Seven Can’t-Miss Events in Boston, January 2017

Including the Dropkick Murphys' new album.

dropkick murphys

Courtesy Photos

11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory

dropkick murphys 11 stories of pain glory album coverConsidering their regular live shows and their towering presence over our city’s identity, the Dropkick Murphys never seem to go away. But it’s been four years since their last album, and for the first time, they actually did go away to record a new one. In order to avoid the distractions of home, the band hunkered down in an El Paso studio and cranked out this collection of their bruising Celt-punk.

Despite their image as loud Sox ’n’ Bruins–lovin’ jock-rockers, the Dropkicks are underrated for their empathy, and they remain the bards for the most desperate in the Bay State, singing about addiction and lost kids, as well as the horror of the Boston Marathon bombings in the song “4-15-13.” With their vigor renewed, it’s good to have them back, however ironic that sounds.

Out January 6, $11,


This one-man monologue engagingly covers the breadth of the legendary jurist Thurgood Marshall’s career, including the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, and features Johnny Lee Davenport in the title role.

January 7–February 5, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 617-923-8487,


It’s been 25 years since the guys in Guster formed the band during their freshman year at Tufts, and they’re celebrating with four nights of shows featuring guests such as Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies and Northampton’s buzzworthy indie-pop trio And the Kids.

January 12–15, Paradise Rock Club, 617-562-8800,


The folk-music institution Passim takes over Harvard Square with Boston’s Celtic Music Festival, a showcase of local talent performing tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and Cape Breton. Expect two days of fiddling, storytelling, and dancing.

January 13–14, 617-492-7679,

John Cleese

Even better than a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in a palatial theater? Following it up with a visit from Sir Lancelot the Brave. The comedy icon visits Worcester to talk about his career and answer questions…but only “absurd and/or ridiculous” ones.

January 20, Hanover Theatre, 877-571-7469,

the fifth petal book cover

Courtesy Photo

The Fifth Petal

Ten years after her thriller The Lace Reader, Salem’s Brunonia Barry has written a follow-up, once again set in her hometown and featuring heroine Towner Whitney and policeman John Rafferty as they navigate dark realms of eerie history and contemporary crime. In this installment, a teenage boy dies on Halloween night, and the investigation leads to cold cases, descendants of witches, and flashes of the supernatural.

Out January 24, $27, Crown.

coded couture tufts

Courtesy of Melissa Coleman, Leonie Smelt, Joachim Rotteveel, Photograph by Sanja Marusik


For a surreal peek at the future of style, the Tufts University Art Gallery hosts this exhibition melding fashion and technology, including an iMiniSkirt that changes appearance via input from a hashtagging audience, as well as the lie-detecting Holy Dress, a slinky black number that releases electric shocks when it senses the wearer has told a falsehood.

January 24–May 21, Aidekman Arts Center, 617-627-3518,