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Things to do around Boston this weekend and beyond

Ella Mai (pictured at a Brooklyn show in October 2022) performs at the House of Blues April 6.Manny Carabel/Getty Images/file


Pop & Rock

TRANS DAY OF VISIBILITY This benefit for the New Hampshire outfit Harbor Camps, which provides community for trans and non-binary youth, will feature short sets by artists including post-dance-punk outfit La Neve and singer-songwriter-activist Evan Greer. March 31, 9 p.m. (doors). ONCE at The Rockwell, Somerville.

JAKE MCKELVIE & THE COUNTERTOPS The wordy, hooky power-pop-punkers kick off a monthlong Thursday night residency at Notch Brewing’s Brighton taproom. Admission is free with donation of a shelf-stable food item. April 6, 7 p.m. Notch Brewing Brighton. 617-548-2947,

ELLA MAI: THE HEART ON MY SLEEVE TOUR Five years ago, this British singer-songwriter broke out with “Boo’d Up,” a gently giddy pop-R&B confection that showed off her sweet yet resolute voice and appreciation of CD-single-era classics. Her second album, “Heart on My Sleeve,” which was released in deluxe form earlier this month, builds on that promise with cuts like the percussive “Fallen Angel” and the besotted “This Is.” April 6, 7 p.m. House of Blues. 888-693-2583,



Folk, World & Country

SOGGY PO BOYS Friday is last call at Atwood’s Tavern, and as fellow Globe contributor Noah Schaffer pointed out to me, it is entirely appropriate that the final evening at the venue will feature a band steeped in a genre known for providing raucous musical accompaniment for funerals. Raise a glass. March 31, 10 p.m. $13. Atwood’s Tavern, 877 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 617-864-2792.

GRANT GORDY If you’re partial to the intersection of jazz and bluegrass that folks like David Grisman pioneered, the music of guitarist Gordy should be right up your alley. In fact, he has played with Grisman (and many others), as well as pursuing a myriad of projects on his own (including the marvelous title-play “Bluegrass and the Abstract Truth”). He’s showcasing his new album, “Peripheral Visions,” this Saturday. April 1, 8 p.m. $25. Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492-7679.


THE MAMBO KINGS: 100 YEARS A pair of legendary performers — sonero Gilberto Santa Rosa and bongosero John Rodriguez (who has spent time with the likes of Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and Ray Barreto) — join Berklee faculty member Eguie Castrillo, along with other Berklee faculty and students, for a celebration of Latin music. April 6, 8 p.m. $15. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave. 857-337-6206.


Jazz & Blues

THE NEW BLACK EAGLE JAZZ BAND Among the world’s finest traditional jazz ensembles, the long-running septet masterfully plays early New Orleans, 1920s Chicago, and 1930s small group jazz styles. Plus their wide-ranging repertoire includes blues, rags, spirituals, and more. April 1, 7:30 p.m. $32. Groton Hill Music Center, 122 Old Ayer Road, Groton. 978-486-9524,

CINDY SCOTT’S NENO (NEW ENGLAND MEETS NEW ORLEANS) The Mosesian Arts Berklee Faculty Series concludes with associate professor of voice Cindy Scott, celebrating spring with a bouquet of gospel and jazz songs steeped in the sounds of her beloved Crescent City. April 5, 7:30 p.m. $30. Black Box Theater, Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. 617-923-0100,

TOMMY CASTRO & THE PAINKILLERS The soulful singer and scorching guitarist, an Alligator Records recording artist and winner of multiple Blues Music Awards, has been on the road for over three decades, delivering rocking blues to delighted audiences with power and panache. April 6, 8 p.m. $36. Spire Center, 25½ Court St., Plymouth. 508-746-4488,




HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY H+H offers Bach’s seasonally prescient Easter Oratorio, featuring the Handel and Haydn Orchestra and Chorus and soloists Silvia Frigato, Anna Bonitatibus, Ben Bliss, and Gabriele Lombardi. Baroque specialist Rinaldo Alessandrini conducts the concert, which also includes the H+H premiere of Antonio Bononcini’s “Stabat Mater.” March 31, 7:30 p.m.; April 2, 3 p.m. Symphony Hall. 617-262-1815,

CONCORD CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY Internationally acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman visits the 1,000-seat concert hall at the new Groton Hill Music Center for a gala performance of music for solo piano by Schubert, Bartók, and Chopin. March 31, 7:30 p.m. 978-405-0130,

PHOENIX ORCHESTRA Phoenix takes over the Great Engines Hall at the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum in Chestnut Hill for an evening of pop-up performances around the cavernous space, featuring music by Julius Eastman, Eric Nathan, Caroline Shaw, Julia Wolfe, and Beethoven that promises to “perfectly match the resonant acoustic” of the brick building. Cocktails by Bully Boy Distillers will be available. April 1, 8 p.m. Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, Chestnut Hill.




INTO THE WOODS There have been countless high school and regional theater productions of this 1987 musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, not to mention the starry 2014 film version. But its peculiar brand of magic remains undimmed. This spare, concert-style touring production, with a cast that consists mainly of veterans of the Broadway revival, illustrates how many riches are still to be found in those woods. That includes, under the direction of Lear deBessonet, plenty of humor to go along with the inevitable heartache and disillusion. Through April 2. At Emerson Colonial Theatre. 888-616-0272,


K-I-S-S-I-N-G Director Dawn M. Simmons and her cast skillfully traverse the complex emotional terrain mapped out by playwright Lenelle Moïse. Regan Sims is outstanding as Lala, a 15-year-old aspiring artist with zero experience in romance whose world begins to widen when she meets 16-year-old twins Dani (Sharmarke Yusuf) and Albert (Ivan Cecil Walks). “K-I-S-S-I-N-G” explores questions of sexuality, sibling dynamics, class, racial identity, guilt, post-partum depression, second chances, and the mysteries of attraction, all of them firmly rooted in character. It adds up to one of the highlights of the Boston theater season. Coproduction by Front Porch Arts Collective and The Huntington. At Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. Through April 2. Digital access to filmed performance through April 16. Tickets to in-person performances and digital recording at 617-266-0800,

WILD GOOSE DREAMS In this innovative if flawed play by Hansol Jung, set in Seoul, two lonely people meet online and have to deal with the complications of love in the digital age. Yoo Nanhee (Eunji Lim) is deeply conflicted about having defected from North Korea, because it meant leaving her father behind. Guk Minsung (Jeffrey Song) is a South Korean “goose father” who has sent his wife and daughter to America in search of a better life, then struggles to maintain his connection to them. Directed by Seonjae Kim. Through April 8. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,




OUR JOURNEY On this contemporary program, Boston Ballet premieres what may be its most far-reaching new commission ever. Choreographer Nanine Linning’s “La Mer” is a collaboration with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to highlight the critical need for preserving our oceans amid climate change. Set to a live performance of Debussy’s “La Mer” and “Sirènes,” the work shares the program with Justin Peck’s 25-dancer “Everywhere We Go.” April 6-16, $39-$184. Citizen’s Bank Opera House.

JEAN APPOLON EXPRESSIONS As part of its BLOOM residency program, Dance Complex presents the company’s “Tyaka.” The word, which refers to a Haitian stew made from a mixture of disparate ingredients, is associated with festivities and family togetherness, and the showcase highlights different choreographers and rhythms to explore how using all the resources on hand can create something new and delicious. April 1-2, $15-$100. Dance Complex, Cambridge.

SYNERGY BoSoma Dance Company and NSquared Dance collaborate on this double bill of contemporary dance. BoSoma’s program features all female choreographers, including new works by Jessica Flynn and Lindsey Leduc. NSquared Dance’s program includes the premiere of “YYZ” by the company’s artistic director Zackery Betty. April 1-2, $40. Shore Country Day School, Beverly.

PEKING ACROBATS For nearly 40 years, this troupe has astounded audiences with its displays of physical virtuosity pushing the boundaries of balance, flexibility, and control. In this family-friendly presentation, which also features the Shanghai Circus, expect the pageantry of a Chinese Carnival, with explosions of colorful costumes, special effects, and music. April 6, $10-$40. UMass Fine Arts Center, Amherst.


Visual art

BETYE SAAR: HEART OF A WANDERER Saar, 96, a leader of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, captured her broad-ranging travels from the United States to Africa, Asia, and Europe in brisk sketches that would inform her later, more labor-intensive works. This exhibition presents an array of those sketchbooks, a trove of her immediate reactions to the residue of colonialism on multiple continents, alongside selections from a lifetime of fully-realized works, including her well-known assemblage pieces. Through May 21. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way. 617-566-1401,

FRANK BOWLING’S AMERICAS Bowling was born in British Guiana and educated in London, but found his painterly voice in the tumult of 1960s and ‘70s New York, where a rising Black Power movement ran parallel to the convulsions of late Modernism as Abstract Expressionism fought to maintain a stranglehold on American art. This survey of Bowling’s work rises to meet the artist’s own declaration, that “Modernism belonged to me also.” Through April 9. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300,

MARÍA BERRÍO: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE Legend has it that the Children’s Crusade of 1212 saw thousands of kids trekking through France and Italy converting Muslims to Christianity. Berrío’s work draws on centuries of paintings and drawings depicting the story for her own work, which conflates the age-old parable with the very real and devastating movement of migrants, especially unaccompanied minors. Through Aug. 6. Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100,


CEDRIC HARPER: ANCESTRAL LANGUAGE Harper draws on dream imagery and alphabetic glyphs, transmuting symbols into talismanic objects. His works, crafted from items he finds in the trash, consider the great maw of consumerism. In this show, curated by Carol Moses, scripts become patterns that tie knowledge and communication to nature, and Harper explores the strengths and sorrows of life as a Black gay man. Through April 15. Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 551 Tremont St.


An installation view of the exhibition “Cedric Harper: ANCESTRAL LANGUAGE” at BCA Mills Gallery. Repurposed wood with paint from Cedric Harper's homemade mixed paint and pigment, Varies.Melissa Blackall



TOM COTTER “In high school, I got caught shoplifting once,” says Providence native Cotter. “From a car dealership. It was a Buick. And my father said to me through the bars of the jail cell, ‘cause he was in the next cell, he said, ‘You’re no son of mine.’ Which hurt me and it confused my mother. She was like, ‘Damn it! How did he know?’” March 31 at 8:30 p.m., April 1 at 6 and 8:30 p.m. $30. Giggles Comedy Club, 517 Broadway, Saugus. 781-233-9950,

ANDREW MAYER The Boston comic admits on his “Having a Nice Time” album that he has some social anxiety.I’ve never once heard someone’s name during a handshake introduction, because I’m too focused on making the handshake go well,” he says. “It’s like, good grip, pump once, say your own name. Good job, buddy, you did it. What was their name? Crap.” April 1, 7 p.m. $25-$35. City Winery, 80 Beverly St. 617-933-8047,

KATHLEEN MADIGAN “I am a fan of the millennials because they’re the first generation that has realized that if you live with your parents long enough, eventually they’ll be glad you’re there,” says the can’t-miss Madigan on her new special “Hunting Bigfoot” on Amazon Prime. “It’s gonna take a while, but grind it out, millennials. Because when your parents are 85 and they see you in the kitchen, they’ll be like, ‘Hey! Can you drive at night?’” April 1, 7 and 9:45 p.m. $36.75-$61.75. The Wilbur, 246 Tremont St.



KIDS EASTER CAKE DECORATING WORKSHOP Children will have the opportunity to decorate their own 6-inch bunny cake with instruction from Kat’s Exquisite Cakes. They will also go on an egg hunt and take individual or family photos with the Easter bunny. April 1, 1-4 p.m. $75-$150. Brooke Charter High School, 200 American Legion Highway.

EASTER EGG HUNT & SPRING CELEBRATION Adults and kids can participate in Easter egg hunts at this event! Other activities include a petting zoo with bunnies, hay rides, and egg decorating. The Easter bunny will also be in attendance. April 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5-$15. Good Pickin’ Farm, 5 Gould Road, Westford.

SENSORY-FRIENDLY EASTER EGG HUNT Kids can meet the Easter bunny, decorate eggs with glitter and stickers, and go on an egg hunt. This event is sensory-friendly and for families to enjoy. April 3, 5-7 p.m. Free. Bierman Autism Centers — Randolph, 15 Pacella Park Suite #210, Randolph.