THURSDAY, JAN. 10
LIVE THEATER, “Shakespeare’s Will” by playwright Vern Thiessen opens, through Feb. 3. Tickets begin at $20, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell; MRT.org, 978-654-4678.
WRITERS GROUP, 7 p.m., Memorial Hall Library writers’ group for writers of adult fiction, nonfiction and memoirs. This group provides constructive advice and feedback on each other’s works in progress. The group meets on the second Thursday of the month; mhl.org, 978-623-8401, ext. 31 or 32.
FRIDAY, JAN. 11
NEW EXHIBIT & OPENING RECEPTION, “Stripped,” original comic book illustrations by Don Mathias, Brian McFadden, Norm Feuti, Elena Steier, through Feb. 15, reception is 5 to 7 p.m., music by The Payne-Taylors. Don Mathias Jr. is an award winning freelance illustrator, cartoonist and creative mind behind “Peanizles,” an almost daily webcomic. His first comic, “Entering Andover” (which was originally co-written with Andover Townsman editor Neil Fater) ran in the Andover Townsman from May 1998 to April 2011, The Chester F. Sidell Gallery is located on the first floor of Essex Art Center at 56 Island St., Lawrence; essexartcenter.org, 978-685-2343.
NEW EXHIBIT & OPENING RECEPTION, “Connections,” through Feb. 15, reception is 5 to 7 p.m. with an artist talk by Nikki Rosato at 5 p.m., The Elizabeth A. Beland Gallery at Essex Art Center. Rosato creates portraits and figure studies from hand-cut maps. Exploring physical and psychological space, her delicate paper sculptures reference memory, distance, and the human body’s circulatory system. The Elizabeth A. Beland Gallery is located on the first floor of Essex Art Center at 56 Island St., Lawrence; essexartcenter.com, 978-685-2343.
NEW EXHIBIT, Atria Marland Place hosts, wine reception and meet-and-greet with the Andover Artists Guild. Enjoy delicious wine and cheese pairings while socializing and viewing the works of local artists, 6 to 8 p.m., exhibit runs through Jan. 31; RSVP, 978-475-4225
SATURDAY, JAN. 12
ST. AUGUSTINE MOVIE, “Restless Heart,” 7 p.m., AMC Loew’s Theater, Methuen, $12, hosted by Catholic Quest, tickets at catholicquest.org; Alicia, 781-438-1011.
LIVE R&B MUSIC, Stephanie Corby and Brendan Hogan, Crossroads Coffeehouse of the North Parish UU Church, 3 Great Pond Road, 2nd floor, North Andover. Show time at 8 p.m.; doors open 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available at crossroads-coffeehouse.org via PayPal. If not sold out, tickets will be sold at the door on the evening of the concert; 978-687-3960.
FREE SNOWSHOEING, and cross country skiing, for all ages, experts and equipment provided, Weston Ski Track, Weston; wintertrails.org for listings and updates.
NEW EXHIBIT, The Whistler House Museum of Art /Lowell Art Association, 243 Worthen St., Lowell, works by Thomas M. Fleming through Feb. 23, opening reception, 2 to 4 p.m. This current collection of paintings, started in April of 2011, is a personal reflection, and artistic expression of living with breast and pancreatic cancer since 2006. Fleming, of Lowell, is a member of Art in Giving, a group of artists raising funds for pediatric cancer research and New England Art Reach.
SUNDAY, JAN. 13
LIVE MUSIC, Boston Black Catholic Choir, to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Since 1992, the choir has traveled nationally and internationally over their 20-year ministry. The choir has performed internationally as well as churches, prisons, shelters, and other venues in the Northeast., 3 p.m., Memorial Hall Library; mhl.org/eventcalendar or 978-623-8401, Ext. 31.
PROJECT HOME AGAIN, is open, and its winter hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, Sundays, 10 a.m. to noon starting today, Temple Emanuel, Andover; firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANNIE AUDITIONS, Spotlight Playhouse, at the Spotlight rehearsal space, 24 Essex St., second floor, Haverhill, 6:30 p.m., and same time on Jan. 14. Performance dates are April 19-28. Both children and adults are encouraged to audition and should prepare 16 bars of a song in the style of the show (but not a song from the show). Spotlight will provide a piano player, auditioners should bring sheet music for their chosen song, and should also be ready to show their ability to move; spotlightplayhouse.org, 978-380-8509.
TUESDAY, JAN. 15
PENGUIN TALK, penguin expert and award-winning author, Dyan deNapoli will speak about the world’s largest animal rescue, 7 p.m., Memorial Hall Library, Andover; register for this program at mhl.org/eventcalendar or 978-623-8401, Ext. 31. Snow date Jan. 29.
BOARD GAMES CONVENTION, Northern Essex Community College’s Bacon Board Gamers, a student club, will host a Board Game Convention, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Haverhill campus, those attending are invited to bring their own games, room 260 in the E Building,100 Elliott St., Haverhill; club advisor Professor Mike Cross, email@example.com, 978 556-3362.
THURSDAY, JAN. 17
EMPTY BOWLS DINNER PARTY BENEFIT, at St. John’s Prep, 72 Spring St., Danvers, 6 p.m., in Memorial Dining Hall. The evening is open to all and proceeds benefit Haven from Hunger in Peabody. Handmade, one-of-a-kind bowls created by students at St. John’s may be purchased at the event to fill with soups donated by local restaurants and food shops, minimum $10 donation per bowl. SwingTown!, the St. John’s a cappella group, will provide musical entertainment; stjohnsprep.org.
SATURDAY, JAN. 19
WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY, an afternoon of reflection, fun, sharing and making self portraits using different mediums. No art experience necessary to participate, led by Director of Religious Education, Thea Shapiro of Andover, UUCiA, 6 Locke St., Andover, $10- UUCiA Member, $20 non-members. Cost to cover refreshments and materials. RSVP by Jan. 12; Dre@uuandover.com, 978-475-4454.
FREE LIVE PIANO CONCERT, the Phillips Academy Music Department will present a Faculty Piano Recital featuring Stephen Porter performing works by Debussy and Chopin, 7:30 p.m., Cochran Chapel located on the Phillips Academy campus; Music Department, 978-749-4260, firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIVE FOLK MUSIC, Cliff Eberhardt performs at the New Moon Coffeehouse, 8 p.m. The coffeehouse is located in the Universalist Unitarian Church, 16 Ashland St, Haverhill. Admission is $20; $10 for those ages 18 and under; newmooncoffeehouse.org, 978-459-5134.
MODEL TRAIN SHOW, the Northeastern Region of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) share their expert knowledge of model railroading in a classic HO-scale model train layout with trains traversing bridges, through tunnels and around fine-scale towns and cities. Get expert advice on building a model train layout and simple scenery from model train engineers, $6-8, Wenham Museum, 132 Main St., Wenham, 978-468-2377, wenhammuseum.org.
SUNDAY, JAN. 20
FREE LIVE CHAMBER MUSIC, Julie Scolnik of Andover, flute, her son, Sasha Scolnik, cello, and her daughter, Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano, Longy School of Music, Bard College, 23 Garden St., Cambridge.
LIVE QUINTET, The Phillips Academy Music Department presents The Solar Winds Quintet, 3 p.m., with special guest Krista River, mezzo-soprano. This concert, free and open to the public, will take place in the Timken Room at Graves Hall on the Phillips Academy campus, 180 Main St., Andover. Graves Hall is handicapped accessible; 978-749-4260, email@example.com.
LIVE CHILDREN’S CONCERT, The Reading Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Roland Vazquez, hosts, 2 p.m., Parker Middle School in Reading, $5-8; 617 962-5520. (Snow date, Jan. 27).
TUESDAY, JAN. 22
WINTER BIRDS TALK, Winter Birds of New England with John Rockwood of Winter Birds of New Englandshow, will feature a mix of incredible photos and video clips of typical New England Winter birds, 7 p.m., Memorial Hall Library, Andover; register for this program at mhl.org/eventcalendar or 978-623-8401, Ext. 31. Snow date Jan. 29.
FRIDAY, JAN. 25
MILITARY CHALLENGE, first annual townwide Troop Challenge to benefit the Run for Troops 5k/Homes for Troops, 7 to 9 p.m., Yang’s Fitness Center, 5 Dundee Park. Do you have what it takes to compete in a military showdown? Come compete or cheer. $25 per person, registration and tickets are on sale now; YangsFitnessCenter.com, 978-475-2020.
SATURDAY, JAN. 26
LIVE MUSIC, the Ivy Chord Coffee House located at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, 239 Woburn St., Reading, presents an evening with internationally acclaimed John Gorka, $25, seniors or students $23. Doors open at 7:15 p.m., and the concert starts at 8 p.m. (open seating); uureading.org/concerts.
CHILI CONTEST, (snow date Jan. 27), noon to 4 p.m., the Brush Art Gallery & Studios, 256 Market St. (behind the Nat’l Park Visitor Center), Lowell. Sample from a variety of delicious pots of chili in two categories: professional and amateur. Vote for your favorite, $10; thebrush.org.
SUNDAY, JAN. 27
ISRAELI FOLK DANCING, Beginner’s Night, 7 to 8:15 p.m., 1580 Osgood St., North Andover (Osgood Landing). Open to all ages and levels, no partner needed, $2 per person; Anne Schwartz, 781-942-3659, firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOCAL HIKE, Rafton Reservation, Andover, 10 a.m., AVIS’ 44th annual snowshoe and X-C ski trek. Park near leaf composting area. No pets. Hike if no snow, rain cancels. Leader, David Dargie, 978-996-4475, email@example.com.
TUESDAY, JAN. 29
KEURAC TALKS & READINGS, The UMass Lowell Libraries will host a free five-part reading and discussion series focusing on three of Jack Kerouac’s Lowell-centric novels: “The Town and the City,” “Visions of Gerard” and “Maggie Cassidy,” with UMass Lowell English Prof. Todd Tietchen leading discussions. All programs run from 7 to 9 p.m. and, unless otherwise noted, will be held at O’Leary Library Learning Commons at 61 Wilder St. on UMass Lowell’s South Campus. Advance registration is not required, but highly encouraged. Those who pre-register will receive a copy of “The Town and the City” by mail. Free copies of the other titles will be distributed at the program. To obtain program materials or to register, go online to libguides.uml.edu/kerouac or contact Marks at 978-934-4581.
THURSDAY, JAN. 31
JOB SEARCH TALK, The Boomer’s Top Ten Daily Checklist, a program about the job search process as it relates to Baby Boomers, will be presented, 7 p.m., the Flint Memorial Library, 147 Park St., North Reading. Presenters Kevin Walsh, Steve Buell and Tom Procopio know it’s hard to get up in the morning when you have the hardest job in the world: Getting a Job. They will share what they have learned from their own experiences, free and open to the public; 978-664-4942.