Coming Attractions: July 29 through August 14– 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 PT Anderson and Jonny Greenwood in “Junun.”

July 29 at 2 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

“In Spring 2015, Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and ‘The Rajasthan Express’ were hosted by the Maharaja of Jodhpur at Mehrangarh Fort.
This beautiful and joyously unique 3-week union resulted in the album and film Junun (or ‘madness of love’). Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, and featuring multicultural musicians from across the Indian subcontinent, this is an intimate, eclectic, and sonic journey.”

Woods Hole Film Festival
Falmouth, MA
Through August 4

An eight-day showcase of independent film that features daily screenings, workshops, panel discussions, staged readings, special events, parties, and an awards ceremony. You will see films not found at other New England festivals, including a number with a local connection.

A sampling of the festival’s quirky fare:


How We Roll: The Last Mile

Energetic and enterprising Massachusetts commuters have found scooters and long boards as a way to commute, especially that final mile or two from public transportation stops to their jobs. This short profiles a group of portable transport enthusiasts who consider themselves “ambassadors for a movement.”

¡Hola Kitty!

Focusing on a Mexican immigrant who dons a Hello, Kitty costume in Times Square, this short film looks at the difficulty faced by immigrant workers and the intersection of popular culture and the American Dream.


A loved tune by children’s author, illustrator, and songwriter Sandra Boynton is at the center of an animation for children sung by and starring Samuel L. Jackson.


Chet’s Last Call

The infamous ’80s Boston punk club and its owner are recalled through the memories and performers of its patrons and aging musicians. The screening will be followed with a live performance by Bim Skala Bim.

Return to Mount Kennedy

Bob Whittaker had 25-year career with Sub Pop Records and also served as manager and tour manager for the groups Mudhoney and R.E.M. He was a wild man on the Seattle grunge music scene. He was also the son of outdoorsman Jim Whittaker, who led Senator Robert Kennedy to the first ascent of a Mt Kennedy in the Yukon. Fifty years later, Bob sets out on an expedition to climb the same mountain in a film that interweaves music, politics, and outdoor adventure.

In Reality

In the spirit of “Baz Luhrmann, Michel Gondry, and Sam Mendes with a little Rogers and Hammerstein,” director and actress Ann Lupo has fashioned an experimental first person narrative film about being female in the modern world, examining her search for love and fulfillment.


Everyone’s a Critic
July 29 at 2 p.m.

The panel includes Tim Miller of The Cape Cod Times, Ty Burr from The Boston Globe, and Allyson Johnson of The

Science and Storytelling
Aug 2 at 2 p.m.

The Intersection of Storytelling, Filmmaking and Social Impact: Thriving in Independent Film
Aug 3 at 4 p.m.

Women in Film & Video New England and the Woods Hole Film Festival present a discussion featuring filmmakers who enjoy reaching wider audiences through smaller screens, via short form storytelling or mobile filmmaking.

A scene from “En el Séptimo Día (On the Seventh Day), screening at the Brattle Theatre.

En el Séptimo Día (On the Seventh Day)
Throught July 30
At the Brattle Theater, Cambridge, MA

Jim McKay’s first feature in over a decade: a timely, compassionate, often humorous look at life in New York as an undocumented Mexican immigrant.

“Along with the obvious nods to Italian neorealism En el Séptimo Dia … [This] is a funny, smart film, with an exhilarating final sequence, but it’s also a biting class critique. This is the kind of movie where you learn everything you need to know about a character not by listening to what he says, but by watching what he does. Everything José does has meaning, a point, and a purpose. There is nothing left over for him. For any of them. The biblical title echoes throughout.” (Brattle Theatre description) Director McKay will appear in person for Q+A following the 8:30 screening on July 30.

Roman Holiday
August 6
At the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA

William Wyler’s 1953 film won three Academy Awards and made Audrey Hepburn an icon. This is a Coolidge “Seminar” with DigBoston Associate Film Editor Jake Mulligan using Roman Holiday to study the work of director William Wyler. Topics will include his unusually complex eye for composition; his biography and the way his wartime experiences influenced his approach to moviemaking, and his rare talent for emphasizing characterization and performance above genre. Seminar attendees will hear the short lecture in the theater’s Screening Room and then watch the film on 35mm in Moviehouse 1. They will then be invited to stay to participate in a post-film discussion.

Life on the V: The Story of V66
August 7 at 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, Mm

From February 1985 to 1986, V66 (WVJV-TV channel 66) was a music television channel tailored for the Boston college crowd, showing videos of national and international groups as well as local unsigned bands. Life On The V captures that fleeting moment in time by combining archival footage and interviews with V66 employees and musicians and fans. There will be a post-screening Q&A with director Eric Green.

The Karate Kid
August 9 at sunset (7:54 p.m.)
Baxter Park at Assembly Row, Somerville, MA

The City of Somerville’s SomerMovie Fest presents free, family-friendly films that start just after sunset. Director John G. Avildsen (Rocky)’s film offers what is possibly the best incorporation of martial arts into a mainstream American film. With Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, and Elizabth Shue.

August 10 at sunset (7:54 p.m.)
Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston, MA

Pixar’s full-length animation Coco is an exhilarating love letter to Mexico, where it became the No. 1 box office winner of all time. The film features a Latino cast and is filled with Mexican music and culture. The plot revolves around the Day of the Dead. A musical masterpiece that will entertain the entire family.

The Rhode Island Film Festival  
August 7-12
Providence, Rhode Island

Now in its 22nd year, the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) features a large program of international features, documentaries and shorts, filmmaking workshops, along with meet-and-greet industry events and seminars. RIIFF aims to promote Rhode Island as a filmmaking location and to celebrate the independent filmmaking spirit. Complete Film Schedule. Tickets and Venues

A scene from the monumental mayhem that is the Laurel and Hardy comedy short “Big Business.”

Laurel & Hardy Silent Shorts!
August 12 at 2 p.m.
Somerville Theater, Davis Square, Somerville, MA

Cool off with a Silents Please presentation featuring four rarely screened Laurel & Hardy silent shorts: Big Business, Call of the Cuckoos, The Finishing Touch, and You’re Darn Tootin’. Live accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis at the organ.

(All wonderful H & L  comedies, but Big Business, directed by Leo McCarey, is an out-and-out masterpiece — one of the finest examples of American farce at its anarchistic best. A transcendent example of ‘Tit for Tat.’ And don’t think they weren’t aware of the savage irony of the title when the film was released in 1929. — Bill Marx)

— Tim Jackson


Brazilian vibraphonist Lucas Amorim will perform with his sextet his week at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA.

Lucas Amorim Quintet
July 30 at 8 p.m.
Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA.

Brazilian vibraphonist Lucas Amorim and his sextet will present work from, among others, Duke Ellington, Clifford Jordan, Cannonball Adderley, Bobby Hutcherson. The band also includes alto saxophonist Soojung Lee, pianist Brandon Xue, bassist Matteo Padoin, and drummer Karol Zabka.

Nando Michelin & Ebinho Cardoso
August 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

Pianist and composer Nando Michelin and bassist and singer Ebinho Cardoso have collaborated on a project (and new CD) called, Engenheiros, creating “original Brazilian songs” setting the poetry of João Cabral de Melo Neto. Michelin has a special skill setting poetry to music, so this promises to be a rewarding evening. The rest of the lineup includes saxophonist and flutest, Tucker Antell, drummer Tiago Michelin, percussionist Rogerio Boccato, and guest singer Ian De Musis.

Newport Jazz Festival
August 3-5
Newport, R.I.

The keynote performer for this year’s three-day encyclopedic overview of jazz is saxophonist/flutist Charles Lloyd, celebrating his 80th birthday. Lloyd plays with his trio Sangam on Friday (with table master Zakir Hussein and drummer Eric Harland), his New Quartet on Saturday (with Harland, pianist Jason Moran, and bassist Reuben Rogers) and “Friends,” on Sunday (with Moran, Harland, Rogers, singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams, and guitarists Marvin Sewell and Stuart Mathis). The weekend also includes George Clinton and P-Funk, Living Colour, Pat Metheny, Andra Day, Laurie Anderson with Christian McBride, Jon Batiste, Harold Mabern with Eric Alexander, the Matthew Shipp Trio, Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl, Nicole Mitchell, Grace Kelly, Robert Glasper and Terrace Martin’s R+R=Now (with Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Derrick Hodge, Taylor McFerrin, and Justin Tyson), and many more. That’s all at Fort Adams State Park. A Friday night concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino will feature Metheny’s quartet and singer José James paying tribute to Bill Withers.

Tony Allen
August 4 at 8 p.m.
City Winery, Boston, MA.

In conjunction with his Friday appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival (see above), esteemed Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen comes to City Winery, with an approach that draws inspiration from Lester Bowie, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey, and Gil Evans as much as his late boss, Fela Kuti.

Joe Lovano
August 12 at 7 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA.

Master saxophonist Joe Lovano is calling this his “Classic Quartet.” We’re guessing for the “classic” format of sax-piano-bass-drums.  It features the brilliant Argentine pianist Leo Genovese, Bulgarian bassist Peter Slavov, and Kosovan drummer Lamy Istrefi. (A “jazz chat” prelude, with Lovano, starts at 6 p.m.)

Pianist Rina Yamazaki will perform at ARTSspace in Boston

Rina Yamazaki
August 11 at 7 p.m.
ARTSpace, Mission Hill, Boston, MA.

Now based in Boston, pianist Rina Yamazaki is originally from Saitama, Japan. She’s got a busy schedule and an impressive resume, including studies with Makoto Ozone, a second place finish in the Ellis Marsalis International Piano Competition, a Chico and Lupe O’Farrill Award for composition, and a first CD as a leader, with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Neal Smith. At ARTSPace she’ll be joined by bassist Jaeil JI on bass and drummer Ilya Blazh.

Glenn Zaleski
August 12 at 5:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge, MA.

The Boylston, Mass., born pianist Glenn Zaleski was known around Boston for bands he played in with his older brother, saxophonist Mark. Having moved to New York, he’s continued to develop a distinctive sound. He’s celebrates his first solo CD, Solo, Vol. 1, a mix of standards, bop, and post-bop (Ornette Coleman’s “Round Trip”).

— Jon Garelick

Visual Arts

Tess Barbato, “Pork Sirloin,” oil on canvas, 2012.

Tess Barbato
Through August 4
Krikorian Gallery, Worcester Center for Crafts, 25 Sagamore Road, Worcester, MA

A young master of Realist oil painting, who lives and works out of Worcester, MA, Tess Barbato depicts the mundane with skillful precision. Rolls of shimmering nickels, folded bills, and prescription bottle caps are the unlikely subjects of her transfixing pictures. In her paintings, unsettlingly close perspectives reveal the most unexpected details.

French Pastels: Treasures from the Vault
Through January 6
Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

This “not to be missed” exhibition brings together 40 rarely shown French masterworks. They have been pulled from their safe keeping in storage to make a brief but no doubt memorable appearance. The art is particularly fragile because of its easily mussed powdery pigments and light sensitive paper. The warm, pink, and hazy surfaces of Edgar Degas’s Landscape (1892) capture fleeting changes in the weather, while Camille Pissarro’s Poultry Market at Gisors (1885) bustles with teeming excitement, suggesting the chatter of commerce among townsfolk. These presumably boisterous conversations and facial expression are softened by the light, quick renderings of the artist’s pastels.

Nam June Paik: Screen Play
Through August 5
Special Exhibitions Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

This must-see show is almost entirely drawn from Harvard Art Museums’ own collection. It is curated by Mary Schneider Enriquez, Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Marina Isgro, Nam June Paik Research Fellow, Harvard Art Museums. This grouping of works spans over four decades of the globally celebrated artist’s groundbreaking practice. A few of them, pieces of profound importance to the trajectory of his creative process, are being shown for the first time — TV Crown (1965/99) visualizes audio waves moving across the screen of a boxed television set. Often referred to as the founder of video art, this Korean mastermind spent most of his life in the United States, engaged in a diverse multidisciplinary practice that combined several medias, including music, performance, drawing and painting, sculpture, video, and broadcast television.

Life, Death, and Revelry
Through September 3
Hostetter Gallery, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA

The centerpiece of this rare exhibition is truly distinctive: the Farnese Sarcophagus is a large, elaborately carved rectangular coffin of Pentelic Marble that was first exported from Athens to Rome in late Severan period, between circa 222 to 235 AD. It depicts exquisitely carved satyrs and maenads gathered in revelry and harvesting grapes. For the first time in over 100 years, the work has been moved from its home in the Palace Courtyard to the Hostetter Gallery, where it can be viewed  in all its glory. The exhibition includes details about  the work’s journey from Rome to Boston, and information that explores the work’s cultural influence since its rediscovery in the early modern era.

Taryn Simon: A Cold Hole Assembled Audience
Through May 26
MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA WAY, North Adams, MA

In one of Simon’s two ambitiously assembled installations, brave viewers can become part of the spectacle by jumping into a shockingly cold, dark, and icy water hole — while others view them through a cinemscopic aperture in an adjacent gallery. This ground -breaking artist “activates the rituals of applause and the cold water plunge, examining individuals’ campaigns for public admiration, the status of physical community spaces in the digital age.”

“Cold water plunges — on holy days, as viral stunts, or as solitary strategies for personal reset — have a long history of notable participants. Apache leader Geronimo employed cold-water immersion to prepare boys for manhood and battle. Russian President Vladimir Putin observed the tradition of reenacting Christ’s baptism by plunging into cold water on Epiphany, instead of watching President Donald Trump’s inauguration.”

© 2018 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Any writers, journalists wishing to use images should be directed to Artist Rights Society (

Jenny Holzer: Truisms and Inflammatory Essays
Benjamin Ogilvy Projects, Pictures Efface Walls, 438 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA
Hours: Saturdays, 12-6 p.m., through August 18.

Contemporary provocateur Jenny Holzer has been using language to break artistic boundaries for over 40 years. This gallery space’s pristine white walls will host selections from her series “Inflammatory Essays.” Her textual compositions on brightly colored paper consisting of 100 words in 20 lines are inspired by the radical ideas of major political figures such as Emma Goldman, Mao Tse-Tung, and Vladimir Lenin. After she completed these works, sometime between 1979 and 1982, they were pasted on walls throughout heavily populated areas of NYC. Passersby were undoubtedly provoked by these loud and astringent words.

BSA Space, Boston Society of Architects/ AIA BSA Foundation, 290 Congress Street, Suite 200, Boston, MA
Through September 23

The creator of Reprogramming the City and the curator of this new, profound exhibition, Scott Burnham states “NatureStructure will present a new model for the relationship design and the built environment can have with nature.” Mankind’s structures and the wilds of the natural world are both vying for the same territory. This show presents designs for several groundbreaking international projects that attempt to find ways for these two forces to coexist. 3D printed reefs and seawalls are created to repopulate Sydney Harbor’s sea life, and a parking garage in Denmark elevates as its base absorbs rainwater overflow.

Breath and Matter
Boston Sculptors Gallery, 486 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA
Through August 12th

One of America’s foremost poetry critics and former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky asks “What has art made of breath to do with an art made of matter?” The poet participates in this exhibition, in which the ‘call and response’ show format is given new life as twenty four pairs of artists and writers collaborate by intimately responding to each other’s work by creating something new. Materials used include ekphrastic poetry, glass eyeballs, silk, steel, rawhide, hip hop, free verse, and light and sound. Poetry and sculpture dance circles around one another — the result is, often, ingenious work that reflects on inspiration and its many manifestations.

– Aimee Cotnoir


Brandon De Wilde, Julie Harris, and Ethel Waters in the 1952 film version of “The Member of the Wedding.”

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers. Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch. Staged by Williamstown Theatre Festival on its MainStage, Williamstown, MA, August 5 through 19.

A promising choice for revival: McCullers’ stage adaptation (at the urging of her friend Tennessee Williams) of her 1946 novel. The Broadway production premiered in 1950 and was directed by Harold Clurman; it ran for 500 performances. The New York cast, Brandon De Wilde, Julie Harris, and Ethel Waters, starred in Fred Zinnemann’s 1952 film version. The protagonist is tomboy Frankie Addams, a motherless adolescent neglected by her father and utterly bored with life in small-town Georgia until romantic longing is ignited by her older brother’s wedding. McCullers wrote that the play “is concerned with the weight of time, the hazard of human existence, bolts of chance.”

The Chronic Single’s Handbook, written and performed by Randy Ross. In a Somerville, MA location (check the website) through September 22.

Novelist and fringe festival veteran Randy Ross was among the Bostonians selected by Airbnb to offer “high quality experiences” to visitors and residents of the Boston area. He is performing this piece in his living room — which gives a whole new meaning to ‘intimate’ theater. “The show: A chronically-single guy takes a trip around the world hoping to change his luck with love. An unflinching look at how men feel about sex, love, marriage, and massage parlors. Adult situations, adult language, and more adult situations including a visit to a body spa named ‘The Curious Finger.'”

Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Directed by Melia Bensussen. Staged by Shakespeare and Company in the Tina Packer Playhouse, Lenox, MA, through August 5.

Shakes & Co veterans Jonathan Croy and Tod Randolph take the helm as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, “two of Shakespeare’s most notorious anti-heroes.” Interesting: Mary McCarthy saw them as the Bard’s most perfect depiction of a middle class couple

Cato & Dolly by Patrick Gabridge. Presented by the Bostonian Society at the Old State House​, Boston, MA, through September 29.

This script, commissioned specifically for the Old State House’s Through the Keyhole exhibition, “reveals life behind the door of the Hancock House, Governor John Hancock’s 18th ​c​entury Beacon Hill home. In addition to viewing the historic door​ itself, on public view for the first time in decades, ​visitors to Through the Keyhole will experience ​the new 20-minute play which offers a glimpse of everyday life behind the Hancock door through the eyes of those who lived there: ​​Cato Hancock, an enslaved person in the Hancock household and ​Dolly Hancock, John Hancock’s wife and First Lady of Massachusetts​.”

The cast of “Creditors” at Shakespeare & Company: Jonathan Epstein, Ryan Winkles. and Kristin Wold. Photo: S&C.

Creditors by August Strindberg, adaptation by David Greig. Directed by Nicole Ricciardi. Staged by Shakespeare & Company in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Lenox, MA, through August 12.

Who can pass up one of Strindberg’s acidic power struggles among men and women during the summer? He wrote this script right after Miss Julie, and thought it was a better play — “three persons, one table, two chairs, and no sunrise.” Arts Fuse review

Dark Room by George Brant. Directed by Olivia D’Ambrosio. Staged by Bridge Repertory at the Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second Street, Cambridge, MA, through August 16.

A play based on the life and art (black and white photography) of Francesca Woodman, a prolific prodigy who died by suicide in 1981 at the age of 22.”This world premiere production will feature an epic cast of 24 women, and original movement devised by Doppelgänger Dance Collective.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques. Staged by Apollinaire Theatre Company at PORT Park, 99 Marginal Street, Chelsea, MA, through July 29.

Midsummer Night’s Dream will be staged environmentally in PORT Park, with the audience moving as we escape to the forest.” Let’s all hope we all make it out on one piece. Some ass heads don’t come off so easy. Arts Fuse review

Richard III by William Shakespeare. Directed by Steven Maler. Staged by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on the Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common, Boston MA, July 18 through August 5. (free)

Shakespeare’s searing drama chronicles the ruthless ascension of a king and the devastation he leaves in his wake as he gains power over the realm. Featuring stage, film, and television actor, Faran Tahir as Richard III.

A scene from Double Edge Theatre’s “We The People” Photo: Bill Hughes.

We The People, Double Edge Theatre’s Summer Spectacle, written and performed by Double Edge Theatre, Ashland, MA, through August 19.

“Through this work, the artists of Double Edge examine how to define evolving communities, beyond what is dictated by the loud and often overpowering voices and forces of society. The audience will walk freely between intimate installations where characters from nature, history, and imagination create and inhabit lyrical, integrated worlds. We The People is a traveling rumination on finding freedom through creativity, a profound relationship with the land, and a curiosity and reverence for past generations.”

Leftovers by Josh Wilder. Directed by Summer L. Williams. Staged by Company One Theatre at the Strand Theatre, 543 Columbia Road, Boston, MA, through August 18.

“Jalil and Kwamaine just want their family to be “Cosby Show Happy,” but that kind of life doesn’t seem to be in the cards—until an enormous dandelion sprouts in front of their South Philly home and wishes start falling from the sky. Seizing the possibility of no longer feeling like the city’s leftovers, the brothers begin to dream their way out of the cycle of poverty that has governed their lives, and find themselves on an adventure they never could have imagined.”

FRINGEPVD, presented by The Wilbury Group in collaboration with WaterFire Providence, the Steel Yard, and community partners throughout Providence, RI. In performance spaces throughout Olneyville, Providence, RI, through August 4.

Let’s Fringe! A gathering of fringe performers and performances too numerous to list. Head to the website to check out all the acts and the various venues. Why is there nothing like this in Boston? Could it be there is no fringe anymore — just mainstream and wanna-be mainstream? Just wondering …

Mary’s Wedding by Stephen Massicotte. Directed by Colette Robert. Staged by the Chester Theatre Company at the Chester Town Hall, Middlefield Road in Chester MA, through August 5.

“When Mary and Charlie find themselves sheltering from a storm in the same barn, they don’t yet realize their chance meeting will change their young lives. The tale of a great love told in the shadow of the Great War.”

The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh. Directed by Ralph B. Peña. A Barrington Stage co-Production with Ma-Yi Theater Company at the St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (36 Linden Street), Pittsfield, MA, through August 11.

“In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” For many years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant,” this script “spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.” Arts Fuse review

Seared by Theresa Rebeck. Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel. On the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Nikos Stage, Williamstown, MA, through August 4.

A new comedy fit for the appetite of foodies? “Chef Harry is a genius in the kitchen; his scallops are the ‘it’ dish in Brooklyn. His business partner, Mike, wants to expand their restaurant, but Harry sees that as selling out. When a shrewd consultant is brought in to make the case for expansion, Harry boils over. Can their most devoted employee help to put the lid back on?”

The Aliens by Annie Baker. Directed by Daniel Elihu Kramer. Staged by the Chester Theatre Company at the Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA, August 9 through 19.

In this play by Baker, an Amherst native, MacArthur Fellow, and Pulitzer Prize winner, “Jasper and KJ have created their own universe behind a local coffee shop. What could these two drop-outs possibly teach 17-year-old Evan about life?”

Humphery Bogart, Bette Davis, and Leslie Howard in the 1936 film version of “The Petrified Forest.”

The Petrified Forest by Robert E. Sherwood. Directed by David Auburn. Staged by the Berkshire Theatre Group at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 83 East Main Street, Stockbridge, MA, August 2 through 25.

I am intrigued by this revival of an American play very much of its era. Why now? “A waitress named Gabby Maple, longing for poetry and romance; disillusioned writer Alan Squier; and fugitive killer Duke Mantee sweat out a manhunt with a handful of colorful characters in an Arizona diner.” Humphrey Bogart’s stint as Mantee on the successful Broadway run made him a star. Critic George Jean Nathan was not impressed by the script: It is “a very smart box office show,” its “combination of remarkable intelligence with the most vigorous boom-boom properties of old-time blood and thunder melodrama was irresistible.” But Nathan suspects Sherwood thought he was penning “something pretty tony in the way of a symbolical-philosophical exhibit, even though it did contain four gangsters, three machine guns and two bottles of whiskey.”

— Bill Marx


Boston Tap Company performs at ON TAP. Photo: Joni Lohr.

ON TAP: Beantown Tapfest’s Faculty Showcase
August 10 at 8 p.m.
Deborah Mason Performing Arts Center
Somerville, MA

Head into Somerville for the ninth annual ON TAP: Beantown Tapfest’s Faculty Showcase presented by Julia on Tap. This year’s lineup features innovative tap masters hailing from Boston, New York, and Belgium. The program includes a unique collaboration between Ian Berg, director of Subject:Matter and Kathak dancer Anjali Nath, who will present a dynamic performance filled with complex, cross-cultural rhythms. ON TAP will also showcase tap artists Barbara Duffy, Josh Hilberman, Christopher Broughton, and Lisa LaTouche, alongside Boston-based companies Ryan P. Casey’s Off Beat, Sean Fielder’s Boston Tap Company, and Shaina Schwartz’s Touché Taps. Jazz trio musicians Paul Arslanian (piano), John Lockwood (bass), and Ron Savage (drums) return this year to complete the assemblage.

And further afield…

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
August 1 through 5
Ted Shawn Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow
Becket, MA

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the world-renowned Hubbard Street Dance Chicago returns to Jacob’s Pillow with an eclectic repertoire performed by its impressively strong, technically-driven ensemble of dancers. Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a near-perfect storm of movement, music, and choreography,” Hubbard Street proffers a performance of exhilarating works by contemporary choreographers including Crystal Pite and resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo.

Contemporary Performance Project Informal Showing
August 3 at 7 p.m.
Contemporary Dance and Fitness Studio
Montpelier, VT

Bryce Dance Company invites the local community to attend the culminating (and informal) showing of its Contemporary Performance Project. The presentation is the result of a four-day intensive with teens and adults that focuses on creating a strong foundation in contemporary technique, strengthening, and flexibility. The company prides itself on “making dance that opens dialogue and may disrupt the status quo.”

Jimena Bermejo and Chris Brokaw
August 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Gloucester, MA

Trident Live Art Series @ MAGMA presents Jimena Bermejo and Chris Brokaw, whose collaborative works combine the best elements of their shared interests in punk, poetics, and the beauty of blood. At MAGMA, the two will perform past works Slide and I’m The Only One, along with a new work in progress, Our Fathers (who aren’t in heaven), which explores different ways to play with and exchange their instruments — guitar and body.

— Merli V Guerra

Classical Music

Festival of Contemporary Music
Presented by Tanglewood Music Festival, through July 31, times vary.
Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA

This year’s FCM, curated by BSO artistic partner Thomas Adès, has a decidedly European bent. Among the highlights are performances of pieces by Per Nørgård (Voyage into the Golden Screen on July 26; String Quartet no. 10 on the 29th), Jonathan Harvey (String Quartet no. 3 on the 27th), and Gerald Barry (Sextet, on the 29th). Piece by two Americans – Sean Shepherd and Andrew Norman – round out an enticing Prelude Concert on the 28th and Adès conducts the Music Center Orchestra in a dazzling final concert on the 30th that includes his own In Seven Days (with pianist Kirill Gerstein) and Witold Lutoslawski’s magnificent Symphony no. 3.

Verdi’s Requiem
Presented by Boston Landmarks Orchestra
August 1, 7 p.m.
Hatch Shell, Boston, MA

The BLO presents Verdi’s spectacular Requiem – a piece seemingly made for outdoor performances – in a collaboration with the One City Choir and Back Bay Chorale. Meredith Hanson, Ann McMahon Quintero, Yeghishe Manucharyan, and Nathan Stark are the soloists; Christopher Wilkins conducts.

Leonard Bernstein’s hymn to America, “Songfest,” will be performed at Tanglewood Music Festival.

Bernstein’s Songfest
Presented by Tanglewood Music Festival
August 4, 8 p.m.
Koussevitzky Shed, Lenox, MA

The Boston Symphony finally plays Leonard Bernstein’s 1977 hymn to America. Bramwell Tovey conducts and an all-star cast – Nadine Sierra, Isabel Leonard, Kelley O’Connor, Nicholas Phan, Elliot Madore, and Eric Owens – sings. Sibelius’s Symphony no. 2 rounds things out.

Carmina Burana at Monadnock
Presented by Monadnock Music
August 5, 3 p.m.
Peterborough Town House, Peterborough (N.H.)

Andrew Clark and Margaret Weckworth conduct the Harvard Summer Chorus and Boston Modern Orchestra Project in Orff’s famous cantata, as well as Jonathan Dove’s Arion and the Dolphi.

A Quiet Place
Presented by Tanglewood Music Festival
August 9, 8 p.m.
Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA

Bernstein’s haunting, early-80s collaboration with Stephen Wadsworth – his only full-length opera – comes to Tanglewood in a fully-staged production of Garth Edwin Sunderland’s captivating chamber adaptation. Stefan Asbury conducts the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and Vocal Fellows.

Beethoven’s Pastorale Symphony
Presented by Monadnock Music
August 11, 7:30 p.m.
Peterborough Town House, Peterborough (N.H.)

Gil Rose and Monadnock Music continue the summer festival’s survey of the Beethoven symphonies, here pairing the Sixth with the Eighth.

MTT conducts Mahler
Presented by Tanglewood Music Festival
August 12, 2:30 p.m.
Koussevitzky Shed, Lenox, MA

Michael Tilson Thomas returns to the Tanglewood podium with Mahler’s First Symphony in tow. Also on the docket are his own Agnegram and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (with Igor Levit).

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Thomas Adès and Kirill Gerstein
August 1 at 8 p.m.
At Tanglewood, Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA

The program includes three French works by Debussy and Ravel: the former’s En blanc et noir and Lindaraja, and the latter’s Rapsodie espagnole, which concludes the concert. Also included are Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, arranged for two pianos by Shostakovich, Lutosławski’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini, and Adès own Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face.

Pianist Paul Lewis will perform at Tanglewood this week.

Paul Lewis
August 2 at 8 p.m.
At Tanglewood, Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA

Lewis launches a multi-year survey at Tanglewood of piano works by Haydn, Beethoven, and Brahms. The program includes three Haydn sonatas: No. 49 in E-flat, No. 32 in B minor, and No. 40 in G. Beethoven is represented with two sets of character pieces, the Eleven Bagatelles, Op. 119, and the Six Bagatelles, Op. 126. At the heart of the program are Brahms’s Four Pieces (Klavierstücke), Op. 119.

The 27th Annual Music Festival at Walnut Hill
Angelo Xiang Yu, violinist
Peter Chuang Chuang Fang, pianist
August 4 at 7:30 p.m.
At the Walnut Hill School/Keiter Center, 12 Highland Street, Natick, MA

The program includes Tomaso Antonio Vitali’s Chaconne; Johannes Brahms’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108; Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata for violin and piano No. 9 in A major “Kreutzer” Op. 47; and Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Concert Fantasy Op.25.

Borromeo String Quartet
August 8 at 7:30 p.m.
At the Walnut Hill School/Keiter Center, 12 Highland Street, Natick, MA

On the program: Franz Schubert’s Quartettsatz in C Minor, D 703; Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (arr. for String Quartet by Nicholas Kitchen); and Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80.

— Susan Miron

Rock, Pop, and Folk

David Mirabella of The Rationales
August 2 (show at 9)
Gulu-Gulu Cafe, Salem, MA

The Boston quintet The Rationales were nominated for two 2017 Boston Music Awards: Song of the Year (“Ready To Go”) and Americana Artist of the Year. In addition to last year’s Upstream, the band has released two EPs and one LP since 2008, generating a distinct sound that sews together rock ‘n’ roll, power pop, and — of course — Americana. Lead singer and songwriter David Mirabella will perform a solo set at Salem’s Gulu-Gulu Cafe on Thursday night. (Here is the interview that I did with him ahead of a Rationales show at the same venue in 2014.)

The Essex Green with Dutch Tulips
August 3 (doors at 10, show at 10:30)
Great Scott, Brighton, MA

Brooklyn trio The Essex Green reappeared in June after 12 years of silence with a new album called Hardly Electronic. Although it might be wrong to judge an album by its cover, this one is as delectably retro on the inside as it is on the outside. Among its highlights are “Sloane Ranger,” “Don’t Leave it in Our Hands,” “Modern Rain,” which sounds like something from the 1967 album S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things, and the Belle & Sebastian-esque “Patsy Desmond.” Boston’s Dutch Tulips — who released a four-song EP, Cadillac, this year — will provide support when The Essex Green’s old and new fans converge at Great Scott on Friday.

Joe Moss Band
August 3 (doors at 7, show at 8)
9 Wallis, Beverly, MA

Veteran blues guitarist Joe Moss will be recording his performance at Beverly’s 9 Wallis for a live album. Being from Chicago, Moss certainly had his pick of venues at which to do so. However, in its just over one year of existence, this intimate and air-conditioned North Shore room has quickly become a prime space for established and up-and-coming blues artists.

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
August 4 (doors at 7, show at 8)
The Cabot, Beverly, MA

American music — and life in general, for that matter — would be a whole lot less interesting had George Clinton not made his contributions to it. As difficult as it is to imagine a musical landscape without his ongoing presence, the Godfather of Funk announced that 2018 would be his last full year of touring. Therefore, his August 4 show at Beverly’s Cabot Theatre might be the final opportunity for Boston-area residents to experience the full-on epicness that is Parliament Funkadelic.

— Blake Maddux

Roots and World Music

Lowell Folk Festival
July 29
Lowell, MA

The annual weekend of free music and food from around America and the world returns. Among the groups to watch out for: Big Country Bluegrass, Cajun honky tonkers Kyle Duval and the Dixie Club Ramblers, the Greek Rebetiko Trio, the Afghan music of Salar Nader and Mustafa Saeed, and the Afro-Colombian jams of Tribu Baharu. Disclaimer: This writer worked as a freelance bio writer for the Festival’s producing partner.

Kahulanui peforms this week at City Winery, Boston.

July 31
City Winery, Boston, MA

The paradise swing of this Hawaiian big band was one of the highlights of last weekend’s Lowell Folk Festival. They’re sticking around to play a full concert.

Boston Salsa Festival
August 3 through 5
Waltham Westin Hotel, Waltham, MA

The salsa dance community’s biggest annual event presents workshops, demonstrations, and a night of live mambo from Tito Rodriguez Jr. and his orchestra.

DJ Easy Ed presents The Fathoms, Trabants, The Fearless Leaders
August 4
Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain, MA

DJ Easy Ed has been organizing an ongoing series of vintage rock bashes at the wonderfully divey Midway. This edition has a seasonally appropriate focus on surf rock and features a too-rare set from The Fathoms, the exotica of The Trabants, and Merseybeat heroes the Fearless Leaders.

The Beach Boys
August 12
Indian Ranch, Webster, MA

Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love may be one of the more controversial figures in rock ‘n roll, but there’s no denying the “Fun Fun Fun” he still generates with fellow ’60s member Bruce Johnston — especially when you can see them at a venue that has an actual beach. Now their band is enjoying a major shot of cred thanks to the addition of guitarist Jeffrey Foskett, one of the architects of Brian Wilson’s acclaimed solo tours. Reports are that Love and Co. have expanded their set list to include more Beach Boys rarities.

— Noah Schaffer

Author Events
Jackie Wang
Carceral Capitalism
August 1 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

“In this collection of essays in Semiotext(e)’s Intervention series, Jackie Wang examines the contemporary incarceration techniques that have emerged since the 1990s. The essays illustrate various aspects of the carceral continuum, including the biopolitics of juvenile delinquency, predatory policing, the political economy of fees and fines, cybernetic governance, and algorithmic policing.”

Keith Gessen
A Terrible Country: A Novel
August 6 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

“When Andrei Kaplan’s older brother Dima insists that Andrei return to Moscow to care for their ailing grandmother, Andrei must take stock of his life in New York. His girlfriend has stopped returning his text messages. His dissertation adviser is dubious about his job prospects. It’s the summer of 2008, and his bank account is running dangerously low. Perhaps a few months in Moscow are just what he needs.”

Nell Stevens
The Victorian and The Romantic: A Memoir, A Love Story, and A Friendship
August 7 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

“History meets memoir in two irresistible true-life romances–one set in 19th century Rome, one in present-day Paris and London–linked by a bond between women writers a hundred years apart. In 1857, English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell completed her most famous work: the biography of her dear friend Charlotte Bronte. As publication loomed, Mrs. Gaskell was keen to escape the reviews. So, leaving her dull minister husband and dreary provincial city behind, she set off with her daughters to Rome. There she met a dazzling group of artists and writers, among them the American critic Charles Eliot Norton. Seventeen years her junior, Norton was her one true love. They could not be together–it would be an unthinkable breach of convention–but by his side and amidst that splendid circle, Mrs. Gaskell knew she had reached the ‘tip-top point of her life.'”

Maryanne Wolf
Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World
August 8 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

“A decade ago, Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid revealed what we know about how the brain learns to read and how reading changes the way we think and feel. Since then, the ways we process written language have changed dramatically with many concerned about both their own changes and that of children. New research on the reading brain chronicles these changes in the brains of children and adults as they learn to read while immersed in a digitally dominated medium. Drawing deeply on this research, this book comprises a series of letters Wolf writes to us—her beloved readers—to describe her concerns and her hopes about what is happening to the reading brain as it unavoidably changes to adapt to digital mediums.”

Julie Schumacher
The Shakespeare Requirement: A Novel
August 14 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune keep hitting beleaguered English professor Jason Fitger right between the eyes in this hilarious and eagerly awaited sequel to the cult classic of anhedonic academe, the Thurber Prize–winning Dear Committee Members. Once more into the breach…Now is the fall of his discontent, as Jason Fitger, newly appointed chair of the English Department of Payne University, takes arms against a sea of troubles, personal and institutional.”

— Matt Hanson


  1. Ron Newman on July 30, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Where is the Jenny Holzer exhibit located?

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