Fuse Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week

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

By The Arts Fuse Staff


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

August 17 & 24
The Institute of Contemporary Art
Boston, MA

In conjunction with the Jim Hodges exhibit at the ICA, the museum presents a free screening each Sunday in August of Untitled by Jim Hodges, Encke King, and Carlos Marques da Cruz. It is a powerful reflection on the early AIDS epidemic, a non-linear film that moves from the sublime to the tragic and back again. It explores the last turbulent decades by juxtaposing mainstream network news and activist footage with examples of creative work and popular entertainment.

Rich Hill
August 17 and 18
Brattle Theatre
Cambridge, MA

The winner of Sundance’s U. S. Grand Jury Prize in Documentary examines the challenges, hopes, and dreams of the young residents in a heartland American town. “It burrows into the interior lives of three kids growing up in rural Rich Hill, Missouri (population 1,396) and it is a marvel of hard-won heartbreak – a story about boys who have the deck stacked against them and are determined to play their hands, whether they understand the game or not.” (Rolling Stone Magazine)

A spooky moment from Fritz Lang's "The Spiders."

A spooky moment from Fritz Lang’s “The Spiders.”

The Spiders (Die Spinnen)
August 23rd, 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive
Cambridge, MA

This is part of the remarkable (and on-going) Fritz Lang retrospective. Described as being “conceived as a four-film cycle — like such contemporary dystopian “franchises” as Twilight and The Hunger Games” — only the first two episodes of the series were completed. The films were considered ‘lost’ for decades until a Czech print surfaced in the 1960s and they were restored, with some consultation from Lang. The narrative is 173 minutes long, and there will be piano accompaniment. This is a film experience tailor-made for the kind of die-hard buffs who come to the Archive. Dig in! The rest of the series is also well worth a look.

— Tim Jackson

Roots and World Music

Debo Band
Wednesday, Aug 20
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Boston’s ambassadors of Ethio-funk are currently in the midst of a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign to cut their new album – among the tracks will be their interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Fast East Suite.”

The Honeycutters  -- coming to town this week.

The Honeycutters — the Ashville pickers and singer Amanda Anne Platt are coming to town this week.

The Honeycutters
Fri. Aug 22
Atwoods Tavern, Boston, MA

Lead singer Amanda Anne Platt and her crew of Ashville pickers play Americana — they specialize in songs that keep the country tradition of jaunty melancholy alive.

Boston Caribbean Carnival
Sat. Aug. 23
Parade from Blue Hill Ave. to Franklin Park

Controversy Caribbean Carnival Edition
Sat. Aug. 23
Machine, Boston

Saturday is the annual Caribbean Carnival in Dorchester, an explosion of color and sound that shouldn’t be missed. It caps a family-friendly week of events which usually draws, at best, sporadic attention from the local mainstream media even though it attracts thousands of out of town revelers. It’s hard not to notice that far smaller and less culturally significant events in fancier neighborhoods that attract largely white attendees get a lot more ink.

While in past years Carnival season has seen myriad live performances from calypso and soca stars, this year most of the unofficial parties are simply featuring sound systems – perhaps in part because major Caribbean acts like Bunji Garlin, Beres Hammond, and Denyse Plummer came to town earlier this month.

One after-party well worth mentioning is a Carnival edition of Controversy, the bi-monthly GLBT-friendly urban dance night at Machine. While the party-driven sounds of soca don’t have the homophobic legacy of dancehall, there have still been instances of soca stars, such as Peter Ram, going on anti-gay tirades. You won’t hear any of those tracks at Controversy – instead, there will be Carnival King and Queen contests open to anyone “whatever your gender expression.” A portion of the proceeds will go towards assisting gay rights supporters in the Caribbean, and there will be plenty of fierce “wining” on the dance floor.

Choro Bastardo
Sunday, August 24, 6 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

This group of talented NEC students play music inspired by the Brazilian choro movement, taking significant detours into tango, jazz, and classical.

— Noah Schaffer


Aparna Ramaswamy in “Sannidhi”

Aparna Ramaswamy in “Sannidhi.” She will be performing on Martha’s Vineyard this week.

49th Parallel Dance Company
August 22
The Dance Hall
Kittery, Maine
Aug 23
Saco River Theater
Saco, Maine

Spanning east (New York City) and west (Vancouver, B.C.) 49th Parallel Dance Company presents works by Maine native Ariana Champlin and Canadian choreographer Carolyn Schmidt in a program they’ve titled Pathways.

Vincent Cacialano
Trident Gallery
Gloucester, MA

British performance artist Vincent Cacialano, one of the founders of Amsterdam’s famously outre improvisational collective Magpie Music Dance Company, presents his solo Auto-Body-Graphic. This event is free, but reservations are strongly recommended.

A Jazz Happening
August 17
Jacob’s Pillow
Becket, MA

Go ahead, walk into the joint. This one-night-only theatrical revue directed by Fosse expert Chet Walker and featuring the two dozen jazz dancers in the Pillow’s uber-competitive jazz training program is a benefit for the School at Jacob’s Pillow.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
LeeSaar The Company
August 20- 24
Jacob’s Pillow
Becket, MA

The closing weekend of the Pillow season couldn’t be a greater contrast: the elegant decorum of international contemporary ballet, with works by Cayetano Soto and Nicolo Fonte as well as Boston Ballet’s Jorma Elo in the Ted Shawn Theatre, and LeeSaar, the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Israel surrealists in Grass and Jackals down the hill at the Doris Duke Theatre. Plan to stay late after the evening performances on Aug 23 to party as the Pillow raises a glass to a successful Festival 2014.

Aparna Ramaswamy
August 21 and 23
The Yard
Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

Born in India and trained by her mother Ranee in Minneapolis and guru Alarmél Valli, in Chennai, bharatanatyam soloist and choreographer Aparna Ramaswamy dances Indian classical work with a live musical ensemble.

— Debra Cash


Delfeayo Marsalis Quartet with Ellis Marsalis
August 17, 8 p.m.
Tanglewood, Lenox, MA.

Trombonist and record producer Delfeayo Marsalis finishes a week of barnstorming Massachusetts with a quartet that includes his dad, patriarch of the clan, pianist Ellis, in Seiji Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Center. They’re calling it their “Last Southern Gentlemen” tour, named for a forthcoming album.

Maria Schneider Orchestra
August 24, 8 p.m.
Tanglewood, Lenox, MA.

Schneider carries on the jazz orchestra tradition of former mentors Bob Brookmeyer and Gil Evans with her very personal take on the format — lush with pastel harmonies, Brazilian rhythms, bird calls, hang-glide updrafts, and more.

David Maxwell and the Maximum Blues comes to the Museum of Fine Arts this week.

David Maxwell & Maximum Blues comes to the Museum of Fine Arts this week.

David Maxwell & Maximum Blues
August 27, 7:30 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

Pianist David Maxwell has either played or toured with all manner of blues greats, from Muddy Waters and James Cotton to Freddie King and Hubert Sumlin. He’s also known to explore the outer edges of jazz improvisation. Tonight he brings his Maximum Blues to the MFA’s Calderwood Courtyard, joined by singer Darrell Nulisch.

Leslie Pintchik Trio
August 27.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Imagine, if you will, Bill Evans playing a New Orleans second-line. At least, that’s what pianist Leslie Pintchik’s “I’d Turn Back If I Were You” brings to mind on her new CD, In the Nature of Things (Pinch Hard) — expansive harmonies, lyrical expression, and a bit of Monk-ish humor, riding on those NOLA rhythms. Pintchik makes her Boston debut with her trio, bassist Scott Hardy and drummer Michael Sarin, at Scullers Jazz Club.

— Jon Garelick

Classical Music

Dutoit conducts Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff
Presented by the Tanglewood Music Festival
August 17, 2:30 p.m.
Tanglewood Music Shed, Lenox, MA.

The Sunday afternoon concert after Candide is, appropriately, the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. Charles Dutoit conducts the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in some of his specialty repertoire: Stravinsky’s Fireworks and a complete performance of The Firebird. In between, pianist Nikolai Luganski plays Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 3.

Rhapsody in Green
Presented by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra
August 20, 7 p.m.
Hatch Band Shell, Boston, MA

The BLO’s annual “green” concert begins with Carl Maria von Weber’s Overture to Der Freischütz and closes with Jean Sibelius’s epic Symphony no. 2. In between come a pair of nature-inspired scores: one, Jean Françaix’s The Flower Clock, and the other, Edward MacDowell’s orchestral Suite no. 1.

Krill Gerstein

Kirill Gerstein will perform plays Rachmaninoff’s evergreen “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini” at Tanglewood this week.

Respighi Spectacular
Presented by the Tanglewood Music Festival
August 23, 8:30 p.m.
Tanglewood Music Shed, Lenox, MA

The BSO’s penultimate Tanglewood concert this season includes some of the flashiest, most extravagant (and extroverted) music in the repertoire: Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture opens things, while Ottorino Respighi’s three Roman tone poems – Roman Festivals, The Fountains of Rome, and The Pines of Rome – conclude the evening. And Kirill Gerstein plays Rachmaninoff’s evergreen Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. In short, there’s something for just about everybody here.

O’er the Land of the Free
Presented by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra
August 27, 7 p.m.
Hatch Band Shell, Boston, MA

The final concert of the BLO’s season commemorates the bicentennial of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Michael Gandolfi’s Chesapeake: Summer of 1814 shares the program with music by Ives (the off-the-wall Variations on AMERICA), Dudley Buck’s Festival Overture on the American National Air, and two pieces by Beethoven – the Overture to Fidelio, his great paean to human freedom; and the Symphony no. 8, two centuries old this year.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival
August 19, 7:30 p.m.
At the Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cotuit, MA

The Borromeo String Quartet performs works of Schubert (String Quartet No. 15 in G Major, D. 887) and Dvořák (String Quartet No. 11 in C Major, Opus 61).

Music at Eden’s Edge
August 19, 2 p.m.
Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, 323 Locust Street, Danvers, MA

“Music from 3 Centuries for Voice, Flute, Violin, and Piano” features mezzo soprano D’Anna Fortunato, violinist Maria Benotti, pianist Naoko Sugiyama, and flutist Orlando Cela.

— Susan Miron


Photo: Kevin Sprague

John Cariani and Paige Davis in the Barrington Stage production of “Dancing Lessons.” Photo: Kevin Sprague

Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain. Directed by Julianne Boyd.
Through August 24
Staged by Barrington Stage Company at the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, Pittsfield, MA.

The world premiere of a romantic comedy in which “a young man with Asperger’s seeks the instruction of a Broadway dancer, now sidelined with injuries. As their relationship unfolds, they’re caught off-guard by the surprising discoveries – both hilarious and heartwarming – that they make about each other.” John Cariani and Paige Davis star. See the Arts Fuse review.

The Amish Project, by Jessica Dickey. Directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer
Through August 24.
Staged by the Chester Theatre Company, Chester, MA.

The company ends its 25th season with a one-woman show starring one of the stage’s favorite performers, Allison McLemore. She “plays a host of characters in an Amish community devastated by a terrible tragedy.” Associate Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer believes that “this is a beautiful play about our capacity for love, and our ability to surprise ourselves.”

Sister Play, written and directed by John Kolvenbach.
Through September 6.
Staged by the Harbor Stage Company, 5 Kendrick Avenue on Wellfleet Harbor, Wellfleet, MA.

A world premiere of a play “written expressly for the Harbor Stage Company.” The setting is “in a dilapidated Cape Cod cabin, where two sisters, haunted by the memory of their departed father, encounter hope and heartache in the visage of a mysterious stranger.” Sounds as if D.H. Lawrence’s novella “The Fox” might be an influence, but who knows? The cast includes Stacy Fischer, Jonathan Fielding, Robert Kropf, and Brenda Withers.

Classic burlesque revisited.

Miss Mina Murray in “Madame Burlesque” — classic burlesque revisited.

Madame Burlesque
August 20 through 23
Cambridge YMCA, Cambridge, MA

The always tastefully steamy Boston Babydolls present “an evening of tributes to the iconic burlesque performers of yesteryear.” According to the group’s press release, the evening will feature “classic burlesque performances” “re-imagined and created fresh for modern audiences. See burlesque from high art (a Sally Rand-inspired bubble dance en pointe) to low comedy, with all of the glamour, glitz, and sizzle of a night at Minsky’s (without the raid).” Too bad we don’t get the raid as well.

Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw. Newly adapted and directed by Devon Jones.
Staged by the Flat Earth Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA, August 22 through August 30.

GBS’s classic tale of language and class conflict receives a radical update that includes a racial component: “Overseen by a totalitarian police state, the people of London navigate the stations of the century-old Underground. Here, flower seller Eliza Doolittle meets the privileged Henry Higgins, a linguistic mastermind who makes a bet that, through lessons in speech and phonetics, he can pass her off as a duchess in six months.”

Chris Chiampa as Henry Higgins and Jaclyn Johnson as Eliza Doolittle. Photo: Jake Scaltreto.

Chris Chiampa as Henry Higgins and Jaclyn Johnson as Eliza Doolittle in the Flat Earth Theatre’s adaptation of “Pygmalion.” Photo: Jake Scaltreto.

Bridget Everett
August 27, 8 p.m.
At Oberon, Cambridge, MA

The acclaimed Everett “returns to Oberon with her funny yet gut-wrenching and outrageous performance. Bridget has played to sold-out venues nationally, been joined by guests ranging from Broadway icon Patti Lupone to Rock icon Flea, and has instantly developed a cult-like following with her edgy cabaret. Each performance is as explosive as it is unpredictable.” “Wynona Judd meets Melissa Etheridge, via the local bar floozy, on a rocket ship out of Twin Peaks” – The Village Voice

— Bill Marx


Arcade Fire
August 19
Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA

Arcade Fire’s fourth album, Reflektor, was one of the best releases of 2013. The tour behind it has generated some controversy because the band has requested that audience members wear formal attire or a costume when they attend the show. If your tux is still at the clearers though, don’t worry. The group insists that the dress code is optional and just in good fun.

The Strypes
August 22
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

When I first wrote about the Strypes a year and a half ago (for a website that no longer exists), they were a group of Irish teenagers playing old blues songs. Now, they’re still a group of Irish teenagers playing old blues songs, but they’ve added originals to go along with their faithful cover versions and they have a debut album out called Snapshot. Kids grow up so fast, don’t they?

Upcoming and On Sale…

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (8/30/2014, Fenway Park); Boston Calling Music Festival featuring The National, Lorde, The Replacements (9/5-7/2014, City Hall Plaza) Bombino (9/5/2014, The Sinclair); Justin Townes Earle (9/10/2014, Royale); Bob Mould (9/12/2014, Paradise Rock Club); Jack White (9/17/2014, Fenway Park); Willie Nelson (9/20/2014, Indian Ranch); The Black Keys (9/21/2014, TD Garden); Kasabian (9/26/2014, Paradise Rock Club); Jeff Tweedy (9/26/2014, Berklee Performance Center); Neil Young (10/5-6/2014, Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theater); The Orwells (10/9/2014, Brighton Music Hall); Foxygen (10/11/2014, Paradise Rock Club); J Mascis (10/18/2014, The Sinclair); Temples (10/24/2014, Paradise Rock Club); Peter Hook & the Light (11/8/2014, Royale); Randy Newman (11/19/2014, Wilbur Theatre); Julian Casablancas + The Voidz (11/26/2014, House of Blues)

— Adam Ellsworth

Author Events


Saul Wisnia
Miracle At Fenway: The Inside Story of the Boston Red Sox 2004 Championship Season
August 17 at 7 pm
Newtonville Books, Newton, MA

Remember the curse of the bambino? Luckily for us, this near-century of rotten luck was broken by the Sox’s miraculous World Series victory in 2004. Newtonville Books is hosting the launch party for veteran sportswriter Steve Wisnia’s oral history of that miraculous year.

Joshua Wolf Shenk
In conversation with Sven Birkerts
Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs
August 18 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Somerville, MA

From Lennon and McCartney to Steves Jobs and Wozniak, the best creative work can come from a pair rather than a solo effort. Joshua Shenk, whose recent cover story in The Atlantic has been expanded to a book-length study, will sit down with critic/editor Sven Birkerts to discuss the merits of collaboration and its use for creative thinking of all kinds.


Gail Gutradt
In a Rocket Made of Ice
Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA
August 19 at 7 p.m.

Gail Gutradt was in a mid-life crisis when she heard about Wat Opot Children’s Community, a temple complex established amid the rice paddies of Cambodia. It has been transformed into a place of healing where children diagnosed with HIV/AIDS can overcome social condemnation by creating a new community. The book is a powerful story about resilience of the kids and the personal transformation of the author as she tries to help.

Elizabeth Benedict
Don’t Sweat The Essay
August 20 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Somerville MA

With the academic year just around the corner, the time is right for some advanced tutorial advice on how to write college admission essays. Elizabeth Benedict, a highly regarded and bestselling writer, editor, and professor shares her wisdom and experience in a lively 45-minute discussion. After that, she will take questions from the audience.

Fiction Fridays
August 22
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

All summer long, the Harvard Book Store is offering 15% off fiction purchases in the store. The promotion isn’t limited to fiction alone, however. Book lovers can get the discount on poetry, graphic novels, audiobooks and YA fiction as well.

— Matt Hanson

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