fb-pixel Skip to main content

The week ahead: Music, theater, art, and events

The Del McCoury Band is one of the acts scheduled to play the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival in Framingham.Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Big Barrel/Stringer


Pop & Rock

BAIO Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio takes a busman’s holiday with this solo offshoot and hits the Hub to play the tunes from his Don DeLillo-inspired debut album, “The Names,” including the beguiling “Sister of Pearl.” Moonlighting suits Baio, as he mines more of an electro-pop and, at times, retro new wave vein to strong, moody effect. Feb. 11. 8 p.m. $13. Brighton Music Hall. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com

LEE DEWYZE The season nine “American Idol” winner has been working steadily, albeit with a lower profile than some other victors, since 2010. Expect to hear tunes from his ambling, likable, and occasionally prayerful new album, “Oil & Water,” which will be released the next day. Feb. 11, $17. 8 p.m. The Red Room at Cafe 939, 617-747-2261, www.cafe939.com


BRYAN ADAMS When the veteran Canadian rocker hit the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in the summer of ’15, he was still celebrating the 30th anniversary of his 1984 album, “Reckless,” by playing it front to back — including hits “Heaven,” “Run to You,” and “Summer of ’69.” Although he’s switched up the set list for these smaller-venue shows, expect to hear all of that smash album among other gems from his extensive catalog. Feb. 13. 8 p.m. $58.45-$88.45. Orpheum Theatre. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com


Folk & World

JOE VAL BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL Another winter, another weekend of some of the best music on offer in the bluegrass world, courtesy of the Boston Bluegrass Union’s annual festival. Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, the Del McCoury Band, Sister Sadie, and the Gibson Brothers are just a few of the acts scheduled to perform. Feb. 12, 7 p.m., 13 and 14, 10 a.m. Tickets: $115 weekend pass, $45-$70 individual days. Sheraton Hotel, Framingham. 617-782-2251. www.bbu.org

SOLAS For its latest album, the stellar “All These Years,” this iconic Irish-American band marked 20 years of existence by celebrating and recapitulating its own history, bringing together every past or present member to make a record not of reprises, but new music. The same comprehensive ensemble is now out on tour. Feb. 12, 8 p.m. Tickets: $30. The Cabot Theater, Beverly. 978-927-3100, www.thecabot.org


FREAKWATER The perfect Valentine’s Day show: Bent Carter Family musical progeny with (take your pick) mesmerizing or polarizing vocals and a recurring lyrical fondness for grim death and endless hardship, the iconoclastic Freakwater comes to town on the heels of releasing “Schehezarade,” its first record in 10 years. Feb. 14, 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $12. Great Scott. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com


Jazz & Blues

SONNY LANDRETH & CINDY CASHDOLLAR DUO A blues summit with slide guitarist Landreth, whose fans include Eric Clapton, and dobro and lap-steel specialist Cashdollar, who’s played with everyone from Van Morrison to Ryan Adams. Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $30. Regattabar. 617-395-7757, www.regattabarjazz.com

JULIAN SHORE QUINTET The pianist’s evocative sound-journeys include elements of chamber, Brazilian, and American roots music, and are spacious and soaring in the manner of Maria Schneider and Pat Metheny Group. This gig celebrates his new album, “Which Way Now,” the follow-up to his acclaimed 2012 debut, “Filaments.” Feb. 12, 8 p.m. Tickets: $10-$12. The Red Room at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St, Boston. 617-747-2261, www.berklee.edu/red-room-cafe-939

JAZZ COMPOSERS ALLIANCE ORCHESTRA The adventurous 20-piece band plays new compositions by trombonists David Harris and Bob Pilkington, plus a piece by musical director Darrell Katz featuring vocalist Alizon Lissance and blues harpist Ralph Rosen. Compositions by guests Bruno Råberg (bass) and Russ Gershon (tenor saxophonist and leader of Either/Orchestra) will also be heard. Feb. 16, 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 617-395-1393, www.lilypadinman.com




BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Under the baton of Andris Nelsons, the BSO offers the third of its three subscription programs devoted to Shakespeare and music. It will include the premiere of George Tsontakis’s new English horn concerto, “Sonnets,” written for the BSO’s Robert Sheena, as well as Shakespeare-inspired works by Strauss, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky. Feb. 11-13, Symphony Hall. 617-266-1200, www.bso.org.

BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL The estimable Orlando Consort returns to BEMF with a program subtitled “Portrait of a Genius” and devoted to the exquisite art of Guillaume de Machaut. Feb. 12, 8 p.m., First Church in Cambridge, 617-661-1812, www.bemf.org

CHAMBER MUSIC Chameleon Arts Ensemble has works by Harbison, Schumann, Schubert, and Onute Narbutaite (Feb. 13-14); Vellumsound, the MFA’s resident ensemble, has a timely “Love Letters” program featuring works by Dvorak and Janacek along with readings from their correspondence (Feb. 14); members of the Parker Quartet and the Weilerstein Duo team up in works by Dvorak and Elgar at Jordan Hall (Feb. 14); and Collage New Music honors the memory of composer and teacher Edward Cohen with works by Nina C. Young, Seymour Shifrin, Peter Child, and Cohen himself (Feb. 14). www.chameleonarts.org, www.mfa.org, www.necmusic.edu, www.collagenewmusic.org




MILK LIKE SUGAR Kirsten Greenidge’s drama about a teenage girl reconsidering the pregnancy pact she made with friends showcases the Boston-area playwright’s knack for creating characters as complex as the choices they face. When combined with Greenidge’s ear for dialogue, skill at crafting compact plots whose stakes are clear and high, and overarching gift for empathy, the result is an illuminating window onto how people talk and behave as they battle against the constraints imposed on them by circumstance. Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara. Through Feb. 27. Huntington Theatre Company at Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org


RENT A 20th-anniversary production whose kinetic energy and gritty spirit underscore the life-and-death urgency of Jonathan Larson’s musical about a band of friends and artists in the East Village, struggling to get by while under the shadow of AIDS and the threat of eviction. Director Stacey Stephens draws forcefully committed performances from his young cast. Through Feb. 21. Fiddlehead Theatre Company at Back Bay Events Center, Boston. 617-514-6497, www.fiddleheadtheatre.com

AN OCTOROON Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (“Neighbors,’’ “Appropriate’’) again demonstrates his gift for tackling the subject of race from unexpected angles as the playwright deploys the conventions of 19th-century melodrama to explore the ways, subtle and not, that the past can leach into the present. When it comes to racial constructs, Jacobs-Jenkins wants us to think about how we think. A New England premiere directed by Summer L. Williams, with a strong lead performance by Brandon Green. Through Feb. 27. Company One Theatre and ArtsEmerson at Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, Paramount Center, Boston. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org




THE CUBA FILES José Mateo Ballet Theatre continues its 30th-anniversary season with three works celebrating Mateo’s Cuban roots, set to the music of Cuban composers. Scheduled for an extended four-weekend run, the program features a world premiere as well as two works from 2004, “Escape” and “Arroz con Mango.” Feb. 12-March 6, $42. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467, www.ballettheatre.org

DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! DANCE! This Institute of Contemporary Art presentation aims to highlight the diversity of dance in Boston by showcasing four contemporary troupes representing distinctive styles: Daniel McCusker Dance Projects, Navarasa Dance Theater, Jean Appolon Expressions, and Wendy Jehlen/Lacina Coulibaly. Participating choreographers also will discuss how different forms of dance influenced their work. Feb. 12-13, $15-$30. ICA. 617-478-3103, www.icaboston.org

THE GLORIOUS MEDIOCRE In this Boston Center for the Arts Residency Showcase by Kat Nasti Dance, choreographer Nasti humorously reflects on growing up as the eighth of 10 children and just what it takes to reach a level of mediocrity in today’s society. She calls it a kind of dance theater “memoir of the mundane.” Feb. 12-13, $18-$20. Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.bcaonline.org



ART OF JAZZ: FORM/PERFORMANCE/NOTES The Cooper Gallery partners with Harvard Art Museums to exhibit art and ephemera that traces jazz’s history, social impact, and influence on visual art. Through May 8. Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, Hutchins Center, Harvard University, 102 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge. 617-495-8508, www.coopergalleryhc.org

QUALITIES OF STILLNESS: PAINTINGS BY JOSEPH ABLOW Thirty years of still lifes by Ablow, who died in 2012, suggest shadow imbued with light, space that unfolds precariously, and solid objects that turn ethereal. Through March 20. Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery, Boston University, 855 Commonwealth Ave. 617-353-3329, www.bu.edu/art

RODRIGO VALENZUELA: HEDONIC REVERSAL Valenzuela unpacks expectations springing from class structures in photos of crumbling cities that are pure fictions created in his studio, and a video that weaves scripts from Telemundo soaps with personal histories of working-class women. Through March 19. Steven Zevitas Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-778-5265, www.stevenzevitasgallery.com



EVERYWHEN: THE ETERNAL PRESENT IN INDIGENOUS ART FROM AUSTRALIA An overview of indigenous art from Australia, most of it made over the last 40 years. Through Sept. 18. Harvard Art Museums. 617-495-9400, www.harvardartmuseums.org

ERIC AHO: ICE CUTS A superb suite of paintings by the resident of Vermont, showing Finnish-style plunge pools cut from the surrounding ice in a lively, painterly idiom, austere but full of satisfying complexities. Through March 13. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. 603-646-2808, hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: SHELBURNE MUSEUM’S DECOY COLLECTION Eighty decoys, representing 13 different bird species, from this famous collection. Through May 1. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt. 802-985-3346, www.shelburnemuseum.org




JESSIMAE PELUSO The Syracuse native started her comedy career in Boston with the long-defunct comedy collective “The Tribe,” and now performs standup regularly on TV, as well as hosting the appropriately named “Sharp Tongue” podcast. Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 12-13 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. $25-$35. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston. 617-725-2844, www.laughboston.com

BROAD APPEAL COMEDY NIGHT The Valentine’s Day edition of this monthly showcase features headliner Emma Willmann with Katie McCarthy, Phoebe Angle, Ben Keefe, Ted Pettingell, James Creelman, Srilatha Rajamani, Sami Anderson, and host Christa Weiss. Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. $5 suggested donation. Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. 617-718-2191, www.artsatthearmory.org

CONVERSATIONS WITH BODY LANGUAGE Four words that don’t seem to go together — “wordless solo sketch comedy.” But that is the description of this show, starring Mike Spara, which combines silent sketch comedy with music. Feb. 12, 11 p.m. $12. ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. 617-576-1253, www.improvboston.com



I Love Science Do you like science a little? Are you and science only good friends? Then you probably won’t want to build a Lego house for cockroaches or use magnets to study sandy secrets. Would you? Feb. 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $8-$10. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 617-495-3045, www.hmnh.harvard.edu

Lunar New Year Weekend Festival According to the Chinese zodiac, the monkey is quick, confident, and curious. Take a lesson from the monkey, and hurry to learn a little something exciting about Chinese culture this new year. Feb. 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free-$18. Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-745-9500, www.pem.org/calendar/event/1418-lunar_new_year

Feb Fest Maybe you really, really love science. Join MIT’s brightest for a heaping second helping of it. The theme this year is “How to Build a City in Six Days,” and all young architects, engineers, programmers, and designers are needed. Feb. 15-20, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5-$10. MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-253-5927, web.mit.edu/museum/programs/feb-fest.html

Joe Incollingo


Feb. 18-27 Next to Normal at Tufts University dramadance.tufts.edu

Feb. 19-20 Best Coast and Wavves at Royale www.ticketmaster.com

Feb. 27 Jason Isbell at House of Blues www.livenation.com

March 4 Daughter at Somerville Theater www.ticketmaster.com

March 7 The Who at TD Garden www.ticketmaster.com

March 10-11 Noel Fielding at The Wilbur www.ticketmaster.com

Joe Incollingo