Feb 072016

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

By The Arts Fuse Staff


Boston Area Film Schedules—What is Playing Today, Where, and When

Boston Science Fiction Film Festival and Marathon
Through February 14
Somerville Theater, Davis Square, Somerville, MA

This venerable festival dedicated to science fiction movies has begun. The 2016 edition marks the 41st anniversary of the country’s oldest genre  film round-up. The first nine days emphasize emerging directors with distinct visions from around the globe. The celebration concludes with The Marathon (a.k.a., “The ‘Thon”), a 24-hour orgiastic motion picture endurance test featuring classic, new, and schlock films. Full Schedule

A scene from the documentary "Kingdom of Shadows."

A scene from the documentary “Kingdom of Shadows.”

Kingdom of Shadows
February 8 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

The first film of this year’s DocYard series presents Bernardo Ruiz (Reportero) and his documentary, which takes an unflinching look at the hard choices and destructive consequences of the current U.S.-Mexico “drug war.” “Three perspectives predominate: those of Sister Consuelo Morales, a Roman Catholic nun seeking answers for families of the ‘disappeared’ (civilians who have vanished because of drug gangs or police corruption); Don Henry Ford Jr., a Texas rancher who served time for smuggling marijuana from Mexico; and the Homeland Security officer Oscar Hagelsieb, a former undercover operative for the Border Patrol. “Kingdom of Shadows is unforgettable.” (NY Times) Director Ruiz will attend in person for a post-screening Q&A moderated by Monika Navarro.

A scene from "River of Fundament."

A scene from “River of Fundament.”

Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament
February 10 through 14
Screening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

An adventurously epic collaboration between Mathew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, the composer for Barney’s Cremaster Series. Barney is a brilliant and enigmatic artist who works in many mediums. This trilogy of films is usefully described on the film’s website:

“In 2007, Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler began a new collaborative project inspired by Norman Mailer’s 1983 novel Ancient Evenings, which is set in pharaonic Egypt. The project was conceived as a nontraditional opera with a series of one-time-only live acts performed across the American landscape over a five-year period. This opera developed into a film entitled River of Fundament, which combines documentation of the three live acts with scenes set in a reconstruction of Norman Mailer’s brownstone apartment in Brooklyn Heights.”

A warning from the MFA: This is a graphic film for adults only. It is 5 hours and 50 minutes long with two intermissions.

Stanley Kubrick: A Retrospective
February 10 through 28
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Last year’s storms put a damper on the Kubrick retrospective; the museum have brought the films back again for another go. This may become an annual affair and that is good thing: it is well worth a few trips to see these masterpieces in an appropriate big screen setting: Paths of Glory, The Killing, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and Full Metal Jacket.

– Tim Jackson


Four local contemporary dance companies perform this weekend at the ICA, Boston.

Four local contemporary dance companies perform this weekend at the ICA, Boston.

February 12 & 13 at 8 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Boston, MA

Four local dance companies converge on the ICA this weekend for two performances celebrating the diversity of the Boston dance scene. Daniel McCusker Dance Projects, Navarasa Dance Theater, Jean Appolon Expressions, Wendy Jehlen and Lacina Coulibaly present an evening of contemporary works extrapolated from four unique traditions. Each performance will be followed by a discussion with the choreographers about these styles.

The Glorious Mediocre
February 12 & 13 at 8 p.m.
Calderwood Pavillion
Boston, MA

Head to the Boston Center for the Arts this week for The Glorious Mediocre. Choreographer Kati Nasti reflects on her childhood, growing up as the eight of ten children in a mediocre town, through dance, song, and plenty of doses of sarcasm.

The Wilderness Show
February 13 at 8 p.m.
The Dance Complex
Cambridge, MA

The New Movement Series kicks off its second performance to date featuring the choreography of Daniel Bear Davis, Jen Hix, Sara June & Max Lord, Liz Roncka & Jason Sanford, Sarah Young and guests. The performance is co-presented by New Movement Collaborative and The Dance Complex.

And further afield...

Saturday, February 13 from 11-11:45 a.m.
Peabody Essex Museum
Salem, MA

The uniquely all-women lion dance troupe Gund Kwok begins the Lunar New Year celebration at the Peabody Essex Museum with a performance perfect for families and those new to the art of the lion dance.

– Merli V. Guerra


Photo: Mark S. Howard

The cast of the Lyric Stage production of “Sondheim on Sondheim.” Photo: Mark S. Howard.

Sondheim on Sondheim, Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Conceived by James Lapine. Directed by Spiro Veloudos. Music director, Jonathan Goldberg. Choreography & musical staging by Ilyse Robbins. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company at 40 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, through February 21.

“With songs taken from nineteen Sondheim shows produced over a 62-year period, eight of your favorite Boston-based musical-theatre artists (Leigh Barrett, Mala Bhattacharya, Maritza Bostic, Christopher Chew, Aimee Doherty, Davron S. Monroe, Sam Simahk, and Patrick Varner) will perform well-known, rarely heard, and cut material, featuring video commentary from the master himself.” Arts Fuse review

Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar. Directed by Gordon Edelstein. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company in association with the Long Wharf Theatre, at the Boston University Theatre, Boston, MA, through February 7.

In this Pulitzer prize-winning play, “high-powered New York lawyer Amir has climbed the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his Muslim roots. When he and his wife Emily host a dinner party, what starts as a friendly conversation escalates, shattering their views on race, religion, and each other.” The script is definitely one of the flavors of the season: “Disgraced is being produced at 10 major American regional theatres this season and will be produced across the United States 32 times over the next two years, as well as several productions overseas. A film version of the play is also in the works with HBO.” Arts Fuse review

The Convert by Danai Gurira. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. Staged by the Underground Railway Theater at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, through February 28.

“Southern Africa, 1895: A young Shona girl escapes an arranged marriage by converting to Christianity, becoming servant and student to an African Evangelical. As anti-European sentiments spread throughout the native population, she is forced to choose between her family’s traditions and her new-found faith.” Arts Fuse review

Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge. Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through February 27.

“Annie and her teenage friends want the same things: the hottest new phones, cute boys, designer bags. But when they enter into a pregnancy pact, she wonders if there might be a different path and a brighter future.” The Luck of the Irish dramatist “finds raw humor and gritty poetry in this provocative, ripped-from-the-headlines new play that explores what it means to acquire the status the world says you deserve when the opportunity and means to attain it are not afforded to you.” Arts Fuse review

The Moors by Jen Silverman. Directed by Jackson Gay. Staged by the Yale Repertory Theatre at 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, through February 20.

The world premiere of what sounds like a postmodern theatrical homage/sendup of Gothic conventions. “The bleak moors of England. The bleakest. Two spinster sisters—one desperately unhappy, the other resolutely miserable — live with their elder brother and their mastiff in a gloomy, old mansion. When a governess is summoned to their isolated home, teeming with secrets and desires, what price might they pay for love? The play was “inspired (perhaps) by certain 19th-century gothic romances, and the sisters who wrote them.”

The Testament of Mary by by Colm Tóibín. Directed by Jim Petosa. Staged by the New Repertory Theatre in the Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, through February 28.

Could it be? Protesters at a theater production? How refreshing. There are reports that some Catholic groups are offended by Colm Tóibín’s iconoclastic version (in his novel) of the Virgin Mary. Paul Langton stars in this adaptation for the stage.

Body & Sold by Deborah Lake Fortson. Directed by Lindsay Eagle.
At The Democracy Center, 45 Mt Auburn Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, on February 7 at 7 p.m.

Tempest Productions, Maiden Phoenix, and Deborah Lake Fortson present a stage reading of a documentary play, winner of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Award, in which “we hear the stories of eight teen survivors and the stark realities in five US cities, including Boston, regarding the sex trafficking of American youth”. One in a series of monthly staged readings. There will be a post-show discussion with “Police Detectives from the Cambridge Police Department and outreach workers from Roxbury Youthworks to learn what they do to combat this American epidemic. And to discuss what we all can do to stop the ferocious exploitation of our young people.” Arts Fuse interview

The Hunchback of Seville by Charise Castro Smith. Directed by Taibi Magar. Staged by Trinity Rep at 201 Washington Street, Providence, Rhode Island, through March 6.

The script is billed as a “funny and madcap” take on Spanish history and colonialism: “At the turn of the 16th century, Christopher Columbus has just returned from the new world with gold in his pockets and blood on his hands. Maxima Terriblé Segunda, the brilliant adopted sister of dying HRH Queen Isabella, is living out her life locked away in a tower… until it is decided that the future of the country is in her nerdy, reclusive hands” The cast includes Phyllis Kay (as Maxima Terriblé Segunda) with Stephen Berenson, Janice Duclos, Anne Scurria, and Joe Wilson, Jr.

Mark Rylance in the 2013 Guthrie Theater production of 'Nice Fish.' Photo: Richard Termine.

Mark Rylance in the 2013 Guthrie Theater production of ‘Nice Fish.’ Photo: Richard Termine.

Nice Fish, conceived, written, and adapted by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins. Directed by Claire van Kampen. Staged by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, through February 7.

“On a lake in frozen Minnesota, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It’s the end of the fishing season, and two men are out on the ice one last time, angling for answers to life’s larger questions. A play woven together from the acclaimed prose poems of Louis Jenkins, Nice Fish reflects nature with a wry surreality.” Mark Rylance is a terrific actor … so this production looks most promising. Arts Fuse review

An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Directed by Summer L. Williams. Staged by Company One in a co-production with ArtsEmerson in the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, Paramount Center, Boston MA, through February 27.

A postmodern send-up of Dion Boucicault’s hit play of 1859, Jacobs-Jenkins’ wild and wooly script, winner of the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play, “is an incendiary, subversively funny exploration of identity, jammed with sensation and surprises!” The script is a real hoot — equal amounts of shock and silliness — so there is lots of promise here as long as earnestness is kept at bay. Arts Fuse review

Back the Night by Melinda Lopez. Directed by Daniela Varon. Staged by The Boston Playwrights’ Theatre at the BPT, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, through February 28.

Esteemed local playwright Lopez is taking up a timely subject with her latest script: “With violence on campus rising to epidemic proportions, Em is in total denial. But when her best friend Cassie is assaulted, Em makes some unexpected personal discoveries. Sometimes you do the wrong thing for the right reason.” The production’s strong cast includes Stephanie Clayman, Amanda Collins, John Kooi, and Melissa Jesser.

Tinker to Evers to Chance by Mat Smart. Directed by Sean Daniels. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, located at 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, February 10 through March 6.

The regional premiere of a script about “mothers, daughters, and baseball. The story spans a century of Chicago Cubs fandom, and resonates with honest questions about love, heartbreak, and hope.” Director Daniels “notes that the play is perfect for the Greater Boston scene: Red Sox fans (especially those from who remember the pre-2004 days) will empathize with the hapless Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series since 1908.”

The cast of "1984." Photo: Ben Gibbs.

The cast of a new adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984.” Photo: Ben Gibbs.

1984 by George Orwell, a new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan. Presented by the American Repertory Theater (in association with Headlong, Almeida Theatre, and Nottingham Playhouse Theater) at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, February 14 through March 6.

“The definitive book of the 20th century” (What in the world does that mean? Is this Big Brother speaking?) “is re-examined in a radical, award-winning adaptation exploring surveillance, identity and why Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant now as ever.”

There’s a New Emergency Contact in Town, performed by Erin Markey. Presented by the American Repertory Theater at Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA on February 11.

From the ART website: “Known for her dark, absurdist humor and “magnetic diva aggression” (New York Times), Erin creates an at once riotous and unexpectedly moving performance about figuring out who you might be. Developed with Philadelphia based musician Emily Bate, original music and pop covers score the frailties and triumphs of adult teenhood through leotards, hurricanes, psoriasis and the terror of Dads.” Shaky grammar, but who cares when there’s “diva aggression” and “adult teenhood” on display.

AcousticaElectronica, written and performed by toUch Performance Art. At Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, on February 12.

Lord, how long will we have to deal with the “immersive theater experience”? When will this fad fade? toUch Performance Art insists this “night unlike any other” will be “a mind-blowing event that blends electronic and classical music, hip-hop and ballet, aerials and opera.” As for the skeptics among us, well … “Come feel for yourself.”

Baltimore by Kirsten Greenidge. Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue. Staged by New Repertory Theatre and Boston Center for American Performance at the Boston University Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, February 10 through 28.

A world premiere production of Greenidge’s exploration of “the complexities of racism from the perspective of eight culturally diverse college students.” The plot: “After she’s dismissed from her job in the athletics department, Shelby Wilson becomes Resident Advisor to a group of freshmen—after all, it’ll look good on her resume. She soon discovers that a racially charged incident has set student against student, and it’s up to her to mediate the situation.”

A scene from

A scene from Bread & Puppet Theater’s “Overtakelessess Circus.”

The Overtakelessness Circus, written and performed by Bread & Circus. Presented by the Mass College of Art at Tower Auditorium, Boston, MA, on February 13 and 14. (Recommended for all ages)

Kicking off on February 11, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is hosting Bread & Puppet Theater and Peter Schumann, its Founder and Artistic Director, for an 11-day Artist-in-Residency. Schumann’s political art installation, entitled “North East Kingdom Weapons and Tools for Decapitalization,” will be on view. MassArt students and community partners will collaborate with the company throughout the residency; the public is also invited to participate as volunteer puppeteers and attend the performances.

Of course, you can’t keep the B&P troupe in the classroom. The first of the two shows they have brought to town is a family-friendly affair.

– Bill Marx

Roots and World Music

Joe Val Bluegrass Festival
Feb. 12-14
Sheraton, Framingham, MA

This annual indoor celebration of all things bluegrass returns for its 31st edition. The unbeatable Del McCoury Band, whose recent Sanders Theater show was snowed out, has been added as headliner along with his sons. They join a strong lineup that also includes traditional stalwart Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, fiddle virtuoso Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper and two of bluegrass’ finest sibling acts, the Spinney Brothers and the Gibson Brothers. There’s also a regional band showcase, workshops by the main stage musicians and a new Sunday night wind-down dance.

Lee Fields and the Expressions
Feb. 12
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

Soul journeyman Fields has the best voice of any of the veteran vocalists elevated by the recent soul revival. Stay tuned for an interview with Fields later this week on the Arts Fuse.

– Noah Schaffer


Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
February 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Boston second-line avatars the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble celebrate their 25th anniversary at this annual Mardi Gras show, in this case with special guests Godwin Louis on alto saxophone and Jason Palmer on trumpet. The regulars in the band are saxophonists Ken Field and Tom Hall, trumpeter Jerry Sabatini, trombone and tuba guy David Harris, bassist Blake Newman, and drummer Phil Neighbors.

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour  Photo; R.R. Jones.

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour will perform in Boston this week. Photo: R.R. Jones.

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
February 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA.

’Tis the season of touring all-star bands, in this case a contingent of the Monterey Jazz Festival: guitarist and vocalist Raul Midón, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, pianist (and musical director) Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. It should be said that Clayton is focused bandleader and arranger who knows how to mold disparate parts to good effect.

February 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Perhaps the title has something to do with milk — at any rate, it’s subtitled “free & improvised music,” and we can vouche for all the players: pianist Steve Lantner, trumpeter Forbes Graham, bassist Bruno Raberg, and drummer Eric Rosenthal.

Pianist Julian Shore. Photo: Simon Yu.

Pianist Julian Shore will be performing in Boston with a killer band this week. Photo: Simon Yu.

Julian Shore
February 12 at 8 p.m.
Café 939, Boston, MA.

The young pianist Julian Shore made a splash with his 2012 debut, Filaments, which featured a prominent guest role by guitar god Kurt Rosenwinkel. Shore celebrates the release of his new Which Way Now with a killer band at Berklee’s Red Room: guitarist, Gilad Hekselman, tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Colin Stranahan. Trumpeter Billy Buss’s band opens.

Gretchen Parlato/Alan Hampton
February 13 at 7:30 and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Jazz singer and songwriter Gretchen Parlato has a fluid approach to varied beats — hip-hop, bossa, jazz swing. And her focused sound has a singular kind of intimacy. She’s well matched in this Valentine’s Day duo show with one of her regular collaborators, the singer-songwriter-guitarist Alan Hampton.

Jazz Composers Alliance
February 16 at 8 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Despite previous billing both here and at the Lily Pad site, this is the FULL 21-piece JCA Orchestra, playing compositions by Dave Harris, Darrell Katz, Bob Pilkington, and guest composers Bruno Raberg and Russ Gershon.

– Jon Garelick

Visual Arts

Visiting Masterpieces: Pairing Picassos
February 13 – June 26
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

After spending most of the 19th-century at the cutting edge of American culture, Boston, rather inexplicably, faded into a backwater status for most of the 20th. A major casualty of the retreat was the MFA. In the 1960s, the venerable museum, with choice collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, finally woke up to the fact that it owned little or no 20th-century art of major significance. By then, it was too late: prices for work by leading 20th-century masters like Picasso and Matisse had swelled far beyond the museum’s relatively modest means.

The museum’s “Pairing Picassos” exhibition drops straight into that gaping historic void without by any means filling it. Organized around the museum’s “Rape of the Sabine Women” (1963), purchased almost as an act of contrition the year after the elderly Picasso painted it, the exhibition is a mixed bag of loaned mid-to-late career works, some featuring likenesses of the artist’s later life paramours, Dora Maar, Marie-Thérèse Walter, and Françoise Gilot. A wealthy international celebrity by then, Picasso was well past his firebrand years and tended to fall back on familiar themes and styles. This show won’t give anyone not already familiar with the artist’s work a particularly well balanced view of his long and extraordinarily varied and creative career. In Picasso-starved Boston, though, it is nevertheless a show well worth seeing.

Rosalyn Drexler, "The Defenders," 1963. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery.

Rosalyn Drexler, “The Defenders,” 1963. Courtesy of the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery.

Roselyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is?
February 12 through June 5
Sharon Lockhard/Noa Eskol
February 12 through June 5
Rose Video 08: Ben Hagan
February 12 through June 5
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Like several other college and university museums across New Englabd, the Rose opens its spring semester season this week. The offerings include an “overdue” retrospective of the work of Roselyn Drexler.

Born in 1926 in the Bronx, Drexler is vaguely classed with the Pop artists of the 1960s, when she was actively exhibiting in New York City. But her socially engaged, feminist-sympathizing work seems to have kept her out of the male-dominated star circle. This one-woman show could make for an interesting comparison with last year’s Corita Kent retrospective at Harvard, an ambitious presentation that aimed to restore a female side to the pop movement…

Also on view for the Rose’s spring semester are video installations by Ben Hagan and Sharon Lockhard.

Both Sides Now: Lexa and Dan Walsh
February 12 – September 25
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA

Both Sides Now is the first-ever collaboration between sibling artists Dan Walsh, an abstract painter, and “socially engaged” artist Lexa, Dan’s sister. Setting aside any lurking family rivalries, the pair have created a series of “sculptural interactive stations” inspired, in part, by ancient Rome’s center for spectacle, the Circus Maximus.

Richard Nonas, "Witkacy's Tail," 1991 Steel Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland Courtesy the artist and Fergus McCaffrey, New York/ St. Barth. Photo: T

Richard Nonas, “Witkacy’s Tail,” 1991. Steel, Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland. Courtesy the artist and Fergus McCaffrey, New York/ St. Barth. Photo: T.

Richard Nonas: The Man in the Empty Space
Opens February 13
MassMOCA, North Adams, MA

Richard Nonas typically works with heavy-duty materials (railroad ties, steel plates) with a nostalgia for America’s manufacturing past. In younger years, he “occupied” underused industrial spaces with unauthorized works. Now he has been given MassMOCA’s grandest loft space, the gigantic Building 5, to play with. The result promises to be a display of the most ambitious works in his career of five decades.

– Peter Walsh

Classical Music

George Tsontakis’ Sonnets
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
February 11-13, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

The BSO’s three-week-long Shakespeare mini-festival wraps up with the world premier of Tsontakis’ Sonnets, a “tone poem for English horn and orchestra,” featuring the BSO’s Robert Sheena as soloist. Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture is also on the bill, as are works by Dvorak (Othello Overture) and Richard Strauss (Macbeth).

Presented by ECCE Ensemble
February 12-14, 19 and 20, 7 p.m.
La Laboratoire, Cambridge, MA

John Aylward’s new opera, a meditation on the relationship between artist and muse, receives its first performances, courtesy of ECCE Ensemble. Amanda DeBoer Bartlett and Mikhail Smigelski sing both roles.

Three Portraits
Presented by the Lexington Symphony
February 13, 8 p.m.
Cary Hall, Lexington, MA

The LSO offers three pieces inspired by places or, in the case of Michael Gandolfi’s Fortune, Fate, and the Fool, a novel by Italo Calvino. Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony and Norman Dello Joio’s New York Profiles complete the program.

– Jonathan Blumhofer

NEC Philharmonia
February 10 at 7:30 p.m.
At Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

Hugh Wolf conducts a program that includes Dutilleux’s Metabolės; Lalo’s Symphonie Espangnole for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 21 (Luke Hsu on violin), and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op 68 “Pastoral.”

Photo: Susan Wilson

The Gramercy Trio will perform in Boston this week. Photo: Susan Wilson.

Gramercy Trio
February 11 at 7 p.m.
At the Community Music Center of Boston, 34 Warren Avenue, Boston, MA

An all-Beethoven program: Op. 97 (Archduke) B flat major; Op. 70, no. 1 (Ghost) D major, and no. 2 E flat major.

Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston
February 13 at 8 p.m.
At the First and Second Church of Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA
February 14 at 4 p.m.
At Goethe-Institut, 170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

This concert, called “here and there, in paths apart,” includes the following selections: Robert Schumanns’ Drei Romanzen for oboe & piano, Op. 94; Onutė Narbutaitė’s Winterserenade for flute, violin & viola; John Harbison’s November 19, 1828: Hallucination in Four Episodes for piano quartet; Franz Schubert’s Octet in F Major, D. 803, Op. Post. 166.

– Susan Miron

Rock, Pop, and Folk

Strange Machines (with Chromatropic and Haley Jane and the Primates)
Friday, February 12 (doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m.)
Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA

On stage, the multi-genre jam band from Boston takes its songs in every musical direction imaginable and don’t stop until they feel like they’re done. Take it all in at Brighton Music Hall this Friday.

Petty Morals (with B.L.O.W.W, Johnny Blazes and the Pretty Boys, and Drawstring Lamps)
Friday, February 12 (doors at 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m.)
Great Scott, Allston, MA

An all female synth-rock sextet from Salem, MA that takes its name from a Keith Richards quote in which he named one of the many things about which he and his bandmates were unconcerned. Petty Morals was nominated for both New Artist of the Year and Rock Artist of the Year at the 2014 Boston Music Awards and won for Video of the Year (“Just a Game”) in 2015. Catch ‘em while they’re still heating up at Great Scott on February 12. (FYI: Keyboardist Allison Wonderland is not to be confused with the solo artist Alison Wonderland, who will be at The Sinclair on February 11.)

Bryan Adams
Saturday, February 13 (8 p.m.)
Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA

If you are within a few years of my age in either direction, then “Summer of ‘69” was part of the soundtrack of your summer of ’85. In fact, Adams’s album Reckless most likely contains numerous tracks that summon vivid memories of youth. The totally ’80s and partially ’90s superstar is back with a new album called Get Up and will be at the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday.

Freakwater_Album Cover

Freakwater (with Jaye Jayle and Morgan Greer’s Drunken Prayer)
Sunday, February 14 (9 p.m)
Great Scott, Allston, MA

For more than a quarter-century, the Chicago-based alternative country trio Freakwater has been proudly carrying on the musical traditions of the Carter Family. Consisting of Louisville, KY-born singer-guitarists Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean and bassist David Wayne Gay, the band recently released Scheherazade, which is its first album of new material since 2005. It’s an early contender for ‘Album Cover of the Year.’

Upcoming and on sale:

Leon Russell and Dave Mason (February 24, Wilbur Theatre); Neko Case (March 2, Orpheum Theatre); Rickie Lee Jones (March 8, Johnny D’s); Deep Sea Diver and Radiation City (March 4, Great Scott); Air Traffic Controller (March 12, The Sinclair); Tal Wilkenfeld (March 18, Brighton Music Hall); Eli “Paperboy” Reed (March 30, Brighton Music Hall); Young Fathers (April 1, Great Scott); The Smithereens (April 2, Larcom Theatre); The Smashing Pumpkins with Liz Phair (April 9, Orpheum Theatre); Yuck (April 11, The Sinclair); Iggy Pop (April 11, Orpheum Theatre); Buddy Guy (April 14, The Cabot); Belinda Carlisle (April 15, The Cabot); Parquet Courts (April 15, Paradise Rock Club); Loudon Wainwright III (April 22, Me & Thee Coffeehouse); Bob Mould with Ted Leo (May 1, Paradise Rock Club); Super Furry Animals (The Sinclair, May 3); The Brian Jonestown Massacre (May 7, Paradise Rock Club); Alice Cooper (May 14, Lynn Auditorium); Nada Surf (June 4, Paradise Rock Club); Bryan Ferry (July 31, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion)

– Blake Maddux

Author Events

W.B. Belcher
Lay Down Your Weary Tune
February 10 at 7 p.m.
Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

A first novel about a ghostwriter who works on a biography of a folksinger, part Woody Guthrie and part Dylan, whose past begins to dredge up uncomfortable secrets not only about the musician but about his biographer.

Roger Rosenblatt
Thomas Murphy
February 10 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, MA

The essayist and bestselling author of the grief-stricken memoir Making Toast returns to fiction. Rosenblatt’s novel concerns a Whitmanesque Irish poet whose lyrical embrace of existence renews is infectious.

Malia Dell
Food That Works: Real Meals to Survive the 9 to 5
February 10 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

Dell is a wellness expert whose main interest is in advising how to create delicious meals for working people who are too busy to shop. In this book, she teaches us how to stock our fridge so that it has the best in healthy, easy-to-make meals every day.


Ellen Fitzpatrick
The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency
February 11 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

With all the media obsession about Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House, now would be an excellent time for a historian’s perspective on the story of several women in American history who tried to run for president. Presto! Some critics rave Fitzpatrick’s book is “destined to be the Profiles in Courage of the 21st Century” which may be true, except Fitzpatrick actually wrote her book.

Ben Ratliff
In Conversation with Steve Smith
Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty
February 16 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

One of the great things about living in the 21st Century is our incredible access to every song ever written, free, and instantly available in a portable archive. Ratliff, a veteran music critic for The New York Times, suggests that with all this eclectic music available the best way to enjoy the wealth of possibilities is to eschew narrow categories and blend the best of what each genre offers in order to hear music afresh: think bluegrass vocals in contrast with Coltrane.

– Matt Hanson


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