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What’s happening in the arts world

James Ari Montford's "Two Black Indians in Space play ball" is part of "James Ari Montford: Indigenous Voice" at Howard Yezerski Gallery.
James Ari Montford's "Two Black Indians in Space play ball" is part of "James Ari Montford: Indigenous Voice" at Howard Yezerski Gallery.


Pop & Rock

ONCE VIRTUAL VENUE Somerville’s ONCE Ballroom may have been forced out of its physical Highland Avenue space for now, but it lives on online, and this weekend offers a formidable lineup; R&B chanteuse Ava Sophia, a standout from the 2020 617Sessions, unleashes new music (Feb. 26); band of sisters Circus Trees and introspective alt-rockers Dearbones share a bill (Feb. 27); and Sunday ends the shortest month with a goth threefer of Kiss of the Whip, Shanghai Beach, and Cushing. (Feb. 28). www.oncesomerville.com

NICKEL CREEK Having matured over 30+ years from whiz kid bluegrass pickers to consummate folk artists in their own right, this acoustic trio has a wealth of material to draw from in its livestream concert from Santa Barbara, Calif. Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m. www.nickelcreek.com




SPHINX + NEC: A CELEBRATION Four cellists represent four different cities. Each is a current or former New England Conservatory student as well as a champion of the annual competition hosted by the Sphinx Organization, the Detroit-based nonprofit dedicated to nurturing young Black and Latino classical musicians. The program features cello quartet arrangements of Stravinsky’s “Suite italienne” and the profound Lyric for Strings from George Walker’s String Quartet No. 1. Feb. 28, 7 p.m. https://necmusic.edu/events




JOHNNY LEE DAVENPORT FELLOWSHIP LAUNCH Johnny Lee Davenport, who died a year ago, was a magnificent actor who invariably brought a galvanic charge to his performances, whether it was the works of Shakespeare or contemporary plays like “Broke-ology,” “The Whipping Man,” “Bootycandy,” and “Vengeance Is the Lord’s.” After acting in the Chicago area for two decades, then becoming a member of Lenox’s Shakespeare & Company, Davenport started 15 years ago to regularly bring his talents to the Boston area, where he became a major presence. To honor his legacy, Davenport’s widow, Kelly Cook, along with his friends, have founded a nonprofit titled Beyond Classical Theatre that will create a fellowship for actors of color to receive training in classical acting. The launch event and fund-raiser will take place online Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. with a free, 40-minute retrospective of Davenport’s career, along with tributes and performances by actors, writers, and directors who worked with him. www.facebook.com/BeyondClassicalTheatre. Donations can be made at www.beyondclassicaltheatre.org/how-to-donate


SOLITAIRE SUITE Michael Lin, Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia, and Marty Mason star in the world premiere of Trent England’s thriller, described as “Twilight Zone meets Zoom.” While traveling through the countryside late at night, a mother, father, and their pre-teen son see a mysterious roadside object, setting in motion an “increasingly eerie and unsettling” sequence of events. The play underscores “the place of the unknown in our lives” and “the dangers of not listening to women,” according to press materials. Directed by Daniel Bourque. Presented online by Hub Theatre Company. To be performed live on Feb. 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. All tickets are “Pay-what-you-can.” Tickets and information at www.hubtheatreboston.org

PANDEMIC PLAYLIST Singer-actress Leigh Barrett conceived and stars in this one-hour streaming cabaret performance. Barrett will use “the art of song to navigate the highs and lows of the COVID era,” according to press materials. Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston. March 4-7. Available for free but with a suggested donation of $25. https://lyricstage.secure.force.com/ticket/#/




EMERGENCE Ipswich Moving Company joins The Orchestra on the Hill for this streamed event using new music, dance, visual art, poetry, and film to chart a journey through the creative process. Dancers Janet Taisey Craft, Danielle DiVito, and Tabitha Rodger contribute dances to new pieces by composers Thomas Palance and Chris Florio. Choreography by Brooklyn-based Annalisa Ledson is featured during the evening as well. Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m., Free. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/emergence-tickets-140855924863


Visual Arts

MADE IT: THE WOMEN WHO REVOLUTIONIZED FASHION Spanning 250 years and everything from haute couture to historical costuming to ready-to-wear, this show, made in partnership with Kunstmuseum den Haag in the Netherlands, highlights contributions made by women to the fashion world and, by default, the broader culture. Through March 14. Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-945-7500, www.pem.org


JAMES ARI MONTFORD: INDIGENOUS VOICE Montford, who has Black and Native American ancestry, is a darkly comic, philosophical, and righteous multimedia artist. Many works in his “Black Indians in Space” series depict astronauts wearing feathered headdresses out on spacewalks or juggling earthly orbs. Some read like Afro-futurist creation myths, but notions of trauma, colonialism, and the fragility of justice are never far off. Through March 20. Howard Yezerski Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave. 617-262-0550, www.howardyezerski.com




THE ZOOM ZOOM ROOM There are some Boston ties to this New York-based show, including Kristin Seltman, who cohosts with Jessica Rotondi, and Gary Petersen, who is on the bill with Shalewa Sharpe, Jonathan Ziegel, Jess Feeney, Christina Walkinshaw, and Shafi Hossain. Feb. 26, 8 p.m. Free. www.eventbrite.com


MARIA BAMFORD Online stand-up is morphing into a hybrid of prepared routines and an audience getting to hang out with their favorite comics. Bamford’s show will split them up, with an hour of comedy featuring herself and longtime opener Jackie Kashian and an hour of virtual socializing. Feb. 27, 9 p.m. $15. www.rushtix.com

THE COMEDY STUDIO The Somerville club’s online offerings now include two Thursday shows. “Comics Who Showered” is the early show, hosted by Peter Liu and this week featuring Liz Glazer, Marc O’Hara, Winston Hodges, Curt Seablom, and Tony Zavala. The later show, Ellen Sugarman’s “Wicked Good Comedy!,” has Pamela Ross, Mark Gallagher, and Kathe Farris. March 4, 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Free. www.thecomedystudio.com



MAPLE TAP-A-THON For Chestnut Hill Farm’s annual Maple Tap-A-Thon, a park ranger will show families how to identify and “tap” maple trees. Every family will go home knowing the history of tapping, how to tap their own maple trees, and how to make homemade maple syrup. Feb. 27, 10 a.m. $12-$25. https://thetrustees.org/event/59292/

NINJA FESTIVAL For a day filled with fire building, escrima throwing, wood carving, and foraging look no further than the February Umbrella Ninja Festival. A “Master Ninja Instructor” will take families through a series of survival skills and sculpture creations so participants can take home their newfound skill set and nature sculptures. Feb. 28, 1 p.m. $20-$30. https://theumbrellaarts.org/class/february-ninja-festival


WEIRD EATERS The Harvard Museum of Natural History is hosting a virtual meet and greet with some pretty weird eaters. Museum staffers will take participants closer to some of their live animals and explain their diets and eating habits. March 3, 3 p.m. Free. https://hmsc.harvard.edu/event/after-school-animal-encounters-weird-eaters