Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See Milva DiDomizio and June Wulff's picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend.
A NEW NUT TO CRACK More than 300 dancers, 182 costumes (with more than 200,000 jewels and 2,000 yards of net and tulle), a 42.5-foot tree with 600 ornaments, a new character (the Bunny), and mice feet created from molds shaped on the dancers' feet. We don't know about a partridge in a pear tree, but this new Boston Ballet production of "The Nutcracker" also has new choreography, sets, a new ending, and it takes place in the Jane Austen era. Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. (through Dec. 30). $35 and up. Boston Opera House, 539 Tremont St., Boston. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org
THE WHOS AND HOWS You have discovered the true meaning of Christmas - it's shopping, right? The Grinch comes to his own discovery in "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical" featuring "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and "Welcome Christmas." Nov. 23, 1, 4, and 7 p.m. (through Dec. 9). $35-$125. Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston. 866-348-9738, www.citicenter.org
SLINGS AND ARROWS The British Television Advertising Awards have a new name, the British Arrow Awards, but the product is the same - original, witty, and creative ads from the British advertising world. More than 150 await your chuckles and groans. Nov. 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. (Dec. 6, 20, and 27 at 7 p.m.). $10, $6 students. Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org
BOWIE AND BURLESQUE In "Oh! You Pretty Things" chanteuse Niki Luparelli and the Gold Diggers deliver two dozen David Bowie covers. Performers including Babes in Boinkland and Mary Widow bring the burlesque and go-go dancing. Nov. 23, 9 p.m. $25, $17 & $20 advance. Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge. 516-547-8300, www.cluboberon.com
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER In the one-woman show, "The Pianist of Willesden Lane," pianist Mona Golabek tells the true story about her Jewish pianist/author mother, Lisa Jura, who as a child was sent from Vienna to London on the kindertransport to escape the Nazis. Based on the book "The Children of Willesden Lane" by Golabek and Lee Cohen and presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage and Hershey Felder. Nov. 23, 8 p.m. Nov. 24, 2 and 8 p.m. (through Dec. 16). $25-$69 (recommended for ages 12 and older). Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., Boston. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org
TREE LIGHTS Bring the family to Harvard Square to help decorate trees (4 p.m.), hear the Santa Claus Jazz Band (5-6:30 p.m.), and meet the jolly old chap himself and watch the tree lighting (5:30 p.m.). Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. Free (complimentary beverages and cookies from Henrietta's Table; bring an unwrapped toy or gift for the Home for Little Wanderers). The Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge. 617-491-3434, www.harvardsquare.com
CAPITOL OFFENSE There's no shortage of material for the Capitol Steps who present their new show, "2012 Winners and Losers Edition." Will the political humorists touch on the debate Obama forgot to attend and that binder of women? Nov. 24 at 5 and 8 p.m. $31-$39, $5 student discount (two-ticket max). Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-496-2222, www.ofa.fas.harvard.edu/boxoffice
DOWN UNDER How far would your beloved travel to save you - and in what direction? Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera Series presents a semi-staged production of Claudio Monteverdi's "Orfeo" about the namesake's trip to the underworld to beg for his dead Euridice's return. Nov. 24, 8 p.m. (Nov. 25 at 3 p.m.). $19-$125, $5 student and senior discount. Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston. 617-661-1812, www.bemf.org
DOGGONE IT When a liberal performance artist butts heads with a conservative southern senator who threatens to cut public arts funding, the former schemes to kidnap the latter's pooch. Lee Blessing's comedy, "Chesapeake," is presented by New Repertory Theatre. Nov. 25 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. (through Dec. 16). $36 (discounts available; Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. is a pay-what-you-can performance). Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org
DUTCH DANCING The fact that Nicky Romero's first instrument was a drum kit might have something to do with the Dutchman's way with a beat. Work off Thanksgiving dinner when the house DJ spins in Boston. Nov. 25, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. $30. Umbria Prime, 295 Franklin St., Boston. 617-800-3604, www.umbriaprime.com
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.