Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, film, visual arts, theater, author readings, and dance that’s coming up in the next week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Lacho Drom, written and directed by Tony Gatlif.
November 2 at 7 p.m.
At The Arts at the Armory Cafe, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA
Beautifully filmed 1993 French documentary about the Romani people’s journey from northwest India to Spain. The narrative is mostly told through music and movement. Highly recommended and rarely screened.
— Debra Cash
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA
The DocYard series presents the film that received the Grand Prix for Best Canadian Feature at the 2013 Montreal International Documentary Festival. It is a found-footage film made entirely from YouTube videos of teenagers anticipating the end of the world. It is hysterical, enlightening, and disturbing—you won’t soon forget it. Arts Fuse Review. (Filmmaker Dominic Gagnon will attend in person for a Q&A moderated by Paul Turano, filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College.)
November 4, 6:30 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Based on the New York Times best-selling memoir Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival written by BBC journalist Maziar Bahari, Rosewater marks the screenwriting and directorial debut of The Daily Show host and executive producer Jon Stewart and stars Gael García Bernal. Tickets available on a first come, first served basis starting at 5:30 p.m. It will open commercially at a later date. There will a post-screening discussion with Bahari and Stewart via Skype.
Boston International Kids Film Festival
November 5 – 9
Somerville Theater, Davis Square, Somerville, MA
The goal of the festival is twofold: to help young people learn to use the media so that it doesn’t use them, and to empower the next generation to discover the power and potential of visual media. Opening night is Wednesday. On Saturday there will be workshops for kids and parents at Tufts University about cell phone moviemaking and Social Media. These gatherings will be held at 419 Boston Avenue in Medford, MA.
The Student Films & Filmmakers program starts at 3 p.m. This includes a rare showing of the French short film An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (based on an Ambrose Bierce short story), which was broadcast on The Twilight Zone TV program. A second full schedule of short films screens at 7 p.m. There are also several international kid-centric features screening at 3 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday includes a workshop, Creativity, Film & Autism, and a series of short films. See the full schedule for details.
Boston Jewish Film Festival
November 5 – 16
Venues throughout the Boston area
One of Boston’s finest film festivals fulfills its ambitious claim—to offer “a full spectrum of Jewish life, values and culture.” The lineup is always filled with premiers, unseen documentaries, and striking narrative films. Opening with the powerful Holocaust drama Run Boy Run, the BJFF makes use of venues all over town, so check the schedule for times and locations. Films at this popular festival can sell out, but those on the waiting list generally get in (with the exception of opening night). Plan to get to the BJFF early and often!
Here are some recommended films:
God’s Slave, November 8 & 13.
After the 1994 bombing of a synagogue in Buenos Aires, an Israeli Mossad agent is sent to Argentina to prevent another attack. The film also follows the story of an Islamic fundamentalist raised to be a suicide bomber. The story builds into a complex study of duty and morality. Neither side is celebrated or romanticized. While structured as a thriller, the film raises deep questions about faith and commitment. The tension generated by the juxtaposition of espionage and a deeply human drama will stay with you long after the striking conclusion.
Hester Street Thursday, November 13 at 6:45 p.m.
Joan Micklin Silver made a stunning debut in 1975 with this stunning first feature, which offers colorful insight into Jewish immigrant life in New York at the turn of the century. It also introduced audiences to the brilliance of Carol Kane. A contemporary American classic.
Little White Lie, Saturday, November 15 at 6:30 p.m. and Monday, Nov 17 at 7 p.m.
The only dark-skinned child of a Jewish family, young filmmaker Lacey Schwartz uncovers secrets about her own personal life in this documentary. The film is full of surprises for us, and for the filmmaker. Lacey never looked like the rest of the members of her New York family. She was told that was because one of the family’s grandfathers had Sicilian roots. She never questioned her identity growing up, but always had nagging doubts about her real lineage. With the divorce of her parents and the encouragement of a Georgetown University colleague, she began a filmed investigation of her own family history. As in Sara Polley’s The Stories We Tell, this film goes beyond its surface detective story to raise fascinating questions about family, truth, illusion, race, and identity.
Sweet Blues: A Film About Mike Bloomfield, at the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA, Saturday, Nov 15 at 9 p.m.
While a little short on performances by Bloomfield, the film gives one of America’s greatest guitarists his due. Raised in a Jewish family north of Chicago, he became a pure stylist, virtuoso, and scholar of the blues. What music we do hear reminds us of how brilliant Bloomfield was. The movie does an even-handed job talking about his self-destructive addictions as well as his modesty. From the time he picked up a guitar, Bloomfield was obsessed with perfecting his mastery of the instrument; he “couldn’t shut his brain off.” Eventually that led to drug addiction and a quiet death from an overdose at the age of 38. It was a terrible loss, and you will want to revisit his music after seeing this film. The documentary was produced by local musician legend Al Kooper, and some great instrumentalists and singers voice their memories of Bloomfield.
4th Annual Short Film Competition Tuesday, November 11 at 7 p.m.
The competition includes four quality films that feature excellent performances and quality filmmaking. Each story combines a coming-of-age theme with an exploration of contemporary Israeli life. These are remarkably strong films by four young directors. The Funeral looks at faith and death, drawing on several surprising plot twists and an ensemble of excellent performances. Poison deals with a female’s conflict between the challenges of mandatory conscription and the demands of womanhood. Shadow Puppets chronicles a family’s history through the eyes of an adolescent boy. Siren is based on an ingenious short story by Israeli writer Etgar Keret. Director Jonah Bleicher’s short film, set during Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Week, focuses “on an introverted high-school senior who must decide whether to break with old traditions in a competition to win over the girl of his dreams.”
This Ain’t California
Boston University 640 Commonwealth Ave. Room 101
Martin Persiel, a filmmaker based in Germany, comes to Boston University to screen his documentary, which explores a sports story unknown in America— the tenacious existence of skateboard culture in former East Germany under Communism. Today’s survivors talk about the days when skateboarding was considered an attack on the government, and the fates, sometimes tragic, of those who dared skate in public under the hostile eye of the Stasi, the scary German secret police.
Polish Film Festival
November 8 & 9
Bright Family Screening Room
The screenings continue this week including these three terrific films from major Polish directors:
The Illumination, November 8 at 1 p.m. Krzysztof Zanussi’s film blends nonfiction and fiction as it follows the life of a provincial man who moves to a large city to study physics and is confronted by a number of complications.
The Constant Factor, November 8 at 7 p.m.
In Krzysztof Zanussi’s award-winning Cannes hit, a young man who dreams of climbing the Himalayas finds himself compromising his ideals when he takes a job at an international trade company.
Man of Iron Sunday, November 9 at 2 p.m.
Master director Andrzej Wajda took advantage of a thaw in Soviet censorship to tell the story of an anti-communist workers’ strike in his Oscar-nominated film.
— Tim Jackson
Boston Ballet Swan Lake
Through November 16
Mikko Nissinen’s version of classical ballet’s 1895 standard-bearer, Swan Lake, features new costumes and sets by Robert Perdziola, who so successfully refreshed the company’s version of The Nutcracker two years ago. Boston Ballet has also developed some fun downloadable activities to get the kids ready for their trip to the theatre, including a workbook that reveals there’s not a single feather on stage: it’s all done with ribbons.
Holding Hands While Dancing
Green Street Studio and The Dance Complex
Back to back across the alley in Central Square, Boston’s two important venues for contemporary dance do an about face for a shared benefit program of performances that will move between the two buildings. The one night only event features tiered prices depending on how many before and after parties you plan to attend. The dancers include Anna Myer & Dancers, David Parker/The Bang Group, and Lorraine Chapman and Peter DiMuro, executive directors respectively of Green Street Studios and The Dance Complex. Reservations definitely required.
From the Ground Up
The Boston Conservatory Theater
Pre-professional Boston Conservatory dance students dig their teeth and limbs into works by significant choreographers Brian Brooks, Uri Sands, Omar Carrum, Claudia Lavista and Daniel Pelzig.
BoSoma Dance Company in Balance
November 8 (performances at 7 and 9 p.m.)
Boston University Dance Theatre
Guest choreographer Lindsey Leduc, former member of Giordano Dance Chicago, offers two works on a jazz-inspired work that contrasts with premiers by BoSoma co-founder Katherine Hooper and the introduction of a new second company. The young dancers of Mass Motion Dance Sturbridge, Boston, and Peabody provide an “opening act.”
LOOK UP: Harvard Dance Project
November 7 – 15
Harvard Dance Center
Harvard dance director Jill Johnson goes Merce Cunningham by creating a semi-improvised dance installation created by Harvard students that can be viewed from any perspective during its two-hour run. Calling it “an analog antidote to digital overload,” the score features music by Biber, Cage and sounds created by old school analog (mechanical?) machines.
Ali Kenner Brodsky & Co in percolate
Award-winning Rhode Island dance maker Ali Kenner Brodsky presents percolate, a program that includes dot, a quirky piece involving four women existing in a confined space, magnification observation, an arresting dance by a quintet with a bench, and between, an emotionally charged solo. The specially commissioned music is by Providence band Brown Bird.
and further afield…
Paula Hunter’s Frag-MentD
November 7 – 8
Church of the Redeemer Providence, RI
Distinctive mover Paula Hunter plans to keep her audience on their feet as she and her company of dancers, actors, and singers activate the church space and Hunter unveils a new monologue about her 92-year old father’s recently disclosed secrets.
The Flynn Center
Steve Paxton, the postmodernist who pioneered contact improvisation, is on hand with Slovenian dancer Jurij Konjar and Vermont-based choreographer Polly Motley for a performance of Paxton’s 1983 Bound. This event is part of the Flynn Center’s Dance at Bennington College: 80 Years of Moving Through, a special exhibition of historic photographs from the archives of the important summer school that gathered American modern dance pioneers Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Hanya Holm in the 1930s. The exhibition runs through November 29.
The Lullaby of Broadway! A Dance Hall Cabaret
The Dance Hall
Seacoast performers Linette Miles and Steve Small present the elegant choreography of tap veteran Dean Diggins, winner of the 2013 Hoofer Award from the American Tap Dance Foundation, who has carried forward the immaculate tradition of Paul Draper. Diggins will be on hand to serve as emcee and pianist, so expect to hear him dish some delightful backstage anecdotes.
— Debra Cash
Shida, written and performed by Jeannette Bayardelle. Directed by Andy Sandberg. Music direction by Kurt Crowley. Presented by the American Repertory Theater and OBERON at OBERON, Cambridge, MA, November 5 through 7.
“Set to a soulfully contagious score of rock, jazz, R&B, and gospel music, Shida is based on the true story of a young African-American girl who aspires to become a writer, tracing the ups and downs of her family, friendships, and love life – from the double-dutch court at St. Mary’s Catholic School in the Bronx to a scholarship at NYU.” The show had its New York premiere as an Ars Nova Summer Fling in 2013. Bayardelle won an AUDELCO Award for her performance, and the production received additional nominations for Best Musical, Best Director, and Best Music Direction.
Fans of magic realism and puppets take note: Dreamtigers “blends shadow puppetry, object manipulation, and physical comedy into a breathtaking tale of slumber, alchemy, and dreams made real. Commissioned by PuppetArt (Detroit) in March 2012 and inspired by the work of Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.” The show is performed with three actors, and one technician.
Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by A. Nora Long. Staged by the Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, through November 9.
“Told through the extensive and imaginative correspondence between two of the 20th century’s most important and celebrated American poets — Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell — Dear Elizabeth is a different kind of love story, of artists and friends.” Ed Hoopman and Laura Latreille star. Arts Fuse review
Dusk Rings a Bell by Stephen Belber. Directed by Michael Bloom. At the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell, MA through November 16.
What’s in a kiss? Apparently quite a bit in this play: “Molly and Ray unexpectedly meet 25 years after their teenage romance. Though their kiss has had a lasting effect on both of them, the memory of their youthful fling is overshadowed by tragic revelations about what has happened in the intervening years.” Be warned: “Contains adult language.”
A Disappearing Number by Théâtre de Complicité. Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue. Staged by Underground Railway/ Catalyst Collaborative@MIT 10th Anniversary Production at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, through November 16.
A local production of the award-winning British play that was inspired by the collaboration during the 1910s between two of the most remarkable pure mathematicians of the twentieth century, Srinivasa Ramanujan, a poor Brahmin from South India, and the Cambridge University don G.H. Hardy. “Drama, comedy, Indian dance and music weave an immersive experience the New York Times called ‘mesmerizing,’ a love-story that combines the clashes of culture, the sensuality of ideas, while illuminating the mystery of mathematics.” Arts Fuse review
In Darfur by Winter Miller. Directed by Kristen van Ginhoven. Staged by WMA Theatre at Shakespeare and Company’s Berry Family Studio at the Elayne P. Bernstein Center, Lenox, MA, October 30 through November 16.
Playwright Winter Miller was inspired to write this play after she served as columnist Nicholas Kristof’s researcher at the start of the Darfur genocide in 2004. This is a “powerful and provocative tale of three lives that intersect in the most challenging of circumstances: a camp for internally displaced persons. The story follows an aid worker’s mission to protect lives, a Darfuri woman’s quest for safety and a journalist’s pursuit to deliver a front page story to call world attention to a humanitarian crisis.” The play premiered at The Public Theater in Manhattan for a three-week sold-out run.
Chosen Child by Monica Bauer. Directed by Megan Schy Gleeson. At the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Boston, MA, October 30 though November 22.
The plot sounds like a soap opera on steroids: “Three generations of mothers and memories combine to change the fate of a schizophrenic man at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, as he waits for a sister he hardly knows, to fulfill an agreement that was never made. Adoption, desertion, and forgiveness— all this makes up a family.” But the cast is first-rate—Margaret Ann Brady, Lee Mikeska Gardner, Melissa Jesser, Lewis D. Wheeler, and Debra Wise.
Ether Dome by Elizabeth Egloff. Directed by Michael Wilson. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company (produced in association with Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage, and La Jolla Playhouse) in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, through November 23.
Director Michael Wilson suggests that this script is anything but a dry historical study about “America’s greatest medical discovery—anesthesia.” For him, the play—set in Boston’s own Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846—”holds an unflinching mirror up to our ambitious American character and the ways in which class, greed, and prejudice form a twisted path to innovation.” Arts Fuse review
Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon. Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw. Staged by the SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through November 29.
The New England premiere of a comedy in which Jews behave badly. The plot sounds like a variation on Arthur Miller’s The Price: “two cousins wage war over a coveted family heirloom after the death of their beloved grandfather.” See Arts Fuse review
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen. Adapted and directed by Tony Estrella. Staged by the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, October 23 through November 30.
We had Ibsen lite with the recent production of Arthur Miller’s sledgehammer-the-message-home adaptation of An Enemy of the People at the Barrington Stage. Let’s hope the Feinstein-Gamm production gives us the real complicated thing. From what I have seen, Marianna Bassham has what it takes to play Hedda, a volatile combination of steel, self-destruction, and idealism. See Arts Fuse review
— Bill Marx
The Music of John Zorn: A 35-Year Retrospective
November 4, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA.
The “Masada Marathon” at this past summer’s Newport Jazz Festival offered a slice of this protean composer’s work. Now the forces of New England Conservatory—with the help of Zorn as curator—will look at an even broader swath: Naked City, game pieces, chamber music, madrigals, etc. Zorn will take part in a preconcert Q&A with NEC’s Anthony Coleman at 7 p.m. And it’s all free.
Berklee alumnus Uri Gurvich returns to his alma mater for a live broadcast of “The Checkout—Live at Berklee” (on Newark’s WBGO). The alto saxophonist and composer has been recording provocative albums on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, combining Israeli, Yemenite, Eastern European, and North African influences. At Berklee he’ll be joined by pianist Asen Doykin, bassist Peter Slavov, and drummer Ronen Itzik.
Buster Williams & Something More
November 6, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.
Distinguished bassist Buster Williams, usually caught as a sideman, here steps out front with a band that includes keyboardist Patrice Rushen, saxophonist Bruce Williams, and drummer Lenny White.
A group of local heavyweights gather to pay tribute to the late Polish-Amercian-Canadian pianist-composer Jan Jarczyk, who was an active member of the Boston scene during his years as a Berklee professor in the ’80s, before moving on to McGill University in Montreal. Jarczyk died in August, after a fight with cancer. Paying homage will be saxophonists George Garzone and Jerry Bergonzi, pianist Chris McCarthy, bassist Bruce Gertz, and drummer Bob Gullotti.
Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra
November 7, 8 p.m.
YMCA Theater, Cambridge, MA.
The JCAO is coming off one of its finest achievements, Darrell Katz’s Wheelworks (Leo Records), with texts drawn from Albert Einstein (about, among other things, bicycles). Tonight Katz and fellow JCA charter member Bob Pilkington present new works, along with Ken Schaphorst (director of jazz studies at New England Conservatory), bassist/composer Bruno Råberg, and Nicolas Urie.
Davis Whitfield, the piano-playing son of esteemed guitarist Mark Whitfield, reportedly turned heads a few weeks ago when he joined Jerry Bergonzi at the Lily Pad. The young 2014 Berklee grad fronts his own gig at the Lily tonight with saxophonist Daniel Ko, trumpeter Cosimo Boni, trombonist John Egizi, bassist Arionas Giyftakis, and drummers Dan Nadeau and Oscar Suchanek.
Pat Metheny’s mighty Unity Group (with saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Antonio Sanchez, and multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi) sold out Boston’s Wilbur Theatre last March following the release of their epic Kin (←->). They return to play Worcester’s jewel box Hanover Theatre.
— Jon Garelick
Sofia Gubaidulina’s Offertorium
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
November 6-8 and 11, 8 p.m. (1:30 p.m. on Friday)
Symphony Hall, Boston
Andris Nelsons returns to the BSO podium for the first of three consecutive subscription programs. On this first one, his compatriot, the Latvian violinist Baiba Skride, plays Gubaidulina’s haunting 1986 score. Sibelius’s rustic, majestic Symphony no. 2 is also on the program.
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
Presented by the Celebrity Series
November 7, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston
Riccardo Chailly, once rumored to be on the shortlist of BSO music director candidates, comes to town with his current ensemble, the storied Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He holds a post once occupied by Felix Mendelssohn, so it’s not inappropriate to find their tour program bracketed by some of Mendelssohn’s music (The Hebrides Overture and the Symphony no. 5). In between comes Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with Nikolaj Znaider as soloist.
JACK Quartet plays Georg Friedrich Haas
Presented by the Institute of Contemporary Art
November 8, 8 p.m.
The acclaimed JACK Quartet comes to town to give the local premiere of Haas’s third string quartet, “In iij. Noct.” It promises to be an event: the piece is performed in the dark with the performers embedded around the audience and guided by “sonic clues embedded in the score.”
Elena Ruehr’s Eve
Presented by the Cantata Singers
November 8, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston
The Cantata Singers begin their 51st season with a pair of Bach cantatas (BWV 77 and 195a, respectively), plus a new piece by Guggenheim Fellow Elena Ruehr drawn from Genesis chapter 3. Ruehr is the first female composer commissioned by the ensemble and hers the group’s 14th commission.
Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Presented by the Boston Philharmonic
November 9, 2 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston
The BPYO opens its season with a Slavic-themed program featuring Dvorak’s ever-popular Cello Concerto (played by Natalia Gutman), Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture.
Elizabeth Rowe and John Ferrillo play Haydn and List
Presented by the Boston Classical Orchestra
November 9, 3 p.m.
Faneuil Hall, Boston
The BCO’s season continues with another pair of soloists from the BSO. This time, flautist Rowe and oboist Ferrillo team up for a pair of duo-concerti. C.P.E. Bach’s Symphony in D and Haydn’s Symphony no. 35 round out the program.
The Great War at 100: Great Britain in Song and Verse
Presented by New England Light Opera
November 9 (2 p.m.), 15 (7:30 p.m.), and 16 (2 p.m.)
Hancock Church (Lexington on the 9th), Melrose Highlands Congregational Church (Melrose), St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Brookline)
NELO commemorates Veteran’s Day and the centenary of the Great War with a program of (mostly) British music for baritone, piano, and strings. Works by Gerald Finzi, Herbert Howells, Ivor Gurney, George Butterworth (killed in France in 1916), and Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach will be heard and there will be readings of poems by Wilfred Owen.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
NEC’s First Monday
November 3 at 8 p.m.
At New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
Musicians Lisa Saffer, John Ferrillo, John Gibbons, Joanna Kurkowicz, Kim Kashkashian, Paul Katz,and Ya-Fei Chuang perform Beethoven’s Quintet in C Major, Op. 29, Bach’s Cantata No. 202 (“Wedding Cantata”), and Elgar’s Quintet in a-minor, Op. 84.
November 4 at 8 p.m.
At Boston Conservatory’s Seully Hall, Boston, MA
The heralded pianist performs a program of Debussy, Scriabin, and Schubert (“Wanderer Fantasy”).
Borromeo String Quartet
November 6 at 8 p.m.
At New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
The highly respected quartet plays Schubert’s Quartet no. 15 in G major and Beethoven’s Quartet no. 14 in C sharp minor, op. 131.
Boston’s all-new, all-male vocal chamber sextet is dedicated to “impassioned interpretation of under-appreciated polyphonic music spanning the centuries.” This program is entitled “From Billings to Bluegrass” and the line-up includes two U.S. premieres: “Psalm 121” by Patricia VanNess and Daniel E. Gawthrop’s “Close Now Thine Yeyes,” rearranged for men’s voices. A reception follows the Friday night concert.
November 7 at 8 p.m.
First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA
The Renaissance vocal ensemble presents “Renaissance Songs of Love and War.” The evening will include “settings of the Song of Songs from the 15th century as well as madrigals and a thrilling musical reenactment of the Battle of Marignano.”
November 8 at 5 p.m.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 15 St. Paul St., Brookline, MA
The group presents the terrific program “Paris Between the Wars,” which includes works of Satie, Poulenc, Milhaud, Gershwin, and Stravinsky (the marvelous Histoire du Soldat). The musicians: Sarita Kwok on violin; Stephanie Fong on viola; Mickey Katz on cello; Todd Palmer on clarinet, Julie Scolnik on flute, and Randall Hodgkinson on piano.
— Susan Miron
Peter Hook & the Light
Royale, Boston, MA
Former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook returns to Boston with his backing band the Light. When he was in town last, he and the Light performed the first two New Order albums, Movement and Power, Corruption and Lies, in their entirety. At Royale this month, they’ll continue their trek though the legendary Manchester, England, band’s catalogue with a set made up of the records Low Life and Brotherhood, as well as the associated singles from that period. This means you can expect such classics as “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “The Perfect Kiss,” and “True Faith.” And if you go, be sure to arrive early as the group typically serves as their own opening act and plays a set of Joy Division songs.
TD Garden, Boston, MA
The great Stevie Wonder is at the Garden this month, and will perform his classic 1976 release Songs in the Key of Life in full. “Sir Duke,” “Pastime Paradise,” “Isn’t She Lovely,” and the rest of the tunes on the double album will make appearances, as will the four songs (“Saturn,” “Ebony Eyes,” “All Day Sucker,” and “Easy Goin’ Evening (My Mama’s Call)”) included on the A Something’s Extra EP that accompanied Key of Life.
Upcoming and On Sale…
Bob Dylan (11/14/2014, Orpheum Theatre); Bob Dylan (11/15/2014, Providence Performing Arts Center); Johnny Marr (11/16/2014, Paradise Rock Club); London Grammar (11/17/2014, House of Blues); Randy Newman (11/19/2014, Wilbur Theatre); Film Screening: “Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets” (11/19/2014, Brattle Theatre); Daniel Lanois (11/22/2014, Brighton Music Hall); Greg Trooper (11/23/2014, Atwood’s Tavern); Julian Casablancas + The Voidz (11/26/2014, House of Blues); Future Islands (1/7/2015, Royale); Belle and Sebastian (3/30/2015, House of Blues); The Who (5/24/2015, Mohegan Sun Arena); The Who (10/29/2015, TD Garden)
— Adam Ellsworth
Mr. Cleese, an Englishman, noted sillywalker, lemur enthusiast, and entirely feckless hotel manager, will come to the JFK library to read from his brand-new memoir about his life in the world of comedy. Tickets are going fast—to purchase one, you’d best call the number listed above and desperately plead to be admitted, offering gratifications and sacrifices of all kinds.
The Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid
November 7 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
The veteran journalist comes to read and sign copies of his latest work, detailing the massive media feeding frenzy that was sparked by Gary Hart’s 1987 run for the Democratic nomination. Political scandals are nothing new, but Bai makes a persuasive and powerful case that Hart’s campaign represents a crucial turn towards the tabloidization of American politics.
Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence
November 8 at 4 p.m (doors open at 3:30)
First Parish Church, Cambridge MA
The venerable scholar comes to Cambridge to discuss her latest tome, which confronts the perennial issue of the role of violence in religious history. Armstrong examines a variety of religions (from Christianity to Confucius) in light of historical developments from feudalism onward and argues that social inequalities —not religious dogma—are to blame for violent deeds.
November 10 at 6 p.m (doors open at 5:30)
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
Amram is a comedian, Twitter star, and one of the writers on NBC’s hit show Parks and Recreation. She will come to Harvard Square to sign copies of her parody mash-up of science books as written for women’s magazines. Equally high-spirited as she is satirically biting, Amram will discuss orgasms vs. organisms, what religion best matches your body type, and what is the world’s sexiest molecule.
The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
November 10 at 11:30 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
Former Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer, Boston’s own multitalented force of nature, will (potentially, at least) lead an enthusiastic crowd directly from her performance in Harvard Square to Porter Square Books for the midnight release of her new memoir about self-improvement. Performance and Q & A will begin at 11:30, followed by book signing at midnight
The Birth of A Nation: How A Legendary Filmmaker and A Crusading Editor Reignited America’s Civil War
November 12 at 7 p.m.
Newtonville Books, Newton Centre MA
The Boston University professor comes to Newton to discuss an epic clash of American sensibilities. D.W. Griffith’s radically innovative and racially vile film Birth of A Nation became a nationwide hit. It received powerful criticism, however, from Boston polemicist Monroe Trotter, whose father had led an all-black Union regiment which had chased Griffith’s own Kentucky cavalry out of Charleston in the Civil War. Trotter’s battle to censor the film led to an epic debate over civil rights and the power of the mass media.
Let Me Be Frank With You: A Frank Bascombe Book
November 13 at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30)
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge MA
The acclaimed and best-selling Richard Ford comes to Cambridge to read and discuss his latest novel, which brings his signature protagonist Frank Bascombe full circle. The ever-compelling Bascombe reflects on the state of the country from the point of view of a New Jersey resident struggling through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
November 13 at 7 p.m.
First Parish Church, Cambridge MA
The prophetic author of proto-cyberpunk classics like Neuromancer and All Tomorrow’s Parties comes to Harvard Square (courtesy of Porter Square Books) for a reading of his latest novel, which involves gaming in hyperspace and the paranoiac pleasures of futuristic technology.
— Matt Hanson