For the purposes of this top five, we’re counting the four days from the winter solstice through Christmas as an extended long weekend. (That way we can include the Rep’s midnight staging of “The Rocky Horror Show” on Christmas night!)
Blue Mermaid Birthday Celebration
It’s been one year since the Blue Mermaid Island Grill reopened in Kittery, following the closure of its original location in Portsmouth. The Mermaid will celebrate its anniversary with a performance by local jam band Good Will Harding on Friday, Dec. 21, from 8-11 p.m. The band, which got its start playing open mics at the Mermaid, will play a mix of covers and originals. There will also be an extended happy hour from 3-11 p.m. Learn more here.
Say Darling & Soggy Po’ Boys
A regional powerhouse and a local favorite are co-headlining a “holiday jamboree” at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth on Friday, Dec. 21, from 8-11 p.m. Boston-based rock band Say Darling features Grammy-nominated singer Celia Woodsmith (also of Della Mae) and guitarist Chris Hersch (also of Girls Guns & Glory). Dover-based septet Soggy Po’ Boys, who earlier this year released their fifth studio album, “Smoke,” play New Orleans-style jazz and blues. Tickets are $17-$20; for more information, click here.
PSO Brassy Baroque Christmas
The Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet will mix holiday favorites with baroque selections during its Brassy Baroque Christmas concert at South Church in Portsmouth on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m. The ensemble, formed in the fall of 2016, features PSO players Adam Gallant and John Cardin on trumpets, Tracey Crain on horn, Mark Schneider on trombone, Jim Griswold on bass trombone, and Crystal Carr on tuba. Tickets are $12-$15; for more information, click here.
Abby Holidays / Abrielle Scharff
Local singer-songwriter Abrielle Scharff is pulling together a big group of friends for a free holiday show at Portsmouth Book and Bar on Sunday, Dec. 23, from 7-10 p.m. Scharff, who earlier this year released her latest album, “New York Makes Me Cry,” will be joined by local musicians Sam Robbins, Max Grazier, Annie McLean, Lily Byrd, Julius LaFlamme, Emily Garcia, Zoë Sprankle, and a whole slew of other Scharffs. For more information, click here.
The Rocky Horror Show at the Rep
The Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth is offering some holiday horror. They’ll stage Richard O’Brien’s cult classic “The Rocky Horror Show” at midnight on Tuesday, Dec. 25 (yes, that’s Christmas night), with a follow-up performance at midnight on Monday, Dec. 31 (yes, that’s New Year’s Eve). The R-rated production is directed locally by the Mad Men of Oopsie Daisy Inc. and features the cast of the Rep’s Mad Haus. Tickets are $20-$25; for more information, click here.
For a complete calendar of local events, click here.