Fuse Coming Attractions: February 14 through 23— 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

Ryan O

Ryan O’Neill and Marisa Berenson in 1975’s “Barry Lyndon.”

Stanley Kubrick: A Retrospective
Through February 28
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Last year’s storms put a damper on the Kubrick retrospective; the museum have brought the films back again for another go. This may become an annual affair and that is a good thing: it is well worth making repeat trips to see these masterpieces in an appropriate big screen setting: Paths of Glory, The Killing, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and Full Metal Jacket.

February 18 at 7 p.m.
Bright Family Screening Room, 4th Floor at The Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street, Boston, MA

BOSCPUG or the Boston Creative Pro User Group presents this very independent production. Director Patrick Read Johnson will be in attendance. This little known film looks like it was created by and for film geeks. The money was raised largely through crowdsourcing; there is looks be be some real quality here. Watch the trailer and decide for yourself.

Eisenstein in Guanajuato
February 19–21
Brattle Theater, Cambridge, MA

This is the area premier of Greenaway’s latest concoction: ostensibly the story of the cinema master’s trip to Mexico to scout for his film Que Viva Mexico.

“In a bravura performance as Eisenstein, Finnish actor Elmer Bäck quickly finds center spotlight and lets it rip with a tidal wave of locution, jumping from aesthetics to Marxism to detailing the laundry list of famous thinkers, artists and statesmen he’s met on his travels. Greenaway creates an unusual intersection between a very stagy performance and a heightened, formalist film-making technique. After kissing the ring of “Diego” and “Frida”, Eisenstein meets his guide Palomino Cañedo, a scholar of comparative religion, warm father of two and a pansexual libertine. Ostensibly in Guanajuato with his crew to scout the Museo de las Momias for his next film, the setting is more a clothesline for the pair to expound on Eros and Thanos, and to reduce human experience to mere blips between lovemaking and the Great Beyond.” (The Guardian) Sounds like Greenaway! Trailer here.

The Other Side
February 18 at 7 p.m.
UMass Campus Center Ballroom, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA

Disarmed veterans, taciturn adolescents, drug addicts trying to escape addiction through love; ex-special forces soldiers still at war with the world; floundering young women and future mothers; and old people who have not lost their desire to live. By exploring our country’s hidden pockets of humanity, renowned documentarian Roberto Minervini looks deeply into the contemporary American abyss. The director will be in attendance. Free and open to the public

— Tim Jackson

A scene from

A scene from Jean Epstein’s “The Adventures of Robert Macaire.”

The Adventures of Robert Macaire (Les aventures de Robert Macaire)
February 21 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA

The series dedicated to the grievously neglected French director Jean Epstein continues with his 1925 epic silent. From the HFA’s description, it sounds like a loving send-up of the Douglas Fairbanks dashing vagabond genre: “With his faithful companion Bertrand, Robert Macaire prowls the highways of 1820s France, robbing rich landowners and gullible farmers alike, but also finding time to rescue and woo a damsel in distress who turns out to be the daughter of a marquis. Thus begins the first of five adventures that span several years in the life of Epstein’s roguish antihero.” Live musical accompaniment provided by  Jeff Rapsis. Arts Fuse feature on the HFA Jean Epstein retrospective

— Bill Marx


Jazz Composers Alliance
February 16 at 8 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Despite previous billing both here and at the Lily Pad site, this is the FULL 21-piece JCA Orchestra, playing compositions by Dave Harris, Darrell Katz, Bob Pilkington, and guest composers Bruno Raberg and Russ Gershon.


Bob Merrill
February 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Trumpeter and singer Bob Merrill’s pedigree includes early study with the great bebop trumpeter Red Rodney, a stint in Jaki Byard’s Boston-based Apollo Stompers, as well as studies at Harvard (where he led the Harvard Jazz Band) and New England Conservatory. After years of working in New York, he returns to celebrate the release of his Cheerin’ Up the Universe on the Cambridge-based Accurate Records. An appealingly honest and ebullient singer and assured trumpeter, he’s joined by reeds and flute player Russ Gershon, guitarist Freddy Bryant, pianist Laurence Hobgood, bassist John Lockwood, drummer George Schuller, and percussionist Vicente Lebron.

Marcia Ball
February 18 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Okay, the wonderful pianist and singer Marcia Ball is more rock and roll than jazz, but she’s a smart, funny songwriter with a keyboard prowess that has deep roots in the New Orleans tradition of Professor Longhair, Toots Washington, Allen Toussaint, and Dr. John. And her band is pretty sharp too.

The Music of Hal Crook: Set Me Free
February 18 at 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA.

Hal Crook’s influence is enormous — as innovative trombonist, as multi-faceted performer and composer, and as a long-time teacher at Berklee College of Music. He’ll be presenting his music with former students of renown: drummer Antonio Sanchez, saxophonist Chris Cheek, pianist Leo Genovese, guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke, and bassist and composer Esperanza Spalding, along with “other alumni and special guests.” The concert will also include Crook’s pop/jazz band, Behind These Eyes, and his writing will be heard “in traditional, contemporary, free, and pop/jazz styles.”

Mike Stern
February 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Guitar monster Mike Stern hits the Regattabar for four shows over two nights with drum genius Dennis Chambers, bassist Tom Kennedy, and saxophonist Bob Franceschini.

— Jon Garelick

Rob Stabinsky, piano, Moppa Elliot, bass, and Kevin Shea, drums

Mostly Other People Do the Killing will perform in Cambridge this week: Rob Stabinsky, piano, Moppa Elliot, bass, and Kevin Shea, drums.

Mostly Other People Do the Killing with Kelly Roberge
February 18 at 8 p.m.
The Lily Pad, Inman Square, Cambridge, MA

Mostly Other People Do the Killing is bassist Moppa Elliott’s band, last heard in the Boston area at the Institute for Contemporary Art in September 2012 (Fuse review). The group returns to our town in a different venue with a different configuration.The Lily Pad makes up in intimacy what it lacks in creature comforts, and the chance to see two monsters – Elliott and drummer Kevin Shea – up close should be well worth the effort. Other than Elliott and Shea, the “rest of the band” will be pianist Ron Stabinsky, who joined in 2013. His appearance on a series of recent MOPDtK releases, including their now-infamous re-creation of Kind of Blue, shows a wide range of stylistic ability and a huge imagination. Listeners at the Lily Pad should get a welcome chance to hear him stretch out.

Saxophonist Jon Irbagon and trumpeter Peter Evans, half of the original band, are not along for this performance; the horn section will consist entirely of a guest artist, local tenor player Kelly Roberge, whose musicianship is often hidden under a comedy barrel. Elliott has a sense of humor, too, but it is more nudge-nudge-wink-wink than Three Stooges, and it will be interesting to hear these two outsize personalities look for common ground.

— Steve Elman


José Mateo Ballet Theatre presents "The Cuba Files."

José Mateo Ballet Theatre presents “The Cuba Files.”

The Cuba Files
Through March 6
The Sanctuary Theater
Cambridge, MA

José Mateo skillfully revisits his Cuban heritage through The Cuba Files, which touches on such topics as repression, freedom, and joy. The energetic music of Cuban composers is integrated throughout the performance.

February 18, 19, 20 at 8pm
Boston Conservatory Theatre
Boston, MA

The Boston Conservatory’s Winterworks proffers new choreography by students of its dance division, as well as work by professional choreographers Sydney Skybetter, Diane Arvanites, and Robin Aren.

Chinese New Year Celebration
Saturday, February 20 at 4:30 p.m.
Villa Victoria Center for the Arts
Boston, MA

One of a number of Chinese New Year celebrations that are taking place this month. At the beautiful Villa Victoria, the Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción invites you to join them for a family-friendly, colorful performance that will evoke the dualities of the Phoenix and Dragon through dance.

— Merli V. Guerra


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

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.” 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.” Arts Fuse review

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.

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

Bridgette Hayes and Brandon Green in the Company One production of "An Octoroon." Photo:

Bridgette Hayes and Brandon Green in the Company One production of “An Octoroon.” Photo:

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. Arts Fuse review

Back the Night by Melinda Lopez. Directed by Daniela Varon. Staged by The Boston Playwrights’ Theatre at the BPT, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, through February 28.

Esteemed local playwright Lopez is taking up a timely subject with her latest script: “With violence on campus rising to epidemic proportions, Em is in total denial. But when her best friend Cassie is assaulted, Em makes some unexpected personal discoveries. Sometimes you do the wrong thing for the right reason.” The production’s strong cast includes Stephanie Clayman, Amanda Collins, John Kooi, and Melissa Jesser.

Tinker to Evers to Chance by Mat Smart. Directed by Sean Daniels. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, located at 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, through March 6.

The regional premiere of a script about “mothers, daughters, and baseball. The story spans a century of Chicago Cubs fandom, and resonates with honest questions about love, heartbreak, and hope.” Director Daniels “notes that the play is perfect for the Greater Boston scene: Red Sox fans (especially those from who remember the pre-2004 days) will empathize with the hapless Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series since 1908.” Arts Fuse review

The cast of "1984." Photo: Ben Gibbs.

The cast of a new adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984.” Photo: Ben Gibbs.

1984 by George Orwell, a new adaptation created by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan. Presented by the American Repertory Theater (in association with Headlong, Almeida Theatre, and Nottingham Playhouse Theater) at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA, through March 6.

“The definitive book of the 20th century” (What in the world does that mean? Is this Big Brother speaking?) “is re-examined in a radical, award-winning adaptation exploring surveillance, identity and why Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant now as ever.”

Baltimore by Kirsten Greenidge. Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue. Staged by New Repertory Theatre and Boston Center for American Performance at the Boston University Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, through February 28.

A world premiere production of Greenidge’s exploration of “the complexities of racism from the perspective of eight culturally diverse college students.” The plot: “After she’s dismissed from her job in the athletics department, Shelby Wilson becomes Resident Advisor to a group of freshmen—after all, it’ll look good on her resume. She soon discovers that a racially charged incident has set student against student, and it’s up to her to mediate the situation.” Arts Fuse review

A scene from

A scene from Bread & Puppet Theater’s “Overtakelessess Circus.”

The Overtakelessness Circus, written and performed by Bread & Circus. Presented by the Mass College of Art at Tower Auditorium, Boston, MA, on February 14. (Recommended for all ages)

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) is hosting Bread & Puppet Theater and Peter Schumann, its Founder and Artistic Director, for an 11-day Artist-in-Residency. Schumann’s political art installation, entitled “North East Kingdom Weapons and Tools for Decapitalization,” will be on view. MassArt students and community partners will collaborate with the company throughout the residency; the public is also invited to participate as volunteer puppeteers and attend the performances.

Of course, you can’t keep the B&P troupe in the classroom. The first of the two shows they have brought to town is a family-friendly affair.

The Seditious Conspiracy Theater Presents: A Monument to the Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera, written and performed by Bread & Circus. Presented by the Mass College of Art at Tower Auditorium, Boston, MA, February 17 through 21. (Recommended for ages 10 and up)

The second Bread and Puppet production set for viewing at the Mass College of Art was described in this way by a NYTimes critic: “Oscar Lopez Rivera, the imprisoned Puerto Rican nationalist, may be an unusual subject for a show deemed appropriate for all ages. But Bread and Puppet Theater, formed in 1963, is an unusual kind of troupe. Its politically oriented shows have routinely considered issues like affordable housing, rats, and police conduct. (Times, it seems, haven’t changed.)”

“Mr. Rivera, 72, who has been in jail for more than 34 years — 12 of them, we are told in the grim finale, spent in solitary confinement — was convicted in 1981 in Chicago on charges including seditious conspiracy. He belonged to a group that claimed credit for a series of bombings in the 1970s and ’80s.”

Searching for Signal, created by Elizabeth McGuire and Marissa Rae Roberts. Performed by ToUch Performance Art at Oberon, 11 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, February 18 through March 4.

“Infusing dialogue, dance, and video,” this is “a contemporary theater experience that captures a slice of life in this fast-changing digital world of missed connections as two dreamers struggle to separate their virtual identities from who they really are.”

Richard II by William Shakespeare. Directed by Allyn Burrows. At YMCA Central Square, Cambridge, MA, February 17 through March 13.

Written entirely in verse, this history play “is a compelling and provocative study of a king and his nation, caught in the upheaval of social change and political turmoil.” The impressive local cast includes Paula Plum, Robert Walsh, Doug Lockwood, Michael Forden Walker, and Marya Lowry.

Bend, created and performed by Kimi Maeda, with music by Bill Carson and Kishi Bashi. The show will be touring the area from February 17 on (check the artist’s website for details), including stops at the University of Massachusetts, Boston on February 17; Tufts University, Medford on February 20; Williams College, Williamstown on February 23; MIT, Cambridge on February 25; at the Puppet Showplace Theater, Brookline, on February 26 and 27.

“Award-winning theater artist Kimi Maeda tells the story of her father’s boyhood incarceration in a Japanese American internment camp in this nationally-touring solo performance piece.” This unusual show “uses object manipulation, live sand drawing, shadow theater, and video projection to illuminate this dark episode of American history.”

Sasha Diamond and Alton Alburo in "The Wong Kids." Photo: Dan Norman.

Sasha Diamond and Alton Alburo in “The Wong Kids.” Photo: Dan Norman.

The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, written by Lloyd Suh. Directed by Directed by Ralph B. Peña. Presented by Ma-Yi Theater Company at ArtsEmerson’s Paramount MainStage, Boston, MA, February 20 through March 6.

“Using a mix of action-driven storytelling, puppetry, and visual magic,” this show kid-friendly show ” transports its audience into the far reaches of the galaxy. Violet and Bruce Wong just don’t fit in with the other Earth kids. Sure, they have superpowers, they’re just not very good ones.”

— Bill Marx

Visual Arts

Joanne Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: I Must First Apologize
February 19 – April 17
List Center, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Has a Nigerian lawyer contacted you recently? Did she ask for your help with a multi-million dollar estate, stranded in a London bank? In return for a very generous commission? Then Lebanese artists Joanne Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige have a show for you. Their List Center installation uses film, sculpture, and photography to explore a particular strain of SPAM email — the con games that are descended from the famous “Spanish Prisoner” fraud, an “I really need your help and will reward you handsomely” scheme that has been trapping gullible marks since the 16th century. The final product of a major collaborative project, this multi-media exhibition maps these antique cons — brushed up for the Internet age, powered by the sort of anonymous contacts modern technology makes possible — against global conflicts, social unrest, and economic upheaval. A special publication The Rumors of the World: Rethinking Trust in the Age of the Internet, (Sternberg Press) accompanies the exhibition.

— Peter Walsh

Classical Music

Presented by ECCE Ensemble
February 14, 19 and 20, 7 p.m.
La Laboratoire, Cambridge, MA

John Aylward’s new opera, a meditation on the relationship between artist and muse, receives its first performances, courtesy of ECCE Ensemble. Amanda DeBoer Bartlett and Mikhail Smigelski sing both roles.

Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Jennifer Frautschi will perform with the Boston Philharmonic this week. Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco.

Jennifer Frautschi plays Mendelssohn
Presented by the Boston Philharmonic
February 18 (at 7:30 p.m.), 20 (at 8 p.m.), and 21 (at 3 p.m.)
Sanders Theater, Cambridge, MA (Thursday and Sunday); Jordan Hall, Boston, MA (Saturday),

The BPO’s first program of 2016 drinks deeply from the well of Romanticism, beginning with Schumann’s Manfred Overture and continuing with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, featuring guest Jennifer Frautschi. After intermission comes Elgar’s towering, majestic Symphony no. 1.

Jurowski conducts Haydn and Hartmann
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
February 18-20, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Vladimir Jurowski returns to the BSO’s podium with a bunch of rarities including two pieces by Haydn (the Symphony no. 26 and Violin Concerto no. 1) and Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s brooding Concerto funèbre for violin and string orchestra. Beethoven’s Symphony no. 2 closes out the evening on a cheery note.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky
February 15 at 8 p.m.
AT Jordan Hall/New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

Radnofsky performs works composed for him by Boston composers, including the world premiere of Yang Yong’s Lyric Dialogues, Jakov Jakoulov’s Orpheus Decending, and John McDonald’s Gunther Simple Elegy. Radnofsky is joined by pianist Yoshiko Kline, pianist John McDonald, and cellist Guy Fishman.

Soprano Karyl Ryczek and pianist Wayman Chin
February 18 at 8 p.m.
At the Pickman Hall/Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA

The program: an evening of German song — works of Schumann, Schubert, and Mahler.

Photo: courtesy of Celebrity Series.

Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić will perform at Jordan Hall this week. Photo: courtesy of Celebrity Series.

Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić
February 21 at 3 p.m.
Presented by Celebrity Series at Jordan Hall/New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

“Since topping the UK classical charts in 2011 with his first solo recording, the young guitar phenomenon continues to enjoy a meteoric rise.”

— Susan Miron

Rock, Pop, and Folk

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers (with David Dondero)
Wednesday, February 17 (doors at 7:30, show at 8:30)
The Sinclair, Cambirdge, MA

Born Thomas James Gable, Laura Jane Grace is the transgender lead singer of the alternative punk band Against Me!, which released Transgender Dysphoria Blues in 2014 and is currently finishing up a new release. (She is also the subject of the Emmy-nominated series True Trans.) Grace’s appearance with the trio the Devouring Mothers on Wednesday will include readings from her in-the-works memoir.

Rhett Miller (with Salim Nourallah)
Wednesday, February 17 (doors at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m.)
Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA

Having made it his go-to place for almost all of his most recent Boston-area gigs, Old 97s lead singer Rhett Miller will make what will presumably be his last visit to Johnny D’s on Wednesday. With Atwood’s Tavern, ONCE Lounge and Ballroom, and Arts at the Armory all available, Miller will surely find a new intimate-venue stomping ground in the near future.

The Rationales will perform in Cambridge this week. Photo: Leslie Littleton Kennally.

The Rationales will perform in Cambridge this week. Photo: Leslie Littleton Kennally.

The Rationales / Summer Villains / Glenn Yoder & the Western States
Saturday, February 20 (doors at 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m.)
Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA

A new release by The Rationales is always a something to look forward to, and the brothers Mirabella and their bandmates are cooking up one now. Last year’s single “Take a Ride with Me” included everything that makes the band worth keeping an ear on, so the forthcoming EP—or LP—is sure to deliver the goods. Summer Villains describes itself as “like if Johnny Cash spent a lot of time covering Beatles songs.” As for details on the quartet’s forthcoming album, well, you try getting a straight answer out of singer, songwriter, guitarist, and Emmy-nominated sound editor Joe Pleiman. North-of-Dallas native and longtime Boston resident Glenn Yoder released his third full-length album last year. Backed by his band The Western States, Yoder has won praise for masterfully balancing electric rock and acoustic folk, thereby occupying that sweep spot of overlap with spectacular results.

All three of these bands being on the same bill makes Lizard Lounge the hot spot for local music this week.

Saturday, February 20 (doors at 5:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.)
Johnny D’s, Somerville, MA

This quintet is a tribute to—you guessed it—The Band, a group of four Canadians and one American who served as Bob Dylan’s backing musicians before embarking on a career that would influence some of the most important Americana, alt-country, roots, indie folk, and rock ‘n’ roll bands of subsequent decades. Given The Band’s uniqueness, attempting to convincingly replicate its sound might seem like a fool’s errand. According to reviews, however, The THE BAND Band has time and again demonstrated its ability to do just that. Judge for yourself on Saturday night at Johnny D’s.

Upcoming and on sale:

Leon Russell and Dave Mason (February 24, Wilbur Theatre); Neko Case (March 2, Orpheum Theatre); Rickie Lee Jones (March 8, Johnny D’s); Deep Sea Diver and Radiation City (March 4, Great Scott); Air Traffic Controller (March 12, The Sinclair); Winterpills (March 13, Great Scott); Tal Wilkenfeld (March 18, Brighton Music Hall); Eli “Paperboy” Reed (March 30, Brighton Music Hall); Young Fathers (April 1, Great Scott); The Smithereens (April 2, Larcom Theatre); The Smashing Pumpkins with Liz Phair (April 9, Orpheum Theatre); Yuck (April 11, The Sinclair); Iggy Pop (April 11, Orpheum Theatre); Buddy Guy (April 14, The Cabot); Belinda Carlisle (April 15, The Cabot); Parquet Courts (April 15, Paradise Rock Club); Loudon Wainwright III (April 22, Me & Thee Coffeehouse); Bob Mould with Ted Leo (May 1, Paradise Rock Club); Super Furry Animals (The Sinclair, May 3); The Brian Jonestown Massacre (May 7, Paradise Rock Club); Alice Cooper (May 14, Lynn Auditorium); Nada Surf (June 4, Paradise Rock Club); Bryan Ferry (July 31, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion)

— Blake Maddux

Author Events


Ben Ratliff
In Conversation with Steve Smith
Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty
February 16 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

One of the great things about living in the 21st Century is our incredible access to every song ever written, free, and instantly available in a portable archive. Ratliff, a veteran music critic for The New York Times, suggests that with all this eclectic music available the best way to enjoy the wealth of possibilities is to eschew narrow categories and blend the best of what each genre offers in order to hear music afresh: think bluegrass vocals in contrast with Coltrane.

Douglas Kennedy
The Blue Hour
February 17 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, 25 White Street, Cambridge, MA

Best-selling novelist Douglas Kennedy reads from his latest book, a psychological mystery yarn which is being touted as the best novel about Morocco since Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky. Arts Fuse interview

Kristopher Jansma
Why We Came To the City
February 17 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

The literary world is abuzz with Jansma’s latest novel, which tells the story of a bunch of friends who come of age in New York City and experience a tragedy. Recent bestsellers like City on Fire to A Little Life  deal with similar themes, so those who are interested in hearing more regarding where the recent fictional trend of buildungsroman in the Big Apple is heading should take this in.

Paul Clerici
A History of the Falmouth Road Race: Running Cape Cod
February 18 at 7 p.m.
The Community Room, Walpole Public Library

Clerici is a freelance journalist who is also an accomplished runner, having competed in every road race there is, including the Boston Marathon for the past 20 years. He comes to his hometown to read from his book about the finer points of the long distance run.


Hillary L Chute
Disaster Drawn: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form
February 19 at 3 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

Comics are getting a lot more attention from the mainstream lately. Art Speigleman and Joe Sacco are applying this visual approach to war zones and political conflict worldwide. Chute tells the story of comics, starting from illuminated manuscripts to combat journalism. Because comics can interlace different temporal realities within the same narrative, Chute suggests they are a distinctive means to tell a story.

E.J. Dionne Jr
Why The Right Went Wrong: Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond
February 23 at 6 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30)
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge MA
$5 tickets

Given all the insanity of generated by the Tea Party and now the candidacy of Donald Trump, it makes sense to revisit the roots of right wing lunacy. According to its press material, the venerable Dionne argues “that American conservatism and the Republican Party took a wrong turn when they adopted Barry Goldwater’s worldview during and after the 1964 campaign. The radicalism of today’s conservatism is not the product of the Tea Party. The Tea Partiers are the true heirs to Goldwater ideology. The purity movement did more than drive moderates out of the Republican Party—it beat back alternative definitions of conservatism.”

— Matt Hanson

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