Seven Must-See Arts + Entertainment Events Happening in January

Your monthly guide to this month’s events including performances by Adam Ezra Group, Sam Smith, and more.

Courtesy of Adam Ezra Group

Courtesy of Adam Ezra Group

Adam Ezra Group

They may not have the blog hype of Passion Pit or the platinum success of Godsmack, but the Adam Ezra Group continues to be one of Boston’s most hard-working bands. Whether taking the stage at New York’s hip Mercury Lounge or a small Maine farm, the soulful roots-rock group boasts some serious electric and acoustic musical chops, as well as a charismatic (and civic-minded) frontman and songwriter in Ezra himself. It’s a formula that has earned the band several New England Music Awards, not to mention the respect of the philanthropic community: Their shows regularly benefit charities like the Pine Street Inn, while Ezra’s own nonprofit, RallySound, helps organizations combine live performances with grassroots activism.

The band also mines a rich vein of humor. When they perform this month at the Sinclair—to celebrate the release of their Better Than Bootleg, Volume II album—let’s hope they play “The Devil Came Up to Boston.” It’s an update of the Charlie Daniels song that replaces Georgia with local landmarks and Masshole profanity, and does our city as proud as any Dropkicks anthem.

January 2, The Sinclair, 617-547-5200,


“Nature, Sculpture, Abstraction, and Clay: 100 Years of American Ceramics”

Boasting selections from the MFA’s trove and several local private collections, this show features 70-plus clay works, many of which have never been exhibited in a museum setting before. Chronicling the medium through the Arts and Crafts movement, midcentury modernism, and contemporary art, this exhibit explores the abstract, natural, and functional uses of ceramic.

January 17, 2015 to January 3, 2016, Museum of Fine Arts, 617-267-9300,


Sam Smith

With his acrobatic, heartbreakingly plaintive voice, Sam Smith has earned the sobriquet “the male Adele”—and now the British singer has the hits to show for it, whether he’s guesting on the electronic “Latch,” by dance duo Disclosure, or channeling his inner gospel singer with the ballad “Stay with Me.”

January 17, Agganis Arena, 617-353-4628,


Extreme: Pornograffitti Live

Just in time for its 25th anniversary, the Metal Men from Malden are back to reprise their biggest record, anchored by the hit “More Than Words.” After stints playing with artists ranging from Van Halen to Rihanna, three of the four original members will perform the Pornograffitti album in full, along with other favorites.

January 21, House of Blues, 888-693-2583,


Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, and 3)

Renowned playwright Suzan-Lori Parks made waves at the A.R.T. four years ago when she helped Diane Paulus reboot Porgy and Bess. Now she’s back in Cambridge with a Civil War saga about a Texan slave named Hero who faces an ethical paradox when he is offered a chance at freedom if he fights for the Confederacy. Loosely based on The Odyssey, this three-part work is the first of a nine-play series that will stretch to the present day.

January 23–March 1, American Repertory Theater, 617-547-8300,


Superbowl of Birding XII

Sponsored by Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center, in Newburyport, this annual event sends birders of all ages on a wild-goose chase through the North Shore and southern New Hampshire to spot the greatest number of bird species—with extra points for rarity. Be prepared to rise with the larks: The 12-hour competition starts at 5 a.m.

January 24, 978-462-9998, >


Point Break Live!

“You’re sayin’ the FBI’s gonna pay me to learn to surf?” That’s the question famously asked by FBI agent Johnny Utah, played by Keanu Reeves, in the 1991 bank-robbing-surfers flick Point Break. Now you could have a chance to channel your inner Keanu: During this gonzo stage adaptation, one lucky audience member will get picked to play the lead.

January 31, The Sinclair, 617-547-5200,