Things to Do This Week in Boston

Your frequently updated guide to getting off the couch and out of the house.

THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK (clockwise from top left): Bad Bunny at TD Garden; Paul Giamatti’s podcast Chinwag records at the Arts for the Armory; The Veronicas at Royale; Boston Comics in Color Festival at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury; The Indigo Girls documentary screens at the Somerville Theater; Hallyu! The Korean Wave at the MFA.

Jump to: | Tuesday, April 16 | Wednesday, April 17 | Thursday, April 18 | Friday, April 19 | Saturday, April 20 | Sunday, April 211 | Monday, April 22 | Art & Exhibitions | Upcoming |

Want to suggest an event? Email us.

Ongoing through Monday, April 22 (and Beyond)


Book of Mountains and Seas
Basil Twist is much more than a master of puppets—he’s a world-renowned artist who has earned both Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. Back in 2010, he brought his surreal production of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka to ArtsEmerson’s first season, and now he returns to ArtsEmerson with  from April 19 to 21. In collaboration with composer Huang Ruo, Twist has adapted ancient Chinese creation myths and staged them with hosts of lanterns, the Ars Nova Copenhagen chorus, and huge creatures that reflect the beauty and unsettling power of nature.

Solo: A Show About Friendship
Gabe Mollica covers a bunch of topics in this one-man show, ranging from finding friendship in your 30s (spoiler alert, twentysomethings: it gets harder) to his love of Stephen Sondheim. A section of Solo, which has a successful off-Broadway run, was featured in September on This American Life.
$45.50, Tuesday through Sunday, April 16-22, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston

Burn This
Hub Theater Company revisits this Lanford Wilson play about a dancer, Anna, who forges an unlikely relationship with her deceased roommate’s older brother, Pale. It’s a story of the bonding power of grief, but also of the renewal than can emerge on the other side of the process.
Pay-what-you-wish, through April 21, Plaza Black Box Theater, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston

The Drowsy Chaperone
Lyric Stage brings back this meta-musical in which a theater nerd known only as Man in Chair annotates an imaginary, trope-stuffed 1920s musical—his favorite cast recording—as it’s being brought to life for the audience. It’s directed and choreographed by Larry Sousa, with musical direction by Matthew Stern.
$30-$85, through May 12, Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St., Boston


A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Boston Conservatory presents Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears’ operatic rendition of Shakespeare’s beloved fantasy comedy, all about what fools those mortals be. It was first performed in 1960, which makes it feel in retrospect like a premonition of the topsy turvy cultural adventures later on in the then-new decade.
$25-$30, Thursday through Sunday, April 18-21, Huntington Theater, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston


Martin Amini
Renowned for his roasting skills, Martin Amini was born in a mixed Bolivian and Iranian family, giving him a unique perspective on American ethnic discourses. As to which side he identifies with more, he quips, “Well, [that] depends on what Fox News is talking about this week.” He self-released a new special, I’m Transcending, in February.
$33-$53, Friday and Saturday, April 19-20, Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston

Taylor, the Next Jedi: an Improvised Star Wars Parody
Just like J.J. Abrams with Emperor Palpatine, Improv Asylum has dug their Star Wars spoof out of the grave for another round of performances. In each show, an audience member is cast as the titular protagonist and put through whirlwind of ridiculous space drama, set off by a few suggestions from the rest of the audience.
$35, through May 17, Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St., Boston


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Sasquatch Sunset
The brotherly directing team of David and Nathan Zellner (Damsel) provide a comic but kind of deep glimpse into the lives of a family of bigfoots (Jesse Eisenberg, Riley Keough. Christophe Zajac-Denek and Nathan Zellner)—and it turns out that at the end of the day, in ways flattering and not-so-flattering, they aren’t so different from us.
$14.49, opens Thursday, April 18, Alamo Drafthouse, 60 Seaport Blvd., Boston

La Chimera
Brought to us by Italian writer-director Alice Rohrwacher, La Chimera travels back to the 80s to tell the story of Arthur (Josh O’Connor), a British man who runs with a squad of tomb raiders in Italy, all the while pining for his disappeared love, Beniamina (Yile Vianello), whose mother (the great Isabella Rossellini) awaits her return with a quasi-religious fervor.
$13.50-$15.50, Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St., Brookline

With Love and a Major Organ
The winner of a Director’s Choice Award for Best Feature at this year’s Boston Underground Film Festival, this Canadian speculative drama imagines a near-future psychotherapy dystopia, where emotions are snuffed out and people manage their lives via app. In this world, the exchange of human hearts has become an act of resistance. $14.50, Friday through Sunday, April 19-21, Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge

Civil War
Dispensing with any tedious backstory, director Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation) throws his audience right into the middle of a full-blown 21st century war between an America led by an authoritarian president (Nick Offerman) and a handful of breakaway states. We experience the action through the eyes of journalists, including photographer Lee, played by Kirsten Dunst.
$12-$16, opens Friday, April 12, Somerville Theater, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville

Dawn of the Dead
A decade after establishing the modern zombie film with Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero returned to the genre with this 1978 sequel, embracing a more satirical edge by shifting the setting to a zombie-ridden shopping mall. The interpretations may be obvious, but that doesn’t make them any less satisfying.
$7-$14.49, Friday through Tuesday, April 12-16, Alamo Drafthouse, 60 Seaport Blvd., Boston

The Beast
Inspired by a Henry James novella but set 20 years in the future, the new film from French writer-director Bertrand Bonello images a world where technology has enabled us to purge our genetic code of the troubling residue of past lives—23andMe doesn’t sound so impressive now, does it?
$13.50-$15.50, opens Friday, April 12, Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St., Brookline

Wicked Little Letters
Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley star, respectively, as Edith, old-fashioned townie, and Rose, a spunky Irish newcomer, in this period comedy mystery, set in an English coastal town about a century ago. When an apparent prankster starts sending everyone obscene letters, everyone suspects Rose—until evidence suggests that the truth is not so simple.
$13.50-$15.50, Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St., Brookline

Monkey Man
Dev Patel co-wrote, directed and stars in this intense action thriller about a professional fight-thrower in India who transforms into a righteous vigilante, determined to avenge his mother’s murder, after taking inspiration from the story of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman.
$10.99-$14.49, Alamo Drafthouse, 60 Seaport Blvd., Boston

Dune: Part Two
Denis Villeneuve’s immersive adaptation of Frank Herbert’s legendary sci-fi novel comes to a thrilling conclusion in its long-awaited second half, in which Timothée Chalamet—ahem, Paul Atreides—leads the Fremen in a battle to re-take the planet Aarrakis from the villainous and extremely pale Harkonnen dynasty.
$22.25, Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St., Brookline

Perfect Days
Wim Wenders’ newest film drops in on the life of Hirayama (Kōji Yakusho), a solitary Japanese man who cleans Tokyo’s rather stunningly designed public toilets for a living. It may not seem like a desirable job, but the endearing Hirayama approaches it, and the rest of his unexpectedly full life, with passion and wisdom.
$13.50-$15.50, Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St., Brookline


View Boston
If you’ve got visitors and you want to give them a killer 360-degree view of the city, or if you just want a peep yourself, you can hardly do better than View Boston, at the top of the Prudential Center. You can spring for a guided tour or just take it in yourself. The view isn’t all you’ll find up there—there’s also a restaurant, The Beacon, and Stratus, a cocktail bar. Higher-level ticket packages include a sample drink.
$29.99-59.99, open daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston

The Innovation Trail
This new tour focuses not on colonial and revolutionary Boston—that’s been thoroughly covered—but on the city’s history, down to the present, as a hub of science, medicine, and technology. You can pay for a guided tour on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday through the end of October, or opt for a self-guided experience whenever you want.
Free-$20, now open, starts in Central Square, Cambridge or Downtown Crossing, Boston


Massachusetts Space Week
If you’ve ever dreamed of leaving Earth but can’t because you’re not a billionaire and, let’s face it, it’s not really very hospitable elsewhere, this is the fest for you, with stargazing sessions, a space trivia night at Aeronaut Brewing, Massachusetts Space Film Festival at the Brattle Theater, Space Day at the MIT Museum, and more.
Free-$14.50, through Monday, April 22, various locations, Somerville, Cambridge, Lowell, and Framingham


The Mega Awesome Super Huge Wicked Fun Podcast Playdate
Kids’ podcasts take over WBUR’s CitySpace this weekend with an edutaining assortment of fun and age-appropriate shows about history (The Past and The Curious), science (But Why), media literacy (The Big Fib), mythology (Nat Geo Kids’ Greeking Out), and more.
$5-$15, Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22, WBUR CitySpace, 890 Comm. Ave., Boston

Want to suggest an event? Email us.

TUESDAY (4/16/24)


No Gods No Ringmasters
In addition to the more conventional reading and signing, Abraham Josephine Riesman celebrates the release of the paperback edition of her pro wrestling history Ringmaster: Vince McMahon and the Unmaking of America in the most appropriate way possible: with an actual pro wrestling show, albeit one with a decidedly more subversive spirit than McMahon’s franchises.
$10, show at 8 p.m., Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville

Cleveland Guardians at Boston Red Sox, 7:10pm, Fenway Park

WEDNESDAY (4/17/24)


Credit: Eric Rojas

Bad Bunny
The Puerto Rican trap monarch, occasional pro wrestler, and co-host of the upcoming 2024 Met Gala comes through on tour behind his fifth album, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, which dropped in October. It biggest hit so far has been “Monaco,” whose video includes a cameo by Al Pacino to go with the track’s straight-out-of-a-mafia-movie string sample.
$247-$10,000, 8 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston

Real Estate
Breezy indie-pop stalwarts Real Estate named themselves after something that’s famously a good investment, and they’re still going strong 16 years later—evidence for the Law of Attraction? Maybe—or maybe their core duo, Martin Courtney and Alex Bleeker, are just good at conflict resolution. Their latest, Daniel, appeared in February.
$35, 8 p.m., Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston


Cloud Nine
Instead of having each comic taking the stage in succession, this unique standup showcase keeps everyone on stage the whole time. Also, those who cringe at the thought of being selected for crowd work will be happy to hear it’s banned here. Kathy Lynch headlines this edition, backed up by host Jack Simon, Angela Sawyer, Gwen Coburn, and Mike Daniels.
$15-$18, 7 p.m., The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville


Punk Rock Aerobics for Kids
Designed for kids aged six to 10, these recurring Wednesday classes fuse aerobics and punk dancing to create a super fun workout, set to a high-energy rock soundtrack (don’t worry, it’s confirmed G-rated). Founder Hilken Mancini has become something of a punk celeb herself—in 2021, Green Day featured her in their video for “Here Comes The Shock.”
Free, 6 p.m., Curtis Hall, 20 South St., Jamaica Plain

Cleveland Guardians at Boston Red Sox, 7:10pm, Fenway Park

THURSDAY (4/18/24)


Raisa Tolchinsky
Raisa Tolchinsky’s debut poetry collection Glass Jaw, draws with intensity and immediacy from her experiences as a boxer: “[I] keep asking, girl are you the train or are you the tracks? I don’t/ have an answer but I wrap my hands and when I unwrap them/ my whole hand is a bruise.”
Free, 7 p.m., Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass. Ave., Cambridge


The South Shore Boyz
Even if you’re not actually from the South Shore, you probably know some boyz like theze—they may even be your own boyz. If so, you already know their brand of juvenile humor and goofy banter all too well. If not, let them be the boyz you never had.
$15, 7:30 p.m., The White Bull Tavern, 1 Union St., Boston


Indigo Girls: It’s Only Life After All
Coming on the heels of the unexpected but perfect placement of the Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine” in Barbie, this documentary by Alexandria Bombach tells the story of the folk rock duo—bold both in their music and for being openly gay in the culturally conservative 80s and 90s—and the fan community they continue to inspire.
$16, 7:30 p.m., Somerville Theater, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville


Cypress Hill
The first Latin American rap superstars, Cypress Hill taught the world what it meant to be both insane in the membrane and the brain. A dollar from each ticket sale on this tour will go to The Last Prisoner Project, which helps folks who remain incarcerated for now-legal drug offenses.
$41, 8 p.m., Roadrunner, 89 Guest St., Brighton

Kyran Daniel
This acoustic guitar virtuoso cut his teeth as a sideman for Tommy Emmanuel, eventually striking out with his own signature blend of jazz, classical, and flamenco. His remarkably precise playing flows like a body of water, making even sharp rhythmic turns seem utterly convincing. For a sample, check out the composition “Sangria.”
$25, 7:30 p.m., Regattabar, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge

Cleveland Guardians at Boston Red Sox
, 1:35pm, Fenway Park

FRIDAY (4/19/24)


At this point, it seems like everyone has a podcast—even Paul Giamatti. Chinwag is series of wandering conversation between the celebrated actor and philosopher Stephen Asma on all the really interesting topics—simulation theory, bigfoot, mass hysteria, cephalopod intelligence, and much else.
$49-$127, 7 p.m., Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville


In December, the Minneapolis alternative hip-hop pairing of rapper Slug and DJ/producer Ant released Talk Talk, a 40-minute, 10-song collection categorized, for unclear reasons, as an EP. Whatever the logic behind that, Ant’s quirky, lo-fi electronic beats and Slug’s impressive stamina prove that these guys are still underdog kings.
$40.75-$118.90, 8 p.m., Citizens House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston

Long-running Portland, OR indie darlings STRFKR returned at the beginning of March with Parallel Realms, their seventh album. True to its title, the record has a more psychedelic/otherworldly feel than some of their classic dance-pop material from the 2010s—but don’t worry, their synthy grooves haven’t gone anywhere.
$40-$149, 7:30 p.m., Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston

A Great Big Pile of Leaves
This Brooklyn band started out making a stylish brand of emo, as heard on their 2010 debut, Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex?, but such intensity is hard to sustain, and they’ve mellowed considerably with age—the pleasant, rhythmically inventive indie pop of most recent album, Pono, is more fitting for a minimalist coffee shop than a sweaty basement.
$22, 8 p.m., The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Cambridge

SATURDAY (4/20/24)


Ibrahim Maalouf
Born in Lebanon and raised in Paris in a musical family, genre-defying trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf has performed in classical, electronic, Arabic, jazz, hip hop, and pop contexts, and he combines them all in his compositions. His last album, 2022’s Capacity to Love, was a tribute to urban music; check out its track “Quiet Culture”, featuring De La Soul’s Posdnuos.
$54, 8 p.m., Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm. Ave., Boston

Mountain Laurel
Formed in New York by a group of Fordham University students from Connecticut, Mountain Laurel began as a cover band for Bronx rooftop parties and eventually evolved in an outfit capable of churning out timeless, nostalgia-laced original songs, occupying the intersection of country, folk, and pop.
$16-$20, 7 p.m., Rockwood Music Hall, 88 Van Ness St., Boston

Elle Varner
Best known for her 2011 debut Perfectly Imperfect and its singles “Only Wanna Give It to You” and “Refill”, R&B singer-songwriter Elle Varner will perform unplugged for this set, which ought to highlight her versatile and elastic vocals talents even more than usual.
$30-$50, 7:30 p.m., City Winery, 80 Beverly St., Boston


Kathe Farris
Though she got a later start than most standup comics, Kathe Farris caught up fast—these days, she even teaches her own comedy classes. On stage she’s perfected a near-whispered, deadpan delivery. In this 2019 clip from the Comedy Studio, someone in the audience hoots when she says she loves true crime. “You too?” she replies, barely interested. “Okay, that’s my crowd work.”
$22, 8 p.m., Nick’s Comedy Stop, 100 Warrenton Ave., Boston

The Crossfade
Two improv teams face off—one of them is drunk, and the other is stoned. Will one of the drugs enhance the performance, or will it just be a hilarious train wreck? Will the “designated driver” assigned to each team be able to steer the scene in some sensible direction, or will it just be too damn hard? There’s only one way to find out.
$10, 9 p.m., Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville


Massachusetts Craft Brewers Festival
Two sessions, 40 Bay State craft breweries in the same room, offering seltzers and ciders as well as beer. Does anything more really need to be said? Well, there’s also the fact that your ticket gets you unlimited samples, but be careful—as a great man once said, with great power comes great responsibility.
$55, 1 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston


Boston Comics in Color Festival
This comics convention exclusively features creators of color, with more than 50 exhibitions and specials guests including newspaper cartoonist Ray Billingsley (Curtis), prolific writer-artist and scholar John Jennings, New Yorker cartoonist Liz Montague, Raeghan Buchanan (The Secret History of Black Punk: Record Zero), and others.
Free, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St., Roxbury

SUNDAY (4/21/24)


The Veronicas
This sisterly duo have long been Australia’s answer to Tegan and Sara, at least insofar as they’re also identical twins who play rock n’ roll—otherwise, the two acts have pretty different vibes. The Veronicas’ latest, the short and sweet Gothic Summer, finds their pop sensibility strong as ever, even after 20 years in the limelight.
$32.50, 8 p.m., Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston

Isabella d’Éloize Perron and The FILMharmonic Orchestra
Québécoise violin phenom Isabella d’Éloize Perron brings us her take on Vivaldi’s ever-popular concerto set The Four Seasons, juxtaposed in this program with Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. For a taste of the 23-year-old former child prodigy’s charisma, check out this clip of Vivaldi’s Summer.
$39-$59, 7:30 p.m., Symphony Hall, 301 Mass. Ave., Cambridge

Chattanooga native BbyMutha’s first viral hit was 2017’s hypnotic “Rules,” a call-out to men with no chill. A rapid rise in attention followed, which overwhelmed her so much that she temporarily retired after releasing her debut album, Muthaland—but she was back in less than a year.
$21.50, 8 p.m., Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville

MONDAY (4/22/24)


F1 Arcade Boston Opening Day
The Seaport District’s newest amusement is this upscale arcade, where you and your friends can compete in a simulated Formula 1 race. It’s the only game on offer at the bar, but once you experience the breakneck excitement for yourself, you’ll understand why nothing else is necessary.
$20 (three races), 11 a.m.-11 p.m., 87 Pier 4 Blvd., Boston

THURSDAY (4/25/24)


Villa Mexico Cafe Fundraiser
In a nod to nostalgia and a worthy cause, locally based PR agency marlo marketing holds a festive fiesta at their 20th-anniversary Studio Series event. Dust off your dancing shoes (and maybe some stretchy pants) for an all-you-can-eat taco extravaganza from Villa México Café, a beloved, local, family-owned restaurant that’s been impacted by Downtown and the Financial District’s decreased foot traffic.
$40 (with proceeds benefiting Villa México), 5:30 to 7:30 pm, 210 South St., Boston, 21+


Firelei Báez, Untitled (Temple of Time), 2020. / Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, New York. / Photo by Phoebe d’Heurle.

Firelei Báez
Back in 2021, the Dominican-born Firelei Báez wowed visitors to the Institute of Contemporary Art’s Watershed, where she filled the huge East Boston warehouse space with a dreamlike installation combining West African indigo printing and Caribbean Sea imagery with a massive replica of the ruins of Haiti’s Sans-Souci Palace. Now she has her first museum retrospective at the ICA celebrating her paintings, drawings, and mixed-media works. The pieces, which meld Afro-Caribbean, folklore, sci-fi, and historical themes, may be smaller scale, but they pack the same visual and conceptual punch. —MATTHEW REED BAKER
through September 2, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston

Dress Up
With more than 100 pieces of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and photos and illustrations going back more than a century, this show examines the ever-shifting meaning of fashion in our lives as a mode of both personal and political expression.
$27, Saturday, April 13 through September 2, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston

Songs for Modern Japan
The Museum of Fine Arts casts a spotlight on an obscure artistic subject: the covers of Japanese sheet music collections in the first half of the 20th century, which provided opportunities for graphic designers to explore popular movements like Art Nouveau, and, later on, served as real estate for imperial propaganda.
$27, through September 2, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston

Framing Freedom: The Harriet Hayden Albums
Take a unique look at the lives of Boston’s Black abolitionist community through these selections from the photo albums of Harriet Bell Hayden, who escaped from enslavement in Kentucky with her family in 1844. Their new home on Beacon Hill served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
$10, through June 22, Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon Street, Boston

A still from the Netflix phenomenon Squid Game, 2021 Netflix. / All Rights Reserved, Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Hallyu! The Korean Wave
It might seem as if South Korea’s global cultural influence—Parasite, Squid Game, a K-pop group visiting the White House—is a recent phenomenon, but, the Museum of Fine Arts hopes to prove with this exhibition that it’s been brewing for years, and that today’s tastemakers have a strong sense of their national artistic history.
$34, through July 28, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston

See also: The MFA’s “Korean Wave” Exhibition Is Thrilling

Robert Rovenolt: (no regrets)
If you could see the memories and feelings floating through your head—some fleeting, some ruminated on, some in the background, some stuffed down as intrusive—what would they look like? Perhaps something like this set of works by longtime South End resident Robert Rovenolt, exploring what he calls “memory as collage.”
Free, through April 13, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 551 Tremont St., Boston

Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.
Drawing from the collections of more than twenty different museums and other institutions, this powerful travelling exhibition displays hundreds of photographs and objects—shoes, uniforms, bits of architecture, even a gas mask used by a camp officer—connected to the most notorious of the Nazi death factories.
$34.95, through September 2, The Saunders Castle at Park Plaza, 130 Columbus Ave., Boston

LaToya M. Hobbs, “Scene 5: The Studio,” from “Carving Out Time,” 2020–21.

LaToya M. Hobbs: It’s Time
This show collects, for the first time, the complete Carving Out Time series of woodcuts by Baltimore-based artist LaToya M. Hobbs. Depicting a single day in her own life, each panel is dense with the ephemera of identity, showing the various roles she plays as an artist, mother, wife, and teacher.
Free, through July 21, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

Noriko Saitō, Japanese, “Sunbeam,” 2002. Ink and color on paper; drypoint with aquatint.

Future Minded: New Works in the Collection
Harvard Arts Museums shows off some of their latest acquisitions, many by living artists, some centuries old, all reflecting shifts in the institution’s views of history and its impact on the conditions of the present. Artists include Jean (Hans) Arp, Edward Mitchell Bannister, Willie Cole, Svenja Deininger, Baldwin Lee, Lucia Moholy, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Noriko Saitō, Melissa Shook, and many others.
Free, through July 21, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

Our Time on Earth
Bringing together 12 installations from around the world, including such exotic experiences as a magnified look at plankton, a dive into the layers of a tree, and an interspecies dinner, this exhibition from London’s Barbican Centre aspires to a future in which humans coexist peacefully with their environment.
$20, through June 9, Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem

Wu Tsang: Of Whales
Worcester native Wu Tsang brings one part of her trilogy inspired by Moby-Dick to the Institute of Contemporary Art with this immersive installation that uses extended reality technology to try to get inside the mind of a sperm whale, creating a “lush, dreamy oceanscape.”
$20, through August 4, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston

Raqib Shaw: Ballads of East and West
The Gardner Museum casts a major spotlight on stunningly intricate painter Raqib Shaw, a London-based native of the Indian-controlled portion of the disputed Kashmir region whose surreal works have one foot in the imagination and one in socio-political reality.
$20, through May 12, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston

Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And
Wellesley College’s Davis Museum hosts the first major career-spanning exhibition for alum Lorraine O’Grady, a multidisciplinary artist and writer who’s spent decades exploring the construction of Black womanhood, diasporic consciousness, and other socio-political concerns, particularly through the diptych, which she uses to hold and stage the tensions between contradictory ideas and self-concepts.
Free, through June 2, Davis Museum, 106 Central Street, Wellesley

Destiny Doorways
Using botanical imagery to depict the pathways of life, this installation by Mithsuca Berry engages the viewer with opportunities to reflect on where they’ve been and where they’re headed. You’ll get to choose from a variety of media to make your your own art in response, adding it to the chorus of other visitor responses.
$20, through June 15, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston

WNDR Museum
This new gallery space in Downtown Crossing is hitting the ground running with iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s Let’s Survive Forever and more than 20 other immersive installations, including The Wisdom Project, where visitors can add their own response to the question “What do you know for sure?,” and WNDR’s signature Light Floor, which changes in response to visitors’ movement.
$32-$38, 500 Washington St., Boston

The Institute of Contemporary Art has mined its own collection for work highlighting the use of words in visual art, with pieces from Kenturah Davis, Taylor Davis, Joe Wardwell, Rivane Neuenschwander, Shepard Fairey, Jenny Holzer, Glenn Ligon, and more.
$20, through January 5, 2025, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston

The Lost Generation: Women Ceramicists and the Cuban Avant-Garde
Boston College’s McMullen Museum explores the unsung work of the women of the Taller de Santiago de las Vegas, a ceramics workshop near Havana, during the Cuban revolutionary era. Their striking modernist designs made a deep impression on a group of much better-known male painters and brought greater prestige to the art of ceramics in Cuba.
Free, through June 2, McMullen Museum of Art, 2101 Comm. Ave., Brighton

Wolf Vostell: Dé-coll/age Is Your Life
Committed to the use of destruction in art making as a means of highlighting the destructiveness in society, Wolf Vostell created a body of work that cried out for peace in the anxious Cold War era. Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum has the largest collection of his work on this side of the world, much of which, including prints, sculptures, films, performance-related items, will be on display here.
Free, through May 5, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

Picasso: War, Combat, and Revolution
Take a deep dive into the world of Picasso’s immortal and imposing Guernica, one of the great anti-war statements in 20th century art, dense with both pathos and symbolic meaning. Although the painting itself remains in Madrid, you’ll see several drawings and prints from Picasso that express similar themes to the painting.
Free, through May 5, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

Day One DNA: 50 Years in Hip-Hop Culture
Featuring more than 200 objects, including studio reels, photos, party fliers, magazines, custom clothing, jewelry, recording equipment, and more from the archives of Ice-T and DJ Afrika Islam, this show looks at hip hop history both from a personal perspective and in its wider cultural context.
Free, through May 31, Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, 102 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge

The Myth of Normal
Featuring the work of MassArt alumni to celebrate the school’s 150th anniversary, this multimedia exhibition examines what happens when dysfunctional modes of thoughts and behavior become norms, and how the self-expressive potential of art can provide relief from the sometimes-damaging pressure to be “normal.”
Free, through May 19, MassArt Art Museum, 621 Huntington Ave., Boston

Surveillance: From Vision to Data
If you’ve ever seen an ad online for something you only mentioned in conversation, you know you’re being watched—and your phone is just one of the more recent tools of the trade. This exhibition examines some historic instruments of surveillance, showing how they’ve been used, in the eerie words of its synopsis, “to transform individuals and landscapes into data.”
Free, through June 22, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University, 1 Oxford St., Cambridge

Resa Blatman’s Beauty and the Beasties from “Bats!” at the Peabody Essex Museum. / Photo courtesy of Resa Blatman

The Peabody Essex Museum would certainly win the award for Salem’s Best Halloween Museum Exhibition (if only it existed!) with its latest extravaganza. For starters, the PEM has gathered various pop-culture artifacts and artworks celebrating our favorite winged mammals by contemporary talents such as Somerville painter Resa Blatman and Argentine papercraftsman Juan Nicolás Elizalde. But the exhibition also has a natural-history element to it, stressing how bats are, in fact, indicator species that reveal the health of the environment around us. Best of all, visitors get to meet a small colony of real live Egyptian fruit bats, who are as adorable as they are fascinating. —MATTHEW REED BAKER
$20 (non-member general admission), through July 28, Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem

Shehuo: Community Fire
Since 2007, Chinese photographer Zhang Xiao has periodically documented the celebration of Shehuo, a spring festival in rural Northern China, showing its regional quirks, handmade props that double as family heirlooms, and its transformation over the years into a commercialized spectacle for tourists.
$15, through April 14, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

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April 2024

  • April 18, 2024. Cypress Hill, Pharcyde, and Souls of Mischief at Roadrunner. [Info]
  • April 26-27, 2024. The Town and the City Festival, Lowell, Mass.
    • Robyn Hitchcock, Darlingside, Ryan Montbleau, Orbit, and more. [Info]

May 2024

  • Sunday, May 5. Sheer Mag with Pile at the Crystal Ballroom (55 Davis Sq., Somerville).
    • CSS at the Sinclair (52 Church St., Cambridge).
  • May 8. Chastity Belt at the Sinclair (52 Church St., Cambridge).
  • May 9. Hatsune Miku Expo. Though she “performs” onscreen as a manga-style 16-year-old with bright-blue hair, Hatsune Miku really began life in 2007 as a piece of vocal synthesis software created by the Japanese company Crypton Future Media that lets music fans make their computer sing. Soon enough, the software became personified by this virtual cartoon singer, who is as joyously buoyant as she is fake. She’s also now an international phenomenon, “touring” the world with a live band in front of packed audiences. Wang Theatre (270 Tremont St., Boston).
  • Saturday, May 11. PorchFest Somerville 2024. [Info]
  • Sunday, May 12. Frankie Cosmos at the Crystal Ballroom (55 Davis Sq., Somerville).
  • May 13, 2024-May 14, 2024. Mannequin Pussy at the Sinclair (52 Church St., Cambridge).

  • Tuesday, May 28.
    • Kathleen Hanna: Rebel Girl Book Tour at the Wilbur Theater (246 Tremont St., Boston). [Info]
    • Shannon and the Clams at the Sinclair (52 Church St., Cambridge).

June 2024

  • Wednesday, June 5. Of Montreal at the Sinclair (52 Church St., Cambridge).
  • June 8. Boston Kids Comics Fest returns with another round of workshops and roundtables that aim to foster the next generation of cartoonists and comic-book illustrators. This one-day event, held at Northeastern’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex on June 8, will feature lectures by graphic novelists who are well-known stars to any schoolkid these days, such as Bad Kitty’s Nick Bruel, Amulet’s Kazu Kibuishi, and Lauren Tarshis of the popular I Survived series. Best of all, the festival has set aside quiet spaces, so your budding Stan Lee or Alison Bechdel can get some creative work done. —Matthew Reed Baker
  • June 10. Allie X at the Sinclair (52 Church St., Cambridge).

July 2024

  • July 17, 2024. The 50th anniversary of Best of Boston Soirée @ Roadrunner, 89 Guest St., Boston.
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