Servant Life in Downtown Boston
Saturday, 1 p.m.
141 Cambridge St., Boston
Boston was once famous for its upper crust, the elite Brahmin families, many of whom could trace their lineage to the Mayflower. Though without titles, they were just as much aristocrats as the Crawleys of “Downton Abbey.” Fans of that series may enjoy this tour of the Otis house, which focuses on the elaborate process of making and serving a Brahmin dinner.
Stereotypes: A Conscious Look at Race, Faith, Gender and Sexual Identity
Thursday through April 15
Arlington Center for the Arts
41 Foster St., Arlington
Stereotyping: it’s officially considered shameful, but we’re all guilty of it at one time or another. This photo series from Kevin J. Briggs shows unassuming individuals surrounded by clouds of terms that might be used to stereotype them, conveying with beautiful simplicity how this regressive social practice creates a poisonous, noisy atmosphere for the assertion of one’s individuality.
TOWARDS: New Paintings by Joshua Meyer
Friday through April 30
Matter and Light Gallery
63 Thayer St., Boston
Cambridge-based painter Joshua Meyer’s human figures are submerged in and emerge from a world of blurs—his style is impressionistic almost to the point of pure abstraction, buzzing with an invisible motion, or maybe the flow of time. Often sullen, and without a background to contextualize the scene, they seem trapped in their own heads, engrossed in pensive daydreams.
Sumida River and Zahdi Dates and Poppies
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center
685 Comm. Ave., Boston
Experience two expressions of the Japanese noh tradition at this two-part performance, presented by Theater Nohgaku. “Sumida River” is a classic noh play about a mother and her lost son, translated here into English, but otherwise presented in traditional fashion. “Zahdi Dates and Poppies," a contemporary twist on the noh form, tells of a U.S. Marine haunted by his experiences in Iraq.
Speech and Debate
Through April 10
527 Tremont St., Boston
Bad Habit Productions presents this dark comedy by Stephen Karam, which begins when high school student Solomon, an aspiring journalist, discovers the school drama teacher is engaged in inappropriate relations with his male pupils—what could be more salacious for a budding reporter? He pressures fellow students Diwata and Howie to help him break the story, but they’ve got their own ideas.
Friday, 6 p.m.
939 Boylston St., Boston
Sisters Leah and Chloe Smith are the dual frontwomen of this alterna-folk group, which takes its influence not only from Appalachian music but pretty much every thing else, imagining an Appalachia in dialogue with the world, instead of hidden away in the mountains. Their sound is worldly and spiritual at once, with a hypnotic, meditative groove.
Considering Matthew Shepard
Saturday, 8 p.m.
45 Quincy St., Cambridge
The Harvard Glee Club, the Radcliffe Choral Society and the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum co-present this oratorio about Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who, as the story goes, was murdered in Wyoming in 1998 by homophobic thugs. A minority of journalists have suggested the crime was more about drugs than sexuality, but Shepard’s status as an LGBT martyr is more than secure.
Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends
Thursday, 9:30 p.m.
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$10-$12, 18+, 800-745-3000
Americans like to move around America. Rocker Ezra Furman, a Tufts grad, spent some time in Boston fronting a band called the Harpoons, but eventually he moved back home to Chicago, where he started the Boyfriends. Tour-mates Sleepy Kitty, also Chicago natives, are now based in St. Louis. Local opener Gracie Jackson will soon be leaving Boston for Los Angeles.
Out of the Blue Fools Fest
Friday and Saturday
Out of the Blue Too Art Gallery and More
541 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$13-$30, all ages, 617-354-5287
Some of the best and brightest in the New England underground rock scene, and some from farther afield—more than 40 in all—will descend upon Out of the Blue Too this weekend. It would almost be unfair to pick highlights with so many good bands—let’s just say this diverse lineup will satisfy all your freak flag-waving needs.
Saturday, 7 p.m.
279 Tremont St., Boston
$8-$20, 18+, 800-745-3000
Pokey LaFarge is the stage name of Andrew Heissler. As a kid, he had just as great an interest in history as he did in music, so it’s not surprising that his Americana music and image are such throwbacks, or that he should have eventually found himself on the nostalgic Jack White’s Third Man Records.
Second City Touring Company: Hooking Up
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
The Wilbur Theater
246 Tremont St., Boston
Chicago’s comedy institution Second City has more than its fair share of legends on its list of alumni. Tonight you’ll see some of the best and brightest from their current roster, riffing on that infinite resource for comic material: romance, or whatever there is left of it in the world of Tinder, speed dating and “missed connections.”
One Man Lord of the Rings
Saturday and Sunday
7 Medford St., Arlington
If you’re the guy who created and stars in “One Man Star Wars Trilogy”, you can really only go up, so it makes sense that Charlie Ross chose an even more epic trilogy for his next challenge. Expect a hilariously condensed version of Tolkein’s 1000-plus page epic, with Ross doing everything — sound effects, massive battles and everyone from Gandalf to Gollum.
Rakshasi: an Exploration of the Demoness
Friday and Saturday
Boston University Dance Theater
915 Comm. Ave., Boston
Triveni Ensemble performs Indian classical dance with a narrator, acting out the tale he or she tells. This set of dances tells stories of Rakshasi, Hindu demons who take female form. These beings, banished to earth for their violent, lusty ways, are said to be master shapeshifters, able to fly and vanish at will. Some were depicted drinking blood. Sounds delicious!
An Evening with the Poets of Pizza Pi Press
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store
1256 Mass Ave., Cambridge
“tiny press. all the lit. lots of art. we operate out of a pizza.” That’s all Pizza Pi Press’ website bio. Their bio on the Harvard Book Store’s site adds that they’re “a local community-oriented press, always trying to amplify the vibrant, urgent, and intersectional.” You’ll hear from four poets here: Laine Hsiang, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, J.R, Mahung and Jonathan Mendoza.
The Moon and the Sledgehammer
Sunday, 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy St., Cambridge
Director Phillip Trevelyan will appear at this screening of his 1971 documentary about an British family, the Pages, who retreated to the woods, motivated by an apocalyptic anxiety about direction of society and its energy-wasting ways, best symbolized for their patriarch by the extravagant expense of the 1969 moon landing. Nonetheless, they weren’t angry, paranoid kooks — Trevelyan also shows their love of life.