Ongoing — “Highest Heaven,” Spanish and Portuguese colonial art exhibit, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St. If I’ve got this right — and, let’s face it, the odds aren’t great — this exhibit drawn from a family’s exhaustive private collection focuses on the integral role played by art in the spread of religion through the Altiplano region of South America beginning with the 16th-century Spanish conquest of the land. … or something.
Let’s go to the experts. Through some 100 pieces, including paintings, sculptures, silver, furniture and ivories, the exhibition attempts to show the works “as, literally and symbolically, articles of faith. It focuses on the didactic aspects of the collection … and explores ways in which such religious art was used to illustrate biblical moments in the life of Christ.”
The exhibit runs through July 9. Museum admission is $14 adults, $12 for students and seniors. Note: WAM is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Sunday, March 12 — Worcester County St. Patrick’s Parade, noon, Park Avenue, from Mill to Highland streets Fun fact: The parade actually improves traffic on Park Ave. But, seriously folks … this is one of those Worcester things you don’t mess around with. Like smiley faces … and hills … and Annie’s Clark Brunch.
Just go with it, pretend you’re enjoying the festivities like everyone else. We’re all friends here. Mary Ann Dube (nee Sheehan, for all you traditionalists) is this year’s grand marshal. A retired elementary school teacher, she mentors student teachers at Anna Maria College and is a longtime parade committee member.
Monday and Tuesday, March 13 and 14 — MIAA State Basketball Semifinals, starting 2:15 p.m., DCU Center, 50 Foster St. Eight games, 16 of the best scholastic basketball teams in Central and Western Mass., hundreds of teenage dreams of glory so close to being realized. Or not. The winners earn a trip to the state finals Saturday, March 18, at the MassMutual Center or Springfield College’s Blake Arena.
Fans accustomed to seeing the red and white of St. John’s will have to settle for the Pioneers’ top rival the past few seasons, Franklin, which won its first Division 1 Central title (after years of distinction in Eastern Mass. divisions) with a 67-64 win Friday night at Worcester State.
The Panthers face Springfield Central at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to wrap up the two-day hoops holiday. Games both days start about 2:15, 4, 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $12.
Wednesday, March 15 — “12 Angry Jurors,” 7:30 p.m., McDonough Room, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St. Based on the Reginald Rose classic, “12 Angry Men,” this engrossing courtroom drama is fast-forwarded to present-day New York, where a more diverse — and gender-neutral — cast of characters grapples with fear and prejudice while deciding the fate of a young Hispanic man. Put on by 4th Wall Stage Company in collaboration with Fitchburg State University, performances are also scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday and March 24-25; and 2 p.m., Saturday and March 25-26.
Tickets are $28 for adults, $25 for students and seniors.
Thursday, March 16 — “The Matter of Black Lives: Writing the Biography of Frederick Douglass and His Family,” 7-9 p.m., American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury St. Check out the Antiquarian Society being all current and stuff. Well, y’know, sort of. With President Trump stoking the flames of fear and bigotry among the worst corners of his supporters — and not having much of a handle on history or the stories of luminaries such as Frederick Douglass — the wicked smaht kids over on Salisbury Street organized a free lecture by Ezra Greenspan, a literary and cultural historian in residence at the AAS.
Greenspan will attempt to tackle such topics as, “What particular challenges does the writing of family biography present when the family in question is African American? And how might the task change as we move from the Obama Years into the Trump Years?” Good questions! Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and seating is first-come, first-served.
Saturday, March 18 — The Big Celebration to Benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters, 7-11 p.m., Hogan Campus Center, College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St. Most definitely not a free event, this one. But the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass./MetroWest brings together some 2,000 youth and volunteers for critical mentoring and development. So your $100 a pop for the main event will assuredly be going to a good cause. Plus, the theme of the annual fundraiser is “Casino Royale,” so you can have a little actual fun while you’re exchanging platitudes with local celebrities and other well-heeled do-gooders.
State Environment Secretary Matt Beaton of Shrewsbury will be presented the 4th annual Bob Cousy Award for his service to the organization.