Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See Milva DiDomizio's picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend.
O HORRIBLE NIGHT While Hollywood bickers over a possible sequel to Frank Capra's 1946 film, "It's a Wonderful Life," Ryan Landry's Gold Dust Orphans have something else in mind for the holiday classic. Their new holiday parody for adults, "It's a Horrible Life," features the usual not-your-average-holiday singing and dancing, fabulous costumes, and a fast-paced storyline in which the heroes flee from the evil clutches of (you guessed it), Mrs. Grinchley. The cast includes Olive Another as Little Edie, Gene Dante as Jesus, and Paul Melendy as George. Through Dec. 22. Thurs-Sat 8 p.m., Sun 5 p.m. $35-$45. Machine, 1254 Boylston St., Boston. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/508879
BUY TIME Holiday shopping sounds like fun with a gluhwein (hot wine) in one hand, a Kickass cupcake in the other, and a smorgasbord of crafters (including 60 Etsy artists) peddling their wares. The Holiday Arts & Eats Festival features those crafters, plus 20 New England food trucks, a craft marketplace, live music, a Lego replica of the Red Sox 2013 Championship Trophy, games, and Santa. Dec. 6, 6-10 p.m. $10. 21+. Dec. 7-8, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5, under 12 free (VIP ticket $15). Assembly Row, off I-93, Somerville. www.assemblyrow.com/events
BIRDS OF SOUL Like the sparrow of her namesake, singer Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow) is petite with a powerful voice. Unlike her namesake, she often wears leather and sequins. Kincheloe is front woman for the the soul-infused Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, a nine-piece ensemble from Brooklyn. They perform with Rustic Overtones and Big Ol' Dirty Bucket. Dec. 6, 8:45 p.m. $15. 18+. The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge. 617-547-5200, www.sinclaircambridge.com
HOLIDAY BUNNY Margery Williams’s classic children’s story "The Velveteen Rabbit" may be light on Santa and red-nosed reindeers, but it's rich with the spirit of the holiday season. The tale of a friendship between a boy and his stuffed rabbit is presented by Boston Children's Theatre with live actors and handcrafted puppets. Dec. 7-22. Sat-Sun at 2 p.m. $25. Boston Center for the Arts, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston. 617-424-6634, ext. 222; www.bostonchildrenstheatre.org
NO EASY PIECES Canadian-born pianist Marc-André Hamelin started playing at the age of five with the encouragement of his father, a pharmacist by trade and an enthusiastic amateur pianist. Hamelin’s upbringing gave him an unwavering appreciation for his instrument and a refined taste for music. He plays the pieces he loves, which often happen to be the hardest in the repertoire. In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen last July, he said, "Many people think I am attracted to difficult works just because they are difficult. Not so, I am attracted to good music." The renowned pianist who now lives in Boston gives a solo recital for the Celebrity Series. Dec. 8, 3 p.m. $30 and up. NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston. 617-482-6661, www.celebrityseries.org
SPANNING THE GENERATIONS When vocalist Bo Bice sang their song "Spinning Wheel" on American Idol, classic rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears took note. Bice, now the band's lead singer, joins them on the road for the Past, Present & Future Tour. Drummer, producer, and original member Bobby Colomby says of the group's new incarnation, "I no longer want to target just one generation...I want people, of all ages, to come and say, 'I have to bring more friends here; they've got to see this band'." Their program will include past hits as well as new material, including interpretations of songs they wish they'd recorded. Dec. 8, 7 p.m. $37-$48. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass. Ave., Boston. 617-747-2261, www.berklee.edu/bpc
THAT'S ITALIAN Folk ensemble Newpoli specializes in traditional music from southern regions of Italy, especially Campania and Puglia. "Musica di Natale: A Traditional Italian Christmas," features two vocalists and seven instrumentalists in shepherd songs, folk prayers, polyphonic Renaissance music, tarantellas, and holiday readings in authentic dialects. Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. $18. YMCA Theatre, 820 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. www.newpolimusic.com
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.