Coming Attractions: August 13 through 31 — What Will Light Your Fire

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

By The Arts Fuse Staff


Director Jean Renoir, circa 1938.

Director Jean Renoir, circa 1938.

The Complete Jean Renoir
June through August
Harvard Film Archives, Cambridge, MA

The HFA presents a retrospective of works from one the masters of cinema. Arts Fuse feature.

Feed Your Head: Films from 1967
through September 2
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

50 years ago the Summer of Love welcomed the release of several innovative and/or significant American films. The MFA series will screen:

The Graduate
August 20

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
August 13

The Dirty Dozen
August 13
August 19

Cool Hand Luke
August 17

In the Heat of the Night
August 18

You Only Live Twice
August 18

Valley of the Dolls
August 19

In Cold Blood
August 20

Reservoir Dogs
August 15 & 16, 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Cambridge, MA

Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 directorial debut, starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and Chris Penn, has became a cult classic. See it again for two nights only on the big screen at the Coolidge.

Marjorie Prime
Aug 18 through 20
Regent Theater, Arlington, MA

Lois Smith revisits her role as Marjorie Prime in the film version of the 2015 Pulitzer Finalist in Drama. Smith is supported by a cast including Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins and Geena Davis. It’s the age of artificial intelligence and an 85-year-old Marjorie — a jumble of disparate, fading memories — has a handsome new companion who’s programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. Directed by Michael Almaryeda, who made a splashy debut with his 2000 film version of Hamlet, which was set in the modern day corporate world. Four shows only. Check the schedule.

Dave Made a Maze
August 18 through 24, various times
Brattle Theater, Cambridge, MA

“Dave Made a Maze stars Nick Thune as Dave, as a struggling artist who never seems to complete his projects. When his girlfriend Annie leaves him to his own devices for the weekend, Dave constructs a physics-defying cardboard labyrinth in their living room. When Annie returns to find her boyfriend lost within his own booby-trapped maze, she, alongside a peculiar band of friends and acquaintances, embarks on a quest to rescue Dave before it’s too late.” (Slamdance)

"Menashe" opens August 18th at the West Newton Cinema.

“Menashe” opens August 18th at the West Newton Cinema.

Opens August 18
West Newton Cinema, West Newton, MA

“The film is loosely based on the real life of star Menashe Lustig, who plays a widower, a good-hearted but somewhat hapless grocery (also named Menashe) who is forbidden from taking custody of his son unless he remarries, as Hasidic law dictates that a child must be raised by a mother and a father. Complicating matters is a rule that prohibits Hasidim from touching people of the opposite sex unless they are blood relations; one of Menashe’s concerns is that even if he remarries, his new wife could not even give his son a hug. As the one-year anniversary of his wife’s death approaches and Menashe is allowed a few days with his son, the pressure for him to marry gets even stronger — as does Menashe’s resistance.” (Washington Post)

— Tim Jackson

Visual Arts

"Saint George and the Dragon" at the

“Saint George and the Dragon” at the Museum of Russian Icons.

Fantastic Beasts in Iconography
Through September 24
Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union Street, Clinton, MA

This exhibit emerges straight from the pages of ancient bestiaries; it is a pictorial fantasia made up of the natural symbols of the Russian Orthodox Church. One finds the usual creatures, such as the dove and the donkey, along with the more unusual creatures, such as Hellmouth, the cavernous representation of the underworld. There are also alternative images of Eastern and Western dragons. Viewers are encouraged to ponder the symbolism and histories of these magnificent beasts; at the time of these drawings, they were thought to be real. The presentation includes over 50 icons and artifacts, as well as six mounted dragon heads, created by Worcester artist Hilary Scott.

Steve McQueen – Ashes
Through February 25
West Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA

“Life and death have always lived side by side, in every aspect of life. We live with ghosts in our everyday.” – Steve McQueen. Appearing in the U.S. for the first time after its admired reception at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, this two-sided video installation contains footage of a young black fisherman and a documentary about his death, a victim of drug violence. This exhibit is being shown alongside the work of Jamaican artist Nari Ward, which should spark some interesting public dialogue, given that the ICA/Boston recently presented some of the work of Dana Schutz. The young white female artist was recently criticized in the mainstream media for her controversial painting of the corpse of Emmett Till.

Stitched into Memory
Through September 9
Waterfront Square, 290 Congress St, Boston

Adire (tie and dye), the resist-dyeing technique of the Yoruba people, is one of the oldest textile traditions in the world. This large scale installation proudly celebrates Boston’s African Diaspora communities, past and present. The show’s towering 30’ by 9’ textile mural was created by local artist and educator Stephen Hamilton, who worked with nine Boston teenagers for over four months, teaching them the West African traditions of dying and weaving. The mural’s traditional patterning recalls the image of expanding stars shooting upwards to the heavens on a dark night sky.

Hans Hofmann: Works on Paper
through September 3
Portland Museum of Art, 7 Congress Square, Portland, ME

It is a particular treat when you are given the chance to discover the less charted nooks and crannies of an acclaimed artist’s repertoire. In this case, it is the driven, intimate, and voluptuous works on paper by the celebrated German-American abstract painter and theoretician Hans Hofmann. His famed pictures have gotten the lion’s share of attention, but these works, which he created throughout the entirety of his vibrant career, are a must-see.

James Turrell – Into The Light
Through 2018 (perhaps longer)
MASS MoCA, 1040 Mass Moca Way, North Adams, MA

“My work is more about your seeing than it is about my seeing, although it is a product of my seeing. I’m also interested in the sense of presence of space; that is space where you feel a presence, almost an entity — that physical feeling and power that space can give.” Trained in perceptual psychology and fascinated with light since his childhood, American artist James Turrell pulls viewers into immersive environments of optic brilliance; his visuals raise questions about our powers of perception. The famed illusionist of air and space has explored light as a physical medium for over half a century. Through an undetermined date in 2018, MASS MoCA will house a multi–decade retrospective of his work, customizing its galleries for his installation — two of which have limited viewing space, so make your appointments in advance.

Through August 19
Samson Gallery, 450 Harrison Avenue &/@ 29 Thayer Street, Boston, MA

This South End gallery boldly participates in the contemporary conversation about race in the Boston area. This multimedia group exhibition of eight artists features diverse and powerful work that explores the pervasive realities and consequences of a history of white privilege, and the wounds of racism. Boston-based artist Steve Locke states that his work “reconciles a violent history with the contemporary spectacle of state violence within a domestic sphere.”

Artist Zhang Peng stands with his paintings “Fall Streak Hole” (left) and “Dream of Starry Soul” (right) on July 21 at the Art Block Gallery. (Image courtesy of Ling-Mei Wong.)

Artist Zhang Peng stands with his painting “Dream of Starry Soul” (right) at the Art Block Gallery. Photo: courtesy of Ling-Mei Wong.

Celestial Body Oil Paintings by Peng Zhang
Through August 20
gallery@ArtBlock, 725 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA

This small contemporary gallery usually showcases local artists, but it has made an exception for Peng Zhang, the dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design at Shenyang Normal University, China. Re-rendering the celestial bodies, as photographed through a telescope, into painted pictures, his large works dramatize the emergence of Chinese painting from its Western influences. His vibrantly hued oil works of otherworldly turmoil sit somewhere between between realism and impression. Still, they seem to pay a unique homage to abstraction; they channel the seeping forms of Clyfford Still as well as the impulsive and gestural excitement of Joan Mitchell and Jackson Pollock. That said, Zhang’s work stands in a realm of its own — it is difficult to place the exact source of its layered and bold sublimity.

— Aimee Cotnoir


Camille A. Brown presents BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play. Photo: Christopher Duggan.

Camille A. Brown presents BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play. Photo: Christopher Duggan.

Camille A. Brown’s BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play
August 13
Ted Shawn Theatre
Becket, MA

Jacob’s Pillow’s award-winner dancer Camille A. Brown presents BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play—a “joyful and moving exploration of childhood innocence, girlhood awareness, and maturation of the Black female through her lens.”

Essence of India returns with festivities and live performance.

Essence of India returns with festivities and live performance.

Essence of India
August 19, 2-7:30 p.m.
Acton, MA

Awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s prestigious Gold Star Award in 2016, Essence of India returns, this time collaborating with participants from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The event includes staged performances, a magic show, and cultural booths, including henna, jewelry, and spices.

Compañía Irene Rodríguez
August 16-20
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
Becket, MA

Cuban dancer and choreographer Irene Rodríguez appears at the Pillow this week. Hailed for her work in fusing Afro-Cuban dance with flamenco, Rodríguez is joined by six dancers and an ensemble of musicians.

Summer Sizzle Dance Festival
August 19 at 7 p.m.
The Dance Complex
Cambridge, MA

Enjoy a free, informal showing of work created by Hollis Bartlett, McKersin Previlus, and Dante Brown in the Summer Sizzle Dance Festival. The event also includes pieces developed during Dante Brown’s Repertory class, and new choreography by Emily Beattie.

And further afield…

Wiscasset Art Walk
August 31, 5-8 p.m.
Downtown Wiscasset
Wiscasset, ME

Head to the beautiful shore of Wiscasset, ME, for its August Art Walk. Boston’s Luminarium Dance Company makes its annual trip to the coast to dance through Wiscasset’s many art galleries, shops, and sidewalks, interacting with viewers as they traverse downtown.

— Merli V. Guerra

World Music and Roots

Debo Band and Alsarah and the Nubatones
August 23
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

The Ethio-funk of Jamaica Plain’s Debo Band always rocks the MFA when the group plays the museum’s courtyard. Early arrival is strongly suggested in order to catch Alsarah and the Nubatones. Their East African sound may be danceable, but it also sends a strong message. Alsarah’s compositions are influenced by the “songs of return,” music composed by refugees from Nubia, who were displaced when the Aswan High Dam was built in the parts of what is now present-day Egypt and Sudan.

August 27
Atwoods, Cambridge, MA

Last year the Arts Fuse profiled the Southwest Louisiana Cajun and swamp pop sounds of the Revelers. They’re back for a tour that includes a local date at Atwoods followed by performing sets (for dancing and listening) at the Rhythm and Roots Festival in Rhode Island.

Small World – Big Ears: John Hughes & Klezwoods
August 28
Club Passim, Cambridge, MA

Here’s an exciting new project from Club Passim: A monthly series that will pair musicians from different musical backgrounds and cultures. The first installment includes West African kora master John Hughes and the fun klezmer virtuosity of Boston’s Klezwoods.

— Noah Schaffer

Rock, Pop, and Folk

Retro Futura Tour 2017
August 14 (doors at 5:30, show at 7)
Lynn Auditorium, Lynn, MA

Retro Futura bills itself “America’s Premier 80s Concert Tour,” and it would be difficult to dispute the claim. The live package includes Howard Jones (click for my interview with him), The English Beat, Katrina Leskanich (from Katrina & the Waves, click for my interview with her), Modern English, Paul Young, and Men Without Hats. Take this sure-to-be-delightful trip down memory lane at Lynn Auditorium on August 14.

Marshall Crenshaw y Los Straitjackets with Roy Sludge
Friday, August 18 (doors at 7, show at 8)
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

Clad in Mexican wrestler masks, the Nashville instrumental combo Los Straitjackets has been recording and touring with Nick Lowe in recent years. In May, they released an album of wordless versions of classic Lowe songs. Now they are on tour with the Jesus of Cool’s roots-rocking, power-popping American kindred spirit, Marshall Crenshaw (click for my 2014 interview with him). The Johnny Cash-inspired sounds of Roy Sludge, whose Boston Music Award-nominated 2011 album Too Drunk to Truck includes a song called “I Got Hammered (Then I Got Nailed),” will open the show at The Sinclair on Friday. I am not sure that a doctor could prescribe a better way to rid oneself of the working week blues.

Waxahatchee with Palehound and Outer Spaces
August 19 (doors at 6, show at 6:30)
Royale, Boston, MA

Alabama-born singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield—better known as Waxahatchee—has built her well-deserved stellar reputation by equaling if not topping her previous efforts with each new album. This year’s Out in the Storm continues that trend and has garnered some of most laudatory reviews of her career. Waxahatchee will headline a bill that includes Boston’s Palehound and Baltimore’s Outer Spaces at Royale on Saturday night.

The Flamin’ Groovies with Muck and the Mires and The Downbeat 5
August 22 (show at 8)
Ralph’s Rock Diner, Worcester, MA

To say that I recommend this show to those within an hour’s drive of the Worcester area would be an understatement. It would be more correct to say that I insist on it. The promise of gems likes “Shake Some Action,” “You Tore Me Down, “Yes It’s True,” Slow Death,” and “Teenage Head” are enough to make me do so. However, longtime bandmates Cyril Jordan (click for my 2015 Arts Fuse interview) and Waltham native Chris Wilson (click for my 2013 Somerville Times interview) are set to unveil their first collection of new material together in nearly four full decades on September 22. For an intoxicating aural tour of what has been and a mouthwatering taste of what will be, get yourself to Ralph’s Diner on Tuesday.

Other upcoming shows include: Mark Lanegan Band at Brighton Music Hall (August 19), Vérité at Brighton Music Hall (August 24), Brick + Mortar at ONCE Somerville (August 25), and Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown with Hirsh Gardner at 9 Wallis (August 25)

— Blake Maddux


Lora Lee Gayer (Billie Hathaway) and Jeff McCarthy (Joseph Lindy) star in "A Legendary Romance" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Photo: Daniel Rader.

Lora Lee Gayer (Billie Hathaway) and Jeff McCarthy (Joseph Lindy) star in “A Legendary Romance” at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Photo: Daniel Rader.

A Legendary Romance, Music and lyrics by Geoff Morrow, Book by Timothy Prager. Directed by Lonny Price. Staged by the Williamstown Theatre Festival on its Main Stage, Williamstown, MA, through August 20.

“An intimate new musical” that explores “the intersection of loyalty, love, and ambition.” “Back in 1950, film producer Joseph Lindy (Jeff McCarthy) was on top of the world, making hit after hit with the love of his life and leading lady, Billie Hathaway (Lora Lee Gayer). Nearly four decades later, retired and forgotten, he must approve for release a version of his abandoned, cinematic masterpiece, an autobiographical film now altered irrevocably by a young producer.” Seems to be the season for shows about aging men. Arts Fuse review

Blood on the Snow by Patrick Gabridge. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Staged by The Bostonian Society at the Old State House, 206 Washington Street, Boston, MA, through August 20.

Historical drama with a kick. Gabridge’s play “dramatizes the events immediately following the infamous Boston Massacre and is staged in the Council Chamber of the Old State House, the very room where the discussion took place nearly 250 years ago. This site-specific play sold out its critically-acclaimed World Premiere in the spring of 2016.” This is an opportunity to catch an encore presentation.

Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo by Edward Albee. Directed by Eric Hill. At the Unicorn Theatre at the Berkshires Theatre Group’s Stockbridge Campus, Stockbridge, MA, through August 26.

The evening joins Edward Albee’s one-act play The Zoo Story ( 1959), which launched his career, with its prequel, Homelife (2004) written 45 years later. Arts Fuse review of the Zeitgeist Stage’s 2011 production of Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo.

Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe. Directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer. Staged by Chester Theatre Company in Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA, through August 13.

The New England premiere of a one-man show: “When a boy’s mother attempts suicide, he starts a list of everything that’s brilliant in the world to convince her to stay: things with stripes, ice cream, Christopher Walken’s hair.” Joel Ripka stars. (“For the first time in its tenure at The Town Hall Theatre, CTC will be turning the space into a theatre in the round. Both Every Brilliant Thing and CTC’s final show of the season, the American premiere of Folk, will be done in the round, and no seat will be farther than five rows from the stage.”) Arts Fuse review

Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Directed by Tyler Taustin. Staged by the Brown Box Theatre, at various outdoor locations in the Boston area (check the company’s website), through August 27.

A free performance of the Bard’s tragedy about resisting the siren call of the “undiscovered country”: “Shakespeare’s pivotal work delves deep into the recesses of human consciousness in a raw and unforgiving examination of a treacherous political landscape and one Prince’s struggle with the weighty consequences of action, inaction, pain, numbness, and the ever-terrifying unknown.”

Persona by Ingmar Bergman. Adapted by and directed by Robert Knopf. Staged by the Harbor Stage Company at 15 Kendrick Avenue, Wellfleet Harbor, Wellfleet, MA, through September 2.

The world premiere of what could be a very interesting transfer from film — Bergman’s modernist meditation on the instability of identity — to the stage. “When a traumatized actress and her talkative nurse seek refuge at a seaside retreat, their relationship with the natural world — and each other — prompts a heady exploration of identity, isolation, and intimacy.”

Out of the Mouths of Babes written and directed by Israel Horowitz. Staged by Gloucester Stage, 267 Main Street, Gloucester, MA, through September 2.

The New England premiere of a new comedy by Israel Horowitz: “Four women arrive in Paris for the funeral of the 100-year-old man who loved each of them–at times variously, at times simultaneously. For 24 hours they share his apartment, delicious secrets, and a dead cat.” Paula Plum stars. The script is currently en route to its premiere in London’s West End. (There will be a live cat onstage in this production.)

Actually by Anna Ziegler. Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. Staged by the Williamstown Theatre Festival (Co-World Premiere with Geffen Playhouse) on the Nikos Stage, Williamstown, MA, through August 20.

A world premiere of a script about intimacy and responsibility, power and provocation, privilege and protocol. “Amber and Tom are freshmen at Princeton University, where their experiences so far have only two things in common: drunken parties and a desire to fit in. But when they meet, their common experience becomes anything but, and their moral mettle is put to the test.”

A glimpse of Praxis Theatre's production of "Julius Caesar."

A glimpse of Praxis Theatre’s production of “Julius Caesar.”

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Directed by Kim Carrell. Staged by Praxis Stage at a pair of outdoor venues, Danehy Park and Longfellow Park, through August 27. Check the company’s website for times and locations.

A free production of the Bard’s version of regime change in ancient Rome: “…an exploration of the line between patriotism and personal ambition, the resistance to living as an underling, and the human costs of the choices leaders make to ‘let slip the dogs of war.'” See Arts Fuse interview.

The Doctor’s Dilemma by George Bernard Shaw. Directed by Gus Kaikkonen. Staged by the Peterborough Players at 55 Hadley Road in Peterborough, NH, August 16 through 27.

A revival of GBS’s wonderful 1906 tragicomedy about love, male privilege, art, germs, whose life is worth saving, and the hunger for medical profit.

Folk by Tom Welles. Director by James Warwick. Staged by the Chester Theatre Company at the Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road in Chester, MA, from August 17 through 27.

The American premiere of a “play infused with song.” “For Winnie, a Guinness-hoisting nun, and Stephen, a shy maintenance worker, Friday nights are for playing and singing. Until fifteen-year-old Kayleigh lobs a brick through Winnie’s window. These three band together into the unlikeliest of folk trios, and an equally unexpected family.”

Burn All Night, Book and Lyrics by Andy Mientus. Music by Van Hughes, Nick LaGrasta, and Brett Moses. Choreography by Sam Pinkleton. Directed by Jenny Koons. Staged by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, August 18 through September 8.

The world premiere of yet another musical from the American Repertory Theater geared to the appetites of younger theatergoers. “In an age of uncertainty, four lost souls come to the city in search of themselves. An unflinching look at being young on the eve of global catastrophe.” The world may be ending — so let’s sing, sing, sing.

Plank by John Greiner-Ferris. Directed by Megan Schy Gleeson. Staged by Alley Cat Theater at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA, August 25 through September 16.

The world premiere from a local playwright of a “the funny, thoughtful, irreverent, sometimes sad story about a woman who is happy and content, adrift on a plank of wood in the middle of the ocean. Then she’s “rescued.” Plank addresses some of the most important issues of our time including climate change, refugees, the TSA, Sponge Bob, and how certain political parties resemble swarms of killer bees.”

Festival@First 9: Wicked Boston! Staged by Theatre@First at The Rockwell at 255 Elm Street, Somerville, August 18 through 26.

A fun, 80-minute show that includes six short pieces (including The Hunchback of Boston Common and Masshole Transit) about the past, present, and future of Boston.

— Bill Marx


Rockport Jazz Festival
August 13
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA.

Rockport Music rounds up its week of heavy jazz programming with the all-female Diva Jazz Orchestra (2 p.m.), led by drummer Sherrie Maricle, and singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli performing with Daniel Jobim to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic collaboration between Frank Sinatra and Jobim’s grandfather, Antonio Carlos Jobim (7 p.m.).

Mika and Richard Stoltzman
August 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Superstar classical/crossover clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and his wife, the marimba player Mika Stoltzman, celebrate a new CD, joined by the great bassist Eddie Gomez, drummer Kevin Hiromoto, and pianist Peter John Stoltzman (Richard’s son).

Cyrille Aimée
August 17 at 8 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA.

Aimée, winner of both the Montreux and Sarah Vaughan international vocal competitions, has a supple voice, virtuoso chops an inventive approach to the traditions of “gypsy jazz” and international styles she was exposed to growing up in Samois-sur-Seine, France, daughter of a Dominican mother and a French father.

Andrea Brachfield
August 17 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

The virtuoso flutist and educator Andrea Brachfield, who took time out from touring to raise a family, has returned with chops and taste intact. She brings a fine band to Scullers: pianist Bill O’Connell, bassist Harvie S., and drummer Jason Tiemann.

Clifton Anderson
August 19 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Trombonist Clifton Anderson is probably best known for his many tours in the band of his uncle, Sonny Rollins. But his most recent album as a leader showed tasty writing and arrangements, as well as support from players like Monty Alexander, Warren Wolf, Kenny Garrett, and Wallace Roney.

Eliot Cardinaux Quartet
August 19 at 8 p.m.
Third Life Studio, Somerville, MA.

The Dayton, Ohio-born pianist Eliot Cardinaux is joined by trombonist Jeb Bishop, bassist Kit Demos, and drummer Gary Fieldman for what should be an evening of free and directed improv that leans more toward transparent textures and varied dynamics than all-out assault.

Mustafa Demirci and Volkan Efe
August 23 at 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA.

Mustafa Demirici and Volkan Efe call this program “Echoes of Istantul,” but the propensity for swing and improvisation and the kind of scales and modes that jazz musicians find irresistible makes this worth a mention outside the world music listings. Also: they’re good. Demirci plays kanun (Turkish zither) and Efe plays oud and ney. Both sing.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band
August 24 at 8 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA.

Before there was Rebirth, Hot 8, Treme, or any number of latter-day New Orleans-style marching brass bands, there was the Dirty Dozen, who brought a modern jazz sensibility to this ages-old tradition more than 40 years ago. If you like any of those other bands, here’s where they came from.

Joyce Moreno
August 25 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA

Say “Joyce” to Brazilian music fans and they know you mean Joyce Moreno, a singer-songwriting legend. Scullers has been a regular stop for her over the years.

Joshua Redman Quartet
August 26 at 8 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA.

Saxophonist and composer Joshua Redman returns from various special projects to front a quartet with longstanding bandmates Aaron Goldberg (piano) and Reuben Rogers (bass), and drummer Marcus Gilmore. At this point, each of these players makes any band they’re in worth hearing.

Lauren Henderson Quartet
August 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA

Singer Lauren Henderson combines learned authority with a natural vocal charisma in her mix of Afro-Latin, flamenco, jazz, and pop. It would be easy for Henderson to overplay her hand, but she favors focus and restraint. (Her debut recording featured pianist Sullivan Fortner, who these days plays with Cécile McLorin Salvant.)

Marquis Hill Blacktet
August 26 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

Trumpeter and composer Marquis Hill’s various honors include winning the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition. His Blacktet includes saxophonist Joshua Johnson, vibes player Justin Thomas, bassist Jeremiah Hunt, and drummer Makaya McCraven.

Joe Hunt Quartet
August 27 at 8:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge, MA.

For this edition of his Lilypad residency, distinguished drummer Joe Hunt (George Russell, Stan Getz, Bill Evans) convenes an especially formidable band: tenor saxophonist Rick DiMuzio, alto and baritone saxophonist Allan Chase, and bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa.

— Jon Garelick

Classical Music

Festival of Contemporary Music
Presented by Tanglewood Music Festival
August 13 and 14, times vary
Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA

This year’s FCM, curated by Kathryn Bates, Jacob Greenberg, and Nadia Sirota, examines a wide swath of new and recent music, both stylistically and generationally. Highlights include new pieces by Anthony Cheung and Nico Muhly, a set of pieces by György Kurtág, Kate Soper singing George Lewis, and a rare performance of György Ligeti’s ethereal Clocks and Clouds.

A Night in Vienna
Presented by Boston Landmarks Orchestra
August 16, 7 p.m.
Hatch Shell, Boston

The Longwood Symphony’s annual visit to the Hatch Shell focuses on music from Vienna. Natives Johann Strauss, Jr. and Franz Schubert are represented, as are transplants Mozart and Beethoven.

An Alpine Symphony
Presented by Tanglewood Music Festival
August 20, 2:30 p.m.
Koussevitzky Shed, Lenox, MA

Andris Nelsons conducts the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra’s annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. This year’s program culminates in Richard Strauss’s mammoth An Alpine Symphony. Before that comes Paul Lewis scaling the heights of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 3.

Landmarks Dance Carnival
Presented by Boston Landmarks Orchestra
August 23, 7 p.m.
Hatch Shell, Boston

Dance music of all kinds rounds out the BLO’s 2017 season. There are traditional dances from Brazil and Ireland, a Strauss waltz, and a Copland ballet, among other things. And there’s a new piece by Ryan Edwards and Apostolos Paraskevas for drummers and dancers of Camp Harbor View and the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.

Ives and Beethoven
Presented by Tanglewood Music Festival
August 27, 2:30 p.m.
Koussevitzky Shed, Lenox, MA

Andris Nelsons closes the 2017 Tanglewood season with the customary performance of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, paired – intriguingly – this year with “The Housatonic at Stockbridge” from Charles Ives’s Three Places in New England.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra’s Festival of Contemporary Music
August 14 at 8 p.m.
At Tanglewood/Ozawa Hall, 297 West Street Lenox, MA

On the program: Ligeti’s Clocks and Clouds; Dai Fbujikura’s Tocar Y Luchar; Anna Thorvaldsdotti’s’s Hrim; Huang Ru’s Confluence. Stefan Asbury conducts, along with the TMC Conducting Fellows.

Guitarist Benjamin Verdery will perform in Boston this week.

Guitarist Benjamin Verdery will perform in Boston this week.

Guitarist Benjamin Verdery
August 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Presented by Boston Conservatory at Berklee on theBoston Conservatory Theater, 31 Hemenway Street, Floor 2, Boston, MA

“A guitar faculty member at Yale University School of Music, artistic director for both the Yale Guitar Extravaganza and 92nd Street Y’s Art of the Guitar, Benjamin Verdery is hailed for his innovative and eclectic musical career.”

Schubert’s Summer Journey, Program 5
August 17 at 8 p.m.
At the Tanglewood/Ozawa Hall, 297 West Street, Lenox, MA

The performers at the Schubert-fest: pianist Emanuel Ax, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the TMC Vocal Fellows. The program includes Schubert’s Sonatina No. 3, Arpeggione Sonata for cello and piano, and Piano Trio No.2 in E-flat. Also, Nico Muhly’s Good Night (world premiere).

Schubert’s Summer Journey, Program 6
August 23 at 8 p.m.
Tanglewood/Ozawa Hall, 297 West Street, Lenox, MA

The performers at the Schubert-fest: pianist Emanuel Ax and baritone Simon Keenlyside. On the program: Shubert’s Impromptus, D.935, and selections from Schwanengesang. Also, Samuel Adams’ Impromptu.

— Susan Miron

Author Events

Frank Bidart
Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016
August 15 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Bookstore, Cambridge MA

Boston’s own Bidart, who has been writing verse for decades, is one of America’s most decorated poets. His new collection gathers together his published poetry — the result is a chronicle of the career of a poet who is, in his own words, a “Creature coterminous with thirst.”

Robert Wright
Why Buddhism is True
August 16 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

Author of such thoughtful books as Nonzero and The Evolution of God, Wright takes us through his engagement with Buddhism. His study touches on issues of psychology, philosophy, and the value of meditation; his goal is to explain how Buddhistic contemplation offers consolation in the face of life’s transience.


Rob Sheffield will appear at Porter Square Books  on August 16th to talk about his latest: "Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World."

Rob Sheffield will appear at Porter Square Books on August 16 to talk about his latest: “Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World.”

Rob Sheffield
Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World
August 16 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

The Boston-born music journalist and Rolling Stone staff writer takes on the lingering legacy of the biggest band of all time; he explores how their music and image continue to resonate decades after they split apart. Generations grew up with the music, the photographs, and cultural impact. Sheffield examines that the meaning of The Beatles and the ways it has resonated far beyond their times.

Benjamin Rachlin
Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption
August 16 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

In the past two decades, more than two thousand Americans have been wrongfully convicted of a crime. Rachlin’s book tells the story of Willie J Grimes, a mild-mannered man with no prior record, who was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Thanks to the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, the botched evidence and questionable testimony overturned his conviction. Rachlin tells the inspiring story of how Grimes finally found justice.

Bruce Campbell, author of "Hail to the Chin," brings game show fun to Cambridge on August 18th.

Bruce Campbell, author of “Hail to the Chin,” brings game show fun to Cambridge on August 18.

Bruce Campbell
Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of A B Movie Actor
August 18 at 5:30 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA
Tickets are: $40 general admission, which includes admission to the show and 1 copy of Hail to the Chin
VIP admission is $75 and includes admission, 1 copy of the book, and an exclusive meet & greet with Bruce Campbell

The star of films such as The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, and Bubba Ho-Tep comes to Brookline for a memorable extravaganza of nerditude. Join, if you dare, a game show hosted by Campbell that tests your pop culture knowledge — the top four contenders will face off at the end for a chance to win a prize. VIP’s will be able to meet the memorably jawed star after the show.

Michael Deibert
Haiti Will Not Perish: A Recent History
August 30 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Tragically, Haiti, the first independent black republic, has a history of multiple catastrophes. Over the years, these horrors have included the legacy of colonialism, government corruption, dictatorship, and natural disasters. Deibert has been writing about the country for decades; in this book he explores the past and future a war-torn country that is still trying to live up to its historic achievements.

— Matt Hanson

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