Kiefer Sutherland at The Ark. This veteran movie actor and “24” star recently took up songwriting, and he’s about to release his debut CD, “Down in a Hole,” a collection of 11 songs he describes as “the closest thing I’ve ever had to a journal or diary … There is something very satisfying about being able to look back on my own life, good times and bad, and express those sentiments in music.” Monday at 8 p.m., The Ark, 316 S. Main in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $21, available in advance at mutotix.com, theark.org, and 734-763-TKTS.
The Moth Storyslam. Popular monthly open mic storytelling competition sponsored by The Moth, the NYC-based nonprofit storytelling organization that also produces a weekly public radio show. Each month, 10 storytellers are selected at random from among those who sign up to tell a 3-5 minute story on the monthly theme, and the 3 judges are recruited from the audience. Monthly winners compete in a semiannual Grand Slam. Space limited, so it’s smart to arrive early. This week’s theme is “Romance.” Tuesday 7:30-9 p.m. (doors open and sign-up begins at 6 p.m.) at Circus, 210 S. First in Ann Arbor. Admission costs $10.
Science on Screen. Film screenings followed by talks by U-M science professors and area scientists. This week, the movie is “The Martian” (Ridley Scott, 2015). During a manned mission to Mars, an astronaut (Matt Damon) mistakenly presumed dead after a fierce storm must draw upon his ingenuity and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Followed by a talk by U-M College of Engineering climate & space sciences professor Nilton Renno on dust storms, dust devils, and greenhouses on Mars. Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $10 (children under 12, students with ID, seniors age 55 & older, & U.S. veterans, $8; MTF members, $7.50), available in advance at ticketweb.com.
R.J. Fox at Bookbound. This award-winning local writer and Huron High School teacher will read from “Love & Vodka: My Surreal Adventures in the Ukraine,” his memoir about how he dropped everything to pursue a romance with a Ukrainian woman. Thursday at 7 p.m. at Bookbound, 1729 Plymouth in Ann Arbor. Free.
Theater productions opening this weekend. Neil Simon’s comedy “Barefoot in the Park,” presented by Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, tells the story of a straitlaced lawyer and a free spirited woman during their first week of marriage, which includes a visit from the wife’s loopy mother. Cast: Colleen Davis, Karl Kasischke, Ellen Finch, Larry Rusinsky, Theo Polley, and Thom Johnson; directed by Wendy Wright. Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m., at U-M Walgreen Drama Center Arthur Miller Theatre, 1226 Murfin in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $22 (seniors age 60 & over, $20; Thurs., $17; students, $11), available in advance at a2ct.org and 734-971-2228.
Also, check out the world premiere production of “Irrational” at Theatre Nova, which will run every Thursday through Sunday, April 22 through May 15. Carla Milarch directs David Wells’ and R. MacKenzie Lewis’s love-and-death musical about the ancient Greek mathematician-mystic Pythagoras, a rock star-style celebrity whose religious cult, erected on the premise that divinity is found in the harmony of ratios, is thrown into crisis when one of his followers discovers irrational numbers. Cast: Sebastian Gerstner, Matt Pecek, Emily Brett, Tara Tomscik, Esther Jetzen, Anna Marck, Emily Manuell. Opening night is Friday at 8 p.m., but following that, performances will Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at The Yellow Barn, 416 W. Huron in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $20, or pay what you can afford, and they’re available in advance at theatrenova.org and 734-635-8450.
Huron High’s Huron Players begin their run of “Drop Dead!” this weekend. Show dates are April 22-23, and 29-30. Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore’s murder-mystery-within-a-murder-mystery farce about a former child actor trying to make a comeback in a third rate whodunit when, during the final dress rehearsal, the actors start getting killed. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Huron High New Theater, 2727 Fuller in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $8 (students, $6) at the door.
Finally, Brass Tacks Ensemble launches its run of “All in the Timing” this weekend. Timothy Majik directs local actors in David Ives’ 1993 anthology of one-act plays exploring love, language, legacy, and lunacy. Plots range from 2 strangers making a love connection; to 3 monkeys engaging in a philosophical debate while typing Hamlet; to a couple developing a real romance though a fake language; and to Trotsky’s musings on life while he has an axe in his skull. Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., through May 8, at Children’s Creative Center, 1600 Pauline in Ann Arbor. Tickets cost $15, available in advance via email at BTEreservations@gmail.com, or by phone at 517-914-9300.
Jarrod Harris at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase. This fast-rising, Atlanta-based observational humorist is a favorite of Stephen Colbert that’s known for his long-winded, sarcastic tirades that mix together the autobiographical and the abstract. Thursday at 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10:30 p.m., at 212 S. Fourth Ave. in Ann Arbor. Advance reserved seat tickets cost $9 (Thursday) and $12 (Friday and Saturday); general admission tickets at the door cost $11 (Thursday) and $14 (Friday and Saturday). Visit www.aacomedy.com or call 734-996-9080.
UMS presents The Bad Plus & Joshua Redman. This New York City-based trio, led by pianist Ethan Iverson, performs what one critic calls “reconstructions of pop songs,” including inventive covers of music by everyone from Blondie, to Nirvana, to electronic artist Aphex Twin. Tonight they’re joined by Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition winner Redman. One of the brightest stars of contemporary jazz, Redman is known for tenor sax playing characterized by a blend of technical virtuosity, fluid mastery of jazz idioms, and great emotional depth and subtlety. Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor. Tickets c0st $18-$52, available in advance at tickets.ums.org or 734-764-2538.
36th Annual Classic Bicycle Show & Swap Meet. This show, swap, and sale features more than 9,000 classic, vintage, and collectible bikes. Awards for numerous categories, including the best bike from each decade. Also, an “Old School Minibike Show and Swap Meet” that features vintage gas-powered minibikes and scooters. More than 250 vendors with bicycle parts, accessories, and memorabilia from every era. Door prizes. Sunday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. in Ann Arbor. Admission costs $5 (kids age 9 & under, free).
U-M Life Sciences Orchestra concert. Roberto Kalb directs this ensemble of musicians from the U-M medical and life sciences staff in the first act of Puccini’s La Bohème, Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, and Gershwin’s “An American in Paris.” Preceded at 3:15 p.m. by a lecture on the program by Kalb. Sunday at 4 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, 825 N. University in Ann Arbor. Free.