Fuse Coming Attractions: January 31 through February 9 —What Will Light Your Fire This Week

Arts Fuse critics select the best in film, theater, dance, music, 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

An Evening with Jane Fonda
January 31 at 8 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

The venerable theater honors Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe winning actress Jane Fonda with the Coolidge Award in recognition of her indelible impact on film and American culture. Margery Eagan, co-host of WGBH’s Boston Public Radio, will moderate a discussion with the legendary actress. Unfortunately, tickets are $100.00, so you’d best be a real fan.

Khalik Allah “Field Niggas” Preview from Khalik Allah on Vimeo.

Field Niggas
February 4 at 7 p.m.
Campus Center at UMass Boston- Ballroom “C”, 3rd Floor.
Free and open to the public.

“While the subject matter, homeless people getting wrecked on the new, synthetic (and not yet illegal) cannabinoid K2, is heartbreaking, Field Niggas is, from an aesthetic point of view, absolutely gorgeous. [Director] Allah shoots the denizens of a notorious Harlem street corner in slow motion, the frame constantly rocking as if on a ship at sea. The confessional monologues and passionate conversation weave in and out, non-synchronous to the crisp, high-definition video. Dramatic pronouncements from a drug addict such as ‘This is pure hell for me, millions would just bring me more problems’ are balanced by a baritone singing an ode to Budweiser. This movie is foremost an ethnographic exercise, and whether it is a rallying cry or poverty porn is for the viewer to decide.” (The Guardian) Q&A with director Khalik Allah moderated by Tommie Shelby, Harvard University Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy, follows the screening.

Forks Over Knives
February 4 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Whole Foods and the Brattle Theatre present a special screening of a film examining the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.

Friday at 7 p.m.
640 Commonwealth Avenue Room 101, Boston, MA
Free and open to the public.

BU graduate Paul Bernon, a Boston-based producer of independent features, presents his newest film, which centers on how the threat of a mountain lion affects the lives of three fifth graders in Palo Alto, California. It is based on stories that originate with the film’s star, James Franco. A Q&A with the director follows. Part of Boston University Cinematheque series, hosted by Suffolk University Professor and Arts Fuse film critic Gerald Peary.

Dreams Rewired
February 5 through 7
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Tilda Swinton narrates a dense, poetic journey through the history of connectivity – starting with radio, the phonograph, movies, television, and the telephone onto today’s digital age. Drawing upon nearly 200 films made between the 1880s and 1930s, the film is an amazing collage of the scientific, dramatic, educational, erotic, experimental, and political. Melding fantasy and fact, this treasure trove of brilliantly selected bits and pieces cumulatively tells the story of technology’s inexorable march into the 21st century. (Film Forum, NYC)

Oscar-Nominated Shorts Program
February 7 at 7 p.m.
February 14 at 3 p.m.
February 14 at 7 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA

For the 10th consecutive year, the ICA presents the Oscar-nominated shorts program — it features an intriguing array of the live-action, animated, and documentary films you always wish you’d had an opportunity to see come Oscar night (Feb 28).

A scene from the documentary "Kingdom of Shadows."

A scene from the documentary “Kingdom of Shadows.”

Kingdom of Shadows
February 8 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

The first film of this year’s DocYard series presents Bernardo Ruiz (Reportero) and his documentary, which takes an unflinching look at the hard choices and destructive consequences of the current U.S.-Mexico “drug war.” “Three perspectives predominate: those of Sister Consuelo Morales, a Roman Catholic nun seeking answers for families of the ‘disappeared’ (civilians who have vanished because of drug gangs or police corruption); Don Henry Ford Jr., a Texas rancher who served time for smuggling marijuana from Mexico; and the Homeland Security officer Oscar Hagelsieb, a former undercover operative for the Border Patrol. “Kingdom of Shadows is unforgettable.” (NY Times) Director Ruiz will attend in person for a post-screening Q&A moderated by Monika Navarro.

— Tim Jackson


FROM OUR EYES debuts at Ipswich Moving Company Studio Theater this week.

FROM OUR EYES debuts at Ipswich Moving Company Studio Theater this week.

FROM OUR EYES / The Brown Sisters
February 4-7
Ipswich Moving Company Studio Theater
Ipswich, MA

FROM OUR EYES uses eight dancers and takes its inspiration from Nicholas Nixon’s portraits of the Brown sisters over the course of 40 years. The work explores the intricacies of close relationships over the passage of time. A talkback with the dancers and choreographer will follow each performance.

NEST: The Performances
February 6 at 7 p.m.
Trident Gallery, Gloucester, MA

Every winter, Trident Gallery in Gloucester partners with the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon to bring gallery-goers a bird-related exhibition. The Trident Live Art Series hosts this collaboration — inspired by the theme of “nests” — via a special performance that features cellist Kristen Miller, dancer Sarah Swift, and performance artist Kate Tarlow Morgan, among others.

Martha’s Artist Salon
February 8, 5:30-8 p.m.
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA

Join Marcus Schulkind at the BCA next Monday for the next event in the Martha’s Artist Salon series. February’s salon will focus on the work of Mats Ek, his influence on modernizing ballet amid the neoromanticism/neorealism movement.

— Merli V Guerra

Visual Arts

Arts Fuse Visual Arts Preview Week of January 31, 2016

Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia
February 5 – September 18
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

Australian “indigenous” art has an unbroken history running back at least 30,000 years and up to the present. It is considered the oldest continuous visual art tradition on earth. Key to that tradition is the indigenous sense of time — the “everywhen” – the past as part of cyclical, circular, and eternal order. Even while continuing in that tradition, contemporary indigenous Australian artists often have international careers, exhibiting in major art festivals and exhibitions and winning international prizes.

Harvard’s full dress survey, with a scholarly catalogue distributed by Yale University Press, is the most comprehensive of its kind seen in the United States in a quarter century. Its focus is on the last 40 years, but the show encompasses earlier objects loaned from the historical collections of Harvard’s nearby Peabody Museum. The curators’ selection includes more than 70 pieces from public and private collections in the United States and Australia, many never before seen outside the continent of their creation. Contemporary Indigenous artists Rover Thomas, Emily Kam Kngwarray, Judy Watson, Doreen Reid Nakamarra, and Vernon Ah Kee are among those on view. As part of the project, the museum’s analytical laboratory is in the midst of the first large-scale technical examination of the materials and techniques of traditional Indigenous bark paintings.

Christian Louboutin, “Printz,” Spring/Summer 2013. Courtesy of Christian Louboutin. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn.

Christian Louboutin, “Printz,” Spring/Summer 2013. Courtesy of Christian Louboutin. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn.

Killer Heels: The Art of the High Heeled Shoe
February 6 – May 15
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire

High-heeled shoes, in which the heel is raised significantly above the toes, have been around since the high-fashion crowd of ancient Egypt, where ordinary people went about mostly barefoot. This Currier Museum show surveys just the last 300 years, with examples drawn from the Brooklyn Museum and Toronto’s Bata Show Museum. Claiming the high heel as both a stunning feat of architectural engineering and a vital creative art, the exhibition will display more than 100 contemporary and 50 historical pairs. Six films specially made for the show by noted artists will explore the long-running fascination of the high-heel.

— Peter Walsh


Photo: Mark S. Howard

The cast of the Lyric Stage production of “Sondheim on Sondheim.” Photo: Mark S. Howard

Sondheim on Sondheim, Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Conceived by James Lapine. Directed by Spiro Veloudos. Music director, Jonathan Goldberg. Choreography & musical staging by Ilyse Robbins. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company at 40 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, through February 21.

“With songs taken from nineteen Sondheim shows produced over a 62-year period, eight of your favorite Boston-based musical-theatre artists (Leigh Barrett, Mala Bhattacharya, Maritza Bostic, Christopher Chew, Aimee Doherty, Davron S. Monroe, Sam Simahk, and Patrick Varner) will perform well-known, rarely heard, and cut material, featuring video commentary from the master himself.” Arts Fuse review

Via Dolorosa by David Hare. Part of the third annual Next Rep Black Box Festival in the Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA, through January 31.

Hare’s one-man show about the political and cultural quandaries afflicting Israel will be performed by David Bryan Jackson. Arts Fuse review.

Violet by Jeanine Tesori, music, and Brian Crawley, lyrics and book. Directed by Paul Daigneault. Music direction by Matthew Stern. David Connolly, choreography. Staged by the SpeakEasy Stage Company in the Virginia Wimberly Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End, through February 6.

The New England premiere of the New York version of a musical that proffers a folk, rock, and gospel score. The show “tells the story of a young North Carolina woman named Violet who travels by bus across the South in 1964 to see a faith-healer she hopes will transform her life. Along the way, she forms unlikely friendships with her fellow passengers, and learns that it’s the journeys you take in life that help you discover who you are.” Arts Fuse review

Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar. Directed by Gordon Edelstein. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company in association with the Long Wharf Theatre, at the Boston University Theatre, Boston, MA, through February 7.

In this Pulitzer prize-winning play, “high-powered New York lawyer Amir has climbed the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his Muslim roots. When he and his wife Emily host a dinner party, what starts as a friendly conversation escalates, shattering their views on race, religion, and each other.” The script is definitely one of the flavors of the season: “Disgraced is being produced at 10 major American regional theatres this season and will be produced across the United States 32 times over the next two years, as well as several productions overseas. A film version of the play is also in the works with HBO.” Arts Fuse review

Michael Cumpsty and Michael Crane in a scene from Dan O'Brien's play, "The Body Of An American." Photo: Courtesy of Hartford Stage

Michael Cumpsty and Michael Crane in a scene from Dan O’Brien’s play, “The Body of an American.” Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

The Body of an American by Dan O’Brien. Directed by Jo Bonney. At Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford, CT, through January 31.

According to critic Christopher Arnott of the Hartford Courant, this two-man autobiographical play — a drama about the relationship that developed between playwright O’Brien and photo-journalist Paul Watson – is “compelling yet strangely calm; it makes you question matters of life, death, war and peace. It values friendship. It leads you through the creative process, the journalistic process and the grieving process. It’s a grand poetic statement that gains power and humanity from being so eloquently staged.” The script comes with plenty of garlands: it is the winner of the inaugural Edward Kennedy Prize, the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play, and the PEN Award for Drama.”

The Convert by Danai Gurira. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. Staged by the Underground Railway Theater at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, through February 28.

“Southern Africa, 1895: A young Shona girl escapes an arranged marriage by converting to Christianity, becoming servant and student to an African Evangelical. As anti-European sentiments spread throughout the native population, she is forced to choose between her family’s traditions and her new-found faith.”

Jeffrey Binder in the MRT's world premiere production of "The White Chip."  Photo: Meghan Moore.

Jeffrey Binder in the MRT’s world premiere production of “The White Chip.” Photo: Meghan Moore.

The White Chip by Sean Daniels. Directed by Sheryl Kaller. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, through January 31.

The world premiere of a “dark comedy about the science of addiction” written by Daniels, MRT’s Artistic Director. The script is “based on his own struggles with alcoholism and path to recovery.” The impressive cast of the 90-minute drama includes Benjamin Evett, Isabel Keating, and Jeffry Binder. Arts Fuse review

Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge. Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through February 27.

“Annie and her teenage friends want the same things: the hottest new phones, cute boys, designer bags. But when they enter into a pregnancy pact, she wonders if there might be a different path and a brighter future.” The Luck of the Irish dramatist “finds raw humor and gritty poetry in this provocative, ripped-from-the-headlines new play that explores what it means to acquire the status the world says you deserve when the opportunity and means to attain it are not afforded to you.”

The Moors by Jen Silverman. Directed by Jackson Gay. Staged by the Yale Repertory Theatre at 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, through February 20.

The world premiere of what sounds like a postmodern theatrical homage/sendup of Gothic conventions. “The bleak moors of England. The bleakest. Two spinster sisters—one desperately unhappy, the other resolutely miserable — live with their elder brother and their mastiff in a gloomy, old mansion. When a governess is summoned to their isolated home, teeming with secrets and desires, what price might they pay for love? The play was “inspired (perhaps) by certain 19th-century gothic romances, and the sisters who wrote them.”

The Testament of Mary by by Colm Tóibín. Directed by Jim Petosa. Staged by the New Repertory Theatre in the Black Box Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, through February 28.

Could it be? Protesters at a theater production? How refreshing. There are reports that some Catholic groups are offended by Colm Tóibín’s iconoclastic version (in his novel) of the Virgin Mary. Paul Langton stars in this adaptation for the stage.

Body & Sold by Deborah Lake Fortson. Directed by Lindsay Eagle.
At The Democracy Center, 45 Mt Auburn Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, on February 7 at 7 p.m.

Tempest Productions, Maiden Phoenix, and Deborah Lake Fortson present a stage reading of a documentary play, winner of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Award, in which “we hear the stories of eight teen survivors and the stark realities in five US cities, including Boston, regarding the sex trafficking of American youth”. One in a series of monthly staged readings. There will be a post-show discussion with “Police Detectives from the Cambridge Police Department and outreach workers from Roxbury Youthworks to learn what they do to combat this American epidemic. And to discuss what we all can do to stop the ferocious exploitation of our young people.”

The Hunchback of Seville by Charise Castro Smith. Directed by Taibi Magar. Staged by Trinity Rep at 201 Washington Street, Providence, Rhode Island, February 4 through March 6.

The script is billed as a “funny and madcap” take on Spanish history and colonialism: “At the turn of the 16th century, Christopher Columbus has just returned from the new world with gold in his pockets and blood on his hands. Maxima Terriblé Segunda, the brilliant adopted sister of dying HRH Queen Isabella, is living out her life locked away in a tower… until it is decided that the future of the country is in her nerdy, reclusive hands” The cast includes Phyllis Kay (as Maxima Terriblé Segunda) with Stephen Berenson, Janice Duclos, Anne Scurria, and Joe Wilson, Jr.

Mark Rylance in the 2013 Guthrie Theater production of 'Nice Fish.' Photo: Richard Termine.

Mark Rylance in the 2013 Guthrie Theater production of ‘Nice Fish.’ Photo: Richard Termine.

Nice Fish, conceived, written, and adapted by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins. Directed by Claire van Kampen. Staged by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, through February 7.

“On a lake in frozen Minnesota, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It’s the end of the fishing season, and two men are out on the ice one last time, angling for answers to life’s larger questions. A play woven together from the acclaimed prose poems of Louis Jenkins, Nice Fish reflects nature with a wry surreality.” Mark Rylance is a terrific actor … so this production looks most promising. Arts Fuse review

An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Directed by Summer L. Williams. Staged by Company One in a co-production with ArtsEmerson in the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, Paramount Center, Boston MA, through February 27.

A postmodern send-up of Dion Boucicault’s hit play of 1859, Jacobs-Jenkins’ wild and wooly script, winner of the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play, “is an incendiary, subversively funny exploration of identity, jammed with sensation and surprises!” The script is a real hoot — equal amounts of shock and silliness — so there is lots of promise here as long as earnestness is kept at bay.

Drunk Enough to Say I Love You by Caryl Churchill. Directed by Thomas King. Staged by Artists’ Theater of Boston in the Merrick Theatre at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, through February 4 through 6.

“After successful shows at Aeronaut Brewing Company in Somerville,” the company “is thrilled to remount this one-of-a-kind production.” Content warning: “Through words, movement, sound, and images, Drunk Enough? explores intimate partner and mass violence, through analogy to U.S. C.I.A. operations overseas, including invasions of sovereign countries, political assassinations, bombing and other military operations, and torture.” If the production lives up to its ‘content warning’ this could be a pretty interesting experience.

Oh, Hello by Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. At the Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA, January 31 through February 6.

“Fresh off the success of their hit prank show Too Much Tuna and the critically acclaimed, sold out run of Oh, Hello on (off) Broadway, performers Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland will leave NYC for the first time in over 40 years to bring the comedy to Boston.”

A scene from "Ubu Sings Ubu" at Oberon in Cambridge, MA this week.

A scene from “Ubu Sings Ubu” at Oberon in Cambridge, MA this week.

Ubu Sings Ubu, Albert Jarry’s play adapted and co-directed by Tony Torn. Choreographed and co-directed by Dan Safer. Presented by the American Repertory Theater at Oberon, Cambridge, MA, on February 4 and 5.

“Adapted from a version of the original French text of Alfred Jarry’s scandalous play Ubu Roi, and run through the Google Translate engine,” the production “is fueled by the giddy, angular new wave rock of Pere Ubu, the cult band whose name and style were inspired by the play.” The production features the Ubu Sings Ubu Band.

— Bill Marx

Rock, Pop, and Folk

The Werks will be performing this week in Brighton. Photo: Joshua Timmermans.

Give me The Werks — the group will be performing this week in Brighton. Photo: Joshua Timmermans.

The Werks (with Big Something)
Thursday, February 4 (Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9)
Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA

According to drummer Rob Chafin, The Werks is “a rock-electronica-bluegrass-funk-trance jam band.” Hailing from the somewhat quietly fertile musical breeding ground of Dayton, Ohio, the band hosts the annual Werk Out Music & Arts Festival each summer in the Buckeye State. The quartet released Inside A Dream, its fourth studio album, last November. (Huffington Post review) Feel free to record Thursday’s show at Brighton Music Hall if you are going. The band is and always has been officially cool with that.

For the Sake of Song: The Music of David Bowie
Thursday, February 4 (10 p.m.)
Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge, MA

This tribute to Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and the Thin White Duke will feature local musicians such as Jenny Dee, Abbie Barrett, Nate Leavitt, Patrick Coman, Andrea Gillis, and The Grownup Noise.

The Machine Performs Pink Floyd
February 5 (Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8)
The Cabot, Beverly, MA

The Machine has been faithfully and expertly recreating the music of one of rock’s most popular and imaginative bands for more than a quarter-century. Praised by Rolling Stone as delivering songs with “chilling accuracy” and by Spin as sounding “exactly like Pink Floyd,” The Machine is sure to delight those who have and haven’t seen the genuine article. Like The Werks, The Machine says on its website that the recording of its shows by fans is “encouraged and appreciated.”

AFCA_JohnnyA_Driven-Album Cover

Johnny A. (with Ilana Katz Katz)
Friday, February 5 (Doors at 5:30 p.m., show at 7)
Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA

Johnny Antonopoulos was born in Malden and was a member of the local favorites The Streets in the 1970s and Hearts on Fire in the 80s. He later worked for seven years as the bandleader for Peter Wolf. Most recently, he toured with the current line-up of The Yardbirds, whose 1960s guitarists included Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. In 2003, Gibson Custom Guitars issued the Johnny A. signature model. You may immerse yourself in the rock-blues-jazz stylings of this 2014 Boston Music Awards Hall of Fame inductee—who also has an instructional DVD to his credit— at Johnny D’s on Friday.

Upcoming and On Sale:

The Prettiots (February 9, Middle East Upstairs); Lee Fields & The Expressions (February 12, The Sinclair); Ms. Lauryn Hill (February 13-14, Paradise Rock Club); Lady Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers (February 17, The Sinclair ); Rhett Miller (February 17, Johnny D’s); Neko Case (March 2, Orpheum Theatre); Deep Sea Diver and Radiation City (March 4, Great Scott); Rickie Lee Jones (March 8, Johnny D’s); G. Love & Special Sauce (March 18, Paradise Rock Club); Young Fathers (April 1, Great Scott); Andrew Bird (April 9, Wang Theatre); Yuck (April 11, Sinclair); Iggy Pop (April 11, Orpheum Theatre); Buddy Guy (April 14, The Cabot); The Dandy Warhols (April 15, Sinclair); Belinda Carlisle (April 15, The Cabot); Melvins (April 16, Paradise Rock Club); Bob Mould with Ted Leo (May 1, Paradise Rock Club); The Brian Jonestown Massacre (May 7, Paradise Rock Club); Alice Cooper (May 14, Lynn Auditorium)

— Blake Maddux


Charles Lloyd & the Marvels
January 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston MA.


Lloyd is, of course, the incomparable 77-year-old Memphis-born saxophonist, flutist, composer, and tireless mystic seeker. The Marvels are bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, from Lloyd’s New Quartet, and guitarist Bill Frisell and steel guitarist Greg Leisz. The band’s new Blue Note CD, I Long To See You, covers Ed McCurdy’s “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” (featuring guest singer Willie Nelson) and Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” — as well as Lloyd originals, hymns and folk songs, and Norah Jones singing Billy Preston’s “You Are So Beautiful.” So there’s an Americana slant to some of it, but this is otherwise a typical Lloyd album in its calm deliberation and sutra flow. (No, the singers are not on the tour.)

Bert Seager: Tetraptych
February 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

If you’d like to know how a four-panel painting is like a three-piece jazz band, read pianist and composer Bert Seager’s enlightening (and enlightened) explanation at the Lily Pad website. In any case, the absence of a drummer in this band should make for an extra level of permeability among the personalities involved: pianist/composer Seager, saxophonist Hery Paz, and bassist Max Riddley. In which case, the fourth panel is probably the audience. All is one and one is all, y’all.

Steven Feifke Trio
February 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Pianist Steven Feifke was a 2011 Thelonious Monk Piano Competition finalist and it’s not hard to hear why — a talented, exploratory arranger and composer working in the traditions of mainstream post-bop swing, he nonetheless plays lines that crackle with unpredictability. Feifke likes to work with large ensembles, but at the Regattabar he’s fronting a trio with bassist Raviv Markovitz and drummer Bryan Carter, plus guest singer Martina DaSilva.

Mack Avenue SuperBand
February 4 at 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA.

The Grosse Point, Michigan-based Mack Avenue label convenes some of its stars for the annual touring edition of its SuperBand — vibraphonist Gary Burton, saxophonist Tia Fuller, trumpeter Sean Jones, and bassist Christian McBride as musical director, with the support of his own stellar triomates, pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.

Medeski Trio
February 4 at 8 p.m.
Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA.

The infinitely adaptable keyboardist John Medeski (of Medeski Martin & Wood) fronts a power trio of sorts with polyglot guitarist David Fiuczynski and drummer G. Calvin Weston, a rhythmic lynchpin of free-jazz funk with the likes of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time, James “Blood” Ulmer, and Jamalaadean Tacuma.

Donal Fox
February 5 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Pianist and composer Donal Fox is calling his current program “In the Pursuit of Beauty.” We’re not sure what that means in terms of specific programming, but Fox — a formidable player himself — is in good company: bassist John Lockwood (of the Fringe) and the celebrated Cuban-American drummer and percussionist (and MacArthur “genius” Fellow) Dafnis Prieto.

Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
February 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Boston second-line avatars the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble celebrate their 25th anniversary at this annual Mardi Gras show, in this case with special guests Godwin Louis on alto saxophone and Jason Palmer on trumpet. The regulars in the band are saxophonists Ken Field and Tom Hall, trumpeter Jerry Sabatini, trombone and tuba guy David Harris, bassist Blake Newman, and drummer Phil Neighbors.

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour  Photo; R.R. Jones.

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour will perform in Boston this week. Photo: R.R. Jones.

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
February 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA.

’Tis the season of touring all-star bands, in this case a contingent of the Monterey Jazz Festival: guitarist and vocalist Raul Midón, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, pianist (and musical director) Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. It should be said that Clayton is focused bandleader and arranger who knows how to mold disparate parts to good effect.

— Jon Garelick

Classical Music

let me tell you
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
February 4-6, 8 p.m. (1:30 p.m. on Friday)
Symphony Hall, Boston

Barbara Hannigan makes her BSO debut, singing the local premiere of Hans Abrahamsen’s mesmeric, Grawemeyer Award-winning let me tell you. Andris Nelsons conducts additional pieces by Shostakovich (the incidental music to Hamlet) and Prokofiev (excerpts from Romeo and Juliet).

Beethoven and Stravinsky
Presented by the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
February 5, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

The BPYO returns to action with a typically substantive evening, pairing Beethoven’s revolutionary Eroica Symphony and Stravinsky’s earth-shaking The Rite of Spring.

Presented by Sound Icon
February 5, 8 p.m.
Fenway Center, Boston

Sound Icon takes advantage of Hans Abrahamsen’s Boston residency by performing two of his chamber pieces: Schnee, a haunting study of canonic techniques, and his Georg Trakl-inspired Winternacht. The evening also includes a public interview with the composer.

Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen
Presented by New England Conservatory
February 6 (at 8 p.m.), 7 (at 3 p.m.), 8 and 9 (at 7:30 p.m.)
Cutler Majestic Theater, Boston

Leos Janacek’s brilliant, touching opera about the relationship between a sly vixen and a Forester comes to Boston courtesy of NEC. Gil Rose conducts Joshua Major’s fully-staged production that features Erica Petrocelli and Junhan Choi in the lead roles, as well as member of NEC Opera and the NEC Philharmonia.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Author Events


Lawrence Douglas
The Right Wrong Man: John Demjanjuk and the Last Great Nazi War Crimes Trial
February 1 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

John Demjanjuk,a native Ukranian, was working in an auto plant in Cleveland when investigators received information that the seventy eight year old had collaborated in Nazi genocide. In the years that followed he was twice stripped of his citizenship and put on trial for war crimes, only to be cleared in one of the biggest cases of mistaken identity of all time. Then after eighteen months of trial, he was found guilty of a different though equally horrible crime.

Dr James O’Connell
Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of A Street Doctor
February 1 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

Dr O’Connell’s stories and essays tell what it’s like to work with the Boston homeless for 30 years. As a part of Pilgrim Magazine‘s effort to cast light on the issue of homelessness in Boston, O’Connell will read with James Parker, editor of the magazine.

Grace Helbig
Grace and Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It
February 3 at 6 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

The best-selling author and host of Grace’s Guide has penned a tongue-in-cheek guide to style: the aim is to lampoon and demystify current standards of fashion and beauty while also supplying , via Helbig’s irreverent voice,  practical advice on how to maintain one’s own style.


Linda Hervieux
Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes, at Home and at War
February 4 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

On June 6 1944 a battalion of African American soldiers landed in France as part of an elite US corps who were charged with using armed balloons as a means of deterring air attack. One soldier received a nomination for the Medal of Honor, but it  couldn’t be awarded because of segregation. Hervieux tells the stories of the heroic members of a battalion whose names had been previously lost to history.

Rod Nordland
The Lovers: Afghanistan’s Romeo and Juliet, The True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped An Honor Killing
February 9 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store,Cambridge MA

Zakia and Ali grew up together in the hinterlands of Afghanistan and, despite being from different tribes, they fell madly in love. They ran away together despite the threat of retaliation from Zakia’s family and are still in hiding to this day. The New York Times journalist tells their Shakespearean story amid the turmoil in Afghanistan.

— Matt Hanson

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