The Gift Horse
New Repertory Theater presents this play from Lydia R. Diamond (“Smart People”, “Stick Fly”) about Ruth, a teacher and artist compelled to finally confront the dark past she’s been avoiding for many years. We travel back and forth with her in time as she remembers her best friend in college, Ernesto, who suffered his own tragic tale.
Through May 14, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. $30-$59. Visit site for more.
This weekend is your last chance to catch Moonbox Productions’ bio-play about the legendary circus promoter and bare-faced American huckster P.T. Barnum. Known for his cynical proverbs like “There’s an ass for every seat,” Barnum promised “The Greatest Show on Earth” to his audiences in the 19th century. In that rapidly changing time, anything seemed possible, and Barnum took full advantage.
Through April 30, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston. $25-$60, Visit site for more.
This interactive installation by Ryan Edwards and Andrew Hlynsky breaks the hallowed art museum rule of “do not touch.” It’s comprised of large glowing bricks that each emit a different sound; visitors can rearrange the bricks however they wish to create a unique visual and sonic composition. As an added treat, the 360 Ensemble will perform a dance in the installation both nights.
April 28 and 29, the Innovation & Design Building, 21 Drydock Avenue, Suite 110E, Boston. Free. Visit site for more.
Art in Bloom
Museums can sometimes feel like rarified, lifeless places, but this annual spring event brightens up the Museum of Fine Arts’ galleries, pairing unique floral arrangements—provided by 50 different local garden clubs—to various works of art. There will also be special indoor and outdoor tours, flower arranging demonstrations and kids’ activities.
April 28 through May 1, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. $23-$25. Visit site for more.
Kathryn Bigelow is best known today for her post-9/11 war movies, but back in the 90’s she was making weirder stuff, like this crime thriller about an FBI agent (Keanu Reeves) tasked with infiltrating a gang of bank-robbing surfers led by Patrick Swayze. Upon its release, critics found it awesome and/or ridiculous; it’s a cult classic today for the same reasons.
April 29, 11:59 p.m., Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. $13. Visit site for more.
By massively expanding the sonic and emotional palette of 80’s hardcore punk, the DC band Fugazi launched 1,000 subgenres of what was becoming known as “indie rock”, and their DIY, egalitarian, anti-corporate business principles were equally influential. This 1999 film, assembled by the band and Jem Cohen, is as good a portrait as you could hope for.
April 30, 4:30 p.m., Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge. $7-$9. Visit site for more.
Cars 3 Road to the Races Tour
A movie about a bunch of talking cars sounded pretty weird, but “Cars” turned out to be totally charming, and with the upcoming 3rd installment, it’s become a bona fide franchise for Pixar. This event is a special treat for young fans, featuring life-sized models of the characters, plus activities including art and crafts, tire-changing, a gravity drop, and more.
April 28 through 30, Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park, 698 Assembly Row, Somerville. Free. Visit site for more.
If you’ve never heard of this local rock band, then you’ve almost completely missed them—they’re breaking up, and this is their last show. Wolf Blitzer was far more entertaining (unironically, at least) than their newscaster namesake, with smartly-crafted, layered songs and endearingly flat, geeky vocals. Among their Bandcamp offerings, the lush psychedelia of “Thoughtless” is a particular stunner.
April 29, 8 p,m., Outpost 186, 186 ½ Hampshire St., Cambridge. $10. Visit site for more.
Arlington Jazz Festival
This four day event showcases a smorgasbord of jazz styles, from latin to modern to New Orleans to pop crossover. The headliner is bassist Rufus Reid, who’s had a long career both as a bandleader with more than a dozen albums to his name, and bassist for other musicians, including Dexter Gordon, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Harris, Nancy Wilson, and many others.
April 27 through 30, various locations, Arlington. Free – $20. Visit site for more.
Jean Gibran, window of poet Kahlil Gibran’s cousin Kahlil G. Gibran, appears to discuss her and her late husband’s book “Kahlil Gibran: Beyond Borders”, a biography of the visionary writer. Best known for his visionary work “The Prophet”, Gibran is said to be the 3rd best selling poet of all time, behind only Shakespeare and Lao Tzu.
April 29, 3 p.m., Barnes and Nobel Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston. Free. Visit site for more.
First Annual Boston Comedy Blowout
It’s always ambitious to declare your event to be the “first annual,” but with a lineup including Christine Hurley, Don Gavin, Orlando Baxter, Steve Sweeney, Tony V and Will Noonan, this showcase of Bostonian standup has everything going for it. Varying in age and style, they all have in common a loyalty to the local comedy scene, despite national recognition.
April 29, 8 p.m., Shubert Theater, 265 Tremont St., Boston. $29-$39. Visit site for more.
When Demetri Martin’s comedy career broke in the mid-00’s, he seemed, with his brilliantly absurd one-liners and silly charts, like a stand-up comedy version of his movie-making contemporary Wes Anderson who embraced a very similar mix of wicked cleverness, twee sensibility, and existential dread. Perhaps it was inevitable that he’d make a movie himself: his debut as a writer-director-star, “Dean”, comes out June 2.
April 29, 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., the Wilbur, 246 Tremont St., Boston. $42-$172. Visit site for more.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
This New York dance company celebrates its 60th anniversary next year. Founder Alvin Ailey’s legacy is indispensible, helping to popularize modern dance and providing a way into the world of concert dance for black performers.Their program this weekend will vary, but every night will end with Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations”, one of the most important works in modern dance.