Laugh the holiday blues away: Friday night is Brokenmold's Annual Holiday Comedy Explosion at New World Brewery. Brokenmold Entertainment presents what is looking to be an annual event, headlined by local favorites Robby Slowik, Best of the Bay winner J.B. Ball, Matt Fernandez, Law Smith (featured recently in CL's comedy issue and Mona Smith. Doors at 8 p.m.; $10 suggested donation, all proceeds go to Big Cat Rescue. facebook.com/brokenmold.
A vanguard milestone: The Four Year Ventureversary night celebrates four years of brilliant mayhem and variety at the Venture Compound. The envelope-pushing, south St. Pete venue has a few reasons to celebrate: its new leader, Emmy Lou, for one. Music acts include Veird, described as noise rock from outer space (earplugs provided); Grace Juliano, neoclassical cellist, co-founder of Hyperbolic Chamber Music series and Mark Castle, "diva to end all Divas." (VC forewarns, "Bring your dancin' shoes so he doesn't have to.") Other acts include free jazzer Leo Suarez; Christopher Moor, Dan Reaves, Best of the Bay winner Whitey Alabastard and the spellbinding Lilith. $10 non-members; $5 for members; free admission with purchase of membership at the door (or online the day of).
Sweet Star Wars hangover: If you and the kids are still in outer space after seeing the big movie, take them to revel in it all at the Alien Encounter: Designing E.T. Star Wars Party at South Florida Museum in Bradenton, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. The event allows you to a design an extraterrestrial creature using the video game SPORE and then re-creating a 3D model of your alien and give it a name, culture and history. 4-5:30 is the Designing E.T. team challenge, 5:30 is the Alien Cantina Improv Hour and at 6, Star Wars Episode 6 —The Return of the Jedi can be seen on the big screen. Worth the $5 admission alone. southfloridamuseum.org.
Kick it old-school: Adapted by Joe Landry, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play can be seen Dec. 19-27 at American Stage. Features a full cast and on-stage sound effects. americanstage.org.
Art Walk highlight: Portspace, winner of CL's Best of the Bay for Best New Gallery, will present Bekky Beukes: Pieces. South African painter Beukes blends both iconography and illustration. Recently relocated to the United States in 2014, her illustrative style is attributed to a background in fashion design. Her company, Chimera has become a well known South African brand after its debut during the 2007 MTN Fashion Week. portspacegallery.com.
Holiday reverie: Looking for a fun event to get your family into the holiday spirit, visit the Largo Holiday Stroll: Let It Snow at Largo Central Park, which is decked out with a million-plus lights. Live entertainment, holiday crafts, activities, vendors free snow play and a snow slide ($5). Other nights include a holiday movie, craft fair, visits with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides and a lighted motorcycle show. Visit the City of Largo website for more info.
A sweet twist: Artz 4 Life Academy's annual production returns to Mahaffey Theater to perform a lively update of the Tchaikovsky classic. Formerly known as The Chocolate Nutcracker, The Family Blessing focuses on family unity as it follows a young boy named Michael. Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. $17-$37. artz4lifeacademy.com/familyblessing.html.
You don't know him, but he's your brother: The Doobie dude himself, Michael McDonald is back to perform his soulful spins on mellow rock at the Capitol Theatre. Expect to hear both solo hits and tunes from his Doobie Brothers yeas as well as some Christmas tunes. Sunday, 8 p.m., $79-$95. atthecap.com.