A high-flying holiday celebration, as Nicholas Hersh conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra while the acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, strongmen and high-flying aerialists of Troupe Vertigo do their thing all over (and above) the stage. Here’s betting that sugarplum fairies and wooden soldiers have never been so thrilling. 8 p.m. Dec. 14, 3 p.m. Dec. 15-16 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $17.50-$85. bsomusic.org.
Great Russian Nutcracker
For a more traditional take on “The Nutcracker,” but still one with energy and sparkle to burn, check out this production from the Moscow Ballet — featuring “world-class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and jubilant Nesting Dolls." The Nesting Dolls are a touch you may not see anywhere else! 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 15 at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St. $47.50-$114.50. france-merrickpac.com.
Some of the hottest music of this (or any) season, with performances from Kevin Gates, NBA Youngboy, Lil Baby and Moneybagg Yo. 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at Royal Farms Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St. $41-$306. royalfarmsarena.com.
Maryland Music Awards
Free State musicians of all sorts are eligible for these superlatives, from Best Rock Act and Best Country Act to Best Live Performer and Best Break Out Artist (16 categories in all, so a lot of ground gets covered). See if any of your local favorites made the grade. 8 p.m. Dec. 15 at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place in Power Plant Live. $10-$50. marylandmusicawards.org.
Vienna Boys Choir
The world’s most famous group of child singers presents “Christmas in Vienna,” featuring Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, popular songs and assorted holiday favorites. They probably won’t be singing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” but there should be plenty of beautifulness coming from the stage of the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave., regardless. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10. $35-$45. modell-lyric.com.
Ivan Neville, the son of R&B legend Aaron Neville, and Baltimore’s own Cris Jacobs perform songs from their self-titled first album, a combination of soul and funk that rose out of a chance meeting at the New Orleans Jazz Fest. 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at The 8x10, 10 E. Cross St. $25. the8x10.com.
ArtsCentric presents Langston Hughes’ soulful retelling of the Nativity story in scripture, verse, song and dance, featuring traditional Christmas songs sung gospel. Includes original music from ArtsCentric’s own Cedric D. Lyles. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays (no show Dec. 20), 2 p.m. Saturdays, 5 p.m. Sundays (but 3 p.m. Dec. 23) through Dec. 29 at Motor House Baltimore, 120 W. North Ave. $30. artscentric.net.
‘Mary Queen of Scots’
Saoirse Ronan is the title royalty, paying the price for trying to remove her cousin, Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), from the English throne. Kinda puts your own family squabbles in perspective. In theaters Dec. 14.
‘Barry Lyndon’ and special guest
As part of its tribute to director Stanley Kubrick, who would have turned 90 this year, the Maryland Film Festival presents this sumptuous costume drama from 1975, starring Ryan O’Neal as an 18th-century Irish rogue and Marisa Berenson as the wealthy noblewoman he lusts for. In town for post-film Q&As and discussions will be actor Leon Vitali, who plays Lord Bullingdon in the film and worked as Kubrick’s special assistant on the director’s subsequent efforts — “The Shining,” “Full Metal Jacket” and “Eyes Wide Shut.” 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Niarchos Foundation Parkway, 5 W. North Ave. $17-$20. mdfilmfest.com.
Union Square Christmas Cookie Tour
A tour of the historic neighborhood and its Victorian homes, with treats. Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 9, beginning at 1401 Hollins St. $15-$25. union-square.us/cookietour.