Nari Ward: Sun Splashed
In his striking sculptural installations, some of which dwarf the viewer, New York artist Nari Ward is something of a locavore, using found objects from his urban surroundings—including shoelaces, shopping carts and evena firee scape—to create art that addresses the area’s culture and history. This is his biggest-ever solo show, so you couldn’t ask for a better introduction.
Though September 4, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston, $10-$15, icaboston.org
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Blood on the Snow
It’s rare to see a historical drama in the place where the history actually happened, but that’s just what you get with “Blood on the Snow,” staged in the Old State House, recounting the events following the Boston Massacre. Revolution is not far off, but for now, the city’s leaders are just trying to keep the violence from spreading.
Through August 20, Old State House, 206 Washington St., Boston, $35, bostonhistory.org
Reagle Music Theater presents this 1927 musical by Oscar Hammerstein III and Jerome Kern, exploring the lives a Mississippi river boat crew over the course of four decades. Its best-known song is “Ol’ Man River,” a song of black experience written by white men, but one that’s been re-interpreted powerfully by black performers, most notably Paul Robeson.
July 6 through 16, Reagle Music Theater, 617 Lexington St., Waltham, $37-$65, reaglemusictheatre.com
Berklee Summer Concerts at Atlantic Wharf
Berklee is showcasing their brilliant students at several outdoor locations this summer, but Atlantic Wharf, right on the water, ought to be a particularly nice spot. If you work downtown, it shouldn’t be too far away to bring some lunch and catch a few tunes. This week’s performer is cool, soulful singer-songwriter Sarah Vela, a native of Oakland.
Thursdays at noon, through July 27, Atlantic Wharf, 280 Congress St. free, berklee.edu
Active since 1994, Toronto’s the Sadies, fronted by brothers Dallas and Travis Good, have created a unique amalgam of country and rock over the past quarter-century. Their latest (and tenth) record is “Northern Passages,” finds them both brooding and energized—the perfect soundtrack for a late-night drive across five states in search of some fleeting second chance.
July 7, 9 p.m., ONCE Ballroom, 156 Highland Ave., Somerville, $15-$18, 18+, oncesomerville.com
Idina Menzel’s had a rather enviable Broadway career, starring in the original casts of not one but two of the biggest musicals of her era: “Rent” and “Wicked.” Younger folks may know her better as the voice of Elsa from “Frozen.” She’s also released a few pop albums over the years; her most recent is 2016’s “idina.”
July 8, 8 p.m., Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., Boston, $36-$263, bluehillsbank.pavilionboston.com
Chinatown Main Street Festival
Although its residents are far from exclusively Chinese by background, Boston’s Chinatown pretty much remains the ethnic enclave it appears to be. This annual celebration of Chinese culture attests to that, including food vendors, lion dances, martial arts demos and other performances.
July 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Chinatown Gate, Beach St. at Surface Rd., Boston, free, chinatownmainstreet.org
Boat Cruise Summer Series: GTA
Take to the sea with this much-lauded Miami DJ/production duo, whose eclectic major label debut album, “Good Times Ahead,” dropped this past October. Its most prominent guest star was Vince Staples, who rapped over the nervy, sparse “Little Bit of This.” Fast-rising Los Angeles DJ/producer Party Favor and Falcons are also on the bill.
July 8, 7 p.m., Provincetown II, 200 Seaport Blvd., Boston, $40-$45, 21+, bostoncruisesummerseries.com
Aloft Summer Hotel Patio Party
Aloft, a brand new hotel in the Seaport District, invites you to their patio to celebrate their opening. DJ Tao and friends will be spinning music, and you can wander over to the adjacent Lawn on D for food carts, lawn games and other delights. This might just be your new happy place—or at least a fun night out!
July 7, 7 p.m. to midnight, Aloft Boston Seaport, 401 D. St., Boston, no cover, 21+, aloftbostonseaport.com
The 1990 Gardner Museum art heist is one of Boston’s greatest crime stories. On St. Patrick’s Day night, 13 objects were quite easily stolen, including two Rembrandts and a Vermeer, and the case remains largely unsolved. The perpetrators, however, both now dead, were recently identified, and they’re the subject of Globe writer Stephen Kurkjian’s new book on the case, “Master Thieves.”
July 6, 6 p.m., Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., Boston, free with online RSVP, masshist.org
1996’s “Independence Day” is as good a candidate for desert island 90’s summer blockbuster movie as anything you could name, charismatic performances from such disparate actors as Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and of course Will Smith, who forever taught the world how to greet a hostile extraterrestrial—with a punch to the face, of course, because this is America.
July 6, 7:30 p.m., Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston, $10-$12, mos.org
The Moth GrandSLAM Championship
At this event, winners of ten story slams thrown this year by the Moth come together to compete for the grand prize. These five-minute tales will range from funny to tragic, classic to unexpected. There’s little else to relate, but the Moth does offer a cryptic quote, attributed to Nelson Mandela: "When the water is boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat."
July 8, 7 p.m., Cutler Majestic Theater, 219 Tremont St., Boston, $27, themoth.org