Comedian Tracy Smith goes for laughs at The Loony Bin, 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 10 p.m. Fri., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sat., $8-$12. “Whiskey & Whitley” is your country antidote to an onslaught of holiday music with a concert from Josh Ward, 8 p.m., Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, $12-$15. Mayday by Midnight returns to Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5, or come early and hear the Memphis Yahoos, 5:30 p.m., free. Booker T. Washington Elementary School and Dunbar Middle School choirs sing cherubic tunes for the Bernice Garden Tree Lighting, 5-7 p.m., free. The Museum of Discovery hosts “A Very Merry Science After Dark: Jingle Booze,” 6 p.m., $10. Red Octopus Theater continues its bawdy (and adult-only) holiday sketch comedy show, “Pagans on Bobsleds XXVII: Pre-Existing Tradition,” 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., Public Theatre (616 Center St.), $10. Little Rock Winds perform a program of holiday music with pianist Janine Reeves Tiner, tenor Matthew Newman, the McCafferty Academy of Irish Dancers and other guests, 7:30 p.m., UA Pulaski Technical College’s Center for the Humanities and Arts, $12-$15. An opening reception ushers in “Decadent Chemistry: Heroines and Abstracts,” an exhibition of small artworks by 38 artists, at Stage Eighteen (18 E. Center St.) in Fayetteville, 6 p.m. In Jonesboro, a cappella ensemble M-Pact performs holiday tunes at Arkansas State University’s Fowler Center, 7:30 p.m., $25-$35. Lana Violette takes center stage for a burlesque and variety show with Lewd Awakening Revue, 9 p.m., Maxine’s, Hot Springs, $10.
Crooner/guitarist John Neal brings his soul-infused rock to the stage at South on Main, 9 p.m., $8-$10. String band Arkansauce charms at Maxine’s, 9 p.m. Tribute/party purveyors “Kick: The INXS Experience” land at the Rev Room, 8:30 p.m., $15. Percussion provocateur Mike Dillon returns to Four Quarter Bar with a solo set, with Pope, 10 p.m., $8. Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal take the stage at Kings Live Music in Conway, with Amber Wilcox, 8:30 p.m., $5. Gene Reid gives a concert at Hibernia Irish Tavern, 8 p.m. Songwriter Kris Allen’s “Somethin’ About Christmas Tour” makes a stop at CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 7 p.m., $29-$82. Weakness for Blondes jams at the White Water Tavern, 9 p.m. Artistic Director John Erwin conducts the Arkansas Chamber Singers in three free performances, featuring traditional carols and both sacred and secular texts, 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., Old State House Museum. Andy Tanas plays a set at Markham Street Grill and Pub, 8:30 p.m., free. The Brent Frazier Band performs at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming’s Silks Bar & Grill, 10:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., free. Memphis Yahoos kicks off the weekend at Cajun’s, 9 p.m., $5, and earlier, Raising Grey plays the happy hour set, 5:30 p.m., free.
Tim Anthony & Afrodesia entertain for Arkansas Public Policy Panel’s Holiday Party at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, with food and drinks by Lost Forty Brewing, The Root, The Pantry, Trio’s and Dunny’s Mobile Bartending, 6 p.m., $3o ($25o sponsor). Blues rocker Shannon Boshears performs at Cajun’s Wharf, 9 p.m., $5., or come before dinner and catch Brian Nahlen and Nick Devlin, 5:30 p.m., free. At South on Main, The Rodney Block Collective, Bijoux and DJ Hy-C take the stage for “A Holiday Soiree & Social,” 9:30 p.m., $15-$20. Southern drag artists Makenna Michaels, Stormey Weather and Lady Partz face off in the third round of Club Sway’s “Fresh Fish” drag competition, 9 p.m. Ronnie Heart takes his signature croon and slick dance moves to Maxine’s, with Landrest and Mah Kee Oh, 9 p.m. Songwriter Barrett Baber plays a solo set at Kings in Conway, with Dave Almond, 8:30 p.m., $5. The Top of the Rock Chorus presents a free barbershop concert at UA Pulaski Technical College’s CHARTS, 4 p.m., donations.
Comedians Jay Jackson and Karr host the roast battle “You Look Like: A Comedy Show” at Hibernia Irish Tavern, 7:30 p.m., $5 advance, $10 at the door. Handel lovers, rejoice greatly: The Cathedral Choir at Trinity Episcopal hosts a “Messiah Sing-Along,” bring your score or use one of the scores provided to the first 50 people in the door, 4 p.m., free. Ever-acerbic songwriter Todd Snider takes the stage at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, 8:30 p.m., $25-$30.
Pianist Julie Cheek and violinist Andrew Irvin duet for “Sing Noel,” part of the Festival of the Senses series at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in North Little Rock, 7 p.m., free. Saxophonist Marquis Hunt and his outfit Mood take the stage at South on Main, 8 p.m., $10. Central Arkansas Library System screens “Trading Places” at the Ron Robinson Theater as part of its Not Quite Holiday Film Fest, 6:30 p.m., $5.