Boston-area to do list

Robert McNeill/Smithsonian American Art Museum


Look and listen

A new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum offers a social history of a tumultuous and fertile time in American culture. The Harlem Renaisaance of the ’20s through the Civil Rights era of the ’60s are chronicled at “In Conversation: Modern African American Art.” More than 100 paintings, photographs, and sculptures by 43 artists are arranged into “conversations” about beauty, dignity, belonging, and relationships. Soundscapes with music, voices, historical commentary, and environmental sounds accompany some of the pieces. June 1 from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. (through Sept. 2; opening weekend celebration June 1 and 2). $15, $13 seniors, $11 students, free under 17. Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 866-745-1876.


A good spanking We welcome any diversion that helps us avoid “Fifty Shades of Grey” (wait, we have a text message). Sorry, we’re back. Jim Millan took the bull by the horn (sorry, another message) and came up with (hang on, one more) “Spank: The 50 Shades Parody,” a musical parody of the erotic romance novel. Hey, this beats our texting diversion. May 30 and 31 at 7:30 p.m., June 1 at 7 and 10 p.m. $37.75-$47.75. The Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston. 800-745-3000. www.the

Spring fling Folks born in the town of Padstow in Cornwall, England, dress in white on May 1 to celebrate spring and fertility on what’s called Obby Oss day. There’s more to the ritual, but we’ll leave that to the Revels when they “Celebrate the Spring” with the Perkins School for the Blind Secondary Program Chorus. Join them for seasonal music and dance — and that special ritual. 7:30 p.m. Free. Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon St., Watertown. 617-972-8300.


Moment to moment What are your defining moments? One of ours was meeting Broadway star Chita Rivera. Artist books at the group show “Defining Moments: Time and Memory in Artist Books” dive into themes of time and memory. Thurs-Sat noon-6 p.m. through June 29 (June 2 reception 4-6 p.m.). Free. Brickbottom Gallery, 1 Fitchburg St., Somerville. 617-776-3410.

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And here’s to you, Joe, Vince, and Dom DiMaggio Since the 1870s, more than 350 sets of brothers have had major league baseball careers. One set was Vince, Joe, and Dom DiMaggio, the subject of Tom Clavin’s “The DiMaggios.” 7 p.m. Free. Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline. 617-566-6660.


Beasty boy The Beast has to learn to love and be loved in order to break the curse that turned him from a good-looking prince into his unattractive self. Enter Belle and you have “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” with an Oscar-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice. May 31 at 7:30 p.m. (through June 2). $41-$68. Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset St., Providence, R.I. 401-421-2787.


Go on in You can’t visit all 32 properties at Historic New England’s Open House, but study the list and establish your itinerary. Massachusetts venues include the Josiah Quincy House in Quincy, the Lyman Estate in Waltham, and the Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House in Gloucester. June 1 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 617-227-3956.