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
Lawrence of Arabia
June 13 at 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA
This is not the kind of film that should be watched on a phone. It demands a big screen. David Lean’s Oscar-winning epic about T.E. Lawrence stars a young and beautiful Peter O’Toole and the great Alec Guinness. This is an great opportunity to see one of the masterpieces of world cinema the way it was meant to be screened.
The World Is Yours: Brian De Palma on Film
June 13, 14, 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA
The Independent Film Festival of Boston presents two films directed by Brian DePalma. Screening at 7:30 p.m. on Monday is Scarface. On Tuesday it is The Untouchables. (Both will be screened in 70 mm.) The originally scheduled Wednesday screening has been cancelled. On Thursday there will be a free screening (passes required) of a documentary that features Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s personal and candid discussion with the filmmaker about his life and career.
The Roxbury Film Festival Juneteenth Shorts
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
“Celebrate creativity and community at the MFA’s Juneteenth event—the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. All films are free, but space is limited, so be sure to pick up a free ticket from the Remis Box Office 30 minutes before the start of each film.”
The P-Town Festival takes place just before the tourist season really revs up. It is one of the friendliest film festivals in New England, set in a colorful artists community filled with families and filmmakers. The Filmmaker on the Edge honoree this year is Ang Lee, who believes “telling stories is a quest for the meaning of life.” This year’s “Celebration of Modern Masters from Janus Films” features restored versions of the Coen brothers’ groundbreaking rookie venture Blood Simple and John Waters’ under-seen Multiple Maniacs. “Revolting. Most distasteful. The court’s eyes were assaulted. Obnoxious but not legally obscene.” (Judge Joseph H. H. Kaplan).
It’s a dense line-up of films. Here are some picks to get started:
Jewel’s Catch One is about Jewel Thais-Williams and her popular “Jewel’s Catch One” nightclub. Often called the Studio 54 of the West, the club was a hub for cutting edge fashion & music, all races & sexual orientations, for over 42 years in LA before it closed last year. Jewel became a civil rights leader, and then a healer, and saved countless lives through her Village Healthcare Foundation. It features some of the best songs from the spot’s disco years.
Political Animals celebrates the legendary civil rights victories of the first four openly gay elected California state politicians – who were all women. An inspiring portrait of four defiant politicians who refused to let hatred and homophobia stop them from making history and achieving recognition for LGBT people throughout California and the United States.
Off the Rails: A film about a new kind of folk hero — Darius McCollum is a man with Asperger’s syndrome who’s been imprisoned over 30 times for impersonating subway and bus drivers. Adam Irving’s debut feature documentary is a fascinating profile of the surprisingly charismatic McCollum, an unlikely protagonist with remarkable, albeit misused, talent. He makes for an engaging subject.
The Innocents: Anne Fontaine’s film is a hypnotic dramatization of a real life incident: at the close of World War Two, due to atrocities suffered at the hands of Russian troops, several nuns were found in various stages of pregnancy. The film is impeccably made and raises, but does not attempt to answer, deep questions of ethics and religious faith.
Little Men: This Ira Sachs film was screened by IFFB early this season. It is a gentle, wonderfully human film about a struggling actor (Greg Kinnear), who inherits property in Brooklyn and finds that he must raise the rent for the dressmaker’s shop on the first floor. The actor’s son, Jake, and the dressmaker’s son, Tony, become fast friends. The child actors are superb, but Chilean actor Paulina García (Gloria) is worth the price of admission.
Author: The JT Leroy Story: Also screened at IFFBoston this year. This documentary is about the “it boy,” wunderkind writer JT LeRoy (Sarah, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things), who claimed to be a young, gender-bending survivor of abuse and addiction but was actually the middle-aged female writer Laura Albert. When this fact was discovered it caused quite a scandal; the first person narration and archived phone tapes chronicle a unique and riveting true tale.
Tickled: When New Zealand TV journalist David Farrier stumbled across the mysterious world of ‘competitive endurance tickling,’ he decided to investigate the practice, and soon came up against fierce resistance.
This unique Vermont event showcases films by talented teens. The festival takes place over three days, and it is packed with screenings of short movies. The Festival weekend begins Friday, June 17 at 6 p.m. at The Rusty Nail, where there two opening night feature films will be shown and an accompanying Q&A with the filmmakers. There will be a number of networking parties and several award categories: Made in VT, Female Filmmaker, Public Service Announcement, Drama, Documentary, Comedy, Animation, Experimental, Horror, Sports/Adventure/Travel, Brand/Advertising, Music Video, Overall Film, Direction, Editing and Special Effects, Screenplay, Cinematography, and an Audience Award.
— Tim Jackson
June 17 & 18 at 8 p.m.
Black Box Theater, Boston Center for the Arts
Zoé Dance and Boston Center for the Arts present Becoming Undone, a performance piece that aims to challenge one’s daily beliefs through an integration of cinematic and live performance.
Next Door Theatre
Choreographer Lorraine Chapman brings her destinctive interpretation of the classic ballet, Firebird, to North Atlantic Dance Theatre. This new take on the old fable draws inspiration from a variety of sources, from silent movies to couture fashion.
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Nicholas Martin Hall
Enjoy this “party with performances,” featuring the collaborative work of musician Brian Patton and choreographer Peter DiMuro, with a varied cast of singers and dancers. Cabaret artists promise to regale audience members in this intimate cocktail hour setting.
Tuesday, June 21 at 8 p.m.
Kresge Little Theatre, MIT
This stirring production highlights three generations of women and non-gender conforming Armenians. This interactive performance mixes together monologue, live music, and traditional Armenian dance.
— Merli V. Guerra
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, adapted by Lee Hall from Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos. Directed by Vicky Featherstone. A co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre, Newcastle presented by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas at the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, through June 25.
The American premiere of a critically admired musical that “follows six Catholic school girls on the cusp of change when love, love, pregnancy, and death all spiral out of control in a single day.” The show is “about losing your innocence and finding yourself, featuring music by Handel, Back, and 70’s classic rock back Electric Light Orchestra.”
The Taming by Lauren Gunderson. Directed by Nicole Ricciardi. Staged by Shakespeare & Company at the Elayne Bernstein Theatre, Lenox, MA, through July 30.
A political satire/farce with a cartoon premise: “Super-patriot Miss Georgia has something bigger in mind for the Miss America pageant than winning a crown. She wants to jump-start a movement to rewrite the Constitution. So she’s locked herself in a hotel room with two captive political opposites and the ensuing conflict plays out in hilarious fashion, complete with a screwball chase scene, underwear gags, and slyly developing sexual attractions.”
I Was Most Alive with You, written and directed by Craig Lucas. Staged by the Huntington Theater Company, at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, through June 26.
“A family’s faith is severely tested when their adult son, a Deaf, gay, recovering addict played by Russell Harvard (Fargo, Spring Awakening), sees his carefully calibrated world fall apart after an accident. Performed simultaneously in English and American Sign Language.”
Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Music by Wayne Barker. Directed by Spiro Veloudos. Music Director, Catherine Stornetta, Choreography by Ilyse Robbins. Staged by Lyric Stage of Boston, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, through June 26.
A prequel to Peter Pan: “An acclaimed new play (partly inspired by the theatricality of Nicholas Nickleby) that uses ingenious stagecraft, the talents of a dozen of our favorite actors, and the limitless possibilities of your imagination to create theatrical magic.” The show “chronicles the adventures of Molly, a girl charged to protect a cargo of stardust from falling into the wrong hands, and an orphan named Peter who eventually becomes The Boy Who Never Grew Up.” The cast includes some real pros — Margaret Ann Brady, Ed Hoopman, Margarita Martinez, Will McGarrahan, Marc Pierre, and Robert Saoud. Arts Fuse review
Brilliant Traces by Cindy Lou Johnson. Directed by Kyler Taustin. Presented by the Brown Box Theatre Project at Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress Street, Boston, MA, June 12.
This two-hander is “set in a remote cabin nestled in the Alaskan wilderness. Sole occupant, Henry Harry, sleeps as a blizzard rages outside. When he is awakened by a pounding at the door, a dazed stranger stumbles in without explanation in her full bridal attire before falling asleep for two days. As Henry Harry cares for her, Rosannah dissects her reckless non-stop drive from an Arizona wedding chapel to Alaska. The two navigate each other within the confines of this tiny cabin as they begin to reconcile their own loneliness and grapple with wounded pasts, gnawing regrets, and desperate fears in whiteout conditions.”
Twelfth Night: Twelfth Night (or What You Will) and What You Will (or Twelfth Night), by William Shakespeare. Directed by Eric Tucker. Nora Theatre Company presents the Bedlam stagings at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA, through July 10.
Another thrilling theatrical venture from Bedlam. Two different versions of Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy, both of them staged by the same director and performed by the same five-person cast, whose members share between them all 12 parts. Arts Fuse interview with Bedlam’s Eric Tucker.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Directed by Hatem Adell. Staged by It’s a Fiasco and presented under the auspices of Actors’s Equity Associations’s Members’ Project Code, at the Longfellow Park, Cambridge, on June 12 and at Danehy Park, Cambridge, through June 19.
The woods of Cambridge stand in for the Birnam forest in this outdoor production of the Scottish play.
Wild Williams, Three late one-act plays by Tennessee Williams. Directed by Davis Robinson. Performed by Beau Jest Moving Theater. At the Charlestown Working Theater, Charlestown, MA, June 12.
A must-see for anyone interested in Tennessee Williams. “For the past ten years, the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival has pioneered efforts to re-examine Tennessee’s work and take a fresh look at these plays dismissed as too wild or too experimental. Beau Jest Moving Theater premiered three of these plays at the Festival, and now brings two of them together in Boston for the first time, along with a third rarely performed play. Wild Williams consists of The Pronoun I, The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame Le Monde, and Aimez-Vous Ionesco? These plays ruminate on the passing of time, of fraying friendships, and the struggle to survive. They are savagely funny. All three plays were written in the last years of his life and share themes and images that help give any interested Tennessee Williams fan a much-fuller picture of the man, the poet, and the creative output of a genius who refused to give up.” Beau Jest Moving Theater’s production of The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame Le Monde, which it performed at CWT in 2009, was a memorable treat. “Mature audiences only. Mature themes and language.”
Lobster Girl, written and directed by Weylin Symes with original music and lyrics by Steven Barkhimer. Staged by Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main Street Stoneham, MA, through June 26
“When Hank invites his girlfriend’s 14-year-old daughter, Cora, out for the day on his lobster boat off of Cape Ann, things go swimmingly until his assistant lets it slip that wedding bells will soon chime. That’s when the seas start to get a bit choppy.” The cast includes, among others, Barkhimer, William Gardner, Ceit Zweil, and Brigit Smith.
The Maids by Jean Genet. Directed by Jim Byrne. Staged by the Provincetown Community Theater Project at the Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street, Provincetown, MA, through July 10.
Genet’s infamous 1947 tale of sexual gamesmanship “follows the elaborate role playing by two chambermaids (Solange and Claire) … Genet based the play on a real-life tabloid story about the murder of a wealthy woman by her maids. Genet was obsessed with the story and used it as framework to explore the existence of political and sexual outcasts as well as themes of class hatred. Within the play, there is a continual drawing of curtains, revealing and masking the complex problems of social and sexual identity.”
Blinders by Patrick Gabridge. Directed by Korinne T. Richey. Staged by Flat Earth Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown, MA, through June 26.
Trump would seem to go well beyond the wildest dreams of the most imaginative political satire, but in this play Gabridge is going to give it a try: “The world is in awe of a scientific miracle: two genetically identical humans, unrelated but more twin than twins, exactly the same in every way! No one can tell them apart – except journalist Karen Sayer, whose declaration to the brainwashed public that they don’t look anything alike destroys her career and throws her sanity into question. As the duplicates parlay their commercial success into a bid for President of the United States, Karen’s quest for truth takes her on an unexpected mission with some unlikely allies and even stranger enemies.”
Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino. Directed by Daniela Varon. Staged by Shakespeare & Company at the Bernstein Theatre, June 16 through August 28.
The regional premiere of a script the examines the trauma of war: “Combat veteran Jess comes home to Florida after three tours in Afghanistan bearing deep physical and emotional scars. An innovative, experimental video game therapy offers an escape from her excruciating pain, but can virtual reality help Jess come to terms with the altered reality of her hometown, relationships, and dreams?”
Miss Julie by August Strindberg. A new version adapted and directed by Robert Kropf. Staged by Harbor Stage Company, 15 Kendrick Avenue, Wellfleet Harbor, Wellfleet, MA.
Another revival of Strindberg’s class-ridden battle of the sexes: this one claims to be “a fiery new version” that “explores how passion and privilege ensnare the daughter of a wealthy aristocrat and an enigmatic hired hand.”
Cock by Mike Bartlett. Directed by Jeffry George. Staged by Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater at the Julie Harris Stage, Wellfleet, MA, June 16 through July 10.
A provocative title to what sounds like another variation on the old love-triangle-showdown: “A good relationship is worth a good fight. John has been in a stable relationship with his boyfriend for a number of years, but when the two take a break, he unexpectedly falls in love with a woman. Torn between the two, and filled with guilt and conflicting emotions, he doesn’t know which way to turn. Both are willing to wait for him to make a decision – and both are prepared to fight.”
Dreambook, a play with music. Book by Dan Osterman. Songs by Nick Thorkelson. Directed by Jaime Carrillo. Staged by Fort Point Theatre Channel at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, June 17 through 25.
A “theatrical reimagining of pre-Civil War New Orleans, a place that is often considered the most unique of U.S. cities. Osterman’s and Thorkelson’s fictional drama, with musical elements performed live, serves as an invitation to envision this particular past, with fresh eyes and ears, while also coming to grips with what changes have developed in American culture since then. Or not.” Fans of American literature should know that the play involves Walt Whitman, who spent three months in the spring of 1848 in New Orleans as the editor of The Daily Crescent newspaper.
Everyday Cabaret — a cocktail hour with pop up dances and songs. Choreographed and directed by Peter DiMuro. Musical Director, Brian Patton. Staged by Public Displays of Motion at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Nicholas Martin Hall, Boston, MA, June 15 through 18.
“Each party will feature performances of standards from different eras sung by local singers including David Dalena, Beverly Beckham, Leslie Anderson and more, and a series of mini-dances performed on and around cafe tables. Guest artists include dancers from PDM, Matthew Cumbie of DC’s Dance Exchange, Boston Diva Ann Brown Allen and more.”
— Bill Marx
Noah Preminger Quartet
June 14 at 10 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA
The fine young saxophonist and composer Noah Preminger most recently turned his attention to Delta Blues with Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground. Before that was a very Rollins-esque live disc. He works with a slightly different line-up here, joined by guitarist Tim Miller, bassist Simon Willson, and drummer Jongkuk Kim.
June 15 at 8 p.m.
Oberon, Cambridge, MA
This crew of jazz adepts and world music polymaths hit on something when they dug into the tarantellas and other gritty folkloric dance and vocal music of Italy. They return to the Cabaret setting of the A.R.T.’s Oberon.
Geoffrey Keezer/Gillian Margot
June 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.
Pianist Geoffrey Keezer’s bona fides include his teenage debut as one of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and other early stints with Art Farmer and Ray Brown. So he’s got the energy, the chops, and the ears. He comes to the Regattabar with his trio and singer Gillian Margot, whose voice has warmth and heft. (Her 2015 CD, Black Butterfly, was produced by trumpeter Jeremy Pelt.)
Charlie Kohlhase’s Explorer’s Club
June 16 at 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA.
Inveterate explorer Kohlhase — eloquent on alto, tenor, and baritone saxes — convenes the latest edition of one of his most satisfying formats: tenor and alto saxophonist Seth Meicht, trumpeter and flugelhornist Daniel Rosenthal, tubist Josiah Reibstein, guitarist Eric Hofbauer, bassist Aaron Darrell, and drummer Curt Newton.
June 16 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA
The 31-year-old British singer, songwriter, and pianist Anthony Strong is unafraid to dig into Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, and Bill Withers’s “Use Me” as finger-snapping jazz swing. But his playing and arrangements (on his 2015 big band album On a Clear Day), combined with his knack for standards and his pliant light baritone, occasionally make resistance futile, especially when he’s doing Nat “King” Cole’s, “Unforgettable” as a silky samba or shifting to an Afro-Latin groove for “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough.”
Jim Hobbs/Tatsuya Nakatani
June 18 at 8 p.m.
Third Life Studio, Somerville, MA
Alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs is perhaps best known as the driving force behind the Fully Celebrated Orchestra, but he’s often recruited by other progressive bandleaders in town for his combination of technical mastery and fearless imagination. He teams up here percussionist and sound artist Tatsuya Nakatani.
World Music and Roots
Gayageum Explorations for the End of Spring
Arts at the Armory Cafe, Somerville, MA
De Yeon Kim is the first player of the zither-like Koream gayageum to be admitted to the New England Conservatory of Music, where she recieved her masters this spring. Tonight she’ll appear in several configuations, ranging from a set featuring traditional “sanjo” music with percussionist Eli Cohen to improvisational and jazz combos.
Jay Caldwell and the Gospel Ambassadors 49th Anniversary
June 19 at 4 p.m.
Lily of the Valley Baptist Church
1248 Blue Hill Ave, Dorchester, MA
It wouldn’t be Father’s Day in Boston without an appearance from Delaware gospel veteran Jay Caldwell, who will — without doubt — “take off his shoes.” There will also be brief sets from several local gospel greats including recent Arts Fuse interview subject Bishop Harold Branch.
— Noah Schaffer
Rock, Pop, and Folk
Beth Orton is a Norwich, England-born singer-songwriter who has been delighting and intriguing listeners for two decades with her alternative-indie-electronica-folk amalgamation. Although her full-ength releases have been somewhat few and even farther between (seven albums since 1993), Orton clearly makes good use of the time it takes to create an LP. Her latest album Kidsticks was released on May 27. Old fans and curious newcomers can be reacquainted or introduced to this unique artist at Brighton Music Hall on Wednesday.
On the “Homerpalooza” episode of The Simpsons, Homer quips, “Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974. It’s a scientific fact.” According to Ghost of Jupiter’s singer and keyboardist Nate Wilson, however, “it was probably closer to 1972….” It is this unapologetic love of the progressive and psychedelic sounds of the ‘70s that makes GOJ the Boston area’s—and perhaps all of New England’s—prime purveyors of classic rock for the new millennium. At Great Scott on Thursday, the quintet will preview songs from its forthcoming album Great Bright Horses, which is set for release this fall.
When I interviewed the aforementioned Nate Wilson a couple of years ago, I posed what is a sort of standard query in my Q&A’s: “Fill in the blank: ‘I wish that I were half the singer-songwriter that _______ is’.” His answer was Gustav Ejstes of the Swedish band Dungen. In what is a totally-rad-to-the-max cosmic coincidence, both Dungen and Ghost of Jupiter will be in town on June 16. Dungen’s most recent release is last September’s Allas Sak, which will surely be well-represented, along with material dating back to the band’s 2001 eponymous debut. And you do not have to understand a word of Swedish in order to love this stuff. (Since Great Scott’s shows run pretty late, seeing both GOJ and Dungen is a possibility that all interested parties should strive to accomplish.)
June 17 and June 18 (shows at 8:00 p.m.)
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
No introduction necessary, I hope. As quite possibly greatest mastermind in the history American popular music, Wilson was the brain, soul, and spirit behind some of the most effortlessly enjoyable and rewardingly challenging pop compositions of the 20th century. Wilson will arrive in Boston three days before his 74th birthday to celebrate the recent 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, which he will perform in its entirety with the Boston Pops and fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine. Arts Fuse commentary
Although each of the four local acts on this bill is headliner-worthy in its own right, the purpose of this killer quadruple bill in Union Square on Friday is the release of the EP Take What You Can Take by Pale Monsters. It is hard to imagine a more ideal one-fell-swoop opportunity to take in this number of worthwhile bands for a mere $10 in advance or $12 at the door.
Male-female duo Wye Oak will release its fifth LP Tween, the follow-up to 2014’s highly praised stylistic departure Shriek, on August 5. (It is available now in digital form.) To whet their steadily increasing legion of fans’ appetite for what’s to come, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack will swing through Harvard Square on Sunday the 19th with the all-female NYC quartet TEEN, whose third album Love Yes came out in February. This show is a helluva way to guarantee that your weekend doesn’t go wasted before heading back to work the next day.
— Blake Maddux
Splendor, Myths, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado
June 11 – October 10
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA
Commissioned by the king of Spain in 1785, the Prado (or “meadow,” named after the meadow it replaced), was originally designed to house a natural history museum. The monumental neoclassical building suffered mightily through the Napoleonic Wars, serving as a cavalry headquarters and gunpowder storehouse before it finally opened to the public late in 1819. By then, the Prado’s primary function had been aligned with a popular Napoleonic concept: a national art museum, intended to show off the royal collections and prove Spanish art equal to any national school.
This exhibition, the Clark’s main summer show, includes twenty-eight Old Master paintings selected from the Prado’s collections, now ranked with the best in the world. Like the reach of the Spanish royal house, the selection is international, and includes major works by Titian, Rubens, Tintoretto, Velasquez, and Ribera, among others, often working on the massive scale favored by their imperial patrons. The art’s subject matter — female nudes with a few males thrown in — is largely drawn from classical myths, the Bible, and allegorical themes. The show also includes portraits (fully clothed) of two of the royal collection’s most important patrons: Philip II and Philip IV. The vast majority of these works have never been seen in the United States before.
Urban Landscapes: Manchester and the New American City
June 11 – August 29
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, MA
With its riverfront lined with vast, brick 19th-century loft complexes, Manchester, NH, is one of New England’s most prominent and visually striking mill towns. The classic industrial cityscape provided inspiration for a surprising number of important American artists. This exhibition, drawn entirely from the Currier’s collections, includes more than 100 works — paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs — by such artists as Berenice Abbott, Gary Winogrand, Charles Sheeler, John Sloan, Richard Estes, and Nicholas Nixon. The show is organized into three themes: People in the City, City as Stage for Activism, and Modern Architecture and the City.
For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights
June 16 – August 11
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, CT
The American Civil Rights Movement would surely not have jolted white and black Americans alike unless they had been exposed to hundreds of vivid images of the struggle, either published in glossy magazines like Life, jet, and Ebony or broadcast on network television. This exhibition bills itself as “not a history of the civil rights movement, but rather an exploration of the vast number of potent images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.” Objects on view include photographs and magazines, CBS news footage, clips from the Ed Sullivan Show, children’s toys, Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers, produce ads from the 1930s, and Jackie Robinson sports memorabilia.
Pushing Boundaries: Dine, Graves, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, and Rosenquist — Collaborations with Donald Saff
June 18 – January 22, 2017
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
Born in 1937, Donald Saff has had a career as as an artist, printmaker, art historian, lecturer, educator, and authority on English and American clockmaking (in 2015, he was awarded a certificate from the Guinness World Records for his work on the world’s most accurate pendulum clock). This exhibition focuses on his career as a collaborative print maker. In 1968, he invited nationally prominent artists to work with him to create three-dimensional prints, encouraging them to create some of the most adventurous works of their careers. This exhibition will display Saff’s collaborations with such major contemporary figures as Jim Dine, Nancy Graves, Roy Lichtenstein, Philip Pearlstein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and James Turrell.
The Lay of the Land: Contemporary Landscapes form the Collection
June 16 – October 20
Smith College Museum of Art, Northhamption, MA
Drawn entirely from the Smith College Museum collection, this exhibition presents contemporary artists exploring the landscape in an astonishingly broad range of styles and approaches, from local images, photographs of rainbows, and the aftermath of a volcanic eruptions, to large-scale interventions on the landscape and environmental projects. The artists include Cristo, Mel Chin, Cheryl Laemmie, Frank W. Gohlke, April Gornik, Agnes Denes, and Scott Prior.
Grandma Moses: American Modern
June 18 – October 20
Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT
Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860-1961) was an amateur artist for most of her life, starting a serious career as a professional painter only at the age of 78. In the years before and after World War II, Moses was revered as an iconic folk artist, known as “Grandma,” whose nostalgic pictures, reproduced widely, were filled with the imagery of a vanished rural American life. This exhibition, jointly organized by the Sheburne and Bennington Museums, both of which have important collections of Moses’ work, takes a different view, setting her work in the context of 20th-century American modernism and presenting it as “visually sophisticated paintings that melded her memories of growing up in a preindustrial America with her more recent experiences in an increasingly modernized, homogenous nation.” To underline the theme, Moses’ works will hang along side fellow folk artists Edward Hicks and Joseph Pickett and her mainstream contemporaries, including Morris Hirshield and Helen Frankenthaler. It looks like Grandma may have finally come of age.
— Peter Walsh
Presented by Odyssey Opera
June 3 (at 7:30 pm) and June 5 at(at 3:00 p.m.)
Boston University Theater, Boston, MA
Odyssey Opera’s annual summer series opens, this year called “When in Rome,” with a rare outing of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Ezio, a tale of love and loyalty that unfolds shortly before the fall of the Empire. The cast includes Brenda Patterson (in the title role), Randall Scotting, Jennifer Holloway, and William Hite. Gil Rose conducts.
Presented by the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra
June 18, 8 p.m.
Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge, MA
Stravinsky’s 1910 ballet, featuring a new choreography Gianni Di Marco (late of Boston Ballet), is the focus of the CSO’s season finale, which also marks the orchestra’s first collaboration with NorthEast Arts Space. Also on the program is a rare performance of Dvorak’s harrowing tone poem, The Water Goblin.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Music by Joachim and his Circle
June 17 at 8 p.m.
At First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA
On the program: music of Joachim as well as of Bach and Brahms. The musicians: Violinist James Buswell, Carol Ou on the violoncello, Victor Rosenbaum and Mana Tokuno on the piano, and mezzo-soprano Jaime Korkos.
From Russia (and Estonia) to Rockport!
At Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA
A unique program that features classical musicians from Russia and Estonia. They will peform a blend of violin, bass, and piano. Yevgeny Kutik, Edwin Barker, and Eileen Huang are among the performers.
Boston Guitar Festival XI
June 18 at 8 p.m.
At Jordan Hall/New England Conservatory, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA
“Boston GuitarFest is a music festival with a stellar array of exciting concerts; a series of seminars and master classes taught by an incomparable faculty; and a meeting place for all those seeking a deeper message, more enduring values and a more genuine human interchange than can often be found in the world of today’s ‘music business.'”
Chameleon Arts Ensemble “Bach and Sons”
June 19 at 5 p.m.
At Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main Street, Rockport, MA
The Chameleon Arts Ensemble, one of Boston’s finest and most versatile ensembles, will present a special program in honor of Father’s Day with works by the great Johann Sebastian Bach and his three sons—Johann Christian, Wilhelm Friedemann, and Carl Philipp Emanuel.
— Susan Miron
In The Darkroom
June 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA
In an event co-sponsored by The Baffler, the renowned feminist author tells the story of reconnecting with her irresponsible, distant father and the bewildering fact of his choice for gender reassignment surgery. She examines his bold and unremitting claim to be “a complete woman now.”
June 15 at 7 p.m.
The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
Two half-sisters are born in 18th Century Ghana: one marries an Englishman, the other is sold into slavery and shipped off to America, where her children are born into servitude. Gyasi follows both characters’ lives through the turmoil of history, exploring how social pressures shape their respective fates.
Barkskins: A Novel
June 16 at 7 p.m. (Doors 6:30)
First Parish Church, Cambridge, MA
The popular and prize-winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain comes to read and sign copies of her latest novel. It’s the story of two seventeenth century Frenchmen who plan and execute deforestation on an epic scale. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “a monumental achievement, one that may be remembered as her finest work.”
All Strangers Are Kin: Adventures in Arabic and the Arab World
June 17 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
The Center for Arabic Culture brings in O’Neill, a travel writer, to discuss her linguistic and cultural explorations of the Middle East, from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon and Morocco. O’Neill has a generous eye for absurd detail as well as a relish for the commonality of human experiences.
How to Ruin Everything
June 18 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, MA
The musician and artist will read from his debut collection of essays, which covers a range of topics, from how he inadvertently became an international ivory smuggler to reminiscences about his the salad days taking part in middle school rap battles. Hamilton creator Linn Manuel calls the collection “brutally honest” and promises that readers will smack their heads with recognition.
The Inevitable Understanding: 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
June 10 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner, MA
There’s no way around it — the technological revolution is upon us. Kelly offers a helpful guide to the future, outlining a dozen ways in which new technological innovations will change the way we learn, buy, work, and communicate.
The Secret Life of the American Musical
June 20 at 7:30 p.m.
South End/ Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA, Boston, MA
For several decades, Viertel has been a major figure in Broadway theater, having helped create such plays as Hairspray, Angels in America, and Into the Woods. He will discuss what he has learned and will serve up some inside scoop on the geniuses, egotists, and hard-working professionals who keep the New York musical tradition alive.
— Matt Hanson