The Civic:

Is there a more magical setting for the Christmas ballet

The Nutcracker

than the ornate Civic Theatre? We don't think so, nor is there a more wonderous show to celebrate the festive season with than the Royal New Zealand Ballet's version of this classic story ballet.


Featuring Tchaikovsky's much-loved score, performed by a live orchestra, and choreography by Val Caniparoli, all the favourite characters are featured: the mysterious Drosselmeier, the dreamy Marie, the Mouse King, the Nutcracker Prince and, of course, the Sugar Plum Fairy. Prepare to be captivated by dances representing all that's sweet about Christmas.

The Nutcracker, Civic Theatre, tonight until Sunday; then Bruce Mason Centre, next Friday - Saturday.
Q Theatre: It's comedy for a cause when 7 Days favourite and the winner of the prestigious Billy T Award 2018 Melanie Bracewell joins Michele A'Court, The Fan Brigade, Guy Williams, Two Hearts, Rhys Mathewson and other special guests for a night filled with stand up, stories and musical comedy. All profits go towards Get Me Home NZ, which started following the death of Melbourne comedian Eurydice Dixon who was killed walking home after a gig.

Get Me Home NZ is about providing free and safe transport home from gigs for all our female and non-binary comedians. Currently, this isn't happening and the only way to ensure it does is money. The night's restricted to ages 16 and older because it will contain mature language and content.

One Hell of a Comedy Show, Rangatira at Q Theatre, Sunday.
Whammy Bar: If you're tossing up whether you actually want to go to your own office Christmas party, Vice are offering an alternative that's mostly dancing, less awkward conversation.

They're welcoming in the approaching end of the year with a Thursday night Christmas bash at Whammy Backroom, with a stacked lineup of bands and DJs to help you have a proper festive boogie.

They've recruited soul star Bailey Wiley, rap duo Church & AP, funky pop singer Merk and more, plus DJs Ethan James and Soraya. The best part is that it's completely free - you just need to RSVP online beforehand.

Vice Does Christmas, Whammy Backroom, Thursday

Mel Parsons plays Auckland's Anthology Lounge tonight. Photo / Lindsay Duncan
Mel Parsons plays Auckland's Anthology Lounge tonight. Photo / Lindsay Duncan

Anthology Lounge:

Christchurch-based singer Mel Parsons just released her fourth album

Glass Heart

, a heartfelt, brooding folk/rock record that looks at loneliness and vulnerability. Parsons might be one of the hardest-working artists in the business right now; she finished

Glass Heart

while insomniatic on a solo tour around the US and Canada, heading straight into the studio to record the songs once she finished. She's back on tour already, hitting Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch this weekend; she plays Auckland's Anthology Lounge tonight.

Mel Parsons - Glass Heart album release tour, Anthology Lounge, Thursday

Kiwi music collective Leisure play Hollywood Cinema on Friday.
Kiwi music collective Leisure play Hollywood Cinema on Friday.

Hollywood Cinema:

The Leisure crew has been keeping busy - member Jordan Arts released his debut solo record as High Hoops this year, while Josh Fountain has been busy producing records for a roster of other artists - but the RnB/pop collective are back together again, two years after their debut album, with a follow up on the horizon.

Keeping with their tendency to do everything in style, they're playing the historic Hollywood Cinema on Friday, bringing the full band back together as well as some special guests - rising pop singer Bene and slack-rockers Marlin's Dreaming.

Leisure, Hollywood Cinema, Friday
Wine Cellar/Anthology Lounge: Wellington independent record label Home Alone are also getting in the Christmas spirit with a mini-festival this weekend, taking place across two venues.

The earlier show, at Wine Cellar, features folk singers Louisa Nicklin, Timothy Blackman and Lake South; the later show heads over to Anthology Lounge, where Mali Mali will be followed by French For Rabbits.

Home Alone Xmas Mini-Festival, Wine Cellar and Anthology Lounge, Saturday