Embrace the coming year (and say goodbye to a 2017 that’s certainly had its challenges) with the area’s grandest fireworks display. It’s visible all over the Inner Harbor area and points east and south, but the most fun can be had at the Inner Harbor itself, centering at Pratt and Light streets. The official festivities begin at 9 tonight, with a concert from R&B/soul artist Alexis Joyce. The fireworks, in all their booming and popping glory, begin at the stroke of midnight. promotionandarts.org. For a list of other area New Year’s Eve celebrations — and there are plenty of them — go to baltimoresun.com.
Check out what happened in the world today, yesterday and even, to borrow the title of his show on HBO, last week tonight — we’re guessing you can count on loads of political commentary — when the British comic and political humorist brings his stand-up act to the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, 12 N. Eutaw St. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. today and Monday. $80.50-$91. france-merrickpac.com.
New Year’s Day Baroque Celebration Bach in Baltimore welcomes the new year with pieces from Bach, Telemann, Handel and Vivaldi. 4 p.m. Mondayat Zion Lutheran Church, 148 N. Gay St. $20-$22. bachinbaltimore.org.
The New Orleans funk and soul of Tank and the Bangas meshes with the classicism of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for a hybrid performance that should help get 2018 off to a rousing musical start. 8:30 p.m. Thursday (with a pre-concert party, featuring music from J Pope and the HearNow, starting at 6 p.m.) at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $25-$50. bsomusic.org.
A benefit for the U.S. Virgin Islands, courtesy of Mother’s Federal Hill Grille: two nights of music from Cris Jacobs, with special guests Amy Helm (Friday) and Ivan Neville (Saturday). 8 p.m. both nights at the 8x10, 10 E. Cross St. $30-$99. the8x10.com.
This collaboration between Stoop Storytelling and the Baltimore Improv Group promises a gathering of Baltimore’s best storytellers, riffing on the subject of “Stories about doing before thinking, closing your eyes and jumping, and just generally trust-falling through life.” So if you’ve ever leaped before you looked (for good or ill) and wanna hear tales from others who’ve had the same experience, here’s your chance. 8 p.m. Saturday at the BIG Theater, 1727 N. Charles St. $30. stoopstorytelling.com.
Seven New York musicians, playing music from, or inspired by, Ethiopia in the ’60s-’70s, with a few more-modern touches added. 8 p.m. Friday at Motor House, 120 W. North Ave. $10. motorhousebaltimore.com.
The Honey Dewdrops
The latest Folkal Point concert features Baltimore-based singer-songwriters Laura Wortman and Kagey Parris, performing the kind of roots music featured on their most recent album, 2015’s “Tangled Country.” Beautiful harmonies, with accompaniment from clawhammer banjo, mandolin and guitars. 8 p.m. Saturday at An die Musik, 409 N. Charles St. $10-$12. andiemusiklive.com.
Baltimore indie rockers Matt Naas, James Alonso and Ryan Sterne, hard at work on their second album, take time to play The Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. With even more music, from Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children, Barnyard Sharks and DJs King Gilbert and Johnny Alonso. 8:45 p.m. Thursday. $10. theottobar.com.
Does this film take bad moviemaking to a new level? It does if James Franco’s recently released “The Disaster Artist” is to be believed: It dramatizes the story behind and making of this curious piece of cinema. Producer/director/screenwriter/star Tommy Wiseau is the auteur responsible for this tale of a love triangle gone wrong. Says one Internet critic, “You really can't believe how terrible ‘The Room’ is." See for yourself, if you dare. 9 p.m. Thursday at The Charles, 1711 N. Charles St. $9.50-$11. thecharles.com.