Top 5

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

1. "The Nutty Nutcracker"

Dec. 27

In this parody of the classic holiday ballet, the score still sounds like "The Nutcracker" and the set certainly looks like "The Nutcracker," but a rubber chicken could stand in for Clara's magical nutcracker and a man in a tutu might be cast as the Sugar Plum Fairy. All bets are off during BalletMet's performance of "The Nutty Nutcracker," says BalletMet spokeswoman Ann Mulvany. "You never know what you'll get." Expect outrageous costumes, hilarious plot scenarios and cameo appearances from local celebrities during the onetime performance at the Ohio Theatre. -Michelle Sullivan

2. "The Last Waltz"

Dec. 17

Martin Scorcese's documentary of The Band's 1976 farewell concert is one of the best concert films ever made. For 117 minutes of running time, a who's who of folk, rock and blues-Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Bob Dylan among them-take the stage with the headliners. Two Columbus guys who know plenty about music-CD102.5's Brian Phillips and Colin Gawel of Watershed-will host the film and a pre-screening happy hour. -Kristen Schmidt

3. Holiday Hop

Dec. 6

This year's Holiday Hop in the Short North promises to be a one-stop shop for everyone on your list. During regular Gallery Hop hours (4 to 10 p.m.), shoppers can check out elaborate window displays, catch free sleigh rides (hot chocolate included) and visit with Santa. Don't miss the Holiday Hop Pop Up Shop in the Garden Theater, where local crafters will sell handmade gifts. -Emily Thompson

4. Grand Illumination

Dec. 5

The Grand Illumination of Bicentennial Park and the Scioto Mile will have carols, Santa Claus, hot cocoa and, the piece de resistance, the illumination of holiday lights. Spectators can support the Mid-Ohio Foodbank by buying a piece of handcrafted pottery, complete with a bowl of chicken and dumplings courtesy of Milestone 229. -Tristan Eden

5. Saintseneca Low Dough Show

Dec. 5

More bang for your buck: That's what you'll get if you attend CD102.5's Dec. 5 Low Dough Show at the Newport Music Hall. Headliner Saintseneca-a folky ensemble that's risen through the ranks to become the local music scene's most promising potential export-will likely pull out all the raucous stops for a hometown show. With the addition of openers Anna Ranger and Swarming Branch, music lovers will experience a lot of rock 'n' roll for $5. -Jenny Rogers