Coming Attractions: March 10 through 26 — What Will Light Your Fire

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

By The Arts Fuse Staff


A scene from Jean-Luc Godard’s “The Image Book.”

The Image Book
through March 21
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

The legendary Jean-Luc Godard adds to his influential, iconoclastic legacy with this provocative collage film essay, a vast ontological inquiry into the history of the moving image which also comments on the contemporary world. Winner of the first Special Palme d’Or. The issues the director raises have to do with the legacy of the last century and its horrors: the immensity of Hiroshima and Auschwitz, events that coincided with cinema but have somehow eluded its gaze, along with reflections on orientalism and the Arab world. Trailer.

Of Fathers and Sons
March 11 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA

Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Syrian direction Talal Derki returned to his homeland where he gained the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses mainly on the children, providing rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic Caliphate. The film captures the moment when the children have to let go of their youth and are finally turned into Jihadi fighters. No matter how close the war comes, they’ve already learned one thing: they must not cry. Arts Fuse interview with the director. Derki will attend via Skype for a post-screening discussion. Trailer.

The World Before Your Feet
March 17  at 2 p.m.
At Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, MA
March 22 at 7 p.m.
AT the BU Cinemateque at 7 p.m. in COM at 640 Room 101

For over 6 years, Matt Green has been on an unusual journey of wonder and discovery: he has walked every street in New York City, a total of 8000 miles. This a beautifully made love letter to the city of New York as well as an impressive historical document. (It won the IFFBoston 2018 Special Jury Prize for Documentary Feature.) Director Jeremy Workman and subject Matt Green will appear in person for a Q&A after the screening. They will also be at a BU screening of the film, moderated by the Arts Fuse‘s Gerald Perry, which is free of charge.

Yours in Sisterhood
March 18 at 7 p.m.
At the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA

What might be revealed in the process of inviting strangers to act out and respond to the ideas of ’70s feminism forty years later? Between 2015 and 2017, hundreds of strangers in communities all over the US were invited to read aloud and respond to letters sent during the ’70s to the editor of Ms. Magazine — the first mainstream feminist magazine in the US. The intimate, provocative, and sometimes heartbreaking conversations that emerge encourage us to think critically about the past, present, and future of feminism. Filmmaker Irene Lusztig will attend in person for a discussion with Erin Trahan, local film journalist. A DocYard presentation.

A scene from “The Wild Pear Tree,” screening at the MFA.

18th Boston Turkish Film Festival
March 21 through April 7
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA

Turkey produces a number of great films and, in this country, they can be only be seen in this setting. This year’s program features emerging and established Turkish filmmakers. The opening film is The Wild Pear Tree by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Winters Sleep, Three Monkeys). The program also features a Turkish cinema classic from the ’70s, The Bus, a refugee story, and Tolga Karaçelik’s feature film Butterflies, winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize. On March 24 at 11 a.m. there will be a screening of the winners of the BTF Film Competition Awards for Documentaries and Short Films, followed by a panel discussion on Turkish cinema moderated by Boston Globe film critic Peter Keough. A complete schedule with descriptions can be found here.

The 21st Annual Boston Underground Film Festival
March 20 through 24
At the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA

BUFF celebrates unconventional stories, idiosyncratic voices, fever dreams, nightmarish visions, and all manner of cinematic forms, serving the appetite of audiences that have become ravenous for this annual sensory bacchanalia of features and shorts from beyond the mainstream. These include the opening night film Penny Lane’s Hail Satan?the story of a temple that evolves from a small-scale media stunt to an internationally recognized religion with hundreds of thousands of adherents. Naked bodies writhe side-by–side with snakes on altars as protesters storm the gates of state capitols across the country. Other oddities include the Girl on the Third Floor with the director in attendance on Thursday and the disturbing Canadian film Happy Face (trailer link) on Sunday. Saturday morning features an early program of classic cartoons. There are additional screenings on March 23 the Harvard Film Archives.
Full Schedule with descriptions

Boston Irish Film Festival
March 22 through 24

Float Like A Butterfly
March 23  at 7:30 at the Somerville Theater in Davis Square

From the producers of Once and Sing Street: “Irish teen Frances lost her mother in a fight which led to her father (Dara Devaney) being locked up in jail for the last ten years. Frances has never forgiven the police sergeant who she feels is responsible for this. She’s got fighting in her blood, just like her idol Muhammad Ali inspiring her to be the Greatest. When her father gets out of jail, Frances is starry-eyed. Together they can take on the world. But her father doesn’t turn out to be the hero she remembers.” Q&A follows the screening with Dara Devaney, director Carmel Winters and production designer Toma McCullim.

March 23, at 7:15 p.m. at the Somerville Theater in Davis Square, Somerville, MA

This 2018 Director’s Choice Feature is “based on the true story of the 1983 mass breakout of 38 IRA prisoners from the HMP Maze high-security prison. As Larry Marley, the chief architect of the escape, schemes his way towards this feat, he meets prison warden Gordon Close and a slow seduction begins.” Actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, director Stephen Burke and producer Jane Doolan will be at a post-screening Q&A.

Lost And Found
March 24 at 2 p.m. at Landmark’s Kendall Square Cinema, Cambridge, MA

Co-presented with the Kendall Cinema, this is a special screening with writer/director/actor Liam O Mochain, who will be in attendance. The plot: “seven interconnecting stories set in and around a Lost and Found office of an Irish train station all inspired by true stories that share a theme of something lost or found and characters that come in and out of each other’s lives.

The Heart
March 17
At Studio Cinema at 371 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA

Opening night of the 2019 Belmont World Film Festival International Film Series features the American premiere of The Heart, a contemporary story about love, relationships, and independence, set in Gothenberg and Stockholm. It was written, directed, and stars Swedish actress Fanni Metelius (Force Majeure). Gothenberg plays a sexually liberated and independent photographer who, despite her better instincts, falls in love and moves in with an up-and-coming musician. The screening is preceded by an optional Swedish smorgasbord at the theater from 6 to 7 p.m. catered by Karl’s with Swedish pastries courtesy of the Scandinavian Cultural Center.

— Tim Jackson


Tomas Fujiwara
March 14 at 8:15 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge, MA.

The fine drummer and composer Tomas Fujiwara fronts his band Triple Double — two drummers, two brass, and two guitars. The players are Fujiwara with drummer Gerald Cleaver; cornettist Taylor Ho Bynum and trumpeter Ralph Alessi; and guitarists Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook. They’re billing the instrumentation as “a full group and as many combinations as you want to imagine.” Works for me.

Singer Patricia Barber will perform in Boston this week. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Patricia Barber
March 15 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA.

It’s been at least a couple of years since the distinguished Chicago-based singer, songwriter, and pianist Patricia Barber has graced Boston with her biting poetic wit and driving jazz dynamism — as compelling covering Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top” and the Beatles’ “Blackbird” as her own jazz-song reflections on Ovid (Mythologies, 2006). She’s joined this time by bassist Patrick Mulcahy and drummer Jon Deitemyer.

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
March 17 at 7 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center

The venerable Monterey Jazz Festival (now celebrating its 60th anniversary) has been mounting all-star tours for the past few years, and this is an especially good lineup: pianist and musical director Christian Sands, saxophonist Melissa Aldana, trumpeter Bria Skonberg, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, drummer Jamison Ross, and singer Cécile McLorin Salvant.

An image from Karen Aqua’s “Sensorium.” Photo: World Music

Ken Field
March 22 at 8 p.m.
ICA, Boston, MA.

The peripatetic veteran Boston musician Ken Field (Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic) was a regular collaborator with his late wife, filmmaker Karen Aqua. In 2017, Field was invited to perform live at an animation film festival with a program of Aqua’s films. He brings a version of that program to the ICA, with its unusual instrumentation: an all-alto saxophone quartet, plus a drummer. The band is Field, Stan Strickland, Lihi Haruvi, and Neil Leonard on altos, with Savannah Marshall on drums.

Fred Hersch
March 23 at 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center

The distinguished pianist and composer Fred Hersch brings his 2005 masterwork, “Leaves of Grass,” to Berklee for a rare concert performance. Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry sing Hersch’s settings of Whitman (including “Song of Myself”) with a band that includes the composer on piano, trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, trombonist Allan Ferber, multi-reedist Bruce Williams, tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, cellist Jody Redhage, bassist John Hébert and drummer John Hollenbeck. See Arts Fuse preview.

Guitarist Ralph Towner in concert with Paolo Fresu at the Treibhaus Innsbruck, 2010. Photo: Wiki Commons

Ralph Towner
March 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge, MA.

The virtuoso guitarist Ralph Towner, now 79, came to the fore with the Paul Winter Consort and the collaborative ensemble Oregon. His omnidirectional interests have made him all but unclassifiable, except in code as “ECM jazz.” He’s doing this solo tour behind his latest ECM release, Solo Guitar. The small room should be perfect for hearing Towner make magic on acoustic six- and 12-string.

— Jon Garelick

Oz Noy (g), w. Jimmy Haslip (b), Dave Weckl (dm), At the Regattabar, Cambridge, MA, on March 13 at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Noy is a powerful guitarist with a great resume of sideman gigs. He brings along two of the strongest support players in the world, Jimmy Haslip of The Yellowjackets and Dave Weckl, a veteran of many years with Chick Corea. Their group is a crossover thing, drawing on funk and blues but built on jazz.

Antibalas at The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA at  March 13, at 8 p.m. Not jazz, of course, but if you don’t mind standing and want to hear a leading band from the Brooklyn Afrobeat scene, go, listen, and dance if you’re so moved. Afrobeat, the irresistible long-form funk-protest genre pioneered by Fela Kuti, is being advanced in all sorts of ways by bands around the globe, and Antibalas does it better than most. There will be instrumental solos, and the band’s horn players provide plenty of satisfaction for jazzpeople.

(Just after) the Ides of March! Can you believe that two must-see events are happening within walking distance of each other on the same day at the same time? You’ll have to choose, and it won’t be easy:

Boston Symphony Orchestra, with James Carter (ts / ss), conducted by Thomas Wilkins  at Symphony Hall, March 23, at 8 p.m. If the BSO has previously done a program exclusively devoted to composers of color, I don’t know about it. In any event, this step away from the usual fare in the BSO’s season deserves your sincerest support, by which I mean your purchase of tickets. The program is both adventurous and balanced, with Adolphus Hailstork’s “An American Port of Call” (1984), a very approachable “mainstream classical” work; Florence Price’s “Symphonic Reflections,”  Thomas Wilkins’s arrangement of music from her third symphony (1940) that reflects the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance; Duke Ellington’s “Tone Parallel to Harlem” (1951), orchestrated by Luther Henderson; and a contemporary work, Roberto Sierra’s “Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra” (2002).  Sierra’s piece is a virtuoso workout for the soloist, James Carter, an artist of towering ability. It has plenty to enjoy – improvised cadenzas by Carter, Latin rhythms in the first movement, a lovely lyricism in the middle one, and blues in the finale! Thomas Wilkins, the conductor, is a deeply respected and experienced leader who holds an endowed chair as conductor of the BSO’s youth and family concerts, serves as music director of the Omaha Symphony, holds the position of principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Symphony, and appears from time to time leading the Pops.  An Arts Fuse preview to come.

— Steve Elman


A scene from China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater presentation of “Princess Zhaojun.”

Princess Zhaojun
March 16 at 8 p.m. & March 17 at 2 p.m.
At Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Boston, MA

China Arts and Entertainment Group presents the Boston debut of the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater’s new production Princess Zhaojun, written by Yu Ping, composed by Zhang Qu, directed and choreographed by Kong Dexin. This theatrical dance production tells the true story of one of China’s most important heroines, Wang Zhaojun. She sacrifices her comfortable palace life to maintain peace on the turbulent border of northern China.

March 16 at 7 p.m. & March 17 at 1 p.m.
Boston University Dance Theater, Boston, MA

Commonwealth Ballet’s Beginnings celebrates the start of careers in dance through live music and dance. The production’s five works include the Boston premiere of “Portraiture” by emerging choreographer Rosario Guillen; Psalm 148 and Piano Trio, Leonard Bernstein’s first two published works; a contemporary piece by Juliana Utz, artistic director of Turning Key Dance; and the opening section of George Balanchine’s “Serenade.”

March 22 at 8 p.m.
Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA

Abilities Dance presents Audacity, a selection of works that explore universal themes of human experience, led by founder and director Ellice Patterson. Inspired by current conversations about intersectional disability rights — and connected with the larger Boston disabled and integrated dance communities as a whole — Audacity features collaborations with Heidi Latsky Dance and the students of Our Space Our Place with newly composed music by Andrew Choe.

Boston Dance Alliance’s 2019 Gala
March 25 at 6 p.m.
Calderwood Pavilion, Boston, MA

This year’s Boston Dance Alliance Gala honors veteran dance artists and educators Tony Williams (Boston Ballet’s first African American principal dancer, dance studio owner, and choreographer of the annual holiday favorite Urban Nutcracker) and Duggan Hill (choreographer, mentor, and founder of Boston City Lights Performing Arts School). Come celebrate the impressive contributions of Williams and Hill on the Greater Boston community, while enjoying food, drink, a silent auction, and performances by the honorees’ organizations.

— Merli V. Guerra

Visual Arts

Huma Bhabha, “Four Nights of a Dreamer,” 2018. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Huma Bhabha: They Live
At the ICA/Boston
Through December 3, 2019

Using styrofoam, bronze, bricks, wood, and various other found materials, Huma Bhabha transforms familiar materials into unsettling objects. Hybridity is a central theme in the artist’s work, exploring the many expressive capabilities of the figure via a plethora of intersex, multi-ethnic forms. Animal, alien, and hybrid bodies suggest a post-apocalyptic existence; the grotesque forms take up themes such as war, religion, and memory. This retrospective is Bhabha’s largest collection of work to date, occupying multiple rooms at the ICA and featuring nearly 50 works, including drawing, sculpture, and photography.

Konstantin Simun, Container Blue Sky. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Konstantin Simun: The Sacred in the Profane
Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union Street
Clinton, MA
Through June 30

Seeing the sacred in the most mundane of materials, Konstantin Simun draws parallels between discarded consumer objects and religious icons. He was deeply affected by American consumer culture after he arrived (in 1988) in the U.S.; the Russian-born artist was fascinated with the colorful plethora of plastic strewn in city streets. Since then, Simun has worked primarily with this medium. Removing plastic containers and objects from the environments of their intended uses, he alters and presents them as elevated icons, asking us to consider the formal qualities of their molded forms, and questioning our criteria for determining the sacred from the profane.

Howardena Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen
Rose Art Museum
415 South Street, Waltham, MA
Through May 19

Featuring work that spans the artist’s 50+ year career, this exhibition looks at the many styles, materials, and investigations of Howardena Pindell. Constantly challenging the tradition of painting in which she was trained, Pindell broke new ground in the art world both as a painter and a woman of color. Much of her work involves a simultaneous deconstruction and reconstruction of both materials and ideas, as she contemplates issues such as racism, feminism, equality, and exploitation. Also featuring work in film, photography, and performance, this exhibit is the most comprehensive retrospective of Pindell’s career so far.

The Bauhaus and Harvard
Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA
Through July 28

Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school, this exhibit highlights significant connections between the school and Harvard University, which became the center for Bauhaus activity during the ’30s. The works are drawn primarily from the Busch-Reisinger Museum collection (the largest Bauhaus collection outside of Germany); the collection began as a collaborative effort between artist and museum to preserve the legacy of the school. Highlighting over 70 artists, such as Anni and Josef Albers and Paul Klee, the exhibit presents artworks across many different mediums. Viewers are encouraged to attend the many events organized by Harvard in celebration of the Bauhaus centennial.

Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment
Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA.
Through May 5

Showcasing over 100 works, this exhibit brings together American and Native American artists from the 18th century to the present, and explores their stance on the environment and the role of humans within the natural world. This is the first exhibit to examine how artists throughout American history have reflected on, and influenced, environmental beliefs. Given recent discouraging governmental reports on the status of climate change, each work is presented with a reflection on the governing societal attitudes of the time in which it was created.

Made Visible: Contemporary South African Fashion and Identity
MFA Boston, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA
Through May 12

“Made Visible” celebrates South African groups who have historically been denied their rights. The focus is on how clothing signifies cultural identity across these communities. Twenty-five years after the end of apartheid, these works examine the painful effects of the past and illuminate how fashion signifies hopes for a brighter future.

Tom Kiefer, “Pink Combs and Brushes.” Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tom Kiefer: El Sueño Americano
Through July 28
Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA

This series of photographs features belongings that were confiscated from migrant families apprehended at the U.S. border. Hundreds of items that have been deemed not threatening or non-essential, such as combs, wallets, toys. and water bottles, have been discarded. Salvaged by Tom Kiefer during his time as a janitor at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, these pieces have benn organized and photographed as a testament to the struggle of refugees who come to the United States in search of a better life.

–- Rebekah Bonner

Roots and World Music

Andy Bassford will perform tonight in Boston and on March 12 in Cambridge.

Andy Bassford with The Naya Rockers
March 10 from 8 p.m.- 11:45 p.m. at Beehive Restaurant, 541 Tremont St, Boston MA
and March 12 from 10:15 p.m.-11:45 p.m. at La Fabrica Central, 450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA

Guitarist Bassford has been one of the reggae world’s go-to guitarists for decades, thanks to lengthy stints with Dennis Brown and Toots and the Maytals. He recently stepped out of the shadows to release “The Harder They Strum,” an inventive and fun guitar-oriented remake of “The Harder They Come.” He’ll be joined by Boston roots warriors Naya Rockers for two shows, including an edition of the impressive Reggae Takeova which happens Wednesdays (and other) nights at La Fabrica Central.

Boiler House Jazz Series: Joe Morris/Do Yeon Kim Duo
March 14 from 8- 9:30 p.m.
Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, 145 Moody St, Waltham MA

This distinctive series of improvised duets is back; it kicks off with the debut pairing of guitar and bass improv master Joe Morris and Korean gayageum innovator Do Yeon Kim.

Stave Sessions
March 19-23
Celebrity Series of Boston, 160 Mass. Ave., Boston MA

The Celebrity Series’ genre-busting Stave Sessions have become an annual highlight of the spring concert scene. This year the lineup includes the Appalachian ballad preservers Anna & Elizabeth, Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda, and a one-of-a-kind collaboration between percussion trio Tigue, neo-Sufi singer Arooj Aftab, and minimalist Gyan Riley.

Beat Circus will perform at ONCE Ballroom.

Beat Circus
March 23 at 8 p.m. (Doors at 7)
ONCE Ballroom, 156 Highland Ave, Somerville MA

Boston’s Brian Carpenter is a true renaissance musician who transforms everything — from early jazz to singer/songwriter pop — into a mix of the fun and the sincere. He’s revived his Beat Circus group for the release of “These Wicked Things,” the soundtrack to a graphic novelette by Croatian artist Danijel Zezelj. The disc exudes the same glorious, expansive atmosphere of the best of Ennio Morricone. They’ll celebrate with an appropriately eclectic roster of fellow adventurers: Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, Count Zero, Jaggery, and Kee Avil.

Danilo Brito Trio
March 23 from 7:30- 9 p.m.
Workbar, 45 Prospect St, Cambridge MA

Brazilian mandolin phenomenon Danilo Brito has performed his country’s choro string music all around the world — in the process he’s become a favorite of many an American bluegrass picker. He played a memorable show at Passim two years ago. Here’s a full Arts Fuse interview he did back then.

— Noah Schaffer


A scene from the A.R.T. Production of “Endlings.” Photo:

Endlings by Celine Song. Directed by Sammi Cannold. At the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, through March 17.

A rare non-musical staged by the A.R.T. “On the Korean island of Man-Jae, three elderly haenyeos—sea women—spend their dying days diving into the ocean to harvest seafood. They have no heirs to their millennia-old way of life. Across the globe on the island of Manhattan, a Korean-Canadian playwright, twice an immigrant, spends her days wrestling with the expectation that she write “authentic” stories about her identity. But what, exactly, is her identity? And how can she write about it without selling her own skin?” Arts Fuse review

Birdy, adapted by Naomi Wallace from the novel by William Wharton. Directed by Steven Maler. Staged by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company at the Carling-Sorenson Theater, Babson College, Wellesley, MA, through March 17.

The script “examines the effects of war on young lives, a topic that is just as relevant today as it was decades ago. The story also offers hope in the possibility of powerful friendships to heal the psychological wounds of war after the physical wounds have healed.” Arts Fuse review

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Directed by Peter DuBois. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue, Boston), through March 31.

“Impassioned young lovers are caught between the violence and intolerance of their feuding families in one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet. A tale that shifts blame between fate and collective responsibility, Romeo and Juliet illuminates the consequences of reckless love and reckless hate in this pop-centric, contemporary production that pairs Shakespearean verse with modern design, themes, fashion, and music.”

Travis Coe in a scene from “SUGA.” Photo: courtesy of the Double Edge Theatre.

SUGA, conceived, created, and performed by Travis Coe. Directed by Stacy Klein. Presented by Double Edge Theatre at 948 Conway Rd, Ashfield, MA, March 10.

This solo performance piece is “an investigation of freedom, and the bounds—personal, artistic, societal, and political—one must break through to achieve that end. As a caretaker of a museum of memory, Coe touches/reveals/remixes all the aspects of himself—as Queer, Black, Latino, and American, to find the path to sing, fly, run – toward Freedom.”

Once, book by Enda Walsh, and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Directed by Paul Melone. Staged by SpeakEasy Stage Company in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St., Boston, MA, through March 30.

The Boston regional theatre premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical, which “employs an exceptional ensemble of actor/musicians to tell the story of an unlikely romance between a down-on-his-luck Dublin street musician and a determined Czech immigrant who inspires him to dream.” Arts Fuse review

Rosa Procaccino, Amelia Broome, Remo Airaldi in the Lyric Stage Company production of “The Little Foxes.” Photo: Mark S. Howard

The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman. Directed by Scott Edmiston. Staged by the Lyric Stage at 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, through March 17.

A good time for a play about American rapacity run rampant. “Lillian Hellman’s classic drama captures the riveting story of how a family’s vicious pursuit of financial success destroys the American Dream. In the post-Civil War South, Regina Giddens and her scheming brothers, Oscar and Ben, want to partner on a business deal to exploit the poor and increase their already substantial wealth.” Arts Fuse review

Not Medea by Allison Gregory. Directed by Elizabeth Yvette Ramirez. Staged by the Flat Earth Theatre at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA, March 15 through 30.

The script’s New England premiere: “an exhausted mother just needs one night off and escapes to the sanctuary of the theater — to find that the play being performed is the one she desperately can’t bear to watch. Straddling the worlds of myth, magic, and motherhood, Not Medea is a decidedly 21st century take on a millennia-old tale of betrayal, death, and unthinkable tragedy.”

Cardboard Piano by Hansol Jung. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush. Staged by New Repertory Theatre at the mainstage at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA, March 23 through April 14.

The New England premiere of “a riveting new drama that reveals a love story between two young women set amidst an escalating civil war in Uganda. Exploring the roots of hatred, the potent power of forgiveness, and how spirituality and identity intersect.”

Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler. Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw. Staged by the Nora Theatre Company (part of The Brit d’Arbeloff Women in Science Production Series. A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production) at the Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Avenue, Cambridge, MA, March 14 through April 14.

This anniversary year (30 years for The Nora Theatre Company, 40 years for Underground Railway, ten as a cultural anchor in Central Square) is being celebrated by the revival of a play that was first staged by the Nora Theatre in 2012. Its themes “have become sharper with time: not only are conversations about sexism and bias happening in popular culture but they are happening in the laboratory and science classrooms around the country and world — and it’s more intense than ever. ”

The Song of Summer by Lauren Yee. Directed by Taibi Magar. Stated by Trinity Rep at 201 Washington Street, Providence, R.I., March 14 through April 14.

A world premiere production: “That song on every radio and wedding DJ’s playlist — that catchy earworm that’s inescapable for an entire summer — the “song of the summer” …there’s more to it than everyone knows. There’s more to know about its singer, too — like why he snuck away from a concert and traveled hundreds of miles to visit the home of his childhood piano teacher. What – and who – he finds there could change his career and his life.

Burning by Ginger Lazarus. Directed by Andrea Humez. Staged by Theatre@First at Unity Somerville,
4 William St, Somerville, MA, March 15 through 23.

“In this modern re-imagining of Cyrano de Bergerac, Cy is a former sergeant kicked out of the Army under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. She takes on the world with her words as a blogger, blowing the whistle on sexual harassment within the Army. When her friend Rose falls for another soldier, Cy lends him her words to win Rose’s love, but Cy’s own feelings are on the line.”

A scene from Sara Porkalob’s “Dragon Lady.” Photo: Robert Wade/Courtesy of Intiman Theatre.

Dragon Cycle, created and performed by Sara Porkalob. Directed by Andrew Russell. Two works staged in repertory by the American Repertory Theater at Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, March 20 through April 6

“After a run at Oberon in the spring of 2018, virtuosic performer Sara Porkalob returns with new songs in her musical Dragon Lady and also turns her attention to another chapter of her family’s history with “Dragon Mama,” the second piece in her Dragon Cycle.” The latter is a world premiere production.

— Bill Marx

Classical Music

An Evening of Brahms
March 10 at 3 p.m.
First Baptist Church in Newton, 848 Beacon Street, Newton Center, Newton, MA

The New Philharmonia Orchestra presents an all-Brahms evening: Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Michael Lewin, piano soloist) and Symphony No. 4.

Thomas Adès conducting pianist Kirill Gerstein in a performance with the BSO. Photo: Winslow Townson

Celebrity Series of Boston presents: Pianist Kirill Gerstein and Pianist/Composer Thomas Adès
March 15 at 8 p.m.
At Jordan Hall/New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA

On the program: Claude Debussy’s En blanc et noir; Igor Stravinsky / Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony of Psalms; Witold Lutosławski’s Variations on a theme by Paganini; Claude Debussy’s Lindaraja; Thomas Adès’s Concert paraphrase on Powder Her Face; Maurice Ravel’s La Valse.

Winsor Music presents: Diaz Family Concert
March 16 at 8 p.m.
At First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA

“World-famous soloists and brothers Andrés and Roberto Díaz will visit Boston to perform a rare trio concert with their sister, Winsor Music’s very own Gabriela Díaz. Special guest appearances also by parents Manuel and Betty Anne Díaz.”

Cantata Singers present: Haydn’s The Creation
March 22 at 8 p.m.
At Jordan Hall/New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA

“Cantata Singers presents F.J. Haydn’s resplendent oratorio, The Creation.” Artistic Director David Hoose “leads soloists, chorus, and orchestra in this exhilarating retelling of the Creation story, featuring inspired and eloquent soloists Amanda Forsythe, soprano, William Hite, tenor, and Mark Andrew Cleveland, bass, imaginative orchestral colors, and some of the most thrilling choral writing ever conceived.”

Henry Purcell Society of Boston presents Purcell & Friends, The Tempest
March 22 at 8 p.m.
Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, 138 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

Via a collaboration with The Poets’ Theatre, T”he Henry Purcell Society of Boston is excited to present an original adaption of The Tempest, featuring music of Baroque era composers Matthew Locke, Pelham Humfrey, John Weldon, John Banister, Jean Baptiste Lully, and others, with added music from the theatrical works of Henry Purcell. Our production also features a newly created narration by renowned scholar Laurence Senelick, incorporating text from both Dryden and Davenant’s Restoration era play and Shakespeare’s original.”

— Susan Miron

Patrick Greene’s Druddigon
Presented by Boston Musica Viva
March 10, 3 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center, Boston, MA

BMV’s annual Family Concert features the world premiere of Greene’s new ballet plus a repeat performance of Hale Smith’s Ayobami and a pair of new bagatelles for the ensemble by Bernard Hoffer and Andy Vores.

Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
March 11-17, 7:30 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sunday)
Artists for Humanity EpiCenter, Boston, MA

BLO presents Sarna Lapine’s production of Britten’s 1946 tragic chamber opera. Kelley O’Connor sings the title role, David Angus conducts.

Nelsons conducts Strauss
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
March 14-16, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Renée Fleming joins Andris Nelsons and the BSO for an all-Richard Strauss evening featuring music from Capriccio and the tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra.

American Sojourn
Presented by Brookline Symphony Orchestra
March 16, 8 p.m.
All Saint’s Parish, Brookline, MA

It’s a mostly-American concert from the BSO, featuring two favorites by Samuel Barber (Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and the Essay no. 2) sandwiching Florence Price’s Symphony no. 3 and the Welsh composer Grace Williams’ Fairest of Stars. Jessica Jane Jacobs is the soloist in the latter and Knoxville.

Wilkins conducts Hailstork, Sierra, Price, and Ellington
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
March 23, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Thomas Wilkins conducts the most intriguing program of the BSO’s season, one featuring music by three African-American composers – Adolphus Hailstork, Florence Price, and Duke Ellington – and the Puerto Rico-born Roberto Sierra. James Carter is the soloist in the latter’s Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra.

MTT and San Francisco Symphony
Presented by Celebrity Series
March 24, 5 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA

Michael Tilson Thomas brings the SFS back to Boston for the last time as its music director. The program features MTT’s own Agnegram, plus Mendlessohn’s Violin Concerto (with the one-and-only Christian Tetzlaff) and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Author Events

Diana Kuan
Red Hot Kitchen: Classic Asian Chili Sauces from Scratch and Delicious Dishes to Make With Them
March 12 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

“In this completely unique Asian cookbook, culinary instructor and trained chef Diana Kuan offers a flavorful education in the art of cooking with homemade Asian hot sauces. From Thai Sriracha to Indonesian sambal to Korean gochujang and other fiery favorites, Asian chili sauces have become staples in restaurants and homes across America. They add a palate-pleasing subtle kick or a scorching burn to the stir-fries, appetizers, and noodle dishes so many people love. But until now, these tantalizing flavors haven’t been easy to recreate at home with fresh, all-natural ingredients.”

Barbara J Risman
Where the Millennials Will Take Us
March 14 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

“Are today’s young adults gender rebels or returning to tradition? In Where the Millennials Will Take Us, Barbara J. Risman reveals the diverse strategies youth use to negotiate the ongoing gender revolution. Using her theory of gender as a social structure, Risman analyzes life history interviews with a diverse set of Millennials to probe how they understand gender and how they might change it.”

John Lanchester
The Wall: A Novel
March 15 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

“Ravaged by the Change, an island nation in a time very like our own has built the Wall―an enormous concrete barrier around its entire coastline. Joseph Kavanagh, a new Defender, has one task: to protect his section of the Wall from the Others, the desperate souls who are trapped amid the rising seas outside and are a constant threat. Failure will result in death or a fate perhaps worse: being put to sea and made an Other himself. Beset by cold, loneliness, and fear, Kavanagh tries to fulfill his duties to his demanding Captain and Sergeant, even as he grows closer to his fellow Defenders. A dark part of him wonders whether it would be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if he had to fight for his life . . .”

Randy Shaw
Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America
March 21 at 7 p.m.
Porter Square Books, Cambridge MA

Generation Priced Out is a call to action on one of the most talked-about issues of our time: how skyrocketing rents and home values are pricing the working and middle classes out of urban America. Randy Shaw tells the powerful stories of tenants, politicians, homeowner groups, developers, and activists in over a dozen cities impacted by the national housing crisis. From San Francisco to New York, Seattle to Denver, and Los Angeles to Austin, the book challenges progressive cities to reverse rising economic and racial inequality.”

Author Carolyn Forché will read at Brookline Booksmith from her new memoir.

Carolyn Forché
What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance
March 22 at 7 p.m.
Brookline Booksmith, Coolidge Corner MA

What You Have Heard is True is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman’s radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life.”

Laila Lalami
The Other Americans
March 26 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Book Store, Cambridge MA

“Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui’s daughter Nora, a jazz composer who returns to the small town in the Mojave she thought she’d left for good; his widow Maryam, who still pines after her life in the old country; Efrain, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, a former classmate of Nora’s and a veteran of the Iraq war; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her son’s secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself.”

— Matt Hanson

Rock, Pop, and Folk

Teenage Fanclub with The Love Language
March 11 at 8 p.m. (doors at 7)
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

Teenage Fanclub set a pretty high standard for themselves with their 1991 sophomore effort Bandwagonesque. Although they may not have surpassed it with any of their three subsequent ’90s LPs, they arguably equaled it with at least one of them. Releases of new material by this Glaswegian quintet have been few and far between in the 2000s, but nary a one of them has ever not been worth the wait. Teenage Fanclub’s lesser albums — if there is any such thing — are simply not quite as good as their best ones, not inferior in and of themselves. (Their most recent, 2016’s Here, is definitely not among their lesser feats.) Although they have a new single out called “Everything is Falling Apart,” the current tour is not in support of a new album but in celebration of their 30th anniversary as one of the best power/indie pop bands of the past three decades. Get to the Paradise on Monday night in time to catch openers The Love Language. Their four albums may not have put them en route to the same level of greatness as the headliners, but they are worthy of any chance that you are willing to give them.

The Flesh Eaters with Porcupine
March 14 at 8 p.m. (doors at 6)
City Winery, Boston, MA

The Flesh Eaters’ sound and attitude was largely what one could expect from a band formed in the annus mirabilis of punk. However, they did not release their first LP until 1980. Therefore, their songs were less Ramones/Sex Pistols punk purity and more like fellow Angelenos The Gun Club with their sprinklings of rockabilly and roots. This year’s I Used To Be Pretty (released on January 18) is significant for being both the first Flesh Eaters album in 15 years and for reuniting the lineup that recorded the 1981 classic A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die: Chris “Chris D.” Desjardins (the only ever-present member), Dave Alvin, Bill Bateman, and Steve Berlin of The Blasters (Berlin later joined Los Lobos), and X members John Doe and DJ Bonebrake. The results, including the lead single “My Life to Live” and a cover of The Sonics’ “Cinderella,” are glorious. The “all-star” sextet that recorded it will take the stage at City Winery on Thursday. (The 2018 EP by openers Porcupine is called What You’ve Heard Isn’t Real, which makes them pretty cool in my book.)

Lonely Leesa & the Lost Cowboys and will perform in Salem this week.

Lonely Leesa & the Lost Cowboys
March 14 at 10 p.m. (show at 9)
Opus Underground, Salem, MA

Lonely Leesa & the Lost Cowboys is a Boston quintet made up of members of The Rationales, Eddie Japan, and Viva Gina. Recent recognition for the group includes a 2018 Boston Music Awards nominee for Country Artist of the Year and inclusion in the Rock & Roll Rumble class of 2019. Their website’s bio asks, “Have you ever wondered what a band drawing heavily from Rumo[u]rs-era Fleetwood Mac, Lucinda Williams, Big Star, and even some Exile on Main Street-era Rolling Stones might sound like? Even if you haven’t, you have to admit that this a potentially amazing mix, yes?” If you indeed answered in the affirmative, then make your way up, down, or over to 87 Washington St. in Salem this Thursday.

Bombino with Dead Messengers
March 16 at 9 p.m. (doors at 8)
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA

Bombino is a Nigerian-born guitarist who had to flee political upheaval in his native country once as a 10-year-old boy and again at age 17. He was able to return to record his first album, Agadez, in 2011. Subsequent recordings were done in Nashville (2013’s Nomad, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys), Woodstock, NY (2015’s Azel), and Casablanca, Morocco, for last year’s Deran, which led the New York Times to call him “the Sultan of Shred.” Luckily for those of us in the Boston area, Bombino will be bringing his talents to Harvard Square on Saturday night.

Mr. Airplane Man
March 22 at 11 p.m. (show at 10)
Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge, MA

Mr. Airplane Man is the guitar and drums, blues and garage rock duo of Margaret Garrett and Tara McManus. As explained in this 2014 Arts Fuse feature, the two childhood friends had been musically inactive as a unit for nearly a decade when they reunited to play live in late 2014 and 2015. Last January, they released their first recording in 14 years, Jacaranda Blue. A self-titled best-of compilation and a seven-track recording with Gravel Route followed in November. On Friday, March 22, Garrett and McManus will perform at Atwood’s, a gig that will serve as something of a warm-up for April shows in Philly, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Cincy, and Beverly, MA (opening for Nervous Eaters at 9 Wallis, April 27).

— Blake Maddux

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