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When plans for in-person New Year’s Eve entertainment collapse, network TV may offer as reliable a fallback as any. This year, Miley Cyrus will host NBC’s New Year’s coverage with the “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson, bringing a younger, unrulier energy to a gig that has been held by Carson Daly since 2004.
Cyrus, who will officiate live in Miami, is curating the show’s musical lineup. Among the performers are the tart-tongued, bag-chasing rapper Saweetie and her recent collaborator Anitta, a Brazilian pop singer; the charismatic sing-rapper 24kGoldn; and Cyrus’s sister, Noah, whose budding career has been dotted with experiments in hip-hop, pop, soul and folk à la Lana Del Rey. A veteran pair of performers round out the lineup: the rousing country singer Brandi Carlile and the Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong.
“Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party” will air on NBC and stream on Peacock beginning at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time on Friday. OLIVIA HORN
True to the biblical origins of its name, the venerable Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival endured a test of faith this summer as it faced plague (Covid), fire (which claimed a theater the previous fall) and epic rain. Still, it produced a wonderful season on its outdoor stage, and a highlight was the soaring spectacle of Streb Extreme Action, a company known for performing daring feats with sly humor on bespoke contraptions. The program featured intricate solos from the 1970s as well as recent, gravity-defying ensemble work on imposing “action machines,” tracing how Elizabeth Streb, the troupe’s founder and artistic director, has evolved in her theatrical boldness and taste for risk.
“Jacob’s Pillow Holiday Stream: Streb” — a 50-minute film of that show with behind-the-scenes and archival footage that sets Streb’s industrial aesthetic against the Pillow’s famed vista — will bring you back to warmer days. It is available to view online through Jan. 6; tickets to the stream are $15 at jacobspillow.org. BRIAN SCHAEFER
D.J. Squirm-a-Lot isn’t fazed by the rising infection rate of Covid-19. He will officially welcome 2022 from a place the coronavirus has never once ventured: the moon.
Getting there won’t be a problem, as children can attend D.J. Squirm-a-Lot’s New Year’s Bash on Zoom. For $15 — advance registration is required — families can obtain a pass, which doubles as a downloadable coloring sheet. They can then join the aptly named host (he’s a cartoon worm) on Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, when he will present a fireworks display so huge that everyone on Earth can see it.
But that’s not all. D.J. Squirm-a-Lot’s alter ego is Lee Overtree, co-founder and creative director of the Story Pirates, the improv and comedy troupe that conceives songs, sketches and musicals from tales that children submit. Young people enrolled in a Story Pirates Creator Camp have already helped invent Friday’s lunar adventures, to which party guests will contribute, too. Expect games and tunes, as well as appearances by the Story Pirates Podcast team.
Little revelers may also have to act to prevent Yorma, a grouchy ice dragon, from putting this sizzling party into a deep freeze. LAUREL GRAEBER
Anyone who was formerly on the hunt for a sparkling New Year’s Eve recital but is now bummed out by late-breaking concert cancellations may find some cheer in the third recording from the pianist Gottlieb Wallisch’s “20th Century Foxtrots” project. Past editions surprised and delighted in equal measure; this latest album on the Grand Piano label extends the streak.
The repertoire is principally devoted to jazz-age classical miniatures crafted in response to the global fascination with then-new dance rhythms. And as usual, this most recent volume doubles as a regional deep dive; this time, composers from Central and Eastern Europe get their turn to absorb Americana. That means we get to hear jaunty syncopated works by Russians — as well as blues-inflected gems composed by Polish artists born under the Russian empire.
There are some familiar artists in both cases (think Shostakovich and Spoliansky), but also more obscure names: Yevgeny Mravinsky (“Fox-Trot,” 1929) and Alexandre Tansman (“Tempo Americano,” 1931). Who knew? Wallisch did, for one. As did the historian Mauro Piccinini, whose erudite liner notes are another valuable part of this zesty ongoing series. SETH COLTER WALLS
The playwright Mike Lew gives Shakespeare’s “Richard III” the high-school-comedy treatment in the provocative “Teenage Dick,” which cleverly explores how bullying can shape a person for the worst.
Gregg Mozgala gives a brilliant performance as the 16-year-old Richard, who after years of being harassed by his classmates because of his cerebral palsy decides to run for senior class president and obliterate all of his enemies in the process.
Lew’s script stands out for its dark humor and feminist twist, as the female characters are given the agency they’re otherwise denied in many Shakespearean adaptations.
Although live performances of the play at the Huntington Theater Company in Boston were cut short earlier this month because of the pandemic, a stunning multicamera recording of the production is available online through Jan. 16. Tickets to the stream are pay what you wish (a price range of $20 to $90 is suggested) and are available at huntingtontheatre.org. JOSE SOLÍS