MOVIES

2015 Sundance Film Festival Shorts
Thursday through Saturday
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
$10, 617-478-3100
www.icaboston.org
 
Many commentators note our society’s increasingly short attention span. Sometimes this is viewed as a bad thing, but maybe it’s good for makers of short films. Here you’ll get to see some of last year’s best, as chosen by the tastemakers at Sundance. Comedy, tragedy, animation, documentary, truth and fiction— it’s all here in all its bite-sized goodness.

"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"
Sunday, 5 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy St., Cambridge
$7-$9, 617-495-4700
hcl.harvard.edu/hfa
 
This campy 1953 musical film was Marilyn Monroe’s ticket to the big time, anchored in her famous — and much imitated — performance of the song "Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend," but the Harvard Film Archive’s synopsis suggests that director Howard Hawks’ cameras took more interest in her co-star, Jane Russell. One thing’s for sure: Hollywood doesn’t make froth like this anymore.
 
THEATER
 
"Agnes of God"
Thursday through Saturday
Footlight Club
7a Eliot St., Jamaica Plain
$10, 617-524-3200
www.footlight.org
 
Footlight Club presents this intense play by John Pielmeier, about Dr. Martha Livingstone, a Canadian psychologist who sent to investigate a mysterious case of infanticide at a local convent. Standing in her way is Mirium Ruth, the formidable mother superior, determined to defend the innocence of sweet, unassuming Agnes, the suspect — but that innocence is far more complicated than it seems.
 
Filter Theater: "Twelfth Night"
Through January 30
Paramount Center
559 Washington St., Boston
$10-$65, 617-824-8400
www.artsemerson.org
 
The experimental company Filter Theater teamed up with the Royal Shakespeare Company to create this topsy-turvy deconstruction of the Bard’s comedy “Twelfth Night” — a play that, with its gender-bending and hierarchy-upending themes, is already sort of a deconstruction. Put it all together and you’ve got an unpredictable, highly amusing night of theater.

TALKS

The Healing Power of Stories
Thursday, 6 p.m.
Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation, Mass General Hospital 
2 N. Grove St., Boston
Free, mghhistory@partners.org
www.facebook.com/mghrussellmuseum
 
Even in the age of modern medicine, the process of healing is rarely a purely physical matter — humans have a need to share their stories as well, and doctors must be listeners as well as practitioners. At this talk, Dr. Annie Brewster, founder and executive director of the Health Story Collaborative, will discuss her organization’s Sharing Clinic, which collects patient stories.

ART

BRINK v2: Space and Intimacy
Through March 26
Mills Gallery
539 Tremont St., Boston
Free, 617-426-5000 
www.bcaonline.org
 
This is the second installment of the Mills Gallery’s “BRINK” series, showcasing fresh approaches to thinking about and making art. This round focuses on artists pushing the envelope of sculpture, including Johnny Adimando, Samantha Fields, Coe Lapossy, AJ Liberto, Steven Pestana and J.R. Uretsky, all from the Northeastern United States. The opening reception is Friday evening at 6 p.m.
 
Visible Noize: The Art of John Jennings
Through March 13
Gallery 360
360 Huntington Ave., Boston
Free, 617-373-5728
www.northeastern.edu/art/visible-noize/
 
Northeastern University presents the work of cartoonist and designer John Jennings, also professor of visual studies at SUNY Buffalo, where his academic work focuses on breaking down popular stereotypes of African-Americans. His diverse, arresting artistic work, mostly in the comic or graphic novel form, explores similar arenas. His latest project is a graphic novelization of Octavia Butler’s sci-fi classic, “Kindred.”
 
MAGIC

Dan Sperry
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Regent Theater
7 Medford St., Arlington
$45-$65, 781-646-4849
www.regenttheatre.com
 
Stage magic has a reputation for being cheesy, and maybe that’s why acclaimed illusionist Dan Sperry refers to himself as an “anti-conjuror.” Embracing a gothic aesthetic, he’s sort of like the Trent Reznor of magic, going for shock rather than awe with eye-popping, horror-themed tricks and set design that have established him as an innovator in his art form.
 
FOOD
 
ONCE in Vahalla
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Cuisine en Locale
156 Highland Ave., Somerville
$150, 617-285-0167
www.cuisineenlocale.com
 
Our apologies, dear reader, if this event is out of your price range, but we couldn’t resist mentioning this straight-up Viking feast at Cuisine en Locale, with a ridiculous ten courses of food, mead and ale, live music and “feats of strength.” It’ll be the closest you can get to Valhalla without victoriously dying in battle.  
 
SHOPPING
 
Anansi’s Trading Post
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Make Shift Boston
549 Columbus Ave., Boston
Free
www.facebook.com/549columbus
 
Check out the wide variety of handmade items for sale at this pop-up shop, beginning this weekend and aiming to be a regular occurrence. Everything for sale comes direct from an assembly of artisans the organizers describe as “Boston's most entrepreneurial creatives of color.” There’s art, clothing, jewelry, zines, posters and more — you never know what might catch your eye.
 
COMEDY
 
Sean Patton
Thursday, 8:30 p.m.
Davis Square Theater
255 Elm St., Somerville
$10
www.facebook.com/strangebehaviorcomedy
 
This month’s edition of Strange Behavior features Sean Patton, a New York comic with a long resume of appearances on the festival and TV circuit. His gregarious style mixes classic observationalism with a contemporary sense of the absurd, whether he’s making perceptive distinctions between good parents and mere “kid owners," or just sharing crazy talk he heard on the Subway.
 
MUSIC
 
TickleJuice
Friday, 8 p.m.
Outpost 186
186 ½ Cambridge St., Cambridge
$10, robchalfen@hotmail.com
www.outpost186.com
 
“People are often intrigued or puzzled by this moniker,” says the bio for local jazz ensemble TickleJuice, led by alto sax player James Merenda, who chose his group’s silly yet oddly unsavory name to counteract the excessive seriousness that often plagues jazz culture. What they promise, instead, is “life-changing high energy music.” Who couldn’t use a little of that?
 
The Go! Team
Friday, 9 p.m.
The Sinclair
52 Church St., Cambridge
$15-$17, 18+, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com
 
Since they first appeared on the scene with 2004’s “Thunder, Lightning, Strike”, this British band has established a unique niche in indie rock—a diverse, colorful collage of samples and original sounds with an irresistibly upbeat, nostalgic feeling. The most recent record, “The Scene Between”, dropped in 2015, proved their creative energy hadn’t diminished an iota in the intervening decade-and-change. 
 
Scarlet Sails
Saturday, 9 p.m.
Lizard Lounge
1667 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$10-$12, 800-838-3006
www.brownpapertickets.com
 
Scarlet Sails is a new band featuring always-busy Dresden Dolls drummer Brian Viglione. Once again, he plays the role of backseat driver; his wife, singer-pianist Olya Viglione, fronts the quartet and writes all the songs. The mysteriously androgynous timbre of her contralto voice is a major asset of their bombastic rock balladry, which Dolls fans should find easy to enjoy.