Get Your Knit On with Wool and the Gang Tutu's, Brooklyn; 5pm; $45–$50
Knitting newbies and longtime woolites can join hands and needles at this night of yarn, alcohol and new friends. Get your hands on Crazy Sexy Wool and learn new user-friendly knitting techniques while you chat with the crew from Wool and the Gang. You'll walk away with a soft and fluffy piece of your own, along with a new obsession.
16th Annual Winter's Eve Broadway between Columbus Circle and W 68th St; 5:30pm; free
Ring in December with this annual tree-lighting ceremony and New York's largest holiday festival. Along with the arboreal illumination in Dante Park (Broadway at 63rd St), catch live performances, ice-sculpting demonstrations, circus performers and tastings (only $1–$4) from more than 30 Lincoln Square restaurants.
Glen Hansard Various locations; times vary; $45
Glen Hansard is known for his work in gentle, folky Irish band the Frames, the Swell Season and—of course—from the hit movie-musical Once. Tonight the troubadour plugs his second solo album, Didn't He Ramble. Featuring a host of collaborators including Iron & Wine's Sam Beam, the album retains the singer's history of elegant subtlety while adding horn and string instrumentation to the pensive mix.
Lesli Margherita: Broad Birdland; 7pm; $30–$40 plus $10 minimum
Lesli Margherita is not a fan of the small gesture. Currently swanning nastily in the retro Broadway musical Dames at Sea, she goes solo tonight with a collection of sexy-tough songs from the '20s, '30s and '40s.
Lost Girls Lucille Lortel Theatre; Nov 30–Dec 4, times vary; $69–$99
It's your final week to see this show by L.A.-based playwright John Pollono, set around the conflict-ridden, complex lives of three women from the wrong side of the tracks in Manchester, New Hampshire. Pollono keeps us so hooked on the vectors of tension between the various characters, even experienced theatre-goers might not see the plot twists until they arrive.
Nobodies Talking Shit Don Pedro, Brooklyn; 9pm; free
Drag queens Lady Bearica Andrews and Ariel Italic plus DJ Accident Report are collectively the Nobodies. They (who?) are pooling their nightlife currency (or lack thereof) to rock your Monday night with trash talk and screenings at 10, followed by debaucherous drag performances and dirty dance music.
Frantic! The Stand; 10pm; free
One of the keys to a great weekly show is great regulars, and the Stand’s endlessly popular free show, hosted by Aaron Berg, has them in spades: Expect to see the likes of Christian Finnegan, Monroe Martin and Michelle Wolf.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market Columbus Circle; Dec 1–24, 10am–8pm (10am–7pm Sundays); free
It's opening day for this annual holiday bazaar. Run by the people behind the Union Square market, it features handmade items from local artisans and snacks from vendors such as Mrs. Dorsey's Kitchen and Sigmund Pretzel Shop. Look for the market concierge to help you navigate your way through the approximately 100 booths.
Hanaska: The Inaugural LEIMAY Benefit The Cave, Brooklyn; 7pm; $50-$10,000
The upstart Williamsburg performance space CAVE was founded 15 years ago with a focus on Butoh dance and an experimental music. Tonight they go big time with their first gala, featuring a live performance by Philip Glass, an art installation and a vegetarian feast provided by Daphne Cheng of Exhibit C, and an after party.
Harry Shearer and Judith Owen: Christmas Without Tears (Does This Tree Make Me Look Fat?) BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, Brooklyn; 7:30pm; $35–$85
Humorist and voice master Harry Shearer (The Simpsons) joins his wife, singer-songwriter Judith Owen, for their festive annual shindig and sing-along of nontraditional holiday music. Alan Cumming, Olympia Dukakis, Fred Willard, Artie Lange, Paul Shaffer and Béla Fleck are among the many guest performers in a show that should put a wry smile on even the scroogiest face. Christmas bonus: All proceeds go to charity.
"I'm New Here-Can You Show Me Around?" Union Hall, Brooklyn; 8pm; $12
Recent New York transplant, author of The Men Who Stare at Goats and Time Out New York contributor Jon Ronson is joined by Irish storyteller Maeve Higgins for a show that takes an amusingly exasperated look at the experience of moving to New York City.
Hot Soup! The Irish Exit; 8pm; free
From what we can tell, maybe the only thing missing from this eclectic and entertaining weekly stand-up show by Matt Ruby, Mark Normand and Gary Vider is actual soup. (Most people make do with beer.)
Kelela Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Dec 1–2, 12am; $20
Kelela's debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me, shows her shimmering coo drifting naturally in the empty space of tracks by experimental dance labels Fade to Mind and Night Slugs, augmented with a playful hide-and-seek vibrato, as if her melodies were resting on turbulent air. With her debut album now in the works, Kelela hits Brooklyn on her first headlining tour.
Rockefeller Center Tree-Lighting Ceremony Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree; 7pm; free
Get there as early as you can to secure a spot. The actual lighting takes place at the end of the program; most of the two-hour event is devoted to celebrity performances. Then the 30,000 energy-efficient LEDs covering the massive evergreen are switched on to oohs and aahs.
Steel Hammer BAM Harvey Theater, Brooklyn; Dec 2–6, 7:30pm; $20-$75
Bang on a Can co-founder and 2015 Pulitzer winner Julia Wolfe's brilliant reimagining of the story of John Henry, the steel-driving man of lore, gets a theatrical staging for a five-day run.
Pavel Zuštiak: Custodians of Beauty New York Live Arts; Dec 2–5, 7:30pm; $15–$35
2015 Juried Bessie Award winner Pavel Zuštiak's commission Custodians of Beauty plunges headlong into questions about what is "beautiful" by interrogating sources like Plato, Pope Benedict XVI and, of course, the dancing body. The performance features music by Christian Frederickson and lighting design by Joe Levasseur.
Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright with Janice Min 92nd Street Y; 8pm; $32
Hollywood Reporter's Janice Min moderates this discussion between documentary film director Alex Gibney and his frequent collaborator Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright. Using Gibney's exceptional filmmaking skills and Wright's relentless journalistic grit, the two have created two films: My Trip to Al-Qaeda and Going Clear, both based on Lawrence's non-fiction books.
Two Dope Queens Union Hall, Brooklyn; 8pm; $10, day of show $12
Blogger and comic Phoebe Robinson brings her online alter ego Blaria to the stage alongside The Daily Show's Jessica Williams in this fun stand-up show that features sardonic storytelling. For the December edition, Williams's The Daily Show co-star Hasan Minhaj, writer and comedian Elna Baker and stand-up Jim Tews join in the fun.
Cult TV Bingo Videology, Brooklyn; 8:30pm; free
If you're still quoting Job Bluth or aspiring to own your very own stair car, then prove your undying love at Videology's weekly dedicated Wednesday bingo night, which this month celebrates Arrested Development. Use your minute knowledge and observational skills to fill your board up.
The "New" Show The Creek and The Cave, Queens; 10pm; free
Stand-up Chris Laker doesn't just ask guests to bring their jokes to his weekly show; after they've finished their acts, all of the comics sit down to solve the world's problems in a brief conversation.
Stonewall Sensation The Stonewall Inn; 10pm; free
Surprisingly talented wanna-be stars compete in an American Idol–style weekly contest at the West Village’s legendary Stonewall Inn. The irrepressible Brandon Cutrell hosts; regular judges include drag star Ariel Sinclair, comic Poppi Kramer, nightlife character Lavinia Draper and Time Out New York's own Adam Feldman.
Lulu Metropolitan Opera House (at Lincoln Center); 7pm; $27-$460
If anything manages to steal the show from soprano Marlis Petersen and mezzo Susan Graham in this production of Alban Berg's landmark 1935 opera, it will be the staging created by the fantastic South African director William Kentridge. It's your last chance to see this production, so don't miss out.
Showgasm Ars Nova; 8pm; $5
Ars Nova's eclectic (and cheap!) neovaudevillian variety show features a lively mix of music, comedy and burlesque acts hosted by the very funny John Early (with Hamm Samwich sidekicking as DJ).
Dinosaur Jr. Bowery Ballroom; Dec 3–8, 9pm; $30
Miss the straightforward indie riffage characteristic of Dinosaur Jr's early days? Fortunately, there's a chance to revisit those golden years as J Mascis and his pivotal indie crew celebrate the 30th anniversary of their (sort-of) self-titled debut, Dinosaur, by playing it in its entirety. The original lineup will be joined onstage by special guests each night.
Input: Total Freedom + Shayne + Arca (DJ Set) Output, Brooklyn; 10pm; $20
OG member of the Fade to Mind crew, eclectic Los Angeles–based DJ Ashland Mines—better known as Total Freedom—knows how to get the crowd hyped up. Joining him are Hood By Air's Shayne and musical prodigy Arca; DJ sets from Arca are hard to come by, so don't miss out on this night.