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Jimmy Ryan

PICK OF THE DAY

You gotta have heart

Leave it to a woman to make things right in “The Heart of Robin Hood.” When Robin Hood and his merry men get half of the English legend right (they rob the rich) and the other half wrong (they don’t share with the poor), Marion (Christina Bennett Lind, above) sets out to convert Hood. Connecticut-based Poor Old Shine performs its roots music. 7:30 p.m. (through Jan. 19). $25 and up. Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-547-8300. www.americanrepertorytheater.org

WEDNESDAY

You can go home again Thanks to “The Checkout: Live at Berklee” concert series, New York performers get to go back to the Berklee College of Music and strut their stuff. Patrick Cornelius and Friends showcases the alto sax skills and compositions of Cornelius whose recent release is “Infinite Blue.” 8 p.m. $10, $5 college students. The Red Room at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St., Boston. 617-747-6038. www.cafe939.com

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Youth is not wasted on these young Five years ago, New England Conservatory Jazz Studies Department chair Ken Schaphorst started the NEC Youth Jazz Orchestra to offer young musicians a chance to perform and learn. The middle and high school kids will be conducted by Schaphorst in a program of Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, Imogen Heap, Joe Henderson, Harold Arlen, Thad Jones, and others. 7:30 p.m. Free. Brown Hall, 290 Huntington Ave., Boston. 617-585-1260. www.necmusic.edu

Leadership hills to climb Leadership problems are nothing new under the sun for American forces, especially on a hot June day in 1775. In “Bunker Hill, A City A Siege, A Revolution,” Nathaniel Philbrick explores the problems for British and American forces during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Historian J.L. Bell talks with the author at “Bunker Hill and the Crisis of Leadership in Revolutionary America.” 7 p.m. Free. First Parish Church, 1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-495-2727. www.cambridgeforum.org

Madness and mess Hallie Ephron grew up surrounded by writers. The author’s parents, Henry and Phoebe Ephron, wrote the screenplays for “Desk Set” and “Carousel” and raised four daughters, Nora, Delia, Hallie, and Amy. Hallie will discuss her most recent book, “There Was an Old Woman,” a psychological suspense novel about a woman who returns home to find her mother’s house and more in quite a mess. 7 p.m. Free. Bestsellers Café, 24 High St., Medford. 781-391-7171. www.bestsellers-cafe.com

Heavy issues for a heavy king King Henry VIII and the Roman Church don’t see eye to eye in Shakespeare’s history play, “Henry VIII.” Director Tina Packer is at the helm for the Actors’ Shakespeare Project production about lust, religion, and politics. 7:30 p.m. (through Jan. 5). $28-$50. The Modern Theatreat Suffolk University, 525 Washington St., Boston. 866-811-4111. www.actorsshakespeare
project.org

THURSDAY

Widdle Wearth President Ulysses S. Grant was told to avoid reading the Harvard Lampoon magazine because he would be “in stitches” and unable to run the government. The folks at the humor magazine are at it again with “The Wobbit: A Parody” and a reading and Q&A two days before the release of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. Free. The Harvard Coop, 1400 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-499-2000. www.thecoop.com

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