Arts Fuse critics select the best in film, dance, theater, and music that’s coming up this week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Joshua Redman Quartet
November 8, 8:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA
Over the past ten years, Joshua Redman, now forty-four, has become something of the mainstream tenor-sax giant. Redman hasn’t reinvented the jazz language, but his solos combine narrative development with impassioned delivery. When he gets audiences screaming, it’s not with cheap effects. Redman comes to Berklee with his superb longstanding quartet: pianist Aaron Golderg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson.
November 8, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Boston, MA
Singer Jackie Ryan brings a three-and-half octave range and musical-theater heft to her jazz phrasing. Her new Listen Here (OpenArt) collects songs by Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Abbey Lincoln, Johnny Mandel, the Gershwins, and, oh yeah, John Mayer (“Rip Van Winkel”). She celebrates its release at the Regattabar with pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Greg Feingold, and drummer Neal Smith.
November 14, 7:15 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA
The jazz trio named for the sparkling tea beverage — pianist Bert Seager, bassist Sean Farias, and drummer Austin McMahon — play their program of originals (mostly by veteran Boston piano man Seager), blending swing jazz, world rhythms, and free explorations.
November 14, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Boston, MA
The Armenian pianist Tigran Hamsayan won the prestigious Thelonious Monk Piano Competition in 2006, when he was only nineteen. Since then he’s explored all manner of jazz and jazz hybrids. Now he comes to town to celebrate the release of Shadow Theater, an evocative compositional tour de force — it’s as much new-jazz experimental as Armenian folk. His band includes singer Areni Agbabian, guitarist Charles Altura, bassist Sam Minaie, and drummer Arthur Hnatek.
Bobbi Carrey and Will McMillan
November 14, 8:00 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA
The cabaret duo celebrates ten years of their partnership with a look at other musical teams in a program called “In Perfect Harmony.” Expect chestnuts (and lesser-known selections) from Rogers & Hammerstein, Mercer & Arlen, Kander & Ebb, and more.
— Jon Garelick
TD Garden, Boston, MA
The bitch is back! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) There are many, many, many reasons why Elton John is worthy of our time and our praise. Let’s go with a more left field example; he made the following movie scene possible:
Kanye West (11/17/2013, TD Garden); MGMT (12/5/2013, Orpheum Theatre); Queens of the Stone Age (12/13/2013, Agganis Arena); Dinosaur Jr. (12/14/2013, The Sinclair); Dinosaur Jr. (12/15/2013, The Sinclair); The Breeders (12/18/2013, Paradise Rock Club); Jake Bugg (1/11/2014, House of Blues); Jay Z (1/18/2014, TD Garden); Pixies (1/18/2014, Orpheum Theatre); Arctic Monkeys (2/6/2014, Agganis Arena)
— Adam Ellsworth
Charles Dutoit at Symphony Hall, Part 2
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
November 7-9, 8:00 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
Dutoit wraps up his appearances with the BSO this season with a performance of Benjamin Britten’s epic War Requiem. In keeping with the tradition begun by the composer, the three soloists hail from Russia (soprano Tatiana Pavlovskaya), England (tenor John Mark Ainsley), and Germany (baritone Matthias Goerne). Also appearing are the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and American Boy Choir. Shostakovich once called this the most important piece written in the twentieth century, a difficult judgment with which to argue – come hear it for yourself and decide.
Presented by Boston Baroque
November 8-9, 8:00 p.m. and November 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA (November 8-9) and the Strand Theater, Dorchester, MA (November 10)
There will be no shortage of performances of Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony in the greater Boston area this season, but, if you were to pick just one to attend, you can’t go wrong here: Boston Baroque is kicking off their fortieth anniversary season with three performances of Beethoven’s celebration of brotherly love and the last one (in Dorchester) is a free community concert. Martin Pearlman conducts.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Ensemble Plus Ultra
November 9, 8:00 p.m.
St. Paul Church, Cambridge, MA
Boston Early Music Festival presents the superb Ensemble Plus Ultra in a program “Discovering Renaissance Treasure: Morales, Guerrero, Ribera, and Victoria.”
Hammond Performing Arts Series
November 10, 3:00 p.m.
Old South Church, Boston, MA
Jan Muller-Szeraws, cello, and Ya-Fei Chuang, piano, will perform Johannes Brahms’s Sonata for Piano and Violoncello in E minor, Op. 38 and Sonata for Piano and Violoncello in F Major, Op 99, as well as Samuel Barber’s Sonata for Violoncello and piano Op. 6. Free.
Joanna Kurkowicz and John McDonald
November 12, 8:00 p.m.
Tufts University’s Granoff Music Center, Medford, MA
Tufts University presents the premiere of pianist John McDonald’s “Airy” and works of Lutoslawki and Schnittke. In addition, the pianist and the extraordinary faculty violinist Joanna Kurkowicz will use the recital to celebrate the release of their new CD on Bridge Records. Free.
Danish String Quartet
November 13, 8:00 p.m.
Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA
Celebrity Series presents the Boston debut of Danish String Quartet. Works of Abrahamsen (Ten Preludes), Mendelssohn (Quartet No. 2 in A minor), and Debussy (Quartet in G minor).
— Susan Miron
The Boston Jewish Film Festival
The twenty-fifth year of this festival continues through the week, and then extends through the following weekend in multiple venues: The Coolidge Corner Theater, The MFA, The Arlington Capital, The West Newton Cinema, The Brattle, The ICA, The Somerville Theater, Salem, and even the Showcase Cinema in Foxboro. This year there is a variety of narrative and documentary films, many premiers, and a LGBTQ Shorts Program called OUT Loud on Sunday at the ICA. There is a midnight screening on Saturday co-presented by Boston Underground Film Festival on the 9th of the Israeli horror film Big Bad Wolves. Sunday at the MFA at 2:30 p.m. i is a screening of s The Last White Knight (Arts Fuse review here) a surprisingly moving discussion of race and prejudice. Blumenthal a screwball Jewish comedy screens on Saturday and Thursday. Other picks at the Coolidge and the MFA include The Ceremony on Thursday the 7th, Like Brothers on Saturday the 9th, and Generation War on the 14th. Several of these screenings are already full, but all have “rush lines” if you haven’t planned ahead.
November 8, 7:00 p.m.
BU Cinematheque, 640 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA
Gerald Peary’s series presents director Dorian Tocker with his first film shot in, and financed, by the sale of his childhood home. This very personal story chronicles “the aftermath of a retired woman’s life, and confronts the question: “What’s next?” in a bold and chilling manner, evoking Chantal Akerman’s minimalist realism.” (Indiepix)
Black Radical Imagination
November 10, 2:00 p.m.
Alfond Auditorium Museum of Fine Arts
In a year with so many interesting films on the African American experience this is a unique addition—a “futurist film showcase.” The film presents nine short pieces that “delve into the worlds of video art, experimental film, and narrative shorts. The artists contribute their own vision of a free-changing world in a post-modern society through focused observations that explore the state of black culture.”
November 14, 8:00 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA
Details: 82 min, USA, 2013
The Doc Yard Series presents this film about the down-but-not-out Medora Hornets (on and off the court) as they seek to avoid another winless season. This is an in-depth, personal look at small-town life, an underdog basketball story, and an inspiring tale of a community refusing to give up hope despite brutal odds stacked against them. Filmmakers Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart will attend for Q&A. Q&A moderated by Janice Page of the Globe. Film site.
— Tim Jackson
College dances take pride of place this week with the pre-professionals of the Boston Conservatory and the Harvard’s avocational performers trying out new challenges.
From the Ground Up by Boston Conservatory Dance Division
The Boston Conservatory Theater, Boston, MA
Contemporary dance is the frontier for the Boston Conservatory’s well trained students as they take on works by former Ballet Frankfurt dancer and Ailey School teacher Francesca Harper, up and comer Adam Barruch, and well-respected faculty members Richard Colton and division director Cathy Young on a program that should stretch their talents.
Seesaw by the Harvard Dance Project
Harvard Dance Center, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA.
A dance “installation” created through improvisation and crowd-sourced movement with texts from Confucious and surrealist Rene Daumal runs twice a night at 7 and 9. Don’t take your seat: Cunningham-like, you’re encouraged to walk around and see the work from different perspectives.
Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA
Clap your hands and stomp your feet to cheer the energy of Washington, D.C. body percussionists Step Afrika, who bring the African-American stepping traditions on this family friendly tour.
Einstein’s Happiest Thought Adele Myers and Dancers
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Adele Myers was once afraid of heights but she embarked on the most counter-intuitive strategy possible by enrolling in a trapeze school. Myers’ lively four-person Connecticut-based troupe collaborates with Josh Quillen of So Percussion in an exploration of flight and fancy.
Pilgrims’ Progress Music and Dance at Plimoth Plantation
Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ 17th Century/Manning House gallery, Boston, MA
Ever wonder how those dour Pilgrims kicked back? Just in time to get your Thanksgiving preparations underway, the musicians of Seven Times Salt travel back to 1627 to share the music and country dance the colonist brought from their origins in England and Holland and enjoyed on their arrival in the New World.
And further afield…
Wire Monkey Dance
The Winter Palace Theater, 108 Cabot St., Holyoke, MA
Wire Monkey Dance presents Saliq Savage’s intergenerational “Knew Werk,” a tribute to “stand up philosopher and noise explorer” Tom Rotello and “My Own Bodies,” a solo by Swedish artist Tove Sahlin/Shake it Collaborations.
— Debra Cash
A timely staging, by one of Boston’s more enterprising small companies, of British playwright Caryl Churchill’s script about the contrivances of ‘do-gooder’ materialism. Originally penned for BBC TV in 1978, this “wicked” satire (let’s pray that, for once, the PR adjective is accurate) deals with the log-rolling intersection of non-profit and for-profit worlds, the cozy, greased wheel mingling of philanthropy and politics.
The Orphan Circus, created and performed by Les Sages Fous (“The Wise Fools”) at Puppet Showplace Theatre, Brookline MA, November 13 through 15.
Puppet lovers unite! An exciting opportunity to take in the acclaimed Canadian troupe Les Sages Fous in a show that “combines masterful puppetry, live acting, and ingenious production design to create an unsettling, awe-inspiring theatrical experience.” The storyline: “Among the debris of a scrap yard, between used oil cans, rusted sheet metal, and miscellaneous lost objects, Les Sages Fous invite you to a clandestine rendezvous. Two junk peddlers create a small circus of visual tableaux evoking the life of a cabaret troupe of derelicts and misfits.”
– Bill Marx