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Things to do around Boston this weekend and beyond

Pianist Jason Moran will be featured in the NEC Jazz Orchestra's celebration of the music of Jaki Byard on March 3.Richard Termine/New York Times/file


Pop & Rock

ILLUMINATI HOTTIES Multi-hyphenate Sarah Tudzin leads this ferocious Los Angeles punk outfit, whose most recent album, “Let Me Do One More,” is bratty and vulnerable, catchy and caustic, and riddled with other thrilling contradictions; songs like the bubblegummy “MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA” and the sneering “Joni: LA’s No. 1 Health Goth” are pit-ready parties, while the gauzy “Protector” shows off Tudzin’s softer side. Feb. 25, 8 p.m. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200,

PATRICK DRONEY “State of the Heart,” this singer-songwriter’s 2021 major-label debut, showcases his muscular voice over music that blends arena-rock ambition with Nashville-honed songcraft. March 1, 8 p.m. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200,


HOTEL FICTION This Athens, Ga.-formed duo makes piano-driven, harmony-rich pop with an appealingly loose-limbed vibe. They open for the California posi-rock quartet Próxima Parada. March 3, 7 p.m. Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge. 617-864-3278,


Folk, World & Country

TALISK Scottish trad-folk trio Talisk came into being in 2014 and quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with. With the drive that they put in their music, this sit-down venue may see some dancing break out. March 2, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $25. Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492-7679,

SUSAN CATTANEO The tenor of local singer-songwriter Susan Cattaneo’s new album, “All Is Quiet,” is captured perfectly by its title, and with the help of the twinned guitars of Duke Levine and Kevin Barry she wraps its lyrical reflections in a musical blanket of shimmering beauty. She celebrates the new release with Thursday’s show. March 3, 7 p.m. $18. The Burren, 247 Elm St., Somerville. 617-776-6896,

PUNCH BROTHERS Chris Thile and company arrive fresh off the release of their record “Hell on Church Street.” The album is a “conversation with a conversation,” an homage to bluegrass titan Tony Rice via a recapitulation of the songs he covered on his solo album, “Church Street Blues.” The fine Pacific Northwest folk singer Haley Heynderickx opens. March 3, 7:30 p.m. $28-$48. Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Place.



Jazz & Blues

ROOMFUL OF BLUES The long-running octet, currently led by guitarist Chris Vachon and featuring powerhouse vocalist Phil Pemberton, has changed personnel over the years but has hewed to its mission: keeping the jump blues of the mid-20th century alive and kicking. Feb. 26, 8 p.m. $45-$75. The Music Room, 541 Main St., West Yarmouth. 508-694-6125,

REVOLUTIONARY SNAKE ENSEMBLE MARDI GRAS PARTY Boston’s own New Orleans-inspired brass band, known for funky beats and electrifying improvisations, revives its annual “Fat Tuesday” fête, with singer and Big Easy native Henri Smith and other special guests. March 1, 8 p.m. $22-$25. Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville.

THE MUSIC OF JAKI BYARD The NEC Jazz Orchestra celebrates the centennial of the Worcester-born composer and arranger whose pianistics were a key component of Charles Mingus’s 1960s sound, focusing on his big band repertoire and his NEC connections. Featuring one-time Byard student and renowned pianist Jason Moran, and the world premiere of Carl Atkins’s two-movement tribute to Byard. March 3, 7:30 p.m. Free, tickets required. NEC’s Jordan Hall. 617-585-1260,


Andris Nelsons (pictured leading the BSO in September) returns to the Symphony Hall stage this week with music from the northlands of Europe.Aram Boghosian


BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Music director Andris Nelsons returns to the Symphony Hall stage this week with music from the northlands of Europe (Estonia, Finland, and Russia), featuring soloists Baiba Skride in Shostakovich’s wrenching Violin Concerto No. 1 and soprano Anu Komsi in the world premiere of the orchestral version of Kaija Saariaho’s “Saarikoski Songs” (Feb. 26, March 1). Next week, violinist Leonidas Kavakos joins the orchestra for the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Violin Concerto No. 2 on a program that includes Ives’s “The Unanswered Question” and Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique” (March 3-5). Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,


BOSTON LANDMARKS ORCHESTRA A rare winter concert by Boston’s summer orchestra runs with the theme of cultural collaboration, including music by Bach, William Grant Still, Fela Sowande, Reena Esmail, and more. As always with Landmarks, it’s free, though registration via Eventbrite is required. Feb. 26, 7 p.m., Hibernian Hall; Feb. 27, 5 p.m., Bethel AME, Jamaica Plain.

NEW ENGLAND PHILHARMONIC This year’s music director search continues with a concert led by finalist Nicholas DeMaison, including Boston premieres by George Tsontakis and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Music by Jonathan Bailey Holland and Sibelius rounds out the program. Feb. 26, 8 p.m. Tsai Performance Center, Boston University. 855-463-7445,




PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS Marianna Bassham brings her all-in commitment and her gift for intensely individualized portraiture to the role of Emma, an actress battling herself nearly 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 Macmillan’s writing. 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,


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. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. Digital recording of performance available through April 9. Tickets for in-person and digital performances at 617-266-0800 or

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,


THE BOOK OF WILL In this comedy by the endlessly prolific Lauren Gunderson (”The Half-Life of Marie Curie,” “Silent Sky”), one of the most produced playwrights in the country, Shakespeare’s company of actors bands together after his death to preserve his plays. Featuring Ed Hoopman, Joshua Wolf Coleman, Will McGarrahan, Shani Farrell, Sarah Newhouse, Scot Colford, Grace Experience, Lewis D. Wheeler, Hector Toledo Jr., and Fred Sullivan Jr. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Feb. 25-March 27. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678,



CHOREOGRAPHER Boston Ballet continues its excellent series designed to elevate female choreographers with an intriguing, wide-ranging program of five world premieres. Participating choreographers include principal dancer Lia Cirio, Atlanta Ballet choreographer-in-residence Claudia Schreier, veteran modern dancer Melissa Toogood, visual artist Shantell Martin making her first dance, and superstar New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck, who is creating a brand new work for Boston Ballet. March 3-13. $39-$164. Citizens Bank Opera House.

Sankofa Danzafro will perform "Accommodating Lie."Elsie Management

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.

EMILY JOHNSON/CATALYST The choreographer shares her newest developing project, a work called “Being Future Being.” The work mines Indigenous experience and culture to explore the power of creation and features a sound score by Raven Chacon. Feb. 28. Free. Bowker Auditorium, UMass Amherst.


Visual Arts

EACH/OTHER: MARIE WATT AND CANNUPA HANSKA LUGER Watt and Luger are two Indigenous artists whose work runs the gamut from sculpture to installation, performance to video, and across media including ceramic, wood, fabric, photography, and oil drums (to name a few). They nonetheless have a binding sensibility: collaboration and community. The 26 works in this exhibition will include a large-scale new work made in concert with people all over the world whom they asked to embroider messages on scraps of fabric that they built into an outsize patchwork coyote. Through May 8, Peabody Essex Museum. 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-745-9500,

US THEM WE: RACE ETHNICITY IDENTITY How any single museum exhibition can get its arms around a subject so vast, so fraught, is a question worth asking; but good on the Worcester Art Museum for stepping so boldly into an arena that’s increasingly become just the standard for any museum, anywhere. This show “will consider the ways that contemporary artists accentuate concepts like race and ethnicity through various visual strategies,” specifically text, juxtaposition, seriality, and pattern. Through June 19, Worcester Art Museum. 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 508-799-4406,

JOANA VASCONCELOS: VALKYRIE MUMBET MassArt’s brand-new museum opened in late February of 2020 and shut down days later with the pandemic rumbling ever closer. So, for practical purposes, its October reopening felt very much like a first try, with everything from the grand opening kept in mothballs all that time. Certainly the most imposing is Vasconcelos’s colossal soft sculpture, several stories high, that feels like a plush version of a multi-limbed, interdimensional invader. Honoring Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, an enslaved woman who in 1781 won a court battle for her freedom that helped make slavery illegal in Massachusetts, the piece is monumental, glittering liberation. It’s been waiting for you for a long time — the least you can do is show up. Through Dec. 31, 2022. MassArt Art Museum. 621 Huntington Ave. 617-879-7333,


Abelardo Morell, "Paint #14," 2022.Courtesy of Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston, MA and Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, NY.

TWO OF A KIND: ABELARDO MORELL AND ANTHONY FISHER The artists, old friends and neighbors, are both restlessly inventive and process-oriented. This exhibition of abstract works celebrates paint: Morell photographs paintings’ surfaces as they dry (turns out watching paint dry can be art!), and Fisher uses gravity, chemistry, and physics to apply hundreds of marks to the canvas at once. Through March 10. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth University Art Gallery at Star Store Campus, 715 Purchase St., New Bedford.




THE COMEDY STUDIO A good mix of local talent at the Studio — two shows Friday with John Baglio, Brian Longwell, Al Park, Janet McNamara, and Corey Saunders, an early show Saturday with Tooky Kavanagh, Andrew Mayer, Will Smalley, and Mary Spadaro, and a student showcase late Saturday. Feb. 25-26, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. $20. Vera’s, 70 Union Square, Somerville.

JIM JEFFERIES: THE MOIST TOUR The Australian expat enjoys setting an audience’s teeth on edge, which probably explains why he has named his first tour since the pandemic “Moist,” a word that has been recently discovered to disturb some people. Feb. 26, 7 p.m. $29-$79. Boch Center Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St.

AWKWARD SEX . . . AND THE CITY Natalie Wall returns with her storytelling show exploring the agonizing side of sex, dating, and relationships, featuring New York comedians Jess Henderson, Calvin Cato, and Karolena Theresa. Feb. 26, 9:30 p.m. $22. The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville.



NUMBERS & MATH AT THE MAIN LIBRARY All children ages 3 to 5 are welcome to this fun day of counting, matching, and maybe even a little science. Feb. 26, 10 a.m. Free. Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington St, Quincy.

TOT TIME AT THE NATURE PLAYSCAPE Join a team of educators with your 2- to 6-year-old for an outdoor morning of nature, art, and science. Come prepared, rain or shine, for some good, clean fun. March 1, 10-11 a.m. $11 for members, $16 for nonmembers. Gore Place, 52 Gore St, Waltham.

COLOR CRUSH FEBRUARY VACATION There are so many fun activities here that you won’t know where to start. Whether it’s creating rainbow mosaics or beaded suncatchers, there’s plenty for your child to do during this year’s winter break. Through Feb. 27, activity times and prices vary. Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston.