Prepare for trouble (right here in River City)
Middlesex Community College's theater department brings "The Music Man" to audiences in the Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center, 240 Central St., Lowell, today and Friday at 7 p.m., and two shows each Saturday and Sunday, at 2 and 7 p.m. ($10-$18, www.middlesex.,ass.edu/performingarts). The family favorite by Meredith Willson follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the unsuspecting folks from River City, Iowa, into buying musical instruments and uniforms for the boys' band he vows to organize -- even though he doesn't know a trombone from a treble clef.
See two plays for the price of one
Greater Lowell Technical High School's Drama Club presents two short plays, "Fourteen Lines" by Alan Haehnel and "10 Ways Top Survive The End of The World" by Don Zolidis, tonight, and Friday, 6:30 p.m. ($5 adults, $3 students), in the GLTHS Lecture Hall, 250 Pawtucket Blvd., Tyngsboro.
Buy a book (or a dozen)
The Chelmsford Friends of the Library hold their spring book sale Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Town Offices, 50 Billerica Road. There will be thousands of books, including fiction, and books for kids and teens so cheap you'll feel like you're ripping them off. Proceeds benefit the library.
Make the circus circuit
The Garden Bros.
Don't be a blockhead!
"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" plays at Acton's Theatre III, 250 Central St., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. ($25 adults, $22 seniors/students). Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved musical based on Charles Schulz's world-renowned comic strip. Follow Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Alison Walters-Short directs a cast that includes Jarryd Blanchard, Shannon Egan, Lee Pallotta, Anna Poplawski, Shane Stecher and Erika Wilde.www.theatreiii.org or call 978-263-9070.
Lose it in sweet music
The Ryan Montbleau Band performs at The Palladium, 261 Main St., Worcester, on Friday, at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m., 18 and older, $20-$25). Immerse yourself in music that has been described as relatable and inspiring. Massachusetts native Montbleau began performing in the early 2000s. He and his band have put out 11 records, performed thousands of shows, and have been streamed on Spotify 60 million times. Montbleau has collaborated with dozens of artists over the years, including Martin Sexton and Trombone Shorty. Visit www.thepalladium.net/event/1822558-evening-ryan-montbleau-band-worcester.
Rock some 3-D chalk art
The Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster holds its sixth annual Central MA Science Festival at the Clubhouse, 365 Lindell Ave., Leominster, Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (free), featuring a 3-D street-painting illusion that will make the pavement appear to dip inward and objects project outward. Step onto the illusion for a photo op or try your own pavement chalk-art skills. Also, tonight at the Clubhouse at 7 p.m., visiting artists will give a free, presentation about their work.
Cast your bait
The Leominster Recreation Department sponsors its annual Fishing Derby for youths ages 14 and younger (under 12 accompanied by an adult) on Saturday, 7-11 a.m., at 40 Barrett Parkway. The derby is free, but kids must register upon arrival and must bring their own bait container and fish-holding bucket. Refreshments and bait will be available at the derby for purchase, and prizes will be awarded at 11:15.
Fill Empty Bowls
Littleton Community Farm's spring fundraiser, Empty Bowls, is Saturday, 7-9 p.m., at Orange Door Kitchen, 251 Arlington St., Acton ($35 in advance only at www.littletoncommunityfarm.org; no tickets at the door). Savor hearty soups and take home a handcrafted bowl as you combat hunger in and around the area. Patricia Stern, executive director of Loaves and Fishes, will speak.
Listen to 'Walking to Listen'
At age 23, Andrew Forsthoefel walked out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pa., with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman, Rilke, and Gibran, and a sign that read "Walking to Listen." He had just graduated from Middlebury College in 2011 and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn't quite know how. So he decided he'd walk across the country and listen to the stories of the people he met along the way. Now you can, too, with Forsthoefel's book, "Walking To Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time." He'll speak Sunday, starting at 2 p.m., at Leominster Public Library, 30 West St. Call 978-534-7522.