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What’s happening in the arts world

Tinashe performs at Big Night Live on Sept. 26.Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit


Pop & Rock

PRIMUS The oddball art-rockers pay homage to a fellow power trio, covering the 1977 Rush album “A Farewell To Kings” in its high-concept entirety. With Texas stoner-metal outfit the Sword. Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m. Leader Bank Pavilion. 617-728-1600,

FLUFFAPALOOZA Somerville’s 16th annual celebration of the homegrown marshmallow-creme marvel Fluff has a music festival component featuring local acts like the freewheeling trio Minibeast, the fuzzed-out folk-rocker Tory Silver, and the muscular alt-pop outfit Blindspot. Sept. 25, 1 p.m. ONCE x Boynton Yards, Somerville.

TINASHE The R&B singer and producer performs in support of her latest album, this year’s “333″; recorded at her home studio, it showcases Tinashe’s acrobatic voice on cuts like the intricate, heartbroken “Last Call” and the synth-spangled “Bouncin.” Sept. 26, 7 p.m. Big Night Live. 617-896-5222,



Folk & World

FRESHGRASS It took 11 years to get there, but FreshGrass celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. As ever, a bluegrass-and-more lineup is on offer; one of this year’s performers, Bela Fleck, has described what he does as “bluegrass and associated acoustic musics,” and that perfectly captures what the festival is about as well. This year’s artist-in-residence is Steep Canyon Rangers, who will premiere their festival-commissioned “The Bluegrass Concertos.” Sept. 24-26. $75-$95 (single days), $150 (three-day pass). Mass MoCA, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams. 413-662-2111,

SEAN MCCONNELL Sean McConnell makes an intense, incisive brand of roots music that finds room for frequent interpolations of soul and gospel strains, and he uses it on his latest release to ruminate on the ever-presence of both sides of the coin, as his title, ”A Horrible Beautiful Dream,” intimates. Sept. 27, 7 p.m. $15. Red Room at Café 939, 939 Boylston St. 857-337-6206,


ALEJANDRO FERNANDEZ Latin pop star Fernandez went all-in on his proposition that ranchero, mariachi, and other traditional Mexican music still matter on his 2020 album, “Hecho en Mexico,” devoting it entirely to those forms. He is currently touring in support of the record. Sept. 30, 8 p.m. $18.50-$98.50. Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Place.


Jazz & Blues

GREG LOUGHMAN’S RE:CONNECTION Mandorla Music presents a concert celebrating accomplished bassist and composer Loughman’s latest album, which muses on societal divisions and healing. With saxophonists Nick Brust and Andy Voelker, pianist Anastassiya Petrova, and drummer Ilya Blazh. Sept. 25, 7 p.m. $20. Virtuosity Instruments, 234 Huntington Ave.

COREY HARRIS A compelling singer-songwriter and acoustic guitar adept, Harris’s take on the blues incorporates influences from New Orleans, West Africa, and more. He’s won both a MacArthur grant and the W.C. Handy Award for best acoustic blues album of the year, and has played with everyone from Ali Farka Touré to Wilco. Sept. 28, 8 p.m. $25. Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492-7679,

BRAND X Co-founded in 1975 by legendary drummer Phil Collins and still featuring original guitarist John Goodsall, the iconic jazz/rock band explores territory overlapping with fellow fusioneers Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report. Featuring special guest guitarist André Cholmondeley of Frank Zappa repertory group Project/Object. Sept. 30, 7 p.m. $45-$55. Magic Room, 83 Morse St., Norwood.



JENNIFER KOH Violinist Jennifer Koh takes over the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum courtyard to perform Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin, in a musical “installation” that encourages visitors to wander the museum’s halls and galleries in between pieces. Free with museum admission. Sept. 26, 1:30 p.m. 617-566-1401,


BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA In the BSO’s first performance for a live Symphony Hall audience since March 2020, music director Andris Nelsons leads Beethoven’s “The Consecration of the House” Overture, the first piece ever performed by the orchestra in its 1881 debut, and Pops laureate conductor John Williams conducts the orchestra and soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter in the hometown debut of his own Violin Concerto No. 2. Symphony Hall. Sept. 30 & Oct. 2. 617-266-1200,

GUERILLA OPERA With “Ellis,” a new opera by composer Gabriele Vanoni and librettist Ewa Chrusciel, Guerilla Opera invites audiences to step inside true stories from historic immigration hub Ellis Island in an immersive multimedia production by director and video artist Laine Rettmer. Old South Meeting House, Oct. 2 & 3. 617-286-6307,

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 safety protocols, please consult each event’s website.




QUEENS GIRL IN THE WORLD A coming-of-age solo play by Caleen Sinnette Jennings that stars Jasmine M. Rush as Jacqueline Marie Butler, a Black teenager living in Queens in the 1960s. Against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, Jacqueline attends a progressive school in Greenwich Village where she is one of only a handful of Black students. Rush will portray more than a dozen characters. Directed by Dawn M. Simmons. Sept. 30-Oct. 31. Presented by The Nora@Central Square Theater, The Front Porch Arts Collective, and the Hangar Theatre. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 617-576-9278,


THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Nael Nacer’s extraordinary track record as an actor in Boston over the past decade, combined with that of Igor Golyak as a director during roughly the same time period, make this a production to look forward to. With Golyak at the helm, Nacer will portray Shylock in a production whose cast will also include Gigi Watson as Portia, Jesse Hinson as Bassanio, and Dennis Trainor as Antonio. Sept. 23-Oct. 17. Actors’ Shakespeare Project. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-241-2200,

BE HERE NOW In this comedy by the gifted Deborah Zoe Laufer (“Out of Sterno,” “The Last Schwartz”), Samantha Richert portrays a nihilistic academic named Bari whose worldview is challenged after she experiences seizures that lead to a personality transformation. Also featuring the always-welcome Barlow Adamson, Shani Farrell, and Katherine C. Shaver. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Sept. 24-Oct. 17. Lyric Stage Company of Boston., 617-585-5678

HURRICANE DIANE None too happy about climate change, the Greek god Dionysus returns in the guise of a lesbian landscape gardener from Vermont, demanding that humanity shape up and heal the wounded planet. Portrayed with assurance by Rami Margron, Diane begins her search for acolytes with four women (note-perfect performances by Esme Allen, Marianna Bassham, Kris Sidberry, and Jennifer Bubriski) who are friends and neighbors in a New Jersey suburb. On a couple of levels, Madeleine George’s incisively smart and boisterously funny environmental parable is the play we need right now. Directed by Jenny Koons. Through Sept. 26. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800,




DANCE FOR WORLD COMMUNITY FESTIVAL Titled “Re-Emergence,” this free, family-friendly event unofficially kicks off the fall live dance season, with outdoor performances involving more than 70 dance troupes. Four stages centered on the Harvard Square home of presenter José Mateo Ballet Theatre will showcase dance styles ranging from ballet to African dance, with opportunities for sampling mini-classes, food, crafts, vendors, and a stroll down “Advocacy Way” to see how dance can intersect with social and environmental concerns. Sept. 25, 12-6 p.m., plus 6-8 p.m. dance party. 1151 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.

AYODELE CASEL: CHASING MAGIC The firebrand tap dancer unites a talented ensemble of dancers and musicians for an exuberant production that celebrates human connection, collaboration, trust, and gratitude while acknowledging both the past and the present. Though the show premiered virtually in April, these Boston appearances mark the first opportunity to experience it in person. Presented by American Repertory Theater. Sept. 25-Oct. 9, $25 and up. Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge.


Visual Arts

TITIAN: WOMEN, MYTH AND POWER After a protracted trip across the pond, “The Rape of Europa” is home, and it’s brought company. The Gardner Museum’s keystone masterwork, the last of Titian’s “poesie” paintings, was made for King Philip II of Spain in the mid-16th century. The painting has been on tour — to the National Gallery in London and the Museo del Prado in Madrid — with its five poesie compatriots for more than two years, a drawn-out absence due to the pandemic. The Gardner is now hosting what’s likely the event of the year for American fans of Renaissance art: the reunification of the poesie paintings for the first time in more than 400 years. And the Gardner is the only American venue to host it. Through Jan. 2, 2022. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. 617-566-1401,

IN AMERICAN WATERS In American art, few subjects transcend the boundaries of era, culture, and history like the perpetual indifference of the sea. A byway of global commerce and colonialism, a dividing line between old and new worlds, and a well of dark mystery, the inscrutability of oceans has always inspired and continues to generate powerful work by a gamut of artists. A brief roll call for this exhibition bears that out: Georgia O’Keeffe, Amy Sherald, Hale Woodruff, Paul Cadmus, Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, Valerie Hegarty, and Stuart Davis. Through Oct. 3. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 978-745-9500,

MEL KENDRICK: SEEING THINGS IN THINGS The sculptor Mel Kendrick has a noncommittal way of naming his pieces: “Sculpture No. 2,″ for example, or “Black Dots,” and a good many “untitled.” Where he is committed is in their making — he displays a robust and obvious zeal. On view at the Addison Gallery of American Art are dozens of his works made since 1982, from cobbled-together tabletop pieces to huge carvings of cast concrete, each of them with beguiling personality traits all their own. Through Oct. 3. The Addison Gallery of American Art , 180 Main St., Andover. 978-749-4000,


BENDING LINES: MAPS AND DATA FROM DISTORTION TO DECEPTION It’s easy to look at charts and maps as straightforward representations of reality. But they can reflect the world views of their makers, or be shaped to sway public opinion. This exhibition, spanning centuries, examines maps rife with outdated knowledge, maps that poke fun, maps made to sell products, and maps with political intent. Through Feb. 18. Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.


Serio-Comic War MapMap reproduction courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library.



FORTUNE FEIMSTER When someone wants to make their project funnier, they hire Feimster. She’s done TV, from “The Simpsons” to “Kenan,” movies like “Babs and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” and co-hosts “What A Joke” with Tom Papa on SiriusXM. Early shows are close to sold out. With opener Matteo Lane. Sept. 24 at 7:30 and 10 p.m., Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. $32-$37. The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St. 617-248-9700,

AL PARK Boston comic Park has a goatee, but he wishes he could grow a beard. “A beard is manly,” he says. “You see a beard and you’re like, this guy probably chops his own wood. You see a goatee and you’re more like, I bet this guy does magic.” Sept. 24-25, 8 p.m. $20. Nick’s Comedy Stop, 100 Warrenton St.

WE DID IT! WEDNESDAYS The North End improv house has been doing its mainstage show free on Wednesdays as a thank you to its fans, but that’s ending when the month is over. Sept. 29, 8 p.m. Free. Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St. 617-263-6887,



ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL As the leaves change, celebrate at this festival with activities like tractor riding, making a spooky mask, or racing in the potato spoon relay. Musicians from Peter Mundt to the Mood Swings Orchestra, an all-women 19-piece big band, will provide live music for participants. The Weir River Farm Market is open to purchase local goods and offerings, such as meats, cheeses, jams, and produce. Sep. 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $9 adult member, $6 child member, $15 nonmember adult, $10 nonmember child. Weir River Farm, 140 Turkey Hill Lane, Hingham.

KIDS MUSICFEST This year’s theme is “Kindness is Contagious!” Families will get to listen to the musical stylings of Ben Rudnick & Friends, Wayne from Maine, and Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys. Ticket prices include performances and activities, such as a slip and slide and arts and crafts. Food is available for purchase. Sep. 26, noon-4 p.m. $10 per person, under 2 free. Nara Park Amphitheater, 25 Ledgerock Way, Acton.

MOVIE NIGHT: “BLACK PANTHER” Come join a movie night under the stars to see “Black Panther” and celebrate Wakanda forever. Chairs, blankets, and popcorn will be provided. Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear facial coverings, but may do so if they wish. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear facial coverings when they cannot maintain three feet of distance. Sep. 29, 6-9 p.m. Free. Kendall/MIT Open Space, 292 Main Street, Cambridge.