Culture Calendar: Seven Must-See Arts and Entertainment Events in March 2014

culture calendar

Photograph courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum

Books

By day, Kenneth Calhoun is a graphic design professor at Lasell College; by night, he’s a fearsome storyteller. In his new novel, Black Moon, which mostly takes place after dark, he follows the few people who are able to sleep while their loved ones succumb to a plague of sleep deprivation that threatens to destroy all of civilization. 3/4

Opera 

Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s new musical director, won’t take over until the fall, but this month he’ll visit Symphony Hall in honor of Richard Strauss’s 150th birthday. The maestro will conduct Salome for one night only with renowned German soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin in the title role. At its 1905 premiere, the work’s modernist melodies and violent content made it an artistic landmark, a scandal rivaled only by the premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring eight years later. 3/6

Theater

The New Repertory Theatre is celebrating its 30th anniversary with its inaugural Next Rep Festival, in which it will offer a trio of plays staged in the company’s Black Box Theater. This year’s offerings concern the theme of daughters and sons struggling with identity, including Ibrahim Miari’s autobiographical play In Between, about being raised by a Palestinian father and an Israeli mother. 3/8-4/27

Dance

With lavish costumes, a Proko-fiev score, and 1940s choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton, the Boston Ballet introduces Cinderella this month. Though the fairy-tale classic seems like it would be a timeless chestnut à la The Nutcracker, this will be the company’s first run of the production. 3/13–3/23

Fine Arts 

Since 1973, Brookline’s Gateway Arts organization has offered special classes, studios, and gallery space to people with developmental and physical disabilities. Now the Fuller Craft Museum is exhibiting “Shine a Light: Artistic Expressions from Gateway Arts,” a survey of the finest works by these budding auteurs in fine arts and studio crafts. 3/22–6/29

Rock

The 1979 song “Cars” may have catapulted Gary Numan into one-hit wonderdom, but in the U.K., he’s continued to release music and maintain cult status. Over here, both Dave Grohl and Trent Reznor have cited him as a seminal influence. Numan brings his industrial synth pop to the Paradise, with longtime local dance DJ Chris Ewen kicking off the evening. 3/24

Design

Midcentury-modern designers seem to have displaced Scandinavians as the au courant choice for upscale vintage furniture. Many of the most important figures in this era came from the West Coast—think: Richard Neutra and Charles and Ray Eames—and now the Peabody Essex Museum is showing “California Design,” the first major survey of the era. Featuring ceramics, jewelry, textiles, and, of course, furniture, the pieces in this exhibit promise to be surprisingly refreshing, and very, very covetable. 3/29–7/6