michael Epstein on hand for questions and feedback. Information is here.
Pindrop Sessions’ “Play the Part” from 7 to 10 p.m. at Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville. General admission is $20 (with fees, $22.85). Storytellers from the PRX Podcast Garage are backed by Somerville singer-songwriter Phil Berman – like a Cole Porter or Irving Berlin for a hyper/dis-connected 21st century reality. Information is here.