Fuse Coming Attractions: July 31 through August 16 — What Will Light Your Fire

Arts Fuse critics select the best in theater, visual arts, film, music, author events, and dance for the coming week.

By The Arts Fuse Staff


Boston Area Film Schedules—What is Playing Today, Where, and When

Woods Hole Film Festival Silver Anniversary
July 30-August 6,
Woods Hole on Cape Cod, MA

Screening over 130 films, the festival begins its 25th anniversary with workshops, master classes, and panel discussions. Filmmakers-in-Residence include Suzanne Mitchell and Rachel Grady. Also in attendance will be emerging filmmakers from New England, Cape Cod, and the islands.

Some of the gathering’s notable films include:

Falmouth resident Beth Murphy’s most recent documentary What Tomorrow Brings investigates the first all-girls school in a remote Afghan village (the screening will be preceded by a performance by Afghan musician Quais Essar).

Boston residents Bestor Cram and Jenny Phillips team up again on Beyond the Wall, which is about an innovative treatment program for prisoners reentering society in Massachusetts.

Cape Coder Elise Hugus returns with Sustaining Sea Scallops, a short film that documents the remarkable renaissance of the Atlantic’s sea scallop industry after its near collapse in 1999.

Bostonians Amy Geller and Allie Humenuk present The Guys Next Door.

Oscar-winning actor and Boston-area resident Chris Cooper will make his second appearance at the Festival in Coming Through the Rye, a story about a 16 year-old boy who travels to New Hampshire in search of author J.D. Salinger.

Festival alum Ben Hickernell returns with A Rising Tide, a narrative feature about a young chef trying to save his family’s restaurant after it is flooded by Hurricane Sandy.

A few of the offerings from first-time filmmakers:

Barry Frechette’s affecting The Paper Lanterns follows Shigeaki Mori’s lifelong calling to tell the story of not only Hiroshima’s Japanese victims, but also his quest to locate the relatives of the twelve US airmen lost there.

James Demo’s The Peacemaker focuses on the trials and tribulations of Cambridge resident Padraig Malley as he strives to make peace for others in critical areas throughout the world. His technique draws on the therapeutic model he learned during his recovery from addiction.

Thomas Bena’s documentary One Big Home; Richard Elson’s short documentary Safe Harbor.

Local radio producer Samantha Broun’s first documentary short, Crest of the Hill, is about a man with Alzheimer’s who sells his family home.

The Raft, Robert Jones’s new short (featuring Ed Asner) about a fantasy prone boy who realizes the truth behind a decision his grandfather made during WWII.

Brandon Cordiero’s directorial debut Ribbons, about a young boy growing up in Provincetown during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Joel Strunk’s Anatomy of a Tide, set amidst a remote island fishing community on the coast of Maine; Derek Kimball’s mystery drama Neptune is also set off the coast of that state. Erica Fae’s To Keep the Light is inspired by true stories about a lighthouse keeper’s wife who struggles with her work and her sanity as she cares for her sick husband in 19th century Maine.

Two documentaries shed light on several noteworthy music industry contributors: Revival: The Sam Bush Story presents luminaries such as Allison Krauss, John Oates, and Emmylou Harris praising the talents of Sam Bush, the father of “Newgrass music,” who will attend the screening; Sidemen: The Long Road to Glory explores the lives and legacies of blues giants Muddy Waters’s and Howlin’ Wolf’s sidemen — pianist Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and guitarist Hubert Sumlin — through interviews with the musicians they inspired.

A scene from "The Creature From the Black Lagoon." Coolidge Corner Theatre  is showing the '50s horror film in 3-D.

A scene from “The Creature From the Black Lagoon.” Coolidge Corner Theatre is showing the ’50s horror film in 3-D.

Creature from the Black Lagoon — in 3D
August 10 (Rain Date: Aug 11)
Greenway’s Wharf District Park (located between Milk and India Streets in Boston)

The Coolidge at the Greenway presents classics under the stars. This week it is a 1954 monster movie directed by Jack Arnold (The Incredible Shrinking Man). Creature from the Black Lagoon certainly wasn’t the first Universal horror movie inspired by Beauty and the Beast: here is another monster tamed, albeit briefly, by love (or lust). Universal Pictures had a knack for humanizing their creepy creatures and this film is no different. The special effects masters who created the Gill-man’s brilliant costume were Millicent Patrick and Bud Westmore; Ben Chapman wore the suit above ground, performer Ricou Browning performed the underwater scenes. Julie Adams makes an especially pretty damsel-in-distress. Scary (but really not all that much) fun for the family.

Kids International: A GKids Retrospective
Thursdays and Saturdays in August
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA

GKids was founded in 2008 by Eric Beckman, co-founder of the New York International Children’s Film Festival. Animation is not a genre, but a medium. If there is one company that understands this fact better than anyone else, it is GKids. The New York based film distribution has consistently been bringing new, innovative, and thought-provoking animated features to American audiences. The full company name is Guerrilla Kids, which suggests its unconventional commitment to bringing top-notch animated features to the public and showing what the medium can really achieve.

Mary Pickford in "Stella Maris." Somerville Theatre is giving this 1918 silent film a rare screening.

Mary Pickford in “Stella Maris.” Somerville Theatre is giving this 1918 silent film a rare screening.

Stella Maris
August 14 at 2 p.m.
Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA

The Silents Please Series with Jeff Rapsis at the organ presents this bittersweet 1918 film featuring Mary Pickford – at the time one of the most famous film stars in the world. In this rare storyline (a Jekyll and Hyde spin-off, based on a novel by John Locke) she plays two characters: Stella Maris, a beautiful sheltered crippled girl cared for by a rich family and Unity Blake, an unattractive and poor orphan who knows the cruel ways of the world. They both love the same man — who is separated, though still married, to a nasty wife. Pickford, who often played spunky, determined, and resourceful characters, shows considerable acting range in her two roles, departing from her wholesome screen persona.

— Tim Jackson


ON TAP – Beantown Tap Fest Faculty Showcase
August 5 at 6 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Boston University Dance Theater
Boston, MA

This year’s Beantown Tap Fest Faculty Showcase features a stellar cast of tap dancers and musicians including Brenda Bufalino (NY); Josh Hilberman (Belgium); Sarah Reich (LA); Katherine Kramer (Miami); Sean Fielder (Boston); Khalid Hill (NY); Ian Berg (Chicago); Ryan P. Casey (Boston); Boston Tap Company; Paul Arslanian’s jazz trio, and more.


BoSoma Dance Company presents “REVEALED.” Photo: Joseph Lee.

August 7 at 5 p.m.
Manchester Essex Auditorium
Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

BoSoma Dance Company presents the culminating concert to its summer season. The performance incorporates rising talent from the company’s summer intensive program for advanced dancers ages 16 and older, favorite repertory works performed by the professional company, and a new improvisational work inspired by the company’s ongoing collaboration with Peabody Essex Museum’s Rodin Sculptures exhibition.

More Than Moves Festival
August 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA

Paradise Lost: A Movement Collective brings a new event to Cambridge: The More Than Moves Festival gathers professional dance companies from across the region to perform works that embody the theme “survivors are thrivers.” All profits will go to Transition House, Cambridge’s domestic violence agency for community education, outreach, and intervention.

Boston Contemporary Dance Festival
August 13 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Boston University Dance Theater
Boston, MA

The Boston Contemporary Dance Festival returns after a year’s hiatus, presenting contemporary dance companies and artists from across the U.S.

And further afield…

Friday, August 5 at 7:30pm
Canterbury Shaker Village
Canterbury, NH

Choreographers David Parker, Lorraine Chapman, Diane Arvanites, Sydney Skybetter, Amanda Whitworth, and Marcus Schulkind present their work, including a new collaborative piece inspired by Shaker dances. In addition, the purchase of a ticket to this performance also grants the ticket holder entrance to Village Rising (“A day devoted to cultivating personal inspiration.”) on Saturday, August 6, among whose activities will showcase the Shaker Dance Revival Project performance piece Rising & Rotating.

— Merli V. Guerra


Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino. Directed by Daniela Varon. Staged by Shakespeare & Company at the Bernstein Theatre, through August 28.

The regional premiere of a script that 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?”

Jonathan Epstein as Shylock in the Shakespeare and Company production of "The Merchant of Venice." Photo: Ava G. Lindenmaier.

Jonathan Epstein as Shylock in the Shakespeare and Company production of “The Merchant of Venice.” Photo: Ava G. Lindenmaier.

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Directed by Tina Packer. Presented by Shakespeare & Company at the Tina Packer Playhouse, Lenox, MA, through August 21.

Shakespeare & Company “will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard during this 39th performance season with a newly configured theatre, and [with this script] will debut its first production in-the-round.” This is one of the Bard’s most notorious texts. Director Packer observes that “every person in the play is racist and sexist” and “ill-will abounds.” Longtime company member Jonathan Epstein plays Shylock in a production that will offer “a visceral display of courtship, prejudice, clashing religions, money, and revenge.” Arts Fuse review

The Kritik, written and directed by Brenda Withers. Staged by Harbor Stage Company, 15 Kendrick Avenue, Wellfleet Harbor, Wellfleet, MA, through August 6.

A world premiere of a comedy abut a theater critic who — I hope — is seen in a heroic light (at least for a moment or two). “How can one be honestly good when it’s not always good to be honest? A faux-Chekhovian celebration of candor, corruption, and community.”​

A scene from

A boisterous scene from “Once a Blue Moon – Cada Luna Azul.” Photo: Maria Baranova and David Weiland.

Once a Blue Moon – Cada Luna Azul. Conceived by Stacy Klein with Carlos Uriona & Matthew Glassman. Devised by the Double Edge Theatre Ensemble. Text by Matthew Glassman and Jennifer Johnson. Directed by Stacy Klein. Presented by Double Edge Theatre in association with Charlestown Working Theater, at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA, through August 22.

This indoor/outdoor spectacle an Arts Fuse favorite last summer, so it is nice to see that is back. The show “is the first Latin American based spectacle in Double Edge’s history, taking inspiration from Alejandro Jodorowski’s Where the Bird Sings Best, Lawrence Thornton’s Imagining Argentina, Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna, and other great works of Jorge Borges, Gabriel Marquez, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, and Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus. The highly visual and imaginative performance will lead the audience alongside the hills, pastures, river, and through the gardens of Double Edge’s Farm, and includes expansive murals and colorful settings by local and international artists.”

Forever, written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith. Directed by Steve Stettler. At the Weston Playhouse, 703 Main Street Weston, Vermont, through July 31.

Pulitzer finalist Dael Orlandersmith’s performed her one-woman show Stoop Stories at Weston’s OtherStages in 2014. She returns to the theater “with another celebrated and provocative new work! In this uplifting exploration of the family we are born into and the family we choose, Orlandersmith travels to the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris where, by the graves of legendary artists such as Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, she finds unexpected grace in a gripping tale of the legacy a daughter inherits from her mother.”

Brendan by Ronan Noone. Directed by Brett Marks and Victor L. Shopov. Staged by Happy Medium Theatre at the BCA Black Box,, Boston, MA, through July 31.

Another entry in what used to be a very hot genre in the theater — the ghost play. “The compelling story of recent Irish immigrant, Brendan, and how his new life in America is suddenly turned upside-down when the ghost of his mother starts following him around. Of course, she has plenty to say about his friends, his shameful lifestyle and how worried she is about him learning to drive on the other side of the road.”

Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques. Staged by Apollinaire in the Park 2016 at Port Park, 99 Marginal Street, Chelsea, MA, through July 31. Free.

Brooks Reeves will take on the role of Hamlet. The tragedy “will be presented as a Promenade Production, and in Apollinaire summer tradition the audience will move with the action. Audiences will be on their feet for about half the show. All areas are wheelchair accessible. Patrons with mobility concerns who will not be bringing wheel chairs are encouraged to call ahead so a chair can be provided. Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and beach chairs, and a picnic to enjoy along with the harbor views.”

Summer Play Festival 2016: If Not Now, When? Staged by Boston Actors Theater at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, through July 31.

5 new works by local playwrights: The Black and Blonde by Lesley Moreau, Pipe Dream by Samantha deManbey, We have to tell Jacob by George Smart, Why You Should Send me to Mars by Marc Harpin, and Jacks and Queens by M. Lynda Robinson

peerless by Jiehae Park. Directed by Louisa Proske. Staged by Barrington Stage Company at , the St. Germain Stage, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA, through August 6.

This newish dark comedy (there was an earlier production at Yale Rep) tells”the story of ​​brilliant, ambitious twin sisters L and M when they realize that perfect academics and superb extracurricular activities aren’t enough to get into their dream college — so they decide to take matters into their own hands.” Arts Fuse review

Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare. Directed by Steven Maler. Staged by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common, through August 7.

The CSC presents a free production of Shakespeare’s early play. “Friendship and loyalty amongst four young men and four young women are put to the test when romantic youthful notions of love encounter the challenges of adulthood. A high-spirited romantic comedy filled with dazzling wordplay, strong comic characters, and a few unexpected twists, Love’s Labour’s Lost both charms and touches the heartstrings of young and old alike.” Ok, but there are is a serious element in this play as well. It is not ‘charming’ when Rosaline requests that the witty-to-a-fault Berowne, in order to win her love, endeavor to make “the pained impotent to smile.” His response is not a laugh line: “To move wild laughter in the throat of death?/ It cannot be; it is impossible:/ Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.” Arts Fuse review

The tools of the playwright's trade in Shakespeare & Company production of "Or,". Photo: Ava G. Lindenmaier.

The tools of the playwright’s trade in Shakespeare & Company production of “Or,”. Photo: Ava G. Lindenmaier.

Or, by Liz Duffy Adams. Directed by Alice Reagan. Staged by Shakespeare & Company in the Tina Packer Playhouse at 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA, through September 4.

Tod Randolph stars in this historical drama, which centers on a hectic time in the life of seventeenth century playwright Aphra Behn, known to history as the first credited female playwright. She “has one opportunity to have her play produced and fulfill her desperate desire to leave the spy trade behind her. The catch? She must finish and deliver her play by morning all while fighting off distracting romantic temptations, attempting to win a pardon, and trying to save the life of royalty. Her hectic antics unfold into a night of hilarity, passion, and self discovery that tells a story that transcends time.”

The Stone Witch by Shem Bitterman. Directed by Steve Zuckerman. Staged by the Berkshire Theater Group at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 83 East Main Street, Stockbridge, MA, through August 20.

Judd Hirsch stars in the world premiere production of a play in which “reality and fantasy collide when a struggling, young writer is chosen by a powerful book editor for a special assignment—to help a reclusive children’s book author and illustrator complete his first manuscript in over a decade.”

Romance Novels for Dummies by Boo Killebrew. Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel. Staged by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Main Stage, Williamstown, MA, through July 31.

World premiere of a new sisters relationship comedy that “asks us to imagine how we might handle the curve-balls — big and small — that life throws us.” The cast includes Justin Long, Emily Lyons, Ashley Austin Morris, Connie Ray, Andrew Weems, Mary Wiseman

The Emperor of the Moon by Aphra Behn. Directed and adapted by Jenna Ware. Staged by Shakespeare & Company at the Rose Footprint Theatre, Lenox, MA, through August 20.

A “fast-paced, family friendly” version of Behn’s seventeenth century script: “When love strikes, chaos ensues and a coup of astronomic proportions results. Sisters, suitors, servants, and a father obsessed with the moon set the stage for a stellar farce performed under the open-air tent.” In this production Restoration meets Commedia dell’Arte, offering “audiences of every age a hearty dose of mayhem, music, and merriment.” Arts Fuse review

FRINGEPVD 2016, in various locations in (AS220 Black Box Theater, Aurora, The Avenue Concept, Better Off, Big Nazo Satellite Space, Mathewson Street Black Box Theater, RISD Museum, The Steel Yard, and The Wilbury Theatre Group) throughout Providence, Rhode Island, through August 30.

Maybe someone in Boston might pick up on this? “The only Fringe Festival within the Providence and Greater Boston area, FRINGEPVD has grown rapidly since it’s inaugural year in 2014, expecting this year to bring together more than two hundred individual theatre, music, dance, multi-media, and performing artists for five nights of performances in eleven venues throughout the city.”

Poster Boy Music and Lyrics by Craig Carnelia. Book by Joe Tracz. Directed by Stafford Arima. Movement by Danny Mefford. Staged by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Nikos Stage, Williamstown, MA, through August 7.

World premiere of a musical “inspired by the actual events surrounding the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college student who brought national attention to cyber-bullying … a community of gay men in an online chat room come together to discover what drove one of their own to take his life.”

And No More Shall We Part by Tom Holloway. Directed by Anne Kauffman. Staged by Williamstown Theatre Festival at the Nikos Stage, Williamstown, MA, August 10 through 21.

Aging boomers are the driving force behind a new genre — the mortality play, sensitive meditations on how to go gentle into that good night. “Obie Award-winner Anne Kauffman directs Tony and Emmy Award-nominee Alfred Molina and Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominee Jane Kaczmarek in this intense and intimate drama by Australian playwright Tom Holloway. When Pam (Kaczmarek) becomes terminally ill, she and her husband Don (Molina) must face the most difficult decision yet in their long and loving marriage.”

Dog Paddle (or, struggling inelegantly against drowning) by Reto Finger. Translated by Lily Sykes. Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon. Staged by Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston (produced in part with support from The Swiss Society of Boston) at the Studio Theater at Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, August 4 through 20.

The American premiere of a script that “follows five 30-somethings as they navigate love, life, friendship, and disappointment.” The cast features Esme Allen and Omar Robinson.

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis. Directed by Alicia Greenwood. Staged by the Salem Theatre Company at 35 Congress Street, 3rd Floor (front white building on Congress St), Salem, MA, August 11 through 24.

An exercise in theology as well as politics, this “darkly comic and poignant work” by Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis boasts “a large, colorful cast of characters mostly familiar to us and a world where Purgatory is an inner city court room.” The script asks “one of the most plaguing questions in history: What happened to Judas Iscariot? This masterful tale puts Judas’ case to a piercing trial, with often hilarious and riotous results.”

Photo: Richard Teller.

Tara Franklin and Therese Plaehn as Anna and
Lilly in the Chester Theatre Company production of “Sister Play.” Photo: Richard Teller.

Sister Play by John Kolvenbach. Directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer. Staged by the Chester Theatre Company in the Chester Town Hall at 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA, August 3 through 14.

A domestic melodrama: “On their yearly trip to their late father’s moldy old cabin on Cape Cod, Anna, Lilly, and Anna’s novelist husband Malcolm slip into familiar patterns; Lilly tries to defend her latest failed romance; Anna, in usual overprotective mode, picks at Lilly for her bad choices; and Malcolm talks to himself about mold, death, lust, and feeling like ‘a pamphlet between two related tomes.’”

Constellations by Nick Payne. Directed by Gregg Edelman. Staged by Berkshire Theatre Group at the Unicorn Theatre on the Larry Vaber Stage, BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street, Stockbridge, MA, August 3 through 27.

Another theatrical search for romantic wisdom: “The heartfelt and poignant two-character drama follows Marianne, a quirky quantum physicist, played by Kate Baldwin, and Roland, a beekeeper, played by Graham Rowat. Their first encounter is seemingly ordinary—crossing paths at a mutual friend’s barbeque. Exploring the endless possibilities of their budding romance, the characters create their own multi-verse to see how their relationship would play out if they had chosen fate over chance.”

Broadway Bounty Hunter, Music and lyrics by Joe Iconis, Book by Lance Rubin and Jason SweetTooth Williams. Choreography by Jeffrey Page. Directed by Leah C. Gardiner. Staged by Barrington Stage’s Musical Theatre Lab at the St. Germain Stage, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA, August 12 through September 4.

This sounds as if it could be fun: “Inspired by the Blaxploitation movies of the 1970s (think Shaft), this exciting new musical is about a down-on-her-luck actor Annie (SAG Award Winner and Broadway veteran Annie Golden) as she’s asked to become a bounty hunter and capture a South American drug lord. With a score rich with R&B and Funk (and a splash of ‘80s Rock ‘n’ Roll), the musical follows a woman of a certain age as she tries to find the inner strength she needs to save theatre and realize her true badass identity.”

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Directed by Gus Kaikkonen. Staged by the Peterborough Players at 55 Hadley Rd., Peterborough, NH, August 3 through 14.

Granted, this is a warhorse, but it is a Shavian trotter, so if done right (and not sentimentalized) there is still some kick to it. Closer to  a tragicomedy than a comedy, despite what the film version would lead you to believe.

Songs for a New World by Jason Robert Brown. Directed by Robert Walsh. At the Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA, August 4 through 27.

A musical revue with a point of view: “Artfully blending pop, jazz, and gospel in powerful solo and ensemble styles, this musical takes you on multiple journeys that result in that ‘moment of decision’ we inevitably face in our own lives.”

Brendan Hughes helping us to double click on the Universe in

Brendan Hughes teaching us how to double- click on the Universe in “The Pizzicato Effect.” Photo: Harbor Stage Company.

The Pizzicato Effect, written and performed by Brendan Hughes. Presented by Harbor Stage Company, 15 Kendrick Avenue, Wellfleet, MA, on August 1. At the Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA, on August 9.

God knows that the middlebrow TED talks deserve to be satirized, so this one-man show featuring “Wellfleet favorite and Boston native” Brendan Hughes may be worth taking in: “Deploying diagrams, theories and preposterous arcana, Brendan Hughes delivers comic, ontological mini-lectures drawn from the darkest corners of Wikipedia …from Euclid’s drug-induced perfect rectangle to Plato’s penchant for name-dropping, from Julius Caesar’s IT department to Pope Gregory XIII’s time warping proclivities, Miles Davis’s unplayed notes to Wolfgang A. Mozart’s delicious command of restraint… all in a valiant attempt to double-click on the Universe.”

— Bill Marx


Newport Jazz Festival
July 31, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Fort Adams State Park, Newport, R.I.

The final day of this weekend-long event offers the usual embarrassment of riches, on four stages: Anat Cohen, Nels Cline, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Lizz Wright, José James, Angelique Kidjo, the all-star quartet of Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Lionel Loueke, and Eric Harland . . . and more.

performs at the Iily Pad this week.

Japanese drummer and composer Tomohiro Mori’s quintet performs at the Lily Pad this week.

Tomohiro Mori Quintet
July 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

A Berklee scholarship student now living in New York, the Japanese drummer and composer Tomohiro Mori fronts a quintet with trumpeter Mao Sone, alto saxophonist Clay Lyons, pianist Davis Whitfield, and bassist Jonny Chapman.

Allan Chase Quartet
August 2 at 8:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

The estimable saxophonist and composer Allan Chase, after some extended touring, returns to the Boston area to front this fine quartet, with Andy Voelker on tenor sax, Jef Charland on bass, and Luther Gray on drums. Chase will be doing his usual “doubling” on alto, soprano, and baritone.

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

Pianist and composer Bert Seager returns to the Lily Pad with this provocative quartet: Cuban-born tenor saxophonist Hery Paz, American bassist Max Ridley, and Israeli drummer Dor Herskovits.

Natalie Dietz
August 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge, MA.

The Australian singer and composer Natalie Dietz is a sharp writer with a clear, unaffected singing style. Winner of ASCAP’s 2016 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, and working on a master’s degree at New England Conservatory, Dietz has a style akin to other modern pop-influenced jazz singer-songwriters like Kate McGarry, Becca Stevens, and Gretchen Parlato. (Another signpost: her EP features pianist Aaron Parks.)

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
August 5 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Through a strange historical confluence, the SoCal band Big Voodoo Daddy became a hit on ’90s alt-rock radio and got swept up in a “swing” craze that seemed to spin off all manner of cultural odds and ends, including the movie “Swingers.” But you could do worse than their loving evocations of jump blues, Louis Prima, and Louis Jordan. At their best, they recall New England favorites Roomful of Blues, with more aggressive stagecraft.

Litchfield Jazz Festival
August 6 and 7
Goshen, Connecticut

For its 21st anniversary, the Litchfield Jazz Festival celebrates bassist and composer Mario Pavone, one of the founders of the festival and of its summer jazz education camp. With that in mind, the theme is “Generations of Jazz,” matching younger players with their elders: saxophonist Andrew Hadro’s quartet, with mentor Tony Malaby and Pavone; drummer Richie Barshay’s trio, with saxophonist Jimmy Greene; saxophonist Albert Rivera’s Back at It Band, with guitarist Paul Bollenback; singer Nicole Zuraitis’s quintet, with guitarist Dave Stryker; bassist Daryl Johns’s trio, with pianist Orrin Evans and drummer Steve Johns; a “Big Bass Blowout” with bassist Avery Sharpe, drummer Matt Wilson, pianist Julian Shore and four other featured bassists; the Litchfield Jazz Orchestra, led by saxophonist, and camp director, Don Braden, with Braden’s arrangements of Earth Wind & Fire; pianist Emmet Cohen’s trio with the legendary Jimmy Heath; and the Curtis Brothers, bassist Luques and pianist Zacai, with saxophonist Donald Harrison.

Danae Greenfield Trio
August 8 at 6 p.m.
Charles Square, Cambridge, MA.

Pianist Danae Greenfield, a Berklee scholarship student, has all the requisite lyricism and swing of the post-Bill Evans, post-rock era, and the nerve to indulge some of her more quixotic impulses. The Seattle transplant leads her trio in this free concert presented by the School and the Regattabar, in the Charles Hotel’s upper courtyard.

Rockport Jazz Festival
August 11-14
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA.

Although it is interspersed throughout the summer in Rockport Music’s varied programming, jazz gets the spotlight this weekend: New Orleans trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard (August 11), Cuban pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa (August 12), organist Dr. Lonnie Smith (August 13), Berklee’s Thinkin’ Big orchestra (August 14 matinee), and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane (August 14 evening).

— Jon Garelick

Rock, Pop, and Folk

James Taylor and Jackson Browne
August 3 (6:30 p.m.)
Fenway Park, Boston, MA

You think that Hillary Clinton’s emails contained highly sensitive material? Well go see this show at Fenway Park and then see what you think! OK, so I stole that punchline from The Onion book Our Dumb Century. Seriously though, two of the key players in the heart-on-one’s-sleeve brand of songwriting that dominated the charts in the early 1970s will take the field on Wednesday. Between the two of them, there are sure to be more hits than an average Red Sox game.

August 4 (doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 8)
Lynn Auditorium, Lynn, MA

The current line-up of the arguably quintessential English prog-rock group consists of veterans Steve Howe (guitar), Geoff Downes (keyboard), and Alan White (drums) along with vocalist Jon Davison and multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood (click for Arts Fuse interview). The presently underway “Album Series” tour has included in toto performances of Fragile, Drama, and sides one and four of Tales From Topographic Oceans. Soak up the epic of it all on President Obama’s (and my mom’s) birthday at Lynn Auditorium.

The Go-Go’s with Kaya Stewart
August 8 (doors at 7 p.m., show at 8)
House of Blues, Boston, MA

Although the band’s recording career and output was limited to three albums released between 1981 and 1984 (leaving out a 2001 reunion album), The Go-Go’s guaranteed themselves pop music immortality with a debut that spent six weeks at #1. Having undertaken modest treks in several of the current decade’s years, The Go-Go’s are now on a farewell tour. Although declarations of a band’s demise are frequently exaggerated or premature, one should probably presume that August 8 will be his or her last chance to see The Go-Go’s live in the Boston area.

August 9 (show at 7 p.m., show at 8)
Royale, Boston, MA

Founded in Boston by Throwing Muses’ Tanya Donnelly in 1991, Belly is—twenty years after disbanding—still popular enough around these parts to sell out one gig and create ample demand for a second one. The Friday, August 12 show is sold out, but tickets are still available for the one on Tuesday, August 9.

Rich Robinson with Bonnie Bishop
August 12 (doors at 8 p.m., show at 9)
Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA

Although far from fashionable, The Black Crowes’ served up one gold or platinum album after another (including a chart-topper) throughout the 1990s. However, any band fronted by two siblings is unlikely to survive the long haul, and the band announced the most recent of its three break-ups in January 2015. Thankfully, Chris and Rich Robinson have always kept busy outside of the Crowes. The former’s eponymous Brotherhood released a new album on July 29, and the latter’s latest solo effort came out late last month. The younger Robinson’s tour includes a stop at Brighton Music Hall on August 12

Fishbone with The Nephrok! Allstars
August 13
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

Ska, funk, metal, punk, and rock. None of these styles are off limits for Fishbone, the LA-formed band that released its debut in 1986 and was the subject of an award-winning documentary (Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone) in 2010. The septet that will heat up The Sinclair on August 13 includes original members Angelo Moore, Norwood Fisher, and Dirty Walt. The Boston-based Nephrok! Allstars will provide support for what is sure to be a dangerously funky evening.

Other upcoming shows in the Boston area include Donavon Frankenreiter (with Tom Curren, August 6, Brighton Music Hall), George Thorogood (with The Mike Eldred Trio, August 6, The Wilbur, Boston, MA), Anders Osborne (with Oliver John-Rodgers, August 12, The Cabot, Beverly, MA), and X (August 15, Brighton Music Hall).

— Blake Maddux

World Music and Roots

Tony Joe White
August 4
Bull Run, Shirley, MA

It may have been Californians Creedence Clearwater Revisited who took swamp rock to the charts, but Louisiana native Tony Joe White was always the real deal. Best known for “Polk Salad Annie” and for writing “Rainy NIght in Georgia,” he also composed several of Tina Turner’s ’80s smashes. Today he usually tours with just his wah-wah guitar and a drummer named Bam Bam. This is his first New England show in 9 years.

August 6, 3 to 9 p.m.
Lawn on D, South Boston, MA

This “porchfest” really has nothing to do with the Somerville and JP events which bring local musicians into residential driveways and porches. But the event does boast several of Boston’s best ensembles, including jazz masters the Makanda Project and the Ethiopian grooves of the Debo Band, recent ArtsFuse interview subject.

Dervish will be performing at the Museum of Fine Arts

Dervish will be performing at the Museum of Fine Arts on August 10. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

August 10
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Some traditional Irish outfits seem to show up with a new lineup every year. But soaring vocalist Cathy Jordan and her five multi-instrumentalist bandmates haven’t had a new member since fiddler Tom Morrow joined nearly two decades ago. Sligo’s musical heroes always offer a wide and lively mix of jigs, reels, polkas, and ballads.

Eric Taylor
August 14
Club Passim, Cambridge, MA

Another artist whose songs are better known than his name, Texan Eric Taylor has penned a number of tunes for both Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett. His live shows combine his gravelly vocals with stories of a life spent in music.

— Noah Schaffer

Classical Music

Tanglewood on Parade
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
August 2, 8 p.m.
Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, MA

The Festival’s annual celebration of its many facets actually begins at 2:30 p.m. with TMC chamber recitals, includes an observance of the 50th anniversary of the BU Tanglewood Institute, and culminates with the 8 p.m. BSO and Pops appearances followed by fireworks. This year’s final concert includes music by Michael Gandolfi, Mozart, Ravel, and John Williams and – rectifying one error of the Pops’ July 4th extravaganza on the Esplanade – closes with the 1812 Overture.

Bronfman plays Liszt
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
August 5, 8 p.m.
Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, MA

The stupendously gifted Yefim Bronfman plays Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 2 in the middle of a program that’s framed by a pair of serenades: Dvorak’s one for strings and Brahms’s Second. Also on tap is Britten’s arrangement of Mahler’s What the Flowers Tell Me. Giancarlo Guerrero conducts.

John Adams’ Harmonielehre
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
August 6, 8 p.m.
Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, MA

It’s hard to imagine a recent-ish piece better suited to a summer’s night’s concert in the Berkshires than Adams’ 1985 masterpiece. Guerrero conducts and, for the second night in a row, is joined by a superstar pianist, in this case the magnificent Daniil Trifonov, who plays Chopin’s Concerto no. 2. Richard Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel und seine lustige Streiche rounds out the evening.

Weill & Shostakovich
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
August 8, 8 p.m.
Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA

What’s better than Dawn Upshaw and Sanford Sylvan singing Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 14? Not much – but Nic Muni directing The Seven Deadly Sins probably comes close. Muni, who brilliantly coordinated Odyssey Opera’s Powder Her Face last summer, takes on the great Weill/Brecht collaboration, here performed and conducted by TMC Fellows (to be announced).

Landmarks Lollapalooza
Presented by Boston Landmarks Orchestra
August 10, 7 p.m.
Hatch Shell, Boston, MA

John Adams’ thudding Lollapalooza kicks off the evening and things wrap up with excerpts from Grieg’s Peer Gynt; in between comes a world premiere (Gonzalo Grau’s Elements), a warhorse (Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony), and an American treasure (the overture to Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band!). In all, it’s one of the quirkiest, most inviting programs to be found this summer. In addition to the BLO, the concert includes members of the HONK! Festival, Longy Summer Music Academy, and ZUMIX.

Pianist Emanuel Ex --

In Tanglewood, pianist Emmanuel Ax will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 22. Photo: BSO.org.

Dutoit conducts La mer
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
August 12, 8 p.m.
Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, MA

There’s much to like here. On the one hand, Charles Dutoit conducts repertoire that hardly anyone does better (Debussy’s La mer and Ravel’s La Valse). Then, you’ve got Emmanuel Ax playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 22. To top it off, the night opens with Otto Nicolai’s Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor, not necessarily a BSO staple these days, but a fine piece well worth hearing live all the same.

Complete Beethoven Symphonies: Year 2
Presented by Monadnock Music
August 13, 7:30 p.m.
Peterborough Town House, Peterborough (N.H.)

Gil Rose conducts the Monadnock Music Festival Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphonies nos. 4 and 7, the second installment of a five-year survey of the complete Beethoven symphonies. An after party at the Waterhouse follows this concluding event of Monadnock Music’s season.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Pianist YeiFei Wang
August 2 at 7:30 p.m.
At the Walnut Hill School, 12 Highland Street, Natick, MA

Part of the 25th Annual Music Festival at Walnut Hill, YeiFei Wang performs a program that includes the music of Domenico Scarlatti (Sonata in B minor, K. 87, Sonata in D major, K. 430, Sonata in D minor, K. 9), Beethoven (Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111), Carl Vine (Toccatissimo), and Frederic Chopin (Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58).

Faculty Concert
August 5 at 7:30 p.m.
At Walnut Hill School/Keiter Center, 12 Highland Street, Natick, MA

Part of  the 25th Annual Music Festival at Walnut Hill. The concert features the school’s faculty stepping out to perform a program that includes John Harbison’s Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano San Antonio, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Cello in Es-dur (1803), Op. 38, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, K. 493, and Anton Arensky’s Quartet in A minor for violin, viola and two cellos Op. 35.

Borromeo String Quartet will perform at the

Borromeo String Quartet will perform at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum over the next couple of weeks.

Borromeo String Quartet
July 31 at 1:30 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA

The program for the esteemed string quartet: Bach’s Preludes and Fugues from Well Tempered Klavier Book 1, Ligeti’s String Quartet No. 1, and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59, No. 2.

Borromeo String Quartet
August 7 at 1:30 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA

The program for the esteemed string quartet: Bach’s Preludes and Fugues from Well Tempered Klavier Book 1, Ravel’s String Quartet, and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59, No. 2.

Opera del West
August 12 at 8 p.m. and 14 at 2 p.m.
Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis Street, Framingham, MA

Brenda Huggins and Eve Budnick stage a production of Gaetano Donizett’s opera buffa, Don Pasquale; it will be performed in Italian, with projected English Supertitles.

Borromeo Quartet plays Adès
Presented by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
August 14 at 1:30 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA

The Borromeo’s play Thomas Adès’ mesmeric Arcadiana in between excerpts from Book 1 of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and Beethoven’s exuberant Rasumovsky Quartet, op. 59 no. 3.

Borromeo String Quartet
August 14 at 1:30 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA

The program for the esteemed string quartet: Bach’s Preludes and Fugues from Well Tempered Klavier Book 1,
Ades’ Arcadiana, Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 59, No. 3.

— Susan Miron

Visual Arts

Duane Michals: Photographs from the Floating World
August 6 – October 30
Bennington Museum, VT

The small upstate New York town of Cambridge, the focal point of this exhibition, describes itself as “an eclectic community filled with families, business people, artists, retired people, and many others who have fallen in love with our small town atmosphere.” The show’s subtitle, though, is worlds away. Photographs from the Floating World references “Pictures from the Floating World,” or ukiyo-e, the name given to the popular woodblock prints that often depicted the denizens of the Edo Period’s “Floating World,” then Tokyo’s bustling, colorful, considerably less than reputable entertainment district. Duane Michaels, best known for his quasi-narrative, serial photographs — usually in black and white — here turns to vivid color for his images. Besides Japanese prints and paintings, Michaels’ iCambridge mages suggest Bonnard and Vuillard, modern French painters of domestic intimacy. As in much of his work, Michals’ handwritten inscriptions to his photographs are far more than simple captions — they open his photographs up to endless interpretation.

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence
August 9 – December 4
MFA, Boston, MA

In Renaissance Florence, the della Robbia family was famous for their terra-cotta sculptures, glazed in clear, brilliant colors in a technique first invented by patriarch Luca della Robbia in the 15th century. The glossy surfaces of Luca’s works, particularly admired for their brilliant whites and deep, cerulean blues, were especially well adapted to the decorative flat reliefs and garlands that his workshop often produced.

Luca passed his methods as a family secret to his nephew and collaborator Andrea, who, in turn, taught them to his five sons. The family’s prodigious output eventually graced buildings all over Florence — churches, palaces and, because of the weather proofing the glazes gave to friable terra-cotta, even street corners and outdoor public places. After about a century, the family secret was lost, and has never quite been duplicated by the workshop’s many imitators. The della Robbia’s fade-proof colors and sweetly gentle subject matter, both religious and secular, made their work popular with American collectors as well. This exhibition of about fifty objects is drawn mostly from American collections, along with six important loans from Italy, never before seen in the United States.

Eric Avery, Woodcut printed in black on Mexican wrapping paper. 1990 Smith College Museum of Art.

Eric Avery, Woodcut printed in black on Mexican wrapping paper. 1990 Smith College Museum of Art.

Eric Avery: AIDS WORK
August 12 – December 11
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

Gay artist and physician Dr. Eric Avery was deeply involved in thirty years of the AIDS crisis, professionally, as both an artist and a doctor who often worked with AIDS patients, and personally. This exhibition includes more than 30 prints and books by Dr. Avery, acquired by Smith College in 2014. Alhough the artwork documents the devastating stages of a grim epidemic, it is also remarkably optimistic. “If one person, after seeing one of my art actions,” says the artist, “were motivated to change an HIV risk behavior and did not get HIV, then this would be my evidence that art can save lives.”

— Peter Walsh

Author Events

Reif Larsen and Laura Van Den Berg
I Am Radar and Find Me
August 1 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

Two of the brightest new stars in the literary world read from their new work — it is an unbeatable pairing. Larsen’s novel follows its hero’s picaresque travels from WW2 era Norway to Bosnia, Khmer Rouge Cambodia,  and contemporary Congo. Van Den Berg’s debut novel tells the story of a young Bostonian, addicted to cough syrup, who is determined to  change her dreary life.

Jeffrey Toobin
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
In conversation with David Boeri
August 3 at 6 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30)
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge MA
$5 tickets

The bestselling author and legal analyst reads and discusses his new book, which examines the story of Patty Hearst. The woman, an heiress to the Hearst fortune, was kidnapped as a college sophomore and eventually converted by her captors to become a member of the SLA, a nutty underground group. Toobin’s book explores the story that defined an era, and the truth behind Hearst’s celebrated version of Stockholm Syndrome.

Penn Jillette
Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales
August 5 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

With his sixtieth birthday approaching and his weight reaching 330 pounds, the magician and social commentator decided it was time for a diet. Never one to do things by halves, Penn enlisted the help of Crazy Ray, a former NASA scientist who put him on a strange “potato diet” which apparently worked wonders. Pass the potato chips?

Eric Morse
What Is Punk?
August 7 at 11:30 a.m.
Newtonville Books, West Newton MA

Punk rock is for everyone, and author Eric Morse wrote a children’s book illustrating the history of punk’s glorious riot to youngsters everywhere. Join him for an all-ages singalong featuring classics by the likes of The Ramones, The Clash, and Iggy Pop.


Annie DeWitt
White Nights in Split Town City
August 9 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

The co-founder of the literary magazine Gigantic comes to Harvard Square to read and sign copies of her first novel. The narrative is set in 1990, a time when the Internet  is about to change the culture forever. Meanwhile, a young girl in a rural town negotiates the twists and turns of adolescence.

Brad Watson
Miss Jane
August 10 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

The complexities of gender very much in the news these days, so it’s a good time for the National Book Award nominated Watson to write about the unique lifestyle of Jane Chisolm, a Mississippi woman in the early 20th Century who was born with a rare genital defect that causes her to be “unsuitable” for the standard social roles allotted to women, such as marriage and childbirth.

Terry Tempest Williams
The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks
August 11 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

The National Park Service is about to celebrate its centennial, just in time to watch the conservatives do what they can to put the kibosh on conservation: a lesser known part of the party’s current platform calls for efforts to privatize our legendary public parks. (According to ThinkProgress, “The provision calls for an immediate full-scale disposal of “certain” public lands, without defining which lands it would apply to, leaving national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and national forests apparently up for grabs and vulnerable to development, privatization, or transfer to state ownership.”) Good thing that we have a veteran journalist to explore the enduring value of our bucolic park systems through personal memoir, history, and social critique.

— Matt Hanson

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