NEWS

Keeping Tabs: Events in and around Boston

Francis Ma

Dancing with Fire: I’ve walked and played with fire, but never danced. I know. I’m missing out. Tango Fire takes the sensual dance and lights it on fire with the back drop of the “red light district of Buenos Aires” during the Roaring Twenties (I guess the red light district back then was just an empty street where people could dance). Ten dancers will take the stage, accompanied by one singer performing the works of Astor Piazzolla. The show promises to bring the tango in “all its sizzling and seductive glory live on stage.” I am now officially titillated…and a little hungry. Jan. 11-13, Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston. Tickets: $25-$70. Call 800-233-3123.

Music of the Black Ax: Stop cowering in the corner. The Black Ax isn’t here to harm. It’s here to hit you with South African a capella. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which translates to “Black Ax of Ladysmith” (a name they got in the ’70s because they consistently mowed down rival groups at competitions). The group will perform “Isicathamiya,” music that was born in South African mines in the 30s and used to keep the worker’s spirits up. Paul Simon fans will remember the group from the musician’s 1987 Graceland tour. If you don’t know who Paul Simon is, then shame on you. Friday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge. Tickets: $28-$40. Call 617-876-4275.

Contemporary Dance Light: Instead of filling up on a full performance of contemporary dance, why not take it in small bite-sized morsels? Ten’s the Limit offers just that. Instead of the long-winded productions that only confuse and confound you, eight Boston companies will be given 10 minutes each for a performance. Anything over the time limit is open to ridicule and mockery. And believe me, dance fans can be pretty harsh. The event, which is in its 7th year, features new contemporary dance pieces along with “works-in-progress.” Enjoy the shows and get your stopwatches ready. Jan. 18-19, Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 8 p.m. at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Tickets: $25. Call 617-876-4275.

Celebrate MLK: January 21 is Martin Luther King Day so in celebration of the great civil rights leader the Harlem Gospel Choir will perform a “Joyful Noise,” as opposed to the hurtful noise you make every time you try to sing. The Choir is back by popular demand and the show will feature musical selections by the Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School Vocal Ensemble, along with a dance performance by Boston’s urban youth group OrigiNation. So give thanks to the reverend and for humanity’s sake, stop singing where people can hear you. Do it in your car or your bathroom or in “American Idol” auditions. Saturday, Jan. 19, 8 p.m. at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge. Tickets: $10-$20. Call 617-496-2222.

The Late, Great Wasserstein: About two years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein died after battling lymphoma. Her final play, Third,” follows Laurie Jameson, a 54-year-old female professor at an elite New England college. It’s here where she meets Woodson Bull, III (who is known as “Third”) who hands in a paper she claims is beyond his ability to produce. As accusations of plagiarism fly, Laurie’s entire belief system is shaken by the articulate and conservative student wrestler. If you miss this, just take a walk around Cambridge. I’m sure this same plot happens every Friday night at the neighborhood bar. Through Feb. 8, Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30 p.m., Wednesdays 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Fridays 8 p.m., Saturdays 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m. at the BU Theatre, Mainstage in Boston. Tickets: $15-$75. Call 617-266-0800.

Indie Pop Goodness: If you read our Best of 2007 music list from a couple weeks back, then you know that Blonde Redhead’s album “23” made the best album list (you are also probably pissed that your favorite band didn’t make the list. Sorry LCD Soundsystem fans, I’m a jerk). The trio comes to town to spread its fuzzy, indie-pop sounds to the masses. Join the pretentious music fan world and enjoy one of the best bands of last year. Sunday, Jan. 20, 8 p.m. at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston. Tickets: $20. Call 617-562-8800.

Adult Puppets: Many moons ago, these puppets were cuddly and cute, performing re-enactments of fairy tales at children’s birthday parties and bar mitzvahs. But those puppets have grown up and now perform adult puppet theater “without a safety net.” See the humor, drama and passion in at least eight short performances from Puppets at Night during the group’s PuppetSLAM. You’ll never look at puppets the same way again. Saturday, Jan.19 8 p.m. at the Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline. Tickets: $13. Call 617-731-6400.