Culture Calendar: Seven Must-See Arts and Entertainment Events in Boston, January 2014


It’s been 35 years since the debut of Working, the musical based on Studs Terkel’s landmark book. But the version at the Lyric Stage this month has kept up with the times, swapping out newsboys and switchboard operators for tech-support and fast-food workers, and adding new songs by James Taylor and Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda. 1/3–2/1


Illustration by Steven Stankiewicz


Though he prefers the phrase “action sports star,” Travis Pastrana is essentially Gen-Y’s Evel Knievel. After racking up several X Games championships in motocross, Pastrana created Nitro Circus, a collective of some 40 other fearless bikers, skaters, and BASE jumpers who perform jaw-dropping stunts to raucous music and blasts of flame. His epic spectacle comes to the Garden this month. 1/5


The annual rock-’n’-baseball benefit concert Hot Stove, Cool Music returns to the Paradise with headliners the Baseball Project, a horsehide-themed group fronted by Mike Mills, of R.E.M. The guest list also includes Peter Gammons and Kay Hanley, as well as Theo Epstein. Maybe Mike Napoli will make him do shots and take his shirt off. 1/11


Illustration by Steven Stankiewicz


He may be less charismatic than the late Steve Jobs, but Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak is still a rock star in tech circles—which makes him a god in Boston. Bearlike and reclusive, Woz has traditionally shunned the limelight, but lately he’s been on the road advocating his ideas on how to make the next generation of computers more people-friendly. Lesley University’s Boston Speakers Series brings him to Symphony Hall. 1/15


The MFA exhibit “Samba Spirit” showcases works by Brazilians of the African diaspora—from Maria Auxiliadoro da Silva’s kaleidoscopic paintings of city life and plantations to Agnaldo Manoel dos Santos’s stark stone carvings. 1/18-10/19


With Performance, a world premiere from choreographer Rashaun Mitchell, installation artist Ali Naschke-Messing, and Magnetic Fields maestro Stephin Merritt, the ICA has fulfilled its mission of bringing new multimedia pieces to Boston. Glittering and graceful, the work is surprisingly intimate, as dancers cavort with massive golden threads against views of the Boston skyline. 1/24-1/25


Illustration by Steven Stankiewicz


In the literary thriller North of Boston, Brookline author Elisabeth Elo introduces heroine Pirio Kasparov, who works on a lobster boat in the icy waters off Cape Ann. After a freighter rams her boat and kills her friend Ned, she finds herself drawn into a possible conspiracy, with her search for the truth taking her all the way to the Canadian Arctic. 1/27