THURSDAY May 3
SUPERWOMAN OR NORTHERN GIRL? Not every solo artist has the benefit of having guitar whiz Duke Levine assist them in the recording of their debut CD, but Lisa Martin makes the best of the opportunity on Set Me on Fire (Red Lion). There's a touch of "Passionate Kisses" on "Without You," an ode to discovering the joy of parenthood and release of overbearing self-importance, while few of her acoustic cohorts get to rock as hard as she does on Tracy Chapman's "For My Lover," which showcases her powerful voice. Tonight, Martin's at the Java Hut, 1073A Main Street, Worcester. Call (508) 752-1678.
FRIDAY May 4
JAM SLAM. Featuring two vocal maestros and mastering of funk sounds from rap and hip-hop to reggae and soul, Pioneer Valley jamsters Groove Selector have not only won thumbs-up from their regional music community, but gotten a series of Boston Music Award nominations to boot. Tonight, they bring the party to Wormtown; jazz and rock fusionists Gruvis Malt and local jammers Simon warm things up beginning at 8 p.m. at the Palladium, 261 Main Street, Worcester. Tickets are $10. Call (508) 797-9696.
PLAY TIME. It's been 150 years since Giuseppe Verdi established himself as a world-class composer with Rigoletto. Set in the 16th-century, the story meshes a hunchback jester, an assassin, and a skirt-chaser with well-to-do courtiers, a young miss of easy virtue, and a count, who must despise the whole sordid scene. The opera was, for a time, banned in its home country. The National Lyric Opera of New York celebrates the play's anniversary tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Worcester State College's Sullivan Auditorium, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester. Tickets are $35 and $25, $15 for full-time students. Call (508) 752-0888 or (888) 385-3300. The curtain's also rising at a number of other regional playhouses this evening. The TCAN Players present Sherman L. Sergel's 12 Angry Men at 7:30 p.m. at the Center for Arts in Natick, 31 Main Street, Natick. Tickets are $12; shows continue through May 12. Call (508) 647-0097. Theatre at the Mount present Larry Shue's The Nerd at 8 p.m. at Mount Wachusett Community College, 444 Green Street, Gardner. Shows continue through May 12. Call (978) 632-2403. You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown! opens tonight at 8 p.m. at Theatre III, 250 Central Street, West Acton; call (978) 263-9070. And the Westborough Players Club present Home Bodies tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Willows of Westborough, Lyman Street, Westborough. Call (508) 366-2426.
SATURDAY May 5
GET OUT! There's plenty of reasons to avoid the backyard chores today. Performances by the Pumpernickel Puppets and WPI Brass Ensemble share the spotlight with swordplay and fencing demonstrations, a magical wizard, and the Crusader Cafe at today's "Higgins Faire: A May Festival of Spring," which takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Avenue, Worcester. Admission is $7. Call (508) 853-6015. The Back Roads Studio Tour is a great excuse for a long ride through West Worcester Country. The event takes place at a dozen artist studios in Barre, Hardwick, Petersham, North Brookfield and Ware today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can download a map at www.backroadsstudiotour.com. It may not be exactly the time of year Christmas or even Halloween is on your mind, but devotees of pumpkin and St. Nick-themed ornaments will be out in force for the Seventh Annual Collector's Weekend at Vaillancourt Folk Art, 145 Armsby Road, Sutton. Call (508) 865-9183. The Living Earth's 30th Anniversary Celebration features natural and gourmet food samples, hors d'oeuvres, beverages, and desserts, plus free wine-tasting (from noon to 2 p.m.), all-natural birthday cake, and face-painting today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Living Earth, 232-234 Chandler Street, Worcester. Admission is free. Call (508) 753-1896.
GET IN! Edward R. Cronin's adaptation of Herman Melville's Moby Dick gets a run through by the Drama Circle this afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Mount Wachusett Community College Commons, 444 Green Street, Gardner. Admission is free. Call (978) 632-6600, extension 260. Stepping Stone Community Theater presents The Universe and Other Stuff today and tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Southgate at Shrewsbury, 30 Julio Drive, Shrewsbury. Tickets are $10, $5 for children and students with a maximum $20 cost for the entire family. Call (508) 756-6014.
GET DRESSED TO GO OUT. The Indian Hill Symphony presents its "Season Finale!" this evening. Joined by violinist Yura Lee, they'll perform Strauss's "Don Juan," Copland's "Appalachian Spring," and Tchaikovsky's "Violin Concerto" at 8 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, Route 119, Groton. Tickets are $35, $25, and $15. Call (978) 486-0540. The Assabet Valley Mastersingers perform Handel's "Israel in Egypt" tonight at 8 p.m. at the Saint Rose of Lima Church, 244 West Main Street (Route 20), Northborough. Tickets are $15, $12 for students and seniors. Call (978) 562-9838 or (508) 842-3685.
SMOKE OUT. While Worcester jazz legends Emil Haddad and Dick Odgren loved their marathon stay at O'Flaherty's, smoke got in their eyes (and lungs) one too many times, causing the duo to end their weekly gigs at the Cherry Valley restaurant to ensure we're still enjoying their music when Barbie and Jenna Bush are fighting over who gets to replace Jeb in the White House. You'll now be able to enjoy Odgren and Haddad every Saturday evening from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at Caesar's Bistro at the Regency Suites Hotel, 70 Southbridge Street, Worcester. Admission is free. Call (508) 791-1400.
SUNDAY May 6
SUNDAY'S SINGERS. The Master Singers of Worcester and the Salisbury Singers are joined by mezzo-soprano Paulette LaBarre, baritone Steven Small, and organist Patricia Snyder for "Mass Extravaganza." The program features Rheinberger's "Cantus Missae," Widor's "Mass for Chorus" and "Two Organs," and Duruflé's "Requiem;" show time is at 4 p.m. at The Cathedral of Saint Paul, 9 Chatham Street, Worcester. Admission is $15, $12 for students and seniors. Call (508) 799-3848. The Chorus and Chorale of Worcester State College combines with the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra for a performance of the "Rutter Requiem" tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Worcester State College's Administration Theater, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester. Tickets are $10, students and seniors $8. Call (508) 929-8824. The Sarasa Chamber Ensemble's "A Baroque Mosaic" features Biber's "Partia No. 5 for two violins," Bach's "Italian Concerto (solo harpsichord)," and Vivaldi's "Concerto in C for Sopranino Recorder," at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center of Concord Academy, 166 Main Street, Concord. Tickets are $14, $12 for students and seniors with children under 12 free. Call (617) 492-4758.
BRAVE HEART. Inspired by Leroy Aaron's Prayers for Bobby, the story of a young man tortured by the problem of how to reveal his gayness to his uptight religious family, Lunenburg playwright Shane Desmond wrote Invisible. Leading character Gabriel Devon confronts his own homosexuality which clashes with his Christian upbringing, which he isn't fully ready to disavow. The Falcon Players present a staged-reading of Invisible this evening at 6 p.m. at Fitchburg State College's Weston Auditorium, 160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg. Donations benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Bobby Griffith Scholarship Fund. Call (978) 665-3581.
BRAVE HEARTS. Through its ongoing keeping of an open door and open arms to homeless and battered women and their families, Abby's House is one of places of which Worcester residents should most by proud. Its history has been documented by founding mom Anne Rafferty, who'll read and sign copies of Wearing Smooth the Path: 25 Years at Abby's House this afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm Street, Worcester. Call (508) 753-8278
MONDAY May 7
NORTHERN SOLE. While Marty Basch has provided hard-core distance bicyclists with New England bike bibles The White Mountain Ride Guide, Winter Trails of Vermont and New Hampshire and Winter Trails of Maine, his true holy grail, which took him 3000 miles over a three-month period, is documented in Above the Circle. He discusses his experience during his "Biking Near and Above the Arctic Circle" lecture tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 90 Holden Street, Worcester. Call (508) 831-0301.
TUESDAY May 8
VERDI REPRISE. Chances are, whether you realize it or not, you've come across the memorable voice of baritone Robert Honeysucker, whether it was his accompaniment of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra backed by July 4 fireworks, his many performances with the Opera Company of Boston, or taking on the character of Figaro in Barber of Seville. Tonight at 7:30 p.m., he joins pianist Noriko Yasuda and the Fitchburg State College Concert Choir to celebrate the life of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (must be his week - see Friday 11) at Fitchburg State College's Weston Auditorium, 160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg. Admission is $10, $5 for students. Call (978) 665-3347.
WEDNESDAY May 9
DEEP READING. A film crew covering the raising of an old German World War II fighter plane from the bottom of a Welch town lake raises more than the plane in Rhys Bowen's Evan Can Wait: A Constable Evans Mystery, while a Toronto antiques dealer drags up more than sunken treasure in Lyn Hamilton's African Quest: An Archaeological Mystery. Bowen and Hamilton discuss their latest books as part of the mystery author night tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Borders Book Shop, 85 Worcester Road (Route 9), Framingham. Call (508) 875-2321.
THURSDAY May 10
BACK IN BLUES. While Hal St. Louis claims to have been infected with the blues "before Ike met Tina," you'd have to be a real hardcore fan to know his name. He's been off the road since serving in Vietnam, after which he signed up for fatherhood. Now, with his family fully raised, he's formed a band including guitarist Sarah Levesque Cirella (whose husband Dave is a Chicken Bone Saloon fixture), drummer Alan Gutheim, and another performer returning after a long sabbatical - 24 years, to be exact - bassist Steve "Hambone" Gilbert. They've been revitalizing their chops at the House of Blues in Cambridge (where they performed with Rick Russell) and blues jams at the Acton Jazz Cafe and John Stone's Inn. Tonight, the Hal St. Louis Blues Band at Gilrein's, 802 Main Street, Worcester. Admission is $5. Call (508) 791-2583.