Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, film, dance, author events, and theater for the coming week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Art and Craft
January 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Mass MoCA North Adams, MA
This film about Mark Landis, one of the most prolific art forgers in US history, is a riveting psychological portrait of a dysfunctional loner with a singular gift. Rail thin, soft spoken, and a disarmingly gentle soul, Landis is seen hunched over his stacks of forged paintings. With a voice pitched like Truman Capote’s, speaking in the slow deliberate cadences of someone heavily medicated, he ruminates on his own condition, on art, and why he has given away his forged pictures and paintings to literally hundreds of unknowing museums and institutions. Arts Fuse Review
Orson Welles at The Harvard Film Archive
January 23 -25
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA
Part of a larger Welles’ series, Friday features Chimes at Midnight, with Welles directing this marvelous adaptation of Shakespeare as well as providing a brilliant Falstaff, along with Citizen Kane, most likely the mot stunning debut in film history. Saturday brings The Magnificent Ambersons and The Third Man (written by Grahame Greene and directed Carol Reed) with Welles present supplying a tricky and lethal performance as Henry Lime. On Sunday there is The Lady from Shanghai and Othello (directed and starring Welles). These are well worth seeing projected in rich black and white. Welles remains one of the geniuses of cinema — go see why. Full schedule.
Force Majeur & Exhibition
Brattle Theater, Cambridge, MA
This is the final twin bill of the (Some of) The Best of 2014 Repertory Series and it is a great pairing. In Force Majeure, a snow avalanche at a family ski resort serves as the kick-off point for a complex psychological exploration of civilization and its discontents. Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s seemingly simple story about what it takes to be human is elegant and threatening, portentous and comical. Arts Fuse review Exhibition by Joanna Hogg is another drama of bourgeoisie domestic unrest, but it is a bit more formally challenging. The British Guardian describes the film as “a superbly glacial and composed experiment in fictional cine-portraiture; a refrigerated study in domesticity and sophistication, mysterious and preposterous . . . about two artists trapped in a modernist house that has become the third person in their emptily overcrowded marriage.” Arts Fuse review
Rough Cut Media Screening
January 26 at 7 p.m.
Arts at the Armory, Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA
Local media-makers have to get their start somewhere, and the Rough Cut series might well be it. Hosted by Somerville Community Access TV (SCATV), this night provides an open forum for participants to present, explore, and receive feedback on their work-in-progress videos. The audience is made up of a friendly and supportive gathering of peers and community members. From documentary episodes to experimental squibs, music videos to television shows, all forms of video are welcome. Bring a submission, or just stop in to view and join the discussion – there’s no ticket price or cover charge. The event starts at 7 p.m. in the Cafe.
— Tim Jackson
Mark Morris Dance Group
Institute of Contemporary Art
In a mid-week repertory program, MMDG returns to fete its Boston fans with Italian Concerto, A Wooden Tree, Jenn and Spencer, and the most recent work on the program, Words, set to selections from Felix Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words,” all with live music accompaniment and inspiration.
Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host
Citi Shubert Theater
This American Life‘s Ira Glass joins forces with the humorous and poignant choreographer Monica Bill Barnes and her longtime collaborator Anna Bass for a three act dance that has brought unintimidating dance to a whole new audience. Read the Arts Fuse preview.
Spunk and Company Dance
Green Street Studios
Steven Millhauser’s novella Enchanted Night, with its intersecting nocturnal perambulations in a Connecticut neighborhood, made the point that even ordinary suburbanites could harbor fantastical inner lives. The young local dancers of Spunk and CO have turned this into a dance program they call On These Tracks.
Bolshoi Ballet Swan Lake
Various local movie theatres
Bolshoi means “big” and so it’s apt that this live ballet performance will be simulcast onto the big screen in HD. This is the 2001 Yuri Grigorovich version with less mime, no crossbow, and a prince who is left to mourn alone on the shore at the end.
and further afield…
The Vets Auditorium
Providence, Rhode Island
The best Swiss export since cheese where dancer/acrobats twist themselves into endlessly inventive shapes and use silly props to tell unexpected stories. Bring the kids.
— Debra Cash
Roots and World Music
Ever-entertaining psycho-billy romper (and underrated songwriter) Jim “Horton Heat” Heath draws a good audience anywhere beer is sold. Last year he brought along Deke Dekerson for a mid-set segment, and this year he doubles up with a revue that includes rockabilly filly Rosie Flores and the first Boston show by honky tonk master Dale Watson in five years. While real country music may be sinking fast, Watson isn’t going down with the ship. A man who is so Texan he’s sponsored by Lone Star Beer, his all-original 2013 El Rancho Azul LP was full of the expected hard-drinking, heart-breaking twang that Watson can be counted on to deliver. Even when he went sentimental with “Daughter’s Wedding Song” he included the ultimate traditional country trope — the mid-song recitation.
This sophisticated Brazilian octet draws heavily from modern classical, samba, and jazz. They promise that music from “new and unknown” Brazilian composers will be on the set list for what appears to be their only American appearance. Earlier in the day they’ll conduct a clinic in the same venue.
Menotomy Concert Series
Arlington Town Hall, Arlington, MA
Violinist Mimi Rabson, trombonist David Harris, and drummer Phil Neighbors are three of Boston’s most valuable musicians. They’re routinely found in an array of klezmer, jazz, classical and world music ensembles. Their new trio features original compositions that go from thrash to ska to gypsy jazz within a few concise minutes.
This NEC student quartet starts off exploring the 100-year old Brazilian choro string band tradition – which they then extend deep into John Cage as well as Jelly Roll Morton territory. They’re concluding a regional tour that also includes stops in Lowell, MA and Tiverton, R.I.
— Noah Schaffer
Captain Boycott [recommended for ages 12 & up, January 28 through February 1] and The Nothing Is Not Ready Circus [recommended for everyone, January 24 and 25]. Directed by Peter Schumann. Created and staged by Bread & Puppet Theater at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA), 539 Tremont St., South End, Boston, MA, January 24 through February 1.
The award-winning Bread & Puppet extravaganza comes to town with something for everyone — radical politics, circus antics, giant puppets, low humor, crowd-pleasing music, bewildered volunteer performers, and “a political art installation conceived by Schumann, along with the sale of Bread & Puppet’s legendary Cheap Art and the opportunity to savor Schumann’s home-made sourdough rye bread spread with garlic-laden aioli.” The aioli is killer …
The Second Girl by Ronan Noone. Directed by Campbell Scott. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Virginia Wimberly Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through February 21.
Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night is the backdrop for this play, “which is set in the downstairs world of the Tyrone family kitchen in August 1912. Two Irish immigrant servant girls and the chauffeur search for love, success, and a sense of belonging in their new world.” This is the world premiere production of a script by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Ronan Noone.
Bedlam’s Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw. Directed by Eric Tucker. Presented by Underground Railway Theater at the Central Square Theatre, Cambridge, MA through February 8.
Bernard Shaw would no doubt see this quartet of actors taking on his historical epic as being stirring expressions of the “Life Force.” “Four actors perform all 24 roles in Bedlam’s production of Saint Joan, declared “Irresistible! Ferocious!” and “A force of nature!” by the New York Times.”
Middletown by Will Eno. Directed by Curt Columbus. Staged by the Trinity Repertory Company in the Dowling Theatre at 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI, January 22 through February 22.
Playwright Will Eno’s acclaimed 2010 play is a “wry, bittersweet and achingly beautiful” look at small-town American living” that reveals “universal themes of love, birth, death, loneliness, elation, forgiveness, disappointment and redemption.”
A Case Named Freud by Savyon Liebrecht. Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon. Staged by Israeli Stage at the Goethe-Institut, 170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, on January 25.
A staged reading (and world premiere) of Liebrecht’s dramatic exploration of “the story of Sigmund Freud and the young Nazi, Dr. Sauer, who saved him and the Freud family after being appointed to take care of his estate in Vienna.” The impressive cast includes Ken Baltin, Dale Place, and Stacy Fischer. The production will tour a number of local universities — information here.
Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, adapted by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Nora Hussey. Staged by Wellesley Summer Theatre Company at the Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, through February 2.
The Boston area premiere of Ruhl’s version of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 time-bending gender-bender novel. “Most of the text in the stage version comes directly from the novel,” wrote the New York Times critic of the New York production. “Woolf’s deliciously frolicsome tone, with the narrator merging the mock-serious voice of a sober biographer with a frank acknowledgment of the impossibility of teasing out truth from the mists of history, comes through with its bright, pealing wit.”
Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) by Suzan Lori-Parks. Directed by Jo Bonney. A co-production between the American Repertory Theater and The Public Theater in New York, at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, January 23 through March 1.
“A devastatingly beautiful new play set over the course of the Civil War” that impressed a number of New York theater critics. “A masterful new work from one of our most lyrical and powerful writers” — and at her best Suzan Lori-Parks lives up to the latter description — the drama “is a deeply personal epic about love and hope in a world of impossible choices.”
Kerplop! Tale of the Frog Prince. Directed & Conceived by Matthew Woods. Staged by imaginary beasts at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston, MA, through February 7.
This inventive group “refashions another classic fairy tale into a fantasy of amphibious proportions… the classic Tale of the Frog Prince receives the full Panto treatment. Audiences of all ages will want to catch the fun!”
The Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor. Directed by Charles Towers. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell, MA, 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.”
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. Staged by the Actors’ Shakespeare Project at the Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, 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.” Arts Fuse review
Chalk by Walt McGough. Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz. Staged by Fresh Ink Theater at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Boston, MA, through January 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.”
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, 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.” Arts Fuse review
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. Arts Fuse review.
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, through February 7.
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.” Arts Fuse review
— Bill Marx
January 19, 8:30 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA
We wish heavycats Dave Bryant (keyboards; Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time) and George Garzone (saxophones; the Fringe, see January 17) had more occasion to exchange ideas, but we’re grateful for this particular show. They’re joined by bassist John Turner and drummer Chris Brown. (And it’s to be assumed that Garzone will have time to get to his weekly 10:30 gig with the Fringe down the block at the Lily Pad.)
Laszlo Gardony Quartet
January 22, 8 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA
Pianist-composer Laszlo Gardony expands his longtime trio with bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel to include another regular collaborator, charismatic saxophonist/flutist/singer/dancer Stan Strickland.
January 23, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.
Jazz-guitar sage Bill Frisell assays his latest project, Guitar in the Space Age, covering guitar hits in multiple genres (pop, rock, country, blues) from the ’50 and ’60s.
Ran Blake’s Pet Noir
January 24, 4 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.
Pianist/composer and New England Conservatory professor emeritus/guru Ran Blake convenes a bunch of musical associates (and a writer or two) to combine his passions for the animal world and film noir.
The Bad Plus
January 24, 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA.
Having tackled Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in a piano trio arrangement, jazz provocateurs the Bad Plus now take on Ornette Coleman’s epochal 1972 Columbia release, Science Fiction, augmented by saxophonists Tim Berne and Sam Newsome and trumpeter Ron Horton.
January 24, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.
Former Brookline girl wonder Grace Kelly, now a fully-fledged twentysomething, returns to Scullers, mixing standards and originals, playing superb alto saxophone and singing a bit.
Usually known around town for his alto saxophone playing, Jorrit Dijkstra here jams on lyricon and analog synthesizer with fellow synthesist Andrew Neumann.
January 24, 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA.
The distinguished jazz-new-music polymath Joe McPhee makes a rare Boston-area visit to join cellist Dan Levin and drummer Chris Corsano.
January 24, 8 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.
Russian-born pianist-vibraphonist-composer Alexei Tsiganov has been a regular on Boston’s Brazilian circuit. Leading his own band at the Regattabar (other players TBA), Tsiganov will mix originals and jazz standards in a cross-cultural blend of Latin, Brazilian, and, we hope, Russian idioms.
Strings Theory Trio
January 28, 7:30 p.m.
David Friend Recital Hall, Boston, MA.
Violinist Mimi Rabson has long been one of Boston’s most valuable players. She’s at the hub of the Strings Theory Trio, playing “directed improvisation” with fellow five-string violinist Helen Sherrah-Davies and cellist Junko Fujiwara, celebrating the release of a new CD. (David Friend Recital Hall is at Berklee College of Music.)
January 28, 9 p.m.
Ryles Jazz Club, Cambridge, MA.
The always-compelling Uruguayan pianist-composer Nando Michelin embarks on a new flamenco project, joined by Jordanian violinist Layth Sidiq, Palestinian cellist Naseem Alatrash, bassist Rob Taylor, Brazilian percussionist Rogerio Bocatto, and Michelin’s son Tiago on drums.
— Jon Garelick
The Tragically Hip
House of Blues, Boston, MA
Late last year the Ontario group remastered and reissued their 1992 album Fully Completely and are celebrating the release with a tour that will see them play the LP in its entirety. The record (and the band for that matter) is admittedly not all that well known in the U.S., but way up north it’s considered one of the greatest Canadian albums ever made. That’s not bad considering the Hip hail from the country of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Arcade Fire.
House of Blues, Boston, MA
After having to postpone their fall trip to Boston, the electro-trio will hit the House of Blues this month. The band members are young, but they’ve already found success, including a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for their song “Stronger.”
Upcoming and On Sale…
George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic (2/14/2015, House of Blues); Gang of Four (3/6/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Will Butler (of Arcade Fire) (3/6/2015, TT the Bears); of Montreal (3/10/2015, Paradise Rock Club); 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); Crosby, Stills and Nash (5/19/2015, Citi Performing Arts Center); Boston Calling (featuring Beck, Pixies, My Morning Jacket) (5/22-24/2015, City Hall Plaza); 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
Johannes Moser plays Saint-Saëns
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
January 22-24, 8 p.m. (1:30 p.m. on Friday)
Symphony Hall, Boston
Cellist Moser makes his BSO debut playing Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto no. 1. The program also includes Berlioz’s Le Corsaire Overture and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherezade. Tugan Sokhiev, also making his BSO debut, conducts.
Haydn Symphonies and Concerto
Presented by the Handel & Haydn Society
January 23 (at 7:30 p.m.) and 25 (at 3 p.m.)
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
Half of H&H’s namesake gets a concert to himself. Two symphonies (nos. 7 and 83) are on tap, plus the overture to La Speziale. And H&H’s dynamic concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky is the soloist in the Violin Concerto in C major.
Presented by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project
January 24, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston< MA
This is the sort of program that shows just how BMOP does everything right. Gabriella Diaz is the soloist in György Ligeti’s otherworldly Violin Concerto. The excellent Lorelei Ensemble is featured in Kati Agòcs’ new The Debrecen Passion. There’s a new piece by Bálint Karosi (Existentia—in memory of Sándor Weöres). And the old chestnut on the bill belongs to Bartók (Three Village Scenes).That’s right: Bartók. This sort of fare might never be commonplace, but that just makes this concert stand out all the more.
Presented by the Cantata Singers
January 24 and 31, 8 p.m.
St. Paul Church, Cambridge (on the 24th) and Houghton Chapel, Wellesley College (on the 31st)
The Cantata Singers commemorate the 100th birthday of Rachmaninoff’s choral masterpiece with two performances. David Hoose conducts.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
New England Conservatory Faculty
January 20 at 8:00 p.m.
At Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
Pianist Damien Francoeur-Krzyzek, soprano Lisa Saffer, and violinist Nicholas Kitchen present a concert that features works by Prokofiev and Respighi.
Faculty Artist Recital: Pianist Esther Ning Yau
January 21 at 8 p.m.
At Longy School of Music in Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall, Cambridge, MA
Yau joins violinist Heather Braun, and cellist Rafael Poppe-Keizer in an all-Schumann program: Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano in A Minor, Op. 105; Fantasiestücke, Op. 88; Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70; Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63
Emerson String Quartet
January 22 at 8 p.m.
At Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
Celebrity Series of Boston presents the venerable string quartet performing an eclectic program: Purcell’s Two Fantasias and Chacony (arranged by Benjamin Britten); Lowell Liebermann’s String Quartet (a Boston premiere co-commissioned by Celebrity Series); Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Opus 132.
Boston Singers’ Relief Fund Fifth Anniversary Concert Celebration
January 24 at 4 p.m.
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St, Boston, MA
“An unprecedented event that will include performances by Blue Heron, Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music and Handel and Haydn Society. As Principal Sponsors, all four of these organizations pledge 2% of their annual singer budget to the fund. Their participation in this benefit concert is another way they are showing support for and understanding of the value of their singers. For the program’s grand finale, Ryan Turner, Artistic Director of Emmanuel Music, will conduct a combined chorus of the area’s finest professional singers.”
It is thanks to support from musicians, music lovers and our Principal Sponsors that BSRF has been able to extend assistance to all of the professional singers who have applied to the fund for assistance these past five years, and we hope to be able to do more in the future.”
Mark DeVoto at 75
January 25 at 3 p.m.
At the Granoff Music Center, 20 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA
On the program: Gschoppin, an oneiric rag fantasy for piano; Three Pieces for two violas; Trio for clarinet, cello and piano; Eight Songs on Poems of Emily Dickinson (in memory of George Perle). The performers paying homage to the composer are mezzo-soprano Karol Bennett, violists Anna Griffis and Will Myers; clarinetist Ray Jackendoff; cellist Emanuel Feldman, and pianist John McDonald.
The French Connection: Chamber Music
January 25 at 3 p.m.
At Fitzgerald Theater, on Cambridge Street between Felton and Ellery, Cambridge, MA
The Boston Chamber Music Society (violinist Jesse Mills, cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, pianist Randall Hodgkinson, and pianist Mihae Lee) performs a program that includes Fauré’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120; Debussy/Ravel’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune for Piano Four Hands; Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for Piano Four Hands; Ravel’s Piano Trio.
— Susan Miron
West of Sunset
January 20 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
Over his long career, O’Nan has distinguished himself as one of America’s foremost chroniclers of the triumphs and travails of the working class. His fourteenth novel is a departure from his usual terrain in that it takes the final years of F Scott Fitzgerald’s life as its subject, focusing on the writer’s gin-sodden period as an anguished screenwriter for hire in Hollywood.
Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics
January 22 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
In the wake of the killings of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner and the national uproar over issues such as institutional violence and “hate,” Bronski, a Harvard University Professor of the Practice of Activism and Media in the Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality, talks about his new book (co-authored with Kay Whitlock). Many are quick to conclude that cruelty is aberrant, favored by extremists. But Bronski draws on social science, philosophy, film, and literature to argue that hate and individual and group violence is actually excused and normalized in the media, popular culture, and political discussion.
Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Life, Love and Die at the Movies
January 22 at 7 p.m.
Newtonville Books, Newton Centre MA
Ison is a novelist, critic, and the co-author of the cult classic Don’t Tell Mom, The Babysitter’s Dead. Her new memoir details her experiences with a lifetime of movie-watching and how it helped shape her identity. In ten well-constructed essays, Ison explains how watching movies taught her to understand and grapple with the bigger issues of life as well as how to drink, how to be Jewish, how to deal with mental illness, and how to die with style.
Cass R Sunstein
Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter
and Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State
January 26 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
The eminent Harvard professor, whose work has directly influenced policymakers and who has been seen as a possible Supreme Court nominee, will read and discuss not one but two of his most recent books. The first concerns how human beings are evolutionarily hard-wired to work and think in groups but, as we all know, groupthink can not only be ineffective but in some cases harmful. Sunstein’s second book tells the story of his time as a regulatory overseer and explains how the government can humanize regulations by drawing on law, psychology, and economics.
Daniel Williman & Karen Corsano
John Singer Sargent and His Muse: Painting Love and Loss
January 27 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA
From 1906 to 1912, the great John Singer Sargent used his niece, Rose-Marie Ormond, as both a model and a muse. She married the promising Robert Michel, the son of an eminent art historian who was Sargent’s friend and supporter. Robert was eventually claimed by World War One and Rose-Marie died tragically while working as a nurse in a rehabilitation hospital. Sargent sublimated his grief in paintings including his last murals for the Boston Public Library. Williman and Corsano have written a biography of the eminent painter that focuses on this story of love, friendship, art, and loss.
— Matt Hanson
The Word Exchange: The Music of Language in Translation
At Suffolk University in the Modern Theatre, 525 Washington Street, Boston, MA
A number of heavyweight local poets, including David Ferry, George Kalogeris, Lloyd Schwartz, and Marcia Karp (who also writes for The Arts Fuse) present “an extraordinary evening of international poetry, including works from Vietnam, the Anglo-Saxon world, Italy, France, Ancient Greece and Rome, evocatively performed both in the original and in translations by world class poets and actors.” A Poets’ Theatre production; Robert Scanlan directs.
Save 10% with the code Poets10 here: http://poetstheatre.org/tickets
— Bill Marx