Holiday Arts Preview

// The best of the arts this upcoming holiday season

’Tis the season for music, shows, and productions of all kinds, just in time for the holidays.

Special section

// The story behind the ‘Spotlight’ movie

A look at The Boston Globe’s coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the movie “Spotlight,” which is based on the stories and the reporters behind the investigation.

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Latest Arts headlines



Holiday dance picks

10 holiday dance picks from Karen Campbell.

In his return to late-night TV, Jimmy Kimmel again pleads for expanded health care

Kimmel brought his infant son on stage, just a week after the boy underwent heart surgery.

Matt Smith and Claire Foy in “The Crown.”


Dancing around a ‘Crown’ cast change

Asked by Seth Meyers who would replace him, Matt Smith said, “Well, I don’t know — I maybe know. I don’t know if I know. I’m not meant to know, but I maybe know.”

“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek (left) and Ben Raphel.


Former ‘Dinner With Cupid’ dater is ‘Jeopardy!’ champ

While that dinner at Cafe Sushi in Cambridge didn’t pan out, he told the host that his current girlfriend did read that article before they dated.

Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy performs during the Jingle Ball concert at TD Garden.

Music Review

Jingle Ball artists have themselves a merry little concert

Kiss 108’s annual holiday show at TD Garden featured the likes of Camila Cabello, Fifth Harmony, Halsey, Fall Out Boy, Kelly Clarkson, and more.

Trump disputes report he watches hours of television daily

The president pushed back against a report in The New York Times about his first year in office.

Nicole Kidman is returning for a second seven-episode season of “Big Little Lies.”

TV Critic’s Corner

‘Big Little Lies’ just won’t leave well enough alone

Despite my warnings that one-and-done is the way to go, they’re moving ahead with a second season.

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on movie theaters

Cinemas were shut down in the 1980s during a wave of ultraconservatism in the country.

Ken Urban


MIT lecturer Ken Urban says ‘bah humbug!’

The playwright has written a song not exactly celebrating the holiday season.

Steven Tyler receiving the Nashville Symphony’s Harmony Award.


Steven Tyler cleans up nice to receive award in Nashville

The Aerosmith singer is honored in Music City.

An empty frame where Rembrandt's “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” was displayed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.


Movie about Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft gets a director

“Master Thieves” will be based on the book by former Globe reporter Steve Kurkjian.

Chris Evans


Chris Evans invites bullied boy to ‘Avengers’ premiere

The local actor who plays Captain America is one of several celebrities who’ve reached out to Keaton Jones.

Boston Baroque performing Handel’s “Messiah” at Jordan Hall.

Music Review

A resounding ‘Hallelujah’ for Boston Baroque’s ‘Messiah’

The vital luminosity of Handel’s work contributes to its perpetual presence in December, but even more so does a performance like this one.

Sally Hawkins, left, and Octavia Spencer in a scene from the film “The Shape of Water.”

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globe nominations

Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-era fairytale ‘‘The Shape of Water’’ swam away with a leading seven nominations from the Golden Globes.

Two Golden Globes statues flank the podium prior to the nominations for 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. The 75th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Golden Globe Award nominations announced

Nominations for the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced Monday morning from Beverly Hills, Calif.

Saudi women watched movies at a film festival in Riyadh earlier this year. Saudi Arabia on Monday said it was ending a decades-long ban on cinemas.

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on movie theaters

Cinemas were shut down in the 1980s during a wave of ultraconservatism in the country.

Daniel Day-Lewis stars in “Phantom Thread.”

Boston Society of Film Critics names ‘Phantom Thread’ best movie of 2017

The film, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis and will be released in Boston on Christmas Day, also won awards for director Paul Thomas Anderson and for musical score.

Commedia dell’arte players Noni Lewis, Billy Meleady, and Mark Jaster in “The Christmas Revels.”

Stage review

A handsome ‘Christmas Revels’ brings the party to Venice

This year, the annual celebration of the winter solstice is set in Italy.

A scene from the PBS documentary “The Vietnam War” by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

TV Critic’s Corner

This year’s TV awards from the American Film Institute

The American Film Institute Awards selections for movies and television have just been released.

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem performs at The Hollywood Palladium last month.

Music Review

LCD Soundsystem show Agganis crowd how to dance themselves clean

Friday’s show was an emphatic reminder that LCD Soundsystem are still, first and foremost, a dance band.

Jason Collins dances to the piano accompaniment of Simone Dinnerstein in “New Work for Goldberg Variations.”

dance review

An illuminating ‘Goldberg Variations’ at the ICA

Creating a dance to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” — 75 minutes of ferocious, finger-busting counterpoint — is an immense challenge. Pam Tanowitz and Simone Dinnerstein pull it off.

John Goodman and Roseanne Barr in “Roseanne.”

TV Critic’s Corner

‘Roseanne’ reboot reels in more former cast members

In addition to the core cast, Estelle Parsons, Sandra Bernhard, and Johnny Galecki have also signed up.

Armie Hammer questioned why the Oscar-winning Casey Affleck — who had two civil suits against him in 2010 for sexual harassment, both settled out of court — had gone on to have great success, while “Birth of a Nation” director Nate Parker’s career had stalled.

Armie Hammer apologizes for Casey Affleck comments

The apology comes after comments Hammer made to The Hollywood Reporter.

Michael Hisamoto commands the stage in “Hold These Truths.”

Stage Review

In ‘Hold These Truths,’ how a country turned on its own people

Michael Hisamoto excels as Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese-American citizen who fought against an internment order during World War II.

Pianist Spencer Myer and Jamie Bernstein, eldest daughter of Leonard Bernstein, onstage Thursday night.

Music Review

At Longy, an intimate-scaled tribute to Leonard Bernstein  

Smaller-scaled compositions from his pen made up the program of a centennial tribute.

Julian Edelman at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center’s holiday tree and wreath auction.


Julian Edelman, pass catcher and published author, is in the holiday spirit

The Patriots receiver reads from his new book.


Tina Brown: This is an ‘Arab spring for women’

The former Vanity Fair editor said she isn’t surprised by the “volcanic fury” of women

Your Week Ahead

Five things to do, Dec. 11-17

Georgia O’Keeffe at the Peabody Essex Museum, CraftBoston Holiday , Nicholas Nixon at the ICA, and more.

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville patented his “phonautograph” in 1857.

Third Ear | Jeremy Eichler

Rehearing the history of sound, one ghostly transmission at a time 

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a French inventor who made the first known recordings of the human voice, is growing in renown, thanks to a bicentennial celebration of his birth this year.

The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District’s Dixieland band at Downtown Crossing.

Critic’s Notebook

How much Christmas music is too much?

After Thanksgiving, it seems like you can’t step into a store without being hit by an avalanche of “White Christmas.”


Holiday harmonies have the divas in a twist

Divas with a Twist, five lead female singers, perform holiday favorites such as “O Holy Night,” and “Run Run Rudolph.” Holiday programs are everywhere this week.

Leigh Montville


Community Bulletin Board

Upcoming events in the communities south of Boston.

Sally Hawkins with Doug Jones in “The Shape of Water.”

Movie Review | ★ ★ ★ ★

Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Shape of Water’ is a bold, romantic masterpiece

The Guillermo del Toro film stars Sally Hawkins as a mute cleaning lady who falls for an imprisoned creature from the deep.

PVRIS won artist, song, and pop artist of the year at the BMAs.

PVRIS repeats as the year’s best artist at Boston Music Awards

Cousin Stizz, Julie Rhodes, and STL GLD were also multiple winners.

Eric Tucker, director of “Bedlam’s Sense & Sensibility” at the ART.

Bedlam brings its own sensibility to Jane Austen’s classic tale

The theater company's fast-paced adaptation of “Sense & Sensibility” comes to the ART.

She was a force: A ‘Star Wars’ fan remembers Leia, and the complicated woman who played her

A “Star Wars” fan gives thanks for the legacy of Leia, and the complicated woman who brought her to life.

Cullen Murphy with his father, artist John Cullen Murphy who drew the comic strips “Big Ben Bolt” and “Prince Valiant.”

Cadre of Conn. cartoonists and the son of one

“Cartoon County’’ is a rich, clever, and affectionate account of a tight-knit circle of cartoonists clustered in southwest Connecticut after World War II.

Suzanne Vega in 2015.

Suzanne Vega revisits the albums that established a new voice in folk-rock

She’ll be performing “Solitude Standing” and “99.9F” at City Winery.

A dog named Blindy is a central character in Yan Lianke’s title piece.

‘The Years, Months, Days’ shares fables of a blind dog, disabled children, and sacrifice

Yan Lianke’s latest offering is a collection of two dark, hallucinatory novellas.

Greater Boston Stage Company’s production of “She Loves Me” runs through Dec. 23 in Stoneham.

The Ticket: What’s happening in the arts world

This week’s picks from Globe critics.

Hideki Takada lights the Olympic cauldron at the 1972 Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, in the documentary “Sapporo Winter Olympics.”

A century of Olympic films, all in one box

The ultimate sports binge includes Riefenstahl, Ichikawa, and more.

Chris Cooper and Marianne Leone.

Local films, festivals, and faces

A home for holiday fare, and more, in Gloucester

This month’s programs at the Cape Ann Cinema and Stage and the Gloucester Meetinghouse are particularly noteworthy and they benefit the local community.

Local bestsellers


Elizabeth Berg

The Story Behind the Book | Kate Tuttle

‘The Story of Arthur Truluv’ started with a name borrowed from a bus driver

Elizabeth Berg’s book begins in a cemetery, where a man visits his late wife, and imagines his way into the stories of “all her neighbors.”

Sandy Hook survivor Abbey Clements contributes to “Bullets Into Bells.”

New England Literary News | Nina MacLaughlin

Poems take on gun violence; a love song to Martha’s Vineyard

“Bullets into Bells’’ gathers a number of poets and pairs them with activists and survivors of gun violence writing responses to each poem.


Greater Boston author readings Dec. 10-16

A weekly listing of literary events.