What to do and where to go

Daniel Beaty stars as many every character in "Emergency." Photo: Michael Lamont
Daniel Beaty stars as every character in “Emergency.” Photo: Michael Lamont

ART

Nursery Rhymes
Friday and Saturday
Nave Gallery
155 Powderhouse Blvd., Somerville
Free, 617-259-8386
www.navegallery.org

The Internet-based Super Precious Art Gallery put together this exhibition of art inspired by nursery rhymes. Unlike most gallery showings, which last a few weeks, this one’s only up for an opening reception Friday at 7 p.m. and a showing Saturday afternoon. So make like Jack and be nimble and/or quick before this goes out like a candlestick.

Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel
Through July 31
Florence and Chafetz Hillel House
213 Bay State Rd., Boston
Free, 617-353-7200
www.bu.edu/hillel

This exhibition showcases 25 original prints of mixed media paintings made by Salvador Dali in 1968 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the state of Israel. Dali’s popular reputation rests on his iconic surrealist paintings, mostly made in the 1930s, but the full breadth of his vision and exploration was much wider, as these emotionally powerful works amply show.

MOVIES

WAM! Boston Film Festival
Saturday and Sunday
Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
$6-$30, 617-876-6838
www.womenactionmedia.org

Coinciding with this week’s Women in Comedy festival, this series of screenings features movies made by and about women from across the world. The diversity of subjects is impressive, ranging from female bodybuilders to the politics of black dolls to a young woman who covered the recent Egyptian revolution to an animated short about a kitten trying to look like Barbie.

THEATER

Operation Epsilon
Through April 28
Central Square Theater
450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$15-$40, 866-811-4111
www.centralsquaretheater.org

The Nora Theatre Company presents this world-premiere play by Alan Brody, starts at the end of World War II. The Allies have captured Nazi Germany’s top ten nuclear scientists and locked in a house in England, where all their conversations are being recorded. In case you’re wondering, this all actually happened—Brody based his script on the real transcripts.

Emergency
Friday through Sunday
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$79, 617-824-8400
www.artsemerson.org

The disturbingly talented Daniel Beaty performs more than 25 different characters in this one-man show, a mix of slam poetry, music and theater. Its plot centers on the mysterious materialization of a slave ship in New York during the finals for a popular TV competition. Beaty’s transformations show us the varying tensions this bizarre, disconcerting event produces in the populace.

COMEDY

The Whitest Kids U’ Know
Saturday, 9:45 p.m.
Wilbur Theatre
246 Tremont St., Boston
$23, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

This sketch troupe is best known for their eponymous cable TV show, which ran from 2007 to 2011. In many ways, the all-male crew is a contemporary Kids in the Hall—they adore taboo topics, meta-sketches and black humor, and they aren’t afraid to get in drag. But they’re also blunter, more outrageous and more immature (in the best way).

DANCE

Atlantic Steps
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass. Ave., Boston
$20-$35, 617-747-2261
www.berkleebpc.com

Those with a surplus of St. Patrick’s Day spirit from last weekend should check out this touring adaptation of the popular Irish show “Fuaim Chonamara,” which traces the history of the “sean-nós” dance tradition, Ireland’s oldest and the progenitor of modern step dance. It stars celebrated sean-nós dancer Brian Cunningham and his family as well as Boston-based dancer Kieran Jordan.

MUSIC

All-Wagner Program
Thursday through Tuesday
Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$30-$110, 888-266-1200
www.bso.org

Italian conductor Daniele Gatti leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra, featuring mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, through a some of German composer Richard Wagner’s greatest operatic hits, including selections from “Götterdämmerung,” “Tannhäuser,” “Parsifal,” “Lohengrin,” and “Tristan und Isold.” Had Wagner been a lesser composer, his reputation may not have survived its association with Nazism, but great art tends to make its own case.

Jonathan Bliss
Friday, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough St., Boston
$35-$75, 617-482-6661
www.celebrityseries.org

However it may seem, genius never just pops out of the aether. With this idea in mind, pianist Jonathan Bliss will present “Schumann: Under the Influence,” the goal of which, in his words, is “to ‘place’ Schumann—to view him not as just a happy accident, but a central and incredibly important figure in the history of music.”

The Seduction of a Lady
Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Boston University Concert Hall
855 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
Free, 949-294-6416
www.bu.edu/cfa

This one act comic opera by Richard Wargo is based on “The Seduction” from Neil Simon’s “The Good Doctor,” in turn based on a Chekov tale. Peter Semyonych, an expert Don Juan, demonstrates his technique by pretending to ignore Irena while singing her praises to her husband Nicky, who parrots it back to Irena, charming her to no end. Devious, eh?

BOOKS

Joyce Carol Oates
Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre
290 Harvard St., Brookline
$28, 617-566-6660
www.brooklinebooksmith.com

Highbrow literary types often dismiss the horror genre, but they make an exception for Joyce Carol Oates. Granted, she’s not strictly a horror writer, and when she is it’s rarely just for shock value. Her latest effort, “The Accursed,” uses creepy supernatural events to explore the hypocrisy of early 20th century “progressives” who turned a conveniently blind eye to racial injustice.

PERFORMANCE

Big Apple Circus
Tuesday through May 12
City Hall Plaza
1 City Hall Plaza, Boston
$25-$100, 800-922-3772
www.bigapplecircus.org

The Big Apple Circus returns to town, this time with a show called “Legendarium”. It’s a fitting name, since each element of the classic circus is legendary in its own right. With no seat more than 50 feet from the stage, you’re guaranteed a killer view of the endless array of eye-popping aerial stunts, whacky clown hijinks and impressive animal feats.


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