Arts Fuse critics select the best in theater, visual arts, film, music, author events, and dance for the coming week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Boston French Film Festival
Through July 24
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Boston has a love affair with French film and this summer festival never disappoints the smitten. It is well curated, usually rounding up a healthy variety of contemporary film genres as well as known and unknown actors and directors. And, of course, there are the usual sexy French romances. See schedule for full details
The remaining screening at the Boston French Film Festival:
July 24 at 7 p.m.
This touching reverie unfolds through the eyes of a hospitalized woman (Emmanuelle Bercot) as she recounts her troubled marriage to a charismatic restaurateur (Vincent Cassel). Bercot won Best Actress at Cannes for her performance.
July 28 through August 6
Museum Of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Not part of the French Festival. This outrageous documentary from director Penny Lane tells the true story of Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, an eccentric genius who built an empire in depression-era America based on a bogus cure for male impotence: goat testicles. Using animated reenactments, interviews, and archival footage, Nuts! traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth, and influence.
Woods Hole Film Festival Silver Anniversary
July 30 through August 6
Woods Hole on Cape Cod, MA
With over 130 films, the festival begins its 25th anniversary with additional workshops, master classes, and panel discussions. There will be a comprehensive Arts Fuse listing on July 30th
July 30 & 31
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA
This is a restoration of a pulpy and creepy 1960 noir that has Warren Oates delivering his first great screen performance as one of the movie’s drifters. His bizarre, voyeuristic Lennie-and-George relationship with the underrated Corey Allen (James Dean’s hot rod rival in Rebel Without a Cause) is fueled by a barely-suppressed homoerotic tension. The back-story to the film is almost as strange as the plot: director and writer Leslie Stevens (a protégé of Orson Welles and the creator of TV’s The Outer Limits) and lead actress Manx were married at the time, and the film was shot in their Beverly Hills home. Several years later, Manx tragically committed suicide and her fragile spirit seems to hang over the film. (Cinelicous Pics)
— Tim Jackson
Staged: Maria Hassabi
July 24, varying times
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
Summer Stages Dance @ ICA highlights its artist-in-residence Maria Hassabi this week through multiple platforms, the perfect way to learn more about the artist and her work with movement and sculptural influence. Viewers are encouraged to visit open rehearsals on July 23 and 24, as well as a work-in-progress presentation of “Staged” on the 24th.
Sunday, July 24 at noon, 1:30 p.m. & 3 p.m.
Longfellow’s Wayside Inn
Head to Longfellow’s Wayside Inn for an afternoon of dance and live music celebrating the Wayside’s tricentennial, featuring outdoor performances by Boston’s award-winning Luminarium Dance Company and composer Mali Sastri. This 40-minute performance of contemporary dance and live music (voice and cello) will be presented three times, and is free and family-friendly. Visit here for weather updates.
And further afield…
Quarry Dance 5
New York City based Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre performs a site-specific work at the historic Barker’s Quarry to the accompaniment of saxophonist Russ Gershon. This performance is presented by Windhover Performing Arts Center, where Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre is currently in residence. In case of rain, the performance is canceled.
— Merli V. Guerra
The Taming by Lauren Gunderson. Directed by Nicole Ricciardi. Staged by Shakespeare & Company at the Elayne Bernstein Theatre, Lenox, MA, through July 30.
A political satire/farce with a cartoon premise: “Super-patriot Miss Georgia has something bigger in mind for the Miss America pageant than winning a crown. She wants to jump-start a movement to rewrite the Constitution. So she’s locked herself in a hotel room with two captive political opposites and the ensuing conflict plays out in hilarious fashion, complete with a screwball chase scene, underwear gags, and slyly developing sexual attractions.”
Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino. Directed by Daniela Varon. Staged by Shakespeare & Company at the Bernstein Theatre, through August 28.
The regional premiere of a script that examines the trauma of war: “Combat veteran Jess comes home to Florida after three tours in Afghanistan bearing deep physical and emotional scars. An innovative, experimental video game therapy offers an escape from her excruciating pain, but can virtual reality help Jess come to terms with the altered reality of her hometown, relationships, and dreams?”
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Directed by Tina Packer. Presented by Shakespeare & Company at the Tina Packer Playhouse, Lenox, MA, through August 21.
Shakespeare & Company “will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard during this 39th performance season with a newly configured theatre, and [with this script] will debut its first production in-the-round.” This is one of the Bard’s most notorious texts. Director Packer observes that “every person in the play is racist and sexist” and “ill-will abounds.” Longtime company member Jonathan Epstein plays Shylock in a production that will offer “a visceral display of courtship, prejudice, clashing religions, money, and revenge.”
The Last Schwartz by Deborah Zoe Laufer. Directed by Paula Plum. Staged by the Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA, through July 30.
The New England premiere of a script by Deborah Zoe Laufer, who has “penned another brilliantly funny and provocative examination of family life.”
The Kritik, written and directed by Brenda Withers. Staged by Harbor Stage Company, 15 Kendrick Avenue, Wellfleet Harbor, Wellfleet, MA, through August 6.
A world premiere of a comedy abut a theater critic who — I hope — is seen in a heroic light (at least for a moment or two). “How can one be honestly good when it’s not always good to be honest? A faux-Chekhovian celebration of candor, corruption, and community.”
Once a Blue Moon – Cada Luna Azul. Conceived by Stacy Klein with Carlos Uriona & Matthew Glassman. Devised by the Double Edge Theatre Ensemble. Text by Matthew Glassman and Jennifer Johnson. Directed by Stacy Klein. Presented by Double Edge Theatre in association with Charlestown Working Theater, at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA, through August 22.
This indoor/outdoor spectacle an Arts Fuse favorite last summer, so it is nice to see that is back. The show “is the first Latin American based spectacle in Double Edge’s history, taking inspiration from Alejandro Jodorowski’s Where the Bird Sings Best, Lawrence Thornton’s Imagining Argentina, Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna, and other great works of Jorge Borges, Gabriel Marquez, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, and Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus. The highly visual and imaginative performance will lead the audience alongside the hills, pastures, river, and through the gardens of Double Edge’s Farm, and includes expansive murals and colorful settings by local and international artists.”
Forever, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith. Directed by Steve Stettler. At the Weston Playhouse, 703 Main Street Weston, Vermont, through July 31.
Pulitzer finalist Dael Orlandersmith’s performed her one-woman show Stoop Stories at Weston’s OtherStages in 2014. She returns to the theater “with another celebrated and provocative new work! In this uplifting exploration of the family we are born into and the family we choose, Orlandersmith travels to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where, by the graves of legendary artists such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, she finds unexpected grace in a gripping tale of the legacy a daughter inherits from her mother.”
Brendan by Ronan Noone. Directed by Brett Marks and Victor L. Shopov. Staged by Happy Medium Theatre at the BCA Black Box,, Boston, MA, through July 31.
Another entry in what used to be a very hot genre in the theater — the ghost play. “The compelling story of recent Irish immigrant, Brendan, and how his new life in America is suddenly turned upside-down when the ghost of his mother starts following him around. Of course, she has plenty to say about his friends, his shameful lifestyle and how worried she is about him learning to drive on the other side of the road.”
Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques. Staged by Apollinaire in the Park 2016 at Port Park, 99 Marginal Street, Chelsea, MA, through July 31. Free.
Brooks Reeves will take on the role of Hamlet. The tragedy “will be presented as a Promenade Production, and in Apollinaire summer tradition the audience will move with the action. Audiences will be on their feet for about half the show. All areas are wheelchair accessible. Patrons with mobility concerns who will not be bringing wheel chairs are encouraged to call ahead so a chair can be provided. Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and beach chairs, and a picnic to enjoy along with the harbor views.”
The Good Body by Eve Ensler. Directed by Lindsay Eagle. Staged by the Hub Theatre Company of Boston at Club Cafe, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA, through July 30.
This is another humorously polemical feminist work from the author of The Vagina Monologues and the powerful memoir In the Body of the World, which was adapted for the stage by Ensler, who performed the one-woman show recently at the American Repertory Theater. This 2004 script “takes an inside look at our outsides. From botox to bikinis and everything in between” and “explores the all too familiar body image battle females from middle school through menopause face on a daily basis.”
Summer Play Festival 2016: If Not Now, When? Staged by Boston Actors Theater at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, through July 31.
5 new works by local playwrights: The Black and Blonde by Lesley Moreau, Pipe Dream by Samantha deManbey, We have to tell Jacob by George Smart, Why You Should Send me to Mars by Marc Harpin, and Jacks and Queens by M. Lynda Robinson
peerless by Jiehae Park. Directed by Louisa Proske. Staged by Barrington Stage Company at , the St. Germain Stage, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA, through August 6.
This newish dark comedy (there was an earlier production at Yale Rep) tells”the story of brilliant, ambitious twin sisters L and M when they realize that perfect academics and superb extracurricular activities aren’t enough to get into their dream college — so they decide to take matters into their own hands.”
Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare. Directed by Steven Maler. Staged by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common, through August 7.
The CSC presents a free production of Shakespeare’s early play. “Friendship and loyalty amongst four young men and four young women are put to the test when romantic youthful notions of love encounter the challenges of adulthood. A high-spirited romantic comedy filled with dazzling wordplay, strong comic characters, and a few unexpected twists, Love’s Labour’s Lost both charms and touches the heartstrings of young and old alike.” Ok, but there are is a serious element in this play as well. It is not ‘charming’ when Rosaline requests that the witty-to-a-fault Berowne, in order to win her love, endeavor to make “the pained impotent to smile.” His response is not a laugh line: “To move wild laughter in the throat of death?/ It cannot be; it is impossible:/ Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.”
Or, by Liz Duffy Adams. Directed by Alice Reagan. Staged by Shakespeare & Company in the Tina Packer Playhouse at 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA, through September 4.
Tod Randolph stars in this historical drama, which centers on a hectic time in the life of seventeenth century playwright Aphra Behn, known to history as the first credited female playwright. She “has one opportunity to have her play produced and fulfill her desperate desire to leave the spy trade behind her. The catch? She must finish and deliver her play by morning all while fighting off distracting romantic temptations, attempting to win a pardon, and trying to save the life of royalty. Her hectic antics unfold into a night of hilarity, passion, and self discovery that tells a story that transcends time.”
The Stone Witch by Shem Bitterman. Directed by Steve Zuckerman. Staged by the Berkshire Theater Group at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 83 East Main Street, Stockbridge, MA, through August 20.
Judd Hirsch stars in the world premiere production of a play in which “reality and fantasy collide when a struggling, young writer is chosen by a powerful book editor for a special assignment—to help a reclusive children’s book author and illustrator complete his first manuscript in over a decade.”
Romance Novels for Dummies by Boo Killebrew. Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel. Staged by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Main Stage, Williamstown, MA, through July 31.
World premiere of a new sisters relationship comedy that “asks us to imagine how we might handle the curve-balls — big and small — that life throws us.” The cast includes Justin Long, Emily Lyons, Ashley Austin Morris, Connie Ray, Andrew Weems, Mary Wiseman
The Emperor of the Moon by Aphra Behn. Directed and adapted by Jenna Ware. Staged by Shakespeare & Company at the Rose Footprint Theatre, Lenox, MA, through August 20.
A “fast-paced, family friendly” version of Behn’s seventeenth century script: “When love strikes, chaos ensues and a coup of astronomic proportions results. Sisters, suitors, servants, and a father obsessed with the moon set the stage for a stellar farce performed under the open-air tent.” In this production Restoration meets Commedia dell’Arte, offering “audiences of every age a hearty dose of mayhem, music, and merriment.”
FRINGEPVD 2016, in various locations in (AS220 Black Box Theater, Aurora, The Avenue Concept, Better Off, Big Nazo Satellite Space, Mathewson Street Black Box Theater, RISD Museum, The Steel Yard, and The Wilbury Theatre Group) throughout Providence, Rhode Island, July 26 through 30.
Maybe someone in Boston might pick up on this? “The only Fringe Festival within the Providence and Greater Boston area, FRINGEPVD has grown rapidly since it’s inaugural year in 2014, expecting this year to bring together more than two hundred individual theatre, music, dance, multi-media, and performing artists for five nights of performances in eleven venues throughout the city.”
Poster Boy Music and Lyrics by Craig Carnelia. Book by Joe Tracz. Directed by Stafford Arima. Movement by Danny Mefford. Staged by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Nikos Stage, Williamstown, MA, July 27 through August 7.
World premiere of a musical “inspired by the actual events surrounding the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college student who brought national attention to cyber-bullying … a community of gay men in an online chat room come together to discover what drove one of their own to take his life.”
— Bill Marx
World Music and Roots
Lowell Folk Festival
For its 30th anniversary this venerable and free celebration of traditional music and food is pulling out all the stops. A notably star-studded lineup includes Nigeria’s King Sunny Ade, the bluegrass harmonies of the Gibson Brothers, gospel legends Spencer Taylor and the Highway QCs, and Chicago bluesman Lurrie Bell. Watch for an upcoming Arts Fuse interview with another Lowell artist, Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattcharya.
— Noah Schaffer
Love, Italian Style
Presented by Boston Midsummer Opera
July 24 at 3 p.m.
Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA
Susan Davenny Wyner leads David Kravitz, Meredith Hanson, Jason Budd, Matthew Vickers, and Britt Brown in an enticing double-bill of neglected one-act operas by Donizetti (Il Campanello) and Mascagni (L’amico Fritz).
Festival of Contemporary Music
Presented by the Tanglewood Music Festival
July 24 and 25, Times vary
Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA
There’s a bittersweet quality to this year’s FCM: it’s scheduled curator, Steven Stucky, died suddenly in February; the summer’s programs, then, are largely a celebration of his legacy and a memorial to a life cut short. The programs are warmly varied, beginning with a concert of music by Stucky and composers with whom he was closely associated. Then comes an afternoon of string quartets, an American-centric recital, an offering of contemporary music from Europe, and a grand celebration of music by Messiaen plus a premiere by George Benjamin to round things out.
Presented by Bang on a Can
July 24, 4:30 p.m.
Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA
John Cage’s famously ethereal (and hugely controversial) score receives a rare performance, courtesy of BOAC faculty and fellows.
Verdi & Valkyries
Presented by Boston Landmark Orchestra
July 27, 7 p.m.
Hatch Shell, Boston, MA
Jane Eaglen, One City Choir, the Back Bay Chorale, and the North End Music and Performing Arts Center Children’s Choir join the BLO in a program of blockbuster operatic favorites by Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner (culminating in the Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung).
Andris Nelsons at Tanglewood
Presented by the Tanglewood Music Festival
July 29-31, 8 p.m. (2:30 p.m. on Sunday)
Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, MA
BSO music director Andris Nelsons returns to Tanglewood for the first of two summer residencies. This initial one kicks off with a concert of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony and Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 27 (featuring Jonathan Biss). On Saturday, Nelsons leads Augustin Hadelich in Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, and also conducts pieces by John Corigliano and Beethoven. Then, on Sunday, Paul Lewis (who just made a fantastic recording of the piece) is the soloist in Brahms’s Piano Concerto no. 1.
Bang on a Can Marathon
Presented by Bang on a Can
July 30, 4 p.m.
Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA
The annual event this year features music by John Luther Adams, Steve Reich, Julia Wolfe, and Ken Thomson (among many others).
The New England Psalm
Presented by Monadnock Music
July 31, 3 p.m.
Peterborough Town House, Peterborough, NH
Andrew Clark conducts the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Harvard Summer Chorus in a program that explores the New England psalm-singing tradition and also features works by Ross Lee Finney and Carson Cooman.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Violnist Nicholas Kitchen and pianist Pi-Hsien Chen
July 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Walnut Hill School, 12 Highland Street, Natick, MA
On the program: Arnold Schönberg’s Suite for Piano Op. 25, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart;s Sonata KV 304 in E minor for Piano and Violin, Pierre Boulez’s Third Piano Sonata — Trope/ Miroir (Shorted to 18 minutes), Eugene Ysaye’s Sonata No. 3 for Solo Violin, Johannes Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major, Op. 78 for Violin and Piano.
Society for Historically Informed Performance
July 26 at 8 p.m.
St. Anne’s in-the-Fields, 147 Concord Road, Lincoln, MA
July 27 at 8 p.m.
The Chapel at West Parish, 210 Lowell Street, Andover, MA
First Lutheran Church, 299 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA
The program is entitled “Zweikampf Sehnsucht: All the Feels of the Late Baroque” and is not for those of faint ears. The concert “explores the intense emotions and sensitive spirits of the last great era of decadence before the Enlightenment took the fun out of things. From the ‘Empfindsamer Stil’ – sensitive style – of W.F. Bach to the drastic mood changes of Hypochondria, this program explores all aspects of the ‘true and natural feelings’, the emotional response so valued for both performer and listener. Featuring works by Zelenka, Rameau, and W.F. Bach, this program will have you reaching for the smelling salts.”
Harvard Summer Chorus/Boston Modern Orchestra Project
July 29 at 8 p.m.
At Sanders Theatre/Harvard University, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
The Harvard Summer Chorus explores the Pilgrim Psalms by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Ross Lee Finney (1906-1997), a choral suite setting fourteen psalm melodies and texts from the Ainsworth Psalter of 1612. To celebrate the Summer Chorus’s 80th season the concert will also present the world premiere of composer Carson Cooman’s Rain Songs, a setting of three poems from Mary Austin’s collection The American Rhythm (1923), inspired by the Native American culture that she studied extensively. The chorus will be joined by the world-renowned Boston Modern Orchestra Project for this performance.
— Susan Miron
Joe Hunt Group
July 24 at 8:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.
The distinguished drummer Joe Hunt gets together with an old friend, tenor saxophonist Joel Press, and the usual Hunt cohort of pianist and singer Yuka Hamano Hunt and bassist Michael Harrist.
Chick Corea Trio
July 25 and 26, 8 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA.
In his latest trio, jazz piano icon Chick Corea is joined by two next-generation distinguished masters: bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. (The trio also hits the Newport Jazz Festival; see below). It takes place at Rockport Music’s jewel-box harborside venue, the Shalin Liu Performance Center.
Django Festival Allstars
July 29 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA
Eight decades later, the “gypsy jazz” created by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli is going strong, with all its propulsive swing and virtuoso derring-do. The players on this tour are lead guitarist Samson Schmitt, accordionist Ludovic Beier, violinist Pierre Blanchard, rhythm guitarist and singer DouDou Cuillerier, and bassist Antonio Licusati.
Newport Jazz Festival
International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino (July 29) and Fort Adams State Park (July 29-31), Newport, R.I.
George Wein has been running this festival — including a ten-year hiatus to New York — for 62 of his 90 years. He says this will be his last year producing the festival, leaving artistic direction to bassist/composer Christian McBride and production to longtime right-hand-man Dan Melnick. So you can say so-long to Wein while taking in a large, varied cast of characters over the course of the three-day weekend, including Gregory Porter, the Chick Corea Trio (with McBride and drummer Brian Blade), Norah Jones, the John Scofield/Joe Lovano band, Kamasi Washington, Kneebody, Donny McCaslin, Tyshawn Sorey, and a whole lot more.
July 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.
Speaking of gypsy jazz (see July 29), the New England-based Ameranouche — with lead guitarist Richard “Shepp” Sheppard, rhythm guitarist Jack Soref, and bassist Michael Harrist — do a nice, formidable but unfussy latter-day version of the Django thing.
— Jon Garelick
List Projects: Ethan Hayes-Chute
Through October 16
List Center, MIT, Cambridge, MA
Born in Freeport, Maine, the home of L.L. Bean and a thousand outlet stores, Ethan Hayes-Chute lives and works in Berlin. He is one of several contemporary artists whose work centers on the human habitat, suggesting better ways of living than the current ecological nightmare. His “near functional” small cabins and interior spaces are made of recycled materials and reek of life off the grid; his “nearly obsolete computers are programmed for practical problems and his didactic sculpture imply that technology can solve the everyday hassles of modern life.”
Metamorphosis: The Art of Altered Books
July 30 – November 6
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
In 1962, a reclusive Englishman named Joe Orton and his partner, Kenneth Halliwell, were fined and sentenced to six months in jail for surreptitiously altering the dust jackets of library books, often into outrageous collages, and returning them to the shelves. Orton emerged from prison to become one of the leading British playwrights of the 1960s and book vandalism went on to become an art form. This exhibition includes books burned, collaged, gouged, folded, carved, or stretched into sculpture by a variety of crafts-artists, all of them suggesting the complex symbolic levels of printed text, from time-honored caskets of culture to obsolete technology.
— Peter Walsh
Rock, Pop, and Folk
The Besnard Lakes is a Montreal-based quintet led by Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, the married couple that founded the group in 2000. Since 2003, the band has released five albums, the third of which critic Ned Raggett described as “Sigur Rós meets Supertramp” and the latest of which (A Coliseum Museum Complex) was released in January. The group brings its dense, sweeping, melodic, and shimmering sound to Great Scott on next Sunday.
This veteran Britpop band would have been amply eccentric and eclectic even if it hadn’t recorded an album sung entirely in its native Welsh. Last year, that album (Mwng) was re-released in a 15th anniversary deluxe edition and the band played its first UK shows since 2009. This year, Super Furry Animals returns to the United States for a tour that includes a date at Cambridge’s Sinclair.
In addition to writing and recording the classic instrumental “Green Onions,” Booker T. Jones and the MGs played on some of the greatest classic soul songs of the 1960s as the house band for the Memphis record label Stax. The four-time Grammy winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, and master of the Hammond B-3 comes to Rockport next Thursday.
Marc Ribot is an avant-garde guitarist who has recorded more than 20 albums under his own name since 1990. However, he is probably most familiar (by his distinctive style if not his name) for his work on albums by—among others—Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, and John Zorn. His upcoming show at The Sinclair is with The Young Philadelphians, whose website describes them as paying tribute to “The mind-blowing harmolodic punk-funk of Ornette Coleman‘s first Prime Time band and the sweet, optimistic pulse of 1970s Philly Soul.”
Singer Chris Robinson and his guitarist brother Rich (who will be at Brighton Music Hall on August 12) defied the trends of the 1990s by scoring multi-platinum and chart-topping albums with a classic rock sound inspired by the twenty-year old sounds of The Rolling Stones, Faces, and Humble Pie. In 2011, Chris Robinson founded the eponymous Brotherhood, which stirs in the free-form jam elements of the Grateful Dead and the simpler, more rustic influence of The Band. This quintet—which, ironically, does not the aforementioned male sibling—will release its new album on July 29 and perform at The Cabot the next night.
Consisting of singer Mish Barber-Way, guitarist Kenneth William, and drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou, White Lung is a Vancouver-founded trio whose three ten-song albums range from 19-minutes long to—in the case of this year’s Paradise—a whopping 28 minutes and change. The band clearly loves its influences, but its forward-looking sound might very well be a source of inspiration for other like-minded musicians someday. Hear what I mean at Brighton Music Hall on July 30.
In terms of sound and style, Bryan Ferry more or less invented in the early and mid-1970s what would become the new wave and new romantic movements of the late 1970s and early 1980s, respectively. As the lead singer of the English rock group Roxy Music, Ferry paired up the seemingly incompatible elements of suave and kitsch that profoundly influenced American bands such as Talking Heads and The Cars and almost every British band of the era that comes to mind. (Morrissey, the lead singer of The Smiths, once said that he could think of only “one truly great British album”: For Your Pleasure by Roxy Music.) Spend a Sunday evening with the 70-year-old crooner at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.
— Blake Maddux
Vivas for Those Who Have Failed
July 26 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
The acclaimed poet and UMass- Amherst professor reads from his latest collection. Taking his inspiration from a line by Walt Whitman, Espada created a sonnet cycle about the Paterson Silk Strike and its immigrant laborers, who agitated for an eight-hour work week. The volume also celebrates the versifier’s father, who led a politically engaged life as a documentary photographer and civil rights activist.
Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy
July 27 at 7 p.m.
The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley MA
In 2008, the GOP was feeling pretty discouraged about its political future, so a small crew of insiders including Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, and an up-and-comer named Chris Janowski decided to launch a very low-profile but high-impact counter strategy to all the Obama-era hope and change. Their project concerned congressional redistricting, which fundamentally redefined where voters voted, throwing gobs of cash behind smaller district races where, it turns out, the real potential for power lies. Salon‘s Editor in Chief sees this Republican project as contributing, mightily, to our current political dysfunction.
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
In conversation with David Boeri
August 3 at 6 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30)
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge MA
The bestselling author and legal analyst reads and discusses his new book, retelling the story of Patty Hearst, heiress to the Hearst fortune and who was kidnapped as a college sophomore and converted to become a member of the SLA, a nutty underground group. Toobin’s book examines the story that defined an era, and the truth behind Hearst’s celebrated Stockholm Syndrome.
Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales
August 5 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA
With his sixtieth birthday approaching and his weight reaching 330 pounds, the magician and social commentator decided it was time for a diet. Never one to do things by halves, Penn enlisted the help of Crazy Ray, a former NASA scientist who put him on a strange “potato diet” which apparently worked wonders. Pass the potato chips?
— Matt Hanson