GO COCOA LOCO
Hold on to your sweet tooth: Healthcare for the Homeless is back with their delicious annual fundraiser, Chocolate Affair. The chocolate-themed party comes complete with tons of tasty offerings (as well as music, drinks, dancing and more), but the sweetest of all is the opportunity to have a good time while supporting a great cause. All proceeds from the event go toward aiding Baltimore’s homeless populations. Feb. 3, Baltimore Marriot Waterfront. $250 (individual) or $2,500 (table). 443-703-1345. hchmd.org —J.D.
A FAIR CHER
Take a trip back to the groovy days, when everything was all peace signs, flared pants and rose-colored glasses … or maybe the bad-fashion, great-hair days of the ’80s, or the grungetastic ’90s, or even the thin-eyebrowed ’90s. That’s right: Cher, the Goddess of Pop herself, is coming to National Harbor. See her perform all of her decade-spanning hits as she hits the stage for a six-day run this February. Don’t worry — she’s got you, babe. Feb. 17-25, MGM Casino National Harbor. $109-$645+. 844-346-4664. mgmnationalharbor.com —JASMINE DOBBINS
A LEGACY LIVES ON
If anyone deserves a full day of events celebrating his life and legacy, it’s Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrate MLK Day the Baltimore way with live performances (including a step salute from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women Step Team), moderated discussions, films, crafts and more honoring King’s momentous contributions to American equality. The event culminates with “Man of Peace: The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.,” a concert featuring King’s words set to music and performed by Peabody’s Tuned In Orchestra. Jan.15, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. $5. 443-263-1800. lewismuseum.org —J.D.
ICE ICE BABY
The temps may be dropping by the day, but the Baltimore music scene is heating up in anticipation of the Frozen Harbor Music Festival. Swap your flannel jammies and hot chocolate for something a little stronger at the 21+ two-day festival, which features a line-up of 160 acts spread throughout 10 different venues around downtown Baltimore. If that’s not good enough to give you chills, what will? Feb.16-18, Power Plant Live!. $80-$100. 410-727-5483. ticketfly.com —J.D. and K.U.
Get ready for a surge of serious girl power as Broadway star, composer and jazz singer Ann Hampton Calloway takes the stage with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Diva to Diva: From Ella to Adele. Accompanied by the BSO Superpops, Calloway will perform hits from Ella Fitzgerald and Adele, of course, but also female powerhouses Carly Simon, Carole King, Etta James and more. “Rumor Has It” her performance is an absolute blast. Jan.25-28, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Music Center at Strathmore. $35-$99. 410-783-8000 (Meyerhoff) and 877-BSO-1444 (Strathmore). bsomusic.org —J.D.
Set in the midst of the 2008 recession, critically acclaimed play Skeleton Crew centers on four Detroit-based auto plant workers that must adjust to their lives as the “skeleton crew,” the bare minimum of human workers required to run a plant. The result is a poignant, thoughtful exposition that the New York Times says “travel[s] an uncertain path between comfort and chaos, lawfulness and criminality, mutual support and blinkered selfishness.” The play includes explicit language, so only those of high school are or older are advised to attend. Jan. 25 to March 4, Baltimore Center Stage. $39-$74. 410-332-0033. centerstage.org —AUTUMN DALTON
“I like to use ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’ on my toast in the morning,” jokes comedian Demetri Martin in one of his stand-up specials, “because sometimes when I eat breakfast I like to be incredulous.” Martin, a former writer for “Late Night” and contributor to “The Daily Show,” brings his trademark deadpan delivery to Baltimore as a rescheduled stop from his 2017 Let’s Get Awkward Tour. He’s in town for one night only, so be sure not to miss it this time around. Feb. 23, the Hippodrome. $60. 800-343-3103. baltimore.broadway.com —K.U.
Admit it: You love “Dancing with the Stars.” How could you not? The show is full of star power, fabulous footwork, gorgeous costumes and plenty of talent — and now, it’s coming to Charm City. Dancing with the Stars Live!: Light Up the Night brings everything you love about DWTS to the stage … well, except for the celebrities. But let’s be real: They sometimes brought their professional-dancer partners down. Let the experts show you how it’s done! Jan. 28, the Modell Lyric. 410-900-1150. modell-lyric.com —K.U.
WAIT FOR IT
The Hippodrome’s spectacular Broadway series continues with Waitress, a musical based on Adrienne Shelly’s film of the same name featuring music from Sara Bareilles (of “Love Song” fame). The thoughtful, charming show centers on titular waitress Jenna, a talented pie-maker who sees a baking competition (and a handsome doctor) as a way out of her small town and unhappy marriage. Jan. 30 – Feb. 4, the Hippodrome. $69-$199. 800-343-3103. baltimore.broadway.com —A.D. and K.U.
If you loved Center Stage’s production of “The Christians” last fall, you’ll be pleased to hear that another of Lucas Hnath’s works will be performed in Baltimore this season. A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney (yes, that’s really what it’s called) examines the movie and media mogul not as a beloved character in American culture, but as a man obsessed with his own mortality. It’s a dark world, after all. Feb. 2-25 at Single Carrot Theater. $25-$29. 443-844-9253. singlecarrot.com/disney —K.U.
Gain insight into the personal life of Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill through Long Day’s Journey into Night, a semi-autobiographical work published three years after O’Neill’s death in 1953. In the play, the Tyrone family is finally forced to face its secrets as evening falls — revealing truths that simply cannot be ignored (and that love alone cannot overcome). Tickets: $15-$65. 410-752-2208. everymantheatre.org —A.D. and K.U.
Would you pay to see a bunch of dummies take the stage? A huge chunk of the population certainly would, as evidenced by ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham’s Guinness World Record for “Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-up Comedy Tour.” See favorite puppets like grumpy old man Walter and purple monkey Peanut as Dunham hits Charm City on his Passively Aggressive Tour. (P.S. Even if he doesn’t tickle your funny fancy, the ventriloquism alone is worth the watch.) Feb. 10, Royal Farms Arena. $51-$64. 410-347-2020. royalfarmsarena.com —A.D. and K.U.
Grab your hairspray and don your legwarmers for That 80s Show: Stories from a Decade of Excess, Fear, Big Hair, and the Bomb. The show, produced by Stoop Storytelling, brings true-life tales of life in the rad-est decade from local raconteurs. Get there early for cocktails and live ’80s jams and prepare for a gnarly night. Feb. 22, The Senator Theatre. $20. stoopstorytelling.com —K.U.
Celebrate the 200th birthday of a famous Maryland-born abolitionist on Frederick Douglass Day, an afternoon of remembrance and activities in his honor. Hear a lecture about “Frederick Douglass’ America” from Harvard professor John Stauffer, listen to Douglass’ words as presented by reenactors and enjoy a kids’ “art and story hour” with London Ladd, illustrator of “Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass.” Feb. 10, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Free with cost of admission. 443-263-1800. lewismuseum.org —K.U.
Much as female characters in Shakespeare’s plays were traditionally portrayed by men, the actors in productions of his plays were traditionally white — that is, until 1833, when African-American actor Ira Aldridge took the stage as Othello. The momentous occasion was met with both praise and protest, as is explored in Lolita Chakrabarti’s play Red Velvet. Directed by Shirley Basfield Dunlap, the show makes its Baltimore debut this February. Feb. 2-25, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. $16-43. 410-244-8570. chesapeakeshakespeare.com —K.U.
Join novelist Maud Casey and UMBC professor Mark Durant as they discuss The Art of Mystery: The Search for Questions, Casey’s curious installment of the “Art of” series. The book, like its predecessors in the series, explores the craft of writing from the point of view of a successful author, but Casey’s less concrete topic allows for more philosophical exploration. Listen as she raises important inquiries about how mystery is made in fiction, citing examples from greats like Shirley Jackson and J.M. Coetzee and drawing from her own experience. Jan. 9, The Ivy Bookshop. Free. 410-377-2966. theivybookshop.com —K.U.
As Whitney Houston once sang, the children are our future, and it’s refreshing to see that the art world, at least, will be in good hands. Immerse yourself in the work of budding artists at the Association of Independent Maryland and D.C. Schools Student Art Show, which highlights painting, drawing and more from students K-12 attending 25 Baltimore area schools. You never know, you could be gazing upon the work of the next Vermeer or Van Gogh. Jan. 24-Feb. 4, Walters Art Museum. Free. 410-547-900. thewalters.org —K.U.
At what age does your favorite band’s music become classic rock, or in the case of Blue Oyster Cult, classic psychedelic/progressive rock? We don’t like to think about it. Whether you’ve been a fan since the ’70s or discovered them on Spotify, head to Annapolis to hear Buck Dharma and company perform hits like “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” “Godzilla” and “Burnin’ for You.” Jan. 12, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. $45-$65. 410-263-5544. Marylandhall.org —K.U.
MICA grad and five-time Sondheim Award finalist Lillian Hoover returns to the Goya Contemporary (where she presented her show “Rapport” in 2015) with a new exhibition for the New Year. Her paintings, which “explore the banal, awkward, overlooked, and imperfect elements of our material environment,” are stunning examples of photorealism, while her sculpture and installation work makes profound political statements. Though the theme of her new exhibition is not yet announced, the show is sure to be stunning. January-February, Goya Contemporary. goyacontemporary.com —K.U.
LET IT SHINE
Do you love the shiny tree (officially known as the “Universal Tree of Life”) outside of the American Visionary Art Museum as much as we do? Make your own glittering, gleaming creation with help from the artist who created the tree at AVAM’s Shiny Happy Things Workshop with Bob Benson. During the workshop, participants can combine “marbles and mirrors and such” for a gorgeous piece that will turn any home into an art display. Feb. 17, American Visionary Art Museum. Cost TBA. 410-244-1900. avam.org —K.U.