Sunday, July 25
If you managed to attend one of the small benefit concerts that Carole King gave recently for John Kerry, then you already know what "Carole King: The Living Room Tour" is all about. This songwriting legend isn't touring in support of a recent album, but because she wanted to bring the cozy feeling of her benefit concerts to medium-sized venues, and we can't think of a better one than the FleetBoston Pavilion. The salt-sea air and skyline views at this open amphitheater on the lip of Boston Harbor make it a popular spot through the short-lived summer. 7:30 p.m., doors 6:30 p.m.
FleetBoston Pavilion 290 Northern Ave., Boston, www.fleetbostonpavilion.com. 617-931-2000. MBTA: Red Line to South Station, then free shuttle. $35-$75.
Monday, July 26
Newbury Street is probably on your list of places to see anyway, so the presidential portraits exhibit at Haley & Steele gallery gives you another excuse to stroll our street of dreams. The exhibit, which goes up July 20, presents an illustrated timeline of the presidency from Washington to FDR, in the form of lithographs and engravings created for printing purposes. Among the many attractions at the venerable Haley & Steele are its prints by John James Audubon. Recently the gallery collaborated with the Boston Athenaeum on a reproduction of the map used by Lewis and Clark. Through Aug. 10.
Haley & Steele 91 Newbury St., Boston. 617-536-6339, www.haleysteele.com. MBTA: Green Line to Arlington or Copley. Open weekdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free.
Tuesday, July 27
The Museum of Fine Arts has created two special installations culled from its American collection to celebrate the convention. The first, "Fabric of a New Nation," an installation of eight 18th- and 19th-century textiles celebrating American independence. The detailed designs celebrated George Washington, the alliance with France, and other patriotic themes. "America Presenting at the Altar of Liberty Medallions of her Illustrious Sons" depicts Washington crowned with a laurel wreath on a fabric that would have been a suitable bedspread. Washington was a popular motif on bedroom furnishings. He comes in for more mythologizing in "American Presidents," an installation of portraits of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Clinton, and notably, a hand-colored engraving of Washington created in 1794. "Fabric of a New Nation through November. "American Presidents through July 29.
Museum of Fine Arts 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org. MBTA: Green Line E train to MFA stop. Sat.-Tues. 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m., Wed.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9:45 p.m. $15 general admission.
Wednesday, July 28
He left "60 Minutes II" to come back to his roots, which is one reason so many of us locals love political humorist Jimmy Tingle. Another reason is Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway in Somerville, which he founded in 2002 as a venue for aspiring and established performers and grass-roots productions. The Cambridge-born Tingle credits the social and political climate that he was raised in for his brand of satire, and surely his latest show, "All Politics is Loco!", is at least in one sense a nod to that other Cambridge favorite son, Tip O'Neill. Tingle is planning a no-holds-barred, relevant show tonight through Saturday, and we were warned that it's "not for younger teenagers." July 26-31, 7:30 p.m.
Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway 255 Elm St., Somerville. 617-591-1616, www.jtoffbroadway.com. MBTA: Red Line to Davis Square. $25, discounts for large groups.
Thursday, July 29
Acrobatics aren't all we expect from the Flying Karamazov Brothers when they stage "Life: A Guide for the Perplexed" at the American Repertory Theatre. Director Michael Preston promises some perspective on convention goings-on and a rare opportunity to make your laugh count with "an un-Conventional, skill-fi lled romp through the stages of life," via juggling, dancing, high spirits, and high silliness. July 25-31, 7:30 p.m.
Loeb Stage Zero Arrow St., Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.amrep.org. MBTA: Red Line to Harvard Square. $45, discount for groups.
Friday, July 30
Surely it's no coincidence that a man who calls Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell "our very own American Taliban" and takes Attorney General John Ashcroft to task for cloaking the naked breast of the Spirit of Justice statue appears at Club Passim during convention week. Tom Paxton, who grew up in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the '60s and has been cutting albums for 40 years, has become a voice of his generation. His songs have been covered by Pete Seeger and Dolly Parton. Passim, where Joan Baez got her start and Bonnie Raitt used to hang out, is itself a cultural institution that goes back to 1958, when it was a jazz venue. Bob Dylan never headlined there, but he was allowed to play between acts. 8 p.m.
Club Passim 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617-492- 7679, www.clubpassim.org. MBTA: Red Line to Harvard Square. $35.
Note: Listed events had tickets available at press time, but can always sell out or be canceled, so call to confirm details.