It’s hard to feel festive this year when everything is upside down, but we’re taking some solace in the appearance of twinkling lights across Boston. And a silver lining? The most hectic time of the year is notably less so. Now, nine months into the pandemic, virtual performances have hit their stride, and the quality is better than ever. So get cozy at home, sit back with a cup of eggnog, and let the performers come to you.
Through Dec. 30
Singer-songwriter Anjimile burst onto the national scene this year with an album that confirmed what Massachusetts fans already knew: this is an artist on the rise. Watch them in an intimate and electrifying performance at Oberon alongside feminist rapper Brandie Blaze and Afro Latin fusion artist Kaovanny. Join a pre-show celebration on Dec. 18 to raise a glass to the artists who will be there to greet the audience.
Through Jan. 1
Since we’re breaking with tradition in so many ways this year, there’s no better time to watch “The Slutcracker,” a phenomenally successful feminist take on Tchaikovsky's classic ballet “The Nutcracker.” Created in 2008, and running at the Somerville Theatre since then, this exuberant and bawdy reinvention embraces body-positivity and a spectrum of performers. This year’s show draws on archival footage to bring you burlesque performers, belly dancers, whips and fetish gear.
Friday, Dec. 18-Dec. 31
This year, the Christmas Revels was set to celebrate its 50th anniversary. And while it might not be the performance anyone had envisioned, the group is forging ahead with a virtual celebration. For the first time in its run, the Revels will not be performed live in Harvard's Sanders Theatre, instead they're offering a mix of music, dance and song pulled from their archive. There will also be guest appearances from artists, including a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Craving a more direct interaction? Join the Revels for The Wassail Party and a toast to founder John Langstaff on Dec. 20.
Sunday, Dec. 20
Another holiday tradition making a shift is the Handel + Haydn Society's performance of Handel's "Messiah." This year, the society has teamed up with GBH for a televised performance, its 167th consecutive year. The program premieres Sunday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. on GBH Television Channel 2 and will also stream on both GBH and H+H's social media and will then be available for streaming throughout the holiday season.
Provincetown Theater's 'Townie Holiday Extravaganza'
Sunday, Dec. 20
This annual show from the Provincetown Theater is moving online, featuring over 20 performers from around Cape Cod. From spoken word artist Tamora Israel to baritone Brandon Cordeiro to Trish LaRose's cover of Joni Mitchell classic, this one-night-only show is jam-packed with local talent for the entire family to enjoy. The event is free to stream with a suggested donation of $20 to the theater.