Mar 212014

Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, film, theater, author readings, and dance that’s coming up this week.

By The Arts Fuse Staff


José Mateo Ballet Theatre Silent Currents
March 21-April 6
Sanctuary Theatre
Cambridge, MA

Time and the tides wait for no one, and Jose Mateo’s spring program of neoclassical ballet works to Philip Glass, Rachmaninov, and Schnittke explores the strains of dependency and freedom.

Persian dancer and choreographer Banafsheh Sayyad and musical ensemble Zarbang Trio headline the Museum of Fine Arts' celebration of spring.

Persian dancer and choreographer Banafsheh Sayyad and musical ensemble Zarbang Trio welcome at the spring at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Nowruz 2014: The Persian New Year Festival
March 22
Museum of Fine Arts
Boston, MA

Persian dancer and choreographer Banafsheh Sayyad and musical ensemble Zarbang Trio headline the Museum of Fine Arts’ celebration of spring, which includes the display of a traditional Nowruz haft-seen table, family-friendly art-making activities, and Persian-inspired food for sale. Ethnic clothing encouraged. Free with museum admission, but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Moving Target in Concert
March 22
Green Street Studios
Cambridge, MA

In its first performance (a benefit for Green Street) Moving Target’s contemporary dance training series branches out into a repertory program that includes Boston-area artists Emily Beattie, Meghan McLyman, Caitlin Ewing alongside out of town guests Heidi Henderson, Kellie Ann Lynch and Jenna RIegel, Hio Ridge Dance Collective, and New Haven-based Elm City Dance Collective’s Almost Porcelain. No reservations, tickets at the door.

Heartbeat of Home
March 25 – April 6
Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre
Boston, MA

You liked Riverdance? Here’s another thundering spectacle of percussive dance punching up classic and not-so-classic footwork from Ireland, Cuba and South America. It even comes with its own PBS documentary. That’s cross-platform marketing.

Harvard Dance Program
March 27-29
Farkas Hall
Cambridge, MA

Harvard students take on Busk by Aszure Barton, a work by Complexions Contemporary Ballet codirector Dwight Rhoden, and a piece program director Jill Johnson has based on the choreographic process of William Forsythe’s Hypothetical Stream, which uses vectors drawn from figures in G. B. Tiepolo drawings to generate and modify movement and create the choreographic structure.

– Debra Cash


Bill Charlap Trio
March 21 + 22; 7:30 p.m. + 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.
No one plays American songbook standards with more insight — and swing — than pianist Bill Charlap. Though not a singer, he has a singer’s understanding of what these songs are about, and how melody, harmony, and lyrics work together to create a special meaning for each. He brings trio mates David Wong on bass and Kenny Washington on drums to the Regattabar for two nights.

Eric Hofbauer’s “Prehistoric Jazz”
March 21, 8 p.m.
Pickman Concert Hall, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA.
Guitarist and composer Hofbauer’s last attempt to stage this show got snowed out. But maybe this time he’ll be aided by the fact that he’s re-scheduled his jazz ensemble rendering of Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps for the day after the first day of spring. Hofbauer and crew have played “the Rite” before, but this time they’ll also be premiering his arrangement of Messiaen’s Quator pour le fin du temps (“Quartet for the End of Time”). The band includes Hofbauer, clarinetist Todd Brunel, trumpeter Jerry Sabatini, cellist Junko Fujiwara, and drummer Curt Newton. And it’s free.


SF Jazz Collective — an abundantly talented crew.

SF Jazz Collective
March 25, 7:30 p.m. + 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The San Francisco Jazz Festival, born in 1983, has grown to become SFJazz, a full-time, multi-platform non-profit institution whose programs include the resident SFJazz Collective. Each year the Collective tours, focusing on the music of a particular artist. This year, its subject is Chick Corea. Playing Corea’s music in their own arrangements will be the abundantly talented 2014 SFJazz Collective crew: alto saxophonist Miguel Zénon, tenor saxophonist Davíd Sanchez, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, trombonist Robin Eubanks, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Obed Calvaire.

Pat Metheny Unity Group
March 27, 8 p.m.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA.

Pat Metheny has expanded his Unity Band (saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Antonio Sanchez) to the Unity Group (with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi). The band’s CD Kin (<— —>) (Nonesuch) is one of the most ambitious projects of Metheny’s career. With its epic, long-form compositions and bravura playing all around, it’s also one of his most accomplished.

March 27, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The venerable Boston Afro-Indian-jazz ensemble Natraj fields its A-team, with saxophonist/leader Phil Scarff, electric violist Mat Maneri, bassist Mike Rivard, percussionist Jerry Leake, and, as special guest, Senegalese master drummer Lamine Toure.

Stanley Sagov
March 27, 8 p.m. + 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

South African-born Boston pianist and composer Stanley Sagov celebrates his 70th birthday with his distinguished crew, the Remembering the Future Jazz Band: saxophonist/flutist/vocalist Stan Strickland, trumpeter Mike Peipman, alto saxophonist Robert Douglas Guy, bassist John Lockwood, drummer Bob Gullotti, and special guest vocalist Wanetta Jackson. Also on hand will be painter Nancy Ostrovsky, creating a new work while the band plays.

. . . and coming up.

Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio
March 28, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge MA

Guitarist Juanito Pascual’s idea of flamenco has always been expansive, going well beyond the sound of the Gypsy Kings. His latest CD, New Flamenco Trio, incorporates a variety of traditional flamenco rhythms as well as a bit of Panama, American jazz, and George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” His trio — with bassist Brad Barrett and percussionist Tupac Mantilla — will be joined by flamenco dancer Auxi Fernández. (The show was rescheduled from the original snowed-upon February 15 date.)

– Jon Garelick


Photo: Steven Pinker

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein wonders what Plato would think in her latest book. Photo: Steven Pinker.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
Plato At The Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away
Tuesday, 3/25 at Newtonville Books, Newton, MA.

What would Plato think? Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of several works of fiction and non-fiction, asks this question in a variety of contexts. If it’s been a while since Philosophy 101 and the idea of Socratic dialogue sounds boring or convoluted, Goldstein is here to set you right. In her new book, she takes the ancient philosopher on a skeptical tour of the modern world, putting him into dialogue with an eclectic mix of people and institutions, including Google, neuroscience, tiger moms, and – my favorite – cable tv pundits.

Walter Kirn
Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade
Thursday, 3/27 at Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Walter Kirn is a novelist whose books have been made into several major films (Up in the Air and Thumbsucker) and whose writing has appeared in GQ, Esquire, and many other places. In 1998, Kirn was an aspiring novelist who found himself delivering a dog adopted over the internet from his house in Montana to the New York apartment of a mysterious and eccentric banker named Clarke Rockefeller. Thus begins a long friendship between the two men, which ended in a series of shocking and horrific revelations about Rockefeller’s true background that have to be read to be believed.

Susan Cheever
E. E. Cummings: A Life
Friday, 3/28 Harvard Book Store

Sometimes it seems like Edward Estlin Cummings is often more known for eccentric grammar and punctuation than for his life and works. Susan Cheever comes the Harvard Book Store to read and discuss her new biography of the Cambridge-born poet, novelist, playwright, and painter and set this right. Topics discussed may include Cumming’s time spent as a prisoner of war in World War I, avant-garde poetic styles of the thirties, and why “nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands.”

– Matt Hanson

Classical Music

Photo: Chris Christodoulou

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel — he leads the most exciting major orchestra in America. Photo: Chris Christodoulou

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Presented by the Celebrity Series
March 23, 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA.

For the last fifteen or so years, the LAPO has been, hands down, the most exciting major orchestra in the United States. They come to Boston for the first time with Gustavo Dudamel, who conducts two symphonies: John Corigliano’s powerful First, and Tchaikovsky’s much-loved Fifth.

Vaughan Williams, Prokofiev, and Rimsky-Korsakov
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
March 27-29, 8 p.m. (1:30 p.m. on Friday)
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA.

Andrew Davis returns to Symphony Hall to lead a refreshingly quirky program of music by Ralph Vaughan Williams (Symphony no. 6), Prokofiev (the Piano Concerto no. 2), and Rimsky-Korsakov (Capriccio espagnole). Yuja Wang, who’s already presented a recital in Boston this season (courtesy of the Celebrity Series), is the soloist in Prokofiev’s famously knotty score.

– Jonathan Blumhofer

Cellist Yo-Yo-Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott
Friday, March 22 at 8 p.m.
Presented by The Celebrity Series of Boston
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA.

Music by Brahms, de Falla, Piazzolla, Stravinsky, Brahms, and Messiaen.

Radius Ensemble
Saturday, March 22 at 3 p.m.
Presented by Rockport Music
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport MA

Music of Scott Wheeler, Chen Yi, and Beethoven.

Radius Ensemble will perform this week.

Radius Ensemble will perform this week.

Masterworks Chorale performs Bach’s St. Matthew Passion
Conducted by Steven Karidoyanes
Saturday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Preconcert talk by Laura Pritchard at 7 p.m.
Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA.

Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston
Saturday, March 22 at 8 p.m.
At First Church, 66 Marlboro St., Boston, MA.
ALSO! — on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Goethe Institut, 170 Beacon St. Boston, MA.

Entitled “a song of passing years,” the program includes the music of Brahms, Ravel, Ives, Harrison Birtwistle, and George Enescu.

Faculty Artist Recital: The Carpe Diem Quartet play music of Mozart, Schubert and Chausson
Tuesday, March 25 at 8 p.m.
Presented by New England Conservatory
At Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA.

Truth to Power Festival
Thursday, March 27 at 8 p.m.
Presented by New England Conservatory
Jordan Hall, NEC, Boston, MA

Robert Labaree and Dunya Ensemble perform music based on Ottoman poetry from the 16th century to the present

– Susan Miron


Irish Film Festival
March 20th – 23rd
Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville, MA.

The 14th annual Irish Film Festival presents a full schedule of films over three days in a location that’s easy to access. There are two Shorts Programs and Documentaries. Features include Life’s A Breeze, a feel-good ‘recession comedy’ about a family struggling to stay afloat through hard times in Ireland and Songs For Amy, 
a love story set in the west of Ireland and New York, that focuses on struggling musician who tries to redeem himself in the eyes of his bride-to-be after a disastrously debauched stag night. (See schedule for details.) The fest also includes a Free Children’s Program presented by Belmont World Film 
on Saturday, March 22
 –starting at 2 p.m. films will screen hourly.

And Who Taught You to Drive?
Thursday, March 27 at 7 p.m.
At U Mass Boston, 
100 Morrissey Blvd., Campus Center Ballroom, Boston, MA.

The UMass Documentary Series presents a Boston premiere. Mirela is moving from Germany to India, Jake is traveling from the U.S. to Japan, and South Korean Hye-Won resides in Germany. All are stuck with the same problem — they have to obtain a local driver’s license. Driving lessons soon evolve into life lessons as our protagonists discover that obeying the rules of the road means more in their host countries than cruising down the highway. Director Andrea Thiele will be on hand for a Q & A.

Grand Piano
March 21st – 24th
Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA.

A premiere. One night a great young pianist (Elijah Wood) walked away from the stage after a catastrophic performance. Convinced by his movie star girlfriend to return to performing for a benefit concert, he finds himself in a packed theater, in front of the expectant audience, with a menacing message written on his score: “Play one wrong note and you die.” There’s plenty of evidence that this is no joke. Without leaving the piano, Tom must discover the source of the threat and look for help without anyone realizing the truth. Verite Magazine says the film contains “nods to both Hitchcock and De Palma while reveling in the lurid colors of the Giallos (Dario Argento) . . . as well as the cheap and dreamy thrills of Larry Cohen at his most economically inventive and wild.”

Monday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m.
Studio Cinema, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA.

The Belmont International Festival presents the New England premiere of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s film about 25 year-old GriGris, who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, despite his disabled leg. While making extra cash by performing at a local club, he befriends a beautiful but damaged prostitute. After GriGris is forced to take a job smuggling oil to pay his stepfather’s hospital bills, the young pair try to start a new life together. The film was Chad’s submission for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Oscars. Cliff Odle, a lecturer at UMass Boston who specializes in Africana depicted on stage, screen, and TV, will provide commentary.

– Tim Jackson


Playwright Melinda Lopez

Playwright Melinda Lopez

Becoming Cuba
March 28 through May 3
Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston, MA.

Huntington Playwright-in-Residence Melinda Lopez’s new play “takes place in 1897 Cuba on the eve of the Spanish-American War. Spirited widow Adela, the daughter of a Spanish mother and a Cuban father, runs her late Spanish husband’s pharmacy, indifferent to the mounting conflict around her. But when the rebellion comes home to Havana in the form of her half-brother Manny, a rebel fighter, she must choose between loyalty to country or to family.” Huntington Associate Producer M. Bevin O’Gara directs.

Rich Girl
March 28 through April 26
Staged by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston
40 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA.

The New England premiere of Massachusetts native Victoria Stewart’s play, which offers a screwball twist on The Heiress: “When sheltered Claudine meets starving artist Henry, she falls head over heels. But her mother, a tough-talking celebrity financial guru, has her doubts: Is Henry everything her daughter deserves or is he only after her money?” Courtney O’Connor directs.

– Bill Marx


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  2 Responses to “Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week”

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  1. Looking for a review of Grand Budapest?

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