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Weekend event picks, Dec. 21-23

Posted by Milva DiDomizio  December 19, 2012 01:53 PM

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L to R: Deborah Henson-Conant (Jake Jacobson); Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Jason McEachern); pianist Jacqueline Schwab


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

HARP FOR THE HOLIDAYS Susanna had a banjo on her knee, and Deborah Henson-Conant has a harp on her hip. The wild and crazy Boston-area harpist who has delved into the Boston jazz scene and soloed with orchestras including the Boston Pops has lately ventured into the world of rock and roll. Her recent tour with Grammy Award-winning guitarist Steve Vai will likely inform her solo show in celebration of the solstice. With her 32-string, 11-pound electric "hip-harp," she mixes music, voice, sound loops, and spoken word in a performance sure to bring figurative and literal light (her harp has LED lights on it) to this dark time of year. Dec. 21, 8 p.m. $25, $22 advance, $16 students and seniors, $75 VIP includes pre-show artist reception. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 781-646-4849, www.regenttheatre.com

DOOMED TO EAT According to the Mayans, the world is about to end. That's as good an excuse as any for a fancy dinner. At the Doomsday Dinner & Candle Vigil, you can partake of stuffed ribeye steak, lobster-filled flautas, lamb shank with mole manchamanteles and yucca fries, chocolate del diablo, and special end-of-days libations. If the world is still around on Saturday morning, celebrate with a Mexican Bloody Mary at the Survivalists Brunch. Dec. 21, doomsday dinner 5:30-11:11 p.m. Dec. 22, brunch 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Reservations recommended, prices a la carte. Canned food donations accepted for Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee's Food Pantry. Ole Mexican Grill, 11 Springfield St., Cambridge. 617-492-4495, www.olerestaurantgroup.com

KEEPING A LOW PROFILE Bassist Greg Loughman and his indie rock band Lowman celebrate the season with a special Lowman Holiday Show. The event promises homemade cookies, a carol sing-a-long, an ugly Christmas sweater contest, and a Yankee swap of weird things you have around the house (bring 'em wrapped, please). The Adam Janjigian Trio provides pre-party jazz. Dec. 21, Adam Janjigian Trio, 7-8:30 p.m., Lowman at 9:30 p.m. Early show free, holiday show $10. Acton Jazz Cafe, 103 Nagog Park, Acton. 978-263-6161, www.actonjazzcafe.com

THE END IS NEAR The Mayan calendar says our time is running out. Whether it's your last day on earth or not, you're invited to spend it ingesting traditional Mayan food and drink (lots of chocolate), playing Mexican bingo, and drinking handcrafted margaritas at an End of Times Party. If you dare to commit your sins to paper, there'll be a confession box for them. Dec. 21, 5 p.m.-1 a.m. No cover. The Painted Burro, 219 Elm St., Somerville. 617-7760005, www.thepaintedburro.com

A BLUE CHRISTMAS On the winter solstice, the Blue Heron vocal ensemble takes flight at Christmas in 15th-century France and Burgundy. The program by Franco-Flemish masters Du Fay, Binchois, Ockeghem, Josquin, Obrecht, and Brumel covers the "mystery of Advent and the joys of Christmas." Dec. 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. (7:15 p.m. pre-concert talks). $30-$50, $25 seniors, $10 students and low income, free under 18. First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden St., Cambridge. 617-960-7956, www.blueheronchoir.org

SATURDAY

MERRY MOVIES A murder mystery feature, a George Kuchar video diary, and short comedy classics are featured in this year's Vintage Christmas Show of flicks to celebrate the season. The two-hour program featuring movies on 16mm, 35mm, and digital video is appropriate for all ages. Dec. 23, 2 p.m. Free. Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-495-4700, www. hcl.harvard.edu/hfa

HE TAKES HIS LOVE TO LYNN This year's memoir, "Luck or Something Like It: A Memoir," fills you in on how Kenny Rogers has accumulated more than 50 years in the music biz. The 74-year-old crooner credits his mother with always providing wisdom. Country singer Billy Dean joins the Kenny Rogers Christmas & Hits Tour. Dec. 22, 8 p.m. $49-$122. Lynn Auditorium, 3 City Hall Square, Lynn. 800-594-8499, www.lynnauditorium.com

SUNDAY

ROCKIN' AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE Rock opera salutes Christmas with Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "The Lost Christmas Eve," a combo of rock, classical, folk, Broadway, and R&B. The single "Wizards in Winter" is featured in this story stocking filled with a rundown hotel, an old toy store, a blues bar, and a Gothic cathedral. Dec. 23 at 3 and 7:30 p.m. $32.50-$70.50. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. 800-745-3000, www.livenation.com

SIMPLY SUBLIME Sublime's lead singer, Brad Nowell, died in 1996 two months before the release of the Long Beach band's third album. However, its punk legacy is channeled through the Badfish tribute band which gets its name from a Sublime tune: "When you grab a hold of me/Tell me that I'll never be set free/But I'm a parasite/Creep and crawl I step into the night." Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. $20, $23. 18+. Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. 800-745-3000, www.livenation.com

HISTORIC HOLIDAY MUSIC Jacqueline Schwab, the pianist who tickled the ivories for Ken Burns's Civil War film, is featured at "A Civil War Christmas," a holiday concert of music from the era. Tenor Joseph Holmes and mezzo Holly Zagaria are also featured in hymns, carols, and popular songs of the day like "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "In the Bleak Midwinter," and "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m. $30, $25 seniors and students. Wakefield Unitarian Universalist Church, 326 Main St., Wakefield. 339-203-9366, www.sroconcerts.org

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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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