Boston-area to do list

Rachel Dratch
Mary Ellen Matthews (left); Susan Maljan (center)
Rachel Dratch


Women winging it

The fifth annual Women in Comedy Festival opens tonight with the immediacy and hilarity of improvisation. UCB: Queens of Improv with Horatio Sanz and Rachel Dratch features “Saturday Night Live” alumni Dratch and Sanz, and the best improvisers from the UCB Theater. Tomorrow night, comic Maria Bamford headlines a show with Erin Foley and Kelly MacFarland. Keep laughing through the weekend at 26 shows featuring 200 performers in stand-up, improv, storytelling, and sketch acts. If your desire is not just to laugh but to make others laugh, too, check out a workshop. March 21, 8 p.m. $26, $36.
The Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston. March 22, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $30, $25 students and seniors. Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. Through March 24.


Something to prove After the death of her genius father, Catherine finds a mathematical proof that could rock the world. In David Auburn’s “Proof,” she sets about verifying its authorship while dealing with the appearance of her estranged sister and a budding romance with her father’s former student. March 21, 7:30 p.m. March 22-23, 8 p.m. March 24, 2 and 7 p.m. Through April 14. $15-$55. Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 E. Merrimack St., Lowell. 978-654-4678,


Thoroughly modern design There are some items from the 20th century we’d rather forget, like paneling, metallic wallpaper, and bean bag chairs. Things worth remembering will be featured at “AD 20/21: Art & Design of the 20th & 21st Centuries,” featuring fine art, photography, jewelry, furniture, decorative arts, sculpture, and more. The show runs concurrently with the Boston Print Fair. March 22, 1-8 p.m. March 23, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. March 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $15, under 12 free. Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston. 617-299-6096,


Marathon man It’s finals time for “America’s Next Top Poet,” when a slave ship appears in front of Lady Liberty, sending NYC into a tizzy. That’s the backdrop for “Emergency,” Daniel Beaty’s one-man show in which he plays more than 25 characters using slam poetry, song, and crackerjack acting skills. It’s presented by ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage. March 22-23,
8 p.m. March 24, 2 p.m. $25-$79. Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St., Boston. 617-824-8400,

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Dramatic women The mini-festival XX PlayLab presents new scripts by Lydia R. Diamond, Natalia Naman, and Kirsten Greenidge. Panel discussions look at what it’s like to be a playwright in Boston, and topics of gender and race in the field. March 22, 8 p.m. March 23,
10 a.m., 2 and 8 p.m. March 24, noon. Free. Boston Center for the Arts, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston.

Accentuating the visual Comedian Demetri Martin likes to tell visual jokes, and in fact his latest book, “Point Your Face at This,” employs his drawing talents. The performer, who has appeared on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and in Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” visits Boston. March 22, 7:30 and 10 p.m. $37. Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston. www.the


Building a community Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. arrived in Brookline in 1883 and presided over commissions that shaped the city. Keith Morgan, Elizabeth Hope Cushing, and Roger Reed talk about their book “Community By Design: The Olmsted Firm and the Development of Brookline, Massachusetts.” March 23,
3 p.m. book talk. Free. Newbury College, Student Center, 129 Fisher Ave., Brookline.