Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week

Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, film, theater, visual arts, author readings, and dance that’s coming up in the next week.

By The Arts Fuse Staff


Boston Ballet in Pricked
May 8 – 18
Opera House
Boston, MA

Czech National Theatre artistic director Petr Zuska is a protege of choreographer Jiri Kylian, so it’s understandable that the Kylian-admiring Mikko Nissinen is introducing Zuska’s D.M.J 1953-1977 — the initials refer to Czech composers Dvorak, Martinu and Janacek — on Boston Ballet’s spring repertory program. Alexander Ekman’s humorous Cacti, also getting a U.S. premier, features the ensemble beating out time on oversized Scrabble tiles, while the beloved dance-studio exercises of classical ballet training are elegantly silhouetted in Harald Lander’s familiar Études. Fuse performance review coming soon.

Boston Ballet School: Next Generation
May 14
Boston Opera House
Boston, MA

Don’t call it a recital. The pre-professional dancers of Boston Ballet’s school, along with its apprentice company, BB II perform with the New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in a repertory program that includes Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony and a premiere by Boston Ballet Principal Yury Yanowsky.

Acis & Galatea by Mark Morris Dance Group and the Handel and Haydn Society
May 15-18
Citi Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA

The one we’ve been waiting for all season. Mark Morris returns to Handel, the composer who inspired his landmark L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, in a fully-staged production of Handel’s pastoral romance of the love between a shepherd and a nymph. With costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, decor by Adrianne Lobel, and a quartet of first-rate period singers under the baton of Nicholas McGehan, this is the work’s East Coast debut. Fuse performance review coming soon.

Sylvain Emard Danse in Le Grand Continental
May 16-18
Copley Square

In this free outdoor extravaganza, over 100 volunteer dancers from thoughout greater Boston will be engaged in Sylvain Emard’s festive line-dancing, a celebration of the Celebrity Series’ 75th anniversary season. In its Montreal version, one critic said “the dancers form a huge breaker, a wave that is sometimes caressing and sometimes wild and boisterous.”

May 16-17
Dance Complex
Cambridge, MA

The reckless, fearless San Francisco duo of choreographer Kathleen Hermesdorf and her long-time electronica musical collaborator Albert Mathias present Horses, which debuts on a program that includes works by an ensemble of nine New England choreographers and dancers educators.

Lostwax Multimedia Dance in Particular
May 16-17
Green Street Studios
Cambridge, MA

Rhode Island choreographer Jamie Jewett, composer R. Luke Dubois, video artist Aaron Henderson and lighting designer Stephen Petrilli join forces in a multimedia piece that features everything from flamingos to MTV to explore what it feels like to be alone in a crowd.

— Debra Cash


May 13
House of Blues, Boston, MA

Haim released one of 2013’s best albums in Days Are Gone and singles in “The Wire.” They are simply fantastic and they’re going to be really, really huge. I’m not exactly going out on a limb with this prediction, but it seems obvious to me that arenas like TD Garden are in the not too distant future for this trio of sisters, so if you like them (and you really should!), this might be one of your last chances to see them in a small(ish) room.

Barry Gibb
May 15
TD Garden, Boston, MA

For many, Barry Gibb and his former band of brothers the Bee Gees will always be associated with disco and the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. We can debate whether or not that’s anything to be ashamed of, but what isn’t debatable (at least to me) is that the music the Bee Gees made BEFORE Saturday Night Fever was fantastic. Given my home state, I’m of course partial to “Massachusetts,” but there are so many others from “I Started a Joke,” to “Spicks and Specks,” to “To Love Somebody,” to “Lonely Days.” Those are nothing to sniff at.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
May 17 and 18
Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

Springsteen? Again? Hell, why not. The Boss returns to New England for two nights and there are few things in rock (even after all these years) more exciting than that. Of course, if you miss him on this swing, he’ll most likely be back soon.

Upcoming and On Sale…

Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls (5/25/2014, The Sinclair); Morrissey (6/7/2014, Boston Opera House); Damon Albarn (6/9/2014, Royale); Parquet Courts (6/10/2014, TT the Bear’s Place); Peter Murphy (6/12/2014, Paradise Rock Club); Eagulls (6/18/2014, Great Scott); Beyonce and Jay Z (7/1/2014, Gillette Stadium); The Kills (7/8/2014, Paradise Rock Club); Queens of the Stone Age (7/14/2014, Providence Performing Arts Center); Queen + Adam Lambert (7/19/2014, Mohegan Sun Arena); Queen + Adam Lambert (7/22/2014, TD Garden); Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden (7/29/2014, Xfinity Center); Arcade Fire (8/19/2014, Comcast Center); Boston Calling Music Festival feat. The National, Lorde, The Replacements (9/5-7/2014, City Hall Plaza); Bombino (9/5/2014, The Sinclair); The Black Keys (9/21/2014, TD Garden); Peter Hook & the Light (11/8/2014, Royale)

— Adam Ellsworth

Visual Arts

On May 16, the De Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA opens a quartet of summer shows, including works by artists Ian Hamilton Finlay, Lesley Dill, Roberley Bell, and Alix Pearlstein. All four run through the beginning of October. The Sculpture Park, with its mixture of permanent and temporary installations, is always a delight on warm spring and summer days.

Study of Maine

A Richard Estes image.

Richard Estes’ Realism, a joint project of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME. At the latter from May 22 and through September 7, before moving on to Washington, DC.

In the early seventies, the designated successor to Pop Art was something called “Photorealism,” not an organized movement but another step in ironic detachment from the heroic, ego-focused Abstract Expressionists. Photorealism’s deadpan, apparently affectless images looked like gigantic photo blow-ups but were actually painstakingly painted by hand from dozens of photographic studies. Photorealist paintings typically have a deep-focus hyper reality, cloaked in the anonymous stillness of a Hopper streetscape.

Richard Estes, one of the group’s leaders, is best known for his laconic urban landscapes that play with glossy surfaces and distorted, multi-layered reflections in shop fronts and car windows. Less well known are his images of coastal Maine, where Estes has spent part of each year for nearly four decades. Examples of both are included in Richard Estes’ Realism, billed as “the most comprehensive exhibition of Estes’ paintings ever organized.”

— Peter Walsh

Author Events

Michael Pollen
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
First Parish Church
Sponsored by Harvard Square Books
Monday May 12 at 7 p.m.
$5 tickets

Michael Pollen has made a splendid career out of investigating the nature of food and its elemental properties, the subjects of his earlier runaway bestseller The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Pollen comes to the First Parish Church to read from Cooked, his newest book, about the endlessly appealing topic of food preparation. But this is Michael Pollen we’re talking about here – he’s not content with boiling pots and colanders, he’s taking the process of cooking to the primal essences of the world itself – those being earth, air, fire and water, of course. Tickets are $5 and the sponsors are expecting a pretty robust crowd, so make sure you get your tickets early.

Barney Frank In Conversation with Larry Ruttman
American Jews and America’s Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball
Brookline Booksmith
Monday May 12 at 7 p.m.

Barney Frank is back! The brilliant, witty and eminently eminent former Congressman will come to Brookline Booksmith for a public chat with author Larry Ruttman, whose latest book is a history of Jews in America that uses what they used to call America’s game as a historical backdrop. Ruttman will return the favor by confabbing with Frank about his his New Jersey childhood playing sandlot ball, his time working for the legendary Tip O’Neil, his bumptious decades in Congress, and his retirement.

Photo: Nina Subin

Bret Antony Johnston will read from his new novel at Porter Square Books. Photo: Nina Subin

Bret Antony Johnston
Remember Me Like This
Porter Square Books
Tuesday May 13 at 7 p.m.

Bret Antony Johnston, director of Creative Writing at Harvard, comes to Porter Square Books on Tuesday to read from the hauntingly titled Remember Me Like This, his recent novel about a missing teenager who is reunited with his family on the Gulf Coast in Texas and, just as the familial bonds are starting to heal, raging storms hit the Gulf and the family has to struggle to keep themselves together. Novelist Amy Hempel will introduce Johnston at the event.

Philip Hoare
The Sea Inside
Harvard Book Store
Thursday May 15 at 7 p.m.

“Consider the subtlety of the sea…” Ishmael murmurs in the opening pages of Moby-Dick. Well, this Thursday Philip Hoare comes to the Harvard Book Store to do just that. Reading from his newest work The Sea Inside, Hoare will recount his voyage from his native England to all the far-flung corners of the globe – the Isle of Wight, the Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Not only do we get a travelogue from Hoare’s narrative, but also literary and cultural history as well as dolphins, whales, and other creatures below the water – some of whom even thought to be extinct.

Gordon Orians
Snakes, Sunrises, and Shakespeare: How Evolution Shapes Our Lives and Fears
Porter Square Books
Thursday May 15 at 7 p.m.

Ever wonder how and why we developed all our human attributes? Gordon Orians comes to Porter Square Books on Thursday to read from his new book about how everything from our emotions to our sense of aesthetics developed as a response to our environment by our ancestors back in the African savannah, who were busy searching for food and selecting places to live, forming social groups and hunting and gathering. Come to the reading to hash out some of the finer points of how we ain’t nothing but mammals with Professor Emeritus Orians and other homo sapiens.

Joshua Ferris
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
Harvard Book Store
Friday May 16 at 7 p.m.

Joshua Ferris has been one of the best office-life satirists on the American scene since his National Book Award-nominated And Then We Came To The End. This Friday, he comes to the Harvard Book Store to read from To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, his newest fiction about the awkwardness and uncertainties of the Internet Age and its discontents. Paul O’Rourke is a mass of contradictions – chainsmoking dentist, squeamish atheist, Red Sox fan who feels empty at all his team’s success. All this sounds like the makings of some charming comedy, but then there’s a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account that pop up out of nowhere bearing his name. Is virtual Paul cooler than real Paul? After the reading there will be a ticketed Meet and Greet down the street from Harvard Bookstore to benefit the Boston Book Festival. A $15 donation gets you in, with a wine and cheese reception as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the BBF itself.

— Matt Hanson


BC Quintet
May 11, 8 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Guitarist Björn Wennås and singer Carmen Marsico take a break from their Italian folk band Newpoli to dig into their original jazz compositions and arrangements with a quintet.

Anita Coelho Brazilian Ensemble
May 16, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Boston singer Anita Coelho’s shows consistently match her impassioned singing with a top-notch band and imaginative programming. At the Regattabar, her band of pianist Alexi Tsiganov, bassist Fernando Huergo, and drummer/percussionist Renato Malvasi will be complemented by harmonica player Mike Turk as well as singer/piccolo bassist Ebinho Cardoso. In addition, Coelho will sing a duet set with guitarist/singer Marcio Philomena.

Christian McBride Trio

The Christian McBride Trio comes to Scullers Jazz Club his week.

Christian McBride Trio
May 16, 8 p.m. + 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The most virtuosic bass player of his generation, Christian McBride, 41, fronts his exciting young trio with pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. We should also mention that McBride’s fearsome chops — and those of his trio mates — are always at the service of uncompromising musicality.

The Raney Legacy Band
May 17, 5 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

The guitarist Jimmy Raney (1927-1995) was a mainstay of the early Stan Getz Quintet, and his admirers include Pat Metheny. The Raney Legacy Band features Jimmy’s son, pianist Jon Raney, as well as bassist John Murchison, and drummer Jim Abrams. They’ll explore the music of Jimmy as well as that of Jon’s brother Doug (also a distinguished jazz guitarist), Jon’s own music, and standards associated with the Raney clan.

Oz Noy-Oteil Burbridge-Keith Carlock Trio
May 20, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Israel-born guitar monster Oz Noy mines grooves and roots for proggy explorations with Allman Bros. bassist Oteil Burbridge and drummer Keith Carlock.

Sun Ra 100th Birthday Celebration
May 21, 8 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Strict adherents of the Ra Arkestral philosophy would say that the man once known as Herman “Sonny” Blount “arrived” on May 22 — since he was not “born” here but traveled the spaceways to be with us for a time on earth. Saxophonist and composer Allan Chase continues his anniversary year exploration of the master’s work with a septet. Their last outing at the Lily included beautifully arranged and performed early compositions and rarities.

Felipe Salles
May 21, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Sao Paulo-born saxophonist and flutist Felipe Salles has always combined wide-ranging interests as a composer — from orchestral suites to compelling small-group jazz. At the Regattabar he’ll be celebrating the release of his Ugandan Suite CD with saxophonist Tucker Antell, pianist Maxim Lubarsky, bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa, drummer Bertram Lehmann, and percussionist Roger Boccato.

— Jon Garelick

World and Roots Music

Mal Barsamian

Mal Barsamian comes to Somerville this week.

La Bottine Souriante
Sat. May 17
Zeiterion Theater, New Bedford, MA

This Quebec-based juggernaut is renowned for the its full horn section and the unorthodox way it carries on the French-Canadian musical legacy. It’s been so many years since it played Boston that fans may be unaware that the band now includes frequent visitor and bones master Benoit Bourque.

Mal Barsamian
Sunday, May 18
Arts at the Armory Cafe, Somerville, MA

One of the mainstays of the local Armenian, Balkan, Greek and Middle-Eastern music scenes, Barsamian will “will showcase his virtuosity on oud, clarinet, and saxophone along with Harry Bedrossian on keyboard and Charlie Dermenjian on darbuka. They will perform Armenian, Bulgarian and Middle Eastern music and also discuss their various instruments as well as the various styles in which they play.”

— Noah Schaffer


Boston Area Theater Schedules – What is playing today, Where and When

A scene from director   magnificent "Sansho the Bailiff."

A scene from director Kenji Mizoguchi’s magnificent film “Sansho the Bailiff.”

The Tales and Tragedies of Kenji Mizoguchi
May 16 through June 23rd
Harvard Film Archive in Cambridge, MA

Not to be missed – the Harvard Film Archive presents a series of the films of Ken Mizoguchi who, alongside Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu, is one of Japan’s most important filmmakers. He created a “cinema rich in technical mastery and social commentary, specifically regarding the place of women in Japanese society.” “Mizoguchi’s films from the late 1940s to the last, 1956’s Street of Shame, comprise a body of work unmatched in world cinema, remarkable for the perfection of mise-en-scene, the ravishing pictorialism, the social criticism and the sometimes overwhelming emotional intensity.” (Bright Lights Journal).

Details of the films on the HFA website. Complete screening schedule below.

Friday May 16 at 7 p.m.
, Sunday May 18 at 5 p.m.

Song of Home
Live Piano Accompaniment by Robert Humphreville, 
Friday, May 16 at 9 p.m.

Sisters of the Gion
Saturday, May 17 at 7 p.m.

Oyuki the Virgin
Saturday, May 17 at 9 p.m.

Street of Shame
Sunday, May 18 at 7 p.m.

Utamaro and His Five Women
Monday, May 19 at 7 p.m.

Sansho the Bailiff
Friday, May 23 at 7 p.m., 
Sunday, May 25 at 4 p.m.

Friday May 23 at 9:30 p.m.

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
Sunday, May 25 at 7 p.m.

White Threads of the Waterfall
Live Piano Accompaniment by Robert Humphreville
, Monday, May 26 at 7 p.m.

The Life of Oharu
Saturday, May 31 at 7p.m. Monday, June 9 at 7 p.m.

Hanna’s Journey
May 18th, 11 a.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

The Goethe-Institut in Boston continues its excellent Sunday morning series of German films with a film that presents “a provocative and engaging examination of the after effects of the Holocaust on third-generation Germans and Israelis.” Beautifully photographed, the story jumps between the hot, chaotic bustle of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and the wintry symmetry of Berlin. The narrative revolves around “a woman who volunteers with the mentally disabled as a way to prove herself and boost her résumé. She misses her rich businessman boyfriend back home, but stays in touch online, Meanwhile, she ignores her mother, who harbors a secret. Her contact in Israel is a brusque social worker named Itay, who baits Hanna with Holocaust jokes while openly flirting with her. Initially offended, she slowly becomes more interested in both German and her own family history, not to mention the man who set her onto this path of self-discovery.” (Atlanta Film Festival)

— Tim Jackson

Classical Music

A Fine Centennial
Presented by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project
May 16, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston

The great Irving Fine’s hundredth birthday is commemorated in BMOP’s final concert of the season. Fine’s Blue Towers, Diversions, and Symphony share the program with fellow Boston-based (and underappreciated) composers Arthur Berger (his Prelude, Aria, and Waltz for strings) and Harold Shapero (the Serenade in D).

— Jonathan Blumhofer

The Masque of Beauty: Italian Musical Dynasties at the English Court
Sunday, May 11 at 3 p.m.
Somerville Museum, 1 Westwood Rd., Somerville

The Eldorado Ensemble performs songs and instrumental music composed by Italian musicians who lived in Elizabethan England. The concert features the superb mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal.

The Atlas String Quartet will perform

The Atlas String Quartet will perform at Jordan Hall tomorrow.

Atlas String Quartet
Monday, May 12 at 8 p.m.
Presented by at Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

A free concert in which the heralded quartet will perform the music of Schubert, Bartók, Jiyoung Ko ’15 M.M., and Beethoven (String Quartet in E-flat Major, op. 74, “Harp”).

The Light in the Wilderness
Friday, May 16, at 8 p.m.
At Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Masterworks Chorale will perform an oratorio by jazz legend David Brubeck, featuring baritone Philip Lima and conductor Steven Karidoyanes.

Found: Music in the Age of Exploration
Saturday, May 17 at 8 p.m.
Harvard-Epworth Church, Cambridge, MA

Convivium Musicum presents choral works of Victoria, Guerrero, Franco, and Padilla.

Chameleon Arts Ensemble
Saturday, May 17, 8 p.m. and on Sunday, May 18 at 4 p.m.
First Church in Boston, 66 Marlboro St. Boston, MA.

This wonderful group presents a program exploring “where light and shade repose” via works by Beethoven (“Spring” Sonata for violin and piano), Bruckner’s String Quintet, Shih-Hui Chen’s 66 Times: the Voice of Pines and Cedars for soprano and chamber orchestra, and Alan Hovhaness’ Upon Enchanted Ground for flute, cello, harp and giant tam tam.

— Susan Miron


May 17, 12 p.m. through 6 p.m.
Presented by the Somerville Arts Council on selected streets in Somerville, MA

Plenty of drama high and low over hill and dale, as well as some terrific music, in this ad hoc mega-concert that takes place on the porches of Somerville. In 2011, the SAC “created a decentralized music festival. Perhaps you’ve sat on your porch and overheard a neighbor strumming guitar on another porch? PorchFest takes this idea and multiplies it. This is not a festival per se but rather a community event where Somervillians share their love of playing and listening to music. Think of Somerville Open Studios, which is for visual artists, but for music.” The offerings are all over the map — “bollywood funk, cosmic americana, killer blues, Moroccan, Balkan, gospel, American space rock and clawhammer banjo.”

Note from The Fuse’s Noah Schaffer: This annual event keeps growing as hundreds of musicians — from the utterly amateur to the world renowned — sit and pick for their friends and neighbors. My suggestion is to start with one intriguing listing on the map and then just wander around on foot or bike, stopping whenever you hear an appealing sound drifting out of a nearby street.

— Bill Marx

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