John Cusack at the Hanover on Friday.
John Cusack at the Hanover on Friday. (courtesy photo)

HANOVER HAPPENINGS —Hanover happenings: Worcester's Hanover Theatre has a busy weekend of shows lined up. Legendary singer-songwriter-actor Paul Anka performs his take on favorite Sinatra songs, plus hits from his own career, on Thursday, May 16. Actor John Cusack arrives Friday, May 17 for a Q&A following a screening of his "Say Anything," one of the greatest modern movie romances. On Saturday, May 18, it's "Purple Reign: The Prince Tribute Show." And on Sunday, May 19, the Hanover proudly presents Conservatory Spring Reflection, a celebration of its talented conservatory dancers in an evening of student performances. Visit for tickets and info.

The cast of "Pacific Overtures," playing at the Lyric Stage.
The cast of "Pacific Overtures," playing at the Lyric Stage. (courtesy photos)

SONDHEIM MASTERPIECE —Sondheim masterpiece: Lyric Stage of Boston presents "Pacific Overtures," Stephen Sondheim's stunning, startling masterpiece, on its Clarendon Street stage this week through June 19. The production puts a cap on director Spiro Veloudos' multiyear Sondheim Initiative to stage all of the prolific composer's musical works. In "Overtures," an unlikely friendship is forged between the samurai Kayama and an Americanized fisherman Manjiro during Commodore Matthew Perry's 1853 mission to open trade relations with isolationist Japan. The two friends are caught in the winds of change and tell the story of Japan's painful, harrowing Westernization. One of Sondheim's lesser-known works, it is highly original, inventive, powerful and surprisingly humorous.


Coming to the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport.
Coming to the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport.
Tickets start at $25 at 617-585-5678 or

ONE NIGHT ONLY —One night only: This weekend, the Firehouse Center for the Arts, Market Square, Newburyport, presents its annual One Night Only series of three in-concert versions of favorite musicals from recent years. On Friday, May 17, it's the cult classic "Heathers" at 8 p.m. The series continues Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m., with the tantalizing "Chicago" and ends on an inspiring note with "Legally Blonde" on Sunday, May 19, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22 at

"Julius Caesar" in Stoneham.
"Julius Caesar" in Stoneham.

SPRING SHAKESPEARE —Spring Shakespeare: The Young Company at Greater Boston Stage in Stoneham presents Shakespeare's Julius Caesar on Friday, May 17, at 10 a.m. and Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. Tickets $15 at 781-279-2200 or visit

MUSIC MASTERS —Music masters: If you have a budding Yo-Yo Ma or Joshua Bell in your house, check out Littleton-based Indian Hill Music School's Summer Day Music Camps for kids ages 8-17. Held for two weeks, July 22-Aug. 2, young musicians will build skills with high-level instruction and coaching, explore new instruments and styles and get to play in a full orchestra, chamber groups, jazz, rock bands and more. There's also a new vocal program this year. Visit for details and registration.