Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, dance, film and theater that’s coming up this week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Kate Weare Company
February 28 through March 1
Institute of Contemporary Art
One of my personal favorites, Kate Weare’s work is distinguished by an almost uncanny ability to convey emotional and psychological states with steady, humane empathy bouyed by an ongoing stream of gestural invention. Her company’s Boston debut last year was delayed due to a dancer’s injury, but they’ll be making up for it with the local premier of Garden and excerpts from Dark Lark, which peeks into a feminist eroticism. Get to the ICA half an hour before show time when I’ll be introducing Weare to Boston with a public interview.
Zoe Dance in I Am Here Now
Feb 28 through 2 and March 21 through 23
The Dance Complex
Driven to distraction? That seems to the contemporary condition, and local dancemaker Callie Chapman has shaped that overstimulation into a video-augmented movement portrait.
Third Life Choreographers Series
Third Life Studio
There’s a wider-than-usual range of offerings in Kelley Donovan’s inventive informal series when Dance Complex director Peter DiMuro shares the stage with tall tapper Ryan Casey and contemporary works by David Sun, Company Four, Luminarium Dance, Rowan Salem and New York-based dance theoretician Marija Krtolica.
Gretchen Hayden and George Ruckert
MIT Little Kresge Auditorium
Gretchen Hayden, student of the Indian kathak dance master Chitresh Das, and Hayden’s husband, sarod expert George Ruckert, bring an energetic evening of raga and rhythm to MIT along with tabla master Hindole Majumdar and dancers Anjali Nath, Shefali Jain and members of the Chhandika Youth Ensemble.
A Conversation with Judith Jamison
Washburn Auditorium, Lesley University
She may have retired from the helm of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre where she had cast such a spell as the company’s most charismatic figure, but Judith Jamison is still kicking and eager to discuss the legacy of her mentor and the place of arts in public life. For this special talk, tickets are free but seating is limited so register soon.
and further afield
New Shanghai Circus
New Bedford, MA
These Chinese acrobats, jugglers and contortionists couldn’t be family friendlier, so take the kids and celebrate the Year of the Horse.
– Debra Cash
Paul Simon & Sting “On Stage Together”
TD Garden, Boston, MA
Well, it’s not an obvious pairing, but it does make a certain type of sense. Two guys who made their names in groups then went solo and had years and years of success. Then, there’s the taste each has for world music. Then of course there’s the fact that each has an absolutely amazing catalogue to pull out live. With the concert industry the way it is these days, it’s probably hard for Simon and Sting, successful and iconic as each is, to pack an arena alone, so why not join forces? If nothing else, it will be a unique evening.
House of Blues, Boston, MA
Just when you forgot that Broken Bells, the indie rock duo consisting of Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) and the Shins’ James Mercer, were once a thing, they’re back with a new album and a tour. As far as side projects go, there aren’t too many more successful than Broken Bells. And if you don’t catch them this time, you may have a wait on your hands before they hit the road together again.
Upcoming and On Sale…
Lorde (3/14/2014, Orpheum Theatre); London Grammar (4/11/2014, Paradise Rock Club); Haim (5/13/2014, House of Blues); Primal Scream (5/14/2014, Royale); Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (5/17/2014, Mohegan Sun Arena); Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (5/18/2014, Mohegan Sun Arena); Morrissey (6/7/2014, Boston Opera House); Arcade Fire (8/19/2014, Comcast Center)
– Adam Ellsworth
Marcus Roberts Trio
March 1 and 2, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. [Saturday] and 4 p.m. [Sunday]
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA
The uncommonly lyrical pianist Marcus Roberts — who came to the fore when he joined Wynton Marsalis’s band in 1985 — brings his trio, with bassist Rodney Jordan and drummer Jason Marsalis, for an evening and afternoon at Scullers.
Tenor saxophonist Seth Meicht has just released a disc on CIMPoL, Live in Phildelphia, that documents an at once rambunctious and serene 2009 concert (the liner notes incorrectly list it as 2008) by his Big Sound Ensemble, with an impressive cast that includes Herb Robertson and Meicht’s brother Aaron on trumpets, Darius Jones on alto sax, Steve Swell on trombone, and Charles Evans on baritone. At the Lily Pad, he’s gathered no less of a stellar hometown crew: alto Jim Hobbs, baritone Charlie Kohlhase, trumpeters Phil Grenadier and Forbes Graham, trombonist Jeff Galindo, bassist Jef Charland, and drummer Luther Gray.
Revolutionary Snake Ensemble with Charles Neville
March 4, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA
Boston brass band the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble ring in Mardi Gras with special guest alto saxophonist Charles Neville, of New Orleans’s first family of music. The band is celebrating the release of Live Snakes (Accurate), and you can expect a lot of NOLA standards, but with plenty of sharp left turns from these veteran experimenters.
March 5, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA
The 2012 release Jussi Reijonen: un was a beguiling cross-cultural fusion, referencing Arabic, West African, and Indian traditions as well as Scandanavian folk and American jazz. At the Regattabar, Finnish oud player and guitarist Reijonen (now living in Boston) will be joined by two of the musicians from the album, Swedish-born Boston mainstay bass player Bruno Råberg and Palestinian percussionist Tareq Rantisi, plus pianist Juan Pérez Rodriguez and cellist Naseem Alatrash.
Warren Wolf and the Wolfpack
March 5, 8 p.m.
Café 939, Boston, MA
Twenty-four-year old vibes master Warren Wolf has established his cred over the course of six albums as a leader and with Christian McBride in McBride’s band Inside Straight. Wolf isn’t reinventing the wheel — he’s a bebopper with clear debts to Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutherson — but his sparkling attack, eagerness to tackle tricky lines, and his personal approach to swing make his playing a tonic. He returns to his alma mater, Berklee, to play as part of “The Checkout” series, broadcast live by WBGO FM and NPR, at the school’s Café 939. Joining Wolf is his band the Wolfpack: saxophonist Tim Green, pianist Alex Brown, bassist Kris Funn, and drummer Billy Williams Jr.
Richie Beirach-Jamie Baum Duo
March 6, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge MA
The 66-year-old pianist Richie Beirach is best known for his association with the saxophonist Dave Liebman in the ’80s bands Lookout Farm and Quest (which recently reunited), but his experience is long and varied, including stints with Stan Getz, Chet Baker, John Abercrombie, John Scofield and many others, as well as leading his own trios. Since 2000, he’s been living and teaching in Leipzig, Germany. Baum, besides being Beirach’s former student at New England Conservatory, is one of jazz’s few flute specialists, with golden tone and dexterity. She’s also a thoughtful, adventurous composer — her small-group album In This Life (Sunnyside) was one of last year’s best.
The Spring Quartet
March 6, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge MA
Drummer and composer Jack DeJohnette fronts this three-generation all-star band, comprising saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Esperanza Spalding, and, from Spalding’s own bands, pianist Leo Genovese. (Though the least famous of the four, Genovese has a couple of impressive albums under his own name — he was recognized as something of a genius when he was on the Boston scene post-Berklee a few years ago. He could be the breakout star of the group.)
March 6, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club
The dynamic 26-yeard-old Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez has been tearing up audiences on the festival circuit, combining prodigal, conservatory-trained chops and finesse with a primal connection to Cuba’s ancient folkloric dance rhythms.
– Jon Garelick
An American Anthem
Presented by the New England Philharmonic
March 1, 8 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center, Boston, MA
Richard Pittman leads the NEP in an almost-all-American program that commemorates the bicentenary of the national anthem with the Boston premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s Chesapeake: Summer of 1814, and includes the world premiere of Bernard Hoffer’s Violin Concerto (NEP concertmaster Danielle Maddon is the soloist). Shostakovich’s brilliant Symphony no. 1 rounds out the program.
An Embarrassment of Musical Riches
Presented by the Discovery Ensemble
March 2, 3 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
The Discovery Ensemble returns from a long hiatus (its last concert was in November; in the meantime, its music director, Courtney Lewis, was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, though he’ll remaining in his post as director of the DE). This program is unusually backwards-looking for the group: symphonies by Schubert and Brahms frame Haydn’s Cello Concerto no. 1 (with soloist Nicolas Altstaedt) and three movements from Berg’s Lyric Suite. No matter – Lewis and the Ensemble are sure to draw fascinating threads between all four.
While the Third Reich was Rising
Presented by New England Conservatory Philharmonia
March 5, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
NEC’s ambitious “Truth to Power” series continues with a program dedicated to music written by German-speaking composers in the 1930s. Works by Hindemith and Weill are paired with Berg’s extraordinary Violin Concerto (played by Robert Anemone).
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
March 6, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
Music director-designate Andris Nelsons returns to Symphony Hall for the last time before he officially takes over the BSO this fall, bringing with him Richard Strauss’s Salome. Nelsons has a very busy career these days conducting opera in Europe (he’s a regular at Bayreuth) and this one-night-only event will be the first opportunity for Boston audiences to get a measure of him as an opera conductor at Symphony Hall. Gun-Brit Barkman sings the title role, Jane Henschel is Herodias, and Gerhard Siegel portrays Herod.
– Jonathan Blumhofer
Pianist Stephen Hough
Presented by Rockport Music
Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport, MA
Hough plays a program made up of Chopin’s 4 Ballades; Schöenberg’s Six Little Pieces; Brahms’s Seven Fantasien, Op. 116; R. Strauss’s Träumerie, Op. 116; Wagner’s Albumblatt in C.
A Garland of Madrigals
Sunday, March 2 at 4 p.m.
St. Paul Episcopal Church, 15 St. Paul St., Brookline, MA
Cappella Clausura, under the inspired direction of Amelia Le Clair, performs madrigals of Renaissance teenager Vittoria Aleotti, along with songs and madrigals of her famous contemporaries, England’s young John Dowland and Carolo Gesualdo, Renaissance Italy’s very bad boy. Highly recommended.
FIRST MONDAY at Jordan Hall
Monday, March 3 at 8 p.m.
New England Conservatory (Jordan Hall), Boston, MA
The Grammy Award-winning Parker String Quartet, along with Max Levinson, piano, and members of NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation department perform (Free) works by Dvorak, Stephen Foster, and Mendelssohn.
Cellotica Vol. 3: Music Ecstatic and Exuberant
Sunday, March 2 at 8 p.m.
Slosberg Music Center 415 South St., Brandeis University
Lydian String Quartet cellist Joshua Gordon and pianist Randall Hodgkinson perform the music of Debussy, Martinu, and Scott Wheeler.
Tuesday, March 4 at 8 p.m.
Presented by NEC, Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
A (Free) concert from Trio Cleonice that includes trios by Tchaikovsky, Shulamit Ran, and Beethoven.
Passion and Thought in Song
Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m.
Presented by The Tuesday Night Series
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 838 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA
In a program inspired by stories of love, loss, and life, Aaron Larget-Caplan, classical guitar, and Bettany Coffland, mezzo-soprano, perform music of John Dowland, Handel, Reynaldo Hahn, Manuel de Falla, and Benjamin Britten.
– Susan Miron
Boston dramatist John Minigan has come up with an intriguing premise in which the Bard becomes literary fodder for psychological mind games. “The 16-year relationship between an acting student and her teacher” involves “deceiving and manipulating each other while finding deeper meaning in some of Shakespeare’s most powerful monologues (though no prior knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays is necessary!).” Perhaps Educating Rita gone demonic? Though surely knowing the Shakespeare texts would enhance the experience — perhaps audience members could figure out the code first. I just pray that it isn’t that Shakespeare was really Edward de Vere.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Directed by Tom Morris
Staged by Bristol Old Vic and Handspring Puppet Company, presented by ArtsEmerson
March 6 through 15
At the Emerson/Culter Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
Tom Morris and Handspring Puppet Company (the creative forces behind War Horse) reunite for Shakespeare’s ever-popular romantic comedy: “In this Midsummer, it’s not just the lovers, foes and fairies who are spellbound. Trees, objects and tools all pulse and tingle with the possibility of existence in a future primitive world where all objects are granted the right to life.” Those who love puppets and poetry take note …
– Bill Marx
Oscar-Nominated Short Films
March 2 through 16
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Did you wonder where those short films nominated for Oscars could be seen? For the eighth consecutive year, the live-action, animated, and documentary short films you always wish you’d had a chance to see are right here at the ICA. See schedule for details.
Monday March 3rd
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA
Director Harmony Korine will be there in person to explain (or not) what the HFA characterizes as the film’s “garish, nocturnal vision of gothic geriatrics, rubber masked, hunch-backed caricatures of decrepitude lurking in alleys and under bridges enacting ritualistic, almost folkloric, decapitations of dolls and sexual release on the lumpy bags of garbage that are their objects of ecstatic fascination.” He will also be at a screening of Spring Breakers on Sunday the 2nd. I’ve seen and love both. OK, not for every taste, but they are wildly provocative. Fuse Review of Spring Breakers.
The Third Man
Tuesday. March 4th
Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA
This is just one of the classics presented as part of Somerville theater’s Centennial Celebration. It is film noir about the corruption and weariness of postwar Europe in a world out of whack, with great performances by Joseph Cotton, Orson Welles, Vienna, and a zither. This is a glorious piece of filmmaking and absolutely hypnotic on the big screen. See the schedule for all the great films being screened this week.
Friday, March 7 at 6 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts, Alfond Auditorium, G36, Boston, MA.
Robert Hillary King, Albert Woodfox, and Herman Wallace (known as The Angola Three) were placed in solitary confinement in Angola Prison. They were found guilty of a 1972 killing of a prison guard, despite scant evidence. Wallace lived forty years of his life in solitary confinement. Jackie Sumell, an artist and Wallace supporter, asked him what his dream home would be like, documenting his response in various media. Herman’s House began as a game and became an examination of justice and punishment in America.
– Tim Jackson