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
November 10 – 29 Various times
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
In a middle school classroom in Bratislava in 1983, a new teacher asks her students to stand up, introduce themselves, and tell her what their parents do for a living. It slowly becomes clear that the pupils’ grades are related to how willing their guardians are to help the teacher with her errands, her housecleaning, and other random services. After one of the students attempts suicide, the director of the school has no choice but to call for an emergency parents’ meeting to remove the teacher. Yet, because she is also a high-ranking official of the Communist Party, parents are hesitant to sign a petition to transfer her out. The film takes us into a classroom behind the Iron Curtain, where each family must wrestle with the choice between standing up for what they believe in or silently maintaining the status quo. Slovak with English subtitles. Trailer
Acts and Intermissions
November 20 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA
“A new experimental documentary feature utilizing the life of Emma Goldman to explore the resurgence of protest in the 21st century. The work is hybrid and prismatic, including contemporary footage, archive and re-enactment to expose the continuing conflicts between labor and property, revolutionary purity and personal freedom.” In-person Q&A with Director Abigail Child.
The Legends of William Wellman
Through November 26
Harvard Film Archives
A great retrospective that MFA director Hayden Guest says “gathers together a series of Wellman’s lesser-known films, balanced by his recognized classics, to sketch a composite portrait of a studio filmmaker equally adept at bold action-driven narrative and a kind of subtler, understated emotion and meaning.”. On Sunday 21 at 5 p.m. Safe in Hell, which earned an The Arts Fuse review.
Now screening at various times
At Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA
89-year old Agnes Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33 year-old French photographer and muralist JR, teamed up to co-direct this enchanting documentary/road movie. Together they travel around the villages of France in JR’s photo truck meeting locals, learning their stories, and producing epic-size portraits of them. The photos are prominently displayed on houses, barns, storefronts, and trains: revelations of the humanity in their subjects and the artists. Faces Places documents these heart-warming encounters, as well as the unlikely, tender friendship they formed along the way.
Playing exclusively in the Coolidge Corner Screening Room.
Monday, December 4 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA
Ittetsu Nemoto, a former punk-turned-Buddhist-priest in Japan, has made a career out of helping suicidal people find reasons to live. But this work has come increasingly at the cost of his own family and health; he refuses to draw lines between his patients and himself. The Departure captures Nemoto at a crossroads, when his growing self-destructive tendencies lead him to confront the same question his patients ask him: What makes life worth living? In-person Q&A with director Lana Wilson. Trailer.
Jean-Pierre Melville Centenary Retrospective
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Jean-Pierre Melville was best known for his ultra-cool, noir-inspired gangster films as well as political thrillers about the French Resistance. To commemorate the centenary of his birth, cinemas around the world are screening his films. The Museum presents seven: Bob le flambeur (1956), Léon Morin, Priest (1961), Le Doulos (1963), Army of Shadows (1969), Le Cercle Rouge (1970), and his last film, the icy thriller Un Flic (1972), with Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve. Complete Schedule
Nowhere to Hide
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Nowhere to Hide follows medic Nori Sharif through five years of dramatic change after the American retreat from Iraq in 2011. While filming stories of survivors, Nori finds himself trapped between ISIS and Iraqi militias. In trying to save his own family, he is soon forced to turn the camera on himself. The film gives us unique insight into one of the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible areas—the “triangle of death” in central Iraq. We hear the stories of the people who live there: survivors of the “new war” that has become life as usual, where the enemy is invisible and there is nowhere to hide.
— Tim Jackson
Mark Rothko – Reflections
Through July 1, 2018
Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA
“A painting is not a picture of an experience,” Mark Rothko (1903 -70) once remarked: “it is an experience.” The show consists of 11 masterpieces that span the artist’s celebrated five decade long career, works on loan from the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Curated by Elliot Bostwick Davis, the presentation ranges from Rothko’s lesser known, early surrealist compositions to the brilliant luminous canvases painted in his maturity, and the foreboding, enigmatic black compositions created late in his life.
Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist
Through December 31
West Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA
Pioneering contemporary artist Mark Dion’s first US survey showcases his prolific career as an artist, collector, and environmental activist. His work explores and appropriates scientific methods.The show is organized by the three research methods he draws on in order to examine how we collect nature: fieldwork, cultivation, and excavation. Dion has traveled across the world — conducting archeological digs, gathering plant and animal specimens, and rummaging through long-forgotten closets. He transforms his findings into charismatic curiosity cabinets and mesmerizing sculptures.
Heimo Zobernig: chess painting
Through December 31
MIT List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA
An Austrian born, Vienna-based mastermind has taken over the List’s two main galleries, transforming the space’s white cube architecture into a distinctive theatrical stage. Zobernig’s work is shaped by an acute self-awareness of the impact Modernism has had on art history. Through invented artistic gameplay, his checkered, faux fur-covered interactive installation work and large, overturned chess-like paintings bend, warp, and abstract the grid.
Coming Away: Winslow Homer and England
through February 4
Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA
This special exhibition brings together a vast collection of Winslow Homer’s masterworks, such as “The Gale” (1883-93) which took him a decade to complete, and “Hark! The Lark” (1883) a painting that he claimed to be his very best. 50 of the iconic American artist’s works are on display – each inspired by his seminal eighteen month stay in the quaint fishing village of Cullercoats on the northeastern coast of England. Through vigorous brushwork, these paintings explore the dynamic struggle between humanity and the natural world.
Gender Bend: Women in Wood, Men at the Loom
Through March 11, 2018
Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA
Turning gender stereotypes on their head, this refreshing multimedia exhibition explores two groups of artists that are traditionally underrepresented in their field: male weavers and female wood turners. The group show is co-curated by Jon Eric Riis and Tib Shaw. On display are playful and vivacious contemporary works that inspire viewers to expand their artistic horizons.
Through January 20, 2018
Montserrat Gallery, Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA
A must-see of vibrant reactions to rapidly shifting political and social divides – this energetic small group show pulses with the multidisciplinary work of three rising contemporary artists. Drawing from cinema, political cartoons, and pop culture iconography; the work interprets the transmutable nature of borders -be they those of geography, politics, ideas, or identities. Brooklyn-based street artist Esteban del Valle’s massive acrylic painting Build a Wall (2017) dominates the exhibit – in it, a cartoonish monochromatic fiery red man shoulders a massive two-by-four that slices across the warm blue backdrop of a day-to-day shopping scene in a home improvement store.
Screens: Virtual Material
Through March 18, 2018
3rd Floor Galleries, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, MA
Thoughtfully curated by Associate Curator Sarah Montross, this exhibit explores the virtual screens that have come to dominate our daily lives. We are asked to put them away and engage with large scale works from six very talented contemporary artists. Upon first entering the show, you would expect to walk in upon a large projection; instead, you find a sinister, glittering fence-like sculpture – “Maximum Security” by Liza Lou. A comment on the conditions at Guantanamo Bay, this arresting screen-inspired work has been meticulously covered in tiny glass beads by a team of women (employed by the artist) in South Africa.
All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology
Through May 1st 2020
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA
“A kaleidoscopic overview of human cultures, anthropology’s origins, and, the evolution, in real time, of both” exclaims Harvard Magazine. This astonishing exhibition celebrates the museum’s 150th anniversary and tells its engaging narrative through a display of over 600 objects from Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, many on view for the very first time. The round-up of curious treasures include exotic materials exchanged by 18th century Boston ship captains and archeological works of art unearthed from Ohio’s Turner Mounds.
– Aimee Cotnoir
Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins by Stephen Temperley. Directed by Spiro Veloudos. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, through November 19.
“Spiro Veloudos remounts one of his favorite productions in celebration of his 20 years as Producing Artistic Director. Souvenir is an affectionate portrait of Florence Foster Jenkins, one of the finest coloratura sopranos in history — but, alas, only in her own mind!” Starring Leigh Barrett and Will McGarrahan. Arts Fuse review
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Based on the novel by Mark Haddon. Adapted by Simon Stephens Directed by Paul Daigneault. Staged by SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End, through November 25.
The Boston premiere of a production of the “Tony and Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of the best-selling novel that tells the story of Christoher Boone, a 15-year-old math savant whose efforts to solve the mysterious death of a neighborhood pet take him on an extraordinary journey.” Arts Fuse review
Tartuffe by Molière, translated by Ranjit Bolt. Directed by Peter DuBois. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company on the Avenue of the Arts at the Huntington Avenue Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, through December 10.
This revival of an always timely satire of religious hypocrisy features actor and comedian Brett Gelman as Tartuffe and Tony Award winner Frank Wood as Orgon.
Elemento Pea by Molly Smith Metzler. Directed by Shana Gozansky. At Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA, through November 19.
The Boston premiere of a script that “centers on Devon and Simone, working class sisters who reunite at the posh summer home of Simone’s wealthy employer on Martha’s Vineyard. Their end-of-summer sibs fest takes a turn when Simone’s boss Michaela unexpectedly returns home after a marital blowout.”
Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau. Directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene. Staged by Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington Street, Providence, Rhode Island, through November 22.
An unusual entry in the “end of the American Dream” drama roll — a contemporary play about labor. “In Detroit, as the Great Recession begins, a makeshift family of four factory workers toil as their industry flirts with failure. With their future uncertain, Faye, Shanita, Dez, and foreman Reggie must decide how they will balance their own desires, their loyalty to one another, and their survival.”
Gardens Speak by Tania El Khoury. Calligraphy & Tombstones Design by Dia Batal. Presented by Arts Emerson at the Emerson Paramount Center, On Stage at the Robert J. Orchard Stage, Boston, MA, through November 19.
Billed as “a stunning, full-body interactive experience”: “across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who took to the streets during the early periods of the uprising against the Ba’athist government in 2011. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead — each providing safety, truth and a voice for each other.” Only 10 people admitted per hour.
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Directed by Bryn Boice. Staged by Actors’ Shakespeare Project at Studio 210 at the Huntington Avenue Theatre, Boston, MA, through December 17.
So many stagings of this play nowadays? Wonder why? “An all-female cast explores the ebb and flow of power and the consequences of politically motivated assassination. Set in a futuristic parallel universe where women hold absolute power, the race to claim the empire spirals out of control!”
The Fever, written and directed by Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone, created in collaboration with Brandon Wolcott, Emil Abranyan, and Eric Southern. Staged by 600 HIGHWAYMEN and presented by Oberon at 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, through November 19.
“New York-based theater company 600 HIGHWAYMEN tests the limits of individual and collective responsibility, and our willingness to be there for one another. Performed in complete collaboration with the audience, The Fever examines how we assemble, organize, and care for the bodies around us. Who will you be when our eyes are on you? What will we see when we all look your way?”
Native Son by Nambi E. Kelley. By Nambi E. Kelley. Adapted from the novel by Richard Wright. Directed by Seret Scott. Staged by Yale Repertory Theatre at 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, November 24 through December 16.
“Chicago’s South Side, the 1930s. Bigger Thomas struggles to find a place for himself in a world whose prejudice has shut him out. After taking a job in a wealthy white man’s house, he unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate.” We are told this will be “an unforgettable theatrical experience that captures the power of Richard Wright’s iconic novel about oppression, freedom, and justice.”
Moving On, compiled and performed by Michael Ricca. At the Central Square Theatre, Cambridge, MA, December 5 through 9.
“Joined by acclaimed accompanist, Ron Roy, singer Michael Ricca’s one-man show looks at the many ways we navigate life’s transitions and includes an eclectic mix of songs – from Simon to Sondheim and many more.”
Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush. Choreography by Jubilith Moore. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, December 1 through 31.
The play “is the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants, who resisted internment during World War II, a policy which continues to be cited and debated today.” “Theatrical magic will be created by the use of three kurogos,
‘invisible’ stage manipulators/dancers in the Kabuki theatrical tradition.”
Nurse Play by James Wilkinson. Directed by Joe Juknievich. Staged by Exiled Theater at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Avenue, December 1 through 17.
A black comedy that seems to really mean it: “Tucked away in a boarding house at the edge of the world, Nurse sits in a dark room caring for her patient, Joe. Her eyes were gouged out years ago, but she won’t let a little thing like that slow her down. Joe has been diagnosed with a degenerative disease that keeps him bed bound, out of the light and doped up. He also appears to be missing a limb or two.” Please note: this production contains graphic depictions of violence and audience discretion is advised.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo. Directed by James Peter Sotis. Staged by Praxis Stage at the First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA, November 30 through December 17.
The time has come back for this political comedy, which was staged often back in the late’70s and early ’80s. The script, by a Nobel Prize-winning author, is a “hilarious farce about deadly serious topics. The play’s action depicts a “maniac” infiltrating a police department during an internal investigation/cover-up into why a suspect was thrown from a fourth story window.”
She Loves Me Book by Joe Masteroff. Music by Jerry Bock. Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Based on a play by Miklos Laszio (the basis of films The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail). Directed and Choreographed by Ilyse Robbins. Staged by the Greater Boston Stage Company at the Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA, November 24 through December 23.
A fabled musical based on the classic film Little Shop Around the Corner. “Direct from a hugely successful Broadway revival, this delightful, romantic Tony-Award winning Broadway musical tells the story of Amalia and Georg, co-workers in a department store, who fall in love without knowing it through anonymous lonely heart letters.”
— Bill Marx
Latin Jazz All Stars
November 25 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston MA
An all-star collection indeed: with trombonist Steve Turre, flutist Nestor Torres, trumpeter Guido Gonzalez, pianist Elio Villa Franca, bassist Yunior Terry, drummer Diego Lopez, and conguero Chembo Corneil. Expect the full Pan-American Afro-Latin experience.
Joe Hunt Group
November 26 at 8:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge, MA.
The esteemed drummer Joe Hunt (George Russell, Stan Getz, Eric Dolphy, and on and on) here pays tribute to hard bop master Gigi Gryce, with trumpeter Greg Hopkins, saxophonist Andy Voelker, bassist Keala Kameheiwa, and pianist Yuka Hamano Hunt.
George Garzone’s Rogue Band
November 28 at 9:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge, MA.
Tenor sax giant George Garzone steps out from his usual gig with the Fringe (every Monday night at this venue) to go rogue with pianist Gill Aharon, Fringe bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Nat Mugavero.
Nando Michelin and Ebino Cardoso
November 29 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA
Uruguayan-born pianist Nando Michelin and Brazilian singer/bassist Ebinho Cardoso have joined forces for a project and CD called “Engenheiros,” drawing on Brazilian pop and the poetry of Joao Cabral de Melo Neto. “Cabral’s poetry, marked by the strict use of meter and assonant rhymes, inspired Michelin and Cardoso to write songs which, as the poet said of his work, are not only the product of inspiration risen from feeling, but the fruit of patient and lucid work.” The band also includes singers Sergio Santos, Renato Braz, and Mirella Costa; saxophonist and flutist Tucker Antell; keyboardist and singer Ian Cardoso; and drummer Tiago Michelin.
Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet
November 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.
Drummer Mark Guiliana has been the omnidirectional heartbeat of Donny McCaslin’s electric outfit for the past half-dozen years or so, including David Bowie’s last albm “Black Star,” on which the McCaslin group served as backing band and co-composers. Guiliana has fronted his own electric groups, but this — being the Jazz Quartet — is all acoustic, with bassist Chris Morrissey, saxophonist Jason Rigby, and pianist Fabian Almazan.
Dee Dee Bridgwater
December 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.
NEA Jazz Master and multi-Grammy winner Dee Dee Brigewater is celebrating the release of her latest, Memphis. Expect the goods therein to be delivered with dramatic authority.
December 2 at 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA.
The tenor saxophonist and flutist Ras Moshe Burnett “pays homage to Coltrane, Albert Ayler, John Gilmore and his other favorites on a permanent basis.” His resume includes gigging with Bill Cole’s Untempered Ensemble, Warren Smith, William Hooker, William Parker, and Karl Berger. Tonight he’s joined by pianist Eric Zinman, cellist Glynis Lomon, and percussionist Syd Smart.
Coming up: “Manteca: Dizzy Gillespie and the Birth of Latin Jazz,” with Chris Washburne, Miguel Zenón, and the NEC Orchestra, December 7 at Jordan Hall, Boston/Bert Seager’s Tetraptych, December 6 at the Lilypad, Cambridge/Nina Ott’s Astronomico, December 8 at Third Life Studio, Somerville.
Hope Is the Hardest Love We Carry
December 3 at 2 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.
Flutist, composer, and New England Conservatory faculty member Linda Chase has collaborated with poet Jane Hirschfield on this chamber composition, “conceived in the aftermath of the 3/11/11 Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster,” which Chase experienced firsthand when she was in Japan on the invitation of the Japan Foundation. The performance will feature Hirshfield reading her own poetry and her translations (with Mariko Aratani) of thousand-year-old Japanese poems by Izumi Shikibu and Ono no Komachi. The music will mix notated and improvised composition. The ensemble will include Chase, on flute and traditional Japanese shakuhachi, singer Johanna Gordon, violinist Lily Honigberg, cellist Nitzan Gal, and percussionists Will McVay and Taichiro Ei.
— Jon Garelick
Roots and World Music
Nov. 19, 3 p.m.
Arts at the Armory Cafe, Somerville, MA
Kytasty is one of the great masters of the Ukranian bandura. He’ll present both an interactive workshop and a concert as part of this Journeys in Sound event.
Boston’s guitar master of taste and twang wraps up a residency that finds his usual instrumental quartet supplemented by a guest keyboardist each week.
Qantara Berklee Ensemble & Global String Ensemble
Friend Recital Hall, Berklee, Boston, MA
Palestinian violinist and oudist Simon Shaheen showed the common Andalusian roots of flamenco and Middle Eastern music last month at Wellesley. Now his Berklee student ensemble will come along and show the path from the Middle East to South America. Attendees are actually encouraged to bring a composition that the ensemble can improvise on.
From its title it is clear that songwriter supreme Wainwright’s new memoir mines the same territory he’s been drawing on for his music: “Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes & Excess, Death & Decay, & a Few of My Other Favorite Things.” His son Rufus plays the same venue the following night.
Sara Pajunen & Sunniva Brynnel duo and Emerald Rae
Arts at the Armory Cafe, Somerville, MA
The fiddle and accordion duo of Pajunen and Brynnel are rooted in the Swedish and Finnish musical traditions. Songwriter and fiddler Rae opens the night.
Clarinetist and mandolinst Statman may have first come to attention in the early 70’s for his bluegrass work, but he quickly began drawing on his own Jewish roots, and he’s been a mainstay of the klezmer scene ever since. His current trio with bassist Jim Whitney and percussionist Larry Eagle adds a heavy dose of jazz to his unique mix and goes deep into spiritual musical explorations.
— Noah Schaffer
Rock & Pop
St. Vincent (née Annie Clark) is one of the rare artists for whom commercial success, critical acclaim, and artistic cred do not come at the expense of one another. Her latest album, Masseducation, debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest-charting of the five–plus one with David Byrne–that she has released. The reviews, unsurprisingly, are as stellar as ever. The former Berklee College of Music attendee performs at House of Blues on Thursday.
There is nothing wrong with a band sounding like their influences as long they aren’t just copycats and the songs are good. Beach Slang is from Philadelphia, but there is plenty of 1980s Twin Cities sound on the two LPs and several EPs that they have released since 2013. The Replacements are the most obvious and frequent comparison. However, there is more of Hüsker Dü’s Bob Mould in singer James Alex’s voice than there is of Paul Westerberg. Beach Slang’s songs rarely pass the three-minute mark, so fans are likely to hear all of the songs that they could hope to at The Sinclair on Thursday night.
The Dream Syndicate with The Richard Lloyd Group and DJ Carbo
December 1 (doors at 8, show at 8:30)
ONCE Ballroom, Somerville, MA
It has been 29 years since The Dream Syndicate broke up, but this is not the kind of band that fans lose interest in. The quartet reformed in 2012 to play selected live dates and decided to record a new album when the response proved amply enthusiastic. The result was
How Did I Find Myself Here?, and the US portion of their reunion tour kicks off at ONCE Somerville on Friday. Definitely arrive in time for opener Richard Lloyd, whose immortal guitar playing was essential to the sound of the immeasurably influential late-70s band Television.
Long-time Boston-area resident and Grammy-nominated guitarist Jon Butcher can always count on attracting an enthusiastic audience around these parts. However, that does not mean that he rests on his musical laurels. He continues to put out new material, including last year’s 2 Roads East, which will be the focus of his show at Beverly’s 9 Wallis this Saturday.
– Blake Maddux
Dead Man Walking
Presented by Boston Conservatory at Berkeley
November 19, at 2 p.m.
Boston Conservatory Theater, Boston
Jake Heggie’s 2000-adaptation of Sister Helen Prejean’s eponymous novel comes to the Boston Conservatory Theater
George Li plays Tchaikovsky
Presented by Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
November 26, 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston
The BPYO returns to action with Li playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1. Benjamin Zander also conducts Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser and his own suite drawn from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
Bermel and Strauss
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
November 30-December 2, 8 p.m. (1:30 p.m. on Friday)
Symphony Hall, Boston
Andris Nelsons conducts Derek Bermel’s Elixir – a short, touching concert-opener – alongside Richard Strauss’s sprawling Eine Alpensinfonie and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no. 2. Leonidas Kavakos is the soloist in the latter.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Boston Artists Ensemble presents “Founding Fathers”
November 19 at 3 p.m.
At St. Paul’s Church, 15 St. Paul Street, Brookline, MA
On the program: Haydn’s Quartet Opus 76 No. 4 in B-flat, “Sunrise,” and his Quartet Opus 76 No. 2 in D minor, “Quinten”; Schoenberg’s Quartet No. 2 for String Quartet and Soprano in F Sharp Minor, Opus 10. Also “?????????– Mystery Piece (guess correctly and win a pair of tickets)”
Henry Purcell Society of Boston presents Hail, Bright Cecilia
November 19 at 5 p.m.
At the All Saints Parish Brookline, 1733 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
“A celebration of the two giants of English Baroque music: Purcell and Handel, in a program praising the Patron Saint of Music, St. Cecilia. The composers clearly loved a good party, as evidenced by the choral splendor, sensuous strings and soloists, and resounding trumpets that prevail throughout the music written for this special day
Boston Early Music Festival presents:
Handel’s Almira (Opera in Concert)
November 25 at 8 p.m. and November 26 at 3 p.m.
At Jordan Hall/New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston
Grammy winners Paul O’Dette and Steven Stubbs lead a grand concert performance of Handel’s first opera, Almira.
Boston Conservatory presents:
Janice Weber and Alex Poliykov, pianos
November 25 at Seully Hall, The Fenway, Boston
The program is entitled “Double Digits IV: From Bernstein to Brubeck”: Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Poulenc’s Capriccio for Two Pianos (after Le bal Masqué), Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro, Gustation’s Romance, Brubeck’s Points on Jazz. “This is an ideal event for the family at the end of Thanksgiving week.”
Boston Camerata presents:
A Mediterranean Christmas
December 1 at 8 p.m.
Follen Church, 755 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington
December 2 at 8 p.m.
First Lutheran Church, 299 Berkeley Street, Boston
“The Boston Camerata sings and plays early music, passionately, for our time and our world. Voices and instruments, in dialogue with each other and with you, create a pathway to the soul.”
Temple Emanuel presents:
Jan Müller-Szeraws, cello
Constantine Finehouse, piano
December 3 at 3 p.m. at Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton
On the program: Boccherini, Couperin, Debussy, and Beethoven.
— Susan Miron
Why We Don’t Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches
November 26 at 7 p.m.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston MA
Tickets are $38 including signed copy of the book
Boston’s own comedic curmudgeon returns to the city of his birth to read and discuss his new companion volume to his popular essay collection Why We Suck. This time around he promises to explain to a weary nation why America doesn’t actually suck (even though it often seems like it), how partisanship is the cause and not the solution to America’s ills, and to get people laughing at the madness of the 2016 election.
Dinner at the Center of the Earth- the Story of Prisoner Z
November 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Temple Israel of Boston, 477 Longwood Ave, Boston MA
Tickets are $28 and include copy of the book
Englander is a bestselling author, New Yorker contributor, and Pulitzer Prize finalist whose latest novel concerns the moral and political anguish of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A Jewish American boy becomes a Mossad spy and eventually becomes a traitor to his adopted country. His reading will be at the Temple Israel and will be followed by a dessert reception and book signing.
Andrea J Ritchie
Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color
In conversation with Paul Butler
November 30 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
The author, organizer, and police-conduct attorney will discuss how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement. Placing stories of individual women in the contexts of the twin epidemics of police violence and mass incarceration demands that we radically rethink our expectations about safety—and the means we devote to achieving it.
Release Party for Why Comics?: From Underground to Everywhere by Hillary Chute
December 5 at 7 p.m.
Newtonville Books, West Newton MA
There’s no doubt at this point that comics have come into their own as legitimate literature. A Professor of English at Northeastern University, Chute is a comics scholar who fills in the blanks of the history of comic books, commix (a distinct category), and graphic novels. She tells the fascinating story of the artists driven to create comics and how over the decades have handled some of the heaviest and most pressing themes of history: using the medium to respond vibrantly to devastation, disaster, and historical turbulence.
Poetry Event- Reading and Discussion
Steph Burt Advice from the Lights and Matthew Zapruder Why Poetry
December 6 at 7 p.m.
Newtonville Books, West Newton MA
Poetry often gets a bad rap in terms of public interest. For too long, poetry has, at least in the popular imagination, seemed to be the purview of pretentious intellectuals, overly dramatic teenagers, or sullen bohemians. This is a real shame, because poetry has so much to offer in terms of real life nourishment and inspiration. Two poets come to Newton to read and discuss their work. Burt is a poet and professor at Harvard and Zapruder’s new book explains how poetry can indeed be read and appreciated by all.
Carmen Maria Machado
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
In conversation with Kelly Link
December 6 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA
Machado’s collection of stories was a finalist for this year’s National Book Award. Her fiction gleefully transgresses the borders of genre, gender, and the body. The Rumpus calls it “at once luminous and dingy, sexy and terrifying, queer and mundane.”
— Matt Hanson