Sashay, shantay! Do your thing on the runway at the Brooklyn Public Library’s People’s Ball, where your most glamorous outfit can finally get the recognition it deserves. The night will feature music from Rimarkable, a dance performance, a cash bar, and a catwalk show every hour for anyone who wants to volunteer.
7 pm–midnight at Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library [10 Grand Army Plaza at Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, (718) 230-2100, www.bklyn
At first light
Chabad Park Slope throws a party for the first night of Hanukkah! Head to Grand Army Plaza at 4:30 pm, when the Jewish rock band Pey Dald will kick things off with some hot tunes. Then grab a free latke and wait for the lighting of Brooklyn’s 33-foot 11-inch high menorah at 5:30 pm. Slightly more restrained lighting ceremonies will happen for the next eight nights.
4:30 pm at Grand Army Plaza [Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, (646) 298–9909, www.large
Indulge in the darkest side of the Christmas season at this month’s Video Vortex at Alamo Drafthouse: “Satan Claus Is Coming to Town.” The 75-minute thrill ride stitches together dozens of little-known holiday horror films into an extravaganza of evil children, axe-wielding elves, and shots of a shotgun-wielding Mrs. Claus.
9:30 pm at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema [445 Albee Square West between Fulton and Willoughby streets Downtown, (718) 513–2547, www.draft
Everyone knows Duke Ellington, but do you know his longtime collaborator Billy Strayhorne? The openly gay composer and civil rights campaigner takes center stage in the joyous dance-theater piece “Halfway to Dawn,” which draws on his writing and music to tell the story of his life in two acts, one set in a nightclub, the other in a dreamscape. The show continues through Saturday.
7:30 pm at BAM Harvey Theater [651 Fulton St. at Rockwell Place in Fort Greene, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org]. $20–$45.
Close it down
The three-night Janelle James Comedy Festival concludes tonight at the Bell House with an amazing lineup of “Comedians Who Said ‘Sure, I’ll Come By,’ ” including Eugene Mirman, Catherine Cohen, Nore Davis, and — of course — your host Janelle James. Expect some wacky surprises and special guest stars as James makes the festival her own.
7:30 pm at the Bell House [149 Seventh St. at Third Avenue in Gowanus, (718) 643–6510, www.thebe