Black Box Sounds
ArtsEmerson’s Black Box Sounds series brings well-established local rock/pop bands to the Paramount Center’s Black Box, normally reserved for theater. This is the first of three weekend showcases, with the Lights Out, Gene Dante and the Future Starlets, Zip Tie Handcuffs and the Sun Lions taking the stage Friday; Haybaby, Creaturos, Mini Dresses and Jack perform
Jan. 20 and 21
Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., Boston
Billy Wilder’s eerie 1950 film noir, starring Gloria Swanson as a delusional, washed-up silent-film starlet who draws a frustrated young screenwriter into her macabre world, seems like even more of a cautionary tale today, as our obsession with celebrity keeps growing. Then again, these days, maybe Norma Desmond could have had a late-career turn as a reality TV star—perish the thought!
Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Regent Theater, 7 Medford St., Arlington
This San Francisco dance troupe was founded at Oberlin College in 1971 by Brenda Way. It relocated to the West Coast in 1976, and has since become an SF dance institution, winning local press honors and international praise so many times it’s silly. Among the works it will perform here is Nelson’s “Dead Reckoning,” addressing the effects of climate change.
Jan. 20 and 21
Institute of Contemporary Art,
25 Harbor Shore Dr.
“Protected Trees: New Works” by Joel Janowitz
Local painter Joel Janowitz presents this series of images documenting a sewer construction project in Cambridge. It doesn’t sound like a very poetic subject, but Janowitz finds a strange, Hopper-esque beauty in these surreal images of trees boarded up for protection from the shovels, reflecting humanity’s curiously selective love of nature. The trees look like strange, lonely people themselves, armed against the Earth.
Jan. 23 through April 7
Gallery 344, Cambridge Arts Council, 244 Broadway,
“Inter-Dimensional Ports of Whatsoever”
This multimedia exhibition, curated by Anabel Vázquez Rodríguez, brings together more than 30 New England-based artists around a theme of how migration and/or the migration of others to where we are, changes the reality of all involved. Perspectives include what the gallery’s statement call “sci-fi, post apocalyptic and inner cosmos points of departure.” A surreal approach unites the diverse images we’ve seen so far.
Jan. 18 through April 1
FPAC Gallery at Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St., Cambridge
In this 2008 play by Ronan Noone, a proudly unscrupulous journalist who specializes in hit-pieces attempts—through blackmail—to leverage the scoop of a lifetime into a full-time job. Boston Playwrights’ theater probably planned this revival—with Georgia Lynn playing the originally male anti-hero, Augustine Early—before “fake news” became a buzzword, but it couldn’t have been more prescient.
Jan. 19 through Feb. 5
Boston Playwrights’ Theater,
949 Commonwealth Ave.
The Poetry Brothel
People typically complain of poetry readings being “boring.” Well, Oberon is doing its best to create a non-boring antidote, in their classical cabaret circus style. They’ve invited New York’s Poetry Brothel to Cambridge, promising “live jazz, burlesque dancers, painters and fortune tellers,” in addition to poetry from local luminary Robert Pinsky and Steph Burt.
Jan. 20, 8 p.m.
Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge
$30-$75, 21+, americanrepertorytheater.org