Fuse Coming Attractions: April 17 through 26— 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

The White Knights
April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Studio Cinema, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” so the proverb goes, and perhaps no tagline better befits this film, a provocative and probing new drama from Belgian auteur Joachim Lafosse. “Once again delving into the manipulative gray areas and morally ambiguous zones in which many human beings operate, this is a well-performed study of groupthink gone bad. Headed up by the burly no-nonsense Jacques and his  right-hand girl Laura, the volunteers seem eager at first to dispense medical care and other forms of aid to indigenous youngsters, though it soon becomes clear that they have other, more dubious designs. What those are we learn about through dealings that Jacques and his local fixer Xavier have with tribal leaders in surrounding villages, who are handed envelopes of cash to deliver parentless children to Jacques’s crew.” (Hollywood Reporter)

Blood of My Blood
April 18 at 7:30 p.m.
West Newton Cinema, West Newton, MA

Life in the rundown Portuguese suburb of Padre Cruz, a slum on the edge of Lisbon, is filled with violence and poverty. A devoted single mother, who shares cramped quarters with her two young-adult children and sister, will do almost anything to transcend her family’s station in life. Dr. Ana Nava, a licensed social worker at Children’s Hospital Boston and a native of Portugal, will host a post-film discussion.

April 20 – May 7
Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Director Aleksandr Sokurov was a historian before he was a filmmaker, so he predictably takes a documentary-esque look at the Louvre Museum in Paris while it was under the occupation of France by Germany during World War II. Of course, the movie is much more than that. The film blends narrative pieces with Sokurov’s voice-over, images of art works, and other elements to meditate on the tragedies of history, the timelessness of art and the presumptions of power. “Only a great work of art has the capacity to link the past to the future and the present,” says Sokurov. “Paintings may give us an understanding of who we are as Europeans.”

April 22-23-24
Somerville Theatre in Davis Square, Somerville, MA

The Somerville Theatre is one the rare cinema venues that can project in 70mm and show films that are worth seeing in that format. The following, from Philoctetes Center, is a compelling paragraph on what has recently been regarded as perhaps Hitchcock’s greatest film:

“It’s a case study of someone for whom this confusion is nearly pathological. The James Stewart character, Scottie, is duped by a performance with criminal intent, as he falls for a woman he believes to be Madeleine, but who in reality is a woman named Judy (played by Kim Novak) perpetrating a masquerade. Around this “false” Madeleine, a narrative is created that’s designed to ensnare Scottie. The film concerns a mysterious case of ‘possession’ — a staged fascination with death — played out in a series of silent tableaux, each of which aestheticizes and eroticizes the Madeleine figure. The film’s narrative structure is circular and repetitive; it’s been suggested that the film itself represents a distinct form of madness. ‘Vertigo is just a movie,’ writes Stanley Cavell in The World Viewed, ‘but no other movie I know so purely conveys the sealing of a mind within a scorching fantasy.’ What is the role of psychoanalysis in Hitchcock’s work? Is psychoanalysis merely one ‘surface feature’ of Hitchcock’s work, as Richard Allen has suggested, subject to irony like all the others? What draws psychoanalytic critics to Hitchcock’s work, and how, if at all, is this phenomenon related to its modernism?” Video Essay on Vertigo

The Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story
April 24 at 3 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

“Frank Morgan played with an intensity and an honesty that spoke to the deep-down jazz fan and the casual listener alike. Every note was suffused with a warmth that those who were lucky enough to know him recognized as a direct reflection of Frank the person. His ‘second act,’ though far too delayed, was a miracle, and Sound of Redemption helps us appreciate both the struggle Frank faced and his ultimate triumph.”
- Jazz Critic Bob Blumenthal. Following the screening, Eric Jackson, host of WGBH’s Eric in the Evening, will moderate a conversation with director NC Heikin and saxophonist Grace Kelly, which will be followed by a performance by Kelly and bassist Bruce Gertz.

April 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Studio Cinema, 376 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA

Belmont World Film Presents the New England premiere of Greek New Wave director Athina Rachel Tsangari’s satirical film, which is set aboard a luxury yacht in the middle of the Aegean Sea, where six diverse men are on a fishing vacation. Overcome by farcical machismo after their first catch, the men devise an unusual game to determine who is the most masculine. The winner of this curious series of contests will wear the victorious signet ring, the “chevalier.” Although not rated, the film contains several brief scenes of frontal nudity. The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Vassiliki Rapti, Preceptor in Modern Greek at Harvard University, whose publications and research interests center upon modern Greek literature, avant-garde theatre, and performance, especially surrealist drama, and the poetics of play and games. Trailer

A scene from Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator."

A scene from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator,” screening in Brookline this week.

The Great Dictator
April 25 at 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

Big Screen Classics presents a masterpiece directed, produced, and scored by Charlie Chaplin, the first in which he speaks. Playing on his resemblance to Hitler, Chaplin gives an impassioned speech for world peace and justice at the end of the film. Hitler himself was allegedly particularly angered by Chaplin’s mustache, which so closely resembled his own. In 1940, the NYTimes review observed: “It is as the dictator that Chaplin displays his true genius. Whatever fate it was that decreed Adolf Hitler should look like Charlie must have ordained this opportunity, for the caricature of the former is devastating. The feeble, affected hand-salute, the inclination for striking ludicrous attitudes, the fabulous fits of rage and violent facial contortions—all the vulnerable spots of Hitler’s exterior are pierced by Chaplin’s pantomimic shafts.”
Chaplin’s Famous Speech

— Tim Jackson

Settling the Score: Composing the Music for the Silent Classic Variete
April 21 at 7 p.m. (free)
At Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

“In this masterclass, composer Sheldon Mirowitz (professor of Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music, three-time Emmy nominee and Director of the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra) will discuss the process of creating and then presenting live-to-picture a new score for a Silent Feature….The presentation will conclude with a sneak preview of the BSFO’s newest score — to the newly restored classic Varieté (Jealousy) — which will premiere at the Coolidge on May 2nd. ”

A scene from the silent film "Wings," screening at Harard this week

A scene from the silent film “Wings,” screening at Harvard’s Memorial Church this week. Photo: Paramount.

Wings, directed by William A. Wellman.
April 22 at 7 p.m. (free)
At the Memorial Church, Harvard Yard, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

The Harvard Organ Society presents a screening of the celebrated 1927 silent film, an epic look at the war in the air during WWI. It won the first Academy Award for Best Picture. Organ accompaniment will be provided by Peter Krasinski.

– Bill Marx



Angkor Dance Theater performs at Boston University this week. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Visions of Angkor: Music and Dance from Cambodia and its Diaspora
April 20 at 12 p.m.
At the the College of Fine Arts Concert Hall. Boston, MA

Boston University’s Global Music Concert Series presents a rare opportunity to see and hear forms of artistry that were nearly destroyed during the 1975-79 Khmer Rouge regime. Cambodian musicians Nhok Sinat and Yim Chanthy and Lowell’s Angkor Dance Troupe take the stage in this special presentation and post-show discussion.

Boston Dance Alliance 2016 Gala
April 21 at 6 p.m.
At the Sanctuary Theater, Cambridge, MA

The Boston Dance Alliance presents its annual joyous Gala, this year honoring Neena Gulati, 2016 Dr. Michael Shannon Dance Champion, and J. Allen Collier, winner of the BDA Inaugural Unsung Hero Award.

Spring Works in Progress
April 24 at 7 p.m.
At the Tony Williams Dance Center, Jamaica Plain, MA

Take a peek behind the scenes as the Tony Williams Ballet reveals its latest works in progress, roughly one year after the company’s launch. This 45-minute informal performance will feature works by four choreographers.

Martha’s Artist Salon
April 25 at 5:30 p.m.
At the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA

This lively discussion series provides dance enthusiasts an opportunity to learn, share, and exchange. This month’s session is hosted by Hortense Gerardo, focusing on the roots of Ankoku buto – the Dance of Darkness.

–Merli V. Guerra


Brandon Sherman Quartet/The Gown of Entry
April 17 at 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA.

The talented SoCal freebop trumpeter and composer Brandon Sherman comes to Cambridge with bandmates Drew Wesely on guitar and Zach Lavine on double bass. Openers are Boston-area band the Gown of Entry, with pianist Eliot Cardinoaux and tenor saxophonist Alex Harper. The Gown’s Aaron Edgcomb plays drums with both bands.

Kenny Werner/Joyce Moreno
April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

These two distinguished artists have been collaborating since they met in 1989 and have produced two albums together. A ballad-CD project is on the way. Suffice to say that Werner is a wonderfully adept composer and pianist and Moreno is one of the great trailblazers of Brazilian songwriting, with a string of credits and collaborations a mile long.

Allen Chase

Estimable saxophonist and composer Allen Chase has organized an evening of music at the Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA.

Allan Chase: Composers’ Collective
April 19 at 8:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

Estimable saxophonist and composer Chase has organized an evening featuring “one or two compositions by each member of the septet,” including himself, of course, and trumpeter Dan Rosenthal, trombonist Randy Pingrey, flutist and saxophonist Jason Robinson, guitarist Eric Hofbauer, bassist Bruno Raberg, and drummer Austin McMahon.

International String Trio/Valinor Quartet
April 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

When he joins forces with the International String Trio, accordionist Victor Prieto becomes part of the Valinor Quartet. The rest of the group are guitarist Slava Tolstoy, violinist Jacub Trasak, and either Greg Feingold or Ippei Ichimaru on bass. Tonight the two ensembles will mix and match material, but you can expect to hear variations on “Gypsy jazz, Appalachian folk, acoustic world music (Irish, klezmer, Russian, Italian, French, bluegrass, etc.), virtuosic classical arrangements, and popular songs from movie soundtracks.”

Dave Holland
April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA.

Bassist Holland collaborates with the New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Ken Schaphorst, in a tribute to one of Holland’s collaborators, the late, great trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, with Nick Smart, of London’s Royal Academy of Music, as trumpet soloist. The concert will feature Wheeler’s “Windmill Tilter” (1969) and “The Sweet Time Suite” (1991). And it’s free.

Fernando Huergo
April 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The Argentine-born electric bassist Fernando Huergo has long been a lynchpin of the Boston-area Afro-Latin and jazz scenes — uncommon chops, sure, but also uncommon ears and taste. He celebrates his latest album of his own music, Hashtag. The superb band joining Huergo for this show: flutist Yulia Musayelyan, tenor saxophonist Rick DiMuzio, pianist Santiago Bosch, and drummer Franco Pinna.

David Gilmore
April 21 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The exciting, Cambridge-born guitarist and composer David Gilmore (a regular with Rudresh Mahanthappa, among many others) celebrates a new CD, Energies of Change, with saxophonist Yosvany Terry, pianist Luis Perdomo (from Miguel Zenón’s band), bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Justin Brown.

Karrin Allyson
April 22 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Singer Allyson was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for her Rogers & Hammerstein album, but her work ranges through all manner of standards and contemporary pop.

Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet
April 23 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis fronts his “New Orleans 2nd Line Quintet.” How bad could it be? Especially with this band: pianist Cyrus Chestnut, bassist Reginald Veal, and drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith.

SF Jazz Collective will be performing, courtesy of the Celebrity Series, at the B Photo: Jay Blakesberg.

SF Jazz Collective will be performing, courtesy of the Celebrity Series, at the Berklee Performance Center this week. Photo: Jay Blakesberg.

SFJazz Collective
April 24 at 7 p.m.
Presented by Celebrity Series at the Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA.

Every year, the touring SFJazz Collective, an outgrowth of the San Francisco-based SFJazz organization, takes on a different composer to rearrange and interpret. This year, the subject is Michael Jackson, and the players are Miguel Zenón alto saxophone; David Sánchez, tenor saxophone; Sean Jones, trumpet; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Warren Wolf, vibraphone; Edward Simon, piano; Matt Penman, bass; and Obed Calvaire drums. The band will be playing Jackson as well as commissioned new original compositions.

Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Saxophonist Melissa Aldana and her trio will performer at the Regattabar in Cambridge, MA this week. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Melissa Aldana
April 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Melissa Aldana created a stir in 2013 when she became the first woman to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. The judges were Jane Ira Bloom, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter, and Bobby Watson — and yes, she’s that good. Apparently having internalized the entire history of the tenor saxophone, she shows a special affinity for the likes of Don Byas, Sonny Rollins, and Mark Turner, but her sound is her own: cultured, emotionally direct, purposeful. As a writer she likes broad-winged structures inspired by the likes of Kurt Rosenwinkel. She comes to the Regattabar in her preferred format, the trio, with the players from her latest album, Back Home — bassist Pablo Menares and drummer Jochen Ruekert.

— Jon Garelick

World and Roots Music

Fanfare Ciocărlia
April 20
Brighton Music Hall, Brighton, MA

It’s pretty easy to hear the influence of Balkan music in a lot of brass bands, as any visit to the HONK!Fest will show. But there’s nothing like going straight to the source. The members of this 12-piece Romany outfit are second and third generation heirs to the great gypsy music legacy, and seeing them (courtesy of World Music/CRASHarts) in a standing (and dancing) room club will be a treat.


DakhaBrakha will perform in Brighton, MA, this week.

April 21
Brighton Music Hall, Brighton, MA

When this trance quartet from Ukraine first started playing shows for World Music/CRASHarts, I kept looking around for the electronic samplers or gadgets — I figured they had to be using gizmos to produce such an otherworldly sound. But there were none to be found. Everything was coming straight from their voices and acoustic instruments.

Jon Dee Graham
April 23 at 4 p.m.
Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge, MA

When the veteran Austin rocker played an afternoon solo show at Atwood’s in 2014, his gruff and funny personality was so delightful it made the list of the top shows of the year.

— Noah Schaffer



Kira Patterson (Thomasina) & Will Madden (Septimus) in the Nora Theatre Company production of “Arcadia.” Photo: A.R. Sinclair.

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner. Produced by The Nora Theatre Company/ a Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, through May 15.

A revival of one of Stoppard’s most effective dovetailings of intellect and emotion, a time-tripping historical drama that is “a romantic and funny exploration of the heart, the sciences, and how history is miscreated.” Arts Fuse review

Can You Forgive Her? by Gina Gionfriddo. Directed by Peter DuBois. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through April 24.

This dark comedy by Gionfriddo, a two-time Pulitzer finalist, “takes place on Halloween night, and its central character Miranda is desperate for a way out. She’s up to her neck in debt, she might be falling for the man who pays her bills, and now her date has threatened to kill her. A charismatic stranger offers shelter and a drink; where will the night take them?” A play inspired by one of the issues driving the campaign of Bernie Sanders? The script “riffs on ideas from personal security to student debt and income inequality, striking a balance between character-driven drama and larger social issues.” Must we be oh-so-careful about maintaining that conventional balance between the personal and the political? Just asking … Arts Fuse review

Blackberry Winter by Steve Yockey. Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary. Staged by New Rep at the Charles Mosesian Theater, the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, through April 17.

A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere: “Success, meticulous planning, and an eye for detail have in no way prepared Vivienne for the news inside that little white envelope. Even with the aid of a creation myth of her own imagination and her insomnia-driven baking, apprehension takes hold as she grapples with the frightening thought of her mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis.” The impressive cast includes Adrianne Krstansky, Paula Langton, and Ken Cheeseman.

Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass adapted by Andre Gregory. Directed by Matthew Wood. Staged by imaginary beasts at the Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston MA, through April 23.

“Originally created by The Manhattan Project under the direction of André Gregory, this is an Alice for an anxious age – where unsettling shadows linger around every bend, and madness waits at the end of every path. Carroll’s Alice novels are combined into a delightful yet startling tale that brings Alice face-to-face with the likes of the temperamental Red Queen, the eccentric Humpty Dumpty, the enigmatic White Knight, and a host of other unusual characters.”

That Time the House Burned Down by MJ Halberstadt. Directed by Stephanie LeBolt. Staged by Fresh Ink Theatre at the Boston Playwrights Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, through April 23.

A “dark new comedy” where spirits of dead family pet and toys come to the rescue of a dysfunctional family. May be more effective than a visit from TV’s Dr. Phil. The plot: “Mommy and Daddy Patterson keep careful control of their home, sheltering Sonny and Daughtery from the questions and complications of the outside world. But when Daughtery’s search for answers forces her parents to confront some hard truths, the perpetually-recycled soul of the family pets teams up with a rejected American Girl doll to help save the Pattersons from themselves.”

Arnie Louis and Bob by Katie Pearl. Directed by Melissa Kievman. Staged by the Trinity Repertory Company at the Dowling Theater, Providence, Rhode Island, through May 8.

The world premiere of what is probably a sentimental version Mark Twain’s The Mysterious Stranger (“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.”): “Welcome to the home of three older men — two brothers and their cousin — who are trying to find meaning in their lives in their golden years. Arnie uses meditation. Bob loves pop culture. But Louis, no matter how hard he tries, can’t seem to find anything that works — not online dating, not anti-depressants, not moving back to his childhood home. He thinks all is lost… until he’s visited by a fantastical stranger.”

A scene from Photo: Quezada A.

A scene from TEATROCINEMA’s “Historia de Amor.” Photo: Montserrat Quezada A.

Historia de Amor by TEATROCINEMA. Presented by ArtsEmerson at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA, April 21 through 24.

“With the grit and imagery of a graphic novel comes an overwhelming story that destroys the boundaries between domination and submission. Rising out of the aftermath of a generation’s ferocious domination by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, and set against a dark and troubling story by the controversial French novelist Regis Jauffret, Historia de Amor is an unflinching journey inside the mind of man determined to possess a young woman he happens to meet on a subway. Chile’s renowned TEATROCINEMA combines live action with startling 2D and 3D animation to deliver a wallop on the subject of sexual predation and societal fragmentation.” Performed in Spanish with English surtitles. (Content Advisory: This production is rated MA for Mature Audiences. It contains graphic depictions of sexual violence, stalking, physical and verbal abuse. Resources for support are available at www.emerson.edu/vpr/support.)

Threesome by Yussef El Guindi. Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques. Staged by Apollinaire Theatre Company at Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, MA, through May 7.

This polemical/melodramatic whirligig of this script “begins as a bawdy bedroom comedy whose main characters, a heterosexual Egyptian-American couple, invite a white American man into their bed. Over two acts it transforms into something darker, as all three grapple with the fallout of sexual assault, infidelity, war and the pain of lost hope, both political and personal.”

Dog Act by Liz Duffy Adams. Directed by Diego Arciniegas. Music Direction by Eric Hamel. Staged by Theatre on Fire at the Charlestown Working Theater, Charlestown, MA, through April 23.

Another script in the “post-apocalyptic vaudeville” genre. And it comes with five original songs: “Follow the adventures of Zetta Stone, a traveling performer, and her companion Dog (a young man undergoing voluntary species demotion) as they wander through the former northeastern United States. Zetta, Dog and their little troupe are on their way to a gig in China, assuming they can find it…and survive the journey.”

Oh God by Anat Gov. Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon. Staged by Israeli Stage at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, through April 30.

The script “explores the meaning of God in a secular society – the clash between the Biblical quest for answers from a higher power and the modern day quest for self-analysis with our new deity, the therapist.” The set-up: “a psychotherapist named Ella, single mother of an autistic child, gets a visit from a new, desperate patient, God.” Oh God has had a long history with Israeli Stage; the company presented the piece as a Staged Reading in September 2013 and have since then toured it to over 25 locations in 6 states.

A scene from

A scene from “Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True.”

Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True. Directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa. Presented by the American Repertory Theater, Division of Social Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Dance Center, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Mahindra Humanities Center, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Theater, Dance & Media Concentration at Harvard University at the Harvard Dance Center, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA, April 17.

This American premiere is billed as a “powerful piece of performance art that combines artistry, social commentary, and true-life stories of inequality and transformation, delivered by some of Nigeria’s most talented actresses. The stories are based on real issues affecting the lives of women across Nigeria and examine the factors that limit their potential for independence, leadership, and meaningful contribution.” The production stars Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, Bimbo Akintola, Omonor, Elvina Ibru, Ufuoma McDermott, Zara Udofia-Ejoh, Odenike, Rita Edward, and Debbie Ohiri. It features some adapted monologues made available by the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND).

The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Adaptation by Steven Barkhimer. Directed by Paula Plum. Staged by the Actors’ Shakespeare Project at the Multicultural Arts Center, 41 2nd Street, Cambridge, MA, through May 8.

A terrific 18th century comedy that still holds up quite nicely, and the ASP is fielding a first-rate cast of performers who know how to generate laughter, including Richard Snee, Bobbie Steinbach, and Sarah Newhouse.

Murder Ballad by Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash. Directed by Wendy Overly. Music by Courtney Swain. Staged by Wilbury Theatre Group, 393 Broad Street, Providence, Rhode Island, through April 30.

Another variation on the “love triangle gone wrong,” the musical “centers on Sara, an Upper West Sider who seems to have it all, but whose downtown past lingers enticingly and dangerously in front of her. Direct from a sold-out run in New York (and receiving its New England premiere), this sexy, explosive, new rock musical explores the complications of love, the compromises we make, and the betrayals that can ultimately undo us.”

Home of the Brave by Lila Rose Kaplan. Directed by Sean Daniels. Staged by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA, April 20 through May 15.

The world premiere of a farce “that follows senator Bernadette Spence (played by Boston favorite Karen MacDonald) as she desperately works to persuade her family to support her run for the Presidency. Loosely inspired by Moliere’s Tartuffe,” the script is an “old-fashioned comedy for new-fashioned times, wholeheartedly embracing sheer absurdity, shameless fun, and actors running/climbing/sliding all over the place.”

We’re Gonna Die. Written by Young Jean Lee. Original Music by Young Jean Lee, Tim Simmonds, Mike Hanf, Nick Jenkins, and Benedict Kupstas. Directed by Shawn LaCount. A Company One production presented by Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, April 20 through 29.

“It’s time to get real and rock out about the one thing we all have in common: We’re Gonna Die. Playwright Young Jean Lee (Straight White Men, The Shipment) blends storytelling, stand-up, music, and theater into a song cycle that lets us know we may be miserable anticipating our demise, but at least we won’t be alone.” “Through stories and pop songs,” this show “will break your heart and put it back together again.” So we can die another time? Thank God Oberon serves alcohol.

The Simpsons family out for a drive in the Lyric Stage production of "Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play." Photo: Lyric Stage

The Simpsons family out for a drive in the Lyric Stage production of “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play.” Masks designed by Lauren Duffy. Photo: Lyric Stage.

Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn. Score by Michael Friedman. Lyrics by Washburn. Directed by A. Nora Long. Music Director, Allyssa Jones. Choreographer, Yo-El Cassell. Produced by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston at 40 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, through May 7.

This “funny, dark, frightening, theatrical, and a completely immersive experience takes place after an unknown global disaster and follows the evolution of a beloved story, from campfire retelling to high art. The story the survivors tell? The “Cape Feare” episode of The Simpsons!” Note: Due to the immersive experience of Mr. Burns, there will be no late seating. Arts Fuse review

— Bill Marx

Visual Art

The Last Judgement tapestry at the Worcester Art Museum. Photo: WAM

The Last Judgement Tapestry, Flemish, about 1505, at the Worcester Art Museum. Photo: WAM

The Last Judgment Tapestry
April 23 – August 2
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA

For more than half a century, a magnificent 16th-century Flemish tapestry, depicting the Last Judgment, graced the Renaissance Court of the Worcester Art Museum. Created as part of a cycle depicting the symbolic story of Christianity. By 1990, though, darkened by decades of 20th-century air pollution, the work was showing its age and museum officials took it away to storage. With funds donated by two Belgium-based foundations, the tapestry has now been restored and preserved to modern conservation standards. It is returning to view this week as the centerpiece of a special exhibition in the museum’s Contemporary Gallery.

— Peter Walsh

Rock, Pop, and Folk

Loudon Wainwright III with Kat Quinn
Friday, April 22 (8 p.m.)
Me & Thee Coffeehouse, Marblehead, MA

LW3 gave an unforgettable performance in Marblehead two-and-a-half years ago (my review) when he was touring in support of his album Older Than My Old Man Now. On Friday, he will return to the cozy and intimate Me & Thee Coffeehouse for another show that is sure to earn a permanent place in the memories of all who attend. Marblehead native Kat Quinn, a singer-songwriter now based in New York City, will have the good fortune to open.

Father John Misty
Friday, April 22 (doors: 7 p.m., show: 8 p.m.)
House of Blues, Boston, MA

Josh Tillman was on the receiving end of no small amount of adulation from fans and critics when he played drums for Fleet Foxes. Since beginning a solo career as Father John Misty, he has garnered at least every bit as much without having to divvy it up among his bandmates. His many parishioners will be worshiping at the House of Blues on Friday.

The Residents
Monday, April 25 (doors: 7 p.m., show: 8 p.m.)
Royale, Boston, MA

This usually eyeball-headed but always in some way disguised genre-defying quartet was the subject of the 2015 documentary Theory of Obscurity: A Film about The Residents. Oddballs even by the standards of their native San Francisco, The Residents will make Royale their home when the band’s tour in support of the 2015 album Shadowland comes to Boston next Monday.

The Thermals will perform in Boston this week. Photo: Jason Quigley.

The Thermals will perform in Cambridge this week. Photo: Jason Quigley.

The Thermals with Summer Cannibals
Monday, April 25 (doors: 8 p.m., show: 9 p.m.)
Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

Touring behind the recently released We Disappear, the Portland, OR, trio The Thermals will appear at Sinclair on April 25. In the support spot will be Summer Cannibals, who are more likely than not named after a Patti Smith song and will release a new album (Full of It) on May 27.

Upcoming and on sale:

Peter Murphy (April 19, Royale); Fruit Bats (May 7, Once Ballroom); Protomartyr (May 8, Great Scott); Peter Wolf (May 12, Somerville Theatre); Barry & The Remains, Lyres, Cali Cali Band, Muck & the Mires (May 13, Once Ballroom); Eagles of Death Metal (June 1, House of Blues); The Sonics, The Woggles, Barrence Whitfield & The Savages (June 3, Brighton Music Hall); Nada Surf (June 4, Paradise Rock Club); Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy (June 7, Regent Theatre); Diiv (June 7, The Sinclair); Modern English (June 7, Middle East Downstairs); Dungen (June 16, The Sinclair); Guided By Voices (July 11, Paradise Rock Club); Joe Jackson (July 12, Wilbur Theatre; Wussy (July 13, Middle East Upstairs); Bryan Ferry (July 31, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion); Yes (August 4, Lynn Auditorium); Ani DiFranco (September 1 and 2, Shalin Liu Performance Center); An Evening with Little Feat (September 8, Wilbur Theatre); Echo & The Bunnymen (September 8, House of Blues); The Specials (September 12, House of Blues)

— Blake Maddux

Classical Music

Presented by the Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms Society Orchestra
April 17, 3 p.m.
Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA

Benjamin Pasternak joins the BBBSO in an all-Beethoven program as soloist in the Piano Concerto no. 5. Steven Lipsitt conducts the Coriolan Overture as well as the exuberant Symphony no. 7.

Mahler 9
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
April 19, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Andris Nelsons conducts Mahler’s valedictory Ninth Symphony for the first time with the BSO since his last-minute debut with the orchestra (as a substitute for James Levine at Carnegie Hall) in 2011.

BSO Season Finale
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
April 21-23, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Kristine Opolais wil perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Kristine Opolais wil perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra this week. Photo: Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Soprano Kristine Opolais joins the BSO for its final subscription series of the season, singing music by Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. Andris Nelsons also conducts Dutilleux’s diffuse Métaboles, Debussy’s La mer, and Ravel’s La Valse.

Mad Scenes
Presented by Boston Musica Viva
April 23, 8 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center, Boston, MA

BMV wraps up its season with the premiere of Bernard Hoffer’s Lear in the Wilderness (featuring David Kravitz), Arnold Schoenberg’s jazz-influenced Serenade, and Andy Vores’ Fabrication #15: Amplification.

Verdi’s Requiem
Presented by the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra
April 24, 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Benjamin Zander and the BPO wrap up their season in style with a single performance of Verdi’s spectacular Requiem. Angela Meade headlines the soloists and the BPO is joined by Chorus Pro Musica.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Musicians of the Old Post Road: Storms of Passion
April 22 at 8 p.m.
At the Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA
April 24 at 4 p.m.
Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm Street, Worcester, MA

“Acclaimed soprano Lianne Coble returns for the regional premieres of scintillating vocal works by Hasse and Ristori, along with turbulent instrumental and vocal fireworks in Vivaldi’s La Folia trio sonata, Tartini’s Devil’s Trill violin sonata, and Handel’s Mi palpita il cor.”

Boston Symphony Chamber Players
April 24 at 3 p.m.
NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA.

“The Boston Symphony Chamber Players close the season with a program including Jean Françaix’s Divertissement for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon; Hannah Lash’s Three Shades Without Angles, for flute, viola, and harp, which the ensemble premiered in 2014; Beethoven’s early String Trio in D, Op. 9, No. 2; and the 1813 Nonet by Beethoven’s younger contemporary and colleague Louis Spohr.

Boston Early Music Festival presents Les Arts Florissants
April 24 at 7:30 p.m.
At Sanders Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

The program is entitled ‘Serious Airs and Drinking Songs’: After fourteen years, William Christie and Les Arts Florissants are back, via BEMF, and they bring “boundless wit and virtuosic theatricality to an incomparable evening exploring the air de cour, a genre of secular vocal music that delighted and entertained the elegant salons of 17th-century France. The singers and instrumentalists of this magnificent ensemble offer passionate and refined performances of wistful laments and courtly songs of pleasure by Charpentier, Lambert, and others.”

— Susan Miron

Author Events


Viet Thanh Nguyen
Nothing Ever Dies & The Sympathizer
April 18 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Nguyen follows The Sympathizer, one of last year’s most widely-praised novels, with his new nonfiction account detailing how memory and collective traumas are still very much present in the fifty-year wake of what the Vietnamese refer to as “The American War.”

Hope Jahren
Lab Girl
In Conversation with Ambika Kamath
April 20 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)
WorkBar Cambridge, 45 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA

Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren talks about her memoir, which describes her passion for research as well as the difficulty of balancing work, life, and being a pioneer in her field, including rogue globetrotting adventures in the name of research.

Daniel Czitrom
New York Exposed: How A Gilded Age Police Scandal Launched the Progressive Era
April 21 at 7 p.m.
The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Czitrom is a professor of history at Mount Holyoke College, and in this volume he chronicles the effort to clean up a crime and corruption-filled Gotham city, where politicians and anarchists clashed over the future of one of America’s great cities as the 20th century approached.

Paul Lewis
The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poets 1789–1820
April 22 (free)
At Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Lewis, a professor at Boston College, specializes in studying the history of Boston’s poets. In his latest book, he takes a day-in-the-life approach, taking the reader on a tour of early Boston, from stagecoaches to the pubs, through the eyes of its versifiers. The poems were culled from thousands of selections in order to bring the voices of colonial Boston to life.

Noam Chomsky & Robert C Berwick
Why Only Us: Language and Evolution
April 25 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30)
First Parish Church, Cambridge, MA
$5 tickets

Two renowned linguists will come to Cambridge to discuss the biological origins of language. At this point in his long career, Chomsky needs no introduction. Berwick is professor of Computational Linguistics and Computer Science at MIT. They will talk about how the evolutionary process creates language and what separates humans from animals.

Matthew Pearl
The Last Bookaneer
April 26 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, Brookline, MA

The author of the bestselling The Dante Club reads from his latest novel, a yarn about a Victorian-era English book thief whose black-market chicanery finds him on the island of Samoa, where Robert Louis Stevenson is writing a new manuscript.

— Matt Hanson

Christos Ikonomou and translator Karen Emmerich
April 19 at 6 p.m.
At Boston University Castle, 225 Bay State Road, Boston, MA

Ikonomou will read from and discuss his 2010 short story collection, Something Will Happen, You’ll See, “a wrenching yet optimistic elegy to Greece’s working classes. The collection was the most reviewed Greek book of 2010 and the recipient of the prestigious Best Short-Story Collection State Award.” The volume has been translated into six languages and was just published here last month by Archipelago Books.


Turkish writer and activist Zabel Yessayan. Photo: ZabelinEnglish.

Duygu Dalyanoglu
April 19 at 7 p.m.
At the Armenian Cultural Foundation, 441 Mystic St, Arlington, MA

Duygu Dalyanoglu, an actor and playwright from Turkey, talks about her script Zabel, which is based on two books (In the Ruins and The Gardens of Silihdar)by Armenian author and political activist Zabel Yessayan. Dalyanoglu will talk about the reasons that Yessayan’s life and work resonate today. According to writer and actor Eric Bogosian, “Zabel Yessayan is one of the towering unsung figures of the 20th century. A woman with seemingly unlimited energy and empathy, an author who literally sacrificed herself for her art. Everyone should know about this heroic artist.”

— Bill Marx

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