The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world

Victoria Byrd and Ireon Roach in SpeakEasy Stage Company’s “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play,” which is at Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, through May 25.
Victoria Byrd and Ireon Roach in SpeakEasy Stage Company’s “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play,” which is at Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, through May 25.Maggie Hall Photography


Pop & Rock

MARK LANEGAN BAND Since his days fronting the psych-grunge outfit Screaming Trees, this troubadour has possessed one of rock’s most captivating voices, a weathered baritone that can pack decades’ worth of wounds and anguish into a single syllable. He’s been adding different textures to the mix in his post-Trees guise — 2017’s “Gargoyle” reinforces its mood with darkly hued electronics — but the impact is no less potent. May 13, 8 p.m. $33, $28 advance. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200, www.sinclaircambridge.com

TACOCAT This Seattle quartet’s just-released album, “This Mess Is a Place,” is full of hooky pop-punk gems that strike the tricky balance between dreaminess and agita. May 15, 8 p.m. $18, $16 advance. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 617-547-5200, www.sinclaircambridge.com


ALY & AJ Sisters Alyson and Amanda Michalka rode the ’00s teenpop boom with kicky singles like “Potential Breakup Song’ and “Chemicals React”; this year they’ve staged a comeback via blissed-out singles like the woozy “Don’t Go Changing” and the glittery “Church.” May 18, 7 p.m. $29 and up. Paradise Rock Club. 617-562-8800, www.crossroadspresents.com


Folk & World

JOHN PAUL WHITE White looks back without going full retro on his just-released “The Hurting Kind,” infusing his Americana with dollops of ’70s hardcore and countrypolitan country (and a bit of Orbison, too), including a couple of songs co-written with two of that era’s best pens in Bill Anderson and Bobby Braddock. May 13, 9 p.m. $20. Once Ballroom, Somerville. 877-987-6487, www.ticketfly.com

MAYA DE VITRY The former member of the Stray Birds string band comes to the area as a solo artist. She’s touring in support of her debut in that guise, “Adaptations,” which, filled with the sound of strings, woodwinds, and De Vitry’s guitar, represents a striking change from the bluegrass-folk bedrock of her previous group. May 17, 8 p.m. $20. Club Passim, Cambridge. 617-492-7679, www.passim.org


RICHARD THOMPSON The British folk-rock giant just keeps adding to his legacy, album after album, including last year’s “13 Rivers,” made in his electric trio mode. That’s not what’s on his mind this visit, though; instead, he’ll be performing a solo acoustic show. May 17, 8 p.m. $39.50-$59.50. Cabot Theatre, Beverly. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com


Jazz & Blues

MIKE ZITO The scorching singer and guitarist is a St. Louis native, cofounder of the Royal Southern Brotherhood, and multiple Blues Award winner, currently touring in support of his Billboard chart-topping album “First Class Life.” His two-night stand at Chan’s will feature an acoustic songwriter’s showcase Wednesday, and a full band performance on Thursday. May 15, 8 p.m. $10-$12; May 16, 8 p.m. $25-$30. Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining, 267 Main St., Woonsocket, R.I. 401-765-1900, www.chanseggrollsandjazz.com

MILES OKAZAKI: WORK The New York-based guitarist arranged every single Thelonious Monk composition for solo guitar, recording and releasing the whole kit and kaboodle last year as the critically acclaimed album “Work,” named for one of the master’s most playfully intricate numbers. A staggering feat of homage! May 18, 8 p.m. $17. Third Life Studio, 33 Union Square, Somerville. www.mandorlamusic.net; www.thirdlifestudio.com

MATT SHIPP & MICHAEL BISIO The Creative Music Series presents the dazzling, boundary-bending duo of pianist Shipp and bassist Bisio, whose spontaneous, simpatico, avant-jazz dialogues range from lyrical to fire-breathing. May 17, 8 p.m. $15-$18. Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. www.lilypadinman.com




BERNSTEIN REIMAGINED Leonard Bernstein’s works for both the concert hall and Broadway stage take some intriguing turns at this tribute concert; think “Gee, Officer Krupke” with a bluegrass band or a dancer tapping along to the Dance Suite for Brass Quintet. Performers include Ran Blake, David Kravitz, Dominique Eade, and the Lonely Heartstring Band. Presented by Jewish Arts Collaborative. May 16, 7:30 p.m. Berklee Performance Center. 617-747-2261, www.jartsboston.org

CAMBRIDGE CHAMBER ENSEMBLE In a Somerville warehouse space, a youthful local company mounts Handel’s rarely performed tale of tyranny “Silla.” Presented in a new English translation by founder and executive director Martha Birnbaum. May 17-19. Warehouse XI, Somerville. www.cambridgechamberensemble.org

A FAR CRY + LORELEI ENSEMBLE The conductorless string orchestra and the go-to women’s chorus for the Boston Symphony Orchestra: These two heavyweights join forces for a heady and adventurous program including a world premiere from Kareem Roustom plus works by Kate Soper, Caroline Shaw, Lili Boulanger, and more. Jordan Hall. May 17, 8 p.m. 617-553-4887, www.afarcry.org

CHAMELEON ARTS ENSEMBLE The season closer for this year’s chamber music series strikes a nocturnal mood with works by Ravel, Fauré, Carter, Bax, and Brahms. May 18 and 19. First Church in Boston. 617-427-8200, www.chameleonarts.org

Z Madonna



INDECENT Written by Paula Vogel and directed by Rebecca Taichman — the term “dream team’’ doesn’t seem out of place — “Indecent’’ is a richly textured work whose galvanizing event is a real-life Broadway production whipsawed by the forces of censorship in the 1920s because it included a lesbian relationship. Seldom has theater’s soul-nourishing quality, its power to endure and to help us endure across the generations, been more stirringly evoked than in this gravely beautiful, quietly moving, altogether exquisite play. Through May 25. Coproduction by Huntington Theatre Company and Center Theatre Group. At Huntington Avenue Theatre. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org


SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY A first-rate production, directed by Summer L. Williams, of Jocelyn Bioh’s play about the competition within a girls’ boarding school to become contestants in the 1986 Miss Ghana pageant. Though deceptively small in scale and often comic in tone, “School Girls’’ packs a considerable emotional wallop as it tackles the issue of “colorism,’’ both outside and inside the black community, and asks us to consider the ways in which discriminatory beauty standards can damage self-image. Through May 25. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com

THE RETURN Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon, this is a taut, politically charged two-hander about a fraught encounter between a Palestinian man (Nael Nacer) and an Israeli woman (Philana Mia) in an auto repair garage in Israel. Cowritten by Hanna Eady and Edward Mast, “The Return’’ underscores the ways that simple one-on-one human relationships are often the principal casualties of unending conflict, while raising wider questions about what such conflicts can do to a nation’s soul. Those are among the themes that have defined Israeli Stage, which is ringing down the curtain after an impressive nine-year run spearheaded by the indefatigable Ben-Aharon. Through May 19. Presented by Israeli Stage. At Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.israelistage.com


VIETGONE Inspired by his own parents, this play by Qui Nguyen comes across as overly gimmicky for its scattershot, self-indulgent first half. But “Vietgone’’ does eventually win you over, thanks partly to the strong chemistry between Quentin Nguyen-duy and Christina Mei Chen as a pair of Vietnamese refugees trying to figure out what they mean to each other while coping with a new life in America in 1975. Directed by Michelle Aguillon. Through May 25. Presented by Company One Theatre in partnership with Pao Arts Center. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org



RHAPSODY Boston Ballet showcases its neoclassical and contemporary chops in this program. It features a world premiere for 15 performers choreographed by principal dancer Paulo Arrais and set to Gershwin’s jazzy “Rhapsody in Blue.” Three works by Balanchine contemporary Leonid Yakobson illustrate the rebellious Soviet choreographer’s impressive artistic range, and the rich icing on the cake is Balanchine’s glorious “Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.” May 16-June 9. $37-$169. Citizens Bank Opera House. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

SEE YOU YESTERDAY Nineteen second-generation survivors of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge genocide reweave the torn narratives of their lives — and those of their grandparents — in this multimedia circus arts performance. Sponsored by Global Arts Corps, the work is acclaimed not only for its display of physical skills and beauty but also its emotional depth. ArtsEmerson presents the production’s US premiere. May 16-19. $10-$85. Emerson Paramount Center. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

NATALIE JOHNSON DANCE For its second Boston area show, the company presents an intimate studio performance of the evening-length quartet “AGEN.” Johnson says that “agen” is from Middle English and is the root word for against as well as anew, and it inspired a choreographic exploration of owning one’s struggles against adversity to emerge renewed. May 18-19. $12-$25. Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Belmont. 617-489-7272, www.nataliejohnsondance.com



GORDON PARKS: SELECTIONS FROM THE DEAN COLLECTION Kasseem Dean and Alicia Keys’s extensive collection reflects the terrific breadth of Parks’s photographic oeuvre, which includes glamorous fashion shots alongside documentary images attuned to poverty and civil rights. Through July 19. Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art, 102 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge. 617-496-5777, www.coopergallery.fas.harvard.edu

CLIVE MOLONEY: BREATH IN THE VOID Moloney’s mystical sculptures aim to evoke a sense of fecund emptiness. His contemplative works — with titles such as “Turning,” “Pausing,” and “Rising” — use light and reflective surfaces along with formal openings, voids, and vortexes to turn viewers’ attention inward. Through June 14. VERY, 59 Wareham St. 617-922-5447, www.galleryvery.com 

WINNING POSTERS! The International Poster Gallery celebrates its 25th anniversary with an array of eye-catching works, including Bernard Minne’s  vibrant broadside for the 1957 Monaco XV Grand Prix and an early Art Deco poster by Charles Loupot featuring a lithe young woman with a parasol, made for a silk manufacturer. Through June 21. International Poster Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave. 617-375-0076, www.internationalposter.com 



IN AND OUT OF PLACE There’s much to sift in this 100-plus-piece survey exhibition drawn from the Addison Gallery of American Art’s permanent collection, and much of it is great. Big names like Edward Hopper, Marsden Hartley, Walker Evans, and Laurie Simmons fall together in its ultimately bleak enterprise of how the landscape, and our interventions into it, have shaped America’s myriad identities, often not for the good. Through July 31. Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, 180 Main St., Andover. 978-749-4015, www.addisongallery.org

HUMA BHABHA: THEY LIVE Bhabha fuses castoffs with a modernist aesthetic that muddies the purity of the latter with the alarming accretion of the former, making her often monumental works the ideally complex totems for our very troubling times. Add in some Francis Bacon, Philip Guston, Alberto Giacometti, David Cronenberg, and a sharp eye for the ravages of war, and you’ll find a show like no other. Through May 29. Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

TOULOUSE-LAUTREC AND THE STARS OF PARIS It’s fair to be wary of the same old crowd-pleasing Lautrec show warmed over and served up dozens of times, but this MFA show is not one of those. Brought to life by digitally-remastered fin-de-siecle films by the Lumiere Brothers, it is a lively, surprising look at the much-hyped artist’s gift as a proto-brand builder, and his resonance with artists much more exalted — if not as well-loved — like Edgar Degas and Pierre Bonnard. Through Aug. 4. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org




NANCY AND BETH Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt call their duo act “punk vaudeville,” combining musical chops, a bit of camp, and a fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants attitude to make a stripped-down, theatrical experience. May 12, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. $40-$55. City Winery, 80 Beverly St. 617-933-8047, www.citywinery.com

TOTAL LOSS Comedian Will Martin suffered two incredible blows in short succession when his best friend and then his brother died in the same year. Not only did he survive it, he turned his troubles into a hilarious and loving must-see one-man show. May 15, 8 p.m. $8. The Castle: A Board Game Café, 240 Rantoul St., Beverly. 978-969-1719, www.thecastlebeverly.com

EDDIE IZZARD: WUNDERBAR The English comic plans to return to politics in 2020, making this tour a last hurrah of sorts. He says he’s planning to talk about everything from “humans over the last 100,000 years to talking dogs and animal superheroes.” So, you know, the usual Izzard show. May 16-17, 8 p.m. $50-$73. Boch Center Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St. 866-348-9738, www.bochcenter.org



DUCKLING DAY Make way for Duckling Day! Fans — both young and old — of the beloved children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings” will enjoy this morning celebration. Families can parade through historic Boston parks in costumes, all to the tunes of the Harvard University Marching Band. May 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. $35-$40 per family. Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common,  friendsofthepublicgarden.org.

LILAC SUNDAY For those interested in a free way to celebrate Mom, or for those just looking to get out of the house, the Arnold Arboretum might have the answer. Picnics at the arboretum are permitted one day a year: lilac day. While there are no vendors on site, families are encouraged to enjoy the flowers and tour the perimeter. May 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway,  arboretum.harvard.edu.

JAPANESE TAIKO DRUMMING CLASS Beginners are welcome at this Japanese taiko drumming class. The course will teach attendees about the history and art of this full-body musical experience. May 13, 6:45-8:30 p.m. $25. Regent Underground Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington, www.onetaiko.org.



May 22 Laura Stevenson at the Sinclair axs.com

May 25 Slayer at Xfinity Center livenation.com

May 30 Florence and the Machine at Xfinity Center livenation.com

June 1 Jamila Woods at Brighton Music Hall ticketmaster.com

June 3 Xavier Wulf at Brighton Music Hall ticketmaster.com

June 12 Wu Tang Clan at House of Blues livenation.com

June 14 Billie Eilish at Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion livenation.com

June 18 X Ambassadors at Royale Boston axs.com