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Things to do around Boston this weekend and beyond

The Topsfield Fair runs from Sept. 30-Oct. 10.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/file


Pop & Rock

CAM The California-based singer-songwriter, whose update of storytelling-forward country pop has resulted in sublime songs like the “Jolene” perspective-shift “Diane,” is touring in support of her most recent album, 2020′s “The Otherside.” Oct. 1, 6 p.m. Royale. 617-338-7699,

OTOBOKE BEAVER This Kyoto foursome plays raucous, jittery songs that sit in the sweet spot where punk, metal, psychedelia, math rock, and noise-for-its-own-sake converge. With the Easthampton-based kindred spirits Editrix, whose album “Editrix II: Editrix Goes To Hell” overflows with clamorous glee. Oct. 3, 9 p.m. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200,

STEREOLAB The British hypno-synth outfit just released “Pulse of the Early Brain,” its fifth collection of oddities and rarities accumulated since it began releasing exploratory, yet icy-cool music in 1991. With Fievel Is Glauque, a transcontinental “series of live bands” who make beguiling lo-fi jazz-pop. Oct. 4, 8 p.m. Roadrunner.



Folk, World & Country

DEREK GRIPPER AND MIKE BLOCK Cellist Block is certainly an avid seeker of cross-cultural collaborations; a glance at the tour dates posted on his website shows several such pairings upcoming in the next few months alone. One of them takes place Monday, with South African guitarist Derek Gripper, a musical explorer in his own right with whom Block recorded the aptly titled impromptu album “Saturday Morning in Boston” in 2018. Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. $30-$42. Crystal Ballroom at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville. 617-876-4275,

THE GRASS MESSENGERS Bluegrass Tuesdays have returned, but after almost three decades at the Cantab Lounge, they’ve moved around the corner and down the street (more or less) to Lily P’s. The kickoff at the new digs features some New York City bluegrass provided by Chris Luquette and the Grass Messengers. Local outfit Cousin Bobby also performs. Oct. 4, 8:30 p.m. No cover. Lily P’s, 50 Binney St., Cambridge.


MICHAELA ANNE Michaela Anne arrives in support of her new album, “Oh To Be That Free.” The gorgeous, string-flecked release, her finest to date, makes the case that out of chaos, despair, and turmoil can come beauty. She’ll be performing with full band. Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. $15. City Winery, 80 Beverly St. 617-933-8047,


Jazz & Blues

AARDVARK JAZZ ORCHESTRA The magisterial Boston-based big band kicks off its 50th season with a performance of sacred pieces by the great Duke Ellington, as well as a number of compositions by music director Mark Harvey, including his latest work, “America Agonistes.” Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. Free, reservations recommended. Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.

ANA POPOVIC Over the course of two decades, the sizzling Serbian Strat-slinger, singer, and songwriter has been nominated for numerous Blues Music Awards, appeared on the covers of Vintage Guitar and Guitar Player magazines, and was the sole female guitarist featured in the “Experience Hendrix” tour. Oct. 2, 7 p.m. $65-$70. Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining, 267 Main St., Woonsocket, R.I. 401-765-1900,

THE NEW STANDARDS Students from the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice will perform pieces from the institute’s important publication, curated by Terri Lyne Carrington, collecting 101 lead sheets by women composers, such as Lil Hardin Armstrong, Mary Lou Williams, Geri Allen, and many more. Oct. 6, 7 p.m. $10. Red Room at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St.




BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA This weekend at Symphony Hall, guest star Yuja Wang promises to set both of Shostakovich’s piano concertos alight with the BSO and music director Andris Nelsons: The program also includes the BSO co-commission “Makeshift Castle” by Julia Adolphe and Haydn’s Symphony No. 100. (Sept. 29-Oct. 1). Next weekend the Shostakovich streak continues as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the orchestra for the BSO’s first-ever performance of his Symphony No. 3, “The First of May,” as well as Bernstein’s beloved “Chichester Psalms.” (Oct. 6-8). Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,

EMMANUEL MUSIC Indian-American composer Reena Esmail honors the words of seven major religious traditions of India in “This Love Between Us,” interweaving a choir, baroque orchestra, and vocal soloists of Emmanuel Music with a sitar and tabla; inspired by that, Emmanuel Music creative leadership assembled “O große Lieb,” a seamless selection of movements from different Bach cantatas on the theme of unity and kindness. Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. Emmanuel Church. Livestream also available. 617-536-3356,

JORDAN BAK AND FRIENDS Jamaican-American violist gathers several like-minded conspirators for a concert that celebrates the viola through solo and chamber works from Telemann and Mozart to H. Leslie Adams and Tyson Davis. Oct. 2, 1:30 p.m. Calderwood Hall. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. 617-566-1401,




LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS What do you get when you cross “Faust,” “Frankenstein,” and a very hungry Venus flytrap that sees all of humanity as a buffet line? You get this wonderfully deranged musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, and in this Bob Richard-directed production, you get a very good time. Featuring Andrew Montgomery Coleman as nebbishy Seymour, who makes the mistake of nurturing the bloodthirsty plant; Kim Sava as Audrey, the co-worker in a Skid Row flower shop on whom Seymour has a crush; Tarra Conner Jones as the voice of Audrey II; Ed Romanoff as Mr. Mushnik; and Ryan Knowles in an unforgettable, scene-stealing turn as Audrey’s boyfriend, a sadistic dentist named Orin. Through Oct. 2. North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly. 978-232-7200,


ADA AND THE ENGINE Mishy Jacobson stars as Ada Lovelace, a 19th-century British mathematician (and the daughter of Lord Byron) who has been credited as the first computer programmer. In Jacobson’s vibrant, all-out performance, Ada comes across as a mind on fire. Debra Wise’s production of Lauren Gunderson’s drama costars Diego Arciniegas as mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage. While neither the play nor the production are without problems, “Ada and the Engine” is a generally solid addition to Gunderson’s body of work, much of which brings a feminist perspective to the stories of history’s visionary women. Through Oct. 23. Brit d’Arbeloff Women & Science Production presented by Central Square Theater. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 617-576-9278 ext. 1,

FABULATION OR, THE RE-EDUCATION OF UNDINE Lyndsay Allyn Cox stars as a high-flying, high-powered Manhattan publicist brought crashingly but eye-openingly down to earth when her husband’s embezzlements leaves her broke and she has to move back in with her Brooklyn family. Cox’s vibrant stage presence and the brisk direction by Dawn M. Simmons help to power Lynn Nottage’s satire past its flaws. Through Oct. 9. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678,


MOONLIGHT ABOLITIONISTS Six abolitionists who are buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery (Harriet Jacobs, Samuel Gridley Howe, Joshua Bowen Smith, George and Mary Stearns, and Charles Turner Torrey) engage in a spirited conversation in a concert reading of Patrick Gabridge’s one-act play. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian and featuring Michelle Ambila, Steven Barkhimer, Amanda Collins, Kaedon Gray, Ed Hoopman, and Brooks Reeves. Oct. 6-9, with shows at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 pm. each day. Produced by Plays in Place. At Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge.



STEP AFRIKA! For its third ArtsEmerson visit, the acclaimed step company brings its latest family-friendly production, “Drumfolk.” The high-energy, rhythmically charged show, inspired by a little-known slave rebellion, blends movement, theater, and music to shine a spotlight on key moments of African American history. Oct. 5-16. $10-$92.50. ArtsEmerson at Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre.

BOSTON BALLET The company opens its fall season with “My Obsession,” a dynamic program that includes the reprise of Stephen Galloway’s rocking “DEVIL’S/eye,” set to iconic music by The Rolling Stones. In addition, the program also includes two masterful classics by Balanchine (“Apollo” and “Allegro Brillante”) and Helen Pickett’s “Tsukiyo.” Oct. 6-16. $39 and up. Citizens Bank Opera House.

Jean Appolon Expressions' "Traka" explores dance, culture, and community as pathways to healing from trauma and injustice.Olivia Moon Photography

JEAN APPOLON EXPRESSIONS The Cambridge-based choreographer taps his own experiences growing up in Haiti in “Traka,” his company’s latest work combining contemporary and folkloric dance with original text and music by Haitian Afrofuturist composer and Berklee professor Val Jeanty. The powerful full-evening work explores dance, culture, and community as pathways to healing from trauma and injustice. (A recording of the work will be available for streaming starting Oct. 13.) Oct. 2. Free (but seating is first come). Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge.

ISLAND MOVING COMPANY Newport’s contemporary ballet company opens its 41st season with “Points of Departure.” The program features world premiere works from four notable female choreographers — Tania Pérez-Salas, Francesca Genovese, Colleen Cavanaugh, and the company’s artistic director, Danielle Genest. Oct. 6-15, $38-$58. Newport Congregational Church, Newport, R.I.


Visual Art

DARE TO KNOW: PRINTS AND DRAWINGS IN THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT The 18th century was an era of profound change, as rapid advancement in science and global exploration broadened long-held boundaries of reality and wobbled western notions of a world guided by the invisible hand of God. This show of 150 drawings, prints, books, and other objects spotlights the social transformation of the era, broadly known as the Enlightenment, and puts on view a transformational moment of the world expanding intellectually and culturally in every direction. Through Jan. 15. Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge.

THE SUN RISES IN THE WEST AND SETS IN THE EAST A sharp-minded exploration of how rational disciplines like science and philosophy have collapsed in an increasingly post-fact society, this exhibition features a stellar roster of contemporary artists whose work catalogs an era of dystopian discontent: Lida Abdul, Kader Attia, Yael Bartana, Asli Cavusoglu, Ergin Cavusoglu, Ali Cherri, Anton Ginzburg, Emily Jacir, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Nyugen E. Smith, and Nari Ward. Through Dec. 11. Tufts University Art Galleries, 40 Talbot Ave., Medford. 617-627-3518,

TOUCHING ROOTS: BLACK ANCESTRAL LEGACIES IN THE AMERICAS Tracing “narratives of Blackness across the Atlantic world,” this exhibition brings together artists from the African diaspora who took cultural motifs, customs, and stories from their African heritage and repurposed them to portray Black experience in the Americas, with an emphasis on artists working here in New England: Allan Rohan Crite, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Ifé Franklin, Bryan McFarlane, Karen Hampton, Loïs Mailou Jones, and Stephen Hamilton. Through May 23, 2023. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300,


NIANGBEN: THE LOST ART OF THANGKA The ancient Tibetan art of thangka painting, made with natural pigments and gold on silk or cotton, features intricate designs representing deities and mandalas. Niangben, a Chinese artist, incorporates motifs from nature, and each painting can take months to complete. He started training when he was 12 and considers his paintings a Buddhist practice. Through Nov. 26. Pellas Gallery, 114 Newbury St. 424-394-2184,


Niangben, "Avalokitesvara Sea Buddha" (Tangka in Colors), mixed media Niangben/Courtesy of Pellas Gallery



CHRIS KATTAN He created some of the strangest recurring characters on “Saturday Night Live” in his time, including Mango, a dancer with whom everyone seemed to fall in love, and Mr. Peepers, a rampaging monkey who could really do a number on an apple. You might hear about them at this Off Cabot show. Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. $30. Off Cabot Comedy and Events, 9 Wallis St., Beverly.

TOM PAPA If you’re beating yourself up because you don’t seem to be living up to the overachievers and glamour models on Instagram, Papa has a pep talk for you. If you’re tired and worried, that’s normal. “You don’t need a five-hour energy drink,” says the comic, who records a new Netflix special at the Wilbur Saturday, “you need to lay down once in a while.” Oct. 1, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. $29-$39. The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St.

SIREN: A FIERCE FEMALE SPECTACLE Kelly MacFarland hosts this variety/talk show spotlighting female artists from different disciplines. This edition features comedian Carolyn Plummer, singer-songwriter Casey Desmond, actor/storyteller Shari Caplan, and drag queen Harlow Havoc. Oct. 6, 7 p.m. $10. Boynton Yards, 1010 South St., Somerville.



TOPSFIELD FAIR There’s something for everyone at this 11-day fair just outside of Boston. For the animal lovers, check out the fair’s annual draft horse show and numerous competitions for trained dogs, oxen, sheep, and more. There’s also a demolition derby, fair rides including a Ferris wheel, a hot dog eating contest, parades, and live music from a variety of local acts. Sept. 30-Oct. 10, times vary. $15/day, $45 for three days. 207 Boston St., Topsfield.

CULT CLASSIC MOVIE NIGHT AT THE NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM Playing on one of the largest screens in New England this Saturday, underwater adventure movie “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” will close out the New England Aquarium’s Cult Classic Movie Night series. The film stars Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Cate Blanchett in a tale of an oceanographer seeking revenge against a shark who ate his best friend. Oct. 1, 7 p.m. $5. Simons Theatre at the New England Aquarium, 1 Central Wharf.

WEIR RIVER FARM FALL FESTIVAL Ready to make fall your entire personality? This festival at Weir River Farm has everything you need to embrace the season: cider doughnuts; fall-themed crafts; pop-up vendors selling local beer, BBQ, cheeses, jams, and more; the chance to get a “farm tattoo”; and live music from three acts, including a bluegrass band. Oct. 1, times vary. $6-$15. Weir River Farm, 140 Turkey Hill Lane, Hingham.