Fuse Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week

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

By The Arts Fuse Staff


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

A scene from a recently discovered John Ford silent "Upstream" -- which will be shown at the Coolidge Corner Theatre as part of its  invaluable "Sound of Silents" series.

A scene from a recently discovered John Ford silent “Upstream” — which will be shown at the Coolidge Corner Theatre as part of its invaluable “Sound of Silents” series.

Upstream and The Adventurer
March 2 at 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton bring their blend of keyboards, vocals, and percussion to The Sound of Silents Series at the Coolidge. Upstream is a John Ford film rediscovered in a New Zealand archive in 2009. The story follows the backstage antics of a group of vaudevillians living in a low-rent boardinghouse. When one of them is offered the chance to star in a production of Hamlet, he relies on lessons from a faded former star in help him create a successful performance. The Adventurer is a comic short featuring Charlie Chaplin as the little tramp. In the film, he escapes from prison. Then, after rescuing a girl and her mother from drowning, the tramp is invited to their home where a big party is held and he is treated like a hero. However, his photo is printed in the newspapers and the prison guards come to bring him back to prison.

New Latin American Cinema
March 4 through 18
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Some of the best world cinema is coming from Latin America, so this series offers filmgoers a valuable chance to sample films from Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. This week features Matías Lucchesi’s Natural Sciences (Ciencias naturales), in which a 12-year-old girl searches for her father. Set in the mountains of Argentina and during the freezing cold of winter, the story follows the adolescent as she tries to escape (on horseback) from a boarding school to the place where her father used to work. The result is a twisting, unpredictable journey through buried memories and interconnected lives. Also this week: the Brazilian film Casa Grande, or The Ballad of Poor Jean by Fellipe Barbosa, a vibrant and layered coming-of-age tale that examines Rio de Janeiro’s social elite. A teenager preoccupied with girls and clubbing is unaware that his life of privilege is threatened. Full Schedule

A scene from "Natural Sciences."

A scene from “Natural Sciences.”

Thursday, March 5 at 7 p.m.
UMass Boston Campus Center, Ballroom “C”, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA

Zachary Levy’s documentary, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, focuses on Stanley Pleskun, a New Jersey strongman who bills himself as “Stanless Steel.” He is one of a dying breed of the circus strongmen who dazzle audiences with extraordinary feats of strength, from bending coins to lifting trucks. This is a touching and respectful profile of a young man utterly committed to greatness in a sadly limited profession. Free and open to the public followed by a Q&A with the director.

Sundance Film Festival: Animated Shorts
March 5 at 7 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

Need to see more animation after taking in the Academy Award nominees? Opportunities to encounter brilliant animation continues with this series from Sundance. “Skewing strongly toward American and British animators — and with death and decline as persistent motifs — the collection embraces ideas both silly and surreal, poignant and perverse. From the beginning of the world to its imagined end, the topics covered are eclectic and sometimes inscrutable.” (NY Times) The pieces include Oh,Willy … , Belly, The Obvious Child, He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss), and Don Hertzfeldt’s fable It’s Such a Beautiful Day. A second screening is scheduled on Saturday March 21st.

Wild Tales
Opens on March 6th
Kendall Square Cinema, Cambridge, and the West Newton Cinema, Newton

The uncivilized impulses seething beneath the veneer of civilized life are the inspiration for the six imaginative (and distinctively told) stories in this film from Argentina, an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film. Director and writer Damián Szifrón embraces lethal ironies and jarring zigzags of fate; each of the short narratives is driven, via relentless momentum, to resolutions that combine the horrid and the comic. This is masterful filmmaking. Trailer

Monday March 9th 7:00 PM
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

The DocYard presents activist filmmaker Emile de Antonio’s 1976 profile of five key members of the Weathermen, the group that was a part of the Students for a Democratic Society, but who went underground with plans to overthrow the U.S. government. The FBI attempted to confiscate the film footage in order to track down the group’s members. This is subversive cinema at its most direct and political. Co-director Mary Lampson, who shot the film with the great cinematographer Haskell Wexler, will appear in person for the post-screening Q&A.

— Tim Jackson

A moment of romance in "The Son of the Sheik."

A moment of tough/tenderness in “The Son of the Sheik.”

The Son of the Sheik, a silent film screened with a live performance by the Alloy Orchestra. Presented by World Music/CRASHarts at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA, on March 8.

A must-see for silent film fans. We are promised a “beautifully restored digital print.” The fabulous Alloy Orchestra performs the Boston premiere of its original musical score to the 1926 classic romance about a ‘forbidden’ tryst between a sheik and a dancing girl. Directed by George Fitzmaurice, the film stars Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, and George Fawcett. “Valentino died suddenly just as the film was being released, unleashing an outpouring of love and support for the deceased actor along with his last and perhaps finest film.”

Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare. Directed by Christopher Luscombe. The Royal Shakespeare Company production presented by Arts Emerson/The World on Stage at the Emerson/Paramount Center’s Bright Family Screening Room, March 6 through 8.

A screening of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of the Bard’s early comedy, which in this staging has been set on the eve of the First World War. According to theater critic Dominic Cavendish of The Telegraph, “this is the most blissfully entertaining and emotionally involving RSC offering I’ve seen in ages.”

— Bill Marx


The Elders Ensemble will perform this week in Lynn (March 7, 2015) and later on in Cambridge (May 2 & 3, 2015). Photo courtesy of Prometheus Dance.

The Elders Ensemble will perform this week in Lynn (March 7, 2015) and later on in Cambridge (May 2 & 3, 2015). Photo courtesy of Prometheus Dance.

Tari Aceh: Music and Dance from the Tip of Sumatra
Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.
Houghton Chapel, Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

Tari Aceh (“Celebrate Aceh”) is on its first U.S. tour. Hailing from Aceh, Indonesia, this talented group features nine women (ages 14-24) who perform a cultural hybrid in which Islamic and Indonesian music and percussive dance is used to highlight both liturgical and secular texts.

Dancing Nearer, Closer & Other Acts of Intimacy
March 6 & 7, 8 p.m.; March 8, 7 p.m.
The Dance Complex
Cambridge, MA

Those looking for an evening of professional dance that sparks conversation both onstage and off should head to the Dance Complex, where Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion and a solid gathering of local and international collaborators are bringing new and recently-debuted works to the stage. From PDM’s Dos Hombres, developed through a recent residency at the Boston Center for the Arts, to Nearer, Closer, whose cast spans five decades, the performance will offer audience members opportunities to laugh, to reflect, and to view dance both as an art form and a cultural connector.

The Elders Ensemble 10th Anniversary Project
Saturday, March 7, 3 p.m.
Lynn Arts
Lynn, MA

The Elders Ensemble of Prometheus Dance has brought professional grade, multi-generational performances to the Metro Boston area for the past decade. The performers invite the community to join them in celebrating this landmark anniversary. This week in Lynn (and again in Cambridge in May), The Elders Ensemble presents an evening of works ranging from radio interview soundbites and behind-the-scenes video footage to new works created by both the Ensemble and Prometheus Dance.

And further afield…

Lucinda Childs reinvents her seminal work "Available Light" with opening showings at MASS MoCA. Photo: Tom Vinetz.

Lucinda Childs reinvents her seminal work “Available Light” with opening showings at MASS MoCA. Photo: Tom Vinetz.

Lucinda Childs: Available Light
March 6 & 7, 8pm; March 8, 3 3.m.
Hunter Center, MASS MoCA
North Adams, MA

She is one of the world’s leading modern choreographers, so Lucinda Childs is well worth the three-hour drive from Boston to the beautiful MASS MoCA campus. Childs—along with her original counterparts, set designer Frank Gehry and composer John Adams—has worked to reinvent her groundbreaking 1983 piece Available Light for MASS MoCA’s uniquely converted factory space. The result of this three-week residency is a weekend of public performances and an opportunity to hear thoughts on the re-imagining of this work through Q&As following each showing.

— Merli V. Guerra


Gang of Four
March 6
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

Gang of Four were the original Rage Against the Machine. The post-punk legends began mixing left-wing politics with art school funk-rock back in the late 1970s, in a place (Leeds, England) where being a left-wing art school student could get your head kicked in by a neo-Nazi. Four decades later, the group is still at it (well, only Andy Gill is an original member, but the brand lives on!) and has a new record out, What Happens Next.

Will Butler (of Arcade Fire)
March 6
TT the Bears, Cambridge, MA

Arcade Fire instrumentalist Will Butler is not as well known as his brother, AF frontman Win Butler, but he is more than just a sideman. Last year he was nominated for an Oscar for his score for the film Her, and this year he has his first solo album (Policy) out on Merge records.

of Montreal
March 10
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

Kooky psych rockers of Montreal are tough to categorize. Their sound morphs from album to album and, despite their name, they aren’t even from or of Montreal, or Canada in general. “Fun” is a good category for their sound — they’re an enormous amount of fun.

of Montreal -- kooky fun galore.

of Montreal — kooky fun galore.

Upcoming and On Sale…

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); Manic Street Preachers (4/24/2015, The Sinclair); Sufjan Stevens (5/4/2015, Citi Performing Arts Center); Faith No More (5/11/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Kasabian (5/15/2015, House of Blues); Primal Scream (5/17/2015, Royale); 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); Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (6/6/2015, Boston Opera House); Paul Weller (6/13/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Spoon (6/18/2015, House of Blues); Rush (6/23/2015, TD Garden); Huey Lewis and the News (6/27/2015, Indian Ranch); U2 (7/10, 11, 14, 15/2015, TD Garden); Billy Joel (7/16/2015, Fenway Park); Foo Fighters (7/18-19/2015, Fenway Park); Interpool (7/23-24/2015, House of Blues); Willie Nelson & Family (8/21/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); AC/DC (8/22/2015, Gillette Stadium); Death Cab For Cutie (9/11/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Mark Knopfler (10/9/2015, Orpheum Theatre); The Who (10/29/2015, TD Garden)

— Adam Ellsworth


Lindsey McWhorter and Nael Nacer in the Lyric Stage production of "Intimate Apparel.". Photo: Glenn Perry

Lindsey McWhorter and Nael Nacer in the Lyric Stage production of “Intimate Apparel.” Photo: Glenn Perry

Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage. Directed by Summer L. William. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston at 40 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, through March 14.

Nottage’s tough but tender play deals with race, sex, and class. The script is a “loving and evocative portrait of Esther, an independent but lonely African American seamstress in early 20th-century Manhattan who earns a living sewing exquisite lingerie for wealthy socialites uptown, and women of ill repute downtown. When Esther receives a letter from a stranger who is laboring on the Panama Canal, she begins an epistolary courtship with him, only to discover that he is not all that he seems.”

The Big Meal by Dan LeFranc. Directed by David J. Miller. Staged by Zeitgeist Stage Company at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston, MA, through March 7.

Foodies Unite! LeFranc’s play focuses on how serious things can happen while we munch away. 8 actors play 26 characters, and their experiences chowing down at various tables, according to The New York Times, “manages to telescope more than three generations of family life — and strife — into less than 90 minutes.”

Oceanside by Nick Gandiello. Directed by Melia Bensussen. At the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell, MA, through March 8.

Sounds like (another) intense family drama, though this is a world premiere: “Gwen thought she had successfully walked away from her troubled past. But then her ex-husband returns with news of their grown daughter’s disappearance and with him come the demons that she sought to erase from her idyllic new life.” The cast includes Allyn Burrows, Joey Collins, Caroline Lawton, and Carolyn Baeumler. Warning: Contains Adult Content

Ken Cheeseman, Kathy St. George, Remo Airaldi hamming it up in  New Rep's "The King of Second Avenue"

Ken Cheeseman, Kathy St. George, Remo Airaldi hamming it up in New Rep’s “The King of Second Avenue.” Photo: Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.

The King of Second Avenue (based on The King of the Schnorrers by Israel Zangwill). Book and Lyrics by Robert Brustein. Music by Hankus Netsky. Directed by Matthew ‘Motl’ Didner. Staged by the New Repertory Theatre in the Arsenal Center for the Arts at the Charles Mosesian Theater, Watertown, MA, through March 8.

This is the world premiere production of a musical based on a story by Israel Zangwill. The update features “a Romeo and Juliet love story set against the background of antagonistic Jewish sects in the Lower East Side of 1960s Manhattan.” The klezmer score is composed by Hankus Netsky. Arts Fuse review

Simon Says: A Dramatized Séance by Mat Schaffer. Directed by Myriam Cyr. Staged by Little Seer Productions at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, through March 14.

A drama whose conflict is sparked by a VOICE FROM BEYOND. “In an effort to scientifically prove the existence of the soul after death, Professor Williston (Ken Baltin) has spent more than a decade studying James (Anthony J. Goes), a young psychic. James achieves his extrasensory ability by channeling Simon, an all-knowing being, offering wisdom from beyond. When Annie (Brianne Beatrice), a recent widow, comes to their home for a reading, events that took place two thousand years ago culminate, achieving reunion, redemption and resolution in the present day.”


Charlotte Kinder, one of the cast members of Apollinaire Theatre Company’s production of “Greenland.” Photo: Danielle Fauteux Jacques.

Greenland by Nicolas Billon. Directed by Meg Taintor. Staged by the Apollinaire Theatre Company, Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, MA, through March 15.

According to director Meg Taintor, former artistic director of the heralded local company Whistler in the Dark, “all people in this play are writing their own creation myth, and then pitching it to us.” The script “centers on a family that has fallen apart after a serious internal tragedy, which is mirrored by one of the characters discovering a new island off of Greenland’s coast. In three monologues, we meet husband, wife, and adopted daughter, and we learn that something is seriously broken in their family dynamic. The island has separated from the mainland in the same way the three characters have separated from each other, and there is no turning back.” Arts Fuse review

Canadian dramatist Billon has been receiving a lot of attention lately, including critical praise for the lyrical intensity of his language. Greenland (2009) has been published in Billon’s Fault Lines: Three Plays: the other two scripts are Iceland (2012) and Faroe Islands (2013). According to a review of the volume on pageandstage.com: “Billon’s three plays are broadly related by the idea of fault lines or fractures, discontinuities wherein stress is both accumulative and instantaneous, and where energy is most strikingly experienced as a dramatic upheaval. Billon has affinities with Wallace Shawn as well as with Neil Labute. He is less political than Shawn, but he shares with the American satirist a facility with the monologue form.”

 Brian McEleney as Tom Wingfield in a very different take on Tennessee Williams’ "The Glass Menagerie" at Trinity Rep. Photo: Mark Turek.

Brian McEleney as Tom Wingfield in a very different take on Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” at Trinity Rep. Photo: Mark Turek.

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Directed by Brian Mertes. Staged by Trinity Repertory Company at the Chace Theater, 201 Washington St., Providence, Rhode Island, through March 29.

Williams’s oft-oft-produced warhorse will no doubt receive a radical revamping in the hands of director Mertes, who is nothing if not enterprising. The cast features Mia Ellis as Laura Wingfield, Brian McEleney as Tom Wingfield, and Anne Scurria as Amanda Wingfield.

That Hopey Changey Thing by Richard Nelson. Directed by Weylin Symes. Staged by the Stoneham Theatre, Stoneham, MA, through March 15.

A collaborative event: the New England premiere of the first of Richard Nelson’s much-praised The Apple Family Plays. Over the course of the next two seasons, Stoneham Theatre and Gloucester Stage will produce all four scripts: That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet and Sad, Sorry, and Regular Singing. The kickoff installment “introduces us to the Apples, a typical liberal American family that cares very deeply about one another, yet still manages to push each other’s buttons.” The impressive cast includes Karen MacDonald, Sarah Newhouse, Laura Latreille, Bill Mootos, Paul Melendy, and Joel Colodner. Arts Fuse critic Joann Green Breuer saw two of the plays in New York and had this response: “Nelson’s art is an act of love, as art is meant to be.

Grounded by George Brant. Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner. Staged by the Nora Theatre Company at the Central Square Theatre, Cambridge, MA, through March 22.

According to the New York Times review, this one-person play, “which won the 2012 Smith Prize for works about American politics, obliquely ponders how advances in technology are affecting the psychology of men and women in the armed forces. Does the increased distance from the targets they are pursuing lead soldiers to dehumanize them, or to minimize the danger of killing civilians?”

The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe. Directed and choreographed by Billy Porter. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Boston University Theatre, Boston, MA, March 6 through April 5.

I remember enjoying George C. Wolfe’s savvy satiric revue back in the ’80s. It will be interesting to see if the show still contains much sting after two decades. Again, this major theater revival raises the question of why we need to go back so far in time to find a stage piece that addresses racial issues. Aren’t there any pieces penned after the millennium that tackles these issues? Does commercial success have to determine whether a piece with political bite can be produced? Aren’t there any young dramatists with something to say about what is going on today? Just wondering …

Photo: David Marshall

“Badass” — three female dramatists who aren’t taking any guff. Photo: David Marshall

Badass, a festival of new works by Magdalena Gómez, Robbie McCauley, and Kate Snodgrass. Staged by Sleeping Weazel at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, March 5 through 14.

This feisty company celebrates Women’s History Month “with extraordinary new works by three renowned women theatre artists. This evening combines theatre, performance, and poetry in an unexpected marriage of the social and the existential that will have audiences falling out of their seats in laughter and tears.”

The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey. Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue. Staged by the New Repertory Theatre in the Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, March 7 through 22.

A play inspired by the 2006 killing of five girls in a hostage-taking at an Amish school in Pennsylvania. “This one-woman exploration of the Nickel Mines shooting conjures seven characters, from gunman to victims, and delves into the stories that tie these characters together, as well as the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in the wake of tragedy.”

Shockheaded Peter, created for the stage by Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott. Original music and lyrics by The Tiger Lillies. Originally conceived and produced by Michael Morris for Cultural Industry, London. Directed by Steven Bogart. Staged by Company One at Suffolk University’s Modern Theatre, 525 Washington Street, Boston, MA, March 6 through April 4.

“The most damning ever told on stage” — I will be the judge of that. “Fall into the world of Victorian SteamCRUNK nightmares as a manic music-box spins stories of naughty children and misguided parents.”

— Bill Marx


March 1, 7 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Bathysphere is the name of a particular type of deepwater manned vessel, but in this case it also suggests a combination of the Greek root word for “deep” with Thelonious Monk’s middle name. The name is meant to conjure the band’s distinctive low-end sound (two basses, baritone sax, tuba, trombone, and lyricon) and, we guess, the compositional imperatives of the great Sphere. Anyway, the players, drawn from the Driff Records roster (see Bolt, February 28) include trumpeters Forbes Graham and Dan Rosenthal, trombonist Jeff Galindo, tubist Josiah Reibstein, saxophonists Jorrit Dijkstra, Charlie Kohlhase, and Matt Langley, pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, bassists Nate McBride and Jef Charland, drummer Luther Gray, and electronics master Andrew Neumann. This is the inaugural show of three by this group over the next few months.

cover art for

Cover art for the album “Introducing Musette Explosion.”

Musette Explosion
March 2, 8 p.m.
Passim, Cambridge, MA.

Born in the cultural melting pot of early-20th century Paris, musette was the waltz-centric precursor to what became known a “gypsy jazz” in the hands of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. Musette Explosion is three of New York’s best regarded sidemen – accordionist Will Holshouser, guitarist and banjoist Matt Munisteri, and tubist Marcus Rojas — here celebrating the release of Introducing Musette Explosion (Aviary Records). Detailed and swinging, it’s a delight.

March 3, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Boston, MA.

Open forms, electric guitar, and heady saxophone put Bann on the Wayne Shorter side of the late-’60s Miles Davis street. The band is saxophonist Seamus Blake, guitarist Oz Noy, bassist Jay Anderson, and drummer Adam Nussbaum.

Dave Holland
March 5, 8 p.m.
Brown Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA.

The master bassist concludes a week-long residency at NEC by putting his students through their paces, playing his music. Here’s hoping he joins them for a few.
It’s a free concert, open to the public.

Roy Haynes
March 6 and 7, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Ageless drum legend (okay, 90 as of March 13, if you must know) Roy Haynes brings his Fountain of Youth Band to Scullers for four shows over two nights. His longtime FOYB is outstanding: saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, pianist Martin Bejerano, and bassist David Wong.


Pianist Stanley Sagov — performing at Cambridge’s Regattabar this week.

Stanley Sagov Trio
March 7, 7:30 and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Before he became a physician, the South African-born Stanley Sagov was already on his way to becoming an accomplished jazz pianist. He’s pursued his dual careers ever since. Long based in Boston (where he attended New England Conservatory, back in the day), he teams up with his favorite rhythm section, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Gullotti (both of the Fringe), in an abbreviated version of his Remembering the Future Jazz Band. You can still hear Sagov’s early influences — Bill Evans, fellow South African Adbullah Ibrahim, and McCoy Tyner — in his ebullient mix.

— Jon Garelick

Classical Music

International Contemporary Ensemble
Presented by the Boston Conservatory
March 4, 8 p.m.
Seully Hall, Boston

ICE’s week-long residency at the Boston Conservatory begins with a concert of works by Barbara Kolb, Felipe Lara, Sergio Kafejian, Elliott Carter, and György Kurtág. Events throughout the week culminate in a performance of Alvin Lucier’s CODEX on March 7th.

Blizzard Voices
Presented by Boston Modern Orchestra Project
March 5, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston

BMOP’s season comes to an early close with this free concert at NEC’s Jordan Hall. Stephanie Ann Boyd’s Ondine and John Harbison’s Concerto for Bass Viol (featuring BSO principal bass Edwin Barker as soloist) prefaces Paul Moravec’s The Blizzard Voices.

Szymanowski’s King Roger
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
March 5 and 7, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

Charles Dutoit concludes his BSO residency with the orchestra’s first performances of Karol Szymanowski’s opera, King Roger. Mariusz Kwiecien sings the title role, Olga Pasichnyk is Roxana, and Yvonne Naef – who appeared in Dutoit’s marvelous Stravinsky/Ravel double bill a couple of years back – appears as the Deaconess. These concerts also feature the Tanglewood Festival and Voices Boston.

Mendelssohn’s Elijah
Presented by the Handel and Haydn Society
March 6 at 7:30 and 8 at 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

The Handel and Haydn Society’s bicentennial season continues with Mendelssohn’s great oratorio, Elijah. Soloists are Sarah Coburn, Christianne Stotijn, Andrew Kennedy, and Andrew Foster-Williams. Grant Llewellyn conducts the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus.

Presented by Equilibrium Concert Series
March 6, 8 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge

Diagenisis/Duo (soprano Heather Barnes and cellist Jennifer Bewerse) survey a range of “commissions and quirky classics” at the Lilypad. Music by Harrison Birtwistle and Igor Stravinsky frame works by Steven Lewis, Aaron Jay Myers, Scott Ordway, and others.

Presented by Radius Ensemble
March 7, 8 p.m.
Pickman Hall, Longy, Cambridge

Shostakovich’s mighty G minor Piano Quintet is the focus of Radius’s third program of the season. Also on tap are bassoon-duo arrangements of six arias from Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Elena Ruehr’s Jane Wang considers the dragonfly, and a wind quintet by the winner of this year’s Pappalardo Composition Contest.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Othello in the Seraglio
The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch
March 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Presented by the Cambridge Society for Early Music at Christ Church, Zero Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

A coffee-house opera cooked up by Dünya, a Musicians’ Collective. Tom Zajac and Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol are at the helm. The piece is based on Shakespeare’s Othello and novels by Cinzio (1565) and Koçu (1933). The music will be drawn from 16th- and 17th-century European and Turkish sources along with original music by M. A. Sanlıkol.


Pianist Roman Rabinovich will perform at Boston Conservatory this week.

Roman Rabinovich
March 3 at 8 p.m.
At Boston Conservatory’s Seully Hall, Boston, MA

The pianist, the gold medalist of the 2008 Rubinstein International Piano Competition, makes his Boston recital debut. He performs a program that includes Bach’s English suite in F major, BWV 809; Brahms’s Variations and fugue on a theme by Handel, op. 24; Bartók’s Three Burlesques, BB 55; and Smetana’s Four Czech Dances.

Old School (with Margot Rood)
March 6 at 8 p.m.
At New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
Same program (sans the Mozart Symphony 29) under the title Stir: A Far Cry (with Margot Rood) and Eurythmy Spring Valley scheduled for March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Fenway, Boston. MA

“Composers throughout history have looked to their predecessors for training and a solid foundation, but also as points of departure for flights of inspiration. Michael Tippett is a perfect example, and his Fantasia Concertante takes Corelli to undreamt-of new places. Golijov, the ultimate musical omnivore, pulls upon musical traditions near and far in his Three Songs, for which A Far Cry is joined by the lustrous soprano Margot Rood.”

Spectrum Singers in action -- during its recent concert dedicated to the music of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Spectrum Singers in action — during a recent concert dedicated to the music of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Mozart: Valedictory Masterworks
March 7 at 8 p.m.
At the First Church Congregational, Cambridge, MA

The Spectrum Singers perform “two masterworks from Mozart’s final days – his reverential motet Ave verum corpus, and his Requiem (H.C. Robbins-Landon edition), left unfinished at this death.

Concord Chamber Ensemble
March 8 at 3 p.m.
Concord Chamber Players
At the Concord Academy Performing Arts Center, 51 Walden Street, Concord, MA

The Concord Chamber Players and members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Julianne Lee and Wendy Putnam, violins, Steven Ansell, viola, Jean-Michel Fonteneau and Michael Reynolds, cellos) perform a challenging program: Arthur Honegger’s Sonatina for Violin and Cello in E Minor, H. 80; Max Reger’s Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello in A Minor, Op. 77b; Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major, D. 956. The concert will be preceded by a 2 p.m. lecture given by musicologist Steven Ledbetter

Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston
March 8 at 4 p.m.
At the Goethe Institute, 170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

An ambitious program of chamber music that includes: Richard Strauss’s Sonata in F Major, Op. 6, TrV 115; Elliott Carter’s Sonata for cello & piano; Frank Bridge, Elegie, H. 47 (1904)’s; Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata No. 3 in A Major, Op. 69

— Susan Miron

Author Readings

Casey Sherman and David Wedge
Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph Over Tragedy
March 5 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, MA

Two veteran journalists discuss their essential account of the Marathon bombings and their aftermath. Their gripping narrative starts off with an account of how the Tsarnaev brothers planned the explosions. The volume then offers the authors’ own eyewitness reporting of the bombing and its aftermath, including the chase and apprehension of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Sherman and Wedge conducted months of interviews to compile the first version of the bombing that is told through the eyes of those who experienced it firsthand.

Alan Lightman
Screening Room: Family Pictures
March 6 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

The internationally bestselling author of Einstein’s Dreams will read and sign copies of his new memoir. His story takes the reader on a trip through Memphis from the ’30’s to the ’60’s, serving up insights into the history of the movies along the way. Lightman’s grandfather was the family patriarch, the founder of an extensive movie theater empire, which gave the Lightman family considerable prominence in the South. Lightman’s story chronicles familial conflicts as well as personal memories of meeting the likes of Elvis, Dr. Martin Luther King, and “Boss” Crump.

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Dan Gunn
The Emperor of Ice-Cream
March 6 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

After Mussolini’s declaration of war in 1940, hundreds of British Italians were interred and exiled. Dan Gunn’s debut novel tells the story of Lucia, an eighty-year-old of Italian-English descent who looks back on her life, trying to make sense of her family’s history amid the nightmare of the 20th Century. Claire Messud, the celebrated novelist and critic, will introduce the author.

Thomas Piketty
Special Event Lecture: “Capital in the 21st Century”
March 6 from 2-4 p.m.
Ames Courtroom-Austin Hall, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

After the Occupy movement, the housing market crash, and the widespread knowledge of economic malfeasance in high places, the issue of wealth inequality has become more visible than ever. French economist Piketty’s work on the issue of income disparity — and his progressive approach to fixing it — has captured the attention of activists around the globe. His lecture is part of Harvard University’s Program on the Study of Capitalism.


Valerie Sperling
Sex, Politics and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia
March 9 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

Sperling is a professor of Political Science at Clark University who will speak on the topic of how macho gender stereotypes and characterization is used as a means to assert power and legitimacy in contemporary Russia. Her latest book explains how Putin’s regime (unlike that of Gorbachev or Yeltsin, for example) exploits ‘traditional’ sexist gender norms as a means to build authority amid a culture rife with sexism and homophobia.

Jorie Graham
From The New World: Poems 1976-2014
March 10 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

The Pulitzer Prize winning poet comes to Harvard Square to read from her career-spanning collection. This highly anticipated volume from one of America’s most highly anthologized and influential poets displays the evolution of a writer who is unafraid of technical innovation and looks at the world around her with clear-eyed wakefulness.

— Matt Hanson

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