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 Roy Andersson's "A Pigeon Sat …" screening this week the the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

A scene from Roy Andersson’s prize-winning absurdist comedy “A Pigeon Sat …” screening this week the the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Zero Motivation
July 1 at 7 p.m.
West Newton Cinema, Newton, MA

First entry in the Jewish Film Festival of Boston’s Summer Encore Series. In tyro Israeli director Talya Lavie’s aptly titled black comedy, two young women in the army serving as office workers try to survive the inanity and insanity of the military bureaucracy on a remote desert base. “Beneath the strings of gags and wisecracks run parallel threads of ruthlessness and hysteria which bring Motivation a little closer to Full Metal Jacket than Private Benjamin as off-screen conflicts invade the closed-in encampment (Variety). Arts Fuse review

A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence
July 2 at 5 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston

This is your last chance the see the latest film by Roy Andersson. Two others remain in the MFA Series: Giliap (1975) and A Swedish Love Story (1970). Pigeon won the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice Film Festival. The director’s statement on the film is as follows: “A Pigeon Sat On A Branch… consists of a bird’s panoramic view of the human condition in which the bird not only reflects on human existence but also worries deeply about it, as I do myself. The pigeon is astonished that the humans do not see an approaching apocalypse though it is within man’s ability to avoid destroying the future for themselves. . . . I dared to leave realism and naturalism and entered the territory of abstract aesthetics.” That sounds heady, but his films are both dour and whimsical: the beauty of Dutch paintings applied to scenarios out of Bunuel and Beckett. Arts Fuse reviews of Giliap, A Swedish Love Story, and Pigeon.

The Complete Robert Altman
July 5 through August 31
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA

With Altman’s masterpiece Nashville on July 5th, the HFA kicks off a remarkable series of all the late director’s films and several television dramas. He made thirty-nine films, but never won the Oscar. He created on his own terms, working past 75 after a heart transplant. His work includes M.A.S.H, The Player, Short Cuts, Gosford Park, Popeye, The Long Goodbye, Thieves Like Us, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, 3 Women, The Company, and many others. Pauline Kael’s reviews of Altman’s films in the early 70’s changed the way a generation understood the possibilities of independent movies. She dared to compare Altman’s cinematic accomplishment in Nashville to Joyce’s reinvigoration of the novel form in Ulysses. This is a great opportunity to encounter the multi-layered brilliance of an American Master.

— Tim Jackson


Dorrance Dance returns to Jacob's Pillow with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely. Photo: Christopher Duggan.

Dorrance Dance returns to Jacob’s Pillow this week with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely. Photo: Christopher Duggan.

June 28 at 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.; June 30 at 7:30 p.m.; July 1 at 7:30 p.m.; July 2 at 7:30 p.m.; July 3 at 1 p.m. & 8 p.m.; July 4 at 2 p.m.; and July 5 at 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m..
Boston Opera House
Boston, MA

If you’re looking for exceptional choreography with plenty of Broadway theatrical flair, don’t miss the Disney production Newsies.

And further afield…

Dance Photography by Arthur Fink
July 1–August 8, open 9 a.m. –6 p.m. daily.
Fireplace Lounge, Commons, Bates College
Lewiston, ME

Arthur Fink has distinguished himself over the years as a very skilled regional dance photographer. To commemorate the nine summers he’s been at the Bates Dance Festival, the organizers have created an exhibition of his photography: the pictures offer vivid looks at all phases of the artistic process—from warmup exercises and classes to stage performances.

Dorrance Dance
July 1–4 at 8 p.m.; July 4 & 5 at 2 p.m.
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
Becket, MA

Michelle Dorrance returns to Jacob’s Pillow this summer with the company’s stirring and rhythmically thrilling The Blues Project, which includes scores by acclaimed folk and blues composer Toshi Reagon and the BIGLovely band. Arts Fuse review

— Merli V. Guerra



Brazilian composer, arranger, and saxophonist Gaia Petrelli Wilmer will perform with her octet in Cambridge this week.

Madeleine Peyroux
June 28, 7 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA.

Singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux approaches modern folk and pop covers (Leonard Cohen, the Beatles, Warren Zevon, Ray Charles), as well as her well-turned originals, through the lens of early swing and blues, all delivered in her distinctive Billie Holiday-like purr. She comes to Berklee with bassist Barak Mori and guitarist Jon Herington.

Eden MacAdam-Somer
June 28, 7 p.m
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA.

The 36-year-old violinist/violist/singer and New England Conservatory musical polymath Eden MacAdam-Somer celebrates the release of her extraordinary My First Love Story at the venue where it was recorded, Jordan Hall. MacAdam-Somer has a deep love of Appalachian fiddle music, but she can also burn Baroque, free-improv, and jazz: often in the same tune. The CD includes her original setting of texts by Rumi, the Ralph Vaughan Williams song cycle “Along the Field,” a gospel-drenched interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Jump for Joy,” and a whole lot more.

Joe Hunt Sextet
June 28, 8 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

The distinguished jazz drummer Joe Hunt has put together a dandy little group for this Lily Pad appearance — pianist (and fellow New England Conservatory prof) Ken Schaphorst, trumpeter Phil Grenadier, tenor saxophonist Brian Levy, baritone saxophonist Jim Cameron, and bassist Bob Nieske.

Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra
June 29, 7 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Among jazz orchestra composers mentored by the late, great Bob Brookmeyer are John Hollenbeck, Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue, and Ayn Inserto. Like her peers, Inserto has her own language — bold, unusual forms, rich in harmonic and rhythmic detail, always unfolding with new events. She’ll lead her orchestra in a Boston premiers of a piece dedicated to Brookmeyer, “Ze Teach and Me,” in two movements – the first about Brookmeyer, the second about her. You can also expect a bit from her latest CD, recorded in Italy with an Italian band, Home Away from Home. But tonight it’s a home team of some of the Boston area’s best: reed players Allan Chase, Kelly Roberge, Mark Zaleski, and Kathy Olson; trumpeters Jeff Claassen, Dan Rosenthal, Pete Kenagy, and Matthew Small; trombonists Randy Pingrey, Tim Lienhard, Garo Saraydarian, and Jamie Kember; guitarist Eric Hofbauer; pianist Jason Yeager, bassist Sean Farias, and drummer Austin McMahon.


Twins of El Dorado and Jonah Parzen-Johnson
June 30, 8 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Singer Kristin Slipp and trumpeter Joe Moffett, both former New England Conservatory students, are the experimental duo Twins of El Dorado, mixing sung lyrics, wordless vocals, and original spoken-word texts. With trumpet, of course. They call what they do “art songs.” I’m good with that. There’s a lot of freedom here, but a lot of compositional focus as well. And Slipp’s crystalline soprano is something to behold. (They also have a sense of humor: “I will not sing an Emily Dickinson poem,” Slipp sings.) You can stream their CD Portend the End. Jonah Parzen-Johnson, meanwhile, is a solo baritone-saxophone performer who likes to multiply his voicings with a synthesizer (no loops!). The art-improv double-bill of the week.

Ghost Train Orchestra
July 1, 7:30 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

With his Ghost Train Orchestra, trumpeter Brian Carpenter has been taking his painstaking transcriptions of pre-swing jazz, early “chamber jazz,” and other novelties into ever more bold re-imaginings — to good effect. The new Hot Town follows up on 2011’s Hot House Stomp, with selections drawn from the likes of Fess Williams (and his Royal Flush Orchestra), Charlie Johnson, and Tiny Parham.

July 1, 7:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Among his varied projects, Bert Seager calls Kombucha “my jazz piano trio.” In which the pianist and composer matches his interest in world-music rhythms, modern jazz harmonies, pliant song form, and spontaneous three-way musical conversation. His collaborators are bassist Sean Farias and drummer Austin McMahon.

Gaia Wilmer
July 7, 6 p.m.
Regattabar Courtyard, Cambridge, MA

Brazilian composer, arranger, and saxophonist Gaia Petrelli Wilmer is one of the bright young lights at Berklee College of Music. She leads her octet in a free concert in the Charles Hotel upper courtyard as part of the “Berklee at the Regattabar” series. Did I mention that it’s free? And outdoors?

— Jon Garelick

Roots and World Music

Photo: Mozuk Nolte

The Peruvian electro-folk combo Novalima comes to New England this week. Photo: Mozuk Nolte.

June 30 at Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA

This Peruvian electro-folk combo deftly combines traditional sounds with technology. While samples and keyboards are present on their new LP (Planetario), they never obscure the music’s African-rooted percussion or the powerful vocals of Rosita Guzman.

New Bedford Folk Festival
July 4-5
New Bedford, MA

The region’s purest summer folk event, New Bedford stays true to its longstanding tradition of presenting masters of traditional song, a few thoughtful singer/songwriters, and a solid dose of Celtic and French-Canadian artists. Highlights include the Welsh quartet Calan, young acoustic bluesman David Jacobs-Strain and Club 47 pioneer Jack Landrón (aka Jackie Washington). Artists perform both on their own and in song swap sessions.

— Noah Schaffer

Visual Art

Winslow Homer’s Civil War
July 2 – October 31
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, MA

Born in Victorian Boston and raised in Cambridge, Winslow Homer had a career that oddly paralleled Andy Warhol’s a hundred years later. Apprenticed as a teenager to a leading Boston lithographic firm, Homer was a successful commercial artist and illustrator before he launched a new path as a painter. As was the case with Warhol, Homer the fine artist soon eclipsed Homer the illustrator. And, like Warhol, he is now renowned as one of the leading American painters of his century.

On loan from the Portland Museum of Art, the 30 woodcuts in Winslow Homer’s Civil War were originally commissioned by Harper’s magazine. They were based on frontline sketches Homer made just as he began the transition between illustration and painting. Created under difficult and often depressing and dangerous conditions, Homer’s images were among the first that recorded the actual conditions of the American Civil War, illustrating both battle scenes and quiet moments back at camp. Not long after, a series of oils based on his wartime experiences won Homer formal recognition as an important American painter.

Peter Blume, "The Rock"

Peter Blume, “The Rock,” 1944-48.

Peter Blume: Nature and Metamorphosis
July 3 – September 20

Visions from Home: Surrealism in Connecticut
July 7 – October 18
Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT

The Wadsworth Athenaeum’s Peter Blume: Nature and Metamorphosis is the artist’s first retrospective in nearly 40 years and the first since his death in 1992. Blume, a Jewish immigrant from what is now Belarus, was a leading figure in the sometimes over-looked but critical American surrealist movement, which reached its peak in the years before and after World War II. Bloom’s bizarre, arresting, nightmare images explored, in particular, the brutal dictatorships, the devastation of war, and eventual renewal that marked the period.

Blume was also one of those New York artists who chose to escape the confines of the city for the rural peace of Connecticut. In its parallel show, Visions from Home: Surrealism in Connecticut, he Wadsworth reunites these friends and neighbors who, starting in the 1930s, helped form a modern Connecticut artist community. On view are European surrealist exiles like André Masson, Yves Tanguy, and Pavel Tchelitchew as well as near-contemporary Americans who also worked in surrealist-inspired styles, including Kay Sage, Alexander Calder, and Arshile Gorky. Together, these artists worked sources from dreams and the subconscious that were later absorbed into the foundations of Abstract Expressionism.

Grassroots Art: Inward Adorings of the Mind: Outsider, Visionary and Folk Art by Tol-liver, Yoakum, Moses, and others
July 3 – November 1
Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT

Perched in a corner of Vermont near the hills of Western Massachusetts and the farmlands of Upstate New York, the Bennington Museum is especially known for its collections of art works and folk art created in the rural northeast, including examples from Bennington’s famous local potteries. Built on the Bennington’s collection of works by Mary Ann Robertson “Grandma” Moses, the largest in the world, “Grassroots Art” also features so-called “Outsiders” Joseph Yoakum, Mose Tolliver, and others who lived outside the cities, made art as a pastime, and never set out to be artists at all.

Classical Music

Cuarteto Latinoamericano
June 28 at 5 p.m.
At the Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA

This award-winning ensemble from Mexico was formed in 1982 and consists of the three Bitrán brothers, violinists Saúl and Arón and cellist Alvaro, along with violist Javier Montiel. Their CD Brasileiro, works of Mignone won a Latin Grammy for Best Classical Recording in 2012. On the program: Francisco Mignone’s Quartet No. 2; Manuel Ponce’s Estrellita and Gavota; Astor Piazolla’s Four for Tango; Villa-Lobos’ Quartet No. 5; Alberto Ginastera’s Quartet No. 2.

Chopin & His World
June 28 at 7 p.m.
At the Rivers School Conservatory, 333 Winter Street, Weston, MA

The program, presented by the RSC’s Chopin Institute, is entitled ‘Chopin at the Salons Pleyel’ — the evening will be a re-enactment of Chopin’s 1832 debut concert in Paris.

Music from the Regensburg Manuscript
June 30 at 8 p.m.
At St Peter’s Church, 320 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA
(Additional performances, all at 8 p.m.: Wednesday, July 1, at The Chapel of West Parish, 129 Reservation Road, Andover, MA; Thursday, July 2 at Lindsey Chapel at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston.)

The 7 Hills Renaissance Wind Band, presented by the Society for Historically Informed Performance, perform music from “one of the most important collections of wind repertoire from the sixteenth century is Regensburg BZ A.R. 775-777, a set of partbooks containing a selection of motets and madrigals by some of the top composers of the day.”

Wind Power
July 2 at 7 p.m.
At Brandeis University’s Slosberg Recital Hall, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA

On the program: Schubert’s monumental Octet for winds and strings the Boccherini Quintet, and duos from “Magic Flute.” There will be a pre-concert talk by Artistic Director Daniel Stepner one hour ahead of the program. The evening’s artists: Eric Hoeprich, period clarinet; Stephen Hammer, classical oboe; Andrew Schwartz, bassoon; Todd Williams, natural horn; Daniel Stepner, baroque violin, and ensemble.

— Susan Miron


A scene from Shakespeare & Co's production of "Henry V"  Photo: John Dolan.

A scene from Shakespeare & Co’s production of “Henry V” featuring L-R: David Joseph, Ryan Winkles, and Caroline Calkins. Photo: John Dolan.

Henry V by William Shakespeare. Directed by Jenna Ware. Staged by Shakespeare & Company in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Lenox, MA, through August 23.

Those hungry for more history plays by the Bard after Henry VI, Part 2 have an opportunity to continue the adventure with the prequel: “Henry V is rare among Shakespeare’s works because it contains explicit references to true events in England’s history. Following the death of his father, Prince Hal takes on the crown, rallies his exhausted troops and sets forth to repair his post-civil war nation.” Is the text pro-war? Anti-war? A little of both? It depends on where director Ware puts the emphasis.

Dying City by Christopher Shinn. Directed by Cameron Cronin. Staged by the Happy Medium Theatre in Boston, MA, through July 11.

The local staging of this script—a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama—will be up front and personal. Cronin directs the “star power-house Fringe couple, Kiki Samko and Michael Underhill” in a “play about grief, identity, and violence in the human psyche—the lies, betrayal and self-deceptions and the centrality of hate in human existence.”

As for attending the show, please note that the production will take place in the living room of the performers, so special arrangements have to be made: “Due to the loss of the Factory Theater, HMT had to improvise this whole season and after not much deliberation, we collectively decided to still bring this wonderful piece of theater to the community in the most intimate form possible: the actual home of Kiki Samko and Michael Underhill. For privacy purposes, we are withholding the address in our press releases, but it will be provided by sending a reply email to mikeydiloreto@gmail.com.” Arts Fuse review

L-R: Bridget Saracino as Rachel and Tod Randolph as Zelda. Photo: John Dolan.

L-R: Bridget Saracino as Rachel and Tod Randolph as Zelda in the Shakespeare & Co production of “The How and the Why.” Photo: John Dolan.

The How and the Why by Sarah Treem. Directed by Nicole Ricciardi. Staged by Shakespeare & Company in the Bernstein Theatre, Lenox, MA, through July 26.

Dramatist Sarah Treem once told an interviewer that for a good play, “you put people in a room who have very good reasons to be furious at each other and you don’t let them leave. The How and the Why is somewhat based on that principle.” Tod Randolph and Bridget Saracino star in this production of a clash between two highly intelligent female scientists. See the Arts Fuse feature on The How and the Why. And here is the Arts Fuse review.

Out of Sterno by Deborah Zoe Laufer. Directed by Paula Plum. Staged by the Gloucester Stage Company, 267 Main Street, Gloucester, MA, through July 18.

This “zany” feminist satire tells “the story of Dotty, who lives a kind of reverse Alice-in-Wonderland existence in the colorful and cartoon-like apartment she shares with her husband Hamel. Dotty’s life in Sterno is a fairy tale despite the fact that, in their seven years of marriage Hamel has forbidden her to leave their tiny apartment or speak to anyone.” The cast includes Amanda Collins, Jennifer Ellis, and Richard Snee.

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. A new version written and directed by Robert Kropf. Staged by the Harbor Stage Company at 15 Kendrick Avenue, Wellfleet, MA, through July 11.

As far as I am concerned, you can never have too many productions of Ibsen. Stacy Fischer plays the door-slammer, Nora, in a production which will be an “elegant new version of an enduring classic [that] explores the struggle for authenticity within the confines of an artificial society.”

The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord by Scott Carter. Directed by Byam Stevens. Staged by the Chester Theater Company at 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA, through July 5.

The East Coast premiere of a script by Scott Carter (Executive Producer of Real Time With Bill Maher) that recycles Sartre’s No Exit. The premise: “an American Founding Father, a British Victorian novelist, and a Russian revolutionary find themselves locked in a room from which there seems to be no exit. How can this trio escape? They will have to collaborate. Discord reveals what happens when great men of history are forced to repeat it.”

Thoroughly Muslim Millie by Ryan Landry. Performed by The Gold Dust Orphans. At the Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street, Provincetown, MA, through September 6.

Leave it to Landry to take musical parody where most American theaters fear to tread. Seen many plays about the Middle East lately? With music? The satiric set-up: “A young girl from a Canadian convent! Thrust across the border into the Middle East and straight into the arms of the Prince of Persia! And what do Dick and Lynne Cheney have to do with all this?” WARNING: This is an ADULT parody! DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN!

David Adkins as Thoreau. Photo: Michael J. Riha.

David Adkins as Thoreau in the Berkshire Theatre Festival production of “Thoreau or, Return to Walden.” Photo: Michael J. Riha.

Thoreau or, Return to Walden, written and performed by David Adkins. Directed by Eric Hill. Staged by the Berkshire Theatre Festival at The Unicorn Theatre (The Larry Vaber Stage), Stockbridge, MA, through July 11.

Adkins stars in the world premiere production of his homage to the life and thought of Henry David Thoreau. The one-man show is billed as a “dramatic and uplifting tale as he [Thoreau] battles with himself, with his own thirst for blood and for the soul of our American conscience. It’s 1859. The Union is on the verge of civil war over the issue of slavery.” Note that this return to transcendental nature “includes brief nudity.”

Off the Main Road by William Inge. Directed by Evan Cabnet. Staged by the Williamstown Theatre Festival on its Main Stage, Williamstown, MA, June 30 through July 19.

This is an intriguing world premiere of a script that was “until recently, a lost work among Inge’s canon – found and reintroduced by the Inge Estate in 2008.” “Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winner Krya Sedgwick makes her WTF debut in the world premiere of a play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Inge. As the second wave of feminism crests in America, the elegant but emotionally fragile Faye Garrit (Sedgwick) seeks refuge from her husband, a former professional baseball player, by checking into a run-down resort on the outskirts of St. Louis with her 17-year-old daughter.”

Legacy by Daniel Goldfarb. Directed by Oliver Butler. Staged by the Williamstown Theatre Festival on its Nikos Stage, Williamstown, MA, July 1 through 12.

A world premiere starring Tony Award-nominee Jessica Hecht and Drama Desk Award-winner Eric Bogosian. They play a couple in what is billed as a “funny and turbulent” script. The plot: “When renowned novelist Neil Abrams (Bogosian) is panned by The New York Times, he reopens the conversation with his wife Suzanne (Hecht) about starting a family.”

— Bill Marx


Brian Wilson in 2012.  Photo: Wiki Commons

Brian Wilson in 2012. Photo: Wiki Commons

Brian Wilson (with Rodriguez)
July 2
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA

“Genius” is a term that gets thrown around pretty liberally, but Brian Wilson is one of the few who rates the distinction. What bob Dylan is to lyrics, Wilson is to harmony and the use of the studio as an instrument. He’ll have his crack backing band with him this week by the water (where better to hear and see Brian Wilson than by the water?), plus classic-lineup Beach Boys member Al Jardine and for-a-short-time-in-the-early-‘70s Beach Boys member Blondie Chaplin. As if this weren’t enough, “Sugar Man” himself Rodriguez serves as the opening act.

Upcoming and On Sale…

U2 (7/10, 11, 14, 15/2015, TD Garden); Green River Fest (featuring Steve Earle, Punch Brothers, and tUnE-yArDs) (7/10-12/2015, Greenfield Community College); Mudhoney (7/11/2015, Brighton Music Hall); Billy Joel (7/16/2015, Fenway Park); Raekwon & Ghostface Killah (7/17/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Foo Fighters (7/18-19/2015, Fenway Park); Neil Young + Promise of the Real (7/22/2015, Xfinity Center); Modest Mouse (7/23/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Interpool (7/23-24/2015, House of Blues); Greg Trooper (7/25/2015, Atwood’s Tavern); Bombino (7/27/2015, The Sinclair); X (7/30/2015, The Sinclair); Veruca Salt (7/30/2015, Paradise Rock Club); (the) Thurson MoOre Baand (8/2/2015, The Sinclair); Brandon Flowers (8/3/2015, House of Blues); Jamie XX (8/9/2015, The Sinclair); Dick Dale (8/15/2015, Middle East-Downstairs); Willie Nelson & Family (8/21/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); AC/DC (8/22/2015, Gillette Stadium); Counting Crows (8/23/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Social Distortion (8/23/2015, House of Blues); J. Geils Band (8/27/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); The Vaccines (8/30/2015, The Sinclair); Death Cab For Cutie (9/11/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Rancid (9/15/2015, House of Blues); Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters (9/20/2015, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Albert Hammond Jr. (9/20/2015, The Sinclair); Bob Mould (9/23/2015, The Sinclair); Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls (9/25/2015, House of Blues); Boston Calling (featuring Avett Brothers, Alt-J, and Alabama Shakes) (9/25-27/2015, City Hall Plaza); Ghost (9/28/2015, House of Blues); The Jesus and Mary Chain (9/29/2015, House of Blues); Kurt Vile and the Violators (10/2/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Kraftwerk (10/3/2015, Wang Theatre); Ride (10/3/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Mark Knopfler (10/9/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Catfish and the Bottlemen (10/16/2015, Royale); Garbage (10/21/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Ringo Starr and His All Star Band (10/23/2015, Citi Performing Arts Center); The Who (10/29/2015, TD Garden)

— Adam Ellsworth

Author Events


Tracy Slater
The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World
June 30 at 7 p.m.
Newtonville Books, Newton Centre MA

Shufu is Japanese for “housewife” and this is the last thing Tracy Slater ever thought she’d be. A Boston- raised writer and academic, Slater’s life went topsy-turvy once she fell in love with an Osaka man who barely spoke her language. In the release party for her new memoir, Slater takes us through her unlikely story of discovering love, identity, and fulfillment through domesticity.

Jessica Fechtor
Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home
June 30 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Square Books, Cambridge MA

At 28, Jessica Fechtor was happy and looking forward to life after grad school. Going for a run one day, an aneurism burst in her brain, robbing her of her sense of smell, the sight in one eye, and nearly killing her. Her psychological recovery began in the kitchen, where she drew strength from cooking and baking. The writer of the popular food blog Sweet Amandine will read and sign copies of her memoir.

James Wood
The Nearest Thing to Life
July 1 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

The English-born James Wood is a staff writer at The New Yorker and professor of the practice of literary criticism at Harvard whose writing has been widely praised on both sides of the Atlantic. His latest work describes how the secret joy of reading enlivened up his strict religious childhood. He then delves deeper into the reasons why literature can describe the contours of our lives in ways no other art form can and how “deep noticing” may be the key to literary greatness.

Nina Ansary
In Conversation with Dr. Pardis Sabeti
The Jewels of Allah: The Untold Story of Women in Iran
July 1 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Square Books, Cambridge, MA

In an event co-sponsored by Harvard’s center for Middle East Studies, Ansary, a philanthropist and activist, reads and discusses her new book about an ongoing (and surprising) feminist movement in modern Iran. The conventional narrative emphasizes how the Islamic Revolution squashed the progress women were making in the years before the Ayatollah. Ansary explains how this doesn’t tell the whole truth: she spotlights the stories of pioneering women throughout Iranian history and explains how these brave females contributed to an enduring tradition of feminism.

Literary Lunch Break: Poet’s Theatre
July 2 from 12- 1 p.m.
Outdoor Reading Room, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA

Members of the widely-praised Poet’s Theatre gather to perform speeches and poems from some of Boston’s greatest writers and orators, including Emerson, Sojourner Truth, Louisa May Alcott, and Frederick Douglass. Benjamin Evett will recite/perform classic texts, along with other members of the company.

Fiction Fridays
July 3
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

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

Frederick Douglass --

Frederick Douglass — in 1852 took exception to the celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Communal Reading of “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
July 4 at 12 p.m.
Concord, MA
Free and open to the public

Be inspired by Frederick Douglass’s fiery speech of July 5, 1852, when the orator took thunderous exception to the country’s commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence while it ignored the glaring contradiction posed by slavery.

Breaking the Mold: A Discussion with Indie and Small Press Authors
July 8 from 7-8 p.m.
Trident Booksellers, Boston MA

Trident will host a gathering of local authors who have published independently or with small presses. The goal is to discuss their experiences as writers working outside the mainstream of American publishing. Each writer will explain how they engage with a diverse array of genres, from fantasy and graphic novels to children’s literature and post-apocalyptic science fiction. There will hopefully something for every literary taste.

— Matt Hanson

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