Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week

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

By The Arts Fuse Staff


How big is Lorde? Find out Friday night in Boston.


March 14
Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA

How big is Lorde? So big, that when Bruce Springsteen plays her home country of New Zealand, he covers her biggest hit. And while she’s just 17, she’s already been on the cover of Rolling Stone. And, as if that weren’t enough, we at The Arts Fuse are writing about her concert this week at Orpheum Theatre. So she’s obviously pretty big.

Upcoming and On Sale…

Rock and Roll Rumble: Preliminary Rounds (4/6-8/2014 and 4/10-12/2014, TT the Bear’s Place); London Grammar (4/11/2014, Paradise Rock Club); Rock and Roll Rumble: Semi-Final Rounds (4/17-18/2014, TT the Bear’s Place); Rock and Roll Rumble: Finals (4/25/2014, TT the Bear’s Place); Lana Del Rey (5/6/2014, House of Blues); Haim (5/13/2014, House of Blues); Primal Scream (5/14/2014, Royale) Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (5/17-18/2014, Mohegan Sun Arena); Morrissey (6/7/2014, Boston Opera House); Parquet Courts (6/10/2014, TT the Bear’s Place); Eagulls (6/18/2014, Great Scott); Queen + Adam Lambert (7/19/2014, Mohegan Sun Arena); Arcade Fire (8/19/2014, Comcast Center); Peter Hook & the Light (11/8/2014, Royale)

— Adam Ellsworth


Byrd and Bach
Presented by the Handel & Haydn Society Chorus
March 14 (8 p.m.) and 16 (3 p.m.)
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Harry Christophers returns to lead H&H Chorus in a program of music by William Byrd and J. S. Bach. This is consistently one of the finest ensembles of its kind in the region – if not the country – on a (relatively) rare solo outing.

Verdi’s Rigoletto
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
March 14 – 23 (times vary)
Shubert Theater, Boston, MA

Verdi’s great tragedy gets a new production from BLO. Making his BLO debut, Christopher Franklin conducts a cast that includes Bruce Sledge (the Duke), Michael Mayes (Rigoletto), Nadine Sierra (Gilda), and David Kravitz (Marullo).

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Presented by the Celebrity Series
March 19, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Zubin Mehta brings the Israel PO back to Boston for the first time since 1998. Their program consists of a single work, but it’s a big one: Bruckner’s mammoth Symphony no. 8, long a Mehta specialty.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Curtis on Tour
March 16, 1:30 p.m.
Presented by the Gardner Museum, The Fenway, Boston, MA

Woodwinds music of Barbar. Mozart, and Poulencm and Kramarchuk

The Fanciful Flute Julie Scolnik, flutist
Presented by Mistral
March 16, 4 p.m.
Longy School of Music, Pickman Concert Hall, Cambridge, MA

With Max Levinson, piano and guests. Works of Debussy, Kuhlau, Mendelssohn, Schoenfield. FREE.

Evgeny Kissin, Pianist
Presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston
March 16, 5 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Works by Schubert and Scriabin.

Boston Trio
Presented by New England Conservatory
March 16, 8 p.m.
NEC Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

Works by Elena Reuhr, Beethoven and Arensky. FREE.

Music for Food
Presented by NEC
March 17, 8 p.m.
NEC, Brown Hall, Boston, MA

“Bohemia, Stopping in Buenos Aires”: “Piazzolla “Gand Tango,” Dvorak’s “Dumky Trio” with the Weillerstein Trio, songs of Argentina with Kim Kashkashian, viola (From her 2007 CD). All donations go to Food for Free. Suggested donation $20.

Yo-Yo Ma, cello Kathryn Stott, piano
Presented by Celebrity Series
March 21, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Works of Stravinsky, Villa-Lobos, Piazzola, Messian, and Brahms.

— Susan Miron


Boston Ballet Cinderella
March 13 – 23
Boston Opera House, Boston, MA

Sir Frederick Ashton’s comic retelling of the fairy tale choreography turned English music hall drag into comic perfection for two ugly Step Sisters, one of which — the shy one — Sir Fred routinely performed himself. Boston Ballet brings this 1948 classic into its repertory, with alternating ballerinas taking on the title role and the all-important magic of the Lilac Fairy.

Head Over Heels by The Bang Group
March 14 and 21
Oberon, Cambridge, MA

Creating a new dance cabaret for Boston, David Parker’s The Bang Group unveils what the choreographer wryly described as “Jules et Jim in tap shoes,” a work where three men and one woman negotiate power and desire to a score that ricochets between Burt Bachrach and Tchaikovsky. Hilarity and pathos are likely to ensue.

Camille A. Brown & Dancers
March 14-15
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

Camille Brown has emerged from companies including Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE to become a gifted and thoughtful choreographer taking on the hard truths and righteous celebration of being a Black woman in America today. The works scheduled for her company’s Boston debut include New Second Line, about the resilience of the people of New Orleans, and excerpts from her interrogation of minstrelsy, Mr. Tol.e.rance. My preshow talk in the ICA lobby starts half an hour before curtain time.


Camille Brown will be at the ICA this week for two nights.

Flamenco Festival 2014: Tomatito
March 16
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA

World Music/CRASHarts’ annual festival of Spanish dance and music continues with guitarist José Fernández Torres, (a.k.a.Tomatito) paired with dance tyro Paloma Fantova, herself the daughter of a guitarist who made her debut at the age of 7 dancing with flamenco master Antonio Canales.

A Little Bit of Ireland
March 15 – 16
Reagle Music Theatre, Waltham, MA

Enjoy putting on the green with this annual St. Patrick’s Day production featuring step dancing champion Liam Harney and fiddler Seamus Connolly.

— Debra Cash


Vijay Iyer Trio/Robert Pinsky
March 14, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Pianist, composer, MacArthur Fellow and now Harvard music faculty member Vijay Iyer joins former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinksy for one of Pinsky’s PoemJazz duo sets and then takes the stage with his formidable trio mates, bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore, in this Celebrity Series concert.

Myra Melford
March 14, 8 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA

Pianist and composer Myra Melford’s exquisite chops, tact, and imagination have served her well in collaborations with any number of jazz’s other great experimenters, from Henry Threadgill, Joseph Jarman, and Leroy Jenkins to Dave Douglas, Marty Ehrlich, and Matt Wilson. She plays a solo gig in support of her solo-piano CD, Life Carries Me This Way (Firehouse 12) at the intimate Lily Pad.

Snarky Puppy
March 14, 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA

From the next generation of jazz-rock-funk fusion, Snarky Puppy have signaled their arrival with a 2014 Grammy win for Best R&B Performance and a booking at the upcoming Newport Jazz Festival. You’ll hear R&B, but also the familiar sound of proggy ’70s-’80s fusion, updated with nifty horn charts and distinctive post-rock twists and turns. Dallas funk-fusion band Funky Knuckles opens.

Nando Michelin’s “Juana de America”
March 14, 9 p.m.; March 19, 9 p.m.
Acton Jazz Café, Acton, MA [March 14] + Ryles Jazz Club Cambridge, MA [March 19

Pianist and composer Nando Michelin continues his series of shows exploring the work of Uruguayan poet Juana de Ibarbourou (1892-1979) in this new suite. Performing Michelin’s settings are his trio with bassist Robert Taylor and drummer Tiago Michelin along with singer Katie Viqueira and the Four Corners string quartet.

Ali Amr
March 15, 7 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA

Moroccan-born Berklees student Ali Amr made a splash at last year’s Newport Jazz Festival by busting out his zither-like qanun and improvising stunning free flying lines with a like-minded jazz crew on the big mainstage. Amr also brings his compelling vocals to his trad-modern fusions of jazz, funk hip-hop, and Arabic folk forms.

Dave Liebman and Marc Copland
March 15, 8 p.m. + 10 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA

The great saxophonist Dave Liebman was here just a couple of weeks ago with a band. Now he returns to play two duo sets with pianist Marc Copland. Liebman is known for his impassioned, all-out attack in band settings, but on Impressions, their 2012 Hat Hut release, he and Copland took more lyrical flights in their free explorations of modern standards (including the title track). That album also included a few spontaneous pieces invented from scratch, so don’t be surprised if they lean that way tonight. After all, they’ve done this before.

The Makanda Project
March 15, 7 p.m.
Dudley Branch Library, Boston, MA

Pianist John Kordalewski’s ensemble tribute to the late composer and reedman Makanda Ken McIntyre holds forth in a free concert at the Boston Public Library Dudley branch auditorium with special guest brass player Craig Harris. The Makanda’s regular crew includes a cast of Boston all-stars: Arni Cheatham, John Lockwood, Kurtis Rivers, Charlie Kohlhase, Bill Lowe, and Jerry Sabatini.

Jay Clayton
March 19, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA

Clayton is one of a select group of free-jazz vocalists, having worked with Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Reich, Julian Priester, Jane Ira Bloom, and many others. Tonight she goes “out” by working “in,” celebrating the release of her new CD, Harry Who?, a tribute to songwriter Harry Warren (“At Last,” “September in the Rain,” “I Only Have Eyes for You”). Joining her are the players from that album, pianist John DiMartino and esteemed tenor saxophonist Houston Person.

. . . and coming up

Eric Hofbauer’s “Prehistoric Jazz”
March 21, 8 p.m.
Pickman Concert Hall, Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA

Guitarist and composer Hofbauer’s last attempt to stage this show got snowed out. But maybe this time he’ll be aided by the fact that he’s re-scheduled his jazz ensemble rendering of Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps for the day after the first day of spring. Hofbauer and crew have played “the Rite” before, but this time they’ll also be premiering his arrangement of Messiaen’s Quator pour le fin du temps (“Quartet for the End of Time”). The band includes Hofbauer, clarinetist Todd Brunel, trumpeter Jerry Sabatini, cellist Junko Fujiwara, and drummer Curt Newton. And it’s free.

— Jon Garelick


13th Boston Turkish Film Festival
March 20 – April 26
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

This rich program of 20 films (which includes many U.S. premieres) highlights contemporary Turkish cinema and Turkish filmmakers. The Festival will pay a tribute to legendary actor Tuncel Kurtiz, who passed away in 2013, by showing three of his films Tales of Intransigence, Film Against All Odds, and Happy Family Journal. Award-winning films from the 18th Boston Turkish Festival Documentary & Short Film Competition will be re-screened and their directors will be presented their awards in a ceremony, followed by a panel discussion moderated by film critic Peter Keough. See schedule for details.

The Specialist
March 14, 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archives, Cambridge, MA

This is the first of three films by political filmmaker Eyal Sivan, who will appear in person. Inspired by Hannah Arendt’s groundbreaking book, Eichmann in Jerusalem, the film explores the difference between the prosecution’s description of Adolf Eichmann as a blood-thirsty murderer and the Eichmann who stood in the courtroom. This figure was perhaps even more frightening: a seemingly ordinary bureaucrat who spent years carrying out genocide.

Shores of Hope (Wir wollten aufs Meer)
March 16, 11 a.m.
Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA

The Sunday Goethe Institute screenings of new German cinema continues with this historical drama set in ]80s East Germany. It is about two dockworkers and best friends who dream of escaping the repressive regime. They are forced to choose their loyalties when the state police promise them safe passage out of the country — if they will inform on their co-workers and union leader. The Germans make very good movies about this historical period. This has been called a “handsomely mounted piece of filmmaking, the moody and austere hues of the stodgy surveillance state exudes menace and foul intention in nearly every scene” (Toronto Film Fest).


“Anita: Speaking Truth to Power” screens at Emerson this weekl

ANITA: Speaking Truth to Power
March 18, 7 p.m.
Bright Family Screening Room, Emerson College, Boston, MA

An entire country watched transfixed as a poised, beautiful African-American woman in a blue dress sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill’s graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual misconduct and power in the workplace that resonates still. Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, Anita tells the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power.

Project Wild Thing
March 20, 7 p.m.
Regent Theater, Arlington, MA

Teachers and parents – heads up! This is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature. Project Wild Thing is a growing movement of organizations and individuals who care deeply about the need for 21st century kids to get out of the house and into nature, roaming free-range. Hundreds of people have already committed huge amounts of time, energy, resources and money to move the the project to where it is today. And that is really just the beginning. The screening is an American premiere. The Guardian claims: “This film will change your life.” Trailer here.

— Tim Jackson


Eric Bentley’s Brecht-Eisler Songbook
March 14
Goethe-Institut, Boston, MA

Soprano Karyn Levitt and pianist Eric Ostling present an evening dedicated to the songs of Austrian composer Hanns Eisler. Legendary theater critic Eric Bentley, now 97, translated the lyrics (penned by Brecht, Karl Kraus, and others). A dramatist and cabaret performer as well as a reviewer, Bentley has been collaborating since 2011 with Levitt and Ostling on what promises to be a powerful evening of songs (and poems). Bentley was the first to translate Bertolt Brecht’s plays and poems into English, introducing the latter’s work to American stages in the ’40s and ’50s.


“For Colored Girls…” is presented by the Boston College Theatre Department this week.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange. Directed by John Houchin.
March 19 through 23.
Presented by the Boston College Theatre Department at The Robsham Theater Arts Center’s Bonn Theater, Boston, MA.

Robbie McCauley, an actor in the 1976 Broadway production of For Colored Girls… is on hand to enrich this production of the venerable play (a series of 20 poems, collectively called a “choreopoem), which uses “music and dance, and presents the audience with an intimate vision of the decisions, loves and prayers that black women take on throughout their lives.”

— Bill Marx

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