Here’s what to do in Boston this weekend
Masters of Tradition
Friday, 8 p.m.
55 Davis Sq., Somerville
You won’t get any fusion from these guys—no, this is classic, traditional Irish music from some of the best native Irish musicians in the genre, playing everything from heart-breaking ballads to heart-pumping jigs. The group includes fiddlers Martin Hayes and Cathal Hayden, singer Iarla O Lionaird, guitarists Dennis Cahill and Seamie O’Dowd, accordionist Mairtin O’Connor and uilleann piper David Power.
Friday, 8 p.m.
20 Gainsborough St., Boston
The odd capitalization above is a nod to the collaboration between the New England Conservatory and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project that constitutes this annual concert of new orchestral works. 2014’s program features pieces by Steven Stucky, Donald Crockett, Binna Kim and Lei Liang. It’s a reminder that orchestral music is a living genre, not simply a dusty artifact of the past.
Jack the Ripper: The Whitechapel Musical
Friday through April 12
Boston Playwrights’ Theater
949 Comm. Ave., Boston
F.U.D.G.E. Theater presents this musical version of the tale of Jack the Ripper, the archetypical modern serial killer. The writers present Jack as a sort of culmination of the whole dark side of Victorian London, with its abysmally cramped and squalid conditions. Far from a mere extreme anomaly, he was simply the most distressing symptom of a much larger problem.
Reel to Reel
Thursday through April 12
791 Tremont St., Boston
Fort Point Theater Channel presents this theatrical double feature exploring memory and time. The first half is Samuel Beckett’s one-act, one-man play from 1958, “Krapp’s Last Tape”, about an old man reflecting on his life to a tape recorder. Accompanying it is New England playwright Skylar Fox’s “The Archives”, which imagines others reacting to the Krapp’s tapes years later.
Boston Underground Film Festival
Through March 30
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
“Underground” can connote any sort of outside-the-mainstream fare, but the films selected for this indie fest, the mascot of which is an adorably evil bunny, are united by a more specific aesthetic, which the organizers describe as “a celebration of the bizarre and insane.” This is not subtle art house fare. Expect extremes of all sorts and lots of fake blood.
Science on Screen: Paths of Glory
Monday, 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theater
290 Harvard St., Brookline
The Coolidge Corner Theater presents Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 anti-war drama, about an American officer (Kirk Douglas) who, after his men refuse to carry out a suicidal mission, must defend them before a military tribunal accusing them of cowardice. Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker will accompany the screening with a lecture on the state of human violence today.
Synchronicity and the Sacred Space
Friday and Saturday
Multicultural Arts Center
41 2nd St., Cambridge
This is a mix of dance and storytelling by choreographer Jody Weber, featuring author/adventurer Jon Turk’s tales of his kayak expeditions in remote areas. Its main theme is a comparison of the modern scientific mode of thinking with other, more intuitive paradigms of interpreting the world, the dance moves symbolizing the complex interactions between perception and reality.
Leonard Nimoy: Secret Selves
Through May 9
Sherman Gallery, Boston University
775 Comm. Ave., Boston
That’s right, the very same Leonard Nimoy who played Mr. Spock is also a fine art photographer. For this exhibition, the Boston native took inspiration from the eccentric ancient Greek idea that humans were originally two headed, eight limbed creatures, and each of us pines for our other half. He invited each of his models, all from Northampton, to imagine these secret selves.
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
This site-specific performance piece by current ICA artist-in-residence Matthew Ritchie features a diverse quartet of musicians participating in a procession of sorts that will progress from the ICA building to the nearby Our Lady of Good Voyage chapel, one of its themes being the connections between Boston’s high tech present and its seafaring past, of which the chapel is a still-operating symbol.
Big Apple Circus: Luminocity
Through May 11
City Hall Plaza
1 City Hall Plaza, Boston
The classic circus show, with its signature mix of acrobats, tightrope walkers, clowns, animal stunts and everything else you’ve come to expect, returns. This year’s theme is New York City itself, with its bright lights and colorful characters. They claim that their specially designed tent guarantees no seat more that 50 feet from the action. We’re already impressed!
Friday and Saturday
425 Summer St., Boston
Like the “Blue Collar” comics, Fortune Feimster makes a lot of jokes about her backwoods Southern roots, but she comes at it from the point of view of a black sheep, not a regular Joe, and this makes all the difference—and with embarrassing Southern stereotypes enjoying a disturbing vogue on TV lately, we need her droll antidote more than ever.
Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
The Humanist Hub
30 J.F.K. St., Cambridge
In a lecture sponsored by Harvard’ Humanity Community, this longtime member of writing team for “The Simpsons” will discuss the seminal series’ take on religion and people’s attitudes towards it, from the sleep-inducing drawl of Rev. Lovejoy to the ludicrous but sincere piety of Ned Flanders, as well as the reactions, both negative and positive, of religious leaders over the show’s run.
Dum Dum Girls
Thursday, 9 p.m.
Brighton Music Hall
158 Brighton Ave., Allston
$15, 18+, 800-745-3000
Though they’re often pegged as hazy-sounding girl-group pop revivalists, one can hear in Dum Dum Girls a lot more influences than the Ronettes. The Pretenders loom particularly large—bandleader Dee Dee Penny is possessed by the same effortless cool that always made Chrissie Hynde so, well, cool. While their sound hasn’t much changed, by this point they’ve all but perfected it.
Saturday, 8 p.m.
3 Harvard Ave., Allston
$8, 21+, 617-782-6245
Local punk band Sneeze has an awesomely scuzzy guitar sound, especially on their 2012 LP “I’m Going to Kill Myself”. Their style brings together two sounds that were somewhat opposed in the 90’s: grunge/alt-rock a la Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins and second wave Midwestern emo, with a youthful love for Incubus occasionally poking through—as such things so often do.
Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$10, 18+ 800-745-3000
This well-established local indie band have a multifaceted sound with elements of grunge, prog, spooky indie folk, noise rock, and a lot more. It’s a heady, bracing mixture of textures and dynamics. This is the release show for their latest record, a 7-inch whose two epic songs cover more musical ground in their 13-odd minutes than most bands manage in 45.