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Weekend event picks, Dec. 7-9

Posted by Milva DiDomizio  December 5, 2012 10:06 AM

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L to R: Dave Matthews at TD Garden (AP photo), Liza Voll in last year's "Urban Nutcracker," David Cromer in "Our Town" (Barry Chin, Globe Staff)

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.

FRIDAY

MAGIC TO DO Forty years ago, Bob Fosse directed the Tony-winning "Pippin" which ran for almost 2,000 performances. Diane Paulus directs the American Repertory Theater revival of this maturation story by composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz and librettist Roger O. Hirson. Matthew James Thomas tackles the title role (he played Spidey in "Spider-Man, Turn off the Dark"). Dec. 7-9, 7:30 p.m. Through Jan. 20. $25 and up. Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org

COFFEE BREAK For David Coffee, playing Scrooge must be seasonal second nature. The actor is humbugging for the 19th year in the North Shore Music Theatre production of "A Christmas Carol." In the Dickens classic, Boston favorite Leigh Barrett does double duty as Ghost of Christmas Past and Mrs. Cratchit. Dec. 7-8, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, 2 p.m. Through Dec. 23. $45-$60 (unwrapped toys for ages 2-12 will be donated to Toys for Tots). North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly. 978-232-7200, www.nsmt.org

IMPROV FEST Giggle getters at the 24-hour improv marathon benefit for Globe Santa "No Rest For The Wicked Funny" include Steven Wright, former Celtics star Jo Jo White, and Dropkick Murphy's Ken Casey. Tickets to the Red Sox, Celtics, "Conan," and Boston's "Book of Mormon" are some of the auction items. Dec. 7, 8 p.m.-8 a.m. $20 minimum ($35 provides presents for an entire family). Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St., Boston. 617-263-6887, www.improvasylum.com

SMALL TOWN "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?" Thornton Wilder's "Our Town," the most-produced play in the country, celebrates its 75th anniversary. The Pulitzer winner about life in 1901 Grover's Corners, N.H. is staged by Obie winner David Cromer who also plays the "Stage Manager" through Dec. 30. Dec. 7-8, 8 p.m. Dec. 9, 7 p.m. Through Jan. 13. $25 and up, $25 ages 35 and younger, $15 students and military, $5 senior discount. Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

SATURDAY

WHAT'S NEW? Tony Williams's "Urban Nutcracker" returns this year with its new Boston Urban Ballet Company, new costumes, new choreography, and more. Classic ballet, urban tap, hip hop, swing, flamenco, step, jazz, traditional Chinese, and modern dance meet Tchaikovsky and Ellington in this celebration of diversity. Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. Through Dec. 23. $20-$125. Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St., Boston. 617-572-9125, www.urbannutcracker.com

THE TRAINS ARE COMING Miles to go before they sleep, of tracks that is. For Model Train Weekend, the HUB Division of the National Model Railroad Association lays out miles of track for trains to work their way up mountains, past coal mines, through the villages, and into the tunnels. Dec. 8, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 9, noon-4 p.m. $7 per family. Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library (National Heritage Museum), 33 Marrett Road, Lexington. 781-861-6559, www.monh.org

SUNDAY

SWEET On the "Sweet" track from "Away From The World," the latest album by Dave Matthews Band, Matthews sings that he's "too old to wanna be younger now." We're of the same mindset, but we'll let Dave do our singing. Jimmy Cliff opens for the band at the TD Garden. Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. $75, $85. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. 800-745-3000. www.livenation.com

FEATS OF CLAY He's come a long way from his beginnings on "American Idol." Clay Aiken played Sir Robin on Broadway in "Monty Python's Spamalot," wrote a New York Times bestselling memoir, was a runner-up on "Celebrity Apprentice," is an ambassador for UNICEF, and started the National Inclusion Project to support children with disabilities. Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. $39-$50. The Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston. 800-745-3000, www.thewilbur.com

SHADOW DANCING According to Wikipedia, hip-hop producer DJ Shadow, whose given name is Josh Davis, owns more than 60,000 records. They're tools of the trade for a musician renowned for his sampling expertise. His latest release is "Reconstructed," a limited edition box set of his collected works. Dec. 9, 8 p.m. $27, $25 advance. Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston. 617-338-7699, www.royaleboston.com

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Contributors

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.

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