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Apr 122015
 

Arts Fuse critics select the best in film, theater, music, dance, visual arts, and author events for the coming week.

By The Arts Fuse Staff

Film

Boston Area Film Schedules — What is playing today, Where and When

A scene from "Ned Rifle," screening at the Brattle Theatre this week.

A scene featuring Aubrey Plaza in “Ned Rifle,” screening at the Brattle Theatre this week.

Ned Rifle
April 12 – 16
Brattle Theatre, Boston, MA

This is the final film of Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool trilogy. Henry Fool and Fay Grim’s son Ned set out to find and then kill Henry’s father for destroying his mother’s life. But their aims are frustrated by the troublesome, sexy, and hilarious Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family. A funny, sad, and sexy adventure, Ned Rifle is an intellectually stimulating and compassionate satire. (Possible Films)

Boston International Film Festival
April 16 – 21
Leow’s Boston Common

Boston’s “other” film festival is six days of yet-to-be-released and under-the-radar films with an emphasis on international features and shorts. There are always gems to be found in the lineup, so it’s good to do some research ahead. The opening film is Chris Kublan’s Friends and Romans, which is about a middle-aged, Italian-American fruit-truck driver whose passion is for playing extras in mob movies. A production of Julius Caesar accidently gets cast with a real gangster who fancies himself an actor. The Feds insert their own undercover agent to audition for Cassius. It features former Sopranos stars Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts), Anabella Sciorra, Michael Rispoli, and John Bianco.

The closing film is a documentary that may inspire on this Patriot’s Day: In A Small Good Thing Pamela Tanner Boll looks for sources of happiness among the working class  in the Berkshire community of Western Massachusetts. As she did in Who Does She Think She Is?, Boll’s colorful footage of American life is accompanied by testimonials. The values of a small community provide insight on how a balance between individualism and a sense of “common cause and humanity” can contribute to a more satisfying life. The people in the film include a livestock farmer, a yoga teacher, produce farmers,  a student, and social worker. Note: The screening begins at 11 a.m. so you can catch the film and still make your way to the Boston Marathon celebration. Full Schedule

Hollywood Scriptures
April 15 – 19
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Four films are presented by the MFA in collaboration with the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. This year’s theme is “Forging Identities Across Culture, Race, Nation, and Gender.” An hour-long discussion follows each screening.

The films include:

The Jewish Cardinal: the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism.
Queens of Heart: Community Therapists in Drag: a psychological study of the art of drag performance.
Punch-Drunk Love: Paul Thomas Anderson’s unique and bittersweet love story, which features Emily Morton and Adam Sandler, who gives his most mature performance to date.
Wounded Places: A look at the undersides of Philadelphia and Oakland, where a long history of disinvestment and racial exclusion have ravaged entire neighborhoods and exposed children to lives of misery.

A scene from "The S

A scene from “The Saragossa Manuscript,” screening at Harvard Film Archive this week.

The Saragossa Manuscript
April 17 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA

Cineast magazine called this 1965 film “one of the most accomplished, entertaining, and intriguing works of twentieth-century Surrealist cinema.” It was also rumored to be the favorite movie of The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia. The story is set in Spain during the Napoleonic Wars:  a group of Belgian Walloons come across a book illustrated with pictures of hanging men, lobsters, and spooning maidens. The volume, entitled The Saragossa Manuscript, kicks off a long ‘narrative’ made up stories that come tumbling out of the book’s pages  - all to a distinctively schizophrenic score by Poland’s greatest composer, Krzysztof Penderecki.

– Tim Jackson


Dance

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Classical and folk Iranian dances grace the Villa Victoria this weekend. Photo: Morteza Delgir.

Viewpoints
April 17 & 18 at 8 p.m.
The Dance Complex
Cambridge, MA

A mixed bill of works ranging from traditional and contemporary modern dance to rhythm tap and performance art, Viewpoints features choreographers Adrienne Clancy, Bill Evans, Sandy Lacy, and Claire Porter.

Suspicious Spaces
April 17–May 10
The Sanctuary Theatre
Cambridge, MA

For its season finale, José Mateo Ballet Theatre presents Suspicious Spaces, a revival of  two past favorites and the debut of  Mateo’s newest work, which is set to Beethoven’s Sonata No. 2 in G Minor for piano and cello. Returning to the stage is the quirky, balletic abduction tale House of Ballet (1993) and Fearless Symmetries (2008), which follows the sprightly adventures of a young woman caught up in her urban lifestyle.

Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio
April 19 at 12:30 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Boston, MA

The MFA brings more than visual art to Boston this weekend with the addition of its special event Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio. Enjoy a vibrant afternoon of live flamenco music and dance featuring performer Auxi Fernandez.

Salam
April 18 at 8pm & April 19 at 5p.m.
Villa Victoria
Boston, MA

Venture to the beautiful Villa Victoria this weekend for Salam: A compilation of Iranian classical and folk dances. This performance boasts live music collaboration with Sayeh Ensemble and a special appearance by guest performer Miriam Peretz, touring from Israel.

And farther afield…

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Stephen Petronio Company presents Locomotor / Non Locomotor at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, UMass Amherst.

Stephen Petronio Company: Locomotor / Non Locomotor
April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, UMass Amherst
Amherst, MA

If you’ve never seen the Stephen Petronio Company, don’t miss this opportunity to view a sample of its dynamic choreography in Western MA. A study in physical movement initiation, Locomotor / Non Locomotor sends the company members’ bodies into waves of spinal torsion and contrasting “extreme locomotion.”

– Merli V. Guerra


Visual Arts

Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty
April 15 – June 14
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The artist that art historians call Leonardo — and known (inaccurately) to much of the public as “da Vinci” — is revered today as the richest archetype of the Renaissance Man. Valued and even honored during his lifetime as a painter and military engineer, Leonardo led a frustrating career. His major art works had a bad habit of turning into humiliating disasters, few of his many inventions were ever realized, and his greatest scientific discoveries weren’t recognized until after others had hit on the same ideas, long after his death.

Leonardo left behind thousands of pages of annotated drawings and notebooks and it is in these that he becomes most real, most himself, most the polymathic genius. These works on paper are full of notes on aesthetics, studies for paintings, sculptures, and buildings, caricatures and grotesques, vivid observations of water in motion as well as intricate studies of human and animal anatomy. There are also a number of fanatically complex plans for dozens of ingenious contraptions, many of them beyond the capacity of Renaissance technology to realize.

The MFA’s Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty, organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art, campus museum of the College of William and Mary, is built around two genuine masterpieces from the great Leonardo drawing collection in the Royal Library of Turin: Head of a Young Woman (Study for the Angel in the “Virgin of the Rocks”) and The Codex on Flight (1505). The former, one of Leonardo’s most famous works on paper, has been called the most beautiful drawing on earth. The latter is a virtuoso study of animal flight and hypothetical flying machines with copious notes. Together, they form the alpha and omega of Leonardo’s unfathomable mind.

The exhibition includes drawings by Leonardo’s sometime Florentine rival, Michelangelo, as well as works of charm and interest though of vague attribution (“follower of” “student of” Leonardo). The Turin loans alone make this a show not to be missed.

Mazi Okereke Agbam of Arochukwu's personalized ukara cloth, 1972. Cotton, indigo dye. Collection of Eli Bentor. Photo: Hood Museum of Art

Mazi Okereke Agbam of Arochukwu’s personalized ukara cloth, 1972. Cotton, indigo dye. Collection of Eli Bentor. Photo: Hood Museum of Art

Ukara: Ritual Cloth of the Ekpe Society
Auto-Graphics: Works by Victor Ekpuk
April 18 – August 2
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

The excellent African, Native American, Micronesian, and other non-Western collections at Dartmouth’s Hood Museum date back to a much earlier, now long-vanished, campus ethnographic museum. Recently enlarged by important alumni gifts, the Hood’s holdings now rank with the best of their kind in the United States. The Hood’s curators often build around them with related special exhibitions.

Two exhibitions at the Hood this spring open up fresh views of West African art. Ukara: Ritual Cloth of the Ekpe Society exhibits intricately designed, indigo-dyed cotton textiles that symbolize the prestige, power, and wealth of the traditional, but still active, men’s (Ekpe) secret society, which centers on the Cross River State of Nigeria but extends as far as Brazil. A parallel exhibition, Auto-Graphics, features the work of the contemporary Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekput. The later’s intense graphic work was inspired by nsibidi, an Ekpe system of writing and symbols, which has fascinated Ekput since his Nigerian university years.

Samurai!
April 18 – September 6
Worcester Museum of Art, Worcester, MA

Contest! Challenge, Competition, and Combat in Ancient Art
April 16 -
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME

War, athletic events, and contests of all kinds have been popular subjects for art since ancient times. In a society where warriors ranked at the top and warfare was a popular preoccupation, fighters inspired a powerful mythology. In this context even the accoutrements of war became an art form.

All this was particularly true of the medieval Japanese samurai. Originally a warrior class, a kind of Secret Service at the command of the Japanese nobility, the samurai gradually adapted many of the customs and tastes of the aristocracy they were supposed to serve. In turn, the aristocrats aped the samurai’s stoic determination and dashing style.

Samurai arms and armor grew fantastically elaborate beyond any practical function and the attitudes and mythology of the samurai became a deeply rooted part of Japanese culture, long after the samurai themselves had disappeared.

In his Samurai at the Worcester Museum of Art, guest curator Eric Nakamura, editor and founder of Giant Robot Magazine, combines historical Japanese arms and armor from the Worcester Art Museum and John Woodman Higgins collections with work by contemporary artists inspired by the samurai and their mystique. The slashing curves and rapid action of these images show how alive and even relevant the samurai style is to this day

Meanwhile, Maine’s Bowdoin College Museum of Art is presenting a collections show about one-on-one, man-to-man contests in male-dominated, military-oriented Ancient Greek and Roman society. The exhibition features images in a variety of media and explores sporting events, musical competitions, and gladiatorial contests.

New Sculpture by Carlos Amorales
On display starting April 17
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

From April 17 on, Mexican-born artist Carlos Amorales’ elegant new mobile sculpture will hang from the “kingposts” or steel trusses under the new glass roof of the Harvard Art Museums’ Calderwood Courtyard. Conceived as a collective introduction for visitors, the sculpture’s 16 graduated triangles are based on the musical instrument you probably know from grade school. On special occasions, the museums promise, the sculpture will be played with a long stick. Stay tuned.

– Peter Walsh


Jazz

Bathysphere
April 12, 7 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Named for the deepwater exploration vessel, Bathysphere collects a crew from the Driff Records roster (and their friends), exploring low-end sounds in compositions by saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra and pianist Pandelis Karayorgis. The band includes trumpeters Forbes Graham and Dan Rosenthal, trombonist Jeff Galindo, tubist Josiah Reibstein, saxophonists Charlie Kohlhase and Matt Langley, bassists Nate McBride and Jef Charland, drummer Luther Gray, and electronics master Andrew Neumann.

Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock
April 12, 7:30 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA.

Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock take the stage as an acoustic-piano duo, something they did for the first time in 1978. Profoundly influential, they each command broad audiences, so it’s advised that you jump on this to get the good seats.

Guru Ran Blake

Pianist Ran Blake celebrates his 80th birthday (April 20) with his 10th annual film noir concert at NEC’s Jordan Hall.

Gaslighting: 10th Annual Film Noir Concert
April 13, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA.

New England Conservatory guru Ran Blake celebrates his 80th birthday (April 20) with his 10th annual film noir concert at NEC’s Jordan Hall, co-curated by Aaron Hartley, joined by colleague Jason Moran, NEC president Tony Woodcock, and multiple ensembles. This year’s focus is Gaslight, including not only the familiar 1944 film version (with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer), but also the 1940 take by director Thorold Dickinson, and other impressions of Patrick Hamilton’s screenplay. Expect radical reinterpretations of music from the scores (by, among others, Bernard Hermann, Konrad Elfers, and Gustva Holst) with choice film clips.

Nando Michelin
April 14, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The Uruguayan-born pianist and composer Nando Michelin assays his latest project, “Musica de Ida y Vuelta,” a cross-section of various flamenco-influenced styles from Arabic, Spanish, Eastern European, and South American traditions. Expect to hear Michelin’s singular fusion of tango, solea, candombe, milonga, and more. The band includes Jordanian violinist Layth Sidiq, Palestinian cellist Naseem Alatrash, American bassist Bob Taylor, and drummer Tiago Michelin (Nando’s son).

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Charismatic singer and songwriter Gabrielle Agachiko bids Boston a found farewell before she heads off to Marseille. Photo: Warren Senders.

Gabrielle Agachiko
April 15, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The charismatic singer and songwriter Gabrielle Agachiko bids adieu to Boston as she decamps to Marseille. Our loss. This band, which goes by the name Agachiko, began as a Nina Simone tribute project, but soon became something else indeed. The arrangements are by tenor saxophonist and Either/Orchestra honcho Russ Gershon, with a lineup that also includes Ken Field on flute, Scott Getchell on trumpet, guitarist Sam Davis, bassist Blake Newman, and drummer Phil Neighbors.

Noah Preminger
April 15, 8 p.m.
Beat Hotel, Cambridge, MA.

The impressive young tenor saxophonist and composer takes on “The Music of Sonny Rollins.”

Donna Byrne
April 16, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

No less an authority than Tony Bennett has called Donna Byrne “the real McCoy.” That would apply to Byrne’s swing, her well-schooled chops, her engaging stage presence, and her ability to combine down-to-earth sass and romantic vulnerability.

Karrin Allyson
April 17, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The singer and songwriter has a naturalness that serves her well as she moves between standards, folky covers, and her original vocalese interpretations of jazz instrumentals (one of her albums is dedicated to the music of John Coltrane, not a typical singer’s move).

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Wallace Roney
April 18, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The trumpeter was early on taken under the wing of Miles Davis, and assumed the Miles chair in tribute tours with Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, and Tony Williams. His own bands have their own brand of fierce charisma.

Greg Hopkins Big Band
April 19, 7 p.m.
Beat Hotel, Cambridge, MA.

The superb trumpeter, arranger, and composer Greg Hopkins sets his big band to the music of Duke Ellington. Hopkins’s knowing, detailed arrangements – and sharp players – should serve the master well.

– Jon Garelick


Theater

Mommy Queerest, written and performed by Kat Evasco. Staged by Theatre Offensive at Club Cafe, Boston, MA, through April 17.

An autobiographical one-woman show: “How is young Kat’s precocious sexuality tangled up with her Filipina family history? Mommy Queerest reveals every raunchy, hilarious and poignant detail.” “The show includes adult content and strong language. No children under 14 please.”

Elise LeBreton as Eugenie and Angela Brazil as Lucienne Homenides de Histangua in Georges Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear at Trinity Rep. Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky, set design by Patrick Lynch, costume design by Olivera Gajic, and lighting design by Dan Scully.

Elise LeBreton as Eugenie and Angela Brazil as Lucienne Homenides de Histangua in Georges Feydeau’s “A Flea in Her Ear” at Trinity Rep. Photo: Mark Turek.

A Flea in Her Ear by Georges Feydeau. A new translation by Curt Columbus. Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky. Staged by the Trinity Repertory Company in the Dowling Theater, Providence, Rhode Island, through April 26.

“Often heralded as the most masterful farce ever written, A Flea in Her Ear is an uproarious tale of a disintegrating marriage” and slamming bedroom doors.

Out of the City by Leslie Ayvazian. Directed by Christian Parker. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell, MA, through April 22.

The regional premiere of a romantic comedy by an Outer Circle Critics Award-winning playwright that “presents endearing, relatable characters in a setting that’s both fantastical and familiar. It’s a play about friendship amidst marriage, forgiveness amidst hurt, and enduring love amidst elusive romance.”

City of Angels Music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel, book by Larry Gelbart. Directed by Spiro Veloudos. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon Street, through May 2.

“Set in the seductive Hollywood of the 1940s, City of Angels chronicles the misadventures of Stine, a disillusioned young novelist attempting to write a screenplay for a tyrannical movie producer. As his marriage falls apart, we follow Stine’s film alter-ego, the dashing detective Stone, who is haunted by the memory of the girl that got away.” The Lyric Stage cast includes Leigh Barrett, Ed Hoopman, and Jennifer Ellis. Arts Fuse review

(l to r) features  Shana Dirik* (Debra), Lucas Cardona (Jeff), Andrew Winson (Buddy), Sheriden Thomas* (Kimberly) and Micah Greene (Pattie).

Cast members of Moonbox Productions’ production of “Kimberly Akimbo” (l to r) Shana Dirik (Debra), Lucas Cardona (Jeff), Andrew Winson (Buddy), Sheriden Thomas (Kimberly) and Micah Greene (Pattie).

Kimberly Akimbo by David Lindsay-Abaire. Directed by Allison Olivia Choat. Staged by Moonbox Productions at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, through April 25.

A revival of the “heartwarming and quirky coming-of-age play from Pulitzer Prize-winning South Boston native David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole).”

God Box, written and performed by Antonia Lassar. Directed by Christine Hamel. Staged by New Repertory Theatre part of its Second Annual Next Rep Black Box Festival at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, through April 19.

This one-woman show offers a twist on the usual mother/daughter clash: “When her daughter dies, Gloria Andelman discovers the unthinkable — that her daughter wasn’t a practicing Jew!” So … what is a mother to do about an appropriate funeral service?

The Clytemnestriad by A. Nora Long. Directed by Caitlin Lowans. Staged by Fresh Ink Theatre at the Hale Chapel in First Church Boston, Boston, MA, through April 18.

Fresh Ink takes on a script by Long, an associate artistic director for the Lyric Stage Company of Boston and one of the artistic directors for New Exhibition Room, “a local fringe company that specializes in developing cheeky ensemble-based new work.” Here is the intriguing set-up: “When a photograph is all that remains of a soul, who will tell her story? A modern reinterpretation of Aeschylus’ Oresteia and Euripides’ Iphigenia plays, this story blends time, memory, and myth to suss out other sides of an ancient tale. How can a family find justice after an unspeakable act and end the cycle of revenge?”

A glimpse of "Shit-faced Shakespeare."

A glimpse of “Shit-faced Shakespeare.” Cry havoc and drink up.

Shit-faced Shakespeare, written and performed by Magnificent Bastard Productions at the Davis Square Theatre, Somerville, MA, through May !.

If only my late great theater critic friend Arthur Friedman were alive to see this! He would no doubt be delighted with the opportunity to watch the members of a British company perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream drunk out of their minds, doing the Bard while blotto, so to speak. Some critics in England loved this show; Edinburgh Fringe Festival audiences adored it. According to the press release, audience members will be given a chance to encourage thespian over-drinking and there will be partial nudity, ‘ill-fated’ crowd surfing, simulated sex acts, transvestitism, etc. Can The Donkey Show withstand this competition?

Ulysses on Bottles by Gilad Evron. Translated by Evan Fallenberg. Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon. ArtsEmerson presents a production by the Israeli Stage at the Jackie Liebergott Black Box at the Emerson/Paramount Center, Boston, MA, through April 25.

A high-caliber Boston cast (Jeremiah Kissel, Will Lyman, Karen MacDonald, Daniel Berger-Jones and Ken Cheeseman) is featured in the North American premiere of Evron’s “poetic and poignant examination of lives in conflict.” The script won the Israel Theater Prize for Best Original Play in 2012. Arts Fuse review of Israeli Stage’s staged reading of this play.

STRONG: The Boston Marathon Project, conceived, written, and directed by Paige Monopoli and Alexa Costa. Presented by Suffolk University at its Studio Theatre, Archer Building, 41 Temple Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA, April 17 and 18.

I usually don’t include student productions, but this enterprising Senior Capstone staging by two Suffolk University seniors sounds intriguing: “The project began as a reaction to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the journey to finding closure and strength in a time of trauma. Through a series of interviews with victims and first responders, a piece of documentary theatre was produced. Set in a subway car, the characters recall their experiences from the Boston Marathon and reveal hopeful futures.”

Adrianne Krstansky and Derek Hasenstab in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of William Inge’s Come Back, Little Sheba, directed by David Cromer, playing March 27 – April 26, 2015, South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

Adrianne Krstansky and Derek Hasenstab in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of William Inge’s “Come Back, Little Sheba.” Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

Come Back, Little Sheba by William Inge. Directed by David Cromer. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through April 26.

In this intimate production of William Inge’s play about frustrated lives in ’50s Middle America, celebrated director David Cromer “invites audiences into Doc and Lola’s home and examines how our yearning for the past can get in the way of living in the present.” Arts Fuse review

BETTY BAM!, an adaptation of Daniil Kharms’ play Elizaveta Bam. Translated by Zoya Derman. Directed by Matthew Woods, Joey C. Pelletier, and Michael Underhill. Staged by imaginary beasts at the Plaza Black Box at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through May 2.

The imaginary beasts return to the surrealistic writings of Kharms, who was one of the many unfortunate casualties of the Stalinist era. (This production is the second part of the company’s Daniil Kharms’ Project.) I found the tone of the company’s earlier production of Kharms material too broad and slapstick-y, but I will definitely take in the staging of this dramatic rarity, which no doubt “defies classification.” Kharms was a genius at whipping up linguistic insanity, though underneath the inventive craziness is political outrage and a deep sadness.

– Bill Marx


Classical Music

Music by Berlioz and Saint-Saëns
Presented by the Boston Philharmonic
April 16, 18, 19, 8 p.m. (3 p.m. on Sunday)
Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA (Thursday), Jordan Hall, Boston, MA (Saturday and Sunday)

Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique anchors the BPO’s final program of the season. Jonah Ellsworth joins the orchestra in Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto no. 1 and Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser fills is also on the docket. As always, Benjamin Zander conducts.

Terry Riley --  in action. Photo: MIT

Terry Riley, the grand of man of minimalism, will be performing at MIT this week. Photo: MIT.

Terry Riley’s 80th Birthday Concert
Presented by MIT
April 18, 7 p.m.
Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge, MA

The grand old man of Minimalism comes to Cambridge to celebrate the start of his ninth decade. This concert features the premiere of Evan Ziporyn’s live, multi-saxophone version of Riley’s Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band, plus new pieces by Keeril Makan, Elena Ruehr, and Christine Southworth.

Cosi fan tutte
Presented by New England Conservatory
April 18-21, 8 p.m.
Paramount Theater, Boston, MA

Mozart’s brilliant opera – the least performed of the trilogy he wrote with Da Ponte – receives a fully staged production from NEC opera students. Stephen Lord conducts, Joshua Major directs.

– Jonathan Blumhofer

Mendelssohn/Wolf Chamber Series
April 12, 4:00 p.m.
At the Emmanuel Church of Boston, Boston, MA

Emmanuel Music presents a program that includes Mendelssohn”s String Octet in E-flat Major, op. 20 and Wolf’s Selected Mörike-lieder.

Seminar on Contemporary Music for the Young
April 12 at 5 p.m.
Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA

The program includes the world premiere of a new work by Lisa Bielawa entitled Hypermelodia for big band, chamber orchestra, piano, double bass, and two percussionists. A reception in Bielawa’s honor will be held at the Campus center at 4:15 p.m.

The Harlem Quartet will perform Photo: Paul Wiancko

The Harlem Quartet will perform at the Shalin Liu Performance Center this week. Photo: Paul Wiancko.

Harlem Quartet
April 16 at 7 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA
Free

The program includes: Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 76, No. 2, ‘Quinten,’ Bartok’s String Quartet No. 2, and Abelardito Valdes’s Danzon Almendra.

Psalmen Davids
April 17 at 8 p.m.
First Lutheran Church, 299 Berkeley St, Boston, MA
April 18 at 8 p.m.
St. Joseph Church, Providence, RI
April 19 at 4 p.m.
Emmanuel Church, Newport, RI

Schola Cantorum performs music of Schütz, Scheidt and Schein.

Tenor Joseph Calleja with pianist Kevin Miller
April 17 at 8 p.m.
Presented by Celebrity Series at NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

The program features “arias in four language.”

– Susan Miron


Rock

Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble: Preliminary Rounds
April 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, and 18
TT the Bear’s Place, Cambridge, MA

A tradition unlike any other…the Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble! Every April, Boston’s finest bands battle it out to see which will reign supreme. Brought to you by WZLX and the magnificent Anngelle Wood, this year’s preliminary rounds feature Mister Vertigo, the Rare Occasions, Band Without Hands, Nemes, Drab, Eternals, Raw Blow, Duck & Cover, Le Roxy Pro, Salita, the Static Dynamic, Psychic Dog, Mercury On Mars, Dan Webb and the Spiders, Dirty Bangs, Protean Collective, New City Ghost, Yale, Massachusetts, Soft Pyramids, and the Warning Shots.

John Mellencamp
April 15
Citi Performing Arts Center, Boston, MA
April 16
Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence, RI

Back in the heady days of 2004, I saw John Mellencamp open the final night of the “Vote for Change” tour in Washington, D.C. It was one of the great concerts of all-time: the show also featured Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and R.E.M. (who stole the show) to name just a few. But no-one remembers it because W. was re-elected, and therefore the tour didn’t make the electoral difference it was shooting for. Nonetheless, one of my happiest memories of that night is of Mellencamp playing “Pink Houses” at the end of his set. I don’t know if it was the setting, or just because it’s a great song, but either way I teared up during it. Ain’t that America indeed! Now the pride of Indiana is back with a new album, Plain Spoken, and a tour that brings him to two different venues in New England.

Jeff Beck
April 19
Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA

The great Brian May refers to Jeff Beck as “The Guv’nor,” so who are the rest of us to argue? Beck is undoubtedly one of the best to ever pick up the guitar and, if nothing else, his is the ultimate lineup of the Yardbirds (yes Clapton and Page fans, I went there. Come at me). On top of that, the ornate, cozy, Orpheum is the perfect place to see the legend.

Upcoming and On Sale…

They Might Be Giants ((4/23/2015, House of Blues); Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble Semifinal Rounds (4/23-24/2015, TT the Bear’s Place); Manic Street Preachers (4/24/2015, The Sinclair); Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble Finals (5/1/2015, TT the Bear’s Place); Sufjan Stevens (5/4/2015, Citi Performing Arts Center); Faith No More (5/11/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Kasabian (5/15/2015, House of Blues); Primal Scream (5/17/2015, Royale); Crosby, Stills and Nash (5/19/2015, Citi Performing Arts Center); Palma Violets (critic’s note: “The Greatest Live Band in the World”) (5/19/2015, Great Scott); Boston Calling (featuring Beck, Pixies, My Morning Jacket) (5/22-24/2015, City Hall Plaza); The Who (5/24/2015, Mohegan Sun Arena); Conor Oberst (6/5/2015, House of Blues); Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (6/6/2015, Boston Opera House); Lana del Rey (6/9/2015, Xfinity Center); Florence + the Machine (6/10/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Best Coast (6/12/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Paul Weller (6/13/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Spoon (6/18/2015, House of Blues); Rush (6/23/2015, TD Garden); Morrissey (6/24/2015, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts); Buffalo Tom (6/26 and 27/2015, The Sinclair); Huey Lewis and the News (6/27/2015, Indian Ranch); Melvins (6/27/2015, Paradise Rock Club); U2 (7/10, 11, 14, 15/2015, TD Garden); Green River Fest (featuring Steve Earle, Punch Brothers, and tUnE-yArDs) (7/10-12/2015, Greenfield Community College); Mudhoney (7/11/2015, Brighton Music Hall); Billy Joel (7/16/2015, Fenway Park); Foo Fighters (7/18-19/2015, Fenway Park); Modest Mouse (7/23/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); (Interpool, 7/23-24/2015, House of Blues); Bombino (7/27/2015, The Sinclair); Willie Nelson & Family (8/21/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); AC/DC (8/22/2015, Gillette Stadium); Death Cab For Cutie (9/11/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Bob Mould (9/23/2015, The Sinclair); Mark Knopfler (10/9/2015, Orpheum Theatre); The Who (10/29/2015, TD Garden)

– Adam Ellswroth


Author Events

Peter Singer
The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically
April 13 at 6 (Doors open at 5:30)
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge MA
$5 tickets

In an event co-sponsored by Oxfam America, the illustrious and influential ethicist will discuss “effective altruism,” the topic of his latest book. Singer’s argument is that living the most effective life possible inevitably means “doing the most good you can do.” His latest tome details the lives of individuals who have found enormous peace and fulfillment by following this utilitarian principle.

Heidi Julavits
The Folded Clock: A Diary
April 15 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
Free

Like a lot of young people, Heidi Julavits kept a diary for years. The widely acclaimed author and editor is now a forty something wife, mother, and professional writer who has had the rare opportunity to take stock of the faithful jottings of her younger self. “I want to good-naturedly laugh at this person. I want to but I can’t. What she wanted then is scarcely different from what I want today.”

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Lloyd Schwartz, Jennifer Formichelli and Michael Todd Steffen
Celebrating A Centenary of “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”
April 15 at 7 p.m.
Hastings Room, First Church Congregationalist, Cambridge MA
Free

A hundred years ago, T.S. Eliot published one of the most influential poems of the 20th century. Eliot first conceived the idea for the work while attending Harvard and living in Boston, so it’s fitting that Prufrock be celebrated in Cambridge. Formichelli is a Boston University faculty member who has written extensively on Eliot’s life and work and will provide a brief history of the poem. Schwartz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, poet, and professor emeritus at UMass-Boston (as well as an Arts Fuse contributor) will read the poem in its entirety as well as earlier work by Eliot along with poems that influenced Prufrock. “So let us go then, you and I…”

Lynn Xu
McCormack Family Theater, Providence R.I.
April 16 at 2:30 p.m.
Free

In the past few years, the Shanghai-born Xu has established herself as a poet to watch. Xu has been the recipient of a Fulbright, been anthologized in the Best American Poetry 2008. The poet and novelist Ben Lerner has described Xu in the Boston Review as an “expert at multiplying sites of resonance and ambiguity.” She will be reading from Debts & Lessons, her latest collection.

Lily Hoang, Gregory Howard, Timothy Liu, Christopher Stackhouse, Michael Stewart, and Jackie Wang
The Force of What’s Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde
April 17 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
Free

In a reputedly unshockable age, the question of the avant-garde is a tricky one. Does it still exist? How does our current commodity-crazed culture shape the artist’s relationship to age-old questions of accessibility? Modernism is difficult… so will it vanish? Six noted authors gather at Porter Square Books to discuss these issues, relevant to anyone interested in producing or consuming culture today.

Stephen Collins
Irish Voices: A One-Person Performance
April 18 from 3 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Lexington Depot, Lexington MA
$10 tickets

Actor and scholar Stephen Collins will perform excerpts from the work of many first-rate Irish writers: from Joyce and Yeats to Seamus Heaney. Perennial Celtic subjects will be the focus — the rain-swept landscape, the insistent presence of the past, and the vagaries of the changing political landscape.

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Joseph Stiglitz
In Conversation with Robert Kuttner
The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them
April 20 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
First Parish Church, Cambridge, MA
$5 tickets

It took an unprecedented financial collapse, but wealth inequality around the globe has finally become an issue of major concern to a growing number of Americans who are alarmed at the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Boston Globe writer Robert Kuttner will come to Harvard Square to read and discuss Stiglitz’s latest analysis of American inequality – its origins, dimensions and its national and worldwide consequences.

Mary Ruefle
April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College, Northampton, MA
Free

The celebrated poet visits Smith College as part of its author reading series. Madness, Rack and Honey, a collection of Ruefle’s lectures, was published to great acclaim in 2012. Poet Tony Hoagland describes Ruefle’s poetics as a combination of “the spiritual desperation of Emily Dickinson with the rhetorical virtuosity of Wallace Stevens.”

Helen O’Donnell
The Irish Brotherhood: John f Kennedy, His Inner Circle, and the Improbable Rise to the Presidency
April 22 at 7 p.m.
Newtonville Books, Newtonville MA
Free

Plenty of glittery ink has been spilled about the Kennedys as American mythology, style and charisma the inevitable focus. O’Donnell, a journalist and author, takes the reader inside the tougher and more realistic innards of Camelot. She is the granddaughter of Kenny O’Donnell, a blue collar political aide of the Kennedy administration who, along with Bobby Kennedy, Larry O’Brien, and Dave Powers worked behind the scenes to elect JFK.

– Matt Hanson

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