It's school vacation week, which means parents and kids will be demanding to be entertained. Thankfully, you have us, bringing you the six or seven events we deem worthy enough to talk about. In this week's edition of Keeping Tabs, we have a musical, dance, children's theater (that's right, it's theater FOR kids BY kids), and a mini film festival at the MFA. Enjoy ... and be safe out there.
Time to Dance: Last year it was the movie that put John Travolta in a fat suit and displayed Christopher Walken’s dance skills. Now, the beloved musical “Hairspray” is returning to the stage for only three days. The show, inspired by the 1988 John Waters film, brings audiences back to Baltimore circa 1962 in a story about a plump teenager who wants to dance her way to a world without segregation. April 25-27, Friday and Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 7 p.m., matinees: Saturday 2 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre in Boston. Tickets: $32-$72. Call 866-348-9738.
Music of the Spanish Renaissance: Why should you care? Because it’s the music that played during the era of famed artists El Greco and Velazquez. Blue Heron, a professional vocal ensemble, will perform the songs with the Boston Shawm & Sackbut Ensemble. This is in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts’ exhibition “El Greco to Velazquez: Art during the Reign of Phillip III.” As for me, I’m curious if the music will inspire me to draw figures with elongated necks and arms. Saturday, April 26, 8 p.m. at the First Church in Cambridge, Congregational. Tickets: $10-$50. Call 617-960-7956.
That Familiar Tune: After a five-year hiatus, Tommy Tune will be hitting the stage with a brand new show. Tommy Tune and the Manhattan Rhythm Kings ‘Steps in Time’ promises to be a Broadway trip through song and dance. This is the world premiere of the show, so get your tickets early to see the insanely tall, multi-talented, and legendary Tune on stage. April 19-20, Saturday 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. at the Robinson Theatre in Waltham. Tickets: $25-$48. Call 781-891-5600.
New Italian Cinema: You now have the opportunity to see the films by emerging Italian directors and save yourself from the celluloid swill that’s a part of our regular diet (I haven’t seen a good movie in months). The Best of Youth features eight films including “One Man Up,” a story about two men from Naples who discover the are doppelgangers, and “Saly, Air,” about a man who befriends an older man in prison only to find out it’s the father he never knew. I’m already starting to feel better. Wednesday to Friday, April 23-25, at various times, check www.mfa.org. At the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Tickets: $6-$9. Call 617-369-3687.
Children’s Theater: It’s school vacation week, which means the kids will be clamoring and begging for theater. They may sound like they’d rather play their Nintendo Wii for hours, but deep down inside, they want to see the Boston Children’s Theatre production of “The Secret Garden.” The BCT puts on shows “for children, by children,” so the kids should be able to relate. As for me, I’m going to zone out with the Nintendo Wii because deep down inside of me is a little kid. Through April 27, Wednesday to Sunday, 2 p.m. at the Paul Revere Hall at The Grand Lodge of Masons in Boston. Tickets: $12-$20. Call 617-424-6634.
Poetry and Jazz: If you’re a John Coltrane or Miles Davis fan, welcome to nine days of heaven. If you’re not, then watch out because your personal hell is coming to fruition in venues all over Boston. Jazz Week is back and will bring hundreds of musicians to perform to benefit the city’s public schools. But the big event will be on Saturday, May 3 when U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky will be joined on stage by percussionist Rakalam Bob Moses. One will recite poetry, the other will play. Guess which. April 26 to May 4 at various locations and times around Boston. Check www.jazzboston.org for more info. Tickets: Free to $25 (depends on event). Call 866-439-9396.