Here’s what to do in Boston this weekend
TAO Dance Theater
Thursday & Friday
Citi Schubert Theater
265 Tremont St., Boston
Lao Tzu said that the Tao that can be described is not the true Tao, and that seems to be the way this Chinese modern dance ensemble relates to the art of dance. One piece on this program, simply titled “4”, attempts to present the body as a pure visual experience, divorced from story-telling and representation—the dance that cannot be described.
Kate Weare Company
Friday & Saturday
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
Choreographer Kate Weare may be a stylistic minimalist, but her themes—identity and relationships—are big ones. This program includes her 2011 piece “Garden”, a Boston debut. The emotional tension between the romantic partners in “Garden” is heady, with stark alterations between movement and pause, distance and engagement—and a good deal of both at once.
Friday, 7 p.m.
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$15, 18+, 800-745-3000
Justin Willman’s act modernizes a somewhat dormant sub-genre of standup—comedy magic. For Willman, this means playing into contemporary cynicism by deconstructing magic itself. One bit involves his verbally-confused Siri app giving him bizarre instructions on how to do a trick. We think it’s going to lead nowhere, and yet he sneaks an illusion in anyway. Pretty clever!
Berklee Middle Eastern Festival: The Music of Armenia
Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass. Ave., Boston
This packed concert actually features music from Bulgaria as well as Armenia. The Armenian portion is a piece called “Dark Eyes/New Eyes”, featuring flutist Sato Moughalian’s Perspectives Ensemble, a capella group Zulal and live painting by one Kevork Mourad. The Bugarian portion includes Pletenitsa Choir, the Ludo Mlado Dance Ensemble, the Sayat Nova Folk Dance Ensemble and the Berklee World Strings.
Thursday, 8 p.m.
2 Arrow St., Cambridge
This Latin music ensemble, performing as part of the 2014 Boston Jewish Music Festival, is composed of Jewish and Latin musicians from across Central and South America. In addition to music, the show features photography by Linda Hirsch. If you don’t know how to mambo, the performance will be preceded by a dance lesson—so you’ll have no excuse!
Friday, 8 p.m.
30 Gainsborough St., Boston
This French string quartet plays classical music informed, often quite subtly, by jazz training, giving their renditions of the stodgy old masters a noticeable but unobtrusive swing that sheds new light on old melodies. They’ve also done Beatles tunes and bits of the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack, but for this concert they’ll be doing Mozart, Bartok and some jazz selections.
Friday, 8 p.m.
55 Davis Sq., Somerville
Channel Zero presents this demented parody of an American Western from Iron Curtain Czechoslovakia. Weird cowboy Lemonade Joe seems to be a fiery temperance crusader, but we begin to wonder suspect that he’s really just trying to sell a brand of lemonade mysteriously named—wink, wink—“Kolaloka”. Does he really care about alcoholism, or just his share of the drink market?
An Almost But Not Quite Entirely Complete Wes Anderson Retrospective
Friday through March 6
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
This week, in anticipation of Wes Anderson’s latest, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, the Brattle Theater will be showing every one of his films except “Rushmore”, which they sadly do not have. But everything else is here, from the early, retrospectively atypical “Bottle Rocket” to Anderson’s last and perhaps most typical, “Moonrise Kingdom”.
Boston University Theater
264 Huntington Ave., Boston
Sort of like the British “Up Series” on fast-forward, this play by Tadeusz Slobodzianek, based on a real Polish town, takes a look at the lives of ten classmates—half Catholic, half Jewish—over 80 years, from 1926 to 2006, as they grow up in a war-torn land, diverging from and colliding with each one another along the way, sometimes tragically.
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St., Boston
Zeitgeist Stage Company presents British playwright Alan Ackbourne’s farce about a bunch of busybody small-town gated community residents who, scared into comical paranoia by a false alarm, start a neighborhood watch program. It starts out tame, but gets way realer than anyone meant it to, its increasingly zealous commander-in-chief soon becoming a bigger threat to the neighborhood than any petty crime.
Francis Gardino: Villaggio Italiano
Through June 30
Harvard Allston Education Portal
175 N. Harvard St., Allston
Unbound Visual Arts, Inc. presents the latest installment in its “All Things Change” series of local exhibitions. Photographer Francis Gardino’s entry, “Villaggio Italiano”, provides 360-degree panoramic views of the ruins of ancient cities like Pompeii and Naples. Gardino embarked on the project to get closer to his Italian heritage, but the broader heritage of Western civilization is just as much on display.
Young Artists: Artwork by Cambridge Public School Students
Through March 28
Multicultural Arts Center
41 2nd St., Cambridge
Picasso is said to have remarked, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” That sentiment might worth keeping in mind as you look at these creations by Cambridge public school students, from kindergarten through high school. Probably not all these kids will remain artists—and that makes these pieces all the more precious.
Fire and Ice: A Winter Festival in Union Square
Saturday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Union Square Plaza
90 Union Sq., Somerville
Free, 617-625-6600 ext. 2985
This festival really is about fire and ice, featuring performances by a troupe of fire spinners called A Different Spin as well as a live ice sculpting demonstration by Don Chappelle. In keeping with the theme, refreshments include hot coffee and Frozen Hogies ice cream sandwiches. There will also be kids’ activities, and some local restaurants will feature thematically appropriate cocktails.
Thursday, 8 p.m.
House of Blues
15 Lansdowne St., Boston
Why does Annie Clark call herself St. Vincent? Who the heck knows, but she’s been wonderfully incomprehensible from day one. Her pixie-like appearance belies the heaviness of her music, a weird-yet-perfect blend of dance, chamber pop, rock and electronics that often feels like an ecstatic, symphonic bludgeoning. On top of that, she has the gall to be a guitar heroine. Awesome.
March 3, 9 p.m.
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$10, 18+, 800-745-3000
Charismatic singer-songwriter Luke Rathborne’s last two EPs, from 2011, saw him in a intimate, folksy, melancholic mode, but his new material on the album “Soft” aims for classic New Wave-era power pop, as evidenced not only by its sound but its amusing video for “Last Forgiven”, which looks charmingly like a super cheap promo spot taped from MTV circa 1981.
Beans on Toast
March 4, 8 p.m.
3 Harvard Ave., Allston
$10, 21+, 866-777-8932
Beans on Toast, real name Jay McAllister, is a gravelly-voiced British folk singer whose clever lyrics cover a wide range of topics, from racism to inappropriate crushes to taking drugs at festivals. Fans of Jeffery Lewis should appreciate the geeky yet frequently dark humor of his material, with song titles like “I Shot Tupac Shakur and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt”.