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 the film "White Zombie."

A scene featuring Bela Lugosi in the eccentric-to-the-max film “White Zombie.”

Camden International Film Festival
September 17-20
Camden, Maine

This rustic festival claims to show the best in international documentary film and has become ‘recognized as one of the top 25 documentary film festivals in the world.’ They emphasize films that blur the line between fact and fiction, that inspire, inform, and entertain. The fest also features three days of workshops, meetings, pitch sessions, and master classes designed to help documentary filmmakers advance their projects and find creative inspiration. Full Schedule

Boston Film Festival
September 17 -21
Venues throughout Boston

This festival is sponsored by the city of Boston and can be rather confusing regarding both its intention and scheduling. It is best to check the schedule ahead of time for films of interest. Then double-check the location of the movies that appeal because the fest’s 5 venues are located throughout the city. This year two local features and five world premieres are being spotlighted. The opening film is Papa, a true story about journalist Ed Myers and his adventures in Cuba in the late 1950’s with his childhood idol, Ernest Hemingway. It features Joely Richardson and Giovani Ribisi. Full Schedule

White Zombie
September 17 and 20 at 7:30p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA

This oddball horror film stars Bela Lugosi and features old-school Zombification, not the flesh-eating kind. One of the first zombie movies, it was shot in 11 days, and earned Lugosi $800. There are rumors that he directed much of it himself, which accounts for the film’s wild tone and flashes of genius. To get a sense of just how strange this movie is watch the trailer. This is one of the films in the UCLA Festival Of Preservation (screening at the MFA through September 20). The project restores too-little-seen classics, like The Big Broadcast and The Crime of Doctor Crespi. Full Schedule

Patron of the arts Peggy Guggenheim

Patroness of the modern arts, Peggy Guggenheim.

Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict
September 18 at 7 p.m. and 19 at 3 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art Boston

Peggy Guggenheim was a larger-than-life character who was not only ahead of her time but helped to define it. An heiress to a family fortune, she became a central figure in the modern art movement, developing personal relationships with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as countless others. While dealing with personal tragedy, she fought for and accomplished her mission: to build one of the world’s most important collections of modern art.

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church – Live At The 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival and Taste: What’s Going On – Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970
September 18 at 9:15 p.m. and September 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Arlington Regent Theater, Arlington, MA

An exclusive Boston film premiere that pairs 1970 festival performances from two icons of the electric guitar, Jimi Hendrix and Taste guitarist Rory Gallagher.

— Tim Jackson


Let’s Dance Boston
September 16-19 at 8 p.m., September 20 at 3 p.m.
Rose Kennedy Greenway
Boston, MA

Celebrity Series of Boston invites local dance enthusiasts to join them on the Rose Kennedy Greenway this week for five days of free dancing and music. All levels are welcome, and each evening begins with a lesson for those wishing to learn from the professionals.

September 18 & 19 at 8 p.m., September 20 at 7 p.m.
The Dance Complex
Cambridge, MA

Performer Brian Carbee returns to the theater where his career began. The distinguished choreographer — who now predominantly performs in New Zealand and Australia — stars in this new work by physical theatre company The Leaps, in association with the Dance Complex, and co-written with Sarah Carradine.

The Russian Grand Ballet performs the classic "Swan Lake" this week.

The Russian Grand Ballet performs the classic “Swan Lake” at the Strand Theatre this week.

Swan Lake
September 19 at 7:30 p.m.
The Strand Theatre
Dorchester, MA

Ukrainian artist Olga Kifyak takes the lead as Odette/Odile in this impressive adaptation of Swan Lake, presented by The Russian Grand Ballet. The company coms to Boston this weekend as part of it 22-city American tour.

— Merli V. Guerra

Celebrating the Legacy of Leonid Yakobson: From Oppression to Honor. Presented by Boston Ballet in Studio 7 at the Boston Ballet Headquarters, 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, on September 17 and 18.

“Noted for an ‘explosive’ and experimental style, Leonid Yakobson (1904-1975) introduced Soviet audiences to a revolutionary aesthetic they had never witnessed before.” This installment of BB@home features Yakobson’s Pas de Quatre and four pas de deux from Rodin, including The Eternal Spring, The Kiss, Eternal Idol, and Minotaur and Nymph. “Following each performance, Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and dance historian Janice Ross, author of Like A Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia, will delve into the world of Yakobson’s groundbreaking, yet suppressed, influence.”

— Bill Marx


Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra
September 14, 7:30 pm.
David Friend Recital Hall, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA.

Mentored by the late, great Bob Brookmeyer, composer Ayn Inserto is one of the most accomplished big band writers in town. For this show, her band will feature Inserto’s arrangement of music by guest trumpeter Sean Jones and music by the band’s lead trumpet, Jeff Claassen. And it’s free.

Mili Bermejo/Dan Greenspan
September 15, 7 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

The Mexican-born singer and songwriter Mili Bermejo has startling range, covering a broad range of pan-American composers with authority and soul. She’s joined by her husband and musical partner, bassist Dan Greenspan.

Life in Real Time

Laszlo Gardony Sextet
September 15, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The Hungarian-born Boston pianist Laszlo Gardony is best known for a string of impressive trio recordings. His new Life in Real Time is a standout collection of covers and originals for that trio (bassist John Lockwood, drummer Yoron Israel) plus three formidable reedmen: Don Braden, Bill Pierce, and Stan Strickland. They’re all joining Gardony at the Regattabar. The album ranges from a spunky original New Orleans second-line to unique takes on “Motherless Child” and George Shearing’s “Lullabye of Birdland” and all manner of exhilarating post-bop.

Kenny Werner Trio
September 16, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Kenner Werner is warmhearted and wide-ranging as pianist and composer — his chops run from boogie-woogie to bop and beyond, and he’s written for all manner and sizes of ensemble. (When he’s making one of his regular teaching stops at Berklee, he likes to join his friends in the Fringe at the Lily Pad on Monday night.) He’s joined by bassist Johannes Weidenmuller and drummer Ari Hoenig.

Kris Adams
September 17, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Working with the trumpeter and arranger Greg Hopkins, singer Kris Adams produced Longing, one of the best albums of 2014, now getting a belated CD-release show at the Regattabar. The material ranges from Joni Mitchell and Michel Legrand to Norma Winstone’s title track and Adams’s own setting of Steve Swallow’s “Wrong Together.” The crystalline glow of Adams’s voice is abetted by emotional commitment and technical assurance. And Hopkins’s backing crew was made-to-order: reed players Rick DiMuzio, Shannon LeClaire, and Ben Whiting, flutists Bob Patton and Fernando Brandão, pianist Tim Ray, bassist Paul Del Nero, and drummer Mark Walker.

Photo: Vincent Soyez, courtesy of the artist

Flute virtuoso Jamie Baum brings a version of her septet (Septet+) that recorded In This Life to Scullers Jazz Club this week. Photo: Vincent Soyez, courtesy of the artist.

Jamie Baum
September 17, 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Jamie Baum has been a commanding flute virtuoso from the beginning, but just as provocative over the long haul of her career has been her writing. She brings a version of her septet (Septet+) that recorded In This Life — a best-of-2013 for many music writers, including this one. The band is trumpeter Jason Palmer, alto sax and bass clarinet player Sam Sadigursky, French horn player Chris Komer, guitarist Brad Shepik, pianist John Escreet, bassist Matt Clohesy, and drummer Jeff Hirshfield.

John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet
September 18-19; 7:30 p.m. + 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Guitarist Scofield and saxophonist Lovano created one of the echt early-’90s jazz bands — fluent, funny, and free. They’ve reconvened for a new album on the Impulse label and a tour. They’re rejoined by drummer Bill Stewart and, on this date, Ben Street, in the bass chair originally held by the late Dennis Irwin.

John Pizzarelli
September 18-19, 8 p.m. + 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The talented singer, guitarist, and former Foxwoods pitchman’s latest CD is a tribute to songwriter Johnny Mercer. He comes to Scullers for two nights with his quartet: pianist Konrad Paszkudski, brother Martin Pizzarelli on bass, and drummer Kevin Kanner.

Gregory Porter

Baritone Gregory Porter will perform at Berklee Performance Center this week.

Gregory Porter
September 19, 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA.

The burly, bearded baritone won a Best Jazz Vocal album for his 2013 Blue Note debut, Liquid Spirit. He’ll ply his ingratiating bard-boppish blend of gospel, soul, and jazz, joined by the adept pianist Chip Crawford and a similarly longtime cohort of horn players. Singer AVERY*Sunshine opens.

— Jon Garelick

Visual Arts

Grand Reopening
September 19
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT

One of the oldest art museums in the United States, the Wadsworth Atheneum has been holding regular public exhibitions since before the Civil War, decades before the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, or The Metropolitan Museum in New York opened their doors. The museum occupies a collection of buildings and wings in a variety of styles, dating back to the 1840s, and including the first museum space in the modernist International Style.

On the 19th, the Wadsworth celebrates its recently-completed, $33 million renovation of 32 galleries and 15 public spaces with a “Grand Reopening” with free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event features the renovated Beaux-Arts Morgan Memorial Building, originally presented to the Atheneum in 1910 by banker J. Pierpont Morgan, who was born in Hartford, in honor of his father (Post-War Modern galleries opened in January). The Morgan Building galleries present a complete reinstallation of the museum’s European collections, a selection including more that 1,000 paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts.

Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen
September 19 – January 3, 2016
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Dutch artist Theo Jansen is known for his huge, self-propelled, preposterous constructions, half machine, half creature, that he calls “Strandbeest” or “beach animals.” Their first habitat was the Dutch seacoast. This week, the Peabody Essex Museum opens Jansen’s first major American museum exhibition, including artist sketches, demonstrations, photographs, and a hall of “fossils” of earlier Strandbeest. A sneak pre-view, “Party with the Beest,” takes place on September 17th at the museum in Salem and a “Dream with the Beest,” a member’s-only pajama sleepover, occupies the evening of the 19th — great fun for those who always wanted to spend the night in a museum. Sleeping bag recommended.

A beast created by the Rags Collective for the "It is Possible Because it is Possible" exhibition .

A Raqs Media Collective beast in 2014’s “It is Possible Because it is Possible” exhibition.

Raqs Media Collective
September 17 – October 17
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Raqs Media Collective is a New-Delhi based, shape-shifting group of three media types — Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta — that likes to play a range of cultural roles, from artist to curator to “philosophical agent provocateurs.” Their work is currently on view in the 56th Venice Bienalle. Constructed in the SMFA’s Grossman Gallery, the collective’s “Luminous Will” seeks to transform space into “a habitat for thoughfulness, affect, and the elaboration of a playful sense of plenitude.”

Whistler and the World: The Lunder Collection of James McNeill Whistler at the Colby College Museum of Art
September 15 – January 10, 2016
Aesthetic Harmonies: Whistler in Context
September 17 – January 10, 2016
Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville

In 2007, when it was formally promised to the Colby College Museum of Art, the Lunder Collection was considered one of the finest of American art in private hands. Drawn entirely from the Lunder Whistlers, Whistler and the World emphasizes the witty New Englander’s insistence on “art for art’s sake” with no obligations to the world beyond the aesthetic. Deconstructing Whistler’s own presentation of himself as an artist apart from the public and entirely detached from the cultural currents of his time, the show and its catalogue places him in “a dynamic international and cosmopolitan context” at the center of a wide network of people, places, and ideas in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

A companion show, Aesthetic Harmonies: Whistler in Context continues this attack on Whistler’s artistic self-image by pairing his experiments in color, form, technique, and beauty with parallel examples by other artists from early American modernism, 20th-century abstraction, and contemporary art. Alas, Whistler is no longer around to demolish the show’s premise with a few of his choice bon mots, aimed at the Colby curators.

La Libreria. V. (The Library, Venice) About 1740–44

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal), “La Libreria. V.” (The Library, Venice)
About 1740–44.

Canaletto’s Vedute Prints: An Exhibition in Honor of Adolph Weil
through December 6
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

The Italian concept of vedute goes well beyond the idea of “view” (as in “postcard”) that is the word’s literal translation into English. Produced partly with the tourist market in mind, Giovanni Antonio Canal (known to the trade as Canaletto) created vedute of his native in Venice in several media: light-filled, meticulously detailed oil paintings, engagingly informal drawings, and a magnificent series of etchings, aimed at the collectors’ market. The visual accuracy of these various vedute varied from the exceptionally faithful to the playfully fantastic, leaving the viewer always a bit uncertain where reality leaves off and the artst steps in.

The Hood’s exhibition of some 30 virtuoso Canaletto prints, donated to the Hood and to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts by the late print collector Adolph Weil, Jr., Dartmouth Class of 1935. The show, which began in Montgomery in Weil’s native Alabama, marks the centennial of Weil’s birth in 1915.

— Peter Walsh


Jessie Mueller in the American Repertory Theater production of "Waitress." Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Jessie Mueller in the American Repertory Theater production of “Waitress.” Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva.

Waitress, Book by Jessie Nelson, Music and Lyrics by Sara Bareilles. Directed by Diane Paulus. Choreography by Chase Brock. Staged by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, through September 20.

The world premiere of a musical based on the motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly. “Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker, is stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. When a baking contest in a nearby county offers her a chance at escape, Jenna must weigh her commitments against a rare shot at freedom and recognition.” Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) stars as the food server at the center of it all. Arts Fuse review.

The Lion, Written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer. Directed by Sean Daniels. In the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, through September 20.

“After highly-praised runs in Edinburgh and London, two Off-Broadway productions, and several awards, The Lion is beginning a two-year national tour at the MRT. The gripping musical takes the audience on one man’s musical journey from boyhood to manhood, through pain and healing, to discover the redemptive power of music.”

Jennifer Ellis and Christopher Chew in the Lyric Stage Company production of "My Fair Lady." Photo: Mark S. Howard.

Jennifer Ellis and Christopher Chew in the Lyric Stage Company production of “My Fair Lady.” Photo: Mark S. Howard.

My Fair Lady Book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. Music by Frederick Loewe Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture Pygmalion. Directed by Scott Edmiston. Musical Director, Catherine Stornetta. Choreographer, David Connolly, Presented by the Lyric Stage at 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, through October 11.

What looks to be a powerhouse production of the classic musical adaptation of GBS’s tragicomedy, featuring Jennifer Ellis as Eliza Doolittle and Christopher Chew as Henry Higgins. Arts Fuse review.

Broken Glass by Arthur Miller. Directed by Jim Petosa. Staged by New Repertory Theatre in the Charles Mosesian Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, through September 27.

The Boston area premiere of Miller’s 1994 script about Jewish assimilation, self-hatred, and the rise of Nazism features an impressive cast that includes Benjamin Evett, Anne Gottlieb, Christine Hamel, Michael Kaye, and Jeremiah Kissel. The staging is part of a national celebration of the centennial of the birth of the playwright. Arts Fuse review


Erin Butcher, Kathleen Lewis, and Kristen Heide in the Flat Earth Theater production of “Radium Girls.” Photo: Jake Scaltreto.

Radium Girls by D.W. Gregory. Directed by Lindsay Eagle. Staged by Flat Earth Theater at the he Charlestown Working Theatre, Charlestown, MA, through September 19.

The first all-female professional production of “a moving play” inspired by the true story of the factory workers at U.S. Radium. “Once considered a miracle cure and scientific marvel, by the 1920s the radium used to paint luminous watches has triggered fatal health problems for Grace Fryer and other dial painters. As their health deteriorates, Grace must fight the ruthless U.S. Radium Corporation for rightful compensation even while radiation poisoning destroys her body and life.”

appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara. Staged by SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Boston Center for the Arts, through October 10.

The Obie Award-winning play “offers his own subversive take on a classic American genre for a bold new look at race and identity.”

A scene from "The Thing on the Door Step" at Salem Theatre.

Andy LeBlanc and Tom Rash in a scene from “The Thing on the Door Step” at Salem Theatre. Photo: courtesy of Salem Theatre.

The Thing on the Door Step, a version of the H.P. Lovecraft short story. Directed and adapted by Isaiah Plovnick. At Salem Theatre, 90 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA, September 17 through October 4.

I must admit that I don’t get the appeal of horrormeister H.P. Lovecraft — few in the genre wrote more turgidly purple prose. But he has his avid defenders — and a volume in the august Library of America. Unlike Edgar A. Poe, there have been few stage adaptations of his work. (How can you get Lovecraft’s customary piles of flesh turned into goo onto the stage?) The plot: “Daniel Upton has shot his best friend six times through the head, yet claims that he is not a murderer. In this tale of dread adapted from the story by H.P. Lovecraft, the eldritch tendrils of cosmic horror creep closer to our civilized world than ever imagined. Is Edward Derby’s wife more than she appears? What secrets is he keeping from his best friend?”

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Directed Tyler Dobrowsky. Staged by Trinity Repertory Company at the Dowling Theater, Providence, Rhode Island, through October 11.

“Driven and confident, Caesar (played in this production by resident company member Anne Scurria) has just returned from war a hero, only to find a group of close advisors want her dead. In a prescient exploration of the underbelly of political maneuvering, Julius Caesar is an explosion of jealousy, retribution, power and control.” Looks like an updated version that swaps togas for business suits.

The Draft by Peter Snoad. Directed by Diego Arciniegas. At Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley Street Roxbury, MA, through September 20.

(After its Hibernian Hall run, The Draft will go on tour for three performances at Westfield State University in Westfield, MA (September 24); Trinity College in Hartford, CT (September 25); and The Academy of Music in Northampton, MA (September 27).

The premiere of a timely play that “gives voice to the compelling real-life stories of 10 young people (eight of them current residents of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts) who made starkly different choices in response to the military draft at that time.” Much of the source material for The Draft is drawn from the book Called to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronting the Vietnam War Draft by Tom Weiner, a long-time resident of Northampton, MA. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the U.S. ground war in Vietnam, and the 40th anniversary of the end of the war.

Body & Sold by Deborah Lake Fortson. Directed by Naomi Ibasitas. Staged by Tempest Productions and the Nora Theatre Company at the Central Square Theatre, Cambridge, MA, September 14 at 7:30 p.m.

“Every girl and boy dreams sometimes of running away from home. But stalking these runaways are pimps looking for young bodies to sell.” In this staged reading of Deborah Fortson’s documentary play, winner of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award, “we hear the stories of eight teen survivors and the stark realities in five US cities.” The reading will be followed by a discussion “moderated by Audrey Morrissey, Associate Director of My Life My Choice, a nationally recognized survivor-led organization working to stem the tide of commercial sexual exploitation of children.”

A Little Night Music. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Book by Hugh Wheeler. Directed by Peter DuBois. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Boston University Theater, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, through October 11.

“Lovers reunite, passions reignite, and new romances blossom around famous actress Desiree Armfeldt and an unforgettable cast of characters during an eventful weekend in the country. Stephen Sondheim’s most romantic and popular work features a gorgeous, sweeping score infused with humor, warmth, and the flavor of a waltz, including Sondheim’s best known song, “Send in the Clowns.”

The cast of "Boys in the Band."

The cast in Zeitgeist Stage Company’s production of “The Boys in the Band.”

The Boys in the Band by Matt Crowley. Directed by David Miller. Staged by Zeitgeist Stage Company at the Plaza Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St in Boston’s South End, through October 3.

A revival of a once daring script that over the decades was seen by many critics as a theatrical dinosaur because of its gay stereotyping: now it is being rediscovered. David Mamet thinks it is a great American play! This production features Victor Shopov (Norton Award Winner for ZSC’s Bent) and Ryan Landry (Multiple Norton Award Winner for his work with the Gold Dust Orphans). This seminal work of the Off-Broadway movement premiered in 1968 and was a long-running hit onstage.

Craig Mathers going after Richard Snee in a scene from "Academy Fight Song." Photo: Joel  Benjamin

Craig Mathers going after Richard Snee in a scene from “Academy Fight Song.” Photo: Joel Benjamin.

Academy Fight Song by Andrew Clarke. Directed by Joe Antoun. Presented by CentaStage at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston, MA through September 26.

The world premiere production of what could be a slice-and-dice satire of politics in the Ivory Tower: “A college professor in need of job security agrees to a request from his department chair to appear at an academic conference with a former student, a literary phenom who is currently living with the professor’s ex-wife. The appearance goes catastrophically wrong and the promise of security proves to be nothing more than wind.” The cast includes Richard Snee, Tyler Catanella, Craig Mathers, and Tracey Oliverio. Arts Fuse review

Ernest Shackleton Loves Me. Music by Brendan Milburn and Lyrics by Valerie Vigoda. Book by Joe DiPietro. Directed by Lisa Peterson with Musical Direction by Ryan O’Connell. Presented by Arts Emerson at the Emerson/Paramount MainStage, Boston, MA, September 20 through October 4.

Prepare to be inspired: “Complete with quirky original songs and a dazzling multimedia set,” this show “is a new, geeky, high-tech musical adventure about how a little strength and determination can help us overcome any odds.”

The Strawberry Girl by Savyon Liebrecht. Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon. Translated from the Hebrew by Anthony Berris. Presented by I at the Goethe-Institut Boston, 170 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, on September 20 at 7 p.m.

A staged reading of a one-woman play (featuring Nancy E. Carroll) that kicks of Israeli Stages’ admirable season dedicated to works written by female playwrights. The plot: “A German woman and her son Ludwig live in Poland, where her husband works at a ‘factory.’ Their lives change after she meets a Jewish girl who grows strawberries, as big as a man’s fist. The play deals with the confrontation of blissful ignorance and a tragic personal intimacy.”

An Opening in Time by Christopher Shinn. Directed by Oliver Butler. At Hartford Stage, Hartford, CT, September 17 through October 11.

A play from the talented Shinn, a Pulitzer finalist for Dying City, that is set in Connecticut. (The playwright was born in Hartford.) The script, which the dramatist insists is not autobiographical, deals with “finding connections in a shifting world.”

Indira Varma (Ann) and Ralph Fiennes (John) in the NT Live Production of George Bernard Shaw's "Man and Superman." PhotoL Johan Persson.

Indira Varma (Ann) and Ralph Fiennes (John) in the NT Live Production of George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman.” Photo: Johan Persson.

Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw. Staged by National Theatre Live. Directed by Simon Godwin. Screenings at the Bright Family Screening Room in the Emerson/Paramount Center at 539 Washington Street, Boston, MA, September 18 through 20.

A must-see for Shavians! A trimmed (it clocks in at about three-and-a-half hours) version of Bernard Shaw’s epic 1905 exploration of the politics and metaphysics of courtship. Ralph Finnes stars as Jack Tanner. The long debate/dream sequence in the third act has been retained, the production is set in modern dress, and the British critics were generally highly enthusiastic.

— Bill Marx

Roots and World Music

Ricardo Lemvo will perform at Johnny D's this week.

Ricardo Lemvo and his horn-powered band will perform at Johnny D’s this week.

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca
Sept. 17
Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA

For decades, Cuban music has been huge in Africa. Congolese-raised, California-based Lemvo makes the transcultural connection excitingly obvious with his horn-powered band, which thrilled when it played the Lowell Folk Festival’s dance tent a number of years ago. The evening, which kicks off the fall World Music/Crash Arts season, begins with pre-concert salsa lessons.

Jamey Johnson
Sept. 20
Indian Ranch, Webster, MA

Once a prolific songwriter, outlaw country hero Johnson’s output has slowed down. During the last five years he’s only put out a tribute to a Hank Cochran, a Christmas EP, and a few scattered singles. Instead, he’s been constantly out on tour. On stage, Johnson avoids stage patter, wisely letting his thoughtful and soulful songs speak for themselves.

— Noah Schaffer

Classical Music

In Memory of Fay Chandler
Presented by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra
September 15, 7 p.m.
Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA

BLO’s final concert of the year is dedicated to the memory artist, activist, and philanthropist Chandler. Music by Copland, Larry Bell, Joan Tower, and others are on the program.

Daniel Catan’s La Hija de Rappaccini
Presented by Opera Hub
September 17-19, 8 p.m.
BCA Plaza Theater, Boston, MA

Catan’s operatic meditation on the ethics of science and medicine comes to BCA Plaza Theater for three free performances. The cast is headlined by Jonas Budris and Chelsea Beatty.

Massenet’s Le Cid
Presented by Odyssey Opera
September 18, 7:30 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

Odyssey’s annual fall opera-in-concert this year is Jules Massenet’s rarely heard epic Le Cid. Paul Groves, Tamara Mancini, Oren Gradus, and Michael Chioldi lead the cast and Gil Rose conducts the Odyssey Opera Orchestra.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Revolution in E-flat
September 18 at 8 p.m
At Hamilton Hall, 5 Chestnut Street, Salem, MA
September 20 at 3 p.m
At St. Paul’s Church, 15 St. Paul Street, Brookline, MA

The Boston Artists Ensemble presents a program that includes Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat Opus 70 No. 2 and Schubert’s Piano Trio in E-flat, Opus 100.

Incidental Theatre Music of Henry Purcell
September 18 at 8 p.m.
At All-Saints Parish, 1773 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
September 20 at 3 p.m.
At the Shalin Liu Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA

The Henry Purcell Society performs on period instruments “rarely heard instrumental suites from Abdelazer, and The Old Bachelour, with vocal music from The Fairy Queen, The Maid’s Last Prayer, Oedipus as well as other little heard gems from other plays.

— Susan Miron


Rancid is coming to the Boston House of Blues this week.

Rancid is coming to the Boston House of Blues this week.

September 15,
House of Blues, Boston, MA

Green Day and the Offspring had more success, but Rancid were equal members of the ’90s American punk rock trinity. More than 20 years after their debut, they released their eight album, …Honor Is All We Know, in 2014.

A$AP Rocky & Tyler, the Creator
September 19
Tsongas Center at Umass Lowell, Lowell, MA

A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator are two of the finest rappers of their generation. A$AP Rocky released At. Long. Last. A$AP to strong reviews in June, while Tyler, the Creator released Cherry Bomb in April. To get two of the best at the top of their game on the same bill is a rare thing indeed.

Terry Kitchen
September 19
Paradise Café, Dedham, MA

The excellent local singer/songwriter Terry Kitchen has a new album out titled The Post-American Century. He’s celebrating with a CD release show this week in Dedham.

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters
September 20
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston, MA

Rock fans have been clamoring for a Led Zeppelin reunion ever since the group split in 1980, following the death of drummer John Bonham. There have been a few one-off shows over the past 35 years; most notably a 2007 show (with Bonham’s son Jason on drums) released on CD and DVD/Blu-ray in 2012. But a full-blown comeback has been scuttled by one man: singer Robert Plant. It’s easy to get mad at him for this, but it’s not like he hasn’t had a successful solo career in recent years. His fantastic collaboration album with Alison Krauss won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2008, and his releases Band of Joy and Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar have been almost as strong. So if we can’t have a LZ tour, we can at least enjoy Plant and his band the Sensational Space Shifters.


Albert Hammond Jr.
September 20
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

Albert Hammond Jr. is best known as guitarist for 21st-century legends the Strokes, but he’s released almost as many solo albums (3) as he has as a member of his main band (5). His latest, Momentary Masters, was released in July.

Upcoming and On Sale…

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); FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks) (10/2/2015, Orpheum Theatre); Kraftwerk (10/3/2015, Wang Theatre); Ride (10/3/2015, Paradise Rock Club); Terry Kitchen (10/3/2015, Somerville Armory Café); 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); My Morning Jacket (11/20-21/2015, Orpheum Theatre); The Flamin’ Groovies (11/25/2015, Brighton Music Hall); Parquet Courts (12/5/2015, Middle East-Downstairs); Deerhunter (12/10/2015, Royale)

— Adam Ellsworth

Author Events


James Green
The Devil is Here in These Hills
September 15 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

Green is a historian emeritus at Umass-Boston and author of several books of labor history, including Death in the Haymarket, a particularly absorbing chronicle of ‘The Haymarket Affair.’ This time he turns his attention to the coal mines of West Virginia and the legendary “miner’s angel” Mother Jones. Green’s book inspired a documentary produced by Boston’s own The Film Posse, which is set to air nationwide on PBS next year.

Ann Beattie and Joy Williams
The State We’re In: Maine Stories and The Visiting Privilege: New and Collected Stories
September 15 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

Two of the best short story writers we have come to Cambridge to read and discuss their latest work. Beattie’s interconnected short stories are largely set in Maine, but serve as examples of how, as she writes, “we build worlds for ourselves wherever we go.” Williams’s new collection is a sampling of the best of the best of her fiction, from forty years of writing highly-praised and widely-anthologized work.

UMass-Boston MFA Faculty Reading
Jill McDonough, Joseph Torra, Lloyd Schwartz, Askold Melnyczuk, John Fulton, Daphne Kalotay
September 15 at 2:30 p.m.
Harbor Art Gallery, Dorchester MA

The UMass Boston MFA department holds his annual faculty reading, offering a formidable and diverse lineup of novelists (Torra, Melnyczuk, Kalotay) poets (Schwartz, McDonough) and a short story writer (Fulton).

History Matters: A Storm of Witchcraft
Presented by Dr. Emerson Baker
September 16 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Congregational Library and Archives, Boston MA

Speculation abounds over what exactly inspired the Salem Witch Trials: Was it theological extremism? Sexual hysteria? Or slices of hallucinogenic moldy bread? Baker is a professor at Salem State who argues in his new book that there wasn’t a single cause for the Witch Trials. He sees them as the product of a “perfect storm” of social conditions and psychological traumas.


T.J. English
Where the Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World that Made Him
September 16 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, Brookline MA

T.J. English covered Bulger’s court trial but also interviewed the people involved in it, including Bulger’s associates as well as the lawyers, federal agents, and members of the jury. His latest book offers a revisionist history of Bulger’s involvement with the FBI and the mob presence throughout New England — just in time to prepare for the Hollywood biopic of Bulger to be released this fall.

Salman Rushdie
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
September 21 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
Tickets are $28.75, including a copy of the book

What else needs to be said about Sir Salman Rushdie? The legendary writer will read and sign copies of his latest novel, a re-imagining of Scheherazade’s storytelling using Rushdie’s trademark magical realism involving supernatural beings, irreverent wordplay, and uncompromising social criticism.

— Matt Hanson

Recent Posts