Improper Agenda

The upcoming art, theater, music and film events that should be on your calendar right now. 


Oh my God, they lampooned Mormonism! Those bastards! Tony Award winner The Book of Mormon—a musical from the brilliantly perverse minds of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, with music by Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez—is an uproarious send-up of the misguided do-goodery of the devout. A pair of earnest, bumbling young missionaries are sent to Uganda to bring the Good Word to the natives. Problem is, the villagers are too busy fending off warlords, AIDS and famine to care all that much about being saved. Marked by Parker and Stone’s twisted wit and bolstered by rousing musical numbers like “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream,” this play could be the most fun religious experience you’ll have all year. See the light April 1-27 at the Boston Opera House.

The Gilded Age was defined by gold and glitz, but artist James McNeill Whistler took the trend to another level. When asked to tweak a color scheme for shipowner Frederick Leyland’s dining room, Whistler’s creative juices overflowed. He took the liberty of adding lavish details—including gobs of gold leaf and plumed peacocks—to the room’s walls, much to its owner’s chagrin. As part of his exhibit Uncertain Beauty, Darren Waterston reimagines the famed Peacock Room as a beautiful ruin, complete with oozing glaze, hand-painted ceramics askew and a mural of melting gold. Compare past and present takes on luxury through January at MASS MoCA.

Ron Pope
never planned on pursuing a career in music. But as a baseball player at Rutgers University, Pope suffered a career-ending injury and landed at NYU, where he began to explore his second passion. After a couple of years spent fronting his popular college band, the District, he started a solo career, writing, producing and recording his own music. Almost a decade after the success of his melancholy 2006 hit “A Drop in the Ocean,” Pope explores more upbeat vibes with his latest album, Calling Off the Dogs. Join the musical Renaissance man on March 29 downstairs at the Middle East.


When a movie award comes in the form of a demonic bunny flipping the bird, golden men and glittery globes start to lose a bit of their luster. Also known as the Bacchus award, a vibrating rabbit trophy is presented to winners at BUFF, the Boston Underground Film Festival. Envisioned as “a celebration of the bizarre and insane,” the fest features works that give a one-finger salute to the limits of film, including Blue Ruin (the story of a beach bum turned assassin) and Doomsdays (about the two vagabonds pictured here, who loot offseason vacation homes). Let your freak flag fly March 26-30 at the Brattle Theatre.

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