Here’s what to do in Boston this weekend

THEATER

Sontag: Reborn

Photo Credit: Moe Angelos
Photo Credit: Moe Angelos

Through May 18
Paramount Center
559 Washington St., Boston
$25-$89, 617-824-8400
www.artsmerson.org

Actress Moe Angelos is the writer and performing this biographical play on famed public intellectual Susan Sontag, adapted directly from Sontag’s own journals, which, by her own admission, were crucially connected to her published writings. Covering a wide swath of her life from her teenage years to her peak years, it captures the mix of insecurity and ambition that drove her work.

Carrie: The Musical

Friday through June 7
Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$55, 617-933-8600
www.bostontheatrescene.com

Kudos to SpeakEasy Stage Company for doing “Carrie” in the spring. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, love is in the air—it’s the perfect time for blood, hysteria and supernatural terror! Based on the Stephen King book, “Carrie” tells the tale of teenage social pariah who discovers she has serious psychic powers, after which things basically get pretty bonkers.

Boston Theater Marathon XVI

Sunday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$35, 617-933-8600
www.bostontheatrescene.com

Why should runners have all the fun? This annual benefit for the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, which works to help starving artists a starve a bit less, burns over the course of ten hours through 53 ten-minute plays by 55 different New England-based playwrights. Who knows—in the age of Twitter and Vine, this might just be the future of theater.

MUSIC

Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica

Photo Credit: Rich Gastwirt
Photo Credit: Rich Gastwirt

Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar
1 Bennett St., Cambridge
$16, 617-395-7757
www.regattabarjazz.com

Led by vibraphonist Brian O’Neil, this jazz/world music quintet performs a wide-ranging exotica style, drawing on traditional sounds, as well as instruments, from across the globe—we can’t think of another band with both a Middle Eastern oud and a Japanese shakuhachi. Their music hits that perfect exotica sweet spot, somewhere between irresistible martini camp and mysterious noir cool.

Handel’s Saul

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Sanders Theater
45 Quincy St., Cambridge
$22-$65, 617-648-3885
www.bbcboston.org

The Back Bay Chorale presents Handel’s setting of the tragic Old Testament story of Saul, David’s predecessor and the first king of Israel. David’s early history is just as central, from his defeat of Goliath to his famous bromance with Jonathan, Saul’s son, who finds himself torn between his father and David. It’s a work rivaled in epicness only by his “Messiah”.

ART

Arline Fisch: Hanging Gardens

 Fisch_Moons.jpg

Through May 31
Mobilia Gallery
358 Huron Ave., Cambridge
Free, 617-876-2109
www.mobilia-gallery.com

Though not exactly a household name, sculptor Arline Fisch, a pioneer of the use of textile techniques with metal, has won four Fullbright scholarships and been declared a “living treasure” by the State of California. The uncanny, beautifully colored creations in this show resemble undersea creatures like jellyfish and coral so well that you half-expect to see one of them slither away.

Philippe Charles Jacquet

Through June 1
Axelle Fine Arts
91 Newbury St., Boston
Free, 617-450-0700
www.axelle.com/boston/

French painter Philippe Charles Jacquet gives us flat, wide open spaces punctuated by a tiny human, boat or house, and like these solitary little figures we are swallowed up by the vastness of the natural world, enormous and yet empty of significance apart from human eyes. There’s a surrealism, but it’s the surrealism of reality itself, the dreamlike moments already in waking life.

COMEDY

Women in Comedy Festival

Maria Bamford photographed in Los Angeles, CA on January 13, 2009.

Thursday through Sunday
Various locations
Boston and Cambridge
Prices vary, info@womenincomedyfestival.com
www.womenincomedyfestival.com

This year’s Women in Comedy Festival is the biggest yet, spread across several venues, with dozens of talented ladies from across the country—and, as before, a few stowaway men—performing sketch, improv, music, stand-up, and even a little puppetry. Headliners include Maria Bamford, Amy Sedaris, Wendy Liebman, Judy Gold, Erin Jackson, Jackice Kashian, Lauren Ash, Leslie Seiler and Kelly MacFarland.

DANCE

Boston Ballet’s Next Generation 2014

Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston
$25-$100, 617-695-6955
www.bostonballet.org

Witness the best in young local dance talent at this show, featuring members of the Boston Ballet’s Pre-Professional Program, Boston Ballet II and the New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. The program includes George Balanchine’s setting of Mendelssohn’s third symphony, known as the “Scotch Symphony”, as well as an original work by Yury Yanowsky, the Boston Ballet’s principal dancer.

BOOKS

Susan Rich

Thursday, 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books
25 White St., Cambridge
Free, 617-491-2220
www.portersquarebooks.com

This Seattle-based poet will read from her latest collection, “Cloud Pharmacy”, partially inspired by the work of Hannah Maynard, an early experimental photographer fond of duplicating images of herself in the same shot, as if to show the several sides of her personality. Rich accomplishes a similar effect in her poems, conveying the unique person beneath the everyday waverings of mind.

MOVIES

Joe Papp in Five Acts

Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Ave., Boston
$10-$12, 781-736-8600
www.jewishfilm.org

This documentary tells the story of Joe Papp, founder of Manhattan’s Public Theater, an early champion of racially integrated productions, popularizer of the now-ubiquitous “Shakespeare in the Park” concept, and mentor to countless stars of stage and screen, many of whom appear here singing his praises. It screens again at the Modern Theater on Saturday—check the site above for more info.

ROCK SHOWS

Rodriguez

Photo Credit: Doug Seymour
Photo Credit: Doug Seymour

Friday, 8 p.m.
Orpheum Theater
1 Hamilton Pl., Boston
$47-$67, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

Detroit native Sixto Rodriguez put out a couple of great folk rock albums in the 70’s to little fanfare, but years later he discovered, much to his surprise, that he’d become an anti-establishment cult hero south of the equator. The release of an Oscar-winning 2012 documentary, “Searching for Sugar Man”, finally won him the notoriety at home that had eluded him for decades.

EMA

Saturday, 9 p.m.
Great Scott
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$12-$14, 21+, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

EMA are the initials of industrial pop diva Erika M. Anderson. Though it’s always been cool in indie music sing without a trace of emotion, Anderson’s vocals, sometimes the only truly melodic presence in the monstrous machine landscape of her music, have the drama turned up to 11—it’s the sound of humanity drowning ecstatically in its own technological fever dream. Awesome.

Television

Monday, 8 p.m.
The Paradise
967 Comm. Ave., Boston
$25, 18+, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

Card-carrying members of the original mid 1970’s CBGB scene, Television, with their wiry but densely melodic guitar lines and weird, detached emotionality, signaled a total withdrawl from the pentatonic doldrums of blues-based rock, while their sparse, stripped-down aesthetic charted the course for a new kind of inward-looking progressive sound, helping to spawn entire genres of alternative rock in the process.

TALKS

Art Spiegelman: What the %@&*! Happened to Comics?

In photo: Art SpiegelmanCredit: Nadja Spiegelman

Friday, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theater
45 Quincy St., Cambridge
$30-$65, 617-482-6661
www.celebrityseries.org

Graphic novelist Art Spiegelman, of all people, ought to know the answer to the question he poses in the title of this talk on the history of comics. Best known for “Maus”, his complex, profound exploration of the Holocaust in history and memory, he has been a crucial figure in establishing the potential of comics as a literary art form.



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