Best of the Week: Our Picks for December 7-11, 2015

On the agenda: Kiss 108's Jingle Ball, Hanukkah events, and Nick Offerman's

Welcome to Best of the Day, our recommendations for what to check out around town this week. If you’re wondering what to do in Boston this week, check out these events.

Poster art for The Blob (1958)

Poster art for The Blob (1958)

Monday, December 7
Science on Screen: The Blob with Ferris Jabr on the Great Molasses Flood

A gooey unstoppable mass that engulfs everything in sight? Anyone who’s crashed the dessert table during a holiday party can relate to the gelatinous antagonist of 1958 cult classic The Blob. But journalist Ferris Jabr is not here to judge our yuletide carb intake; instead, he’s here to explain the science behind the 1919 Boston Molasses Disaster, which sent a tidal wave of roughly two million gallons of treacly, deadly liquid coursing through the North End, crushing buildings and vehicles, and lethally ensnaring people and horses. Inspired partly by his study of microbes and their strange method of moving through human goo, Jabr wrote about the flood for Scientific American, breaking down why “fluid dynamics explains why it was even more devastating than a typical tsunami.” Intrigued? Get the master class tonight at the Coolidge.

December 7, 7 p.m., Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline, 617-734-2501,


Once / Courtesy photo

Tuesday, December 8

From buskers to Broadway: That’s the Once story, which started out as an indie romance set in Dublin, combining—in cinema verite style—the dual talents of its actor-musicians, telling the story of a guitarist who falls in love with a singer through their shared love of music. The movie went on to win an Oscar, and the Broadway musical it spawned has nabbed eight Tony awards (including Best Musical). This smash-hit success is in part thanks to the Boston theater scene, as its stage adaptation was helmed by the American Repertory Theater’s artistic director Diane Paulus and producer Diane Borger before making its Off-Broadway debut. Tonight, Once once again returns to Boston stages—and you can be part of the show: On December 9, the Citi Performing Arts Center is inviting the public to join the cast in playing “Falling Slowly,” the film’s famed swoon-inducing ballad, in unison on guitar.

December 8-27, Shubert Theatre, 270 Tremont St., Boston, 617-482-9393,

Yehia Yemini, Hanukkah lamp, 1920s. Silver. Charles and Lynn Shusterman Collection

Yehia Yemini, Hanukkah lamp, 1920s. Silver. Charles and Lynn Shusterman Collection / Photo courtesy MFA

Wednesday, December 9
Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights

Whether it’s floating sheep, ambient street pianos, or reefs of glitter coral, Hilary Zelson’s art installations always give us an intense desire to Go Make Stuff—and we expect her giant menorah, which makes its public debut this week, will be no different. Knowing this, the Museum of Fine Arts is giving you the opportunity to make your own at their second-annual Hanukkah open house. Tour the galleries, take workshops, get some face time with the museum’s Judaica collection, enjoy some live klezmer music, check out the virtual-reality art installation “8 Nights, 8 Windows,” and join the candle-lighting ceremony in the Shapiro Family Courtyard. And if you’ve worked up an appetite from all of that, take an après-museum trip to fill up on latkes at La Morra, or one of the many other Boston restaurants offering Hanukkah menu specials this year.

Free, December 9, 5-9:45 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston,

Thursday, December 10
Kiss 108 Jingle Ball

Terrestrial radio, as it turns out, is not dead—not when it’s throwing us a bash like this, anyway: Courtesy of iHeart-Radio’s year-end touring revue, Kiss 108’s annual Jingle Ball returns to the TD Garden this December with the kind of lineup of Top 40 hitmakers we’ve come to expect—including the Weeknd, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and Taylor Swift’s beau, superstar DJ Calvin Harris. Can’t make it out? Don’t worry; Vanyaland correspondent Daniel Brockman will be there on the red carpet to grill all the talent. Expect heavy existential commentary and eye-popping photos from our forthcoming post-show recap over at Boston magazine.

December 10, 7 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, 617-624-1050, Buy tickets.

Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman / Courtesy photo by Emily Shur via Society of Arts and Crafts

Friday, December 11
CraftBoston Holiday 2015

Before he was known to millions of Parks and Rec viewers as the turbo-masculine Ron Swanson, actor Nick Offerman was spending his spare hours making handcrafted canoes in his woodshop (you know, in case the acting thing didn’t pan out). Offerman’s currently in town playing hysterically inept medievalist manchild Ignatius J. Reilly in Huntington Theatre’s Confederacy of Dunces until December 20. But if you’d prefer to see him in a slightly more Swansonesque role, catch his “Sawdust and Mirth” talk at this year’s CraftBoston Holiday, where he’ll be discussing the importance of handmade objects. And while you’re at it, cross a few items of your holiday shopping list: This three-day event and its plethora of local artisans offers a multitude of options to stock up on one-of-a-kind gifts.

$15 for general admission, $13 for seniors, $12 for students, $7.50 for SAC members, free for children under 12, December 11-12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., December 13, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston,


Looking for more winter arts coverage? Check out:

Your Guide to the Holidays in Boston

Winter Concerts and Comedy

Winter Theater Openings

Winter Author Events

Winter Museum Openings