Keeping Tabs: Events in and around Boston

Francis Ma

Five for the ‘Fifth’: In the past, audiences have had to endure the declarations of the chorus in Shakespeare’s “Henry V” about how the stage isn’t an adequate place to tell the story about the English king leading his army over the French. So, instead of trying to tell it adequately, the Actors’ Shakespeare Project decided to go the other way, tackling the epic war piece with only five actors. According to director Normi Noel, the minimal cast will speak to the duality of the war, the idea that there are heroism and suffering with each passing moment. If you miss this, watch some “M.A.S.H.” reruns and you’ll get the same idea. Jan. 10-Feb. 3, Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. at the Downstairs at The Garage in Cambridge. Tickets: $30-$42. Call 866-811-4111.

Get Challenged by Art: Step into the intellectual and artistic ring with Brighton artist Ann Kirchner and Cambridge artist Marilyn Ranker, both of whom were winners of the SOLO 08 competition and are ready to knock you out with their fists of creativity. “Forget Me Not” (Kirchner) is a collection of portraits that “use pastel on coarse watercolor paper to play with atmospheric space,” while “Open Doors” (Ranker) features “sculptures incorporating wood and rope, which suggest interlocking generations.” You know the holidays are over when events start making you think. So turn off the DVD and get cultured. Reception on Jan. 4, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Exhibit shows Jan. 2-26, Wednesday to Saturday noon to 5 p.m. at the Broomfield Gallery, 450 Harrison Street in Boston. Free. Call 617-451-3605.

The Sopranos: Someday, we’ll be able to say those two words in the title and think of singers instead of David Chase and Journey. Unfortunately, that day is probably in 2076. Till then, you’ll have to deal with the inevitable reference to the HBO show. The Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts will present its first concert of 2008 with three soprano singers: Guang Yang, Guiping Deng, and Mewas Lin. All are talented and have performed in the musical “Madame Butterfly,” the only musical I can think of with a strong Asian female lead. That is, until they make a musical of “The Joy Luck Club,” which I also hear will be debuting in 2076. Saturday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. at Jordan Hall in Boston. Tickets: $25-$35. Call 617-585-1260.

Get Ready for Rossbach: Since May of this year, there’s been an exhibit at the MFA featuring the art of the late Charles Edmund Rossbach, who is “a widely recognized pioneer in the American fiber arts movement.” It’s called “Ed Rossbach Fiber Art from the Daphne Farago Collection,” which will remain at the museum till March. That’s three months from now and I know about your New Year’s resolution to “do more cultural things” that you drunkenly made to the stranger in the street. The exhibit will explore Rossbach’s influences in his career and includes his study of historic textiles and baskets. Through March 5, Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Wednesday to Friday 10 a.m. 9:45 p.m., at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Admission: $6.50-$17. Call 617-267-9300.

The Foundation to be Named Later: That is the name of the organization launched by the Epstein brothers (Paul is a social worker, Theo does something with the Red Sox) to raise funds and awareness for non-profits in the city. The eighth annual benefit concert Hot Stove, Cool Music is upon us and will feature a lineup with Ken Casey from the Dropkick Murphys, Dicky Barrett from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and former Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo. That’s right, the kid who pitched with the blond corn rows plays guitar and is apparently steroid-free. Good for him. Sunday, Jan. 6, 5 p.m. at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. Tickets: $40. Call 800-594-TIXX or at

The Celts are Invading: Prepare for a barrage of music when the Boston Celtic Music Fest storms into town, hitting up various locations in Cambridge for a couple of days of aural bliss. The shows will feature the city’s best in Celtic music like The Boston Kiltics, Back of the Bus, Matt and Shannon Heaton with Kieran Jordan and Flynn Cohen. Performances are split in three different places: Club Passim and the First Church of Cambridge and, if you’re up for a drive, Springstep in Medford. Get out there and give this event support. It’s completely independent of corporate sponsorship, which means “the Man” hasn’t been ruined it yet. Check the website for more detailed information. Jan. 11-12 at Club Passim in Cambridge, First Parish Church in Cambridge and Springstep in Medford. Ticket prices vary at venue. Call 617-492-7679.