From a knockout opera to a knocked out Shakespeare


You do not know what’s going on with the weather. I do not know what’s going on with the weather. Questlove *definitely* does not know what’s going on with the weather.

(Just kidding, we definitely do, and it’s definitely something about climate change)

Anyway — we could sit around and complain and act confused about this chilly Spring time, or we could warm our bones and get out and do something. Like warming our souls with the sonorous offerings of two Kanneh-Mason siblings. Or warming our corporeal beings with cheese. Or watching someone else get warmed up with Dutch (or in this case, English) courage, and then perform some Shakespeare well-tread. Let’s get toasty.

Welcome to May.

Boch Center Wang Theatre, Boston
May 1, 3 p.m.
Tickets start at $39

The famed dance theater returns to Boston, and they conclude their visit at the top of the month with a program featuring Robert Battle’s “Mass,” a 2004 work inspired by Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem.” Joining the bill are the Nina Simone-emoted “In/Side”; “Ella,” a reimagined solo work paired with Ella Fitzgerald “Airmail Special”; Wynton Marsalis’s pandemic-era creation “For Four”; “Unfold,” set to a Charpentier aria as recorded by the legendary soprano Leontyne Price; the kinetic “Takademe”; and the company’s signature piece, “Revelation.” You know that scene from 2019’s “Us,” where Winston Duke’s Gabe is chilling on a bed, thighs out, underneath an Alvin Ailey print? You could go to that show, and that could be you.

Black Super Hero Magic Mama

Central Library in Copley Square
Select dates, May 1-21
Tickets: pay what you wish

Pull up to the pinnacle of society, The Boston Public Library, for Inda Craig-Galván’s play about Black motherhood and the meaning of crafting your own narrative.

A woman holds a spear, she is covered red, yellow and orange colors
Lisa Alexander as Maasai Angel

PHOTO: John Oluwole ADEkoje, ILLUSTRATION: Cagen Luse / Company One Theatre

S**T-faced Shakespeare

The Rockwell, Somerville
May 5 – July 9
Tickets start at $30

The premise is simple: take a dramatic work by William Shakespeare (in this case, the well-known “Romeo and Juliet”) and perform it! But max it out at an hour. And make sure one cast member is absolutely sauced when the curtain rises, a byproduct of their “sonorously quaffing spirits for a full 4 hours prior to showtime.” Hilarity ensues.

Two people in medieval clothing hold up drinks
Sh!t-faced Shakespeare

Rah Petherbridge / Sh!t-faced Shakespeare

Symphony Hall, Boston
Livestream available May 6, 8 p.m.
Tickets start at $20

The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra goes on tour every year. In 2022, they were slated to visit Russia, and then a war happened. The youth talent have since set their sights on Greece, but for now, under the direction of Benjamin Zander, they’ll be presenting a concert featuring a program of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Prokofiev, for the benefit of Ukraine relief.

A composer conducts a symphony.
Benjamin Zander and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Hllary Scott / Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Charles River Conservancy Park Cleanup

Cannalonga Park, Watertown
May 14, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Reserve a spot via email ([email protected]) — the Conservancy is combining forces with Watertown Helps Out and recruiting volunteers to assist in cleanup and maintenance of Cannalonga Park. Green space is important. Go take care of it!

Celebrity Series Presents: Sheku and Insata Kanneh-Maso

Symphony Hall, Boston
May 7, 8 p.m.
Tickets start at $19

Saying that the siblings Sheku (cello) and Insata (piano) Kanneh-Mason have taken the non-classical music world by storm is an understatement. The pair are exceptionally talented, and have come as close as you can get to mainstream recognition without tipping into the expected classical crossover category. This time around, the siblings (who, are only two of a musical seven) team up for a night of Sonatas by Beethoven, Britten, Shostakovich and Frank Bridge.


Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston
May 18, 20 and 22
Tickets start at $33

Terence Blanchard’s 2013 opera, commissioned by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and co-commissioned by Jazz St. Louis, comes to Boston for its New England premiere by way of Boston Lyric Opera. Described as an “Opera in Jazz,” Blanchard’s two hour and 20 minute work retells the story of welterweight pugilist Emile Griffith — whose memory was haunted by the outcome of a consequential 1962 bout with Benny Paret.

The poster Champion shows red and purple figures
Champion: An Opera in Jazz

Boston Lyric Opera / Boston Lyric Opera

Cheese Plate Personality

Curds&co, Brookline
May 19, 7 p.m.

The easy thing to write is, “I don’t know why we’re so obsessed with personality quizzes that match our intangible essence to concrete items and experiences,” but that is a lie. I do know, and it’s because we like seeing ourselves in the stuff we consume. Instead of limiting your search for meaning to online quizzes syncing your Myers-Briggs type indicator to a wine grape, or determining what your favorite Requiem Mass says about you, go offline with the folks of Curds&co. There, you’ll do the internet quiz thing, except this time it’s about cheese. Then you’ll explore plates. You’ll learn something. You’ll impress your peers. You’ll be a champion for the (lactose) culture.

An illustration of a person's head mapped out, next to a plate of cheese.
Cheese Plate Personality

Jenn Mason, illustrator / Jenn Mason, founder Big Cheese


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