Love and Gravity
Friday and Saturday
Arts at the Armory
191 Highland St., Somerville
$15-$20, 617-718-2191
Compared to the force of love, gravity’s a piece of cake. Acrobatic Conundrum performs this show fusing circus arts with a series of romantic narratives ripped right from real life. You’ll see a variety of badass stunts here. You can check out some of their rope routine online — if that’s just the tip of the iceberg, then you’re in for an intense show. 
Random International: 150 Milliseconds
Friday through June 25
Le Laboratoire Cambridge
650 E. Kendall St., Cambridge
Free, 617-945-7515
This show reveals the process behind British art collective Random International’s latest work, “Fifteen Points”. The show’s title alludes to the amount of time it takes the average brain to recognize the most visually minimal but still recognizable animation of a human form. Intrigued? The collective will hold at a special seminar explaining more on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.
East Boston Open Studios
Saturday and Sunday
Atlantic Works Building
80 Border St., East Boston
The south side of Boston may be the city’s best known artist hub, but East Boston’s got its own cohort, and this weekend they’ll be showing off their studios and work. More than 30 artists an craftspeople of all sorts are participating, mainly at the Atlantic Works Building, but there’s more art and music ZUMIX and HarborArts at the Shipyard. 
Through Indian Eyes: Native American Cinema
Friday through Wednesday
Brattle Theater
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
$9-$11, 617-876-6837
This Brattle Theater hosts this traveling series of films by American Indian filmmakers, organized by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. It starts Friday evening with 1998’s “Smoke Signals”, a buddy/road picture written by Sherman Alexie, about two very mismatched friends who leave their home at the Coeur d’Alene reservation in Idaho for the first time, to retrieve the ashes of one of their fathers.  
Bookish Ball and Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Various locations
Harvard Square, Cambridge
Free, 617-491-3434
If he were truly immortal, the immortal Bard would be turning a respectable 452 years old this weekend. Being the scholarly place it is, Harvard Square is throwing a birthday party worthy of the man you pretended to understand in English class, including live outdoor performances by the Lovers and Rude Mechanicals and Sh*t-Faced Shakespeare, a “Sonnet Slam,” birthday cake and more. 
Dog Act
Through Saturday
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill St., Charlestown
$10, 617-242-3285
This “post-apocalyptic vaudeville” tale by Liz Duffy Adams follows the performer Zetta and her formerly human dog Dog — suffice to say things got weird after the apocalypse—as they traipse across what remains of the Northeastern United States. Their ultimate destination: what remains of China. The play includes five original songs.  
The Wonderful World of Dissocia
Friday through April 30
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle St., Cambridge
$5-$10, 617-496-2222
This play, produced and performed by Harvard students, starts when our heroine, Lisa, loses an hour of time on a transatlantic flight — she can’t remember where she was or what happened. Soon, however, she has her answer: she was whisked away to Dissocia, a topsy-turvy alternative universe. But what is this place, and what if she gets stuck there again, forever?
Brian Barganier
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Polish American Citizens Club
82 Boston St., Dorchester
This alternative comic, a Connecticut native, has appeared on MTV, Comedy Central and Adult Swim, and opened for Amy Schumer, Pablo Francisco and Nick DiPaolo, among others. He delivers his jokes with a sarcastic tone, emanating from somewhere beneath his unwieldy mop of white boy fro. He’s fond of the fake-out joke that almost flies over an audience’s radar — almost.  
Free-Floating Silent Disco Party
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Brewer Fountain
Boston Common
Free, 617-319-9393
Silent discos, where everyone downloads the same song onto their mobile device, hits play at the same time, and gets down with their collective bad self, are pretty common nowadays, but this one is “floating”, which means you’ll be moving to a different location at some point. There’s nowhere that could not be a disco. 
Fernando Huergo
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
1 Bennett St., Cambridge
$14-$18, 617-395-7757
This Argentine electric bass virtuoso, a professor at Berklee College of Music, has appeared on an astounding 140 albums, 11 of them as bandleader. With his quintet, he plays traditional small ensemble jazz, and he’s a true bassist on stage, chilling out non-chalant in the background. This is the album release show for his new record, “Hashtag.”
Thursday, 8 pm.
O’Brien’s Pub
3 Harvard Ave., Allston
$10, 18+, 866-777-8932
This Montreal band has a monstrous, fuzzed-out doom metal sound, with track after track of plodding, pummeling bliss. Vocals, on the other hand, aren’t of the stereotypical deep-throated doom metal variety, but more like the high-pitched, nasal squawks of a modern punk brat — except that brat’s careening over the countryside in a Sherman tank. It’s pretty much perfect. 
Night Moves
Saturday, 9:30 p.m.
Great Scott
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$12, 21+, 800-745-3000
Minneapolis band Night Moves mixes contemporary cool with a 1970’s pop/rock sensibility on their latest record, “Pennied Days.” The band’s lush arrangements and soulful singing show them as expert students of the era’s hallmarks. If you’re in your 20’s, there’s a fair chance your parents might like this music as much as you — don’t let them find out about it. 
The Residents
Monday, 7 p.m.
279 Tremont St., Boston
$35-$40, 18+, 800-745-3000
These legendary Bay Area freaks, who’ve remained both staggeringly prolific and defiantly anonymous throughout their four decade career, return to Boston with their latest mind-scrambler, a full-on rock opera called “Shadowlands.” This being the Residents, of course, please take the words “rock” and “opera” loosely. But we’re confident that it will be a visual-musical experience unlike any other you’ve seen recently. 
The Mind Reader
Friday, 8 p.m.
Colonnade Hotel
120 Huntington Ave., Boston
Christopher Grace performs a style of magic called “mentalism,” in which he tries to convince you he can read your mind. Of course, nobody can actually do that—but how the heck could he have known such-and-such? Don’t look at us. Locally based, Grace has performed for many big corporations and private functions — but this time he’s showing the plebes some love. 
Lynn Emanuel
Thursday, 7 p.m,
Sherrill Library
89 Brattle St., Cambridge
This poet will read from her latest book, “The Nerve of It.” It’s a volume unstuck in time, containing works composed both recently and many years ago, confounding the popular temptation to equate art with autobiography. Emanuel’s work, lyrical but concrete, mysterious without being totally obscure, is accessible to folks who don’t normally read poetry, while remaining interesting to those who do.