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Week Ahead: Critics’ picks

King Sunny Ade plays the Lowell Folk Festival.World Music/CRASHarts


Pop & Rock

GARBAGE Having celebrated their 20th anniversary on tour last fall, Shirley Manson & Co. return to town in support of a strong, dark new album, “Strange Little Birds,” with Kristin Kontrol (Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls) in support. July 28,
8 p.m. $45, $55. House of Blues. 800-745-3000,

FIFTH HARMONY A modern-day girl group originally assembled for “The X Factor,” Fifth Harmony proved with its latest LP, “7/27,” that there’s still plenty of potential for creativity in radio-friendly pop. Turn up in time for Foxborough native JoJo, appearing in support and likely showing off fresh songs.
July 28, 7 p.m. $19.50-$59.50. Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. 800-745-3000,


COLDPLAY The British band has been taking requests for what’s been reported as its final concert trek before an indefinite hiatus — no song too obscure! — and previous stops have featured surprising guests like Michael J. Fox. Alessia Cara and Foxes appear in support. July 30, 7 p.m. Gillette Stadium, Foxborough. $29.50-$179.50. 800-745-3000, STEVE SMITH

Folk & World

LOWELL FOLK FESTIVAL Another year — this one, the 30th! — another Lowell lineup second to none in the quality of artists and the diversity of cultures, from the Nigerian juju of King Sunny Ade (pictured) to the Chicago blues of Lurrie Bell, the Memphis rockabilly of Jason D. Williams to the Louisiana Cajun of the Savoy Family, the Indian slide guitar of Debashish Bhattacharya to the Iraqi oud music of Rahim AlHaj. July 29, 6:30 p.m.; July 30 and 31, noon. Free. Various stages, downtown Lowell. 978- 970-5000.

CHICANO BATMAN These Angelenos bring tropicalia, vintage soul, cumbia, Latin Rock, and psychedelica together to singular effect. No capes for their crusade, though; their uniform is “tailored suits with ruffled-tuxedo shirts from a thrift store near you.” July 29, 10 p.m. $12. Great Scott. 800-745-3000.


JOHN JORGENSON QUINTET Jorgenson made his name as the guitar slinger for ’80s neo-trad country outfit the Desert Rose Band, and he’s had his finger in a lot of different pies since that group’s demise, including the vintage Gypsy jazz he’ll play with his quintet on Friday. July 29,
7:30 p.m. $25. Regattabar, Cambridge. 617-395-7757.


Jazz & Blues

A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING: THE MUSIC OF RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN The South Shore Conservatory’s “Evenings Under the Stars” presents current and former voice faculty members in a cabaret-style night of beloved songs from classic musicals “Oklahoma!,” “South Pacific,” “The Sound of Music,” and more, accompanied by a chorus and small instrumental group. July 30, 7 p.m. $25-$45. Jane Carr Amphitheater, Hingham. 781-749-7565 ext. 22,

CAMBRIDGE JAZZ FESTIVAL The third edition of this annual event features smooth and funky saxophonist-singer Walter Beasley, a quartet featuring hard boppers Bill Pierce (saxophone) and Russell Malone (guitar), drummer-educator Ron Savage’s Trio, singer-songwriter Nadia Washington, and Latin-tinged pianist Rebecca Cline’s Trio. July 31, noon-6 p.m. Free admission. Danehy Park, Cambridge. 617-945-8052,

NEW BLACK EAGLE JAZZ BAND Among the world’s premiere traditional jazz groups, the Black Eagles are masters of many early jazz genres, including 1910s New Orleans, 1920s Chicago, 1930s small-band swing, and beyond. Their vast repertoire also includes rags, spirituals, vintage pop, and blues. July 31, 6 p.m. Free. Newton Centre Green, Newton.




TANGLEWOOD The Danish String Quartet makes its Tanglewood debut on Thursday in Ozawa Hall. And in the Shed this weekend, Andris Nelsons leads his first Tanglewood concerts of the summer, with programs devoted to Mozart and Mahler (Friday) and Sibelius and Beethoven (Saturday). On Sunday he leads the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in an all-Brahms program. Look out too, for Friday’s Ozawa Hall Prelude Concert (6 p.m.), which will include Schubert’s F-Minor Fantasia for piano four-hands with Paul Lewis and Jonathan Biss, two compelling pianists whose interpretive styles share a clear elective affinity. Lenox, 617-266-1200,

BANG ON A CAN MARATHON Every summer the new music collaborative Bang on a Can takes up residence at MASS MoCA, and caps its visit with a high-energy six-hour marathon concert. This year’s lineup includes works by John Luther Adams, Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, George Crumb, Missy Mazzoli, Frederick Rzewski, and many others. July 30, 4-10 p.m., North Adams. 413-662-2111,

BORROMEO QUARTET The eloquent Boston-based ensemble boots up its laptops on Sunday for the first of three midsummer programs. Each is organized around iconic works by Bach and Beethoven, with adventures farther afield in between. July 31, 1:30 p.m. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. 617-278-5156,




THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE As the Pirate King in Gilbert & Sullivan’s still-delicious operetta, Will Swenson delivers a performance that rivals Kevin Kline’s storied turn in the role 35 years ago. The rest of the cast is topnotch, too, especially Scarlett Strallen as the fair Mabel. All in all, there’s not a better time to be had in the theater this summer than at this joyous and inspired production, directed by John Rando, with choreography by Joshua Bergasse. To borrow from W.S. Gilbert himself: It is, it is a glorious thing. Through Aug. 13. Barrington Stage Company at Boyd-Quinson Mainstage,
Pittsfield. 413-236-8888,


THE T PARTY A bracingly original take on gender identity by playwright-director Natsu Onoda Power, told in a whirling theatrical language that is all her own: playful, idiosyncratic, self-indulgent at times, often bursting with energy and ideas. Through Aug. 13. Company One Theatre at Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

CUISINE & CONFESSIONS The ingenious circus troupe known as Les 7 doigts de la main is back in Boston with the US premiere of a show that explores our relationship to food, by means acrobatic, aerial, choreographic, and culinary. Created and staged by Shana Carroll and Sebastien Soldevila, it’s a not-to-be-missed banquet for the senses. Through Aug. 7. Production by Les 7 doigts de la main presented by ArtsEmerson at Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston. 617-824-8400,

THE LAST SCHWARTZ A combative family reunion is at the center of this dark comedy by Deborah Zoe Laufer, directed by Paula Plum in its New England premiere. Though not without its flaws, “The Last Schwartz’’ cuts deep, and you can’t help but admire the audacity and speed of Laufer’s U-turns from whimsy to utter seriousness and back again. Through July 30. Gloucester Stage Company, Gloucester.



SOME OF A THOUSAND WORDS After the success of their 2013 collaboration “Restless Creature,” choreographer Brian Brooks and former New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan team up again for an evening of new solos and duets, accompanied live by the dynamic string quartet Brooklyn Rider. Through July 31. $45-$75. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745,

KATE WEARE COMPANY The provocative choreographer and her troupe unfurl dances that are both kinetically thrilling and emotionally charged, somehow stark and intimate at the same time. For this Bates Dance Festival engagement, the company brings two new works. “Dark Lark” is set to music by electro-acoustic cellist Chris Lancaster. “Marksman” features an original score by Curtis Macdonald. July 29-30. $12-$25. Bates College’s Schaeffer Theatre, Lewiston, ME. 207-786-6161,

FIRST LOOK Boston Ballet recently announced an impressive roster of 14 dancers for its second company, Boston Ballet II. On Saturday, new and veteran dancers of the troupe join with the school’s Summer Dance Program for a concert reflecting the company’s trademark diversity of repertoire, including pieces by Balanchine, Bournonville, Petipa, Twyla Tharp, and Jorma Elo. July 30, 3 p.m. $55. Boston Ballet, 19 Clarendon St., Studio 7. 617-695-6955,



CATASTROPHE Filmmaker and art collector John Waters curates this show with his trademark taste for shock and shlock: crashes and murders and state fairs, oh my! Even the prettier pictures have magnetically lurid back stories. Pictured: Peter Garfield’s “Mobile Home (North Star).’’ Through Aug. 11. Albert Merola Gallery, 424 Commercial St., Provincetown. 508-487-4424,

RAINA BELLEAU + CALEB CHURCHILL: FANTASIA COLORADO Before the Civil War, then Secretary of War Jefferson Davis instituted the US Army’s use of camels. Multimedia artists Belleau and Churchill take off from there, experimenting with history, rumor, and mythmaking. Through Aug. 6. 60 Valley St., Providence. 401-272-0796,

PLACEMAKING OBJECTS: BCA ARTIST STUDIOS BUILDING EXHIBITION Curator Jennifer Hall chose small artworks redolent of their origins: trash, dirt, studio mistakes. Populated with such autonomous pieces, the show strives to be a mirror of community: individuals in conversation. Through Sept. 25. Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 551 Tremont St. 617-426-5000,



DRAWINGS FROM THE AGE OF BRUEGEL, RUBENS, AND REMBRANDT Forty Netherlandish, Dutch, and Flemish drawings from the 15th to the 18th centuries, all from Harvard’s collection, which is one of the most comprehensive in the US. Through Aug. 14. Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-495-9400,

AMERICAN IMPRESSIONIST: CHILDE HASSAM AND THE ISLES OF SHOALS The great American Impressionist painted the rocky shoals of Appledore Island off the coast of Portsmouth, N.H., over three decades. The exhibition presents 40 oil paintings and related watercolors all made between the late 1880s and 1912. Through Nov. 6. Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem. 978-745-9500.

CENTER FOR MAINE CONTEMPORARY ART A large new venue for contemporary art opens in Rockland with a series of exhibitions, focused on photographer and video artist Rollin Leonard, Alex Katz, and Jonathan Borofsky. 21 Winter St., Rockland, Maine. 207-701-5005,




LADIES IMPROV JAM In a kind of improv open-mike night, female improvisers invite women in the improv community onstage to sign up and play. The show happens the fourth Thursday of every month. July 28,
7 p.m. $5. ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge. 617-576-1253,

RYAN DONAHUE He was a deserving selection for the “New Faces” showcase at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival last year, a smart comic with a wonderfully twisted sense of logic. He returns to his comedy hometown from New York.
July 29-30, 8 p.m. $20. Nick’s Comedy Stop, 100 Warrenton St., Boston. 617-963-6261,

STEVE SWEENEY AND KELLY MACFARLAND As solid a lineup as you’ll find in town this weekend, starring two headliners in Sweeney and MacFarland, plus a longtime Giggles regular in Greg Howell. July 29-30, 8:30 p.m. $27.50. Giggles Comedy Club, 517 Broadway (Route 1), Saugus. 781-233-9950,



The Red Sox Showcase No season tickets? No problem. The Red Sox are taking America’s pastime to the road and bringing games, challenges, and the Green Monster wall to Faneuil Hall. July 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Faneuil Hall, 1 Faneuil Hall Square.

Summer Ice Skating and DJ The Frog Pond’s spray pool gets old. It’s time to channel the spot’s winter form. Summer nights have never been so cool. July 29, 8-10 p.m. $8. The Skating Club of Boston, 1240 Soldiers Field Road.

Civil War Day Take a trip back to the 19th century, where you’ll meet the first African-American regiment, hear from a Confederate doctor, and learn how to dance like a Southern belle. It’s a living museum, without the terrible conditions of the actual era. July 31, 11 a.m.-
3 p.m. Free, but ferry costs apply. Georges Island.

Sonia Rao


Aug. 4 Yes at Lynn Memorial Auditorium

Aug. 5 Pearl Jam at Fenway Park fenwaypark.ticketoffices

Aug. 7 Juliette Lewis at Brighton Music Hall

Aug. 10 Drake at TD Garden

Aug. 16 Barbara Streisand at TD Garden

Aug. 18 Billy Joel at Fenway Park

Aug. 26 Kenny Chesney at Gillette Stadium www.vividseats

Sept. 3 Kanye West at TD Garden


Steve Smith can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @nightafternight.