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Nov 202016
 

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

Film

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

Touched with Fire
November 29 at 7 p.m.
Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room, Boston, MA

Touched with Fire stars Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby as two poets with bipolar disorder whose art is fueled by their emotional extremes. When they meet in a treatment facility, their chemistry is instant and intense, driving each other’s mania to new heights. They pursue their passion, which breaks outside the bounds of sanity, swinging them from fantastical highs to tormented lows until they ultimately must choose between sanity and love. Discussion with director Paul Dalio will follow. Free.

"Jackie"

Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy in “Jackie.”

Jackie
December 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

IFFBoston presents a free screening of Jackie, which features Natalie Portman as the first lady of Camelot. The story is told solely through the eyes of Jacqueline Kennedy — it is set during the stunned aftermath of her husband’s assassination. This is Pablo Larrain’s (No, Tony Manero) first English-language feature. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis — and it is NOT guaranteed. Passes required and available at the site.

Green Room
December 1 at 7 p.m.
Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room, Boston, MA

A young group of punk rockers scrape, shoot, and slash their way out of an Oregon neo-Nazi group’s clutches in this relentless horror thrill ride. The film is better than your average slasher film; there’s some real craft and an unrelenting pace. Alongside some talented fresh faces are Imogene Poots and a very creepy Patrick Stewart. Faculty-led discussion to follow. Free to the public.

The Long Night
December 1 at 7 p.m.
UMass Boston’s Campus Center Ballroom, Third Floor, Boston, MA

Set in Seattle, Washington, Tim Matsui’s feature documentary The Long Night presents the voices of minors who were forced and/or coerced into the American sex trade. The film weaves together the stories of seven people whose lives were forever changed by domestic minor sex trafficking. A Q&A with the director follows. Free to all.

Made in France
November 30 through December 8
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, MA

Filmed before the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris last January, Made in France follows a freelance journalist named Sam (Malik Zidi) as he investigates the growing phenomenon of disaffected youth joining Islamic extremist groups. Sam infiltrates a group of four young jihadis whose mission is to destabilize the city center of Paris. Peter Debruge of Variety notes that “despite its unsettling subject matter, Nicolas Boukhrief’s thriller is neither exploitation movie nor anarchist cookbook, but rather a thoughtful and sobering ‘what if’ scenario of home-grown, domestically targeted terrorism.” Trailer.

Fire At Sea
November 30 – December 9
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, MA

Gianfranco Rosi’s award-winning documentary about the European migrant crisis is the first documentary to ever win the top award at the Berlin International Film Festival. Fire at Sea takes place in Lampedusa, a once peaceful Mediterranean island that has become a major entry point for African refugees into Europe. There, we meet Samuele, a 12-year-old boy who lives simply, climbing rocks by the shore and playing with his slingshot. Yet nearby we also witness thousands of men, women, and children trying to survive the crossing from Africa in boats that are too small for such a journey. Filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi masterfully places these realities side by side, and in so doing creates a remarkable third narrative that jolts us into a new understanding of what is really happening in the Mediterranean today.

– Tim Jackson


Dance

A scene from Commonwealth Ballet's "The Nutcracker."

A scene from Commonwealth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”

Commonwealth Ballet’s The Nutcracker
through December 11
At Regis College, Weston, MA

Nutcracker season is officially upon us! While most dance fans are looking forward to Boston Ballet’s version of this seasonal classic, there are plenty of equally beautiful adaptations around New England this holiday season. Each week, we plan to highlight a different alternative. We begin by noting Commonwealth Ballet’s Nutcracker, the troupe’s 25th anniversary production, which will boast impressive sets, colorful costumes, and talented cast. Of special note: the Friday, December 9th performance will be “Sensory-Friendly.”

Marsha Parrilla / Danza Orgánica presents "Running in Stillness."

Marsha Parrilla / Danza Orgánica presents “Running in Stillness.”

Running in Stillness
December 2 & 3 at 8 p.m.
Hibernian Hall
Roxbury, MA

Marsha Parrilla / Danza Orgánica premieres a socially engaged show that examines the physical and emotional issues raised when women are incarcerated; the impact of imprisonment on families is also explored.

Martha’s Artist Salon
December 4 from 3-5 p.m.
Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA

December brings a special Martha’s Artist Salon to the BCA. Israeli dance-maker—and world-renowned choreographer Itzik Galili joins Debra Cash, Executive Director of Boston Dance Alliance (and occasional Arts Fuse contributor), for what promises to be a riveting community-led conversation that will cover his work with Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballets Jazz Montreal, Batsheva Dance Company, and Rambert Dance Company. His knighthood for contributions to Dutch Arts & Culture will no doubt be mentioned as well.

Harvard Dance Project Winter Performances
December 1-3 at 7 p.m. & December 4 at 3 p.m.
At Harvard Dance Center,Cambridge, MA

Artist-in-Residence Sidra Bell and Dance Director Jill Johnson present their new dance installation, created in collaboration with The Harvard Dance Project student dancers.

– Merli V Guerra


Theater

Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee. Directed by Vince Petronio. Di and Viv and Rose ​by Amelia Bulmore. Directed by Kate Kataja. Both productions are running in rep. Staged by the Wilbury Group at the Trinity Square Theater at the Southside Cultural Center, Providence, Rhode Island, through December 23.

Two scripts from contemporary playwrights that, as least according to the New York Times and NPR pundits, serve up edgy entertainment. Jean Lee’s play is “a razor-sharp comedy that confronts the complexities of identity and hypocrisies of privilege.” Bulmore’s script “spans the years, and spins the yarns to evoke a story of enduring friendship that is undoubtedly one of the most moving tales to hit the stage in many years.”

D'Lon Grant (center) and members of the cast of the SpeakEasy Stage production of "The Scottsboro Boys." Photo: Hawver/Nile Scott Shots.

D’Lon Grant (center) and members of the cast of the SpeakEasy Stage production of “The Scottsboro Boys.” Photo: Hawver/Nile Scott Shots.

The Scottsboro Boys, music and lyrics by John Kander & Fred Ebb. Book by David Thompson. Directed by Paul Daigneault. Music direction by Matthew Stern. Choreography by Ilyse Robbins. Staged by SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through January 22nd, 2017.

“In this, their final collaboration, legendary songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago) bring to light one of the most infamous events in American history: the shocking true story of nine African American boys jailed in Alabama in 1931 for a crime they did not commit.” Arts Fuse review

Fingersmith, written by Alexa Junge. Based on the novel by Sarah Waters. Directed by Bill Rauch. Staged by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, through January 8.

The New England premiere of what sounds like an exercise in Victorian escapism: “The job seems simple at first: all pickpocket Sue Trinder has to do is help a con man cheat a gullible young heiress out of her fortune. But nothing is quite what it seems in this mystery set in the shadows of Victorian England. Spiraling through London streets, madhouses, and a stifling mansion with a shocking secret, Sue finds herself in the most dangerous landscape of all: awakening sexuality, love, and betrayal.”

A glimpse of "Murder for Two" at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston.

A glimpse of “Murder for Two” at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston.

Murder for Two, Book & Music by Joe Kinosian. Book & Lyrics by Kellen Blair. Directed by A. Nora Long. Music Director, Bethany Aiken. Choreographer, David Connolly. At the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, through December 24.

In this musical murder mystery, “one actor plays the detective and one actor plays all the suspects … and they both play the piano!” This is a “homage to old-fashioned closed-room murder mysteries (think Clue!), a delirious gift for two multi-talented actors.” A holiday entertainment for which the Lyric Stage has selected one of my favorite blurbs of the year: “Murder for Two could get belly laughs from a corpse!” ― Time Out Chicago

Journey to the West, adaptation by Mary Zimmerman of the novel of the same name. Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner. Staged by the Nora Theatre Company at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, through December 31.

“In the beloved comic Chinese novel a monk travels from China to India in search of spiritual enlightenment and Buddhist scriptures. Mary Zimmerman’s (Candide, Metamorphosis) adaptation delivers whimsy, delight, and a combination of comedy, adventure, and satire mixed with a mystical dreamscape filled with lyrical beauty.”

Murder on the Polar Express written by Ryan Landry. Staged by the Gold Dust Orphans at Machine, 1254 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, December 1 through 21.

Camp holiday entertainment: “A gorgeous train! Toe tapping tunes! And a stellar cast of Christmas “big-wigs” so filled with madness, mirth and murderous intent, they’d make Miss Marple wanna plotz in Jessica Fletcher’s “Depends”!”

Matchless & The Happy Prince by Gregory Maguire, an adaptation of stories by Hans Christian Andersen and Oscar Wilde. Directed by Debra Wise. Staged by the Underground Railway Theatre at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, through December 31.

A revival of last year’s holiday entry for URT: “Intimate, innovative storytelling animates found objects into puppets and transforms the everyday into a city of dreams. Enchanting for all ages, come discover magic and beauty in the most unexpected places.”

The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Directed by Allyn Burrows. Staged by the Actors Shakespeare Project at the Willet Hall at United Parish, Brookline, MA, December 1 through January 8, 2017.

One of my favorite lines from this great play: “My foot my tutor?” German dramatist Peter Handke used it for the title of one of his scripts.

Faithless by Andrew Joseph Clarke. Directed by Stephen Pick. A BU New Play Initiative production, produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, through December 18.

The sudsy sounding plot:”Two generations of an Irish-American family gather in a hospital waiting room while awaiting the passing of their family matriarch. But when black sheep Skip unexpectedly returns, decades of baggage surface. A funny and moving look at family, faith, and forgiveness.”

A line from Peter Barnes' masterpiece "The Bewitched."

A line from Peter Barnes’ masterpiece “The Bewitched.”

Red Noses by Peter Barnes. Directed by John Kuntz. Presented by Boston Conservatory at Berklee, 31 Hemenway Street, Boston, MA, through December 10.

Yes, a student production. But this is one of my favorite contemporary plays, a sublimely vaudevillian black comedy set in mid-14th century France at the height of the Great Plague. It is about guffawing at death as well as the powers of oppression and repression — secular and religious. Kuntz is a fine director — so this production should be well worth seeking out.

Barnes is one of a number of British playwrights of the ’70s and ’80s (Howard Brenton, David Hare, etc) who created complex historical dramas that use the past to cast a scathing light on the present. One of his overlooked masterpieces (Red Noses is revived from time to time) is The Bewitched — an astonishing poetic epic about Carlos II. It is the story of a mentally and physically decrepit monarch that obviously has great relevance today.

For a description of the play and its premiere, here is Martin Esslin’s review of the 1974 production. He is one of the few critics who got it. I didn’t see the Royal Shakespeare Company production, but Arthur Friedman did. It was his admiration for the play and the staging that sent me to the text, and it is a marvel.

Kuntz and other ambitious directors in the New England area — please take a look. It is an expansive play with a large cast that has, to my knowledge, never been staged professionally in America. Middlebury College produced a student production of the script in 2006.

Going to See the Kid by Steven Drukman. Directed by Alexander Greenfield. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, through December 24.

A world premiere production of a baseball yarn for the holidays. “On the assignment of a lifetime, two reporters head for Florida at Christmastime, trying to land a final interview with aging Red Sox legend Ted Williams. One’s a rookie; the other, a seasoned pro. And both will learn the inestimable value of teammates — on and off the field.”

– Bill Marx


Visual Arts

Inventing Impressionism
through June 11, 2017
RISD Museum, Providence, RI

Although the Impressionists are probably best known as artists who painted haystacks, churches, water, flowers, and ballet dancers in loosely stroked, fresh colors, their real innovation was to show contemporary life in all its messy, Steam Age glory. This exhibition, drawn from the RISD collection, focuses on the innovative use of materials, techniques, and subject matter in the work of Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Berthe Morisot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Mary Cassatt, among other artists. Featured are rarely seen works on paper, including Degas’s arresting pastel group portrait, Six Friends at Dieppe, and Monet’s A Walk in the Meadows at Argenteuil, a recent gift to the museum.

Embodied Absence: Chilean Art of the 1970s Now
through January 8, 2017
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, MA

Following the 1973 right-wing coup that ended the Marxist presidency of Dr. Salvador Allende, Chilean artists were forced into a kind of half-life, living abroad or underground, working under pseudonyms, exhibiting in public spaces or artist-run galleries, making a coded art to avoid the censors. This exhibition and related performance series, co-organized with Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies in collaboration with contemporary Chilean artists who are confronting an elusive cultural past, documents a largely ephemeral art movement, whose works often disappeared as soon as they appeared.

2016 Biennial
through January 24, 2017
Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, ME

Last June, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art opened a stunning new home, designed by the international award-winning architect Toshiko Mori, in Rockland, Maine’s booming art district. The CMCA’s biennial, held in the fall of every even-digit year, opens in the new building for the first time this November. The selection for this Down East salon includes more than a dozen artists, hailing, near and far, from Lewiston and Portland to Eastport and Spruce Head.

– Peter Walsh


Classical Music

Handel’s Messiah
Presented by the Handel & Haydn Society
November 27 at 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

H&H continues its annual Messiah concerts, this year with soloists Joélle Harvey, Robin Blaze, Colin Balzer, and Sumner Thompson. Harry Christophers conducts the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus.

– Jonathan Blumhofer

Hathor Winds with organist Heinrich Christensen
November 27 at 5 p.m.
King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

On the program: music of Gershwin, Hindemith, Pinkham, and Ravel.

Boston Camerata
December 2, 3, 4, and 9
At various locations, check the website

The program: Puer Natus Est: A Medieval Christmas  –”A glimpse of Christmas spirituality from Medieval France, Italy, England, and Provence, including music of the church and songs of private devotion around the joyous theme of the Nativity.”

Boston Cecilia
December 2 at 8 p.m.
At the Church of the Advent, 30 Brimmer Street, Boston, MA
December 4 at 3 p.m.
At All Saints Church, 1773 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA

Puer Natus Est: Music for Christmas will “focus on the nativity, and will feature Benjamin Britten’s beloved A Ceremony of Carols, sung by the women of the chorus. Nicholas White’s eight-movement sequence, Alleluia! Puer Natus Est Nobis, will be sung by the full chorus, as will a carol by chorus member Dan Roihl and a new carol by Nicholas White. The men of the chorus will round off the program with Francis Poulenc’s ravishing Quatre petites prières de Saint François d’Assise, and the well-loved Ave Maria of Franz Biebl. Plus traditional and newly-composed carols for choir and audience.”

Dedham Choral Society
December 2 at 8 p.m.
At Holy Name Church, 1689 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA

A Bach Family Christmas: The Three Johanns will feature choral music from several members of the Bach Family. A full orchestra and 90-voice chorus will be performing.

Violnist Njioma Grevious will be performing

Violnist Njioma Grevious will be performing in Brookline

Winsor Music Chamber Series
December 3 at 7 p.m.
At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 15 Saint Paul Street, Brookline, MA

This chamber concert will feature Young Artist violinist Njioma Grevious. On the program: Bach’s Concerto in C minor for Oboe and Violin, BWV 1060; Charlotte Bray’s Bluer than Midnight (World premiere); John Harbison’s For Violin Alone (Boston premiere), and Bach’s Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen, BWV 32.

[CANCELLED] Soprano Diana Damrau and harpist Xavier de Maistre
December 4 at 3 p.m.
Presented by Celebrity Series at Jordan Hall/New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

The program will include music by Debussy, Smetana, Strauss, Hahn, and others.

– Susan Miron


Jazz

Photo: Hreinn Gudlaugsson

Danish drummer Kresten Osgood will be performing in Cambridge. Photo: Hreinn Gudlaugsson.

Kresten Osgood & Friends
December 1 at 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Somerville, MA.

The visiting Danish drummer Kresten Osgood has put together a chewy double-bill of free-leaning improv, opening with himself in a duo with pianist Eliot Cardinaux (8 p.m.) and continuing with a quartet of himself, alto saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra, multi-reed master Charlie Kohlhase, pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, and bassist Aaron Darrell (9:30 p.m.).

Çesni Trio
December 2 at 8 p.m.
Third Life Studio, Somerville, MA.

This formidable ensemble has been digging into all manner of Ottoman music and its offshoots: Tev Stevig (tanbur, fretless guitar, oud, saz), Michael K. Harrist (bass, yayli tanbur, ney) and Fabio Pirozzolo (darbuka, bendir, cajon, tombak, Armenian dhol).

Charles Lloyd & the Marvels
December 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The extraordinary 78-year-old saxophonist, flutist, composer and spiritual seeker Charles Lloyd sold out his Berklee show in February with this band and now returns to close out the year with four shows at Scullers. That band would be guitarist Bill Frisell, pedal steel player (and regular Frisell compatriot) Greg Leisz, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Eric Harland. The material ranges from deep blues and spirituals to Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, and Lloyd originals.

Kenny Werner
December 6 at 8 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge, MA.

The omnivorous piano master and composer Kenny Werner returns to the Lilypad with singer Vivienne Aerts, trumpeter Josh Shpak, bassist Max Salinger-Ridley, and drummer Peter Barnick.

Ken Schaphorst & Donny McCaslin
December 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

The accomplished composer, trumpeter/flugelhornist, and New England Conservatory professor Ken Schaphorst celebrates the release (December 2) of How To Say Goodbye, a summation of 30 years of musical relationships, including the participation of long-time colleagues and friends and past students, in this free concert with the NEC Jazz Orchestra. One of those friends from the album, Donny McCaslin, will also be featured, playing Schaphorst’s compositions as well as other pieces, including Hoagy Carmichael’s “Skylark” and David Bowie’s “Warszawa.” (McCaslin played on Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, and “Warszawa” is featured on his own latest album, Beyond Now.)

– Jon Garelick

Vocalist Sheila Jordan with the Yoko Miwa Trio
December 2 at 8 & 10 p.m.
Thelonious Monkfish, 527 Massachusetts Avenue (Central Square), Cambridge, MA

This small Central Square restaurant programs jazz fairly regularly, but next Friday’s date is a stunning surprise – and required listening for anyone who admires vocal artistry. NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, who just celebrated her 88th birthday, is a singer of consummate skill and one of the last musicians of the bebop generation still standing. This will be her first area appearance in five years. (Fuse review of her 2011 gig: http://artsfuse.org/45487/fuse-jazz-review-two-paths-converge-again-%E2%80%93-sheila-jordan-and-steve-kuhn/). She’s been working recently with pianist Miwa, so there will be sensitive accompaniment (the band is rounded out with Miwa’s regular team, bassist Brad Barrett and drummer Scott Goulding). For best seating, it probably would be wise for you to have dinner before the show.
Singers, note: Jordan will also present a vocal workshop at Thelonious Monkfish on Saturday, December 3 from 1-3 p.m.

- Steve Elman


Rock, Pop, and Folk

Michael Kiwanuka
November 29 (doors at 7 p.m., show at 8)
Royale, Boston, MA

Michael Kiwanuka was born in London in 1988 to parents who had escaped the dictatorship of Idi Amin in Uganda. The two EPs that he released in 2011 were enough to win an opening spot on Adele’s tour that year and the BBC’s Sound of 2012 the following January. Reviewers of Kiwanuka’s 2012 debut album Home Again favorably compared him to Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, and Bill Withers. Praise has been even greater for this year’s Love & Hate, and the single “One More Night” is currently in heavy rotation. Kiwanuka’s current world tour includes at night at Royale on Tuesday, November 29.

Suzanne Vega with Sarah Blacker
December 3 (doors at 7 p.m., show at 8)
The Larcom, Beverly, MA

Like that of Rick Springfield, Suzanne Vega’s career neither began out of nowhere with her most famous songs (“Luka” and “Tom’s Diner,” both from 1987) nor ended when the 1980s became the 1990s. Her latest release is the soundtrack to her one-woman play, Lover, Beloved: An Evening with Carson McCullers. Beverly’s Larcom Theatre is custom-made for a Vega show, and she will be there on December 3. Sarah Blacker, who won in the Female Performer of the Year category at the 2013 New England Music Awards and was named Songwriter of the Year at the same year’s Boston Music Awards, will open.

Weezer: Songs and Stories
December 2 (time TBA)
Brighton Music Hall, Allson, MA

Unfortunately, you cannot buy tickets to this concert. Thankfully, you can win them. Go to the 92.9 website, sign in, and proceed as directed. If you win, you get to see Weezer—the band responsible for the album Pinkerton (click for a review that I wrote)—at Brighton Music Hall. If you don’t, they probably won’t read your name on the air and mock you. Go for it!

– Blake Maddux


World Music and Roots

The Mavericks
December 4
Lynn Auditorium, Lynn, MA

As good a live band as any, the one-time country turned Latin-lounge purveyors are likely to have plenty of Christmas treats in their bag. When performing at Indian Ranch this summer the Mavs included a powerful cover of “The House I Live In,” a plea for tolerance, free-speech, and pluralism most famously associated with Frank Sinatra. Given recent events, one suspects it will remain in the set list for some time to come.

– Noah Schaffer


Author Events

Michael Chabon

Pulitzer-prize winning author Michael Chabon will reader from his new novel at Brookline Booksmith.

Michael Chabon
Moonglow: A Novel
November 28 at 6 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA
Tickets from $5 to $28.99, including copy of the book

The Pulitzer Prize winning author reads from his latest, called a “fictionalized autobiography.” The book is an account of the deathbed confessions of a character he calls “my grandfather,” and the guy’s talk touches on war, sex, marriage, and model rockets.

An Evening with the Harvard Lampoon: 140 Years of American Humor
Glenn McDonald, Stuart Pizer, Mark Steinbach, and Rachel Stromberg
November 29 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
Free

There’s no doubt that the Harvard Lampoon, the subject of the superb documentary Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead, is one of the most influential satirical magazines of its kind. Serving as a training ground for generations of Hollywood talent, the Lampoon has had its contributors (ranging from John Updike and Conan O’Brien to P.J. O’Rourke and The New Yorker‘s Andy Borowitz) tickle the nation’s funny bone for SNL, many different late night shows, The Simpsons, The Office, 30 Rock, and many others. This gathering of writers past and present celebrates an essential archive of pointed japery.

Poets and Pints
Featuring Peter Gizzi, David Rivard, and Maggie Dietz
November 30 6-8 p.m.
Aeronaut Brewery, 14 Tyler St, Somerville MA
Free

Three celebrated poets come to read at the hip Duck Stage at the Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville, an event so-sponsored by Porter Square Books. There will be an hour of drinking time featuring Aeronaut’s delicious selections of locally crafted brews, and then a reading from the finest in contemporary poetry.

Sabina Murray
Valiant Gentlemen: A Novel
December 1 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
Free

Murray’s novel tells the story of 40 years of friendship among some unique and complex people: Roger Casement, Irish patriot and closeted homosexual, his best friend Herbert Ward, and his Argentinian-American wife Sarita Sanford. Their adventures include forays into colonialism in the Congo and pre-World War One France.

Winter Warehouse Sale
December 3-4, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store Warehouse, 14 Park St, Somerville MA

Christmas comes early for Boston bibliophiles, with the Harvard Book Store’s vast warehouse open to buyers for the weekend. Discounts abound: used books are an additional 70% off and everything else is discounted from 40%-80%, which makes this an unmissable opportunity for everyone who wants to stock their library for the long winter ahead.

Alex Beam
The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the End of a Beautiful Friendship
December 6 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA
Free

Once upon a time, the masterful literary critic Edmund Wilson and the brilliant storyteller Vladimir Nabokov were the best of friends. Both enjoyed each others’ erudite company and helped each other gain prominence in the literary world. But- alas!- after Nabokov published his endlessly footnoted translation of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin and Wilson gallingly panned it, the two fell out. Journalist Alex Beam tells the story of a time when feuding literary giants could be a major cultural event.

9781940396224

George Scialabba
Low Dishonest Decades: Essays & Reviews 1980-2015
December 12 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
Free

Boston’s own Scialabba (and Arts Fuse contributor) is one of America’s most respected literary and political critics, praised by David Bromwich as “a keeper of the conscience of American radicalism.” He will come to the Harvard Book Store to read from this lucid, engaging, and thoughtful gathering of essays, culled from the last few decades of political combustibility.

– Matt Hanson

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