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What’s happening in the arts world

"Poires dans une assiette blanche (Pears on a White Plate)" is part of "Cézanne: Influence" at the Museum of Fine Arts through Oct. 17.© Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images; Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Pop & Rock

THE FUNK SESSIONS: MJ VS STEVIE Stay up late to catch this tribute to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder with proceeds to benefit the Boulder supermarket shooting victims and their families, featuring one-half of Boston-grown funk outfit Lettuce. April 17, 11:59 p.m. Stream on Mandolin.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS Mountain Goats mastermind John Darnielle and a full band are back in the studio for a second round of Jordan Lake Sessions virtual concerts, with songs spanning the band’s multi-decade catalog. April 18 and 19. Stream on Noonchorus.



HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY The big-ticket item on this concert is the world premiere of bass-baritone and composer Jonathan Woody’s Suite for String Orchestra, inspired by the works of Charles Ignatius Sancho — an 18th-century composer who was also the first Black man to vote in a British election. The program also includes music by Geminiani, Handel, and Wassenaer. April 18 and 20, www.handelandhaydn.org





ARTISTS AND ANCESTORS Written and directed by Sally Cragin, this original production will be presented outdoors and will depict “a variety of personages who lived in Fitchburg in the 19th and 20th century who were instrumental in establishing arts and culture’' in that central Massachusetts city, according to press materials. Stratton Players. April 17-18. Free, but reservations are required. www.strattonplayers.com

HYPE MAN: A BREAK BEAT PLAY The issues of racial injustice at the heart of “Hype Man” remain wrenchingly current, intensifying the impact of this superb new streaming version of Idris Goodwin’s play. Directed with imaginative artistry by John Oluwole ADEkoje and Shawn LaCount, the production is powered by knockout performances from the original cast of Kadahj Bennett, Rachel Cognata, and Michael Knowlton as members of a rising hip-hop trio rocked by the police shooting of an unarmed Black youth. Company One Theatre and American Repertory Theater. Tickets $25. Streaming through May 6. www.americanrepertorytheater.org or 617-547-8300


UNVEILED A digital presentation of a solo performance piece, written and performed by Rohina Malik and originally presented locally in 2018, in which five Muslim women recount their experiences of bigotry in post-9/11 America. Presented by New Repertory Theatre. Through April 18. Tickets $25. www.newrep.org/productions/unveiled-digital

BOSTON THEATER MARATHON XXIII: SPECIAL ZOOM EDITION Taking place online for the second year in a row due to the pandemic, this annual event will showcase 50 ten-minute plays, all written by New England playwrights and presented by New England theater companies. The readings take place at noon Mondays through Saturdays, with one play per day, and there is a question-and-answer session after each reading. Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Through May 28. Free, but audiences are “encouraged to donate to participating theatre companies and/or to the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund,” according to BPT. www.bostonplaywrights.org



MOTION STATE DANCE FILM SERIES Through a partnership with New Bedford’s Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, Motion State Arts presents a free virtual evening of dance films from around the world, including contemporary works from Israel, Iceland, and Estonia. A post-screening chat with Motion State Arts’s Ali Kenner Brodsky and Andy Russ, plus select guest artists. April 21, 7 p.m., free. www.motionstatearts.org

THE FUTURE DANCE FESTIVAL Seven top-notch panelists, including Kyle Abraham and Janet Eilber, combed through 185 submissions to pick out some of the most promising emerging choreographers creating today. Two upcoming online showcases presented by the 92nd Street Y — April 16-18 and April 23-25 — highlight new work by 14 talented up-and-comers, with choreographer interviews offering a glimpse into the creative process. $12 per weekend. www.92y.org



Visual Arts

PAUL CÉZANNE: INFLUENCE Last year’s “Cézanne: In and Out of Time” examined the artist in the context of his contemporary peers. The MFA’s second incisive mini-survey of the artist’s work puts him on a continuum of before and after, with Cézanne at the center. Through Oct. 17. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org


SILVER LININGS: PAINTINGS, PROCESS, AND POETRY A call and response began in the early days of COVID-19. Painter Katy Schneider started making small paintings of objects in her home. She emailed the images to poet Jim Armenti, who used them as prompts for verses. This show, which features more than 400 paintings and several poems, explores the spaces art opens up, even in confinement. Through May 13. Concord Center for the Visual Arts, 37 Lexington Road, Concord. 978-369-2578, www.concordart.org




MIKE BIRBIGLIA: PIZZA PARTY ENCORE Last month’s “Pizza Party” themed shows — literally comedy about pizza — worked out so well Birbiglia is doing it again for this month’s installment of his “Working It Out Worldwide” series for the virtual Nowhere Comedy Club. Birbiglia’s multi-camera setup, with a desk, a bulletin board, and a stand-up mic, is a unique and impressive online comedy experience. April 16-17, 9 p.m. $25. www.nowherecomedyclub.com


ORLANDO BAXTER In his 2020 Dry Bar Comedy special, the Worcester native related an experience in which a store clerk told him she didn’t think Black people needed sunblock. “I said, ‘Ma’am, I don’t know where you get your information from, but just ‘cause we’re darker than you doesn’t mean our skin’s made out of solar panels. You think Black people go to the beach all day to charge up?” Chris Tabb hosts, Chris Post features. April 17, 8 p.m. $25. The Comedy Scene, 200 Patriot Place, Foxborough. 508-203-2200, www.thecomedyscene.club

SLUMBER PARTY: A BENEFIT FOR THE L.A. DOWNTOWN WOMEN’S CENTER Maria Bamford is taking advantage of the online platform to stage a truly strange broadcast. She will perform an hour set and do a Q&A with her audience, the standard for a Rushtix show. Then she will go though her evening routine and sleep through the night with the camera on (sort of like Andy Kaufman’s old sleeping bag bit, but for real). April 17, 11 p.m. $10. www.rushtix.com



SOAR INTO SPRING This spring vacation week, the USS Constitution Museum is inviting families to soar in (or join them online) for a series of eagle-themed events. Get ready for a live virtual encounter with a bald eagle, a windsock crafting event, a bird-themed scavenger hunt, and more. April 17-25, 10 a.m., Free. ussconstitutionmuseum.org


BABY ANIMALS AT HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE From the Hancock Shaker Village comes an overload of cuteness: piglets, lambs, calves, and chicks are the newest additions. And with preordered tickets, masks, and a pledge to remain a cow’s-length apart, families can meet the cuties. Private tours and Zoom school field trips are also available. April 17-May 9, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., $8-$20, hancockshakervillage.org

EARTH WEEK STORY TIME — LIVE! The Harvard Museum of Natural History invites young earthlings and their guardians to celebrate the planet through stories. Volunteer Coordinator Carol Carlson will conduct a live reading of “Carl and the Meaning of Life” by Deborah Freedman and “Trees Make Perfect Pets” by Paul Czajak and Cathy Gendron. April 19, 3:30 p.m. Free. hmsc.harvard.edu