fb-pixel Skip to main content

Things to do around Boston this weekend and beyond

From left: Eric D. Johnson, Anaïs Mitchell, and Josh Kaufman of Bonny Light Horseman, who play Berklee Performance Center Feb. 18.Nolan Knight


Pop & Rock

WILLOW Willow Smith has been a pop fixture for a decade-plus now, and her sustained wattage has been helped most by her ability to reimagine ideas of what “pop music” can be. Her latest single, “emo girl,” the collab with fellow shapeshifter Machine Gun Kelly, is a pogo-ready three-chord rager that wears its heart on the sleeve of its mid-’00s Paramore tee. She opens for kindred spirit Billie Eilish. Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m. TD Garden. 617-624-1000, tdgarden.com

MARINA The synth-pop auteur (f.k.a. Marina & the Diamonds, a.k.a. Marina Diamandis) presents her audacious, hook-studded 2021 album, “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land,” which showcases her formidable voice and wild songwriting on cuts like the frenzied “Venus Flytrap” and the spectral “Flowers.” Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. Orpheum Theatre. 617-482-0106, crossroadspresents.com


FOXY SHAZAM Hailing from Cincinnati, this glam-pop collective just released its seventh full-length, the brassy, grandiose “The Heart Behead You.” Feb. 23, 7 p.m. (doors). The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200, sinclaircambridge.com


Folk, World & Country

ANAÏS MITCHELL FEATURING BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN If you’re a fan of Anaïs Mitchell with and without the folk supergroup of which she is a part, you get the best of both worlds with this show: She and they will perform first, before she takes the stage to perform material from her solo catalog, including her new, self-titled album. Feb. 18, 8 p.m. $29-$70. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave. 617-482-2595, www.celebrityseries.org

JOHN PAUL WHITE/LERA LYNN White says he really wanted there to be a torch-song quality to the countrypolitan channelings on his last album, “The Hurting Kind.” Mission accomplished. Singer Lera Lynn, co-billed for Thursday’s show, is White’s equal at carrying a torch. Feb. 24, 8 p.m. $28-$40. City Winery, 80 Beverly St. 617-933-8047, www.citywinery.com/boston


HAILEY WHITTERS This rising Nashville singer, who moves comfortably in the country lane occupied by the likes of Brandy Clark and Lori McKenna, sang about where’s she’s been and what she’s chasing on her last record, “Living the Dream.” On her upcoming “Raised,” she looks further back, to where she came from. Feb. 24, 8 p.m. $20. Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave. www.livenation.com


Jazz & Blues

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA’S HERO TRIO The eminent altoist salutes his greatest influences, from Charlie Parker to Stevie Wonder, with longtime collaborators bassist François Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston. Feb 18, 8 p.m. $32-$40. Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville. www.globalartslive.org

BERKLEE LEGACY AWARD CONCERT Berklee celebrates four legendary artists: Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Joseph Douglass, and Carmen de Lavallade. Featuring acclaimed guest vocalist Jazzmeia Horn and Berklee faculty and students honoring Ellington and Vaughan, and faculty and students of Boston Conservatory at Berklee saluting concert violinist Douglass (grandson of Frederick) and dancing a tribute to de Lavallade, among the first African Americans to dance with the Metropolitan Opera. Feb. 24, 8 p.m. $15-$25. Berklee Performance Center. 617-747-2261, www.berklee.edu/BPC

MARCIA BALL The rollicking pianist and soulful singer-songwriter is a master of her native Lone Star State’s Gulf Coast blues and the New Orleans R&B of her youth. Feb. 24, 8 p.m. $33. Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan St., Fall River. 508-324-1926, www.narrowscenter.org; Feb. 25, 8 p.m. $30. The Center for Arts in Natick, 14 Summer St., Natick. 508-647-0097, www.natickarts.org




BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA This week at the BSO, the seemingly unstoppable nonagenarian maestro Herbert Blomstedt joins the orchestra for a Mozart piano concerto (featuring Martin Helmchen) and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, “Romantic.” (Feb. 19). Next week, music director Andris Nelsons returns to Symphony Hall with violinist Baiba Skride and soprano Anu Komsi in tow: program to feature Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Kaija Saariaho’s “Saarikoski Songs” (a BSO co-commission), and more. (Feb 24-26 and March 1; Feb. 25 Casual Friday omits the Saariaho.) Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200, www.bso.org

BOSTON MODERN ORCHESTRA PROJECT Dedicated to performing and recording 20th- and 21st-century music for the past 25 years, BMOP celebrates its silver anniversary with “Pulling Out all the Stops,” featuring organist Paul Jacobs putting the Symphony Hall organ through its paces. Music by Bach, Stephen Paulus, Messiaen, and Joseph Jongen. Free admission; tickets required. Feb. 18. 8 p.m. 781-324-0396, Symphony Hall. www.bmop.org

STILE ANTICO This sterling 12-person vocal ensemble from the United Kingdom charts a course from twilight to dawn with this program, featuring abundant sacred and secular music from Renaissance Europe. Feb. 18, 8 p.m. St. Paul Church, Cambridge. Virtual premiere March 4. www.bemf.org




PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS Marianna Bassham brings her gift for intensely individualized portraiture to the role of Emma, an actress who’s battling herself almost as much as her addiction to drugs and alcohol. While the to-and-through-rehab trajectory of Duncan Macmillan’s play is a much-traveled one, there’s a trenchancy to his writing, and director David R. Gammons keeps the emotional temperature high — and the coming-apart-at-the-seams vibe constant. Through March 5. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com


THE BLUEST EYE This profoundly moving production of Lydia R. Diamond’s play, adapted from Toni Morrison’s debut novel and skillfully directed by Awoye Timpo, will stay with you long after you see it. The title refers to a young Black girl named Pecola Breedlove (Hadar Busia-Singleton) who believes her life would be wonderful if she only had blue eyes. Pecola feels lost in the world at the very moment she should be finding her place in it, and the ache of that coming-of-age quandary is legible on Busia-Singleton’s face. The rest of the cast is equally strong; they make the stakes for each character wrenchingly clear at all times. Through March 26. Digital recording of performance available through April 9. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. Tickets for in-person and digital performances available at 617-266-0800 or www.huntingtontheatre.org

OCEAN FILIBUSTER After “Mr. Majority” (Jennifer Kidwell) introduces a bill within an august governing body to shrink the world’s oceans to a collection of inland seas, the Ocean itself (Kidwell again) enters the body’s chamber to argue on its own behalf. Featuring a six-member onstage choir, “Ocean Filibuster” was created by PearlDamour, which is the team of Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour. The script was written by D’Amour, with music by Sxip Shirey, and it is directed by Pearl. Feb. 24-March 13. American Repertory Theater. At Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.AmericanRepertoryTheater.org


YOUNG NERDS OF COLOR After more than 60 interviews with scientists of color about their challenges and dreams, playwright Melinda Lopez assembled their stories into a theater piece directed by Dawn M. Simmons, with original music by Nona Hendryx. Cast includes Kortney Adams, Karina Beleno Carney, Lindsey McWhorter, James Ricardo Milord, Daniel Rios Jr., and Alison Yueming Qu. Feb. 17-March 20. Digital version available for on-demand streaming from March 7-April 3. Underground Railway at Central Square Theater. The Brit d’Arbelloff Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. Tickets for in-person and digital performances at 617-576-9278 or www.CentralSquareTheater.org



SANKOFA DANZAFRO The renowned Colombian dance company returns with founder Rafael Palacios’s most recent work, “Accommodating Lie.” In this Celebrity Series of Boston presentation, seven dancers (with live drums, flute, marimba, and vocals) examine what it means to be of African descent, aiming to defy falsehoods and stereotypes in order to, as Palacios says, “reaffirm the need for self- representation of Afro-descendant communities.” Feb. 26-27, $20-$60. Boch Center Shubert Theatre. www.celebrityseries.org

DANCE NOW BOSTON Native son David Parker and his New York-based The Bang Group present a mini-festival of dance with two weekends of mixed programming anchored by excerpts from Parker’s irreverently clever and charmingly funny take on “Annie Get Your Gun.” The event also features pieces by Peter DiMuro, Kristin Wagner, and Aysha Upchurch, with the ever-delightful Davis Sisters as emcees. Feb. 19-27, $20-$100. Dance Complex, Cambridge. www.dancecomplex.org/dancenow

FESTIVAL BALLET PROVIDENCE The Rhode Island company’s popular Black Box Theatre series “Up Close on Hope” returns with a new program highlighted by world premieres by Boston Ballet principal dancer Paulo Arrais and Ballet Boy Productions founder Ja’ Malik. The concert also features classical selections and a reprise of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Returning Points.” Through Feb. 20, $50. Festival Ballet Providence Black Box Theatre, 825 Hope St., Providence. https://festivalballetprovidence.org

ORIGINATION The organization celebrates Black History Month with its annual production of “Our Story! Celebrating the African & African-American Experience Through Spoken Word, Dance & Music.” The multilayered production aims to take viewers on a journey through history, from before Africans were enslaved to the present day, shining a light on several Boston-based movers and shakers along the way. Feb. 19, $15 for virtual access, $25 in person. Roxbury Community College’s Main Stage Theater. www.originationinc.org


Visual Arts

NAPOLEON JONES-HENDERSON: I AM AS I AM — A MAN Jones-Henderson, a foundational member of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA) collective, has been based in Roxbury since 1974; since then, he has been a teacher, mentor, and pillar of community-based cultural initiatives. This survey of his broad-based oeuvre, spanning tapestry, mosaic, sculpture, and works on paper, takes in the artist’s lifelong project of shining light on the African diasporic experience, and the hard path to racial justice always with a mind to a hopeful future. Through July 24. Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

MARTIN PARR: TIME AND PLACE Parr, maybe best known for his pictures of British working-class holiday spots and the Brits who people them, treads an uncomfortable terrain that blurs lines between objectification, affection, and farce. He has been a towering figure in the field of street photography for decades, and this exhibition, with 135 pictures, is the first broad survey of his work in a US museum. Of special note are Parr’s pictures of Ireland over the past four decades, charting its rise from poor cousin to its British neighbor and adversary to economic powerhouse. Through June 5. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2101 Commonwealth Ave. 617-552-8587, www.bc.edu/sites/artmuseum

BARKLEY HENDRICKS: MY MECHANICAL SKETCHBOOK His graceful life-size painted portraits may be the work for which he’s known, but Hendricks had a less-seen parallel current to his art-making that used photography in surprising and innovative ways. When Hendricks called it a “mechanical sketchbook,” he was barely exaggerating; this exhibition collects dozens of his photographs in concert with paintings and drawings that show an active, creative mind rarely at rest. It’s just one part of a Hendricks renaissance — the Brooklyn Museum is working on mounting a major career retrospective right now — that the artist, sadly, did not live to see. He died in 2017 at 72 just, it seemed, as his career was getting started. Through July 24. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham. 781-736-3434, brandeis.edu/rose


BEYOND THE PAGE/2020-2022: PAINTINGS BY DANA CLANCY The Boston artist and director of Boston University’s School of Visual Arts took to painting on pages from the Sunday New York Times at Zoom meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Portraits of people in the meetings and fragments of their conversations capture the era: moments of personal but remote connection against the backdrop of a torrent of news. Through March 11. RSM Art Gallery, Bentley Library, Bentley University, 175 Forest St., Waltham. https://libguides.bentley.edu/artgallery

Dana Clancy, "Breaking News," Flashe, acrylic, ink, and gouache. RSM Gallery Bentley University LibraryJULIA FEATHERINGILL PHOTOGRAPHY




JIM NORTON There is a strange nihilistic warmth to Norton’s stage presence that goes with some of the dark and awful things he might discuss onstage, like serial killers and suicide. The joke almost always winds up back on himself, in brutal fashion, delivered with a smile that says, “Why am I like this?” Feb. 18, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. $32-$104. The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St. 617-248-9700, www.thewilbur.com

FRANK SANTORELLI “Trying to cut down on fat,” says Santorelli. “So now when I eat Häagen-Dazs, you know those pints? Take off the top. The ice cream stuck to the lid? Toss that. Gotta be 60 calories right there. Sometimes you’ve gotta just push yourself away.” With John David and Joe Espi. Feb. 18, 8 p.m. $20. Kowloon Komedy at Kowloon Restaurant, 948 Broadway (Route 1), Saugus. 781-233-0077, www.kowloonrestaurant.com

COMEDY AT THE GREATEST BAR Mike Linnehan kicks off this monthly show with a slate of stand-ups headlined by Demetrius “Big D” Hullum, with Juan Rosario, Michele Poole, Eoghan Gallivan, and Jon Moskowitz. Feb. 24, 7 p.m. $5-$10. The Greatest Bar, 262 Friend St. 617-367-0544, www.eventbrite.com



NATICK CHILDREN’S BUSINESS FAIR 2022 Does your child have a million dollar idea? Take them to the inaugural Natick Children’s Business Fair to compete against the brightest young minds in Massachusetts! Feb. 19, 3-6 p.m. Free. Natick Common, 13 Common St, Natick. childrensbusinessfair.org

DISNEY ON ICE Don’t miss this opportunity to see 50 of your favorite Disney characters don a pair of skates and hit the ice. Feb. 23-27, showtimes vary. Tickets start at $20. TD Garden, 101 Legends Way. disneyonice.com

BUGS BUNNY FILM FESTIVAL The Brattle Theatre is back with its annual celebration of Bugs Bunny on the big screen. Enjoy 35mm film screenings featuring Bugs himself, Daffy Duck, Taz, Tweety, and more. Through Feb. 27, showtimes vary. Tickets start at $12. Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge. brattlefilm.org