Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW): Electric Avenue: Historic Streetcars of Windsor and Scott Conarroe: By Rail run until Jan. 3. $5; members free, Wednesdays free. 401 Riverside Drive W., Windsor, Ontario; 519-977-0013, agw.ca.
Artspace II: American Masters celebrates the works of artists Alex Katz, Tom Wesselmann, Benny Andrews, and Robert Rauschenberg in an exploration of the range of late 20th-century American art. Runs through Dec. 31. 303 E. Maple, Birmingham; 248-258-1540, artspace2.com.
Biddle Gallery: Made in the Mitten is an ongoing exhibition of work by more than 100 Michigan artists. • 2009 Holiday Show showcases holiday gifts by Michigan artists until Dec. 24. 2840 Biddle, Wyandotte; 734-281-4779, biddlegallery.com.
Detroit Artists Market: Art for the Holidays is a gift-shopping extravaganza featuring gifts for all ages. Runs through Dec. 23. 4719 Woodward, Detroit; 313-832-8540, detroitartistsmarket.org.
Detroit Institute of Arts: Action < > Reaction: Video Installations examines the journey of the video format as art over four decades, highlighting five thought-provoking videos from around the world. Through Jan. 3.
• Photography — The First 100 Years: A Survey from the DIA’s Collection includes photographs from roughly the early 1840s to 1940 by both European and American photographers, documenting the aesthetic evolution of the medium as art. Through Jan. 3.
• Avedon Fashion Photographs, 1944-2000 is a comprehensive collection of the photographer’s images, spanning a half-century and ranging from the unknown to the iconic. Through Jan. 17.
• Government Support for the Arts: WPA Prints from the 1930s features stylistically realistic to abstract prints created by artists during the Great Depression. Through March 21. Admission: $8 adults; $6 seniors; $4 ages 6-17; children and members free. Wed.-Thur.: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Fri.: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.-Sun.: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mon.-Tue. 5200 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-7900, dia.org.
Eastern Michigan University Ford Gallery: Energy: Charles McGee at Eighty-Five runs through Dec. 19. 114 Ford Hall, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti; 734-487-0465, emich.edu/fordgallery.
Elaine L. Jacob Gallery: Detroit Collects, Part I: The Nature of Art includes 40 abstract and representational works of artists inspired by the natural world. Through Dec. 18.
• Works by Peter Gilleran is a tribute to the late WSU professor and artist, featuring 35 drawings and paintings depicting local subject matter. Until Dec. 18. 480 W. Hancock, on the campus of Wayne State University, Detroit; 313-993-7813, art.wayne.edu/jacob_gallery.php.
Ellen Kayrod Gallery: The Seventh Annual Sight Fest: All Media Group Exhibition runs through Jan. 15. On Dec. 4, there’s an afternoon reception with the artists and a performance by acoustic guitarist J.B. Davies. 4750 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-1300, hannan.org.
Flint Institute of Arts: The Fine Art of Kansas City Jazz: Photographs by Dan White showcases portraits of famous jazz musicians. Through Jan. 3. 1120 E. Kearsley, Flint; 810-234-1695, flintarts.org.
Gallery Project: Capturing Motion runs until Dec. 6.
•Fashion Show opens Dec. 9 and runs through Jan. 11, with a reception on Dec. 11. 215 S. Fourth, Ann Arbor; 734-997-7012, thegalleryproject.com.
Grosse Pointe Art Center: Holiday Shop, where paintings, ceramics, jewelry, and other artworks are available, runs through Dec. 23. 16900 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Park; 313-821-1848, grossepointeartcenter.org.
Lawrence Street Gallery: Think Small ’09, a juried competition exhibiting artwork of various media, runs until Dec. 26 with an evening reception on Dec. 4. 22620 Woodward, Ferndale; 248-544-0394, lawrencestreetgallery.com.
Oakland University Art Gallery: Oakland University Senior Thesis in Studio Art Exhibition I runs through Dec. 20 with student presentations and a reception on Dec. 4. 208 Wilson Hall, on the Oakland University campus, Rochester; 248-370-2100, oakland.edu/ouag.
Padzieski Art Gallery: Artistry & Craftsmanship and A Holiday Market run through Dec. 19. Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan, Dearborn; 313-943-2190, dcacarts.org.
Re: View Contemporary Gallery: The group exhibit Re:Collect runs until Dec. 24. 444 W. Willis, Unit 111, Detroit; 313-833-9000, reviewcontemporary.com.
Robert Kidd Gallery: With a focus on the human form, Bods: Rethinking the Figure is an exhibit featuring works by Mapplethorpe, Desiderio, Evan Penny, and others. Through December. 107 Townsend, Birmingham; 248-642-3909, robertkiddgallery.com.
Sherry Washington Gallery: Winter Breeze Group Exhibition runs through Dec. 31. 1274 Library, Detroit; 313-961-4500, sherrywashingtongallery.com.
UMMA: (Un)Natural History: The Museum Unveiled features photographs of Richard Barnes, examining the role of the natural history museum in society’s understanding of itself through the acts of collecting, preserving, and displaying objects of value. Through Dec. 6. • The natural and manmade beauty of the Normandy Coast inspired such painters as Manet, Courbet, Degas, and Monet, as well as photographers Henri Le Secq and Gustave Le Gray. Their stunning creations can be seen in The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850-1874. Through Jan. 3. 525 S. State, Ann Arbor; 734-764-0395, umma.umich.edu.
Brunch with Bach: Violinist Aaron Berofsky and harpsichordist Edward Parmentier perform a Baroque program, including music by Bach, Couperin, Handel, Corelli, and Frescobaldi. 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 20. $35 includes brunch and concert; $15 concert only. Both prices include museum admission. In the Kresge Court of the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-4005, tickets.dia.org.
Chamber Music Society of Detroit: Young Canadian violinist James Ehnes teams up with fellow countryman and pianist Jon Kimura Parker for a program of Ravel, Kernis, Beethoven, and Prokofiev. 8 p.m. Dec. 5. $43-$75. Seligman Performing Arts Center on the campus of Detroit Country Day School, 22305 W. 13 Mile, Beverly Hills; 248-855-6070; comehearcmsd.org.
Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings: Holiday Brass, the organization’s annual concert of seasonal music, will be presented at two locations on two separate dates. $10-$35. 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at Christ Church Cranbrook, 470 Church Rd., at Cranbrook and Lone Pine roads, Bloomfield Hills, and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Farms; 248-644-2040.
Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Conductor Nicholas McGegan brings his historically informed interpretation of Handel’s Messiah to the stage of Orchestra Hall, featuring the Michigan State University Chorale. 8:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 3 p.m. Dec. 6. • Leonard Slatkin and the DSO reach for the stars in a performance of Holst’s The Planets. Also on the program are Haydn’s Symphony No. 67 and the world premiere of Marhulets’ Concerto for Klezmer Clarinet. Dec. 10-13. $19-$123. Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward, Detroit; 313-576-5111; detroitsymphony.com.
Fair Lane Music Guild: The CutTime Players, composed of musicians from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, perform a concert of holiday favorites. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2. $9-$15. Henry Ford Estate —Fair Lane, 4901 Evergreen, Dearborn; 313-593-5330.
Detroit Opera House: For those who like a less traditional Messiah, there’s a jazz-gospel version, Too Hot to Handel. 8 p.m. Dec. 12. $14-$51. 1526 Broadway, Detroit, 313-237-SING, michiganopera.org.
University Musical Society: Hallelujah! It’s Messiah time again. Conductor Jerry Blackstone leads the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and the UMS Choral Union in the great oratorio by Handel. With soprano Ava Pine, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, tenor Robert Bracey, baritone Kyle Ketelsen, and harpsichordist Edward Parmentier. 8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 2 p.m. Dec. 6. $10-$32. Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University, Ann Arbor
• French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is one of the most arresting musicians around. In a solo recital, he plays Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 and Ravel’s Miroirs and Pavane pour une enfante defunte. 8 p.m. Dec. 12. $10-$56. Hill Auditorium, 734-763-3333, ums.org.
Laurie Eisenhower Dance Ensemble: Oakland Dance Theatre and O-U Repertory Dance Company present their annual fall concert. 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 4 and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 5. Call for tickets. Varner Recital Hall, on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester; 248-370-3013.
Cincinnati Ballet: The troupe teams up with the Michigan Opera Theatre orchestra for Tchaikovsky’s beloved Christmas favorite, The Nutcracker. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3-4 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6. Matinees include a visit from Santa, live reindeer, face painting, and a Sugar Plum Parade onstage following the performance. $29-$61. Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit; 313-961-3500, motopera.org.
Moscow Ballet: As its name states, “The Great Russian Nutcracker” is thoroughly Russian, from the dancers to the sets and music — and probably the dancing mice, too. 3 p.m. Dec. 12. $27.50-$100. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward, Detroit; 1-800-745-3000.
Wayne Country Lightfest: Get into the holiday spirit with a drive through the longest holiday light display in the Midwest at the Wayne County Lightfest. Four and a half miles of lights are on display at this annual show. Visitors should enter off Merriman Road between Ann Arbor Trial and Warren Avenue. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Through Jan. 1. $5 per car. 734-261-1990.
Big Bright Light Show: This downtown Rochester event promises to be bigger and brighter than ever. Attracting more than 1 million visitors yearly, the show features most of the city’s downtown stores decorated with more than 1,000,000 lights, along East and West Fourth Street. There will also be lighted displays on Walnut from Third to University, a Dancing Tree of Lights at the Depot Plaza, and The Snowflake Spectacular on the Western Knitting Mill on Walter Street. Through Jan. 2. Downtown Rochester; downtownrochesstermi.com.
Guy Fieri Road Show: The star of Diners, Drive ins, and Dives on the Food Network is taking the food world by storm by combining both food and rock ’n’ roll. His Knuckle Sandwich tour featured a local celebrated chef, with unscripted performances by Guy, interactive cooking stations, demos, and more. His tour is modeled after a “food-a-palooza” and “energy rock concert.” Dec. 4. $10-$250. Masonic Temple, 500 Temple, Detroit; guyfieri.com.
Mistletoe Madness: The Junior League of Birmingham hosts its 24th annual fundraiser, where guests can enjoy a strolling dinner, desserts, fine wines, craft beers, as well as entertainment. 6 p.m. -11 p.m. $75-$125. Cloverleaf Fine Wine, 711 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-203-9841.
Noel Night: The 37th annual Noel Night offers free admission to more than 30 institutions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Science Center, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The event also includes a community sing-along on Woodward Avenue led by the Salvation Army Band, as well as horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, and family craft activities. 5 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. Dec. 5. Free. In and around Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center institutions, between Cass and John R, and Kirby and Willis, Detroit; 313-577-5088.
Downtown Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival: Enjoy more than 40 ice sculptures by World Champion carver Tajana Rakaur, as well as musicians, reindeer, Santa, food, and more. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 12. Downtown Ferndale, downtownferndale.com.
Detroit Film Theatre: The Detroit Film Theatre is presenting a series of opera on the silver screen. This installment, La Traviata, comes from the famed stage of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. La Traviata, inspired by Alexandre Dumas’ The Lady of the Camelias, quite literally means “The Woman Who Strayed,” or “The Fallen One.” It’s the story of love, an affair, and, of course, a duel … everything an opera needs to keep you in your seat. Dec. 17-19.
• The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet, was performed and filmed at Russia’s Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg (home of the Kirov Ballet Academy) and brings it to Detroit. Dec. 27-Jan. 3. All tickets $6.50-$7.50. 5200 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org/dft.
Detroit Science Center IMAX: Two youngsters lose their way on a cold Christmas Eve. Luckily, however, their friend The Candleman finds them. To warm up the shivering children and brighten their spirits, he invites them in for hot chocolate, cozy blankets, and a magical retelling of “The Night Before Christmas” in A Light Before Christmas.
• Some of us just don’t have the resources or the nerve to climb the Alps. So, a decent alternative might be the IMAX The Alps, a journey up the Eiger North Face. It’s a story of the Alps, the people who live there, and the people who climb the massive mountain. Both through December. $7.25-$12.95. 5020 John R, Detroit; 313-577-8400; detroitsciencecenter.org.
The Redford Theatre: A Christmas Carol has been filmed over and over again. The newest remake is an animation of sorts that features the voice of Jim Carrey and is in 3-D. That’s a far cry from this grainy version from 1938 … and not grainy as a negative word, but grainy as in original. It’s the story of a grumpy, Christmas-hating penny-pincher who won’t spare one piece of coal to keep the fingertips warm. His life takes a turn when he has three supernatural experiences that not only show what his life was, but what it could be if he doesn’t change his cold-hearted ways. Reginald Owen plays Ebenezer Scrooge. Dec. 4-5.
• There probably isn’t another Christmas movie out there that portrays a child’s fever for a gift more than A Christmas Story. It’s the story of Ralphie, who desperately wants a BB gun for Christmas. Of course, everyone tells him he’ll “shoot his eye out” – including his mother, his teacher, and even the mall Santa. Ralphie’s journey to Christmas morning takes you through schoolyard bullies, a lesson in advertising, childhood fantasy, and, of course, the beauty of the Christmas. Dec. 18-19. All films $4. 17360 Lahser, Detroit; 313-537-2560; redfordtheatre.com.
Arab American National Museum: Arab Civilization: Our Heritage features Arab contributions to the early world. Ongoing in the Community Courtyard.
• Coming to America focuses on Arab immigrants and the culture they brought to the United States. Ongoing in Gallery 1.
• Making an Impact celebrates the stories of Arab-American athletes, organizations, physicians, labor leaders, and entertainers. Ongoing exhibit in Gallery 3. Connecting Communities is a new multimedia exhibit that lets immigrants tell their own stories. On display are photos, personal objects, and writings. Through March. $6 adults; $3 students and seniors. Under 5 free. 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-2266; arabamericanmuseum.org.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History: Legends of the Music: The Photography of Leni Sinclair and Joe Louis: Hometown Hero run through May 2010.
• Stories in Stained Glass: The Art of Samuel A. Hodge, a series of intricate and colorful works focusing on three areas of African-American culture and history — musicians, dancers, and freedom advocates — is one of the ongoing exhibits in the Main Level Corridor.
• A Is for Africa includes 26 interactive stations making up a 3-D “dictionary” designed for children. Ongoing in the Lower Level Corridor.
• And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture is an expansive, evolving exhibit that recounts the 3.5-million-year-old odyssey that began in Africa and ends in Detroit. Ongoing in the Core Exhibition Gallery.
• Genealogy, a work designed by local artist Hubert Massey, depicts the struggles of African-Americans in the United States. Ongoing on the Main Level.
• Detroit Performs is a photomontage dedicated to those who have gained national and international prominence in the performing arts. Ongoing in the Main Level Corridor.
• Target has initiated a program of Free First Sundays at the museum; general admission at other times is $5-$8. 315 E. Warren, Detroit; 313-494-5800; maah-detroit.org.
Cranbrook Art Museum: Together with the Institute of Science, the museum presents Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science at Cranbrook. The exhibit also includes the opening of Animal Logic: Photography and Installation, by Richard Barnes, through Jan. 3. 39221 Woodward, Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-3323.
Detroit Historical Museum: VeloCity: Detroit’s Need for Speed showcases the ways in which Detroiters have used their need for speed on land, water, air and other forms of transportation.
• The Cougar II is a one-of-a-kind two-door red coupe. It was built in 1963 as a prototype of the Ford Motor Co.
• Fabulous 5: Detroit’s Snack Food Superstars is an exhibit featuring Better Made Snack Food Co., Germack Pistachio Co., Sanders Confectionery, Stroh’s Products, and Vernor’s Ginger Ale. Each company is a household name and has been around for generations.
• Detroit Trivia includes more than 300 years of Detroit facts, divided into four categories. Questions are based on difficulty and include historic images and artifacts.
• Belle Isle: Soul of the City, Lighting the Way for Better Urban Living is an exhibit focusing on better urban living through a healthier citizenry. • An exhibit featuring more than 200 reproductions of American Judaic treasures from the Library of Congress and other loans from important institutions are on display in From Haven to Home: Jewish Life in America.
• Detroit Artist’s Showcase displays the paintings of Robert Hopkin (1832-1909), whose work has graced Ste. Anne’s Church and the original Detroit Opera House.
• Automotive Showplace celebrates the Model T centennial by displaying a “Tin Lizzie” from 1911.
• Hero or Villain: Metro Detroit’s Legacy of Leadership examines the controversial lives of 16 public figures from the area’s past 300 years.
• Detroit’s Classic TV Personalities honors seven notable Detroit TV figures, such as Bill Bonds, John Kelly, Bill Kennedy, and Soupy Sales. General admission $4-$6. 5401 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-1805; detroithistorical.org.
Detroit Science Center: Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato makes its world debut in Detroit. The exhibit is a 10,000-square-foot showcase that features 36 never-before-seen mummies. The mummies are on loan from the Museo de las Momias de Guanajuato. 5020 John R, Detroit; detroitsciencecenter.org. Dossin Great Lakes Museum: Committed to the Deep: Exploring Underwater Treasures is an exhibit exploring the changes that have taken place in the last century beneath the surface of the Great Lakes. On display are shipwrecks that divers have explored and salvaged artifacts.
• L is for Lighthouse explores lighthouses, lenses, locations, and lives of their keepers. 100 Strand, Belle Isle, Detroit; 313-833-1805; detroithistorical.org.
Exhibit Museum of Natural History: Relics pays tribute to ingenious gadgets, such as a mirrored ball, rotating galaxy projector, video-projector masks, and more. On display indefinitely.
• Dinosaur Tours are offered at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. • Planetarium Shows are generally presented at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. weekdays; call for weekend dates. • The Zula Patrol: Under the Weather, an animated adventure about weather, plays at 12:30 weekdays.
• Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity explains the formation of the early universe. At 2:30 p.m. weekdays. Admission to the museum is free, but suggested donation is $6. Planetarium price is $4.75. University of Michigan Campus, 1109 Geddes, Ann Arbor; 734-764-0478; lsa.umich.edu/exhibitmuseum.
Henry Ford Museum: Lego Castle Adventure is an interactive display designed specifically for children and families. Visitors can tour the castle built of Legos, sit in thrones, view the royal family’s portraits, and more. Through Jan. 3 Heroes of the Sky is a permanent exhibit focusing on adventures in early aviation.
• With Liberty and Justice for All highlights four pivotal periods of history, beginning with the American Revolution and ending in the 1960s. Permanent exhibit.
• Automobiles in American Life features automotive milestones, including the 15 millionth Model T, as well as the Ford Mustang. Permanent exhibit. 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-982-6001; thehenryford.org.
Greenfield Village: During the holidays, enjoy self-guided “home tours” of the Porches and Parlors district. The tour provides a special map, and visitors will be able to see cooking demonstrations, holiday decorations, and more. Through Dec. 27. Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village allows visitors to experience Christmas from the past. Enjoy candle-lit paths, live entertainment, costumed presenters, carriages, as well as Model T rides, and more. Dec. 4-5. 11-12, 18-23, and 26-27, 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. $12.75-$15. Also, nearly 100 historical buildings are here; visit notable attractions such as the birthplace of Henry Ford, Noah Webster’s home, and the home of Robert Frost. $14-$20. 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-982-6001; thehenryford.org.
Skillet: This Christian rock group has toured with bands like Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace. See what they cook up on a headlining tour supporting their new album, Awake. 6 p.m. Dec. 1. $23-$49.50. Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980.
A.A. Bondy: Scott Bondy, born Auguste Arthur Bondy (hence, the initials), is best known for fronting Alabama’s answer to grunge. Verbena, whose most famous fan was Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Verbena disbanded in 2003; four years later, Bondy emerged as an earnest folkie with a solo album, American Hearts, recorded in a Catskills barn. Bondy’s second album, When the Devil’s Loose, rambled into earbuds a few months ago. 7 p.m. Dec. 2. $10. The Vernors Room (inside The Crofoot), 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333.
Do Make Say Think: The four verbs that make up this instrumental Canadian band’s handle were painted on the walls of a rehearsal room where they began jamming in 1995. Like label-mates Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Do Make Say Think’s music has been used in a number of feature films, thanks to the cinematic nature of the compositions. 8 p.m. Dec. 3. $12. The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333.
Lez Zeppelin: No, that’s not a typo. The four women who make up this New York City-based tribute band have graced the cover of Spin magazine and performed on CBS Sunday Morning. The group recorded an album of Led Zeppelin cover songs and two originals with Zeppelin producer Eddie Kramer. The result is striking. The dedication to authenticity propelled the group to the big stage, when they became the first “tribute” act to play major rock festivals. 8 p.m. Dec. 4. $15. Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward, Ferndale; 248-544-3030.
Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser: Both Johnson and Houser were born in the South in 1975. Both are country artists who have co-written hit songs for other people — Johnson with George Strait on “Give It Away,” Houser with Trace Adkins on “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.” Both will play their own songs at 7 p.m. Dec. 5. $25 in advance. $28 at the door. Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980.
Straight No Chaser: The original members of the undergraduate a cappella group, formed in 1996 at Indiana University, were granted an album deal with Atlantic Records after an old YouTube video of them performing The 12 Days of Christmas received almost 10 million hits. Two of the original members quit in August; one of the replacements, Seggie Isho, hails from Rochester Hills. 7 p.m. Dec. 6. $22-$25. Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980.
Matisyahu: Matisyahu is the Hebrew name of Matthew Paul Miller, a Hasidic Jewish musician who blends reggae, hip-hop, and rock with traditional Jewish lyrical themes. Best known for the 2006 hit, “King Without a Crown,” Matisyahu released his third Album, Light, in August. But don’t expect to ever see a Friday night show — Matisyahu doesn’t roll on Shabbas. 7 p.m. Dec. 7. $25. St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-8137.
The Queers: Formed in New Hampshire in 1982, the pop-punk band chose their handle as a dig aimed at the local art community. The Queers play a style of punk commonly called “Ramones-core,” which, as you may have guessed, is a style influenced by the Ramones. The Queers embellish on the three-chord formula with vocal harmonies and keyboards, adding a Beach Boys vibe. 8 p.m. Dec. 9. $10-$12. The Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward, Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Fleck is one of the greatest banjo players alive. It would make sense, then, that his band includes some of the most technically proficient musicians to back him up — including bassist extraordinaire Victor Wooten and percussionist Future Man. Fleck has been destined for a musician’s life since birth; Béla Anton Leo Fleck was named after composers Béla Bartók, Anton Webern, and Leo Janacek. 8 p.m. Dec. 10. $44.50-$49.50. MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River, Detroit; 313-237-7711.
Wynonna Judd: Credited in diva fashion (think Cher or Madonna) as just “Wynonna” on all her solo albums, the country singer was actually born Christina Claire Ciminella. As half of The Judds — with her mother, Naomi — Wynonna found musical success in the ’80s, before half-sister Ashley became a famous actress. Wynonna’s first album in six years, Sing: Chapter 1, was released in early 2009. 8 p.m. Dec. 11. $55-$75. MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River, Detroit; 313-237-7711.
Leon Russell: Russell, who sports a long white beard, sunglasses, and a cowboy hat, came up as a session musician for Phil Spector’s studio group. Not only did he play backup on a number of 1960s hits by The Byrds and Herb Alpert, he also picked up on Spector’s wild-man grooming habits. 8 p.m. Dec. 12. $25. Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward, Ferndale; 248-544-3030.
Dashboard Confessional with New Found Glory: Dashboard Confessional, which began as a one-man acoustic act from Boca Raton, is now a full-blown emo ensemble fronted by Chris Carrabba. The band released a double-album of, well, confessions, Alter the Ending, last month. New Found Glory, another group of Floridians, led by a Quentin Tarantino look-alike, also sing earnest songs about breakups, but with a bubblegum punk accent. 6 p.m. Dec. 12. $29.99-$35. The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward, Detroit; 313-961-5451
Kenny Rogers: The Fox Theatre missed an opportunity to book a serious doubleheader when they scheduled Rogers just two days before Michael McDonald. Then again, Rogers alone has dozens of hit singles and five decades of music to cover, leaving little room for the other gray-haired crooner. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18. $38-$75. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward, Detroit; 313-983-6000.
Michael McDonald: McDonald, who is sometimes referred to as the “blue-eyed soul singer,” has a distinctive husky voice. Though he is best known as a member of the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, he has also collaborated with Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon, and, more recently, the indie band Grizzly Bear. And while his recent collaborative efforts have trended more eclectic, he’s stayed true to his roots in his solo output, releasing a new album of Christmas tunes. 7 p.m. Dec. 20. $29-$65. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward, Detroit; 313-983-6000.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Chugging along for nearly 15 years, the TSO has become a Christmas tradition in the Motor City. The group’s founder, Paul O’Neill, who managed and produced bands such as Aerosmith and Scorpions in a previous life, took the overblown guitar shredding of those bands, added a little pyrotechnics, and applied it to the most obvious catalog: Christmas folk-tales. Imagine Dream Theater performing “O Holy Night”, and you’ve got a good idea of what to expect. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27. $25-$59.50. Palace of Auburn Hills, 4 Championship Dr., Auburn Hills; 248-377-0100.
Goo Goo Dolls: The Goo Goo Dolls might not have experienced the levels of fame and success they’ve achieved had they stuck with their original formula. Formed in the mid-1980s as the Sex Maggots, the group was forced to change their name by a local club owner who refused to book them because of it. At the time, they played sloppy punk rock in the vein of The Replacements, with song titles like “Up Yours” and “Had Enough.” It took years for the Goos to mellow out and develop the sound that broke them into the mainstream with such hits as “Iris” and “Slide.” The band will perform new songs from their upcoming album, tentatively titled Something for the Rest of Us. 9 p.m. Dec. 31. $50-$85.50. MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River, Detroit; 313-237-7711.
Andiamo Celebrity Showroom: The Scintas Christmas Show is a holiday comedy intended to liven up your celebrations with songs and laughs, along with musical impressions of famous musicians. Dec. 10-12. $25-$99. 7096 E. 14 Mile, Warren; 586-268-3200, andiamoshowroom.com.
Bonstelle: In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, theatergoers can rediscover the true meaning of holiday cheer with Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts of Christmas. Dec. 4-6, 11-13. $12-$15. 3424 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-577-2960.
Fox: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic American book series of young Laura Ingalls and her family’s struggles and triumphs come to life as the musical Little House on the Prairie. Melissa Gilbert, who played Laura on the 1970s NBC television series Little House on the Prairie, returns to the prairie as Ma. Dec. 1-5. $15-$72.
• Cirque Dreams Holidaze is a spectacular acrobatic extravaganza with more than 100 costumes, original compositions, and holiday favorites. Dec. 22-27. $20-$65. 2211 Woodward, Detroit; 313-471-6611.
Fisher: Before their hit songs “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Rag Doll,” pop sensation The Four Seasons were four young, blue-collar kids from New Jersey. Follow the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in The Jersey Boys as they rise to the top, making music history. Through Jan. 23. $25.50-$75.50. 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-872-1000, broadwayindetroit.com.
Gem: Gem Theatre’s 2007 record-breaking show, A Forbidden Broadway Christmas, returns, bringing spoofs of celebrities and famous Broadway shows. Through Dec. 31. $39.50-$45. 333 Madison, Detroit; 313-963-9800, gemdetroit.com.
Henry Ford Community College: Award-winning director Christopher Bremer presents the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from a bitter miser to the embodiment of Christmas spirit and joy in the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Through Dec. 6. Admission: $5 children 12 and under; $10 students; $12 adults. 5101 Evergreen Rd., Adray Auditorium in the Mackenzie Fine Arts Building, Dearborn; 313-845-9817, hfcctheater.org.
Hilberry: The Seagull, a dramatic play by Anton Chekhov, follows Konstantin and his tribulations as he seeks to validate himself as a playwright and the romantic conflicts that occur among him and other main characters. $10-$30. Through Feb. 6. 4743 Cass, Detroit; 313-577-2972.
Jewish Ensemble Theatre: This comedic retelling of world history illustrates the writers’ attempt to secure financial backers, played by the audience, for their musical number The Big Bang. Laugh along with unique renditions of Adam and Eve, the building of the pyramids, and Christopher Columbus’ travels. $30-$39. Until Jan. 3. 6600 W. Maple, West Bloomfield; 248-788-2900, jettheatre.org.
Meadow Brook: The annual tradition continues as A Christmas Carol takes audiences through the lessons of joy and selflessness when miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. $30-$40. Through Dec. 20. 207 Wilson Hall, Oakland University, Rochester; 248-377-3300, mbtheatre.com.
Music Hall Center: Experience the energy of 1930s Harlem with Ain’t Misbehavin’, a musical revue featuring songs by jazz musician Thomas “Fats” Waller. Dec. 17–20. $47 (includes dinner). 350 Madison, Detroit; 313-887-8501, musichall.org.
Planet Ant: Improv Colony Holiday Blowout on Dec. 21. $15 adults; $10 seniors/students (Fri. and Sun.); $5 discounts Hamtramck residents (Friday and Sunday). 2357 Caniff, Hamtramck; 313-365-4948, planetant.com.
The Studio Theatre: Dunelawn, written by Terrence McNally, is the first of two one-act plays called Bad Habits. Both one-acts are based in sanatoriums. In Dunelawn, a doctor takes a unique approach by allowing his patients to indulge in their bad habits in the hope that they’ll find marital happiness. $10-$12. Dec. 3-5. 4743 Cass, Detroit, in the lower level of the Hilberry Theatre; 313-577-2972.