Fuse Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week

Arts Fuse critics select the best in film, theater, music, dance, visual arts, 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 "Winter Sleep" --

A scene from the Turkish film “Winter Sleep,” which won the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

The Cool World
March 16 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA

The HFA’s Shirley Clarke screenings continue with this rare film from 1964 based on the novel by Warren Miller and produced by Frederick Wiseman. Of the film, Newsday wrote: “A hauntingly bitter, savagely realistic yet not unpoetic look at a world you don’t know. You won’t be entertained by the film but you will be rewarded — if you don’t scare easily.” Critic Judith Crist opined “The Cool World is a loud, long, and powerful cry of outrage at the world society has created for Harlem youngsters and at the human condition in the slum ghetto…”

Irish Film Festival
March 19 – 22
Somerville Theatre, in Davis Square, Somerville, MA

The 15th Irish Film Festival has a hefty lineup of 30 films this year. There are appearances and Q&A’s with a dozen or so visiting Irish filmmakers as well post-screening parties. Director Niall Heery will appear at the showing of his black comedy Gold. Friday night offers the U.S. premiere of One Million Dubliners, which was voted Best Irish Film in 2014 by The Irish Times. Director Aoife Kelleher will be present. See the festival’s site for a full schedule.

The 14th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival
March 19 – April 25
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

The opening film of the festival, Winter Sleep is a 3½ hour Chekhovian meditation on a marriage by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and was the Turkish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Ceylan is a world-class director whose two previous films, Three Monkeys (2008) and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011), were thematically dense and beautifully shot, the director’s careful attention to detail leading to powerful revelations. There will be several screenings of Winter Sleep. Here is a full schedule of the other award-winning films, documentaries, and short films in the festival, which will also include guest speakers, an awards ceremony (followed by a panel discussion moderated by occasional Arts Fuse film critic Peter Keough), and a Turkish music program.

An Evening with Eliza Dushku
March 20 at 7 p.m.
B.U. Cinematheque
Room 101, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA

B.U. curator and Arts Fuse film critic Gerald Peary brings the Bring It On star to town to talk about what it was like to play characters in such beloved TV series as Buffy the Vampire Killer and Dollhouse. Free and open to the public

WAM! Boston Film Festival 2015
March 21
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Women, Action and Media present a day of films made by and about women. At noon there is Shorts Program: Family Dynamics, followed by a free Industry Panel at 2 p.m., and a second Shorts Program: Changes & Transformation at 4:30. The feature presentation at 7 p.m. is Red Lines: “in 2012 two young, unlikely Syrian activists launch a radical plan for bringing democracy to their country, besieged by the brutal Bashar al-Assad regime. Under threat of death and armed only with the Internet, they organize when no one else will.” A panel featuring Mouaz Moustafa, one of the subjects of the film, follows the screening, along with special guests.

— Tim Jackson


Golden Dragon Acrobats brings its acclaimed Cirque Ziva to Boston this weekend, presented by World Music/CRASHarts.

Golden Dragon Acrobats brings its acclaimed Cirque Ziva to Boston this weekend, presented by World Music/CRASHarts.

Boston Ballet: Shades of Sound
March 19–29
Boston Opera House
Boston, MA

Boston Ballet’s Shades of Sound brings three riveting works to the stage with sound scores ranging from classical to The White Stripes. Wayne McGregor’s award-winning Chroma returns, accompanied by George Balanchine’s Episodes and Hans van Manen’s comedic Black Cake. There is little doubt this will be an evening filled with intensity and humor.

The Territory Suites
March 20 & 21, 8 p.m.
Dance Complex
Cambridge, MA

Reject Dance Theater expands its recent performances at the Boston Center for the Arts’s Movement at the Mills into a full collaborative evening of works. The Territory Suites showcases three choreographic voices as it explores themes of human identity, gender, and interpersonal interaction.

Golden Dragon Acrobats
Saturday, March 21, 3 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre
Boston, MA

Don’t miss this one-day-only Boston appearance (presented by World Music/CRASHarts) of the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Hailing from Hebei Province in China, this technically-acclaimed company will perform Cirque Ziva, which proffers a striking combination of ancient and modern acrobatics.

Elements XV
March 21 at 7:30 p.m.
GSU Metcalf Ballroom, Boston University
Boston, MA

Looking for something fun and different that also packs a punch? Head over to Boston University this weekend to take in the East Coast’s largest Hip Hop competition. Enjoy an evening of energetic creativity and talent as dance crews from across the region convene for this annual event.

— Merli V. Guerra


Lee Konitz
March 15, 2 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

Billed as “An Afternoon in Words and Music with Lee Konitz,” this MFA “two-part program” presents the iconic 87-year-old alto saxophonist in conversation with the trumpeter Tim Hagans and in performance with pianist Dan Tepfer, himself one of the brightest young lights on the jazz scene, and a regular collaborator with Konitz over the past half decade or so. We won’t say Tepfer “pushes” Konitz, but we will say that this is one pianist who can open up avenues for the brilliant reedman that he might not otherwise have considered. And the older man is always eager to take them.

Cassandre McKinley
March 18, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Deep-voiced and adept Boston-born singer Cassandre McKinley formerly stuck with straight-ahead jazz until she had a crossover breakthrough with a jazz treatment of the music of Marvin Gaye. She’s joined tonight by veteran Boston pianist Paul Broadnax.


Joey Calderazzo
March 19, 8 p.m.
Scullers, Boston, MA.

A member of Branford Marsalis’s quartet since 1998 (and of the Michael Brecker band before that), pianist Joey Calderazzo brings his own trio, with bassist Orlando Le Fleming and drummer Donald Edwards, to Scullers, anticipating the March 31 release of their Going Home (Sunnyside).

Alex Alvear & Mango Blue
March 20, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The Ecuadorian bassist, singer, and composer Alex Alvear — for years a mainstay of Boston’s vibrant Afro-Latin music scene — returns to town for a gig with his longstanding, genre-crossing ensemble Mango Blue, with singer/percussionist Manolo Mairena, alto saxophonist Jared Sims, tenor saxophonist Felipe Salles, keyboardist Rebecca Cline, conguero Marcos J. Lopez, drummer David Rivera, Yuriana Sobrino on timbal, bongos, and vocals, and guests Gonzalo Grau (mutli-instrumentalist) and Angel Subero (trombone). Wear your dancing shoes.

John Abercrombie Quartet
March 21, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The definitive ECM guitarist, John Abercrombie comes to the Regattabar with pianist Marc Copeland, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Joey Baron.

Rebirth Brass Band
March 26, 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA.

The great New Orleans aggregation’s roots are in that city’s ancient second-line parade tradition, but their music makes distinctions among jazz, funk, hip-hop, and R&B meaningless. It’s all there.

The Miguel Zenon quartet

The Miguel Zenón quartet comes to Cambridge this week.

Miguel Zenón
March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

One of the best releases of 2014 was the composer and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón musical investigation of Puerto Rican heritage, Identities of Changeable. Zenón will be joined by his superb longtime quartet: pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and drummer Henry Cole.

Kyle Nasser
March 25, 8 p.m.
Beat Hotel, Cambridge, MA.

Harvard and Berklee graduate Kyle Nasser’s debut album, Restive Soul, sports knotty grooves that are all his own, inflected equally by modern jazz-rock drive and jazzy flow. The tenor saxophonist brings members of the album’s sharp quintet to Harvard Square: guitarist Jeff Miles, pianist Dov Manski, bassist Chris Van Voorst, plus drummer Jonathan Pinson.

— Jon Garelick

Visual Arts

In the visual arts, at least, things are springing up all over New England. Some fifteen art exhibitions are opening in mid-March, including multiple shows at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and a total of five at the Danforth Art Museum in Framingham. As traffic and T return to the usual clotted normal, this is a powerful invitation to get out and see some art.

Herb Ritts
through November 8
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Nearly twenty years ago, a major (and controversial) exhibition devoted to Los Angeles fashion photographer Herb Ritts formed a signature event in the early tenure of MFA Director Malcolm Rogers. Rogers, always willing to take risks to expand the audience for his museum, triumphed over critics when the show became one of the most popular in MFA history.

Ritts died a few years later, in 2002, and the Ritts Foundation has been generous to a fault ever since, helping to support a Herb Ritts Gallery, the first at the MFA dedicated entirely to photography, and donating a print of every image in that original 1996 retrospective. Now that the Rogers’ Era in Boston itself is drawing to a close, another Ritts show helps close the curtain.

Ritts’ stunning, erotic imagery is nothing if not effective. The photographer’s cool detachment and emphasis on glitz and style over content seemed emblematic of Rogers’ own approach to museum programming, which has been both praised and condemned by Boston audiences. With the photographer gone and the director in the process of departing, this reprise will add a valedictory gloss to the closing months of the MFA’s longest-running administration.

homas Eakins, Baseball Players Practicing, 1875. Jesse Metcalf Fund and Walter H. Kimball Fund

Thomas Eakins, Baseball Players Practicing, 1875. Jesse Metcalf Fund and Walter H. Kimball Fund

Early Exposures: 19th-Century Photography from the Collection
Landscape and Leisure: 19th-Century American Drawings from the Collection, through July 19
Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, RI

Sometimes dismissed as “filler” by critics, special exhibitions drawn entirely from an art museum’s permanent collection can often be among  the most interesting in an art museum’s schedule. If nothing else, they give curators time to sift through hidden riches and the public a chance to see fragile masterpieces that often have not been on view for decades.

RISD’s Early Exposures reveals 20 classics from the earliest years of photography, when the medium was regarded as a wonder of modern science and the idea of the photograph as a work of art was still forming in artists’ minds. The more than 30 watercolors and drawings in Landscape and Leisure allows visitors to peek over the shoulder of artists like Whistler, Eakins, and Eastman Johnson as they take in Victorian America’s growing fascination with such pastimes as baseball, hunting, and the simple enjoyment of handsome views and country life.

Gift of Knowing: The Art of Dorothea Rockburne
through April 26
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME

Canadian abstract painter Dorothea Rockburne was one of a group of seminal North American artists who studied at North Carolina’s Black Mountain College in the early 1950s and went on to transform modern art forever. Rockburne later settled permanently in New York City where she became known for her abstract works influenced by mathematics and astronomy.

The Bowdoin exhibition features some key works created since the 1970s, including colorful, swirling compositions that recall galaxies in the making and one of Rockburne’s most recent drawings, The Mathematical Edges of Maine, made in response to a 2014 summer visit to the state.

— Peter Walsh

Classical Music

Boston Modern Brass
Presented by Equilibrium Concert Series
March 17, 8 p.m.
Seully Hall, Boston, MA

EQ presents Boston Modern Brass in a program that includes works by Henry Brant, Carl Ruggles, Gottfried von Einem, and others.

Beethoven’s Missa solemnis
Presented by the Back Bay Chorale
March 21, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA

Beethoven’s late masterpiece comes to Sanders Theater, courtesy of Scott Allen Jarrett and the Back Bay Chorale. The soloists are Jessica Muirhead, Adriana Zabala, Stefan Barner, and David Kravitz.

Ryan Turner of Emmanuel Music

Ryan Turner, artistic director of Emmanuel Music, which will be performing Bach’s St. John Passion this week.

Bach’s St. John Passion
Presented by Emmanuel Music
March 21, 8 p.m.
Emmanuel Church, Boston, MA

Emmanuel Music commemorates J.S. Bach’s 330th birthday with a performance of the St. John Passion. Among the soloists, Matthew Anderson is the Evangelist and Dana Whiteside sings the role of Jesus. Emmanuel Music artistic director Ryan Turner conducts. The concert is prefaced by a talk at 7 p.m. with Turner, Rev. Pamela Werntz, and Cantor Lynn Torgrove.

Living Presence
Presented by the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra
March 22, 4 p.m.
Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge

Max Levinson joins the CSO for Brahms’s Piano Concerto no. 2. Respighi’s gaudy Pines of Rome and the Fanfare from Paul Dukas’ La Peri round out the program. The performance, part of the CSO’s 40th-anniversary season, showcases the work of the TargetCancer Foundation.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Boston Chamber Symphony
March 15 at 7 p.m.
At Temple Emanuel, 365 Ward Street, Newton, MA

A program produced in collaboration with the Boston Jewish Music Festival that celebrates Jewish composers of classical music and opera. The Boston Chamber Symphony, with more than 40 musicians, will join conductor Avlana Eisemberg and soloist Cantor Elias Rosemberg.

Roomful of Teeth
March 18 at 7 p.m.
Berklee Cafetorium, 160 Mass. Ave, Boston, MA

Celebrity Series presents the celebrated eight-voice vocal ensemble, which has put together an a cappella repertoire that incorporates a number of different styles: Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean P’ansori, Georgian singing, and Sardinian cantu a tenore.

Blue Heron in collaboration with Les Délices
March 19 at 7:30 p.m.
At Christ Church, Zero Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

The program, presented by the Cambridge Society for Early Music, is entitled “A More Subtle Art” — The 14th-Century Avant-Garde. The performers include singers Martin Near, Jason McStoots, and Debra Nagy. Scott Metcalfe and Debra Nagy are in change of the harps, vielle, doucaine, and recorders.

The Cantata Singers
March 20 at 8 p.m.
At New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

The group performs W.A. Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, K. 427. Also on the program: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Elegiac Song and F.J. Haydn’s Symphony No. 86 in D major.

Boston Bach Birthday 330
March 21 at 9 a.m.
At the the First Lutheran Church, 299 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA

A celebration of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach on his 330th birthday: performances run from 9 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The performers will include violinist Kate Arndt, organist Katelyn Emerson, harpsichordist Dylan Sauerwald, and flutist Héloïse Degrugillier.

March 21 at 8 p.m
At the First Church Cambridge, 11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA

This Blue Heron concert explores the music of the five “modern” composers lauded by the 15th-century theorist Johannes Tinctoris: Ockeghem, Busnoys, Regis, Caron, and Faugues. There will be a pre-concert talk by Sean Gallagher (New England Conservatory). The singers include: Martin Near, Daniela Tošić, Michael Barrett, Owen McIntosh, Jason McStoots, Mark Sprinkle, Paul Guttry, Steven Hrycelak, and David McFerrin.

— Susan Miron

Roots and World Music

Dave and Phil Alvin

Dave and Phil Alvin will perform in Massachusetts this week.

Dave and Phil Alvin and the Guilty Ones
March 20: Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA
March 21: The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
March 22: Iron Horse, Northampton, MA

Reunions can be depressing affairs when there’s no fresh material. But when the two long-feuding brothers behind the Blasters got back together they did so to pay tribute to bluesman Big Bill Broonzy. The combination of Phil’s vocal power and Dave’s mastery of dynamics made for one of this writer’s top live shows of 2014.

March 21 at 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA

This is quite a month for cross-cultural musical explorations featuring Indian classical music virtuosos. Zakir Hussain is bringing his Celtic Connections to the Somerville Theater on March 29. But this group arrives first: it features sitar master Shujaat Hussain Khan and table master Sandeep Das teaming up with Persian traditional music star Kayhan Kalhor. A number of years ago this ensemble put on some spectacular concerts for World Music — but hasn’t performed locally in eons.

Mary Gauthier and Allison Moorer
March 22
Club Passim (5 and 8 p.m. shows), Cambridge, MA

If you bought Mary Gauthier’s first self-released CD, don’t bother trying to redeem the coupon inserted in the liner notes that offered a free piece of pie at the Dixie Kitchen. The Mass. Ave. eatery closed years ago when Gauthier left to pursue a full-time career as a Nashville singer/songwriter. During that time she’s made her mark as one of the most brutally honest tunesmiths around, as proven by her new Trouble & Love (no coupon included). She’s sharing the stage with Allison Moorer, another Americana favorite who often performed in song swaps with her now ex-husband Steve Earle.

— Noah Schaffer


 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.

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?” Arts Fuse review

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, through March 22.

A play inspired by the 2006 killing of five girls in a hostage-taking incident 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, through April 4.

“The most damning [tale] 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.”

Walking the Tightrope by Mike Kenny. Directed by Caitlin Lowans. Staged by the Stoneham Theatre, Stoneham, MA, through March 21.

A “family-friendly play about love and loss” that stars Johnny Lee Davenport as an elderly man, Grandad Stan: “Every summer Esme takes a train to visit her grandparents. When she arrives this year, Grandad is there as always, but where is Nanna?”

From The Deep by Cassie M. Seinuk. Directed by Lindsay Eagle. Staged by Boston Public Works at the Black Box Theater, Boston Center for the Arts, through March 28.

The East Coast premiere of this script (winner of the 2014 Boston University Jewish Cultural Endowment Grant) about two men in captivity is the second up-by-your-bootstraps project undertaken by “Boston Public Works, a playwright-driven theater collective thatʼs forgoing the traditional routes for play development by producing their own plays and leaving a road-map for like-minded playwrights to follow.”

Culture Clash 30th Anniversary Tour: The Muse & Murros by Culture Clash. Presented by Arts Emerson at the Jackie Liebergott Black Box at the Emerson/Paramount Center, Boston, MA, through March 29.

From the Arts Emerson website: “For 30 years, Culture Clash has scoured all points of the Nation searching for the American Character through the oral histories of its citizens.” In this show the trio of “master storytellers” give a “voice to the voiceless” in Boston.


Capathia Jenkins, Ken Robinson, and Nathan Lee Graham in the HTC production of The Colored Museum. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

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, 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 … Arts Fuse review

Big Fish Book by John August. Music & Lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the Columbia Motion Picture written by John August. Directed by Paul Daigneault. Staged by SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Boston Center for The Arts, through April 11.

A revival (with some streamlining changes) of the Broadway musical about “Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman whose larger-than-life stories of epic adventures delight everyone around him, except his pragmatic son Will.”

Silent Rage: Heroin/e (Keep Us Quiet) by Carson Kreitzer and Dutchman by LeRoi Jones. Directed by Scott Zigler. Staged by the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Zero Church Performance Space, Cambridge, MA, through March 21.

I don’t often list student productions, but this looks like an interesting double bill of the (relatively) old and the new. Playwright Carson Kreitzer is garnering an enormous amount of buzz as well as numerous grants. This play “explores the ambiguous lines between sanity and insanity, justice and crime.” The piece “is inspired by the lives of two women: Anna Pankiev, the older sister of Sigmund Freud’s patient, the Wolf Man; and Ellie Nesler, a woman who shot her son’s accused molester while he was testifying in court.” The ever-controversial Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) died last year. Does his once incendiary play (Dutchman) have any fire left in its belly?

The Misadventures of Spy Matthias by Joe Byers. Directed by Darren Evans. Staged by Theatre on Fire at the Charlestown Working Theater, Charlestown, MA, through April 4.

The world premiere of what sounds like a solipsistic apocalyptic comedy/romance: “In a universe of blistering dread, when everyone you love is either burning or drowning or vaporizing into limbo, maybe the best you can do is save yourself.”

Terminus by Mark O’Rowe. Directed by Meg Taintor. Staged by Solas Nua at the Burren, Somerville, MA, on March 23. (Suggested Donation)

A staged reading of Mark o’Rowe’s “darkly moving play, written entirely in verse, telling the story of one night in dank Dublin inhabited by a former schoolteacher, her lonely, estranged daughter, and a homicidal maniac obsessed with Bette Midler.” Show starts promptly at 7:30 p.m.


The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht. Directed by Liz Diamond. Staged by the Yale Repertory Theatre at the University Theater, New Haven, CT, March 20 through April 11.

Critic Martin Esslin’s verdict: “With its poetry, its use of narrators, its two-pronged construction, it stylized action — the negative, wicked characters are masked — The Caucasian Chalk Circle is the outstanding example of the technique of ‘epic’ drama. It is one of Brecht’s greatest plays.” I have no quarrel with that — and, given how few productions of Brecht are around these days, it may well be worth a trip down to New Haven to see OBIE award-winning director Diamond’s revival.

Stronger Than the Wind, written and performed by Alice Manning. Part of the second annual Next Rep Black Box festival in the Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, March 22 through April 5.

Alice Manning’s one-woman show deals with her life after she gave birth to her twin boys. She “finally has everything she wants. But a twist of fate and a hospital error leaves her newborn son, Aidan, fighting for his life. Through anger, humor, and tears, Alice fights to keep her family afloat in the midst of unspeakable trauma and fear.”

Out of the City by Leslie Ayvazian. Directed by Christian Parker. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell, MA, March 19 through April 22.

The regional premiere of a romantic comedy by an Outer Circle Critics Award-winning playwright that “presents endearing, relatable characters in a setting that’s both fantastical and familiar. It’s a play about friendship amidst marriage, forgiveness amidst hurt, and enduring love amidst elusive romance.”

— Bill Marx

Author Events

Atticus Lish and John Benditt
Preparation for the Next Life and The Boatmaker
March 17 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, MA

Two compelling new indie authors read from their latest works. Lish’s novel tells the story of a desert orphan who emigrates to America and falls in love with a young man whose nightmares may be prophetic. Benditt’s allegorical tale concerns another dreamer – a silent man who one day decides to build a boat and sail away from his small island. He encounters truths which lead him to some weighty self-discoveries.


Kazuo Ishiguro
In conversation with Robert Birnbaum
The Buried Giant: A Novel
March 21 at 4 p.m. (Doors open at 3:15)
Memorial Church, 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA
$5 tickets on sale now

It’s been over a decade since Ishiguro published the acclaimed dystopian novel Never Let Me Go, and the eminent writer is back with a mysterious new tale. The novel is set in post-Roman Empire Britain: a couple decides to search through the misty, rain-swept landscape to find their lost son. Ishiguro will discuss his book with local literary journalist Robert Birnbaum.

JC Hallman
B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal
March 23 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, MA

Every reader knows what it feels like to discover a writer you love and become obsessed with reading as much of his or her work as humanly possible. JC Hallman has added his own take on the popular ‘writing-about-reading genre,’ putting his spin on the digressive style of Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage and Nicholson Baker’s U and I. Hallman discovers a new passion for literature and a new means to find himself in the microscopic labyrinths of Nicholson Baker, author of The Mezzanine, Vox, and The Fermata.

Barney Frank
Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage
March 24 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)
First Parish Church, Cambridge, MA
$5 tickets on sale now

In an event co-sponsored by Harvard College Democrats and Harvard Book Store, the legendarily witty former Congressman from Massachusetts will read, sign, and discuss his new memoir. During his lengthy and colorful tenure in Washington, Frank experienced a number of watershed events: living through the AIDS crisis years of the ’80s; weighing in on the ’90s debates about big government in the Clinton era; helping to bring about the controversial and wide-ranging Dodd-Frank bill in 2010. In his book, Frank explains how a feisty, eloquent, and (initially) closeted kid from New Jersey became a respected and influential public figure.


David and Julianne Mehegan
Record of a Soldier in the Late War: The Confederate Memoir of John Wesley Bone
March 24 at 1 p.m.
Mildred F Sawyer Library, Suffolk University, Boston, MA

North Carolina’s John Wesley Bone signed up to fight in the war between the states at the age of eighteen. Bone saw almost every aspect of the war and fought at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Malvern Hill. He was wounded at the battle of Spotsylvania but eventually rejoined his regiment and was present at the Appomattox Courthouse when Lee surrendered. David Mehegan, a longtime Boston Globe book critic/editor and Arts Fuse contributor collaborated with his wife Julianne (Bone’s great-great granddaughter) on an annotated and illustrated edition of Bone’s vivid and compelling memoir of the war that redefined America forever.

— Matt Hanson

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