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Things to do around Boston this weekend and beyond

Karina Canellakis will lead the BSO in a Central European program Jan. 19-21 at Symphony Hall.Hilary Scott


Pop & Rock

NICK HAKIM The inventive R&B singer-songwriter/producer, who began his music-making endeavors while living in Jamaica Plain, returns to town in support of his third album, the headily romantic “COMETA.” Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. Brighton Music Hall. 617-779-0140,

JON SPENCER AND THE HITMAKERS “Mick Jagger’s got nothing on me,” the ever-swaggering Jon Spencer declares on “Get It Right Now,” which appears on his new band’s record “Spencer Gets It Lit.” He’s not entirely wrong — the latest installment in his nearly four-decades-long discography is a feisty, compact album featuring Spencer’s boasting and toasting over blown-out, yet sharply rendered psych-punk. Jan. 24, 6 p.m. Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge. 617-864-3278,


FABOLOUS This New York MC’s collaborations with the likes of Ne-Yo and Tamia were radio staples during the ‘00s hip-pop era. Jan. 26, 10 p.m. The Grand. 617-322-0200,


Folk, World & Country

GLEN PHILLIPS Things have improved for singer-songwriter Phillips. It’s been six years since the Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman released his last solo album, and in that time he’s moved from the pain of a divorce that that album reflected to the affirmation of new love that infuses the recent, aptly named “There Is So Much Here.” Jan. 20, 8 p.m. $30. Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. 978-425-4311,

LINDSAY FOOTE/THE FALSE POSITIVES A double-bill featuring folkie Lindsay Foote, a local who decamped to north of the border to develop her craft before returning to her hometown, and the False Positives, who play songs written by band member Rachel Rosenberg “about folks who’ve done her wrong.” If that ain’t country . . . Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. $15. The Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 617-955-7729,

THE WAY DOWN WANDERERS This Illinois string band, whose forays into folk, acoustic country, rootsy pop, and bluegrass are fueled by the twin songwriting efforts of Collin Krause and Austin Krause-Thompson, will hit the musical sweet spot for those partial to Old Crow Medicine Show and the like. Jan. 24, 8 p.m. $15. The Middle East Upstairs, 472-480 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 866-468-3399,



Jazz & Blues

DRIFF WINTER FESTIVALETTE Boston’s own trans-Atlantic jazz label, founded by instrumentalist-composers Jorrit Dijkstra (saxophones) and Pandelis Karayorgis (piano), presents two groups: Dijkstra’s Porchbone — his Porch Trio augmented by a three-man trombone section — and the duo of Karayorgis and trombonist Jeb Bishop, who just released their latest Driff Recording, “Duals.” Jan. 21, 7:30 p.m. $10-$15. The Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge.,

CHARLES RIVER REPROBATES A supergroup of local blues and roots singer-songwriters, with Jimmy Ryan, Danielle Miraglia, and Eddie Scheer trading the mic while Bob Enik chimes in with lethal yet lapidary lead guitar. Jan. 25, 7 p.m. Free, reservations recommended. The Porch Southern Fare & Juke Joint, 175 Rivers Edge Drive, Medford. 781-874-9357,

LASZLO GARDONY TRIO The seasoned trio of pianist Gardony, bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Yoron Israel celebrate their sixth album, “Close Connection,” a striking set of six Gardony compositions drawing from his Hungarian heritage and six spontaneous improvisations. Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m. Free, registration required. David Friend Recital Hall, Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston St.



BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA This week at Symphony Hall, conductor Karina Canellakis leads the BSO in a Central European program, featuring Witold Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra and violinist Nicola Benedetti making her BSO debut with Karel Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (Jan. 19-21). Next week, music director Andris Nelsons leads the world premiere of “Concerto for Curved Space,” a BSO-commissioned piece for orchestra by Steven Mackey; the program also includes Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (soloist Baiba Skride) and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 (Jan. 26-28). Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200,


HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY Old friends and new unite on the Symphony Hall stage as guest conductor Václav Luks leads the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra in its first-ever performance of music by Paul Wranitzky, a Moravia-born contemporary of Beethoven, and follows that with Beethoven’s evergreen Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Jan 22, 3 p.m. Symphony Hall. 617-262-1815,

BOSTON OPERA COLLABORATIVE Seven brand new commissions are on tap at this year’s “Opera Bites,” Boston Opera Collaborative’s annual showcase of reliably vibrant 10-minute operas performed in English. Jan. 20-22. Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music, Cambridge. 617-517-5883,

BOSTON YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS The Boston Youth Symphony, the highest level ensemble under the BYSO umbrella, scales an annual operatic Olympus under the baton of director Federico Cortese. This year it’s Berlioz’s “The Damnation of Faust,” with Arnold Livingston Geis singing the title role alongside Avery Amereau as Marguerite, Ethan Vincent as Mephistopheles, and David McFerrin as Brander. Jan. 22, 3 p.m. Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge.





THE ART OF BURNING Premiere of drama by Kate Snodgrass, the former longtime leader of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, about an artist (Adrianne Krstansky) who seeks to change the terms of her shared parenting agreement with her soon-to-be-ex husband (Rom Barkhordar) as their divorce negotiations near the final stage. Cast also includes Clio Contogenis as their teenage daughter, along with Michael Kaye, Laura Latreille, and Vivia Font. Directed by Melia Bensussen. Through Feb. 12. Digital access to filmed performance available from Feb. 6-26. Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800,



Compagnie Hervé Koubi performs “What the Day Owes to the Night.”Didier Philispart

COMPAGNIE HERVÉ KOUBI Global Arts Live kicks off its three-weekend Winter Dance Fest 2023 with a return of the magnetic “What the Day Owes to the Night” in a new incarnation featuring new dancers from around the Mediterranean Basin. The roughly 75-minute work for 13 men brilliantly fuses a contemporary theatricality with street dance, capoeira, martial arts, and Sufi imagery to create a sense of communal ritual and power. Jan. 21. $48-$69 ($120 for three-performance pass). Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre,

MOMENTS Massachusetts choreographer Ali Kenner Brodsky has spent the past five years developing this multilayered performance piece. Combining dance, music, and visual art, the evening-length dance-theater work explores memory, loss, and love. Performers include Brodsky, Scott McPheeters, Jenna Pollack, Jessi Stegall, and Ilya Vidrin, with live and recorded music by MorganEve Swain. Jan. 21. $10-$15 (includes museum admission). Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Conn.



Visual art

IN CONCERT: GANSON & CAVATORTA When the MIT Museum closed its old location at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, it also wrapped up a long-running favorite: Arthur Ganson’s “Gestural Engineering,” a collection of wonderfully absurd tabletop-size kinetic sculptures that first opened at the museum in 1995. Ganson aptly describes himself as a cross between “a mechanical engineer and a choreographer”; my favorite of his works was “Cory’s Yellow Chair,” a star-shaped gearwheel that exploded and reassembled the doll-size seat like clockwork, in perpetuity. Brimming with such inexhaustible delights, the show was magnetic, and adored, for years. With the new MIT Museum now open, “Gestural Engineering” returns, to the relief of many, though not quite as before. The new exhibition pairs Ganson’s works — fewer than before, it should be noted — with a piece by Andy Cavatorta, a kindred spirit of a sculptor who works with sound and robotics and has created eclectic instruments for artists such as Björk. And good news: The yellow chair is back! Ongoing. MIT Museum, 314 Main St., Gambrill Center, Building E-28, Cambridge. 617-253-5927,

POWER AND PERSPECTIVE: EARLY PHOTOGRAPHY IN CHINA With 130 19th-century photographs installed alongside paintings, prints, and examples of the decorative arts, this exhibition seeks to capture the vibrant cross-cultural exchange in treaty port China, where cosmopolitanism and commerce rubbed up against rapid advances in technology — like photography — that tracked progress like never before. Through April 2. Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-745-9500,

NEW FORMATIONS A selection of contemporary photography, video, and painting, this show explores the human body in strenuous performance, whether in dance or athletic competition, revealing it to be an instrument as powerful, delicate, blunt, and nuanced as any in an artist’s repertoire. Paired with a collection of anonymous snapshots of what we now call “vernacular” photography — parades, impromptu dance parties, human pyramids on the beach — “New Formations” suggests a tool with limitless expressive potential. Through March 13. DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museumcq, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln. 617-542-7696,


WATERLINES: STORIES OF EBB AND FLOW City dwellers rely on urban infrastructure for water, but they may not give much thought to where it comes from. In this exhibition, curator Arlinda Shtuni and five local artists explore water’s climatological, ecological, and spiritual connotations, inviting viewers to navigate possible future environments — such as Georgie Friedman’s video installation “Confluere,” which floods the Somerville Museum’s centuries-old butterfly staircase in tidal waters. Through March 22. Somerville Museum,1 Westwood Road, Somerville. 617-666-9810,




BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT A rare solo stand-up gig from Goldthwait, who spent some formative years in Boston. He’s currently at work with friend and fellow comic Dana Gould on a film he says is “Ed Wood-related,” and will release a new album later this year on Eugene Mirman’s Pretty Good Friends label. Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. $30. Off Cabot Comedy and Events, 9 Wallis St., Beverly.

CHRISTINE HURLEY The Boston comic, who mines her experience as a mother of five and the wife of a Randolph firefighter, sold out her late show at Steve Sweeney’s club and has added an early show. Jan. 21, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. $30. Fox and Hound Wood Grille and Tavern, 123 Sea St., Quincy.

POST PHUNNY COMEDY SHOW: JONATHON GATES & FRIENDS Gates, who hosts a long-running show Wednesday nights at Slades, is back from a health scare and eager to get back onstage. Marlen Baker hosts, Christina Thomas and Demetrius “Big D” Hullum feature. Music by DJ Wade. Jan. 26, 8 p.m. $20. Policeman Post 1018, 500 Morton St., Dorchester.


Bobcat Goldthwait performs Jan. 20 and 21 at Off Cabot Comedy and Events in Beverly.Grant Lamos IV/Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images/file


KIDS NIGHT OUT: WINTER WHITE OUT Little Beats at The Dance Academy is hosting a Winter White Out Party for ages 5–11, complete with dancing, crafts, games, pizza, and popsicles. Kids do not have to be a part of the academy to register and should wear white for a surprise revealed at the event. Jan. 20, 5:30-8 p.m. $60 per child. Little Beats, 94 Rowe St., Auburndale.

PETER PAN See one of your favorite stories come to life with an interactive production of “Peter Pan.” This performance will involve a sing-along and audience participation. The show is recommended for ages 2-9. Jan. 21, 10:30-11:30 a.m. $5 per person. Concord Youth Theatre, 53 Church St., Concord.

LUNAR NEW YEAR CRAFT Head over to the Watertown Free Public Library to make a craft celebrating the Year of the Rabbit. No registration is required, and all ages are encouraged to join. Jan. 22, 3-4 p.m. Free. Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main St., Watertown.