Best of the Week: Our Picks for December 28, 2015-January 1, 2016

The countdown to 2016 begins now.

Welcome to Best of the Week, 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.

Hometown Throwdown Hometown Throwdown photo by mgstanton on Flickr

Monday, December 28
Hometown Throwdown

As local Boston holiday traditions go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Christmas party more raucous than the one Dicky Barrett and pals put together. For the 18th year, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones bring their Hometown Throwdown to Boston; they’ve been at the House of Blues all weekend—where they’ve been playing nearly 30-song sets—and tonight’s your last chance to see them. It’s the only time of year when it’s good fashion sense to pair brothel creepers with plaid Santa hats.

$25-$39.50, December 28, 7 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston, 888-693-2583,

Barry Crimmins Barry Crimmins, in promotional still for Call Me Lucky

Tuesday, December 29
Barry Crimmins

When the legendary Somerville music club Johnny D’s closes in early 2016, it will be one more lost landmark for the Boston arts scene to mourn, joining the ranks of T.T. the Bear’s, the Rat, and the Ding Ho, a Chinese restaurant turned comedy club that spawned a slew of acclaimed standup careers—from Marc Maron to Bobcat Goldthwait. And while the Ding Ho looms large in the annals of Boston comedy, so does Barry Crimmins, its longtime booker and the ferocious political comic so vividly profiled in this year’s Call Me Lucky (a gut-wrenching indie doc directed by Goldthwait himself). Tonight, Crimmins returns to Boston to perform a set at Johnny D’s—a fitting way to witness the waning days of the Davis Square club.

$25, December 29, 7:30 p.m., Johnny D’s Uptown, 17 Holland St., Somerville, 617-776-2004,

Alfred Sisley, Grapes and Walnuts on a Table Alfred Sisley, Grapes and Walnuts on a Table / Image courtesy MFA collection

Wednesday, December 30
Festive Food Walk

If you’ve ever seen the hallucinatory fever dream disguised as children’s enrichment that is the 1983 Sesame Street special “Don’t Eat the Pictures,” you will have no doubt internalized its important message about art-gallery etiquette (as well as a truly weird story about Big Bird helping an orphaned ghost prince one-up Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife). Keep this advice in mind if you go on the MFA’s “Festive Food Walk” with food historian Laura Ziman to “savor artwork inspired by all things edible”—the museum’s galleries are not just a feast for the senses, they’re strewn with works that look good enough to eat.

Free with admission, December 30, 10:30–11:15 a.m. and 1:30–2:15 p.m., Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Visitor Center, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, 617-267-9300,

Donkey Show Donkey Show’s Tytania (Rebecca Whitehurst) and Cob Web (Cameron Oro) / Courtesy photo by Marcus Stern

SO LONG, 2015
Thursday, December 31
New Year’s Eve

December 31 is a night of infinite possibility, and the 2015 version is no exception. Whatever your ideal way to close out the year—free fireworks, Star Wars parties, an especially glitter-drenched installment of The Donkey Show, Andrew W.K. playing I Get Wet in its entirety at the Dise—you’ll find it in Boston this year. If your to-do list includes consuming fountains of complimentary champagne, check out the NYE dinner specials on offer, everything from a Jay-Z and Beyonce-themed bash to traditional caviar service at Row 34.

See our complete New Year’s Eve coverage.

The Hot Mess at Area Four. / Photo provided The Hot Mess at Area Four. / Photo provided

HELLO, 2016
Friday, January 1
New Year’s Day

How to get the new year started off on the right foot? Some of us will be lacing up our boots and hitting the trail for “First Day Hikes,” the free guided tours of one of 11 state parks. And some of us will be mopping up the boozy carnage from the previous evening with the city’s best hangover brunches. After all, no one wants to embark on a new year’s adventure on an empty stomach. Help yourself to the Bloody Mary bar at Foundry on Elm, get a lucky platter of Hoppin’ John at the Indo, order up an invigorating Hot Mess at Area Four—or check out one of the other two dozen bunch specials we’ve rounded up for you.

See our complete list of New Year’s Day hangover bunches.


Looking for more winter arts coverage? Check out:

Winter Concerts and Comedy

Winter Theater Openings

Winter Author Events

Winter Museum Openings