Feb 212016

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


Fusical: An Arts Fuse Party, Whimsical and Electrical
February 26; VIP party from 6 to 7 p.m.; awards and performances 7 to 10 p.m.
At the Somerville Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA
Tickets available here

What is a Fusical? We are going to find out, and the it is going to be a lot of fun. This first annual Arts Fuse party/awards ceremony/fundraiser  is set. There are no snow storms in sight, the zesty performers (Robin Lane, Terry Kitchen, and Luminarium Dance Company) are on board, the tasty catered food has been ordered (from Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis Square), and Candy O’Terry our talented MC (recording artist, winner of the 2015 Broadcaster of the Year Award from the MA. Broadcasters Association) is excited. Two attractive models dressed in “wearable art” will hand over the distinctive Arts Fuse awards. There will be a silent auction and a raffle.

– Bill Marx


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

A scene from

A scene from Jean Epstein’s “The Adventures of Robert Macaire.”

The Adventures of Robert Macaire (Les aventures de Robert Macaire)
February 21 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA

The series dedicated to the grievously neglected French director Jean Epstein continues with his 1925 epic silent. From the HFA’s description, it sounds like a loving send-up of the Douglas Fairbanks dashing vagabond genre: “With his faithful companion Bertrand, Robert Macaire prowls the highways of 1820s France, robbing rich landowners and gullible farmers alike, but also finding time to rescue and woo a damsel in distress who turns out to be the daughter of a marquis. Thus begins the first of five adventures that span several years in the life of Epstein’s roguish antihero.” Live musical accompaniment provided by  Jeff Rapsis. Arts Fuse feature on the HFA Jean Epstein retrospective

– Bill Marx


A scene from "Containment." A scene from “Containment.”

February 22 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

From the website for Containment: “Can we contain some of the deadliest, most long-lasting substances ever produced? Left over from the Cold War are a hundred million gallons of radioactive sludge, covering vast radioactive lands. Governments around the world, desperate to protect future generations, have begun imagining society 10,000 years from now in order to create monuments that will speak across the time. Part observational essay filmed in weapons plants, Fukushima and deep underground—and part graphic novel—Containment weaves between an uneasy present and an imaginative, troubled far future, exploring the idea that over millennia, nothing stays put.” Directors Peter Galison and Robb Moss — along with Editor Chyld King — will attend in person for a Q&A led by Lyda Kuth, filmmaker and Executive Director of the LEF Foundation.

We Are Twisted Fucking Sister
February 23 at 8:30 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

The main focus of the film is the mid-1970s, when Dee Snider and his Twisted Sister band mates claimed glitter rock for their own, cross-dressing their way to headlining every club within 100 miles of New York City, from New Jersey bowling alleys to Long Island beach bars. With gigs six nights a week, they were the most successful live bar band of suburban New York, selling out 5,000-seat shows fueled by their no-holds-barred stage presence and aggressive metal. But by the early ‘80s they found themselves sitting on a double-edged sword, hugely popular with local audiences but without a national following or a record deal. In 1983 they finally got their big break; they’d go on to become one of the biggest glam rock bands of the decade, their over-the-top live shows drawing sell-out crowds, their music videos defining MTV in its early days.

February 26 at 7 p.m.
In COM 101, Boston University, 640 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA

The second screening of Containment in Boston is at the series curated by Arts Fuse writer, filmmaker, and professor Gerald Peary. The showing is free of charge. See description above. Director Robb Moss will be part of a Q&A that follows the film.

A scene from "The Look of Silence." Photo: Drafthouse films

A scene from “The Look of Silence.” Photo: Drafthouse films

The Look of Silence
February 25 at 7 p.m.
Bright Family Screening Room, 4th Floor, 559 Washington Street, Boston, MA

Joshua Oppenheimer’s film was voted Best Documentary of 2015 by many, including the Boston Society of Film Critics. It combines a look at the perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide with an exploration of how a family of survivors discovered how a sibling was murdered as well as the identities of his killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. There will be a discussion led by Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary studies professor Jacqueline Romeo. Free and open to the public.

The Fall of the House of Usher
February 26 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA

Martin Marks, on the piano, will accompany a screening of Jean Epstein’s hour-long film, a masterpiece of French impressionist cinema. In truth, the movie’s uncanny ‘special” effects now seem closer in spirit to the symbolist poets than the impressionist painters. Drawing upon the full raft of avant-garde strategies put forth in his theoretical writings, Epstein evokes the frenzy of artistic obsession, the transcendental force of nature, and the inherently subjective nature of appearances. Another Epstein silent film being screened that evening, The Three-Sided Mirror, will feature pianist Marks. Susan Laurence will provide the live music for the third Epstein silent of the night — The Lion of the Moguls.

February 27 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge, MA

Live musical accompaniment by Robert Humphreville accompanies the screening of a silent film from 1926. Directed by Jean Epstein, it is a lively adaptation of George Sand’s novel about a wayward nobleman’s education. While the costume drama may appear relatively conventional, Epstein’s camera is set free as soon as the bored protagonist absconds from the castle for the unbounded pleasures of the countryside—an intimation of the boldly experimental films soon to follow in Epstein’s career. The film also proved auspicious in another way — it was Luis Buñuel’s first screen credit. French intertitles with English subtitles.

– Tim Jackson


Chase/Lantner /Fujiwara/Gray/Graham
Tuesday, February 23 at 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA.

Let’s just say I like the lineup and leave it at that: saxophonist Allan Chase, pianist Steve Lantner, cellist Junko Fujiwara, drummer Luther Gray, and drummer Forbes Graham.

Charlie Kohlhase’s Explorer’s Club
February 24 at 8:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Multi-reedman and composer Charlie Kohlhase’s Explorer’s Club is always worth catching — for the inventive tunes, the great playing all around, and, yes, the spirit of exploration, drawing on the deep tradition of the jazz avant-garde. On hand tonight with the leader (who’s playing alto and baritone sax) are Daniel Rosenthal on trumpet and flugelhorn, tenor saxophonist Seth Meicht, tubist Josiah Reibstein, bassist Aaron Darrell, and drummer Mike Connors.

Matt Wilson Quartet
February 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Drummer and composer Matt Wilson matches virtuosic skill with playfulness, humor, and serious intent. His longtime quartet includes bassist Chris Lightcap, cornettist Kirk Knuffke, and tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Jeff Lederer — sterling players all.


Todd Brunel on bass clarinet, a member of the Cosmic Gothic, which will be performing at the Lily Pad this week. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Cosmic Gothic
February 28 at 6 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

In Cosmic Gothic, the pianist and composer Katherine Shao likes to mix acoustic jazz swing and Latin beats with more ambient electronic excursions, all contained by attractive, tuneful pieces. She’s joined by trombonist Dan Fox, bassist Peter Tillotson, drummer Steve Langone, and Todd Brunel on bass clarinet. They’re celebrating a new CD, In Our Time.

Aruán Ortiz
March 2 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The brilliant 42-year-old composer and Cuban-born pianist Aruán Ortiz is remarkably versatile and resistant to type-casting. Yes, he can play deep Afro-Cuban grooves, but he also likes pensive abstractions on the traditional clave rhythms. His new Hidden Voices includes a diptych of Ornette Coleman’s “Open & Close” and “The Sphinx,” as well as Thelonious Monk’s “Skippy,” ancient Cuban folk, and adventurous Ortiz originals. He’s playing Scullers with the drummer from the album, Gerald Cleaver, as well as bassist Brad Jones (filling in for Eric Revis).

– Jon Garelick


Michael Flatley and the cast of "Lord of the Dance." Photo: Brian Doherty.

Michael Flatley and the cast of “Lord of the Dance.” Photo: Brian Doherty.

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
February 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Citi Wang Theatre
Boston, MA

This eclectic show marks Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley’s final performances, the culmination of his 20-year run with the successful franchise. New highlights include holographs, robots, and acrobats. Flatley’s protégés Morgan Comer, James Keegan, and Fergal Keaney join him on stage as well.

February 25 through March 6
Boston Opera House
Boston, MA

Boston Ballet presents John Cranko’s Onegin, based on Alexander Pushkin’s famed verse-novel, Eugene Onegin, and set to scores by Tchaikovsky.

South Asian Showdown
February 27 at 6 p.m.
John Hancock Hall
Boston, MA

Dance teams from across the U.S. and Canada will convene for the seventh year of the South Asian Showdown. Performers in Fusion, Bollywood, and Hindi-Film will compete for the evening’s best dance team before a panel of elite judges. The contest has proved to be energetic and charismatic.

– 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, on 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

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 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.

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.

Bridgette Hayes and Brandon Green in the Company One production of "An Octoroon." Photo:

Bridgette Hayes and Brandon Green in the Company One production of “An Octoroon.” Photo:

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, 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.” Arts Fuse review

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, 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.”

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, through February 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.” Arts Fuse review

The Seditious Conspiracy Theater Presents: A Monument to the Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera, written and performed by Bread & Circus. Presented by the Mass College of Art at Tower Auditorium, Boston, MA, on February 21. (Recommended for ages 10 and up)

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 second Bread and Puppet production set for viewing at the Mass College of Art was described in this way by a NYTimes critic: “Oscar Lopez Rivera, the imprisoned Puerto Rican nationalist, may be an unusual subject for a show deemed appropriate for all ages. But Bread and Puppet Theater, formed in 1963, is an unusual kind of troupe. Its politically oriented shows have routinely considered issues like affordable housing, rats, and police conduct. (Times, it seems, haven’t changed.)”

“Mr. Rivera, 72, who has been in jail for more than 34 years — 12 of them, we are told in the grim finale, spent in solitary confinement — was convicted in 1981 in Chicago on charges including seditious conspiracy. He belonged to a group that claimed credit for a series of bombings in the 1970s and ’80s.”

Searching for Signal, created by Elizabeth McGuire and Marissa Rae Roberts. Performed by ToUch Performance Art at Oberon, 11 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, through March 4.

“Infusing dialogue, dance, and video,” this is “a contemporary theater experience that captures a slice of life in this fast-changing digital world of missed connections as two dreamers struggle to separate their virtual identities from who they really are.”

Richard II by William Shakespeare. Directed by Allyn Burrows. At YMCA Central Square, Cambridge, MA, through March 13.

Written entirely in verse, this history play “is a compelling and provocative study of a king and his nation, caught in the upheaval of social change and political turmoil.” The impressive local cast includes Paula Plum, Robert Walsh, Doug Lockwood, Michael Forden Walker, and Marya Lowry.

Bend, created and performed by Kimi Maeda, with music by Bill Carson and Kishi Bashi. The show is touring the area (check the artist’s website for details), including stops at Williams College, Williamstown on February 23 and MIT, Cambridge on February 25; at the Puppet Showplace Theater, Brookline, on February 26 and 27.

“Award-winning theater artist Kimi Maeda tells the story of her father’s boyhood incarceration in a Japanese American internment camp in this nationally-touring solo performance piece.” This unusual show “uses object manipulation, live sand drawing, shadow theater, and video projection to illuminate this dark episode of American history.”

Sasha Diamond and Alton Alburo in "The Wong Kids." Photo: Dan Norman.

Sasha Diamond and Alton Alburo in “The Wong Kids.” Photo: Dan Norman.

The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, written by Lloyd Suh. Directed by Directed by Ralph B. Peña. Presented by Ma-Yi Theater Company at ArtsEmerson’s Paramount MainStage, Boston, MA, through March 6.

“Using a mix of action-driven storytelling, puppetry, and visual magic,” this kid-friendly show “transports its audience into the far reaches of the galaxy. Violet and Bruce Wong just don’t fit in with the other Earth kids. Sure, they have superpowers, they’re just not very good ones.”

Sorry by Richard Nelson. Directed by Weylin Symes. Staged by Stoneham Theater, 395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA, February 25 through March 13.

In this script [the third of The Apple Family Plays], “Richard Nelson journeys deeper into the characters we’ve come to know and love in this emotional and pivotal point of his four-play series.” The first-rate cast includes Joel Colodner, Laura Latreille, Karen MacDonald, Bill Mootos, and Sarah Newhouse.

Boxer Shorts II: From Water to Dust / De Agua al Polvo. Directed by Talia Curtin and Kyler Taustin. Staged by Brown Box Theatre Project at Atlantic Wharf, Boston, MA, February 27 through March 6.

A rare evening of international drama in these parts. The evening’s line-up of short plays features Tape by José Rivera, Capricho by Nilo Cruz, Springtime by María Irene Fornés, and Bliss by Caridad Svich. “All four plays feature playwrights of Latin American descent and are tied together by common themes of memory, reflection, and repentance.”

Cakewalk by Colleen Curran. Directed by David J. Miller. Staged by the Zeitgeist Stage Company at the Plaza Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, February 26 through March 19.

Foodies, this one may well be for you! The script “portrays the traditional cake baking competition in a small Vermont town during their July 4th festivities. The contestants include a nun, a driven Cub Scout leader, owner of the local organic café, the Mother-of-the-Bride, and the only male entry, an archeologist. While waiting for the competition to get underway, sparks fly and nerves are frayed, especially from the bride, who does not want her cake in competition.”

Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco. Translated by Derek Prouse. Adapted and directed by Wesley Savick. A co-production of the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre with Suffolk University at the Modern Theater, 525 Washington Street Boston, MA, February 25 through March 13.

An update of the Cold War absurdist classic. “Sunny afternoon. Newbury Street. Meeting a friend for coffee. You’re borderline depressed…crappy job, too neurotic to make the first move with a “good pal” co-worker, wallowing in self-pity…and maybe just a little hung-over. Everything is normal. And all at once, everyone you know turns into a rhinoceros.” Sound plausible to me …

A scene from "Escuela." Photo: María Paz González.

A scene from “Escuela.” Photo: María Paz González.

Escuela, written and directed by Guillermo Calderón. Staged by Fundación Teatro a Mil and Yale Repertory Theatre, part of the latter’s No Boundaries Performance series, at the Iseman Theater, 1156 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, February 24 through 26.

This production, which was well reviewed in New York, takes a provocative stab at political theater: “Chile, 1987. A group of young left-wing activists gather in a drab living room to receive paramilitary instruction aimed at overthrowing the military dictatorship. Wearing ski masks to conceal their identity from each other, they teach their respective skills: using a gun, political theory, clandestine organizational methods. With offbeat humor and penetrating insight, Escuela illuminates the struggle and yearning of a lost generation prepared to use any means necessary to achieve justice and freedom.” Performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

– Bill Marx

Visual Art

Walid Raad, We decided to let them say “we are convinced” twice. It was more convincing this way, 1982/2004, pigmented inkjet print, 44 x 67 inches. Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg. © 2015 Walid Raad

Walid Raad, “We decided to let them say ‘we are convinced’ twice. It was more convincing this way,” 1982/2004. Photo: courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg.

Walid Raad
February 24 – May 30
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

Born in Lebanon, educated in the United States, Walid Raad is a prominent media artist whose work focuses on the contemporary history of Lebanon, especially the 1975-1990 civil war, the intrusive backdrop of his coming of age. He asks loaded questions about how we construct the past, make sense of history, and distinguish between fact and various kinds of non-facts. The ICA show features the first comprehensive North American museum survey of Raad’s work and explores the last 25 years of his career in photography, video, sculpture, and performance. To make sure his points get across, he will present Walkthrough, a 55-minute presentation, multiple times in the ICA galleries, a Cliff Notes to the work that the ICA highly recommends for visitors.

Edward Curtis
February 24 – May 29
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME

By the end of the 19th century, when Native American culture, after centuries of colonial assault, looked like it would vanish forever, many European Americans made a last ditch, if pretty sentimental, effort to save what they could before it was too late. Into this moment stepped Edward Curtis (1868-1952). His monumental The North American Indian, a project funded by the powerful banker and collector J.P. Morgan, took up his time from 1907 to 1930. The massive undertaking recorded intimate details of some 80 tribes. The 20 volumes include text and more than 2,000 Curtis photographs, etched in metal plates and printed in a grand scale. Despite his highly romanticized approach to his subjects, Curtis’s images still rank among the best known representations of Native Americans and remain his most famous work. The PMA show comprises a selection of 25 plates, selected from 81 in the PEM collection, focusing on tribes from the vast Columbia River Basin.of the Pacific Northwest.

Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age
February 28 – June 5
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Perhaps sensing economic and cultural parallels with our own New England 19th-century, several Boston exhibitions in recent years have focused on the Dutch Golden Age, when the tiny country and its cosmopolitan major city, Amsterdam, were at the center of a world trading, shipping, and imperial network that stretched to the far fringes of the world. Asia in Amsterdam, PEM’s latest contribution to the series, looks at the array of Asian luxury goods — porcelain, lacquer, rich textiles, rare spices, and precious gems — the Dutch imported and how they inspired a Dutch visual culture jointly created by potters, textile designs, jewelers, and leading painters like Rembrandt, Kalf, and Steen. Co-organized by PEM and Amsterdam’s justly celebrated Rijksmuseum, the show will include some 170 Dutch and Asian works of art. A bi-cultural feast is doubtless in store.

– Peter Walsh

Classical Music

Dutoit conducts Berlioz and Dutilleux
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
February 25-27, 8 p.m. (1:30 p.m. on Friday)
Symphony Hall, Boston

Charles Dutoit begins his two-week residency in Boston with a composer with whom he’s closely identified: Hector Berlioz. The Resurrexit and Te Deum feature the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Voices Boston, plus tenor Paul Groves. In between comes Henri Dutilleux’s Van Gogh-inspired Timbres, espace, mouvement.

Presented by the Handel & Haydn Society
February 26 (at 7:30 p.m.) and 28 (at 3 p.m.)
Symphony Hall, Boston

H&H follow up January’s all-Haydn series with music by his most famous student. Robert Levin performs the Piano Concerto no. 4 and Richard Egarr conducts the “Pastoral” Symphony.

Inspired by Shakespeare
Presented by the New Philharmonia Orchestra
February 27 (at 8 p.m.) and 28 (at 3 p.m.)
First Baptist Church, Newton Centre

If the BSO’s Shakespeare festival left you feeling a mite unsatisfied, more Shakespeare-themed programing is on hand, courtesy of the NPO. The orchestra’s first program of 2016 offers excerpts from Shostakovich’s film score to Hamlet plus movements from Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet Symphony.

– Jonathan Blumhofer

Music for Food
February 22 at 7 p.m.
At Williams Hall/New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

“Soovin Kim, violin, and Trio Modetre in a program combining the music of Bach, Schumann, and Brahms. Soovin Kim will perform J. S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 in d minor for solo violin. Trio Modetre will present Schubert’s Notturno in E-flat major, D. 897 and Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8.”

Photo: Celebrity Series

Pianist András Schiff will perform in Boston this week. Photo: Celebrity Series

Sir András Schiff
February 26 at 8 p.m.
At Jordan Hall/New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

The Celebrity Series of Boston presents the celebrated pianist performing a program entitled “The Last Sonatas”: Haydn’s Sonata No. 62 in E-flat Major; Beethoven’s Sonata in c minor, Opus 111; Mozart’s Sonata in D Major, K. 576; Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960.

Across the Centuries – A Song Recital for Many Voices
February 27 at 8 p.m.
At the Emmanuel Church/Lindsey Chapel, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

Orpheus Singers writes that their “concert of choral songs is like an anthology of poems, gathered together from many ages to form one volume. The poems these songs set bear relevance in all times without regard to fashions or trends. Reverence for music; the ever-abiding concern for the soul; the present relevance of writing from the past; being in nature at the break of day or longing for summer as winter approaches; and thoughts at the end of a day, either meditating on meaning, anticipating the dawn, or experiencing deep quiet are all in this concert’s pieces. Admission is by donation.”

Music for Viola and Organ
February 28 at 5 p.m.
At King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

Violist Scott Woolweaver joins organist Heinrich Christensen in a concert that includes works by Paul Hindemith, Frank Martin, Leo Sowerby, and Daniel Pinkham.

– Susan Miron

Rock, Pop, and Folk

Music legend Leon Russell will be performing in Boston this week. Photo: David McClister.

Music legend Leon Russell will be performing in Boston this week. Photo: David McClister.

Leon Russell and Dave Mason
Wednesday, February 24 (7:30 p.m.)
Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA

Two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will share the Wilbur Theatre stage at on Wednesday.

In the late 1960s, Dave Mason co-led (with Steve Winwood) the critically acclaimed, musically innovative, and commercially successful English band Traffic, for whom he wrote “Feelin’ Alright?,” which Joe Cocker later made famous. Mason would embark on a solo career and record with a slew of major artists such as The Jackson 5, George Harrison, and Jimi Hendrix after leaving Traffic. (He even played on a Dinosaur Jr. album in 1993.)

As a session musician, composer, songwriter, arranger, etc., Leon Russell has credits on albums by some of the biggest names in almost every genre of popular music (including Dave Mason’s 1970 solo debut Alone Together). Now 73 years old, Russell has been surprisingly high-profile since 2010, during which time he has recorded an album with Elton John, become a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and been the subject of the 2015 documentary A Poem is a Naked Person.

Township with Sidewalk Driver and When Particles Collide
Thursday, February 25 (doors at 10 p.m.)
Great Scott, Allston, MA

Led by Marc Pinansky, who also fronts the Bored of Health, Boston’s Township has released numerous EPs and LPs since 2006. On Thursday, the band celebrates the vinyl release of new album Light Years at Great Scott. If you can’t make that night, or if you like what you hear if you do go, Township will have a Thursday night residency at Lizard Lounge in March.

Sarah Photo: Caroline Alden.

Sarah & The Wild Versatile will perform in Somerville this week. Photo: Caroline Alden.

Sarah & The Wild Versatile with Somerville Symphony Orkestar
Thurdsay, February 25 (doors at 8 p.m.)
Thunder Road, Somerville, MA

Rock ‘n’ soul-voiced singer Sarah Seminski has shared bills with music legend Booker T. Jones and local favorites Ruby Rose Fox and Jesse Dee in recent years. On Thursday night, she and her band The Wild Versatile will heat up Thunder Road in Union Square. Opening the show will be the Somerville Symphony Orkestar, a self-described “all original Eastern European punk funk band.”

Ty Segall with CFM and Midriffs
Tuesday, March 1 (doors at 8 p.m., show at 9)
Royale Boston, Boston, MA

The equally prolific and unpredictable singer, songwriter, and guitarist released an album with his side project Fuzz late last year and an album of new material under his own name in January. Fans of garage rock, classic rock, fuzz rock, and the like should proceed to the Royale next Tuesday.

Upcoming and on sale:

Air Traffic Controller (March 12, The Sinclair); Winterpills (March 13, Great Scott); Tal Wilkenfeld (March 18, Brighton Music Hall); Petty Morals (March 25, Once Ballroom); Eli “Paperboy” Reed (March 30, Brighton Music Hall); Young Fathers (April 1, Great Scott); The Smithereens (April 2, Larcom 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); Barry & The Remains (May 13, Once Ballroom); Alice Cooper (May 14, Lynn Auditorium); The Sonics, The Woggles, Barrence Whitfield & The Savages (June 3, Brighton Music Hall); Nada Surf (June 4, Paradise Rock Club); Modern English (June 7, Middle East Downstairs); Bryan Ferry (July 31, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

– Blake Maddux

Author Events


James Geary
Short Flights: 32 Modern Writers Share Aphorisms of Insight, Inspiration and Wit
February 26 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

The bestselling author of a history of the aphorism comes to Brookline to read and discuss a new compilation of wit and insight about the writing life. The volume contains pithy sayings from many of today’s finest writers, including Charles Simic, David Shields, and Stephen Dobyns. With each writer contributing an introductory aphorism about their philosophy of literature, the volume promises to be a celebration of the written word.

Diane Rehm
In Conversation with Robin Young
On My Own
February 29 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)
First Parish Church, Cambridge MA
$5 tickets

The host of WAMU’s nationally syndicated radio talk show comes to read and discuss her new memoir about the tragic death of her husband of fifty four years, as well as her dogged attempt to reconstruct her life without him. Fellow NPR broadcaster Robin Young will join the conversation.

Dawn Tripp
Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keeffe
February 29 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

Tripp’s novel tells the story of Georgia O’Keefe, the then-unknown painter who travels to New York City in 1916 to meet Alfred Stieglitz, the famous photographer and art dealer who has been promoting her work. Their mutual curiosity evolves into an intellectual, artistic, and sexual tempest of historic proportions.

Mona Awad
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
March 1 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

Awad’s novel is being heralded as “honest, searing, and necessary” and one of the most anticipated books of the year. It tells the story of a young woman growing up in “Misery Saga” (aka Mississippi) who is extremely self-conscious about her weight, forcing herself to lose pound after pound by working out. But no matter what she does to feel confident about her body, will she always remain a fat girl in her own eyes?


Idra Novey and Garth Greenwell
Ways to Disappear and What Belongs to You
March 2 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

A double-header — part of the New Voices in Fiction series. Novey talks about her novel Ways to Disappear, which was called a “tour de force” by Kirkus Reviews. The story revolves around the disappearance of a legendary Brazilian writer who climbs up into an almond tree, never to be heard from again. Her American translator, upon hearing the news, immediately flies to Brazil to get answers. Greenwell’s highly praised debut novel concerns the longing and anguish of a gay American teacher looking for erotic fulfillment abroad.

Nelly Alard
Couple Mechanics
In Conversation with Courtney Maum
March 2 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

In a novel praised as “sexy” and “feminist,” Alard tells the story of a woman faced with the dilemma of what to do after she discovers that her husband has had an affair with a famous politician. The couple are successful, creative Parisians who have two young children, which sets up the inevitable question  – how do you find peace and wholeness after your world has been shattered? Alard’s prize-wining novel was recently translated into English, and she will discuss it with a local journalist.

– Matt Hanson


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