Boston Events This Month

Your can’t-miss guide for what to do, see, and hear this month.


Paintings from Jacob Lawrence’s landmark Struggle series will be reunited at the Peabody Essex Museum in January. / Panel 1, 1955, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56, Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross, Photograph by Bob Packert/PEM

BOOK
Fanocracy

From Deadheads to sneakerheads, fan cultures are fascinating phenomenons. In this lively tome, local marketing guru David Meerman Scott and his daughter Reiko, a neuroscience whiz, examine how they’re created—from boomer and millennial perspectives.

Out January 7, $27, Portfolio/Penguin Random House.

MUSICAL
Cats

Mere weeks after the star-studded movie arrives in theaters, Grizabella and Macavity slink into town for a live staging of the fantastical Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Expect the same furry costumes, but updated choreography, sound, and lighting.

January 7–19, Citizens Bank Opera House, boston.broadway.com.

COMEDY
Judge John Hodgman: Live Justice

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Brookline-raised comedian John Hodgman will tackle the big questions and bestow “fake legal wisdom” in this live iteration of his popular podcast. Local rock god Juliana Hatfield is the musical guest.

January 14, The Wilbur, thewilbur.com.

MASTERPIECE
“Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle”

During the civil rights era, Jacob Lawrence—one of the country’s foremost African-American painters—created Struggle, a 30-panel series offering an inclusive portrayal of the American Revolution and the founding of our democracy. Now the Peabody Essex Museum reunites the works for the first time in 60 years.

January 18–April 26, pem.org.

HOLIDAY
A Celebration of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A collaboration between the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and the Museum of African American History, this free annual homage to King’s life and legacy features a spoken-word performance and a concert, with an audience sing-along as the finale.

January 20, Faneuil Hall, maah.org.

FINE ARTS
Carolina Caycedo

Art meets activism in Carolina Caycedo’s “Cosmotarrayas,” a series of sculptures made from fishing nets and other objects. It’s part of the L.A.-based artist’s multimedia project Be Dammed, about the devastating effects of privatizing waterways.

January 20–July 5, Institute of Contemporary Art, icaboston.org.

THEATER
Gloria: A Life

ART head Diane Paulus directs an all-female cast in this new play honoring 50 years of Gloria Steinem’s fight for gender equality. Its second act, modeled on Steinem’s famous “talking circles,” allows audience members to share their own stories.

January 24–March 1, Loeb Drama Center, americanrepertorytheater.org.

Bereishit Dance Company. / Photo courtesy of Bereishit Dance Company

DANCE
Rubberband

The renowned Montréal troupe, which melds hip-hop and contemporary dance, kicks off Boston’s weeks-long Winter Dance Fest. The show will premiere the piece Ever So Slightly, in which performers move between breakdancing and ballet. Emerson

January 25, Cutler Majestic Theatre, globalartslive.org.

THEATER
Detroit Red

Performer/playwright Will Power, a hip-hop theater pioneer, uses vibrant verse to depict Malcolm X’s teen years in Roxbury—a pivotal period for the future civil rights activist—in this world premiere.

February 1–16, Emerson Paramount Center, artsemerson.org.

METAL
Sons of Apollo

Prepare for an adrenaline rush as this proudly bombastic supergroup featuring Berklee alums Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian (formerly of Dream Theater), as well as past members of Guns N’ Roses, takes the stage.

February 5, Paradise Rock Club, crossroadspresents.com.

FILM
Boston SciFi Film Festival

Now marking its 45th anniversary, the country’s longest-running genre festival will screen sci-fi shorts and far-out features, as well as its famous 24-hour marathon of sensational cinema.

February 7–17, Somerville Theatre, bostonscifi.com.

JAZZ
Dianne Reeves

Named by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, the highest honor the nation grants to jazz artists, Dianne Reeves is a legendary vocalist who continues to wow audiences. Here’s your chance to see, and hear, why.

February 8, Berklee Performance Center, berklee.edu/bpc.

DANCE
Bereishit Dance Company

The Seoul-based group puts an au courant spin on traditional Korean dance and makes its Boston debut with a program that includes powerful drumming and a terpsichorean meditation on judo.

February 8–9, New England Conservatory’s Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre, celebrityseries.org.

FINE ARTS
“Painting Edo”

The history of Japanese art is showcased in this massive 120-work exhibit drawing from the Edo period, when the island nation was becoming exposed to Western influences.

February 14–July 26, Harvard Art Museums, harvardartmuseums.org.