Forecast: February 2010: The Cultural To-Do List

2/2 Luis Meléndez at the MFA
The only disappointment attendees of tonight’s opening may suffer is the fact that the MFA’s on-site eatery, Bravo, will be closed—meaning those left hungry by this Spanish master’s still-lifes of food are on their own. (Local restaurateurs may want to tempt them with dishes featuring melons and pears, a few of his more famous subjects.)

2/2 Dreamgirls
Local American Idol fans who saw their furious text-voting fall short of getting Connecticut native Syesha Mercado to the final round a few years ago can take comfort in the fact that the exposure has led her back to New England, this time as one of the three leads in Dreamgirls.

2/10–2/11 Magnetic Fields
Stephin Merritt and his three Harvard-grad bandmates return to the Fields’ birthplace for a two-night run of droll, orchestral pop songs in the city that once dubbed Merritt the Most Lethargic Guitarist (for playing offstage while lying down). Note to Wilbur staff: Load up the dressing room with coffee and cigarettes.

2/20 David Garrett
Jazz players have known for years that a bit of rock ‘n’ roll can help grow their audience, as this 28-year-old German-born violin virtuoso proved when his first stateside release last summer—equal parts Johann Sebastian Bach and Jimi Hendrix—went to number one on the classical charts.

2/20 Damon Wayans
This standup show at the Wilbur promises less of the anger that made Wayans and Homey the Clown so popular, and more of the reflective insight of a comic who’s found a peaceful maturity at 49. More evidence of this Eddie Murphy–like transformation? A voice role in this summer’s live-action version of the canine comic strip Marmaduke.

2/23 John Banville

The Harvard Book Store welcomes the Booker Prize–winning Irish novelist to the Brattle Theatre, where he reads from his latest work, The Infinities. Expect a lively Q&A with the wildly inventive writer, whose new book imagines a reality where cold fusion is used for power and where people get around mainly by steam engine.

2/26 Madame White Snake

Written by first-time librettist and retired Brookline lawyer Cerise Jacobs, the Chinese tale of Madame White Snake is the first work ever commissioned by Opera Boston. Those who miss all three local shows may want to save up for the opera’s Beijing debut in October.