Branford Marsalis
Meymandi Concert HallIf you haven’t been keeping up, jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis has been challenging himself as a musician with forays into classical territory. With backing from the North Carolina Symphony, his time-tested and tight quartet performs Michael Daugherty’s “Sunset Strip,” Ned Rorem’s “Lions (A Dream)” and the Mussorgsky and Ravel collaboration “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Tickets range from $36-$52, and the show starts Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Chris Toenes

The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer
Progress Energy CenterThe professional directing debut of Emily Ranii, this is the story of the “father of the atomic bomb.” Using both history and myth, playwright Carson Kreitzer mixes the pursuit of physics with the lure of anger to discuss how one man’s project caused vast misery. For more info, visit www.burningcoal.org or call 834-4001. Megan Stein

My Lovely Suicides
Manbites Dog TheaterExplore the depths of artistic doom at Little Green Pig’s My Lovely Suicides, adapted from a novella by Jody McAuliffe, a Duke theater professor. This story focuses on the life of the writer and decadent Heinrich von Kleist, and promises to deliver pity with its passion. Visit www.manbitesdogtheater.org or call 682-3343. Kathy Justice