Tuesday through January 19 Boston Opera House 539 Washington St., Boston $30-$150, 866-523-7469 boston.broadway.com
This stripped-down musical, which swept the 2012 Tony Awards, tells the story of a Dublin street musician, Guy, whose wavering perseverance in his vocation is reinvigorated by a love interest named—wait for it—Girl. The relationship brings his art and career to even greater heights, but at a painful emotional cost neither of them quite want to pay.
Working, a Musical
Friday through February 1 Lyric Stage 140 Clarendon St., Boston $25-$65, 617-585-5678 www.lyricstage.com
Co-adapted by alt-Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz from the book by Studs Terkel, this story takes a tour of the American proletariat, profiling 25 working class lives over the course of 24 hours (that’s in-play time, not real time). In addition to Schwartz’s tunes, the play includes songs by James Taylor, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and others—it’s a soundtrack as multifarious as its characters.
More than a dozen local luminaries will pay tribute to the eclectic, rootsy Providence duo Brown Bird, whose frontman, Dave Lamb, was diagnosed with Leukemia this past spring, in the midst of a tour for their latest album, “Fits of Reason”, forcing them to take a hiatus at a peak moment in their career. Ticket sales benefit the band.
The Jongen Project
Sunday, 3 p.m. Brown Hall, New England Conservatory 30 Gainsborough St., Boston Free, 508-478-3509 www.lindabentro-rei.com
Local flutist Linda Bento-Rei put together the Jongen Project, a tribute to the semi-obscure impressionist Belgian composer Joseph Jongen, who’s best known for his organ pieces. But the CD Bento-Rei and her collaborators created, and will perform here, features his chamber work. Jongen’s music is deeply emotional, but never melodramatic, at once boldly declarative and elusively mysterious—he truly is a lost master.
Rights of Way: Mobility and the City
Through May 26 BSA Space 290 Congress St., Boston Free, 617-391-4039 www.bsaspace.org
The phrase “City of the Future” might conjure up the fantastical visions of 1950’s prognosticators who imagined jet packs, food in a pill, moon colonies, etc., but for the thinkers featured in this exhibition, it’s much more down to earth. For them, the most fundamental element in a truly egalitarian city is good transportation—social mobility fostered by literal mobility.
Through January 11 Gallery at ArtBlock 725 Harrison Ave., Boston Free, 617-338-7600 www.gallaeryatartblock.com
This dual exhibition brings together two artists from two very different places—Quebecois sculptor Danielle Suave and Venezuelan painter Jesus Matheus. Suave’s uncanny clay creations, made to look like enfolding fabric, are meant to represent human behavior in all its twists and turns. They’re counterbalanced by Matheus’ minimalist abstract paintings, which allude in almost disquieting silence to all they don’t reveal.
Thursday through Saturday Laugh Boston 425 Summer St., Boston $20-$25, 21+, 617-725-2844 www.laughboston.com
This Bostonian comedian has no time to beat around the bush, favoring the unglamorous truth behind our complacent euphemisms—like any good New Englander, he’s a firm believer that a little misery is the best motivator. His style is more ranty than jokey, in the tradition of the great Bill Hicks, whose act was as much manifesto as comedy.
The British Arrows
Saturday, 3 p.m. Institute of Contemporary Art 100 Northern Ave., Boston $5-$10, 617-478-3100 www.icaboston.com
Hey Anglophiles, here’s your last chance to catch this collection of the best British advertising spots from the past year. We’re used to commercials being annoyances we try our best to skip through, but these ads are more like mini-movies that happen to be sales pitches. It’s proof that being on the corporate payroll doesn’t necessarily entail creative death.
GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
Friday and Saturday Somerville Theater 55 Davis Sq., Somerville $8, 617-869-3690 somerville-subterranean-cinema.ticketleap.com
Somerville Subterranean Cinema presents this 2011 documentary about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, an all-female pro wrestling league whose Las Vegas-based TV show ran from 1986 to 1990, and remains a somewhat forgotten moment of greatness in the history of campy American entertainment. Two weird facts: each wrestler had her own rap song, and Jackie Stallone—Sylvester’s mom—was one of the promoters.
This extreme sports showcase features more than 40 of the world’s best in the field, including motocross, BMX, skateboarding and some more unusual stunts, performed on machines used, for the most part, only by the Nitro Circus crew. Not included: death wish hipsters weaving through traffic on fixed gear bikes—because that’s not an extreme sport, just an extremely annoying one.
Three charity runners in this year’s Boston Marathon came up with this ingenious idea of fundraising through a hip cocktail party. The drinks on hand, we’re told, will be “local and aggressive.” Sounds good to us! Proceeds will benefit the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge and Tedy’s Team, both of which help fund cancer research.
Monster Sled at Fenway Park
Through January 13 Fenway Park 4 Yawkey Way, Boston $25, 877-733-7699 www.redsox.com
Oh sure, you could go sledding on some hill in the area for free, but consider the novelty of sledding right in the middle of Fenway Park—not to mention the fact that this freaky winter is taking snow away as quick as it’s dumping it down, but this hill is always sled-worthy, and it has stairs to climb back up!
Led by twin sisters Laura and Nina Ganci, American Echoes has a glistening, wintry sound with a harsh beauty, driven by the sisters’ close harmonies. While they’re not a retro band, their aesthetics have more affinity with those of the 90’s than today—their clear, keening voices are refreshingly out-out-fashion in a contemporary indie scene where naked sincerity is almost a faux pas.
Sunday, 8 p.m. Great Scott 1222 Comm. Ave., Allston $10, 18+, 800-745-3000 www.ticketmaster.com
Parachuter perform a brand of brooding instrumental prog rock similar to another local act, Caspian, though for our money they’re the better of the two. With unapologetic ambition, they describe their latest album as “A journey through life and subconscious, stitching together vivid scenes from youth to death.” All we know is you can totally get lost in this music.
Monday, 8 p.m. Brighton Music Hall 158 Brighton Ave., Allston $14, 800-745-3000 www.ticketmaster.com
This British singer has way cool hair, and his music is equally cool, running the full R&B gamut, from James Brown to Chris Brown. Take a song like “Love Me Again”, which starts off sounding, with its inhuman reverb, like another robotic club track before bursting into an bouncy, old school, horn-punctuated shuffle—proof that man and machine can co-exist.