Keeping Tabs: Events in and around Boston

Francis Ma

The Dancing Men of New Zealand: For the first time in the Boston area, the Black Grace Dance Company will perform their blend of Samoan, Maori and contemporary dance. I don’t know what any of that means, but it sounds terribly exotic and exciting. The Company has performed around the world for more than a decade and has been leaving audiences enthralled with their innovative dance moves. The program consists of eight individual works, two of which will include four female guest dancers. April 17-18, Thursday 7:30 p.m., Friday 8 p.m. at the Tsai Performance Center in Boston. Tickets: $35-$50. Call 617-482-6661.

World Music: Lately, it seems we’ve been throwing a lot of this genre at you. Well, that’s because it’s good. Deal with it. This time it’s Vusi Mahlasela, a South African guitarist/vocalist who sings about the struggles of his homeland. At a young age, Mahlasela was heavily involved in political rallies and festivals. Today, he is regarded as a national treasure to the people of South Africa, with his pop-infused, melodic songs with poetic lyrics about grief and injustice. Friday, April 18, 8 p.m. at Somerville Theatre. Tickets: $28. Call 617-876-4275.

Nun’s the word: And not just any nun. No sir. This nun was a colleague of Monteverdi, the Italian composer that brought music from the Renaissance period to the Baroque period (that was a good thing, right?). Chiara Cozzolani’s Vespers of 1650 will be performed by Cappella Clausura (choir of 12 female voices) with Amphion’s Lyre (a baroque ensemble) and Catherine Liddell (a lutenist). Friday, April 18, 7:30 p.m. at the Gordon Chapel of Old South Church in Boston and Saturday, April 19, 8 p.m. at the Episcopal Parish of the Messiah in Newton. Tickets: $12-$20. Call 617-964-6609.

Baseball Book: The home-opener for the Red Sox was on Tuesday, so the Sox have officially begun their defense their world title. Maybe now that we’re winners, it won’t be quite so hard to look back at a time when we were losers. Richard Bradley’s “The Greatest Game” takes readers back to Oct. 2, 1978 when the Red Sox and the Yankees had to play a one-game playoff to determine who would enter the postseason. But the book isn’t about the triumph and the loss (you should know what happened), but more about the love of the game and the drama involved in our nation’s pastime. Bradley will be on hand for a discussion and signing. Friday, April 11, 1 p.m. at Borders in Downtown Corssing, Boston. Free. Call 617-557-7188.

Good Night Moon: The New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods opens on April 15 (the same day taxes are due), but you and your family can get a sneak peak at the garden at night during its Frog Moon Night Hike a couple of days before it opens. The hike will allow patrons to check out the garden while they bask in the cool moonlight of an April night sky. This is assuming that it won’t be raining/snowing/sleeting/unseasonably cold during the event. Yay New England weather! Sunday, April 13, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham. Tickets: $8 for members, $10 for nonmembers. Call 508-877-7630.

Debating Art on Stage: Tom Stoppard is a man who likes to make people think, whether it’s about the lives of two throw-away Shakespeare characters or the hypothetical muse for the Bard’s plays. With Stoppard’sTravesties,” he wants us to think about art and its place in society and what it means. Don’t reach for the Advil just yet. The playwright does this with a “zany spoof of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of being Earnest’” along with a “trio of Modernist thinkers Vladimir Lenin, Dadaist Tristan Tzara, and James Joyce.” To be honest, it had me at “zany spoof.” Through May 3, Wednesdays and Thursdays 7:30 p.m., Fridays 8 p.m., Saturdays 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays 3 p.m. at the Plaza Theater at the Boston Center of the Arts. Tickets: $35. Call 617-933-8600.

Old School Entertainment: Surprisingly, people in colonial times did more than wear wigs, farm and declare war on England for entertainment. They also enjoyed classical music. Some of it was even written by some of their own (which kills my uncle’s theory that colonial men were useless as artists). Musicians of the Old Post Road will bring the works of colonial composers John Antes, Joseph Gehot, and Raynor Taylor (nice name) to life. There will also be some Haydn and Bach to satisfy the mainstream classical music fans. Saturday, April 12, 8 p.m. at the Christ Church (Zero Garden Street) in Cambridge. Tickets: $25. Call 781.466.6694.