WINTER ARTS GUIDE: 101 ways to pass the time until spring

By Dana Barbuto
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jan. 27, 2016 at 6:46 pm Updated Feb 2, 2016 at 3:26 PM


1 The Convert, an epic about race from Obie Award winner Danai Gurira, runs Jan. 28 through Feb. 28 at Central Square Theater in Cambridge.

2 The British all-male modern dance troupe BalletBoyz heats up the Shubert Theatre Jan. 29-30. Expect no shortage of muscles, grace, skill and elegance.

3 In their first-ever collaboration the chamber orchestra A Far Cry and the vocal ensemble Blue Heron will perform Gabriel Faur s beloved Requiem on Jan. 29 at Boston s historic Old South Church.

4 Leave your inhibitions at the door as race relations get the comedic treatment in the subversive An Octoroon, Jan. 29-Feb. 27 at Company One Theater.

5 The Atlantic Symphony Orchestra plays its winter concert on Jan. 30 at Thayer Academy with selections from Beethoven, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

6 Waltham playwright Kristen Greenidge conceived the teenage drama Milk Like Sugar from the viral media coverage of Gloucester Pregnancy Pact. Performed by the Huntington Theater Company, the play runs Jan. 29-Feb. 27 at Calderwood Pavilion.

7 The toe-tapping Disney musical Mary Poppins will be performed by the troupe at Wheelock Family Theater, Jan. 29-Feb. 28. That s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

8 The Testament of Mary, from Tony Award-nominated Irish writer Colm T ib n will run at the New Repertory Theater in Watertown from Jan. 30 to Feb. 28.

9 Fresh off their off-Broadway debut, comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney bring their sketch show Oh, Hello to the Wilbur Theater in Boston Jan. 31-Feb. 2.


10 Ali Macgraw and Ryan O Neal get a second chance at love in a staged reading of celebrated playwright A.R. Gurney s enduring romance Love Letters, Feb. 2-7 at the Shubert Theater.

11 Pippin, Feb. 2-14 at the Boston Opera House, follows a young prince on his death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence and has sizzling choreography and breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts de la Main.

12 ZZ Top s Billy Gibbons and his solo band, the BFGs, get down at the Wilbur Theater in Boston on Feb. 3.

13 Head down to The River to relive your Glory Days with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The Boss and company roll into the TD Garden Feb. 4 for a concert sure to become an instant classic.

14 The hot-button issue of sexual assault on college campuses is the subject of Back the Night, the latest drama from acclaimed Boston playwright Melinda Lopez, at Boston Playwrights Theater Feb. 4-28.

15 Soprano Barbara Hannigan joins Boston Symphony Orchestra and maestro Andris Nelsons for a musical celebration of Shakespeare Feb. 4-6 at Symphony Hall.

16 The acclaimed Zappa Plays Zappa show features Dwezil honoring dad Frank s legacy Feb. 5 at the Paradise.

17 The Fiddlehead Theater Company continues its resurgence with Rent, the popular coming-of-age musical Feb. 5-21 at the Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St., Boston.

18 Flesh meets felt in the risque puppet musical Avenue Q, performed by Norwell s Company Theater, Feb. 5-14.

19 Anything described as junk folk, deserves a listen, so check out the Rusty Belle Concert Feb. 6 at The Beal House in Kingston.

20 Berklee alum and merengue pioneer Juan Luis Guerra heats up the Wang Theatre Feb. 6.

21 Set a course for romance by enjoying a bouquet of love songs from the faculty at South Shore Conservatory, Feb. 7 and 14 at the Ellison Center for the Arts in Duxbury. On the program are arias from Carmen and songs from Guys and Dolls, Irving Berlin s charming I Love a Piano, Duke Ellington s In a Sentimental Mood and George Gershwin s Someone to Watch Over Me.

22 In Baltimore, up-and-coming playwright Kristen Greenidge explores issues of racial equality on a college campus. Performed by the New Repertory Theater, Feb. 10-28 at the Boston University Theatre Lane-Comley Studio 210.

23 Cuban-born Artistic Director and Choreographer Jos Mateo takes his Ballet Theater troupe back to his roots with The Cuba Files (Feb. 12-March 6), a concert of three ballets, including the season s first premiere, set to the music of all Cuban composers.

24 Fiddles and banjoes! More than 20 bands, including the Gibson Brothers and The Travelin McCourys, are scheduled to play at The Joe Val Bluegrass Feb. 12-14 at the Sheraton Framingham.

25 In the film Deadpool, opening Feb. 12, Ryan Reynolds plays the Marvel anti-hero with a twisted sense of humor. This is his origin story. Morena Baccarin and Gina Carano co-star.

26 Also Feb. 12, Ben Stiller returns as America s favorite male model in Zoolander 2. Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Milla Jovovich reprise their original roles.

27 Share laughs with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah when the comedian does his hilarious standup Feb. 12-14 at the Wilbur Theater.

28 Having Walking Dead withdrawals? Head over to the Davis Square Theater on Valentine TW© s weekend for the zombie opera La Zombiata. A comedic opera based loosely on Verdi s La Traviata, the production will immerse the audience in a romantic dystopia filled with brain noshing and ballroom dancing zombies. Running Feb. 12-14, the show is filled with bloody soirees and ravenous relationships. How s that for undying love?

29 Old favorites Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Goofy, mix and mingle with new stars Elsa, Ana, Tiana in Disney On Ice presents 100 years of Magic. Catch your favorites Feb. 12-21 at TD Garden.

30 Pablo Picasso was not only one of the main inventors of modern art, he changed the way we see the world. See the Spanish painter s work in the exhibit Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picasso, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Feb. 13-June 26.

31 The New England Boat Show drops anchor at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Feb. 13-21. Some local exhibitors include 3A Marine (Hingham) and Bayside Marine (Duxbury).

32 Remember, if you don t live near public transportation or aren t within walking distance of the Seaport World Trade Center, be sure to have a designated driver, because you re going to need it. The 24th annual Boston Wine Expo, one of the largest trade and consumer wine events in the country, is here to bring you to a heaven filled with hundreds of wineries from around the world pouring wines for you to sample. Cheers, indeed. Feb. 13-14 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

33 Return to the summer of 69 and swoon with Canadian rocker Byan Adams Feb. 13 at the Orpheum Theater.

34 Animals: Machines in Motion is a cool new exhibit opening at the Museum of Science in Boston. Opening Feb. 14, the interactive exhibit explores the marvels of natural engineering.

35 Co-creators/directors Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan dust off George Orwell s dystopian horror classic 1984 to give it an inventive re-telling in a well-received stage show, running Feb. 14 to March 6 at the Loeb Drama Center. Performed by the American Repertory Theater Company.

36 Acapella dynamos Vocalosity bring their aca-awesomeness to the Shubert Theater Feb. 16.

37 The Actors Shakespeare Project presents Richard II, one of the Bard s most lyrical and epic plays, Feb. 17-March 13 at YMCA Central Square, Cambridge.

38 Tie your old flannel around your waist, 90s alt-rockers Sister Hazel perform at the Paradise Feb. 17.

39 The piano-playing-Texas-born-Louisiana-raised songwriter Marcia Ball does her thing Feb. 18 at Scullers.

40 Broadway veteran Linda Eder, who s performed with the Boston Pops, sings at Scullers Feb. 19-20.

41 Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is back in fine comedic form after recovering from a near-fatal car accident. He ll be bringing the laughs Feb. 20-21 to the Wilbur Theater in Boston.

42 Country princess Carrie Underwood do-si-dos into the TD Garden Feb. 23.

43 From Feb. 21 to May 15, the Art Complex in Duxbury goes old school with an exhibit focused on an unusual technique called encaustic with Compelling Progressions: Explorations in Encaustic. On display are works from New England artists Pat Gerkin, Donna Hamil Talman, Charyl Weissbach who paint with a beeswax-based-paint kept molten on a heated palette.

44 The Brockton Symphony Orchestra performs Sizzling Symphonic Favorites Feb. 21 at the Buckley Performing Arts Center. Selections include: Stravinsky, Beethoven, Sibelius and Tschaikowsky.

45 Conceptual artist Walid Raad opens a show at the Institute of Contemporary Art on Feb. 24. Raad works in photography, video, sculpture, and performance. The exhibit runs through May 30.

46 Onegin is a work of great emotional power, a love-tragedy as touching as Romeo and Juliet and the Boston Ballet puts their spin on Russian story Feb. 25-March 6 at the Opera House.

47 It s theater of the absurd when man transforms into beast in Eugene Ionesco s classic Rhinoceros, runs Feb. 25-March 13 at the Boston Playwrights Theater.

48 Jazz singer Betty Buckley brings her Tony Award-winning pipes to Scullers Feb. 26.

49 The action in the comedy Cakewalk, centers around a baking competition in a small Vermont town, Feb. 26-March 19 at the Zeitgeist Stage Company in Boston.

50 It s an all-Beethoven program for the Handel and Haydn Society Feb. 26 and 28 at Symphony Hall.

51 There s no doubt Former Drive By Trucker Jason Isbell can deliver songs every bit the equal of his best work with his old band. Catch him in the intimate confines of the House of Blues on Feb. 27.

52 See the Far East influence on the work of famed Dutch artists like Rembrandt, Willem Kalf, Jan Steen and Pieter Claesz in the exhibit Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age, on view Feb. 27- June 5 at the Peabody Essex Museum.

53 Actress-singer Kelli O Hara shows off her Tony Award-winning voice Feb. 28 at the Sanders Theater.


54 Buckwheat Zydeco brings his big accordion and band to the Regattabar in Cambridge on March 2.

55 Carla Ching s Fast Company follows a family of grifters, from the Lyric Stage Company, March 4-27.

56 August Wilson s final play, How I Learned What I Learned, is a one-man drama about the playwright s journey of self-discovery through adversity, and what it means to be a black artist in America. From the Huntington Theater Company, March 5-April 3.

57 Spend Saturday night in the city with soulman Leon Bridges, March 5 at the Wang Theatre.

58 Conductor Steven Karidoyanes leads the the Plymouth Philharmonic in a Family Concert on March 6 at Memorial Hall in Plymouth. The Plymouth Children s Chorus will also sing.

59 Another fabulous fashion exhibition, #techstyle will be unveiled at the Museum of Fine Arts March 6-July 10. The exhibit is a marriage of fashion and technology and sure sign that new MFA Matthew Teitelbaum is committed to innovation.

60 Don t get fooled again: See one of rock s most influential bands, The Who, March 7 at the TD Garden.

61 Johann Sebastian Bach s St. John Passion gets performed with drama and intimacy by the Handel and Haydn Society March 11 and 13 at Symphony Hall.

62 Jazz piano great Fred Hersch tickles the ivories March 11 at Scullers.

63 At the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, a beautiful collection of objects from local woodworkers will be on display in Visions from the Lathe: Selections from the Massachusetts South Shore Woodturners, March 12-June 12.

64 The explosive off Broadway play Bootycandy makes its New England debut March 12-April 9 from SpeakEasy Stage Company. Press notes describe the show as a shockingly funny and saucy spin on race, sex, and sexuality.

65 Come March, most of us will be all wintered-out. But, famous Canadian artist Lawren Harris captures the cold in such a grand way that you can t help but be amazed by his snowcapped mountains and majestic icebergs. See his iconic winter works at the Museum of Fine Arts when The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris runs March 12-June 12. Actor-comedian Steve Martin curates.

66 Big bash alert: Irish punksters the Dropkick Murphys play three shows at the House of Blues to rock St. Patrick s Day March 16-18. The party moves to the Agganis Arena March 19.

67 The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, America s leading modern dance company makes its annual appearance in Boston March 17-20 at the Wang Theatre.

68 It s a safe bet that a ballet titled Kaleidoscope will be nothing short of a visual feast. In the Boston Ballet s interpretation, also expect romance, poetry and elegance in performances from March 17 to 26 at the Boston Opera House.

69 The Company Theater in Norwell presents the musical Billy Elliot, about a motherless boy from an English mining family who pursues a passion for ballet, which confounds his father and brother, March 18-April 10.

70 Pianist Nikolai Lugansky joins conductor Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra March 24 at Symphony Hall.

71 Opa! Nia Vardalos returns as the star and writer of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the sequel to her 2002 unexpected hit on March 25. Andrea Martin, John Corbett, Joey Fatone and Elena Kampouris co-star.

72 Love and money take center stage in Gina Gionfriddo s biting new comedy Can You Forgive Her, receiving its world premiere from the Huntington Theater Company, March 25-April 24.

73 Jazz-rock guitar ace Joe Satriani plays at The Orpheum Theater in Boston March 26.

74 I m Batman. No, Ben Affleck is and his grand debut as the Caped Crusader will be revealed March 26 when Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, hits the big screen. Henry Cavill plays Superman and Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman.

75 Marshfield tunesmith Kevin Connolly sings at Passim March 26.

76 The Sound of Music, March 29-April 10 at Boston Opera House, is a new production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic and comes on the heels of the film s golden-anniversary.

77 Songstress Bonnie Raitt will give fans something to talk about at the Orpheum Theater in Boston March 29.

78 Tom Stoppard s Arcadia, is a heady foray into love, sex, physics, mathematics and literary scholarship, at Underground Railway @ Central Square Theater, starting March 31.


79 The Jose Mateo Ballet Theater will dance to Haydn, Schubert and Ginastera in Hearts Disguised, April 1-17 at the Sanctuary Theater in Cambridge.

80 12-year-old pianist Joey Alexander is back by popular demand, April 2 at Scullers.

81 The work of controversial contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is one of the many sculptures and installations featured in Megacities Asia, April 3-July 17 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Other artists include the late India-based artist Hema Upadhyay and Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa.

82 Legendary comics Steve Martin and Martin Short will present their show An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life, April 8 at the Wang Theater. Expect a mix of conversation, banter, singing and banjo playing.

83 Anne Washburn s dark comedy, Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, settles into the Lyric Stage Company for a month-long run April 8-May 7.

84 Singer-songwriter-player-of-many-instruments Ben Harper brings his The Innocent Criminals to a soiree at the House of Blues on April 9.

85 The singing, whistling, violin-playing wonder Andrew Bird stops in Boston April 9 at the Wang Theater.

86 Prolific comedian and actor JB Smoove, best known as Larry David s partner and foil for several seasons on Curb Your Enthusiasm does stand-up at the Wilbur Theater April 9.

87 Get out your Umbrella and Diamonds for Rihanna April 10 at the TD Garden.

88 Beethoven and Nielsen are on the docket as the Quincy Symphony Orchestra plays April 10 at the Lloyd Hill Performing Arts Center.

89 Always a big draw, Roz Chast, a New Yorker magazine cartoonist and author, will give a multi-media presentation about her life and career, including highlights from her new book, Can t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? April 11 at the Arsenal Center for Arts in Watertown.

90 Homegrown jazz prodigy Esperanza Spaulding headlines the Shubert Theater April 12.

91 Vancouver-based installation artist Geoffrey Farmer takes over the Institute of Contemporary Art April 13-July 17. Three large-scale works two paper works and a new major film work create the foundation for this exhibition.

92 The Boston International Film Festival runs April 14-18 and shows 100 short and feature-length films from around the world at AMC Loews Boston Common.

93 The fabulous dancers of the Chicago-based Hubbard Street Dance troupe have been local favorites for its high-energy, jazz-based works. Check them out April 15-17 at the Shubert Theater.

94 For its Boston debut, the Brazilian troupe Companhia Urbana de Dan a is bringing its hip-hop moves to the Institute of Contemporary Art on April. 15.

95 A collection of costumes from Hollywood blockbusters will be on display in the exhibit CUT! Costume and the Cinema, opening April 16 at the Heritage Museum & Gardens. The exhibit features 43 pieces from 25 films, including Pirates of the Caribbean, The Phantom of the Opera and Sherlock Holmes.

96 Take a break from MineCraft and come get a sneak peek at the coolest upcoming games and gadgets at the largest video game convention on the East Coast. PAX East, runs April 22-24 at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

97 Actress Rita Wilson had designs on being a musician long before she became a TV and movie star. She s headlining a tour that stops in Boston at the Wilbur Theater April 26. Maybe she ll bring her husband, Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks.

98 It ll be a marvelous night for a moon dance when Van Morrison takes over the Wang Theater April 26-27.

99 The 14th annual Independent Film Festival Boston runs April 27-May 4 at the Brattle, Coolidge Corner and Somerville theaters. Between short films, documentaries and full-length features, there are more than 100 screenings during the festival s eight-day run.

100 In what is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, director Garry Marshall gives Mothers Day the same comedy-ensemble treatment he bestowed upon New Year s Eve and Valentine TW© s Day. Opening April 29, the movie stars Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson.

101 Showboat sails into the Citi Performing Arts Center Shubert Theater in Boston for a slick, smooth, energetic production from the Fiddlehead Theater Company. Razzle-dazzle ensues June 23-July 2.

Dana Barbuto may be reached at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @dbarbuto_Ledger.

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