scorecardresearch Skip to main content

The Ticket: Music, theater, dance, art, and more

Tony Williams Ballet Company brings “Life: In Color,” its new immersive rock ’n’ roll ballet, to Oberon May 25 and 26.


Pop & Rock

DREAMCAR The gleaming textures and bounding basslines that defined New Romanticism’s highest points are front and center on the self-titled debut by this alt-rock supergroup, which brings together three-quarters of No Doubt and AFI frontman Davey Havok. Havok’s delivery brings to mind a slightly mussier version of the buttoned-up grandiosity exhibited by ABC’s Martin Fry, a winning match with his bandmates’ precision-grade synthpop. May 23, 7 p.m. $30. Paradise Rock Club. 617-562-8800,

MARIAN HILL Breaking through pop’s chaos is no small feat in 2017, but this Philadelphia duo managed to vault over Ed Sheeran and Drake and hit the top spot on the song-identification app Shazam with “Down,” a sparse, grooving track that both showcases and juliennes vocalist Samantha Gongol’s breathy alto. May 24, 8 p.m. $26. Royale. 617-338-7699,


BOSTON CALLING The eighth running of Boston’s multi-day music festival includes big names like the hip-hop upstart Chance the Rapper and fop-pop sensations The 1975, but don’t sleep on the bill’s lower reaches, which include fast-talking Aussie MC Tkay Maidza, steely-eyed songwriter Lucy Dacus, knotty Worcester rockers The Hotelier, and Dorchester rap sensation Cousin Stizz. May 26-28. Single-day tickets $99-$599; weekend passes $269-$999. Harvard Athletic Complex.


Folk & World

THE SECRET SISTERS The bottom almost dropped out of Laura and Lydia Rogers’ musical career after they released their sophomore record: They were dropped by their label, and were on the verge of having to leave the business altogether. But instead, they persevered, and made a record, “You Don’t Own Me Anymore,” rooted in what they had experienced. May 22, 8 p.m. $15. Red Room at Café 939. 617-747-2261.

NIKITOV This Dutch ensemble, helmed by singer Niki Jacobs, comes stateside with a repertoire that encompasses traditional Yiddish music and new material penned by Jacobs, along with her distinctive takes on pop selections; if you’ve been waiting to hear a Yiddish version of “Stairway to Heaven,” here’s your chance. May 25, 7:30 p.m. $20. The Burren, Somerville. 617-531-4610.


KRISTIN ANDREASSEN TRIO She’s played old-time with Uncle Earl and folk with Sometymes Why, she’s clogged as a member of the Footworks ensemble, and she’s recorded and performed as a solo artist. This date finds her in yet another mode, playing new, as yet-unrecorded trio material with Shane Leonard and Jefferson Hamer. May 26, 8 p.m. $12. Riverwalk Café, Nashua, N.H. 603-578-0200.


Jazz & Blues

NASTY WOMEN SING Up-and-coming multi-talents Kathleen Comber, Anna Marquardt, and Katie Swimm weave an eclectic cabaret of Broadway, pop, and original songs to raise funds for All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center in Indiana. May 24 and 25, 8 p.m. $20. Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge.,

BILLY NOVICK & GUY VAN DUSER The friends of the Charlestown Library present a musical tribute to “Friend of the Year” Edward F. Kelly, featuring the longtime duo of clarinetist Novick and fingerstyle guitarist Van Duser, who have dazzled audiences for years with their swinging, simpatico duets on classic jazz and American Songbook standards. May 25, 7 p.m. Free. Charlestown Branch Library, 179 Main St., Charlestown.

ANA POPOVIC BAND The sizzling blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist has been nominated for five Blues Music Awards, appeared on the covers of Vintage Guitar and Guitar Player, and was the sole female guitarist featured in the nationwide Experience Hendrix tour alongside the likes of Buddy Guy, Bootsy Collins, and Jonny Lang. May 26, 8 p.m. $30-$35. The Center for Arts in Natick, 14 Summer St., Natick. 508-647-0097,



ARNEIS QUARTET The young Boston-based foursome visits the North Shore for performances of Janacek’s First Quartet (“Kreutzer Sonata”) and Schubert’s String Quintet, the latter with cellist Erin Ellis. May 21, 3 p.m., Cabot Theatre, Beverly. 866-811-4111,


BOSTON WAGNER SOCIETY “Songs Past and Present” is the title of a concert that features mezzo-soprano Joanna Porackova in songs by Mahler, Frank E. Warren, Jeffrey Brody, and, of course, Wagner (the “Wesendonck Lieder”). May 23, 7:30 p.m., Old South Church. 617-844-1323,

A FAR CRY The string orchestra concludes its 10th season with an ambitious collaboration with members of the Silk Road Ensemble. On the program: “City of Sand,” a new work for both groups by jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer. May 26, 8 p.m., Jordan Hall. 617-585-1260,




HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC A solo piece, directed by Jessica Blank and drawn from the writings of Lester Bangs, in which the fiery, pioneering rock critic is portrayed at full throttle by Erik Jensen. Card-carrying contrarian though he was, Bangs might be pleased by how much this show reflects his bedrock belief that rock ’n’ roll is worth fighting over, about, and for. Through May 21. ArtsEmerson at Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, Paramount Center, Boston. 617-824-8400,

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Jennifer Ellis gives her best performance yet — which is saying plenty — as Francesca Johnson, an Italian-born Iowa farm wife who falls headlong into an affair with Robert Kincaid, an itinerant National Geographic photographer. The show itself is soapy and soggy enough to make Douglas Sirk blush — it’s essentially a Hallmark Channel movie performed live — but the score by Jason Robert Brown is a thing of beauty. And no Hallmark movie has ever had an actress like Ellis in the lead role. Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara. Through June 3. SpeakEasy Stage Company at Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,


PEERLESS Jiehae Park’s “Macbeth’’-inspired play about twin sisters determined to get into an elite college at any cost works on multiple levels: as an ink-dark comedy, as an ingenious psychological drama, and as a chilling parable about the soul-warping price of extreme ambition. Directed by Steven Bogart with the necessary edge of tension, mystery, and supernatural flavor. Through May 27. Company One Theatre in collaboration with Boston Public Library at Rabb Hall, Boston Public Library. 617-292-7110,



LIFE: IN COLOR Tony Williams Ballet Company’s new immersive rock ’n’ roll ballet explores politics, race, and human nature. Set to a score of jazz and popular music spanning the past six decades, the work features choreography by Williams, as well as Gianni Di Marco, Janelle Gilchrist, Meghan Gaucher, and Rick Vigo. May 25-26. $25-$45. Oberon, Cambridge. 617-547-8300,

NEXT GENERATION Boston Ballet School’s annual showcase offers a sneak peak at some of the talented teenage dancers in its pre-professional training program who may become the stars of tomorrow. The program, which also features performances by Boston Ballet II and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, includes a world premiere choreographed by Harvard Dance Director Jill Johnson, Balanchine’s “Walpurgisnacht Ballet,” a pas de deux from “Giselle,” and Jaime Sierra’s “Legión.” May 24, 7 p.m. $29-$114. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955,


NEWTON DANCE CONCERT Part of the Newton Festival of the Arts, this one-hour concert features the work of four area choreographers, including co-producers Kathy Hassinger and Joanie Block. CreationDance, led by former Nikolais/Louis dancer Helena Froehlich, will show a new work, and students from the Thillai Fine Arts Academy will perform two dances by award-winning Indian classical dancer Sunanda Narayanan. May 21, 3 p.m. $10-$20. Newton Highlands Congregational Church. 617-965-1569,



CONCRETE ACTIONS Thirteen members of the Mobius Artists Group present performance art, video, installations, and more, inside City Hall as part of the city’s Heroic Encounters series, which explores the building’s Brutalist architecture, designed to promote civic engagement. Thursday, May 25, 5-9 p.m. Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Square. 617-945-9481,

ELLEN DRISCOLL: THICKET How does one person, or one bird, fit in the larger scheme of things? In drawings and sculptures, Driscoll intimates individuals (references to clothing; erased imagery) against epic backdrops — wilderness, patterns of migration, environmental shifts. Through June 23. Rafius Fane Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave. 508-843-2184,

ABSENT This is the third show from the Uncannyists, a group of artists who investigate the creeping suspicion that things are not as they should be and, specifically here, that something is missing. Through June 10. Vandernoot Gallery, Lesley University, 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-349-8076,



OCEAN LINERS: GLAMOUR, SPEED, AND STYLE Ocean liners were symbols of progress and modernity: ever bigger, sleeker, and audaciously luxurious. Art, models, furniture, and ephemera explore the designs of these floating palaces and the culture that fostered them. Through Oct. 9. Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-745-9500, CATE McQUAID

AN INVENTORY OF SHIMMERS: OBJECTS OF INTIMACY IN CONTEMPORARY ART Work exploring affect by artists such as Sophie Calle and Anicka Yi provokes felt responses (goosebumps, say) and summons associations to love, trust, and caretaking. Through July 16. MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St., Cambridge. 617-253-4680,

MARIAN ROTH: ON BENDED LIGHT This photographer crafts her own cameras — out of a dune shack, a Dodge Caravan, a hot dog stand, and more. In her ghostly photos, space bends, light smears, and shadows wobble. Through July 16. Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 460 Commercial St., Provincetown. 508-487-1750.




ALINGON MITRA The smart, likable former Boston comic has racked up some impressive credits since winning the Boston Comedy Festival competition in 2013, including a stint on “Last Comic Standing” and writing for “The Daily Show.” May 25-26 at 8 p.m. and May 27 at 8 and 10:15 p.m. $12.50-$29. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844,

MICHELLE BILOON AT THE GAS Her sharp wit has made her a regular on podcasts like “2 Dope Queens” and “Comedy Bang Bang” and late-night TV. With host Rob Crean. May 26, 7 p.m. $5. Great Scott, 1222 Commonwealth Ave., Allston. 617-566-9014,

BARRY CRIMMINS Hard-hitting satirist Crimmins returns to the back room at the Burren, where he worked out material last summer before taping his “Barry Crimmins: Whatever Threatens You” special, produced and directed by Louis CK. May 27, 7 p.m. $16-$20. The Burren, 247 Elm St., Somerville. 617-776-6896,



MAKE A MESS: PAINT LIKE POLLOCK There are a few constants in life — New England winters are long, Tom Brady wins Super Bowls, and kids make messes. We already dealt with those first two for the year, so bring your child to the Discovery Museum and let them help out in creating a huge, collaborative piece of art. The expectation is that they pour and drip paint everywhere, so dress appropriately! May 25, 10-11 a.m. $12.50. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 978-264-4200.

RHYTHM AND HUES I don’t know your child, but odds are they aren’t the biggest fans of art museums. (The no touching rule is a bit of a mood-killer for them). But if you bring them to the Institute of Contemporary Art next Saturday, that core kid belief will fall to the wayside. There will be captivating performances and numerous chances to bring out their inner artist, with the youth-friendly festivities carrying on all day. May 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100.

FAMILY AUTISUM DAY If your child is somewhere on the autism spectrum, then you know that going to public events can be tricky. The Children’s Museum in Easton gets that, so they’re opening up the place exclusively to families with children 10 and under on the spectrum. There will be hands-on exhibits and a low-stress atmosphere is guaranteed. May 27, 10 a.m.-noon. Free, but registration required. Children’s Museum, 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. 508-230-3789.



May 28 Whitney at The Sinclair

May 30 Oddisee at Brighton Music Hall

June 1 Portugal. The Man at House of Blues

June 2 Royal Blood at Paradise Rock Club

June 8 City and Colour at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

June 10 Rachel Feinstein at Laugh Boston

June 18 Dirty Heads at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

June 20 Huey Lewis and the News at House of Blues

June 24 Tears for Fears and Daryl Hall & John Oates at TD Garden