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
August 17 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA
This lovely dance film, directed by Robert Altman, features members of the Joffrey Ballet and stars Neve Campbell, herself a fine dancer. It is a blend of reality and fiction that dramatizes the risks and challenges of professional dancing. Unlike the clunky yet more popular Altman film Prairie Home Companion, this one really soars despite its messy storyline.
Now playing through August 20
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA
After being tested with two ‘After Midnite’ screenings, this film has opened on the Coolidge’s Goldscreen. Plot: Two mischievous boys stumble upon an abandoned cop car and decide to take it for a joyride. It turns out the auto is owned by a cop (Kevin Bacon) on the wrong side of the law. He stops at nothing to retrieve his cruiser and protect the secrets inside. The film has been generating real buzz on social media. A comment at Sundance: “If Cop Car were released in the VHS era, it would be dubbed and traded amongst friends until the tape was worn completely through.”
Guardians of the Galaxy
August 21 at Sunset (7:37 p.m.)
Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston, MA
This is the second to last screening in the ‘Free Friday Flix’ series. In this film, based on a Marvel Comic, a group of cosmic adventurers protect the universe from super baddies. The good-guy team includes Drax, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon! Sci-fi family fun under the stars with a film that earned a 91% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes!
The final screening in the series will be Maleficent with Angelina Jolie: A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land. Screening begins at sunset on Friday the 28th.
Call Me Lucky
Opens on August 21st
Somerville Theater in Somerville, MA
Bobcat Goldthwait got his nickname from his mentor, Barry “Bearcat” Crimmins. The patriarch of Boston’s standup comedy scene has inspired generations of great comics. Like Lewis Black today, Crimmins railed against the System, speaking truth to power. The film reveals that one source of the comedian’s anger was childhood sexual abuse: the Catholic Church is shown no mercy. Goldthwait has become a fine director and his first documentary project is heartfelt, courageous, and very funny as it puts Crimmin’s impressive legacy into perspective.
– Tim Jackson
Saturday, August 22 at 8 p.m.
Make Shift Boston
Calamity Co Dance is taking a break from their regular shows to present a special evening of solo performances. Come enjoy solos in dance, theatre, and music, followed by an open discussion with the performers.
“Biographies / What is Love?” A Double Dance Feature
August 21-23 at 8 p.m.
Green Street Studios
In this double feature, OnStage | Repertory and Somerville choreographer Jennifer Crowell-Kuhnberg debut new work — the first features an exciting lineup of jazz, tap, and contemporary; the second explores themes of same-sex relationships, stereotypes, and acceptance.
And further afield…
L.A. Dance Project
August 19-22 at 8 p.m.
August 22 at 2 p.m.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
This performance marks the Pillow debut for L.A. Dance Project founder and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, alongside works by Justin Peck and Roy Assaf. Millepied, formerly a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, is probably best known for choreographing the popular film Black Swan.
– Merli V. Guerra
Collecting and Sharing: Trevor Fairbrother, John T. Kirk, and the Hood Museum of Art
August 22 – December 6
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
Long a part of the Boston cultural community, independent curator Trevor Fairbrother is a former curator at the Museum of Fine Arts and author of important studies of John Singer Sargent, the Boston School, and Andy Warhol. John T. Kirk is a scholar of early American decorative arts and former Boston University professor. Collecting and Sharing, the first exhibition of their jointly created art collection, focuses on works they have loaned or donated to the Hood.
Arranged in a series of themes (“Goods, Marks, Males, Geometries, Surfaces”) and displayed alongside related works from the Hood’s collections, the selection reflects the interests and scholarship of the collectors and tracks, in part, their respective professional careers. The furniture, paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture on view include works by Andy Warhol, Marsden Hartley, Carl Andre, John O’Reilly, and John Singer Sargent.
Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia
August 18 – February 15, 2016
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
It is one of the passing ironies of cultural history that, shortly after Christopher Columbus discovered the New World in 1492 by mistake, while sailing for Asia, the New World discovered Asia as a major export market. Starting in the 16th century with the newly rich colonists of New Spain and Mexico City, a vogue for all things Asian, lasting several centuries, spread across the European colonies in both North and South America.
Made in the Americas explores a slightly tangential subject, not Asian export goods as such but things made in the New World by artisans inspired by or imitating Asian export goods. French, English, Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese colonists soon found themselves sitting on, eating off, wearing, and decorating with these half-Asian, half-European objects, some of which developed into important decorative arts traditions of their own. Over 100 objects on display include furniture, silverwork, paintings, textiles, and ceramics from Mexico City, Lima, Quito, Quebec, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia,
Billed as the first exhibition of its kind, Made in the Americas is timed to mark the 450th anniversary of the international galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco, birth of the Philippines to Mexico trading network that lasted some two and a half centuries
Reconnaissance by Linda Bond
August 18 – October 27
Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Part of the Arts Program of the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, the Kniznick Gallery presents feminist-oriented exhibitions related to the Center’s scholarly activities. It is also part of a broader feminist studies network in the Northeastern United States. The gallery’s Reconnaissance by Linda Bond reviews two decades of Bond’s socially engaged art work, for which newspaper headlines are quite literally the raw materials.
– Peter Walsh
Henry V by William Shakespeare. Directed by Jenna Ware. Staged by Shakespeare & Company in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Lenox, MA, through August 23.
Those hungry for more history plays by the Bard after Henry VI, Part 2 have an opportunity to continue the adventure with the prequel: “Henry V is rare among Shakespeare’s works because it contains explicit references to true events in England’s history. Following the death of his father, Prince Hal takes on the crown, rallies his exhausted troops and sets forth to repair his post-civil war nation.” Is the text pro-war? Anti-war? A little of both? It depends on where director Ware puts the emphasis.
His Girl Friday, adapted by John Guare from the The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur and the Columbia Pictures film His Girl Friday. Directed by Julianne Boyd. Staged by Barrington Stage at the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA, through August 30.
“Editor Walter Burns will do anything to find an ace reporter cunning enough to scoop a story in the cutthroat Chicago press world, even if that means turning to his ex-wife, Hildy Johnson, who comes back to the newsroom one last time before leaving the game for good. In Guare’s adaptation, the play takes place in 1939, the day before war breaks out in Europe, which adds a political framework to the otherwise antic proceedings.”
Waitress, Book by Jessie Nelson, Music and Lyrics by Sara Bareilles. Directed by Diane Paulus. Choreography by Chase Brock. Staged by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, through September 20.
The world premiere of a musical based on the motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly. “Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker, is stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. When a baking contest in a nearby county offers her a chance at escape, Jenna must weigh her commitments against a rare shot at freedom and recognition.” Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) stars as the food server at the center of it all.
Blink by Phil Porter. Directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer. Staged by the Chester Theatre Company at Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA, through August 23.
The New England premiere production of a script that is “the tale of Jonah and Sophie. It’s a love story, a quirky love story about virtual reality, fear of intimacy, and love in the digital age.” Arts Fuse review
Detroit by Lisa D’amour. Directed by Daisy Walker. Staged by the Harbor Stage Company, Wellfleet, MA, through September 5.
A strong cast (Stacy Fischer, Jonathan Fielding, Allen Kennedy, Robert Kropf, and Brenda Withers) tackles the Boston premiere production of “this fiercely funny, Pulitzer Prize-nominated take on the dissolving American Dream, two very different couples try to bridge the gap between suburban civility and our hearts’ desires.”
The Road to Where by Cass Morgan. Directed by Steve Stettler. Staged by the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company at the Weston Playhouse 12 Park Street, Weston, VT, through August 30.
“A trio of seasoned actors/musicians joins Cass Morgan as she journeys back to Ireland to find her family’s roots and discovers what home really means.”
Thoroughly Muslim Millie by Ryan Landry. Performed by The Gold Dust Orphans. At the Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street, Provincetown, MA, through September 6.
Leave it to Landry to take musical parody where most American theaters fear to tread. Seen many plays about the Middle East lately? With music? The satiric set-up: “A young girl from a Canadian convent! Thrust across the border into the Middle East and straight into the arms of the Prince of Persia! And what do Dick and Lynne Cheney have to do with all this?” WARNING: This is an ADULT parody! DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN!
Van Gogh’s Ear by Eve Wolf. Directed by Donald T. Sanders. Staged by the Ensemble for the Romantic Century in partnership with the American Institute for Economic Research and the Clark Art Institute. At the Stone House at the American Institute for Economic Research, 250 Division Street, Great Barrington, MA, August 20 through 30.
Presented in tandem with The Clark’s Van Gogh and Nature exhibition, this “theatrical concert” takes “the audience on a journey through the artist’s final years in the south of France. Based on Vincent van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo, the fully staged production interweaves an original script that dramatizes Van Gogh (played by Simon Fortin) with live performances of vocal and instrumental works by French composers.”
A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill. Directed by Gordon Edelstein. Staged in the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA, through August 23.
Broadway heavyweights take on O’Neill’s exploration of the fleeting satisfactions of love and forgiveness. Six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and Tony Award-nominee Will Swenson are in the cast.
The Unexpected Man by Yasmina Reza. Translated by Christopher Hampton. Directed by Seth Gordon. Staged by Shakespeare & Company at the Tina Packer Playhouse, Lenox, MA, through September 6.
The production stars Corinna May and, making his S&Co. debut, John Woodson in a story that “follows a middle-aged man and woman who sit opposite each other in the detached intimacy of a train compartment on a journey from Paris to Frankfurt. He is a world famous author; she, one of his biggest fans, carries his latest novel in her handbag and ponders the dilemma of reading it in front of him.”
Engagements by Lucy Teitler. Directed by Louisa Proske. Staged by Barrington Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA, through August 30.
World premiere production of a script that is about intimate relationships today — and the news is not good. “When reality looks this good, who cares if it’s all an illusion? Definitely not Lauren, the unforgettable heroine of this pitch-black anti-romantic comedy, a midsummer night’s dream about the conflicted Millennial generation.” Warning: “Show contains mature language, and adult themes. Viewer discretion is advised.”
Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti. Directed by Daniela Varon. Staged by Shakespeare and Company at the Tina Packer Playhouse, Lenox, MA, through September 13.
A powerhouse line-up, featuring OBIE Award-winning actor John Douglas Thompson, presents the American premiere production of a play about the legendary Ira Aldridge, the first African-American actor to play Othello on the English stage in 1833. Aldridge played a number of roles in Shakespeare’s plays (including King Lear, Macbeth, Shylock, and Richard III), but Othello was his signature part. In his fine new book Great Shakespeare Actors, Stanley Wells writes that “he continued to develop [the role] over the course of his career. Aided (like Paul Robeson after him) by a powerful physique and noble voice, he played Othello with deep self-identification and at times terrifying passion.” Arts Fuse preview Arts Fuse review
The Flick by Annie Baker. Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary. Staged by the Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA, August 20 through September 12.
The Pulitzer prize-winning script is “a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.” Cast members Nael Nacer, Melissa Jesser, Marc Pierre, and James Wechsler are all making their Gloucester Stage debut in this production.
– Bill Marx
Rockport Jazz Festival
August 16, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA.
The long weekend of jazz at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport concludes with the terrific multi-faceted guitarist and composer Julian Lage with his trio (1 p.m.), and the Israeli-born clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen with her quartet (7 p.m.)
Jean-Marie Corrois is a French-born Afro-funk, reggae, and jazz drummer, and Amit Kavthekar is an Indian tabla master. Here they present “an evening of global percussion duets.”
– Jon Garelick
Drums Along the Charles
Presented by Boston Landmarks Orchestra
August 19, 7 p.m.
Hatch Band Shell, Boston
Rhythmic, dance-inflected music — lots of it — is on tap for BLO’s penultimate summer program. The “Sabre Dance” from Aram Khachaturian’s Gayaneh opens things and Rachmaninoff’s brilliant Symphonic Dances closes the night; in between comes the world premiere of Donald Krishnaswami’s The Swordfishers and the first New England performance of Philip Glass’s Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists. Jeffrey Fisher and Robert Schulz are the soloists.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Presented by Boston Landmarks Orchestra
August 26, 7 p.m.
Hatch Band Shell, Boston
Mendelssohn’s complete incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream receives a local airing in BLO’s season finale, which features a fully staged production of Shakespeare’s great play (courtesy of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company).
– Jonathan Blumhofer
The Jupiter Residency I – Jon Nakamatsu, Jupiter String Quartet
August 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Falmouth Rd, Cotuit, MA
On the program: Beethoven’s String Quartet in F Major, Opus 18 No. 1; Brahms’ Sonata No. 1 in E Minor for Piano and Cello, Opus 38; E. Dohnányi’s Quintet No. 1 in C Minor for Piano and String Quartet, Opus 1.
Fiddle Masters 2015
August 20 at 7 p.m.
At DeWitt Hall in Lasell College, 80 Maple Street, Auburndale, MA
The title says it all: “Brian Wicklund and a band of hand-picked musicians from around the country return for their highly anticipated annual Newton fiddle concert.”
of Love | of War
August 22 at 7:30 p.m.
First Church in Cambridge, Cambridge, MA
Ensemble Musica Humana presents a program of “Alessandro Scarlatti, Melani, Handel, and Purcell, featuring vocal and instrumental repertoire on themes of’war’ and ‘peace.’ The trumpet and flute provide perfect duet partners to the voice, while contrasting with each other in timbre and connotation. These uniquely orchestrated musical selections will illustrate the duality between the two reigning Baroque aesthetics: Love and War.”
– Susan Miron
Willie Nelson & Family
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA
Even at 82, the ‘Red Headed Stranger’ remains a road warrior, as well as a force to be reckoned with on the charts. His latest release (Django & Jimmie) is a collaboration with Merle Haggard that went to number 1 on the country charts.
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
I’ve never quite been able to articulate why I don’t like AC/DC. On the one hand, I think their music is overly simplistic and pretty stupid. On the other hand, I usually prefer music that is overly simplistic and pretty stupid. I’ve never been able to reconcile this, which is probably why as much as I don’t like AC/DC, I’ve never really hated them either. They are what they are, and obviously a lot of people like it because the Aussies are one of the few rock groups left that can put on a stadium tour.
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA
Counting Crows’ “Mr. Jones” is one of the greatest songs of the ‘90s. If you don’t agree with me (perhaps you’ve simply gotten tired of it after hearing the tune so many times), check out this performance, where the band strips “Mr. Jones” down to its barebones. The original is bursting with joy, while this live version highlights the “careful what you wish for” side of getting everything you ever wanted. Obviously the group isn’t too jaded by their success though, as more than 20 years since their breakthrough they’re still on the road and last year released Somewhere Under Wonderland.
House of Blues, Boston, MA
It’s been a quarter century since American punk legends Social Distortion released their self-titled third album, and they are touring to celebrate. No one mixes roots/country with punk better.
Upcoming and On Sale…
J. Geils Band (8/27/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); The Vaccines (8/30/2015, The Sinclair); Speedy Ortiz (8/30/2015, Rock and Blues Concert Cruise);Cat Power (9/10/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Death Cab For Cutie (9/11/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Rancid (9/15/2015, House of Blues); A$AP Rocky & Tyler, The Creator (9/19/2015, Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell), Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters (9/20/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Albert Hammond Jr. (9/20/2015, The Sinclair); Bob Mould (9/23/2015, The Sinclair); Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls (9/25/2015, House of Blues); Boston Calling (featuring Avett Brothers, Alt-J, and Alabama Shakes) (9/25-27/2015, City Hall Plaza); Ghost (9/28/2015, House of Blues); The Jesus and Mary Chain (9/29/2015, House of Blues); Kurt Vile and the Violators (10/2/2015, Paradise Rock Club); FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks) (10/2/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Kraftwerk (10/3/2015, Wang Theatre); Ride (10/3/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Mark Knopfler (10/9/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Catfish and the Bottlemen (10/16/2015, Royale); Garbage (10/21/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Ringo Starr and His All Star Band (10/23/2015, Citi Performing Arts Center); The Who (10/29/2015, TD Garden); My Morning Jacket (11/20-21/2015, Orpheum Theatre); The Flamin’ Groovies (11/25/2015, Brighton Music Hall); Parquet Courts (12/5/2015, Middle East-Downstairs)
– Adam Ellsworth
The Harvard Book Store Tax Holiday Sale
August 15 & 16
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
This weekend the Harvard Book Store is suspending the state sales tax as well as offering a 15% discount on your book order, both on-line and in-store, so now would be a good time to take advantage before the dog days of summer fade and the back-to-school rush is upon us.
Nonfiction Workshop: Taking Your Book Step by Step from Idea to Publication with Richard Zacks and Kristine Dahl
Nope Center for the Arts, Edgartown MA
$1595/ $595 without accommodation at Nope
A professional writer (Zacks) and an agent (Dahl) team up for a week-long seminar the focuses on the process of writing and publication of adult books and memoirs. Participants are encouraged to submit book ideas, proposals, and samples up to 20 pages. Class is limited to 20 participants and include daily workshops, collaborative writing projects, lectures, and one-on-one critiques. The setting is the Nope center, a former boutique hotel in beautiful Edgartown, in Martha’s Vineyard.
Grant Welker & Daniel Korschun
We Are Market Basket: The Story of the Unlikely Grassroots Movement That Saved A Beloved Business
August 17 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
When long time CEO Arthur T Demoulas was ousted by his cousin, Market Basket’s workers decided to strike and defend their right for a decent work environment. Suppliers stopped shipping to their stores and shelves were empty. Welker & Korschun followed this story from its beginning and will come to Porter Square to read and discuss their story of a victory for workers and collective advocacy.
An Evening with Israel Horovitz
Heaven and Other Poems
August 17 at 7 p.m.
Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield MA
Free, reservations required for event but not for book signing
Horovitz is a Wakefield-raised playwright, screenwriter, and poet. He will come to read from his new book of poems which include humorous, personal tales about family, loss, and even meeting Samuel Beckett.
Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance
August 18 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
The term “New Atheism” has become trendy and, for some, conversation about religion is at a low point in the public discourse because of ignorance of its real meaning. That means it is time to talk about what forms religious literacy should take in the modern age. Wertheimer, former education editor at The Boston Globe, continues her work across the country discussing the meaning of tolerance and promoting understanding among people of all faiths.
Matthew Salesses & Alexandra Kleeman
The Hundred Year Flood & You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine
August 21 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA
Co-sponsored by Grub Street, two novelists come to Brookline to read from their new books. Salesses tells a story that revolves around a centennial flood that threatens to annihilate twenty-two year-old Tee, who has fled America to Prague in the wake of 9/11 and his uncle’s suicide. Kleeman’s novel is in the irreverent, postmodern company of The Crying of Lot 49 and White Noise — it deals with a missing-person story that tackles contemporary ideas about the meaning of modern womanhood.
– Matt Hanson