The Must List: March Events

MUSIC :  DROPKICK MURPHYS
March always means Dropkick Murphys, but this year more than most. Sure, they’ll play their annual St. Paddy’s shows at the House of Blues ($32.50–$52.50, 3/16–3/18) and UMass Lowell’s Tsongas Center ($32.50, 3/19). But first they’ll release an album, Going Out in Style. With guest vocals from Bruce Springsteen, it’s being called a “party record”…as if the others aren’t? $16, Out 3/1.

THEATER :  THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
Straight off big runs in New York and England, this modernized production of the controversial play—complete with cell phones—features Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham as the Jewish moneylender Shylock. Fortunately the actor excels at humanizing villains, a skill that’ll come in handy when he demands that pound of flesh. Cutler Majestic Theatre, $15–$79, 3/29–4/10.

OPERA : DEATH AND THE POWERS

It’s got a robot chorus, a musical chandelier, and a light show to shame Pink Floyd. It boasts a score by MIT music professor Tod Machover and a libretto by a former U.S. poet laureate, BU’s Robert Pinsky. Oh, and it’s about a dying computer exec who downloads himself into his home’s operating system. Think of it as Opera 2.0. Cutler Majestic Theatre, $85–$110, 3/18–3/25.

COMEDY : LAUGH ALONG WITH SHAQ
From cross-dressing on Halloween to “conducting” the Holiday Pops, the Big Shamrock has all but turned Boston into his own personal comedy show. Now he’s bringing in the comedians who make him laugh for his All-Star Comedy Jam at the Wilbur. (The final lineup was not set as of press time, but past installments have included D. L. Hughley and Earthquake.) $29–$39, 3/12.