Friday, 8 p.m. Jordan Hall 30 Gainsborough St., Boston $25-$40, 617-553-4887 www.afarcry.org
Local self-conducted orchestra A Far Cry finish off their season with what they describe as “a concert of extremes.” They’re not kidding either. Aaron Copeland’s glorious “Appalachian Spring” sits side-by-side in the program with Bernard Hermann’s wire-taught score for the film “Psycho”. It’s rounded out with pieces from Don Carlo Gesualdo and Finnish collective JPP.
Out of this World
Friday and Saturday Symphony Hall 301 Mass. Ave., Boston $24-$94, 888-266-1200 www.bso.org
Minnesota Orchestra conductor Sarah Nicks leads the Boston Pops through a program of space-themed music, including Holst’s perennial favorite “The Planets” and music featured in “Star Trek”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “E.T.” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. And bonus: your host in this journey to the edges of the Universe is none other than Leonard “Mr. Spock” Nimoy.
Back for another run through the summer, this evening of immersive theater combines the atmosphere and music of a 1920’s speakeasy—complete with a password at the door—and circus performance, including one group that mixes acrobatics with swing dancing. You’re encouraged to dress in your Gatsby best, and after the performance portion, the late show becomes a dance party.
This play takes place in the great white north, in the Canadian province of Nunavut, where a cast of characters ranging from a visiting climatologist to a native Inuit activist to a pair of polar bears struggle to cope with the rapidly changing climate. Current events meet ancient myth and spoken word poetry in this environmentally conscious tale.
In this play by Peter Snoad, a law student travels to a prison psych ward to visit Joe Bell, a former tour guide at one of Rhode Island’s famous Gilded Age mansions—an institution no longer receiving visitors, since he burned it down 14 years ago. Why? All we know is it seems to have been a crime of passion.
This play by Lydia R. Diamond follows the lives of four people at Harvard as they wrestle with the big problems of life—love, success, self-actualization. How much does being a “smart person” really matter? Diamond toys with the idea that that all the supposedly self-determining choices we appear to make might already be hard-wired in us, already beyond our control.
This Charlie Chaplin retrospective covers many of the British film pioneer’s greatest works, including “The Kid”, “City Lights”, “Modern Times” and “The Gold Rush”, plus new restorations of the shorts collections “Chaplin at Mutual” and “Chaplin at Keystone”. Chaplin’s ability to combine pure slapstick silliness with heartfelt portrayals and subversive social commentary remains a gold standard few have equaled since.
New England Animation Film Festival
Sunday and Monday Institute of Contemporary Art 100 Northern Ave., Boston $5-$10, 617-478-3100 www.icaboston.org
This annual compilation of the best in locally-produced animation is now in its 15th year. 2014’s lineup features 19 different animators, presenting radically different visions of the possibilities in the form, from old school cell animation to college, stop motion, and the innumerable digital possibilities, with themes exploring ever corner of life. Among the highlights is Daniel Sousa’s Oscar-nominated short “Feral”.
Thursday through June 1 Boston Opera House 539 Washington St., Boston $29-$137, 617-695-6955 www.bostonballet.org
The Boston Ballet performs George Balanchine’s “Jewels”, with its three parts, each representing a different gem: Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, featuring music by Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, respectively, and evoking three great cities: Paris, New York and St. Petersburg. One can also sense something of the history of ballet, from the classical style to Balanchine’s own neo-classical innovations.
The Guild of Boston artists presents this exhibition on the heyday and legacy of the Boston School, a group of late 19th century painters who combined a deep appreciation for the Old Masters with the Impressionst fascination with light and movement. It features both works by the original painters and contemporary examples of this still-living tradition.
Sea Creatures in Glass
Opens Saturday Harvard Museum of Natural History 26 Oxford St., Cambridge $12, 617-405-3045 www.hmnh.harvard.edu
This new permanent exhibition at the Harvard Museum of Natural History features a set of almost miraculously perfect glass sculptures of invertebrate sea creatures like jellyfish and anemones, created by 19th century father and son team Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka—also the makers of Harvard’s famous glass flowers. The complete set will be on display for the first time in decades.
Tuesday, 7 p.m. First Parish Church 1446 Mass. Ave., Cambridge $35, 617-661-1515 www.harvard.com
As President Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury from 2009 through 2013, Timothy Geithner found himself, unenviably, as one of the more visible public faces of the federal government’s response to the Great Recession. In this discussion with David Gergen, he’ll share his point of view on his tenure, which he recounts in his new book, “Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises”.
Friday, 7 p.m. House of Blues 15 Lansdowne St., Boston $19-$30, 800-745-3000 www.livenation.com
The Manchester Orchestra are not from anywhere called Manchester—they’re from Atlanta, Georgia. They’re also not an orchestra—they’re a five piece band. But the name, evoking the gloomy English city, still fits their moody, epic sound, which veers from monstrous, headbanging heft to gentler, harmony-laden, folk-like passages, cover all the gradations between. Balance and Composure and Kevin Devine open.
For a guy who got his big break in 2008 through a mention on Perez Hilton’s blog (remember him?), the lanky, good-natured pop singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson is doing gangbusters. Then again, considering how well crafted his retro-contemporary tunes are, and how amiable a performer he is, there’s no way he could’ve been a flash in the pan.
Formed in the U.K. in 2004, electronic pop group New Young Pony Club haven’t changed their stylish, sparse sound much in the past ten years, but they remain as unique an act as they were then. Vocalist Tahita Balmer’s tone, suspended somewhere between rapping and singing, matches the machine-like music perfectly—we feel vicariously cooler just listening to her.