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    Boston-area to do list

    1st Century C.E., Mosaic (stone and glass tesserae, mortar. Gift of the Committee of Excavation, Antioch and Vicinity.
    Rinceaux and Meander
    1st Century C.E., Mosaic (stone and glass tesserae, mortar. Gift of the Committee of Excavation, Antioch and Vicinity.


    Haste makes waste

    Roman emperor Augustus liked the adage “festina lente,” which means to “make haste slowly.” It’s the concept behind the new exhibit at the Davis Museum, “Festina lente: Conserving Antiquity.” The show features a behind-the-scenes look at standing figures, portraits, mosaics, coins, jewelry, and more from the museum’s permanent collections of Greek and Roman art, displayed with a focus on collection, conservation, and stewardship. Jan. 30-July 7. Tues-Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed until 8 p.m. Sun noon-4 p.m. Free. Wellesley College, Davis Museum,
    106 Central St., Wellesley. 781-283-2051,


    Smash it up “Smash,” the title track of the new recording by jazz vocalist/pianist/composer Patricia Barber, is about something most of us can relate to: the end of a relationship. Barber says, “. . . the sound of a heart breaking should be the loudest, screamiest, shriek­iest combination of sounds there could be.” Hear her sounds at the Regattabar. Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. $25. Regattabar, Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge. 617-661-5000,

    On the levels If you’ve been inside the Porter Square T station, maybe you’ve wondered about the bronze gloves there. The sculptures are part of an installation by Wales-born, Cambridge-based artist Mags Harries. In the new exhibit “Levels” she explores the concept of level in sculpture, video, installation, and drawing. Jan. 30-March 3. Wed-Sun, noon-6 p.m. Reception Feb. 1, 5-8 p.m. Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Ave., Boston. 617-482-7781,


    Table talk Ceramics from ancient Iran are the topic for a lecture celebrating the opening of “In Harmony: The Norma Jean Calderwood Collection of Islamic Art.” Oya Pancaroglu of Turkey’s Bogazici University discusses “Tables and Other Social Settings in 9th-11th Century Eastern Iran.” A reception follows. Jan. 30, 6-8 p.m. Free. Exhibit Jan. 31-June 1. Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway, Cambridge.


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    World according to Irving The novelist who brought you “The World According to Garp” and “The Cider House Rules” (among others) is back with more quirky characters. “In One Person” tells the story of a bisexual man navigating the world, his sexuality, and his crush on a transgender librarian. John Irving discusses the book at a Kennedy Library Forum with novelist Tom Perrotta. Jan. 31, 6-7:30 p.m. Free. JFK Library, Stephen Smith Hall, Columbia Point, Boston. 617-514-1643,

    Through the roof It’s a little chilly for front porch music, but you can still hear PorchFest bands at Raising the Nave Porch Roof. The event will raise money to fix up the new Nave Gallery Annex porch so it can be the site of future outdoor gigs. Performers include Cargo Cult, Litehouse, Dirty Water Brass Band, and Dust Clouds of Mars. Jan. 31, 8 p.m. $10. PA’s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave., Somerville. 617-776-1557,

    Piano players Fans of the piano will be interested in the next show in the New Gallery Concert Series. PianosPlus features four pianists (Sarah Bob, Marti Epstein, Ellen Mandel, and John McDonald), baritone Daniel Neer, and multimedia work by Chelsea Revelle in work by Justin Barish, Epstein, Mandel, McDonald, and Randall Woolf. Jan. 31, 7 p.m. $20, $15 students, seniors, kids. Community Music Center, 34 Warren Ave., Boston.