Chronicle critics offer entertainment suggestions
A holiday fiesta: A Texas treasure, Los Texmaniacs create a many-faceted sound that nicely represents some of the breadth of music from the state with conjunto as its home base. Max Baca’s ensemble turns 20 next year but before celebrating anniversaries, they’ll offer their TexMex Holiday Fiesta. And, as is sometimes the case, they’ll bring along two of their friends, regular collaborators and flat-out legends: Flaco Jimenez and Augie Meyers. 8 p.m. Friday at Heights Theater, 339 W. 19th; $28-$50; theheightstheater.com.
Restless spirit: The Woodlands native Jack Ingram has done it both ways: the DIY singer-songwriter path and the Nashville hitmaker path. His new album, “Midnight Motel,” is his best to date, a strong set of songs about late nights and restless spirits. He released it in the summer but is only now getting around to playing the songs close to home. 8:30 p.m. Friday at Dosey Doe, 25911 I-45 N., The Woodlands; $68-$108; 281-367-3774, doseydoe.com.
Rapper Claus: Rapper Nosaprise hosts his 12th annual Trills the Season, a toy drive featuring a night of performances by Houston acts. This year’s lineup includes Dirty & Nasty and Kyle Hubbard, along with DJ sets by Fat Tony, Gracie Chavez and Vic G. Bring a new, unwrapped toy worth $10 for admission. Nosaprise and his crew will personally hit the streets to deliver them to kids. 8 p.m. Thursday at Boondocks, 1417 Westheimer; 713-522-8500.
Wait, ninja rats?:Butterflies, bees, lions, penguins and polar bears coexist joyfully with the humans, dolls and other magical beings in Houston Ballet’s biggest holiday marathon in years. The Ninja rats? Well, they’ll never get along. And we wouldn’t want them to. This is your final week to see them do battle in Stanton Welch’s high-energy, swirling, over-the-top new “Nutcracker,” with magnificent sets and costumes by Tim Goodchild. Performances are at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday and Monday-Tuesday, with a 2 p.m. Christmas Eve matinee Saturday at the Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. Tickets are $39-$175 (costs vary by performance, based on demand); 713-227-2787, houstonballet.org.
Christmas spirit: Want to get the family outside for a while? Thursday and Friday nights, a live reindeer visits the antique Spiegeltent during the Christmas Village at Bayou Bend. Also on the festive grounds: caroling by the MistleTones, shopping stations, kids’ activities, Christmas treats and a hand-crafted model-train display. Step inside Miss Ima Hogg’s home for a special performance, and don’t miss the cool projections outside. 5:30-9 p.m. nightly, except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, at 6003 Memorial at Westcott; $15-$18; 713-639-7300, mfah.org.
A master’s work: Before Picasso could deconstruct forms, he had to see clearly. Line drawings he made as a young man in Paris show his intense study of classical form. In “Picasso The Line” at the Menil Collection, viewers see a clear evolution in the modern master’s style that also illustrates the range of media with which he was proficient - from pen and pencil to charcoal and papier collé. With more than 90 works on paper from public and private collections that date from 1901 to 1970, the show includes rarely seen works from the Menil’s holdings as well as drawings that haven’t been shown previously in the U.S. You have until Jan. 8 to see them at 1533 Sul Ross, 713-525-9400, menil.org. Holiday hours 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Friday and Wednesday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; closed Christmas Day. FREE
Quirky drag: Mimi Imfurst made a name for herself twice on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” on Season 3 and the inaugural “All Stars.” But her quirky drag style put her at odds with most of the queens. She engaged in a now-legendary catfight that ended with a few drink tosses. She’s appeared on “Nurse Jackie” and in productions of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Rocky Horror.” She’s also crafted a surprisingly solid recording career. 9 p.m. Saturday at South Beach, 810 Pacific; free before 10 p.m. with VIP text (text SOBE to 46786), $15 after 10 p.m.; 713-529-7623, sobehouston.com.
Holiday hangover cure: Robert Earl Keen has turned a side-splitting song about a circus of a Christmas into an annual tradition. “Merry Christmas From the Family” has turned into Merry Xmas From the Fam-o-Lee, an irreverent post-holiday hangover show in the beloved singer-songwriter’s hometown. 7 p.m. Monday at House of Blues, 1204 Caroline; $45-$97; 888-402-5837, hob.com.