Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week

Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, dance, film, and theater that’s coming up this week.

By The Arts Fuse Staff


Bob Weir & RatDog
February 24 and 25
House of Blues, Boston, MA

Here’s a fun fact: On August 8, 1995, Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist/singer Bob Weir and a group of musicians including bassist Rob Waserman played their first show billed as RatDog (they had played a few times before under different names). On August 9, 1995, Grateful Dead guitarist/singer/“leader” Jerry Garcia died. Okay, maybe that’s not much “fun,” but it certainly is odd timing. Anyways, for nearly 20 years now, RatDog has been Weir’s main band. They play a lot of Dead songs (a recent setlist included “Dark Star,” “Franklin’s Tower,” and “Bertha”) and a few covers (“All Along the Watchtower,” “Good Lovin’”) as well. Then again, the Dead played a lot of covers, so maybe there’s not too much difference.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
February 25
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

Speaking of people in bands that aren’t as famous as the bands they were originally in, Stephen Malkmus, best known for being guitarist and vocalist in Pavement, brings his band the Jicks to Boston this week. The Jicks aren’t as seminal as Pavement, but they’re no slouch group either — they’ve released six albums since 2001 including 2014’s well-received Wig Out at Jagbags.

St. Vincent
February 27
House of Blues, Boston, MA

Before taking on the stage name St. Vincent, Annie Clark was a member of the Polyphonic Spree and also toured with Sufjan Stevens, but she really is best known for her solo work. And her show at House of Blues this week is something of a homecoming, as the Oklahoma native attended Berklee College of Music for three years.

Upcoming and On Sale…

Paul Simon and Sting “On Stage Together” (3/3/2014, TD Garden); Broken Bells (3/5/2014, House of Blues); Lorde (3/14/2014, Orpheum Theatre); London Grammar (4/11/2014, Paradise Rock Club); Haim (5/13/2014, House of Blues); Primal Scream (5/14/2014, Royale); Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (5/17/2014, Mohegan Sun Arena); Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (5/18/2014, Mohegan Sun Arena); Morrissey (6/7/2014, Boston Opera House); Arcade Fire (8/19/2014, Comcast Center)

— Adam Ellsworth


Donal Fox Innovation Duo
February 21, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge MA

Boston pianist Donal Fox — who is equally comfortable playing Monk or Scarlatti — joins forces with young vibes star Warren Wolf. You can expect to hear Fox mashing up various classical composers in his own arrangements and compositions, and Wolf should be more than game. (Last April, Fox ripped up the ICA in a duo concert with the cellist Maya Beiser: “Piazzolla to Bach and Beyond.”)

Pianist Michel Photo: Creative Commons.

Pianist Michel Camilo comes to Boston for a rare club solo concert. Photo: Creative Commons.

Michel Camilo
February 22, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston MA

The Dominican pianist Michel Camilo performs with precise, classically trained articulation at whirlwind speeds, undergirded by rumbling Afro-Latin rhythms and song forms. He plays a rare club solo concert at Scullers.

Bill Evans’s Soulgrass
February 22, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge MA

This is the other jazz Bill Evans who played with Miles Davis — in this case saxophone, starting in 1980, when he was 22. For the past several years Evans has been working his band Soulgrass, a blend of high-energy jazz, soul-funk, and bluegrass. Don’t be surprised to see fiddle and banjo joining Evans’s saxophones at the Regattabar.

Jason Anick
February 25, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge MA

As a young fiddle champ and mandolin virtuoso, Jason Anick was equally immersed in the worlds of bluegrass and jazz, but he’s been leaning the jazz way for a while now, and his new Tipping Point shows him further establishing his own voice as composer and player. So the album covers his first influence, violin legend Stephane Grappelli (with the inclusion of Django Reinhardt’s “Minor Blues”) but also extending to Ornette Coleman (“Turnaround”). And a handful of his own pieces show him moving in other unpredictable directions. At the Regattabar, Anick will be celebrating the new CD by a band drawn from the album — pianists Jason Yeager and Matt DeChamplain, bassist Greg Loughman and drummer Mike Connors.

Patricia Barber
February 26, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston MA

The 58-year-old Chicagoan Patricia Barber scores equally as singer, songwriter, and pianist. Her barbed wit is of a piece with her musicianship, whether she’s singing the Beatles’ “Blackbird” or one of her own lyric take-offs on Ovid.

Davíd Sanchez
February 26, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge MA

The Puerto Rican saxophonist Davíd Sanchez came to the fore in the early ’90s as a player who could seamlessly fuse a Coltrane-like vocabulary and ferocity to Afro-Latin music. He comes to the Regattabar with the superb pianist Luis Perdomo (of the Miguel Zenón band), bassist Ricky Rodriquez, and drummer Henry Cole.

The Hot Club of Detroit

The Hot Club of Detroit — continuing to expand their repertoire from the Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz tradition.

Hot Club of Detroit
February 27, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston MA

The Hot Club of Detroit have continued to expand their repertoire from the Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz tradition. Acoustic guitar and accordion still define the front line, but on their most recent CD they were joined by saxophone rabble rouser Jon Irabagon, and their frame of reference has extended to Ornette Coleman, Pat Metheny, John Zorn, and Phish.

— Jon Garelick

Classical Music

Robert Levin plays Mozart
Presented by the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra
February 28, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston MA

Benjamin Zander and the Boston Philharmonic return to action with guest pianist Robert Levin in tow, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 25. Also on the program is Bruckner’s towering Symphony no. 7, with its famous slow movement memorial to Wagner.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Christian Bezuidenhout, Fortepianist
Friday, February 21, 8 p.m.
Presented by Boston Early Music Festival
Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston MA

A program of the music of Mozart and C.P.E. Bach.

Half Empty: A Post-Valentine’s Meditation
Friday, February 21, 8 p.m.
Presented by Broken Consort
Outpost 186, 186 1/2 Hampshire Street, Boston MA

Works of Trouvere, Josquin, Gibbons, Monteverdi, Irish folk, Improv, and more “featuring sad, sad music from medieval to modern with voices and period instruments” The musicians: Emily Lau, voice and director; Camila Parias, voice; Niccolo Seligmann, viola da gamba and vielle; Peter Walker, voice and pipes; Christopher Preston Thompson, historical harp and voice; Sarah Moyer, voice

Photo: Decca/Daniel Regan.

Leonidas Kavakos performs in Jordan Hall this month. Photo: Decca/Daniel Regan.

Leonidas Kavakos, violin
Sunday, February 23, 3 p.m.
Presented by Celebrity Series
Jordan Hall, NEC, Boston MA

Kavakos and Eric Pace, piano, perform an All-Beethoven program: Sonata No. 1 i D Major, Sonata No. 8 in G Manor, and Sonata No. 9 in A Major “Kreutzer.”

Kim Kashkashian, viola and Robert Levin, piano
Monday, February 24, 8 p.m.
Presented by NEC (Kashkashian faculty recital)
at Jordan Hall, NEC, Boston MA

A free concert that will present music of Brahms, Britten, Vaughan Williams, and more.

Pamela Dellal, mezzo-soprano and Peter Sykes, clavichord
Tuesday, February 25, 8 p.m.
Presented by Boston Conservatory, 8 The Fenway, Boston MA

Pamela Dellal, who is on the Boston Conservatory faculty, performs a free concert made up of a selection of the songs and Cantatas of C.P.E. Bach in honor of his 300th birthday.

Simrock Quartet
Thursday, February 27, 8 p.m.
Presented by Primary Source
Goethe Institut, 170 Beacon St., Boston MA

The group’s program includes Haydn’s String quartet No. 64 in D Major, Op. 76 and No. 5, The Creation (arranged for String Quintet)

— Susan Miron


February 21
The BU Cinematheque, Room 101, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston MA

This is a unique co-presentation by the Boston Jewish Film Festival and B.U. The acclaimed feature documentary, directed by MIT graduate students Anna Wexler And Nadja Oertelt, follows three Orthodox Jewish students after American high school. They travel to Israel to study and learn about their religion, but they also, far from their parents, party wildly. Ultimately, will these adolescents abandon their strict faith, or become more religious and pious? Discussion with Wexler and Oertelt follows. Free.

One of the mind-boggling scenes in "Gummo."

One of the mind-boggling scenes in Harmony Korine’s “Gummo.”

February 22 and February 23 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge MA

Gummo is Harmony Korine’s debut feature set in the real-life, deadbeat town of Xenia, Ohio. It is shot as a cinéma-vérité psuedo documentary so bizarre as to defy description. Amoral, degraded, perverse, and full of images so random and hysterical that they singe the brain. This is the second film in Harvard Film Archive’s Korine screening series. It begins Saturday with Kids, directed by Larry Clark (Bully), and continues through Spring Breakers, the director’s provocative homage (see Arts Fuse review) to commercial cinema.

Southern Comfort
Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m.
UMass Boston Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Ballroom
Boston MA

Chico Colvard’s wonderful free and open documentary series begins with Southern Comfort, which documents the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a female-to-male transsexual. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, was turned down for treatment by two dozen doctors out of fear that treating such a controversial patient would hurt their reputations. By the time Eads received treatment, the cancer was too advanced to save his life. The film follows Eads and a group of transgendered Southerners in this touching documentary that made quite a splash when first shown in 2001. It is followed by a Q&A with renowned filmmaker Kate Davis.

The Flaherty At The Docyard
Monday, February 24, 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge MA

Named after Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North), who is considered by many to be the father of documentary film, The Robert Flaherty Film Seminars are the longest continuously running film event in North America. They are kicking off their 60th Anniversary by visiting The DocYard Series with an evening of screenings of selections from past seminars and festivals followed by conversations on non-fiction film. This is a unique opportunity to hear about some of the most interesting documentaries today without having do deal with hype or preconceptions.

— Tim Jackson


A sample of "Poste Restante."

A sample of “Poste Restante.”

Poste Restante, by Bonnie Duncan & Tim Gallagher (They Gotta Be Secret Agents)
Through February 23
At Charlestown Working Theater, Charlestown MA

A show for those who are nostalgic for the tarnished mystique of the mail in the age of the internet. The performers use “puppetry, film, and partner acrobatics to explore the magic surrounding hand written letters, challenge what can actually be mailed, animate sent letters, and bring to life a form of communication that is slowly fading.”

Man in a Case
Two stories by Anton Chekhov, adapted for the stage by Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar/Big Dance Theater.
Directed by Parson and Lazar.
February 25 through March 2.
Presented by ArtsEmerson at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theater, Boston MA

“Drawing from material as varied as surveillance footage, folk dance, instructional hunting videos and interviews with the cast,” Man in a Case “creates a bridge between our time and that of two brilliant 19th-century anti-love stories by Anton Chekhov — “The Man in a Case” and “About Love.” Sounds like an intriguing experiment in reinvigorating realism. “Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar, the team behind the internationally acclaimed Big Dance Theater, bring their signature style — fusing theatre, dance, music and video — to this visionary adaptation featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lazar.”

— Bill Marx


Boston Ballet's C. to C. (Close to Chuck) REBORN  Photo: Liza Voll

A scene in the Boston Ballet’s “C. to C. (Close to Chuck).” Photo: Liza Voll

Boston Ballet Close to Chuck
Through March 2
Boston Opera House
Boston, MA

Resonance, set to Franz Liszt and performed by two solo pianists, is the big draw in Boston Ballet’s midwinter repertory show Close to Chuck: it is the first American commission from former Paris Opera Ballet and current Spanish National Ballet director José Martinez. Also on the program is a look-see of C. to C. (Close to Chuck), the ballet Jorma Elo created for American Ballet Theatre, based on the friendship between pixel portraitist Chuck Close and composer Philip Glass, and Boston Ballet’s often-reprised version of Jiri Kylian’s Bella Figura.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company: Story/Time
Through February 23
Institute of Contemporary Art
Boston, MA

You can have misgivings, as I did when I saw the earlier iteration of Bill T. Jones’ reworking of John Cage’s Indeterminacy, and at the same time recognize that the work of this great American artist is always worth experiencing. Jones is center stage with his company around him offering a kinetic palimpsest to his memories. The combination of acoustic and electronic accompaniment is created through chance operations by Ted Coffey. This engagement was sold out at press time; call to check on wait listing potential. Arts Fuse review to come.

A scene from "Unbridled"

A scene from Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s “Unbridled.”

Unbridled by Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre
Through March 2
Sanctuary Theatre
Cambridge, MA

Three Valentine-themed works choreographed by Jose Mateo span the world of classical music with Schubert Adagio, Mozart Concerto and Still Waters.

Jenifer Ringer on Dancing Through It
February 26
José Mateo Ballet Theatre
Cambridge, MA

New York City Ballet principal Jenifer Ringer ignited a storm when she responded to New York Times‘ critic Alistair Macauley’s criticism of her (perceived) weight in 2010. The memoir she penned shows that the life of a professional ballerina is not all sugarplums.

TAO Dance Theater. Photo: Jin Hai

The Celebrity Series brings the TAO Dance Theater to Boston. Photo: Jin Hai.

TAO Dance Theatre
Feb 27-28
Presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston
Citi Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA

The Beijing-based Tao Dance Theatre debuts in Boston with the mysteriously wrapped figures and propulsive choreography of Tao Ye. According to the choreographer “each body has its unique secrets, and through rigorous, sincere, and exploratory corporeal research, we hope to stretch the boundaries of the flesh, and in this process of excavation to discover the body’s unknown possibilities.” Arts Fuse review to come.

— Debra Cash

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts