I don’t have many memories of watching Charlie Brown holiday specials as a kid, but as I grew up, I found so many relatable Charlie Brown quotes, gifs and photos. Now, I love it! I begin every month by retweeting photos from the Peanuts Twitter account that welcome the upcoming month. (This month’s features Snoopy and Woodstock sledding down a hill. “Hi, December!”) All this is to say that for this week, one of my event suggestions is to catch “A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage” at the Chevalier Theatre in Medford. If that’s not up your alley, there is also a Hanukkah celebration, a livestreamed dance festival, an experiential 4D version of “The Polar Express” and more.
'The Polar Express' 4D experience at the Museum of Science
Through Jan. 2
The 4D experience is based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, “The Polar Express.” If you aren’t familiar with the story, it’s about a young boy who takes a magical train ride to the North Pole and discovers what it means to believe. This 15-minute show features multisensory effects like seat rumbling, howling and gusts of wind, snow fall, and the aroma of hot cocoa filling the air. This is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit with family and loved ones.
Through Jan. 6
Jacob’s Pillow presents a special edition of the STREB Extreme Action Company’s 2021 Jacob’s Pillow Dance festival performance. The virtual stream features a retrospective of Elizabeth Streb’s work from the 1970s and ‘80s, along with behind-the-scenes takes. The 50-minute performance highlights STREB’s signature style, described as “bravery and sheer athleticism.” I would consider this performance as dance meets the X Games.
'Angel Street' from Arlington Friends of the Drama
Friday, Dec. 3-Monday, Dec. 19
First produced under the title “Gaslight,” this Broadway hit recounts the mystery tale of the Manninghams who lived on Angel Street during the 19th century in London. The play promises to deliver suspenseful sequences that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. (This is also where the term “gaslighting” comes from.) The play, directed by Paul Dixon, takes place at the AFD theater in Arlington.
'A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage' at the Chevalier Theatre
Sunday, Dec. 5
“A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage” captures some of the well-loved elements of the original show, like the characters and soundtrack with the addition of a score by Vince Guaraldi. The touring production is adapted from Charles M. Schulz's classic story with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and more. The 90-minute performance helps you get into the holiday spirit with the Peanuts classic carols as well as a Christmas song sing-along.
Sunday, Dec. 5
The Boston Synagogue will host a joyful celebration of Chanukah (or Hanukkah, for those that spell it that way). There will be live music from the New England Conservatory of Music, mocktails and cocktails, dreidels and games, and delicious food for you to enjoy, including latkes, gelt, applesauce, sufganiyot and more. All Jewish denominations are welcome and all attendees must show proof of vaccination.