Fuse Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week

Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, film, author events, and theater for the coming week.

By The Arts Fuse Staff


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

A scene from the acclaimed animation feature "Rocks in My Pockets."

A scene from the acclaimed animation feature “Rocks in My Pockets.”

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Now Playing
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

Last year we had director Jim Jarmusch with the art-vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive. Now comes a hijab-wearing bloodsucker film set in Iran, but shot in California in high-contrast B&W. IndieWire calls this one of the Ten Best Films you didn’t see, a “feminist comic-book movie blended with social realism” and a “tender, sexy-as-hell romance.” Director Ana Lily Amirpour has been getting lots of attention this, her first feature.

The Lavender Hill Mob
January 7, at 7:30 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

This classic British comedy won an Academy Award for Best Writing, Story, and Screenplay. Alec Guinness received a Best Actor nomination for the role of “Henry Holland, an unassuming transporter of gold bullion who, after working for twenty years with no rewards in sight for his faithful service to his company, decides to reward himself by stealing one million pounds worth of gold.” (Bosley Crowther, 1951) The precious metal is melted into a collection of souvenir Eiffel Towers that are accidently sold to a group of English schoolgirls. Memorable craziness commences. This brilliant farce is the first of the MFA series The Films of Alex Guinness, which screens through January 15.

Rocks in My Pockets
January 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Cabot Theater, Beverly, MA

Boston Globe (and occasional Arts Fuse) film critic Peter Keough and Gordon College Psychology Department Chair Kaye Cook will be on hand to introduce this fantastic animated feature created by Latvian-born artist and filmmaker Signe Baumane. It is made up of five fantastical tales of art, romance, marriage, nature, business, and Eastern European upheaval. Another theme is Baumane’s fight to maintain her sanity; the narratives revolve around the courageous women in the director’s family and their battles with madness. The film currently boasts a 100% positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com. Keough and Cook will examine the film’s imaginative vision, as well as attempt to make sense of its multigenerational struggle.

Ottawa Animation Film Festival
January 10 at 3 p.m. & January 11 at 3 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

The Ottawa International Animation Festival is the largest event of its kind in North America, a major film event attracting attendees from around the world. Movie buffs, art lovers, and cartoon fans here have come to expect a unique lineup of screenings. Each year we get the winning entries right here at the ICA!

— Tim Jackson


Future Islands
January 7
Royale, Boston, MA

The synth-heavy Baltimore band Future Islands were the first group onstage at last September’s Boston Calling festival and they did not disappoint. Lead singer Samuel Herring was so into his performance that he actually split his pants, and the band brought the crowd to a boil with a performance of their beautiful “Seasons (Waiting On You).” They’re undoubtedly one of the best live acts around.

Upcoming and On Sale…

The Vaselines (1/17/2015, Brighton Music Hall); Gang of Four (3/6/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Will Butler (of Arcade Fire) (3/6/2015, TT the Bears); Swervedriver (3/28/2015, The Sinclair); Carl Barat and the Jackals (3/28/2015, Brighton Music Hall); Belle and Sebastian (3/30/2015, House of Blues); Jeff Beck (4/19/2015, Orpheum Theatre); They Might Be Giants (4/23/2015, House of Blues); The Who (5/24/2015, Mohegan Sun Arena); U2 (7/10, 11, 14, 15/2015, TD Garden); Foo Fighters (7/18-19/2015, Fenway Park); The Who (10/29/2015, TD Garden)

— Adam Ellsworth


Photo: Danielle Fauteux Jacques

Brooks Reeves and Courtland Jones in Apollinaire Theatre Company’s production of “Midsummer.” Photo: Danielle Fauteux Jacques.

Midsummer [a play with songs] by David Greig & Gordon MacIntyre. Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques
. Staged by Apollinaire Theatre Company at Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, MA, through January 18.

I like the way this company thinks in the midst of winter — why not a show about the warm times ahead? Midsummer is the story of a great lost weekend of bridge-burning, car chases, wedding bust-ups, bondage miscalculations, midnight trysts and self-loathing hangovers.” The piece comes with lots of praise from Europe — even the assurance from the Daily Telegraph that Greig is “one of the most interesting and adventurous British dramatists of his generation.”

The Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor. Directed by Charles Towers. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell, MA, January 8 through February 1.

According to Canada’s The Globe & Mail in 2012, “Nova Scotian national treasure Daniel MacIvor’s latest, perhaps his most heartwarming and potentially crowd-pleasing comedy to date, concerns three brothers: serious Hamilton, who builds condos; flaky Kyle, who sells condos; and Enzo, who will tear a condo or any other dwelling to shreds with his teeth if you leave him unattended. The first two are human; the third, a mostly off-stage character, is an Italian greyhound.”

Chalk by Walt McGough. Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz. Staged by Fresh Ink Theater at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Boston, MA, January 9 through 24.

This is billed as “A Rolling World Premiere with Chicago’s Sideshow Theatre Company.” In 2012, dramatist McGough was named one of the Boston Globe’s Artists on the Rise. His latest play sounds like a work of dark sci-fi inspired by countless existential uggah-buggah movies: “Maggie survived the end of the world, but it hasn’t really ended, has it? Stuck in an abandoned building with nearly unlimited supplies, a broken radio and a book of spells, she bides her time and waits for the monsters to leave.”


Lord Angelo (Maurice Emmanuel Parent), Isabella (Adrianna Mitchell), and Duke Vincentio (Michael Forden Walker) will star in ASP’s “Measure for Measure.” Photo: Stratton McCrady Photography.

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. Staged by the Actors’ Shakespeare Project at the Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, January 7 through February 1.

“Sex, power, and justice collide in a city on the edge” in what is being called a “timely” production of a tragicomedy where “society is going to hell in a hand-basket.” The angle here is specifically post-Ferguson, at least according to the director: “In Shakespeare’s Vienna, as in cities across America and the world in 2015, poor people, especially young poor people, are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement.”

Muckrakers by Zayd Dohrn. Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary. Staged by New Repertory Theatre in the Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA, January 10 through February 1.

Here is the dramatist on his script: it “is set in a private space (a bedroom in a tiny Brooklyn apartment) and depicts an intimate encounter (a one-night stand) between a fugitive European journalist and a young American activist. The two spend a long night drinking, fighting, having sex, and exposing one another’s dangerous and damaging secrets. And while the fourth wall between audience and stage remains unbroken, the transparency of that separation between public and private is in fact the central concern of the play.” The Arts Fuse review of the 2013 production of the play at The Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires.

Martin Moran, Candy Buckley, Marcia DeBonis, and Tyler Lansing Weaks in Christopher Durang’s  comedy "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." Photo:

Martin Moran, Candy Buckley, Marcia DeBonis, and Tyler Lansing Weaks in the HTC’s staging of Christopher Durang’s comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Photo: Jim Cox.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang. Directed by Jessica Stone. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Boston University Theatre, Avenue of the Arts, Boston, MA, through February 1.

This Tony award-winning comedy is “a wickedly wonderful Chekhovian mashup that Newsday called ‘one of the funniest comedies Broadway has seen in seasons.'” This HTC production is dedicated to former Huntington Artistic Director Nicholas Martin, who passed away on April 30, 2014. Stone will stage the production based on Martin’s original Tony Award-nominated Broadway direction. The Arts Fuse review of the 2013 production of the script by the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, R.I.

A Future Perfect by Ken Urban. Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara. Staged by SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Boston Center for the Arts in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion, Boston, MA, January 9 through February 7.

A world premiere production of a play about parenthood, values, and the price of success for thirty-somethings in America today.

Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins by Margaret Engel & Allison Engel. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, through January 31.

Karen MacDonald stars as Molly Ivins, “a dyed-in-the-wool liberal from deep in the heart of Texas … whose rapier wit made her one of America’s highest-regarded political columnists, satirists, and beloved rabble-rousers.” The one-woman show brings together “personal anecdotes with Molly’s unforgettable humor and wisdom, celebrating her courage and tenacity — even when a complacent America wasn’t listening.”

— Bill Marx


January 8, 7:30 p.m.
Ryles Jazz Club, Cambridge, MA.

The New York quartet iiii plays a kind of singer-songwriter and R&B/hip-hop influenced jazz that brings to mind both Esperanza Spalding and Robert Glasper. It’s music that’s playful, smooth, good-humored, highly serious, and deeply skilled. The Needham High School Jazz Ensemble open for them in this Ryles show.

Jim Hobbs/Timo Shanko/Luther Gray
January 8, 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA

Big-toned, endlessly inventive alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs gets together with his old running buddy from the Fully Celebrated Orchestra, bassist Timo Shanko, as well as all-purpose drum great Luther Gray, at the intimate Outpost 186.

John McNeil & Hush Point
January 10, 7 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

The distinguished trumpeter and composer John McNeil brings his Hush Point quartet — with alto saxophonist Jeremy Udden, bassist Aryeh Kobrinsky, and drummer Anthony Pinciotti — to the Lily Pad, with its beguiling latter-day take on West Coast cool exemplified by the early, “piano-less” Gerry Mulligan-Chet Baker quartet — with a bit of Ornette thrown in there as well. It’s all brushes, no sticks, for drummer Anthony Pinciotti, and a constant, um, hushed four-way counterpoint that’s never less than totally engaging.

Photo: Francesca Patella

The adventurous Dutch-born saxophonist and composer Jorrit Dijkstra will perform in Cambridge this week. Photo: Francesca Patella

Jorrit Dijkstra’s Improvisation Pool
January 14, 7 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

The adventurous Dutch-born saxophonist and composer Jorrit Dijkstra reconvenes his Improvisation Pool, in which ensemble members play in various duet, trio, and quartet combinations before joining in an all-hands finale. Tonight’s crew includes accordionist Ted Reichman, cellist Junko Fujiwara, bassist Nate McBride, drummer Eric Rosenthal, and vocalist Warren Senders.

— Jon Garelick

Classical Music

BSO Music Director Designate Andris Nelsons leads the orchestra in “Salome” with Soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin. Photo: Stu Rosner.

BSO Music Director Designate Andris Nelsons leading the orchestra in “Salome” with Soprano Gun-Brit Barkmin. Photo: Stu Rosner.

Andris Nelsons Returns
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
January 8-10, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

Andris Nelsons returns to the BSO podium with a comfortable program of pieces by Brahms, Haydn, and Richard Strauss. Cellist Gautier Capuçon joins BSO principal violist Steven Ansell in the latter’s Don Quixote.

Russian Portraits
Presented by Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra
January 10, 8 p.m.
First Baptist Church, Newton

Kevin Rhodes conducts three popular Russian scores: Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony and Violin Concerto no. 2, and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. Yevgeny Kutik, a young violinist well worth watching, is the soloist in the concerto.

== Jonathan Blumhofer

Chamber Music
January 4 at 3 p.m.
Loring-Greenough House, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA

Alicia Mielke and Mary Ferrillo perform flute and viola duos by Pleyel, Beethoven, Koechlin, Stamitz and Arnold. The 15th season of the Sunday Afternoon at the ‘Greenough House series recreates the atmosphere of 18th and 19th century “musical afternoons” in the 1760 Loring-Greenough House, twice monthly, October to May. The concert includes afternoon tea.

A Far Cry
Friday, January 9, at 8:00 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

A Far Cry’s program “Improvisation” features Robert Levin on piano. The lineup includes Frederic Rzewski’s Les Moutons de Panurge, W. A. Mozart’s Piano Concerto tba, Francesco Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso in E Minor, op. 3 no. 3 and Ljova’s New work (a world premiere)

Boston Symphony Chamber Players
January 11 at 3 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

The program will include Josef Mysliveček’s Quintet No. 2 in G for two oboes, two horns, and bassoon, Arthur Foote’s Nocturne and Scherzo for flute and string quartet, Eric Nathan’s New work for oboe, horn, and piano (World Premiere; BSO commission), and Dvořák’s Octet-Serenade in E for winds, strings, and piano, Op. 22 (arr. Ingman).

— Susan Miron

Author Events


MassMouth StorySLAM: naked
Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston MA
January 5 from 7- 9 p.m.
$10 tickets

A story slam is a competition based on storytelling, designed around a set theme. Trident booksellers continue their series of hosting story slams, wherein participants will perform a five-minute vignette of their own based around a common theme — in this case, the theme is “naked.” The judges are a five person panel of volunteers looking for undiscovered talent who can create the most interesting and developed tale. Come and spin a yarn of your own or just cheer the storytellers on instead. Purchase tickets and get further info here.

Megan Mayhew Bergman
Almost Famous Women
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
January 6 at 7 p.m.

The stories in Bergman’s new collection spotlight the lives of stranger-than-fiction women: her subjects include the cross-dressing Marion “Joe” Carstairs, the heiress to a Standard Oil fortune who bought her own private island, and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, the nation’s first integrated all-girl swing band.

Amir Aczel
Finding Zero: A Mathematician’s Odyssey to Uncover the Origin of Numbers
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA
January 6 at 7 p.m.

An adventurous mathematician, Aczel has traveled the globe, criss-crossing continents and investigating ancient documents. In this volume, he is on a quest to discover where our numerals came from. He leads the reader on an engrossing journey that ends up in the heart of the Cambodian jungle.

John DiNatale and Matthew Phillion
The Family Business: Memoirs of A Boston Private Eye
and The Indestructibles
Newtonville Books, Newton Centre MA
January 7 at 7 p.m.

Newtonville Books brings two local authors together to read from their Boston-themed work. DiNatale’s book is the memoir of a former Boston police detective who goes far enough back to have been part of the team that caught The Boston Strangler. DiNatale takes the reader on a journey through the underside of the city and into the minds of those who populate it.

Phillion is a Salem-based actor, writer, and film director whose film Certainly Never was nominated for a series of awards at the 2013 Massachusetts Film Festival, including best screenplay and best film. He will be reading from his futuristic fantasy novel featuring characters named Doc Silence, Entropy, Fury, and Starlight.


Marcus Baram
Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of A Man
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
January 7 at 7 p.m.

The great Gil Scott-Heron was many things: poet, songwriter, activist, social critic and tragic drug addict. Author and editor Baram was a life-long fan who knew the musician well and often discussed writing up Heron’s life with the man himself. Baram will talk about the legendary artist and explain how the revolution has not, and will not, be televised.

Paul Fallon
Architecture by Moonlight: Rebuilding Haiti
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
January 8 at 7 p.m.

After Haiti’s tragic 2010 earthquake, the architect and Cambridgian wanted to help rebuild the beautiful island he’d visited the previous summer. Over the next three years, he made seventeen trips to supervise the construction of an orphanage and school in Grand Goave. His book is the story not only of the process of rebuilding the locations but also the irrepressible Haitians he met while working there.

Michael Blumenthal
The Greatest Jewish-American Lover in Hungarian History
Brookline Booksmith, Brookline MA
January 8 at 7 p.m.

This short story collection chronicles with wit and pathos the life of a European expatriate as well as the confusions of a European sensibility caught up in the whirl of American life. Blumenthal’s stories cover a lot of ground, stretching from Israel and Paris to Boston and Texas, in an effort to convey the frenetic dislocation of our globalized world.

MB Caschetta
Miracle Girls
Harvard Square Books, Cambridge MA
January 9 at 7 p.m.

In an event co-sponsored by Grub Street, the Harvard Book Store welcomes MB Caschetta as part of their New Voices in Fiction series. Caschetta’s debut novel is set in Upstate New York during the end of the Nixon administration. As the political world dissolves into chaos, children are suddenly disappearing and young Cee-Cee Bianco is having visions of the Virgin Mary. Kirkus reviews has called Caschetta’s novel “filled with a kind of dark poetry and the menace of ordinary evils.”


Paul Katzeff
Marvin Gilmore: Crusader for Freedom
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
January 10 at 7 p.m.

Suffice to say, Cambridge’s own Marvin Gilmore has lived an interesting life. The beloved unofficial “mayor of Cambridge” is a decorated WW2 veteran who landed in Normandy and was awarded the Legion of Honor. The musician-turned-businessman worked as a freedom rider with Bill Russell, convinced Sammy Davis Jr to fundraise for the NAACP, and led the campaign to bring jobs and economic self-sufficiency to impoverished areas in Boston. In short, Gilmore is a class act — all the more reason to hear his life story.

— Matt Hanson

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