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    Week ahead: Music, theater, art, nightlife, and more

    Rick Diamond/Getty Images/file 2011
    Ben Sollee.

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    Pop & Rock

    QUANTIC Will Holland, the English musician, DJ, and producer who goes by the stage name Quantic, has a mission on his new tour. He’s saluting the short-but-sweet magic of the 45 rpm vinyl single, with a show that relies heavily on such records, along with globetrotting songs drawn from his 18 studio albums. March 19, 9 p.m. Tickets: $13. Brighton Music Hall. 800-745-3000,

    PERFUME GENIUS On last year’s “Too Bright,” singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas finally bared the fangs that have lurked in his songs since emerging with 2010’s “Learning.” His latest featured fuller production to reveal the brawn and rage of songs such as “Queen” (“No family is safe/ When I sashay,” Hadreas sneered). With Jenny Hval, another artist of uncompromising emotion, in the opening slot. March 20, 9 p.m. Tickets: $17, $15 in advance. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 800-745-3000,


    FIREKING Consider those sirens that lead off the opening track of Fireking’s new double album a fair warning. “Double Trouble,” the Boston-based band’s new release (and only its second in nearly 15 years), is cocked and loaded with 22 tracks of glam-rock goodies and Cheap Trick-esque power chords. To celebrate the album’s release, Fireking joins a stellar lineup of fellow power-pop enthusiasts including John Powhida, Andy Pratt, the Thigh Scrapers, and Pop Gun. March 20, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10-$12. Church. 617-236-7600,

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    NEIL DIAMOND He has pared down his aesthetic on recent albums, including October’s introspective “Melody Road,” but rest assured that Diamond the showman is alive and well in concert. His shows are a testament to the power of singalongs, drawing on a deep catalog of hits. And yes, he will do an endless version of “Sweet Caroline” to celebrate that song’s popularity around here. March 23, 8 p.m. Tickets: $61.50-$146.50. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,


    Folk & World


    Appearing as part of the Stave Sessions, a weeklong festival animated by the principle of "listening outside the lines," classically trained cellist Ben Sollee should be a perfect fit with his projection of that background into folk, country, and other popular realms. The Becca Stevens Band also performs. March 19, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $20-$35. 160 Massachusetts Ave. (Berklee College of Music). 617-482-6661. STUART MUNRO

    DAVE ALVIN AND PHIL ALVIN Their show here last July was a red-hot rendition of their distinctive brew of American music, and Dave and Phil Alvin are apparently getting along so well that they're bringing their brother act around for a second time in less than a year. Rising SoCal roots band the Far West opens. March 21, 9 p.m. Tickets: $25. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 800-745-3000.

    GHAZAL Kamancheh (spike fiddle) player Kayhan Kalhor, sitar master Shujaat Hussain Khan, and tabla player Swapan Chauduri return to the US for the first time in 10 years with the meeting and melding of Persian and Indian classical musical traditions that they call Ghazal. March 21, 8 p.m. Tickets: $28-$37. Berklee Performance Center. 617-876-4275.


    PENNY & SPARROW Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke started playing music together in 2011 when they were college roommates in Austin, and they haven't stopped since, even returning (with their wives) to sharing quarters in the time leading up to recording their most recent album. They perform their Bon Iver-influenced, vocally driven, singer-songwriter folk Saturday evening. March 21, 8 p.m. Tickets: $12. Red Room at Café 939. 617-747-2262.


    Jazz & Blues

    JOEY CALDERAZZO TRIO The melody-centric pianist served with the late Michael Brecker before manning his current berth aboard Branford Marsalis’s band. His engaging new disc, “Going Home,” finds him exploring the jazz piano lineage with his working trio — bassist Orlande le Fleming and drummer Adam Cruz — who will accompany him. March 19, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. Scullers. 866-777-8932,

    THE YOKO MIWA TRIO Born in Kobe, Japan, the classically trained pianist (her teacher was Makoto Ozone’s father) won a Berklee scholarship and later joined its faculty. Her direct and elegant playing and composing have won widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences. March 21, 8 p.m. Tickets: $10-$20. Highland Jazz at Newton South High School, 140 Brandeis Road, Newton Centre. 781-237-1917,

    JOHN O’NEIL, CAROL O’SHAUGNESSEY & JAN PETERS: WE’RE STILL HERE Three powerhouse cabaret performers, area favorites all, reunite for the first time in 17 years for an evening of song, story, and laughter. March 20, 8 p.m. and March 22, 3 p.m. Tickets: $20-$25. Club Café, 209 Columbus Ave., Boston. 617-536-0966,


    KYLE NASSAR The Harvard- and Berklee-educated tenor saxophonist, a New Bedford native, celebrates his impressive debut album, “Restive Soul.” The disc features cerebral, playful, and impressionistic compositions that inspire searching improvisations by the leader and guitarist Jeff Miles, pianist Dov Manski, and bassist Chris Van Voorst, who will all perform at this gig, plus drummer Jonathan Pinson. March 25, 8 p.m. No cover. The Beat Hotel, 13 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-499-0001,



    BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The distinguished German conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi leads an all-Mozart program devoted to the Symphonies Nos. 39-41. March 19-21, 6 p.m., Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,

    STAVE SESSIONS The Celebrity Series is branching out with a new annual series showcasing prominent voices on today’s alt-classical scene, performing at a Berklee club-style venue. This weekend features the omnivorous string quartet Brooklyn Rider (Friday), and the versatile Third Coast Percussion (Saturday). 160 Mass Ave., 617-482-6661,

    CHORAL MUSIC Under Ryan Turner’s direction, Emmanuel Music performs Bach’s “St. John Passion” with Matthew Anderson as the Evangelist and Dana Whiteside in the role of Jesus (March 21, 8 p.m., Emanuel Church,; and David Hoose leads the Cantata Singers in Mozart’s Mass in C minor alongside Beethoven’s “Elegiac Song” and Haydn’s Symphony No. 86 (March 20, 8 p.m., Jordan Hall,

    SOUND ICON This ambitious new music group offers selections from “Les Espaces Acoustiques” by the spectralist master Gérard Grisey, with violist Mark Berger. March 21, 8 p.m., Brandeis University’s Slosberg Recital Hall,



    MUSE & MORROS With a social conscience and a heart, this fast-moving production by Latino-Chicano troupe Culture Clash reclaims the idea of multiculturalism from the realm of academic jargon, showing us what a truly United States might look like. The writing could be sharper, but its stars — Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas, and Herbert Siguenza — couldn’t be more inventive or appealing. Through March 29. ArtsEmerson, at Jackie Liebergott Black Box, Paramount Center, Boston. 617-824-8400,

    THE COLORED MUSEUM Uneven though it is, George C. Wolfe’s 1986 satire still packs a punch with its clever, creative, and incisive takes on the complexities and challenges of African-American identity, culture, and history. Billy Porter directs with brio, and his cast is immensely talented and versatile. Through April 5. Huntington Theatre Company, at BU Theatre, Boston. 617-266-0800,

    SHOCKHEADED PETER The New England premiere of this antic musical about the exceedingly grim fates met by misbehaving Victorian tykes wants to jolt and disorient you. It does. It also wants to entertain you, and it does that too. Under the ingenious direction of Steven Bogart, with a strong cast led by Alexandria King as the MC, a kind of tour guide from (and to) hell. Through April 4. Coproduction of Company One Theatre and Suffolk University. Modern Theatre at Suffolk University. 866-811-4111,

    GROUNDED Celeste Oliva brings a coiled, unpredictable intensity to her portrayal of a hard-edged fighter pilot who plunges into a psychological morass after she is reassigned to work as a military drone operator, dealing out remote-control death from thousands of miles away. Oliva’s riveting performance in George Brant’s solo drama adds a new dimension to her already stellar reputation. Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner. Through March 22. Nora Theatre Company, at Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 617-576-9278,

    COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA Director David Cromer, who won plaudits for his reimagined production of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,’’ returns to Boston to tackle another play by an American writer who is often underestimated and condescended to: William Inge. “Come Back, Little Sheba’’ is about the emotional upheaval that results when an unhappily married Midwestern couple, Doc and Lola Delaney, take in a female college student as a boarder. March 27-April 26. Huntington Theatre Company, at Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800,


    BIG FISH The 2013 Broadway musical based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel has been scaled down by its creators, John August and Andrew Lippa, and though the score and the lyrics remain pedestrian and sentimental, August’s book is pointed and poetic (he wrote the screenplay for the 2003 Tim Burton film), and SpeakEasy Stage offers an appealingly homespun production with an accomplished cast of 12 anchored by Steven Goldstein as tall-tale teller Edward Bloom and Aimee Doherty as Edward’s wife, Sandra. Through April 11. SpeakEasy Stage Company at Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,



    SHADES OF SOUND This adventurous Boston Ballet program features three wide-ranging ballets, including the company premieres of Balanchine’s “Episodes” (to music by Webern) and the comic “Black Cake” by Hans van Manen. The program also reprises Wayne McGregor’s edgy “Chroma,” set to music by Joby Talbot and The White Stripes. March 19-29, $29-$152. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955,

    GOLDEN DRAGON ACROBATS For sheer physical virtuosity, it’s hard to beat this internationally acclaimed Chinese troupe. World Music/CRASHarts presents the Boston premiere of “Cirque Ziva,” a new show blending traditional Chinese acrobatics with innovative modern movement, setting them within a surprisingly contemporary framework. March 21, 3 & 8 p.m., $30-$58. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-876-4275,

    CIRCADIAN RHYTHM Commonwealth Ballet Company, now in its 23d season, explores the rhythms of daily life through this program of new ballets. The concert features world premieres choreographed by Denise Pons, Joseph Jefferies, and the company’s artistic director, Chip Morris. March 20-21, $18-$20. Boston University Dance Theater.

    FREEDOM PROJECT This new multimedia project by Providence-based Everett Company melds athletic choreography with personal stories and theatrical imagery to challenge our country’s system of mass incarceration. The work’s material is drawn from both experiential reflections and extensive research, and if prior Everett productions are predictive, this should be a powerful show. March 20-April 12, $25 (Sundays are “Pay What You Can.”) Everett Stage, Providence, RI. 401-831-9479,




    Lianko’s “It’s About Roots.’’

    Idea of North

    There’s true north, an unwavering compass point, and then there’s north of here. Artists Marja Lianko, Nancy Winship Milliken, Lowrey Pei, and Vaughn Sills explore landscapes, sense of place, and ideals associated with harsh climes. Pictured: Lianko’s “It’s About Roots.’’ Through April 16. Room 83 Spring, 83 Spring St., Watertown. 781-894-3308,

    GUITAR HEROES: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM BEHIND THE SIX STRING This celebration of stage- and street-rock portraiture kicks off March 20 with a silent auction and concert benefitting the Community Music Center of Boston. Photographers include Ernest C. Withers and Ron Pownall. March 20-June 9. Panopticon Gallery, 502c Commonwealth Ave. 781-718-5777,

    SKIRTING IDENTITY: WOMEN AND WEAVING IN LAOS, THAILAND, AND MYANMAR In Southeast Asia, traditional textiles reveal layers of information about how society runs. These intricate fabrics, worn mostly by women, tell tales of marriage, birth, and bereavement. Through April 16. Trustman Art Gallery, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway. 617-521-2268,

    SOFT This group show, the first of two in Subsamson, Samson’s project space, disputes the presumption that fiber art is women’s work. Artists such as David Curcio, Andrew Mowbray, and Kirk Amaral Snow use textiles to investigate fashion, sexuality, and violence. Through March 28. Samson,
    450 Harrison Ave. 617-357-7177,



    THE CRITIQUE OF REASON: ROMANTIC ART 1760-1860 Art by European artists working in the vein of Romanticism. The large-scale exhibition, divided into eight thematic displays, is the first major collaboration between the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art (which is currently closed for renovations). Through July 26. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT. 203-432-0600,

    PARVIZ TANAVOLI The first US museum retrospective of the acclaimed Iranian sculptor, painter, printmaker, and poet, who is based in Tehran and Vancouver. Through June 7.
    Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley College, Wellesley. 781-283-2051,

    ROMAN IN THE PROVINCES: ART ON THE PERIPHERY OF EMPIREExamining interactions between Imperial Rome and local cultures in Gaul, Britain, Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere through a wide array of artifacts, many of them from Yale University excavations, and rarely displayed before. Through May 31. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. 617-552-8100,

    RAPHAEL: THE COWPER MADONNA A great Renaissance painting of the Madonna and Child by Raphael is on loan to Worcester from the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. It hangs in a small room beside the Worcester Art Museum’s own “Northbrook Madonna,” which came into the collection as a Raphael, but is now believed to be by another hand, or hands. Through
    Sept. 27. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester. 508-799-4406,




    ELLEN ALLIENMake It New, the weekly dance party booked by Mmmmaven and Basstown, presents the Berlin DJ, head of BPitch Control, and T-shirt designer. General Motor and Balti Moroder provide the opening set. March 19, 9 p.m. $20-$25. Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. 617-868-6739,

    DROWNScary bass music and deep dark dubstep are promised at the next installment of this monthly dance night. The lineup includes True Nature, Billy Brown, and Eddie Mungsta. March 21, 10:30 p.m. $10. 49 Social, 49 Temple Place, Boston. 617-338-9600,

    CAZZETTESofa King Fridays presents the cassette-headed Alexander Bjorklund and Sebastian Furrer. The Swedish duo’s recent tracks include “Sleepless” and “Blind Heart.” March 20, 10 p.m. $20. Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston. 617-338-7699,

    SANDER KLEINENBERGThe veteran DJ was just a teenager when he started in the business of house music more than 20 years ago. He’s still making hits, including last year’s “Can You Feel It” with R&B vocalist Gwen McCrae. March 21, 10 p.m. $12. Prime, 295 Franklin St., Boston. 617-338-1000,

    Milva DiDomizio


    HEATHER MCDONALD Closely associated with Chelsea Handler for writing and appearing on “Chelsea Lately” and opening for her on the road, McDonald has also established herself with a Showtime special and two popular humor books. March 19-20 at 8 p.m., March 21 at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. $20-$35. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844,

    GAYLE LIVE Chris Fleming continues to tour with his Gayle character, the power-mad suburban housewife at the center of the web series of the same name. March 20 at
    7 p.m. (sold out) and 10 p.m. $18. The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-876-6837,

    STEVEN WRIGHT Behind his world-class deadpan delivery, the Boston veteran comic’s hyperactive imagination produces perfectly absurd, short-form jokes. Wright is currently a producer on “Louie.” March 20 at 7:30 p.m. and March 21 at 7 p.m. $30-$40. The Wilbur Theatre. 866-448-7849,

    ARTISANAL COMEDYBethany Van Delft hosts a new edition of her stand-up showcase, featuring Dave McDonough, Tim McIntire, Obehi Janice, Lori Strauss, Nick Chambers, Kate Procyshyn, Sam Ike, and Christa Weiss. March 25, 8 p.m. $5. Savin Bar & Kitchen, 112 Savin Hill Ave., Dorchester. 617-288-7500,

    SUNDAY FUNDAY Tawanda Gona and Sam Jay work well together, and they are hosting this show featuring Wes Hazard, Guitler Raphael, Mike Mulloy, Dame FK, and Clark Jones, and what might turn out to be a recurring bit called “Komic Kombat.” March 22, 8 p.m.. $15-$20. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844,




    LETTERBOXING Kids of all ages can try their hands at letterboxing, an outdoor scavenger hunt that combines orienteering, puzzle solving, and art. Participants will scope out the hidden treasure after making their own letterboxes and learning about the pastime from Appalachian Mountain Club staff. March 21, 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Framingham Public Library,
    49 Lexington St., Framingham. 603-466-2727.

    NOWRUZ: THE PERSIAN NEW YEAR FESTIVAL Ring in the Persian New Year and celebrate the first day of spring at this family-friendly festival, where guests can learn about Nowruz traditions, explore Persian art and culture, enjoy musical and dance performances, and try Persian-inspired food. Children’s activities include a story hour, art-making and calligraphy projects, and a dance workshop with the local Iranian Dance Artists group. March 21, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Free with museum admission: $25 adults; $23 seniors and students (free for youth and members). Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300.

    ART DISCOVERY WORKSHOP Color is the theme of this Guild of Boston Artists’ class, where budding young artists can learn about the different ways that painters use color before picking up brushes to create their own masterpieces. Art supplies are provided. March 21, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Free. The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St. 617-536-7660.

    IMAGINATION MOVERS This Emmy-winning children’s music group celebrates their newest CD/DVD release, “Licensed to Move,” at this show, where flying toilet paper, smoking trash cans, and catchy pop-rock tunes are all part of the experience. March 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets: $25-$60. The Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St. 617-248-9700. ERYN CARLSON


    RESPOND CHILI COOK-OFF See if you can take the heat at this first annual competition, where guests can try recipes from local chefs vying for “Best Classic Chili,” “Most Creative Chili,” and “Crowd Favorite.” The event also includes prizes, a hot sauce challenge, and a cash bar. Proceeds from the event benefit RESPOND’s work to end domestic violence. March 19, 7-9 p.m. Tickets: $15. Cuisine en Locale, 156 Highland Ave., Somerville. 617-635-5996.

    PARADISE CITY ARTS FESTIVAL This weekend-long festival, in its 18th year, features the work of nearly 200 craft designers and fine artists. The juried show includes everything from furniture to fine art and sculpture to fashion and jewelry. March 20-22: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $13 adults; $11 seniors; free for children 12 and under ($16 for 3-day pass). Royal Plaza Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough. 508-303-1788.

    HARPOON HELPS CUPID SPLASH Take the plunge and show your love for Boston Harbor at this fifth annual fund-raising event, which benefits Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Better Beaches Program. After the plunge, enjoy Harpoon Brewery beer and burgers from Tasty Burger, and enter to win prizes including round-trip JetBlue airfare, Red Sox tickets and Harpoon gear. March 21 at noon. Registration donation: $20. BCYF Curley Community Center at M Street Beach, 1663 Columbia Road. 617-635-5104.

    SILENT(ISH) READING PARTY The Loring-Greenough House, an 18th-century Georgian mansion, is the perfect place for bibliophiles to curl up with a good book for JP Readers and Social Artist & Writers first-ever reading party. Guests can bring their own book or borrow copies of Madeline Miller’s “Song of Achilles,” JP Reads book selection for this year, while enjoying warm drinks and treats. March 22, 2-4 p.m. Free. Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St., Jamaica Plain. 617-524-3158.


    TOP PICKS: Mark your calendar

    March 31 Citizen Cope at Wilbur Theatre

    March 31-April 5The Mikado” at Oberon

    April 2-12 The 31st Annual LGBT Film Festival at the Museum of Fine Arts

    April 9 OK Go at House of Blues

    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
    Miranda Lambert

    April 10 Miranda Lambert (pictured) at DCU Center Worcester

    April 11 Celtic Thunder at Orpheum Theatre

    Marc Maron at Wilbur Theatre

    April 12 Matt and Kim at House of Blues

    Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea at Symphony Hall

    April 14 The Mountain Goats at House of Blues

    The Mowgli’s at Paradise Rock Club

    April 16-18 Hannibal Buress at Wilbur Theatre