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The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world

Regie Gibson (left) and Johnny Lee Davenport in a rehearsal for the Front Porch Arts Collective & Underground Railway Theater’s production of “Black Odyssey Boston,” which is at Central Square Theater through May 19.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff/Globe Staff


Pop & Rock

CHER The shape-shifting pop legend — and, depending on how things shake out for “The Cher Show” at Tuesday’s Tony nominations, potential EGOT — headlines Boston for the first time this year (she’ll be back, with classic cuts like “Bang Bang” as well as her recent collection of Abba covers, in December). Fellow icons Nile Rodgers & Chic open. April 28, 7:30 p.m. $47.95 and up. TD Garden. 617-624-1000, www.tdgarden.com

EMILY REO This Brooklyn engineer-musician’s latest album, “Only You Can See It,” is a nervy collection packed with effervescence, wit, and monster-size hooks. May 4, 7:30 p.m. $10. The Lilypad, Cambridge. www.lilypadinman.com


SANTIGOLD Santi White’s 2008 debut “Santogold” was a watershed moment for late-’00s pop, fusing genres, ideas, and high-octane attitude in a way that recalls a summer dance party breaking out on a particularly traffic-heavy city block. (You’ve likely heard at least one of its songs in a TV ad; White avoided that era’s music-business bummers by judiciously licensing them.) She’ll be celebrating it, and her expectation-defying career, at this show. May 2, 7 p.m. $40 and up. House of Blues. 888-693-2583, www.houseofblues.com/boston


Folk & World

TYLER RAMSEY The ex-Band of Horses member continues a solo career that has wrapped around his tenure with those rootsy rockers with the just-released “For the Morning,” a meditation on the rootedness of home and the consequences of separation that ranges sonically from “Harvest”-era Neil Young to delicate fingerpicking. April 29, 9:15 p.m. $15. Great Scott, Allston. 888-929-7849, www.axs.com

FLAGSHIP ROMANCE Married duo Shawn Fisher and Jordyn Jackson play a species of intense, poppy, harmony-centered folk music. They’re coming all the way from Truth or Consequences, N.M. (which seems like the perfect place for singer-songwriters to reside) to make their Club Passim debut. April 30, 8 p.m. $12. Club Passim. 617-492-7679, www.passim.org


LOCAL FLAVORS A pair of local purveyors of old-school country celebrate album releases this week. Jesse and the Hogg Brothers introduce “Live in Harlem” on Tuesday, while the Beantown Buckaroos showcase the western swing sounds of “Live From the Bunkhouse” on Saturday. April 30, 8 p.m. $5. Midway Cafe. 617-524-9038, www.midwaycafe.com (Hoggs); May 4, 7 p.m. $12. The Burren, Somerville. 617-776-6896, www.burren.com (Buckaroos)


Jazz & Blues

KENNY WERNER & HIS BERKLEE SPRING ENSEMBLE World-class improviser Werner — pianist, composer, educator, author, and Guggenheim fellow — leads a group featuring saxophonists Itamar Efrat and Itzel Reyna, pianist Keegan Marshallhouse, guitarist Roy Ben Bashat, bassist Gonn Shani, and drummer Yuval Cohen. Innovative guitarist Federico Balducci opens. April 30, 7:30 p.m. $10. Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. 617-395-1393, www.lilypadinman.com

ROB MO & WILLIE J. LAWS A head-to-head showdown featuring two charismatic blues guitar-slingers: Willie J. from the Gulf Coast of Texas and Roberto Morbioli, the implausibly blues-savvy native of Verona, Italy. May 4, 8 p.m. $22. Bull Run Restaurant, 215 Great Road, Shirley. 978-425-4311, www.bullrunrestaurant.com

PLYMOUTH ROCK JAZZ FEST: CELEBRATING WOMEN IN JAZZ Three nights of stellar music from the distaff side. Friday features pianist Yoko Miwa’s Trio and singer Donna Byrne with the Marshall Wood Trio. Saturday is cabaret diva Suede’s showcase. And on Sunday, the swing-inspired Svetlana and the Delancey Five hold sway. May 3-4, 7:30 p.m; May 5, 2 p.m. $30-$50. Spire Center, 25½ Court St. Plymouth. www.spirecenter.org




BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The BSO closes out its Symphony Hall season with music director Andris Nelsons conducting Strauss, Stravinsky, and the world premiere of Sebastian Currier’s “Aether” featuring violinist Baiba Skride. May 2-4. Symphony Hall. 888-266-1200, www.bso.org

PERLE NOIRE: MEDITATIONS FOR JOSÉPHINE You haven’t heard Josephine Baker like this before. Weaving together recomposed and recontextualized takes on her songs, composer Tyshawn Sorey, soprano Julia Bullock and the International Contemporary Ensemble reimagine the life and legacy of the singer and activist. All tickets for this free concert have been reserved, but no-shows will be released to a waitlist at the door. May 3. Doors 9:30 p.m., concert 10 p.m. Oberon, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org

RADIUS ENSEMBLE A set of meditations on American painters by John Harbison, Jonathan Bailey Holland’s cool meld of flute and cello, a classic trio by Beethoven, and a world premiere by Guggenheim award winner Laurie San Martin: All these are on the menu for this thoughtful local ensemble’s final concert of its 20th anniversary season. May 4, 8 p.m. Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music, Cambridge. 617-792-7234,


Z Madonna



BLACK ODYSSEY BOSTON Playwright Marcus Gardley revised and renamed this work, previously titled “black odyssey,’’ for this production after workshops and interviews with members of Boston’s African-American community. Currents of black history and experience flow through Gardley’s reimagining of Homer’s epic as a contemporary tale in which Ulysses Lincoln, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, undertakes a circuitous journey to make it back home to his wife and son in Boston. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush. Pictured: Regie Gibson (left ) and Johnny Lee Davenport. Through May 19. The Front Porch Arts Collective & Underground Railway Theater. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 617-576-9278 ext. 1, www.centralsquaretheater.org


VIETGONE Playwright Qui Nguyen (“She Kills Monsters’’) scrambles cultural stereotypes while telling the story of the 1975 meeting of his Vietnamese parents in a Arkansas refugee camp. Nguyen is quoted in press materials as saying that he tried to write their story in a more traditional fashion but then decided: “I’m going to tell it in my voice, with hip-hop and ninjas and irreverent comedy and stuff I want to do.’’ Directed by Michelle Aguillon. Through May 25. Company One Theatre in partnership with Pao Arts Center. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org

LES MISERABLES Look, you either love “Les Miz’’ or you hate it. Or perhaps it’s a little bit of both. This musical doesn’t just tug on the heartstrings but relentlessly yanks on them, song after song after song. (When it comes to “One Day More,’’ resistance is futile, at least for me.) The current touring production certainly showcases some glorious voices, among them Nick Cartell as the noble Jean Valjean and Josh Davis as police inspector Javert, who pursues Valjean across the decades and all bounds of reason. But it is J. Anthony Crane and Allison Guinn who steal the show as the gleefully venal Thenardier and Madame Thenardier, teaming up for a riotous “Master of the House.’’ Through April 28. Broadway In Boston. At Citizens Bank Opera House. 800-982-2787, www.broadwayinboston.com




ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER Amid its 6oth-anniversary season, the beloved company returns to Boston with a dynamite slate of premieres and revivals. Highlights include Rennie Harris’s newly commissioned homage to Ailey, “Lazarus,” plus the 100th ballet of Jessica Lang, Wayne McGregor’s “Kairos,” and a special Saturday matinee of Ailey works spanning 30 years. May 2-5. $35-$90. Boch Center Wang Theatre. 800-982-2787, www.bochcenter.org

/PE-LO-TAH/ Poet-performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph transforms his love of soccer into a multimedia performance that uses the game as a metaphor for exploring racial inequities and the chasm between childhood dreams and real world possibilities. This “Futbol Framed Freedom Suite” melds spoken word, song, and soccer-inspired choreography. Recommended for ages 13 and up. May 1-5. $10-$85. Emerson Paramount Center. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

DANCE NOW BOSTON David Parker’s collaboration with DANCE NOW NYC is in its seventh year of fostering a creative bridge between the two cities. For this incarnation, Parker has elicited new works from Joy Davis, Ian Berg/Subject:Matter, and Danielle Davidson with Orlando Hernandez to be performed alongside his new work for the Bang Group. May 3-5. $13-$26. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org KAREN CAMPBELL


YU-WEN WU: HIGH-WATER MARK Wu, a Boston artist who makes data lyrical, examines climate science pertaining to coastal New Hampshire and Maine: rising sea levels, floods, and their implications for the people who live there. Her work layers maps and graphs with videos of local wetlands and waterways. Through May 26. 3S Artspace, 19 Vaughan St., Portsmouth, N.H. 603-766-3330, www.3sarts.org/gallery/high-water-mark

JALOPIES: A TOW-PERSON SHOW Carl D’Alvia sculpts goofy, strangely imposing forms that are half-critter, half monolith. Matthew F. Fisher paints cheeky, stylized, honed-down seascapes. A few moths back, D’Alvia shared an Instagram photo of a moonlit ocean with Fisher. The visual dialogue that followed culminates in this exhibition. Through May 18. Drive-By Projects, 81 Spring St., Watertown. 617-835-8255, www.drive-byprojects.com

WE NEED THE STORM: PAINTINGS BY MATT BRACKETT After the 2016 election, Brackett painted wintry landscapes. Pointed titles such as “Bitter Chill (It is an affront to truth to treat falsehood with complaisance. — Thomas Paine, 1794)” cite American leaders and activists. Exhibiting at City Hall raises notions about the trust we put in the people we elect. Through May 31. Mayor’s Art Gallery, Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Square. 617-635-4445, www.boston.gov/departments/arts-and-culture/city-hall-galleries  CATE McQUAID


DECORDOVA NEW ENGLAND BIENNIAL 2019 A modestly-sized, glorious mess of vaguely-related (if at all) works, this regional biennial groups togethers artists across generations, media, and backgrounds spanning six states. It feels genuine in its lack of resolution, trying less to cast the region across an artificial notion of similarity than making a point of highlighting its breadth of difference. Through Sept. 15. deCordova Scupture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln. 781-259-8355, www.decordova.org

BOUCHRA KHALILI: 22 HOURS In 1970, Jean Genet, the French poet/activist, was met with an unusual request: Leading members of the Black Panther Party traveled to meet him at his Paris flat, asking him to lend his voice to the plight of Bobby Seale, their jailed leader. Genet was in the United States the next day, agitating on the Panthers’ behalf for fair trials and equal rights. “22 Hours,” Khalili’s film, looks back at an incendiary moment while wondering what the future may hold. Through Aug. 25. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

RELATIONAL UNDERCURRENTS Less a group show than a gathering of works vaguely related by accident of geography — some of them great — this exhibition of contemporary Caribbean art is as scattershot as you might imagine. It samples the cultural output of more than a dozen distinct countries and clusters them all under the same rubric. It does make its point, whether intentionally or not: that the First World notion of only mildly varying sameness among the archipelago is as muddled as the show itself. Through May 5. Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148, www.portlandmuseum.org




CITYSIDE COMEDY Headliner Evan Williams once had neighbors who called the cops to complain about the noise when he and his wife were having a tickle fight. Which led to the best thing Williams says he’s ever heard a police officer say. “He grabbed his belt and leaned in,” says Williams. “He was like, ‘I wish they all were tickle fights.’ ” April 29, 8:30 p.m. Free. CitySide, 1960 Beacon St., Brighton. 617-566-1002, www.citysidebar.com

HIGH HAMLET “Hamlet” isn’t really an improvised piece, unless, of course a couple of the actors are stoned, as will be the case at this late show. It’s free with your ticket from the early “Main Stage Show” that night. May 2, 10 p.m. $10. Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St. 617-263-6887, www.improvasylum.com

SEAN PATTON “I’m not as slim as I’d like to be,” says the New York-based comic and storyteller. “I’ve figured out the problem — I can taste food.” He adds that taste is the most useless of the senses. “You will never taste your way out of danger.” May 4 at 7:30 p.m., and 9:45 p.m. $25. Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St. 617-725-2844, www.laughboston.com



THE COWS GO MOO! STORY HOUR Join Jim Petipas at J.P. Licks as he reads “The Cows Go Moo!” The rhyming picture book follows the story of a herd of musical cows. By the end of the book, kids will have learned a song to sing along with the author. The afternoon also includes jokes, trivia, and drawing. May 1, 1-2 p.m. Free. J.P. Licks, 179 Newbury St.,  calendar.artweekma.org.

MOTHER’S DAY GIFTS YOU CAN EAT WITH CHOPCHOP! Mother’s Day isn’t until May 12, but those celebrating can get a head start on a tasty gift the weekend before. ChopChop will teach kids in grades K-5 how to read recipes, be safe while cooking, and make edible treats for mom. May 4, 10 a.m.-noon. $65. ChopChop Family, 697 Belmont St., Belmont,  eventbrite.com.

KENTUCKY DOG DERBY Everyone is welcome to watch the Kentucky Dog Derby, a ½-mile loop around the Esplanade in support of the park. Dogs and owners will be decked out in their best Derby outfits, and the afternoon includes games, giveaways, prizes, and more. Canines must be registered to participate in the parade. May 4, noon-2 p.m. $0-20. Fiedler Field, Charles River Esplanade,  eventbrite.com.



May 5 Parachute at Royale Boston axs.com

May 11-12 Josh Ritter at Wilbur Theatre ticketmaster.com

May 19 KT Tunstall at the Sinclair axs.com

May 22 Lizzo at House of Blues livenation.com

May 25 Slayer at Xfinity Center livenation.com

May 30 Florence and the Machine at Xfinity Center livenation.com

May 30 Walk Off the Earth at House of Blues livenation.com

June 5 Dennis Lloyd at Brighton Music Hall ticketmaster.com