Jul 042013

[Updated.] Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, theater, and film that’s coming up this week. A new feature!

By The Arts Fuse Staff.


Belle and Sebastian, Glasgow’s finest, come to Boston this week.

Paul McCartney
July 9
Fenway Park, Boston, MA

Officially, this show sold out in five minutes. Unofficially, there are still thousands of seats available on sites like StubHub, and on top of that, promoter Live Nation recently released an additional limited number of tickets. This is all a way of saying that if you want to go, you can. And really, you should. Don’t wait for “next time,” just go. It’s Paul McCartney!

Belle & Sebastian
July 9
Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, MA

Then again, if you don’t want to see Sir Paul, there’s always Glasgow’s finest, Belle & Sebastian, playing on the same night at Bank of America Pavilion, down by the water. As far as venues go, the Pavilion is certainly more conducive to live music than Fenway. In fact, it’s arguably the area’s finest outdoor spot. Yo La Tengo opens.

The Black Keys
July 9
Comcast Theatre, Hartford, CT

Okay, so you really want to go to a concert Tuesday night, but for reasons known only to you, you have no interest in being in the city of Boston. Well, the Black Keys will be in Hartford, CT, and they put on a hell of a show. This is the duo’s only scheduled stop in the area, and they have reportedly been in the studio. Perhaps a new song or two in the setlist? The Joy Formidable opens.

She & Him
July 10
Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, MA

Lots of actors and actresses make music, but few do it as well as Zooey Daschanel, one half of She & Him. The duo recently released their third album, Volume Three, so She & Him is clearly more than a simple side project for Daschanel, who is joined in the band by singer/guitarist M. Ward, himself a solo artist, producer, and member of Monsters of Folk. If she ever wants to give up acting, it will be Hollywood’s loss but music’s gain.

The Specials
July 11
House of Blues, Boston, MA

The Specials come to town — expect ska and politics.

English ska legends the Specials never had the kind of success in the U.S. that they had in their homeland, but their influence is still wide. In our own backyard, we of course have the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and then there are the likes of No Doubt and Sublime. All of these bands are indebted to the Specials, who themselves only lasted (in their classic lineup) until the early-80s. But they’re reunited now and coming to the House of Blues. Expect horns, suits (possibly of the two-tone variety), and some politics thrown in for good measure.

— Adam Ellsworth

Classical Music

Wagner, Schoenberg, Hindemith, and Modern Middle East
Presented by Mohawk Trails Concerts
July 5, 7 p.m. and July 6, 7:30 p.m.
Federated Church, Charlemont, MA

This is surely the summer’s most eclectic program, featuring Liszt’s arrangement of the Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde, a collection of cabaret songs by (of all people) Arnold Schoenberg, and Hindemith’s 1919 Sonata for viola and piano paired with pieces by three young Middle Eastern composers: Lev Zhurbin, Yousif Sheronick, and Hafez Nazari.

The Great Gatsby
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
July 11, 7:30 p.m.
Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, Lenox, MA

John Harbison’s 1999 opera receives its second performance in as many months, again courtesy of Emmanuel Music and Ryan Turner. The same cast as in the Jordan Hall performance reprises their roles, now at Tanglewood, where Harbison is chair of the Tanglewood Music Center’s composition faculty. See the Arts Fuse Judicial Review on The Great Gatsby opera.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Visual Arts

Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel
Through July 30
Hillel House, Boston University, Boston, MA

A sample of Salvador Dali’s Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel.

Have a taste of the surreal for the summer—this exhibition features a complete collection of 25 signed, colored lithographic reproductions of original mixed-media paintings by Salvador Dalí.

Furniture with Soul II
Through July 12
Gallery NAGA, Boston, MA

Sample the tangible art of furniture design—a gathering of modern, innovative, and head turning shapes.

— Renée E. Caouette


Independent Film Picks
July 5–7
At cinemas around New England, including The Coolidge Corner Theater, The Kendall Cinema, and The West Newton Cinema

If you are home for the holiday weekend why take in a commercial blockbuster when there are indie releases really worth seeing? Here are six.

Before Midnight
A wonderful conversational Rorschach test that revolves around adult relationships and the travails of marriage and adulthood. The third in a trilogy by director Richard Linklatter, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke. Reviewed in The Arts Fuse.

Francis Ha
Gerta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s love letter to New York, the French New Wave, young adulthood, and probably each other is an absolute charmer. Reviewed in The Arts Fuse.

A Hijacking
A stark study in contrast between negotiators (trying to pay as little as possible in ransom money) and a beleaguered crew hijacked by Somali pirates makes for a riveting and highly realistic and tense drama. Reviewed in The Arts Fuse.

20 Feet From Stardom
This film looks at the under-recognized brilliance of some of the great female backup singers of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. These are the female voices you recognize from countless pop hits, yet all fell short of success in their solo careers. The film offers a clear and very musical cultural history along with some moving personal stories told without self-pity. In addition to having terrific music, this documentary is made with skill, style, and managed to gain access to some of the leading figures in modern rock and pop.

Much Ado About Nothing
Producer and director Joss Whedon’s (The Avengers) surprisingly agile modernized version of Shakespeare’s comedy won the Audience Award at this year’s Independent Film Festival of Boston and continues to wow audiences.

Empty-headed but dangerous — the bandits in “The Bling Ring.”

The Bling Ring
Sopia Coppola directs a film version of writer Nancy Jo Sales’s expose of a band of privileged teenagers who broke into celebrity homes and stole millions of dollars worth of valuables. It features a convincing crew of new young actors headed by a brilliant Emma Watson (Harry Potter) as an annoyingly vacuous valley girl and Leslie Mann as a nightmare, New Age mom. Coppola knows this world too well and via her clean minimalist style delivers a film that is both an revelation of modern emptiness and a guilty treasure.


The Lost World (1925) w/Live Score
July 10
Brattle Theater, Cambridge, MA

Yup, it’s that Lost World, only the rare silent version. The film is accompanied by The Andrew Alden Ensemble, which is a contemporary chamber music group from Berklee College of Music. “Their music combines the influence of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, David Lang, Radiohead, Velvet Underground and Krzysvtof Penderecki to create a beautiful and haunting sound that cannot be mistaken for anyone else.”

The Boston French Film Festival
July 11–28
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

The French continue to make great movies that struggle, like many international cinemas, to find distribution and American audiences. This is one of the top French Fests in the country, and for 18 years, the screenings have been favorite event for Boston Cinephiles and Francophiles. This year features another strong and diverse line up of films. See Schedule for details. Passes available.

Magic Camp
July 14, 2 p.m
Bright Family Screening Room, Emerson College, Boston, MA

The Boston Jewish Film Festival presents this free documentary as part of Boston’s first Outside the Box Festival. I can’t wait to see this one. It concerns magic-obsessed kids who congregate each summer at a Magic Camp and follows five aspiring magicians. There is a post-screening Q&A with director Judd Ehrlich that will also feature young magician Evan Northrup practicing his craft.

A scene from MAGIC CAMP that apparently features a cameo from Wonder Woman.

A Band Called Death
July 12–14
Brattle Theater Cambridge, MA

This new documentary has been called both a rock documentary and an epic family story. It follows the resurrection of a band whose 1974 demo tape made its way out of an attic. The music helped the group find an audience several generations after the its demise. In the early 1970s, it was a pioneering (the first) black punk band.

— Tim Jackson


The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare
Staged by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
July 6–28
Boston Common, Boston, MA

One of the Bard’s early, elementary comedies receives a “Rat Pack-era Vegas” update in the 18th installment of “Free Shakespeare on the Common.” The latter sounds like a promising approach for a play that is well suited, unlike subtler Shakespeare fare, for a roustabout outdoor production.

Supergravity and the Eleventh Dimension by Heather Houston
Staged by Vagabond Theatre Group
July 11–20
Piano Factory, Boston, MA

Cosmic meditations on love are proffered in this “physical, metaphysical, scientific, and emotional” script. “Told primarily through the point of view of Tom, a theoretical physicist, the play explores the relationships of four close friends—Leslie, Dan, Fred, and Tom—the year after the tragic death of their friend Carmen strains their relationship to the point of fracture. Memories of Carmen haunt the group, and the laws of physics are bent as they work through their suspicions, grief, anger, and sadness together.”

Playwright Walt McGough.

Paper City Phoenix by Walt McGough
Staged by Boston Actors Theatre
July 12–27
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Boston, MA

More apocalyptic musings in this world premiere from Boston-based, Huntington playwriting fellow McGough. The evening is described as “an explosive comedy that looks at how we connect when we’re always connected, and what’s left when the universe hits the delete key.” Wouldn’t that be God (or would that be Google) who taps the final return key?

— Bill Marx


Driff Records Festival
Friday, July 5, 7 p.m.
Lily Pad
Cambridge, MA

Driff Records, an artist-run label founded by reedman Jorrit Dijkstra and pianist Pandelis Karayorgis in 2012, celebrates a quadruple CD release: Window and Doorway by Guillermo Gregorio, Steve Swell, and Pandelis Karayorgis, Cocoon by the Pandelis Karayorgis Trio, The Whammies Play the Music of Steve Lacy, Vol. 2, and Circuitous by the Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet.

The evening will feature the aforementioned piano trio (Karayorgis with bassist Jef Charland and drummer Luther Gray); another trio, Matchbox, that brings Dijkstra and Karayorgis together with drummer Curt Newton for a set including compositions by Steve Lacy; and the quartet BOLT (with Dijkstra, guitarist Eric Hofbauer, cellist Junko Fujiwara, and drummer Eric Rosenthal), along with a solo set by Hofbauer and an ensemble performance by all three drummers.

Makanda Ken McIntyre

Makanda Ken McIntyre

The Makanda Project with Voices
Saturday, July 6, 1 p.m.
Roxbury Heritage State Park
Roxbury, MA

Devoted to the music of the late reedman and composer, Makanda Ken McIntyre (who grew up in Boston’s South End), for this free performance the Project adds a trio of vocalists (Diane Richardson, Rebecca Shrimpton, and Patrice Williamson) to the ensemble of trumpeter Josh Evans, trombonists Bill Lowe, Sarah Politz, and Robert Stringer, saxophonists Sean Berry, Arni Cheatham, Charlie Kohlhase, and Kurtis Rivers, pianist-arranger John Kordalewski, bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Yoron Israel.

Albino Mbie CD release
Monday, July 8, 6 p.m.
Berklee at the Regattabar Courtyard Series
Cambridge, MA

A serendipitous musical encounter last weekend with Mozambican guitarist/vocalist/composer Albino Mbie more than reinforced this recommendation. From a childhood that echoes those of the old Delta bluesmen who built their first guitars out of cigar boxes, to a full scholarship to Berklee and mentorship by Richard Bona and Lionel Loueke, Mbie’s backstory is almost as fascinating as the entrancing musical style he has forged from his diverse experiences. It’ll be well worth the trip to Harvard Square for this open-air event (which moves indoors to the Charles Hotel’s Noir in case the weather gets wild).

Mediterranean Crossing with the Moira Lo Bianco Trio and Kinan Azmeh
Wednesday, July 10, 9 p.m.
Ryles World Wednesdays
Cambridge, MA

The healing force of music will be in the foreground when Syrian-born clarinetist Kinan Azmeh joins the trio (with bassist Bruno Råberg and drummer Giuseppe Paradiso) of Italian-born pianist Moira Lo Bianco for what should be an inspirational traversal of Mediterranean borders.

— J. R. Carroll


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