Compiled by Bill Marx
In the age of COVID-19, Arts Fuse critics have come up with a guide to film, dance, visual art, theater, and music — mostly available by streaming — for the coming weeks. More offerings will be added as they come in.
INDEPENDENT FILM FESTVAL OF BOSTON FALL FOCUS
Through November 2nd
The Festival’s great selection of films remains available for viewing. There is a featured screening time, but most of the movies can be bought for viewing through Monday at 10 a.m. There are Q&A sessions online for many of the movies as well as links to other conversations. Some of the year’s best for the pickin’. Program and tickets.
This unique subscription service is dedicated to independent film and it is only $5. For election season, it is presenting four remarkable films featuring compelling perspectives on migration, displacement, and diaspora. The selections include: Fatima, Fire at Sea, Last Train Home, and What Will People Say.
THE 32ND ANNUAL BOSTON JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
This always robust festival is now a Streaming Cinematheque and will present film premieres, past festival favorites, conversations with actors, filmmakers, and surprise guests, unique opportunities for interactive audience participation, and many guest speakers. Online Film Schedule
LOCAL THEATER RECOMMENDATIONS
THE VIEWING BOOTH
Brattle Theater DocYard Presentation
Available Online November 4 through November 15
In a lab-like location, Maia Levy, a young Jewish American woman, views videos presenting what it is like to live in the occupied West Bank. She shares her thoughts and feelings in real time as she reacts to Palestinian life under Israeli military control. Empathy, anger, embarrassment, innate biases, and healthy curiosity — all these responses play out before our eyes as we watch her watch the images generated by the Occupation. Her candid and immediate reactions are one-of-a kind cinematic testimony to the psychological complexity of viewership in the digital era.
Tickets include a pre-recorded introduction from DocYard Curator, Abby Sun. There will also be links to the other excellent films in the Boston Jewish Film Festival. (See above)
CHUCK LEAVELL – THE TREE MAN
Regent Theater in Arlington
November 5 at 7:30 p.m.
The world premiere of a documentary about one of the great pianists in rock ’n’ roll history who worked with The Rolling Stones, The Allman Bros Band, and Eric Clapton. He divides his time between music, forests, and family. The screening takes place at the theater. There are no assigned seats. Limited seating will follow guidelines mandated by Local Arlington and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Health Authorities. Face coverings are required.
HAM ON RYE
Brattle Theater – Now Playing via Virtual Screen
Ham on Rye proffers a remarkable film experience. Don’t expect a conventional plot: you will be mesmerized by the gorgeous cinematography and outstanding cast of young teenage faces. This exercise in coming-of-age stream of consciousness blends Dazed and Confused with Luis Bunuel and a touch of David Lynch. This utterly original experience that will give you middle school flashbacks.
SINAI FIELD MISSION
Now available at the Coolidge Corner Theatre Screening Room
Sinai Field Mission documents the routine activities of the diplomats and electronic technicians who operate the United States Sinai Field Mission, the early warning system established in 1976 to help carry out the disengagement agreement between Egypt and Israel following the 1973 war.
In this much discussed film, director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Going Clear) scrutinizes the US response to the pandemic compared with South Korea’s far more successful effort. On January 20 of this year both countries discovered their first cases of Covid-19. Since then, however, the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 220,000 Americans, while only claiming 447 lives in South Korea (at the time of publication). Spread the word.
Rubika Shah’s award-winning film charts a vital national protest movement. Rock Against Racism (RAR) was formed in the UK in 1976. White Riot blends fresh interviews with queasy archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches. As neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth, RAR’s multicultural punk and reggae gigs provided rallying points for resistance. Co-founder Red Saunders explains: “We peeled away the Union Jack to reveal the swastika.” The campaign grew from fanzine roots to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival in Victoria Park, featuring X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse, and of course the Clash, whose rock star charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses. Arts Fuse review
As part of “Wiseman Wednesdays” the Coolidge Corner Theatre presents Hospital, Frederick Wiseman’s fourth documentary, a riveting 90-minute examination of New York City’s Metropolitan Hospital, whose trials and tribulations are symptomatic of larger social ills. A local treasure, Wiseman look at unpleasant truths unflinchingly: a young man overdosed on mescaline, interns examining the brain of a deceased patient. Unforgettable human drama. This screening will be followed by a conversation between Wiseman and Jesus Camp filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady.
Wiseman’s latest documentary (his 46th), which played at the Toronto International Film Festival, takes us to the Boston building as well as into a network of programs mandated to reach beyond the walls of City Hall.
That’s a lot. Can Wiseman, now 90, give us all of this in four and a half hours?
More or less, mostly less. Wiseman’s study is a gentle sampling of people and programs that mean well. Imagine a city whose legendary sarcasm has been replaced by a well-intentioned sincerity. This vision puts the film at odds with much of Boston’s mythology as well as with the endless canards against the oppressive bureaucracy of “big government” that are part of the current political noise. City Hall shows you the mechanics of government from the ground up, minus much of the noise. Arts Fuse review
Wiseman Wednesdays also features a conversation between Wiseman and Academy Award-winner Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line).
— Tim Jackson
Coolidge Corner Virtual Screening Room
I am curious about this film and so was Gerald Peary. Here is his thoughtful review for the magazine. An Italian adaptation of a 1909 novel (semi-autobiographical) by a very American author, Jack London, the movie is “set in a provocatively unspecified moment in Italy’s history.” The publicity would have it that the story serves as the basis for “a passionate and enthralling narrative fresco in the tradition of the great Italian classics. Martin (Luca Marinelli) is a self-taught proletarian with artistic aspirations who hopes that his dreams of becoming a writer will help him rise above his station and marry a wealthy young university student (Jessica Cressy).”
NOVEMBER, written by Claudia Rankine. Directed by Phillip Youmans. Stage direction by Taibi Magar. Commissioned and Produced by The Shed, Co-Produced by Tribeca Studios. To Stream for Free on TheShed.org for One Week Only, through November 7.
The world premiere of a new film written by poet and playwright Rankine: it “pairs an examination of white male privilege in the United States with images of Black joy, freedom, and beauty.” The script “centers on the Narrator, portrayed by five actresses who present Rankine’s real-life conversations with white men she encounters in transitional spaces like airports. Filmed live on stage in The Shed’s McCourt, they discuss how our civic and social structures are dominated by white men as the work sets out to create a shared sense of reality. Rankine asks, ‘A reality in which there is agreement not in how to respond but in what we see is happening. If it’s raining, can we all agree it is raining?’ Vignettes of Black life shot on location around New York City complement this reckoning.”
“Filmed as an urgent response in the final weeks leading up to the 2020 election, November follows months of compounded quarantine, grief, protest, and emergency that have sharpened the necessity of the play’s conversations about race, speaking to the nation as we select our next president.”
— Bill Marx
Sans Souci Festival
Now through November 6
Viewable online and at Martha’s Vineyard Film Center
Martha’s Vineyard, MA
This week, Sans Souci Festival and Martha’s Vineyard Film Society present an illuminating collection of short screen dance films screened both in person and online. Ranging from humorous and uplifting to tender and introspective, the works in this festival challenge cultural preconceptions while also highlighting solo and group performances ranging from tap and contemporary to ballet. A virtual screening of the festival can be accessed online, with limited seating available for in-person screenings at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center.
Live Stream: Nic Gareiss
November 11 at 7 p.m. EST
Club Passim continues its series of live-streamed concerts from its Cambridge, MA space. Percussive dancer Nic Gareiss takes the stage this week. Named among Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” Gareiss brings 25 years of ethnographic study and performance to his performances, which have been presented in concerts across 16 countries. His movement combines worldwide rhythmic dance traditions, including improvisation, clogging, step dance, and musical collaboration, all interwoven into what many critics call a unique percussive performance.
Boston Dance Theater at Your House
November 14 at 8 p.m. EST
Global Arts Live presents a special online performance of Boston-based company Boston Dance Theater. Co-directed by Jessie Jeanne Stinnett and award-winning Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili, the company presents I had a thought by Micaela Taylor and For The Record by Rena Butler in this free performance.
Night Journey – Graham’s Greatest Greeks
November 17, 7 p.m. EST
Enjoy the latest edition of GrahamDeconstructed, a screening of the 2016 film that featured the Martha Graham Dance Company performing Night Journey – Graham’s Greatest Greeks. This online performance includes a short conversation with current and former cast members via Zoom, along with quotes from Graham’s insightful writings about the choreography and her process creating the work.
— Merli V. Guerra
Live from Van Gelder Studio, streaming on November 14 at 9 p.m.
The beginning of a virtual music series staged from the legendary Rudy Van Gelder Studio:”The Room Where Jazz Happened.” The kick-off concert features an all-star quartet who will pay tribute to jazz great Hank Mobley, whose most beloved recordings turn 60 this year. Performers include bassist Ron Carter, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, pianist Isaiah J. Thompson, and drummer Kenny Washington, along with surprise guest performers.
“Live from Van Gelder Studio is expected to continue through 2021 with a 10-show immersive and interactive program. The series will feature talent from original seminal recordings joined by multi-generational artists who will pay tribute to important records that were originally put to tape within the four walls of the studio. Tickets can be purchased directly on the site for $15. 2021 shows will be announced in the near future.”
McBee and Coleman Early Jazz Ensembles, Livestreamed from Eben Jordan Ensemble Room on November 9 at 7 and 9 p.m.
Performances by small jazz ensembles at New England Conservatory coached by Cecil McBee and Anthony Coleman,
NEC Jazz Orchestra Anthropology: Music of Charlie Parker, streamed from Jordan Hall on November 19 at 7:30 p.m.
The New England Conservatory Jazz orchestra celebrates Charlie Parker’s centennial with a performance featuring arrangements of his compositions “Anthropology,” “Confirmation,” “Moose the Mooche,” and “Yardbird Suite.”
— Bill Marx
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, livestream and CD release, Faces of Souls, November 15 at 7 p.m.
Composer and trumpeter Mark Harvey has of late has been been taking the long view of his personal musical history, which means the history of jazz in Boston for the past 50 years. In 2016 he offered the book The Boston Creative Jazz Scene: 1970-1983, and its companion CD/vinyl, recalling a scene that included the Fringe, Ran Blake, John Voigt, Lowell Davidson, Stanton Davis & Ghetto Mysticism, Baird Hersey and the Year of the Ear, Harvey’s own groups, and many others. This year has brought the disc A Rite for All Souls, a previously unreleased live performance recording of the Mark Harvey Group from October 1971. And now comes Faces of Souls, the latest release from the orchestra Harvey has led for nearly five decades, Aardvark.
Harvey’s engagement with music has always been inextricably linked with social activism (he is an ordained Methodist minister and for years organized his life around his “jazz ministry”). Faces of Souls offers meditations on sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common, a tribute to radical environmentalist Greta Thunberg, and other reflections on our modern struggle. A key musical inspiration is Charles Ives, but there is also guitar funk here, free jazz in the form of “conducted improvisation,” and the spirits of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Sun Ra. Harvey plays excerpts from the CD with historical visual accompaniment and will be interviewed by jazz critic Bob Blumenthal. A “live Zoom reception” will follow, so that audience members can ask questions.
— Jon Garelick
Queer Heartache, created and performed by Kit Yan. Directed by Jessi D. Hill. Streaming at Virtually OBERON through November 27.
“Kit Yan is an award-winning, queer, trans, Asian-American poet from Hawaii. Queer Heartache is their solo slam poetry show that explores their identities, asks what queer hearts and families are made of, and interrogates the forces that constantly work to break them apart. The show is a testament to the resilience of queer love in all its forms.”
The Legion Tapes, a new sci-fi theater podcast written by Erin Lerch and directed by Josh Glenn-Kayden.
Makes sense to me, given that our own meltdown has become routine. We need to spice it up with “radio broadcasts from an alien apocalypse.” The podcast features “a cast of 14 actors with Boston ties.” The project launched last week and just dropped episodes 4-6. The dystopian setup: “Selections from an archive chronicling the world after the end. The alien Legion takes over worlds and absorbs the sentients of those worlds. They’ve assimilated eleven species so far, and humanity is next on their list. But even after the nations of the world fall, and even after being reduced to communicating solely by radio, humanity’s fighting back. ”
The Boston Project Podcast
“The Boston Project is SpeakEasy Stage Company’s new works initiative, which supports the creation of new plays set in the Greater Boston area. In an effort to reach a wider audience and engage with new work even while in quarantine, the company has launched a new wing of this program – the Boston Project Podcast!” A new episode each Friday. We are up to episode 4 (I believe) of MJ Halberstadt’s The Usual Unusual, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian.
The action centers on a “scrappy and quaint bookstore where Boston’s LGBTQ+ community has gathered to shop, organize, and flirt since the ’70s. When the store’s charismatic founder Penn announces his retirement, neurotic staff-member Charlie persuades him to pass leadership on, rather than close the store. The staff’s efforts to unite a fractured community under one banner – or simply coordinate a weekly reading night — stoke generational disputes about identity, community, and trauma, and lead to fraught and hilarious results.”
ScreenPLAY! written and performed by The Gottabees, streamed with the support of the Puppet Showplace Theater through November 14. The show is part of group’s Try This at Home series, which aims to engage families during COVID-19 through prerecorded videos, livestream events, and virtual interactive experiences.
“Calling all families! The intrepid artists of the Gottabees are gathering our community once again for an all-ages at-home adventure series. This super-interactive experience allows you to channel your household’s creativity into an inspiring work of participatory art. Each ScreenPLAY episode is non-stop interactive FUN, where your whole family becomes part of the story. We’ll explore movement, puppetry, theater, and the irresistible power of being ridiculous.”
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. Directed and adapted by Bryn Boice. Staged (virtually) by Hub Theatre Company of Boston. The show will be performed live online at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, 20, and 21 and also at 4 p.m. on Nov. 15. All performances are Pay-What-You-Can. Go here for tickets.
“Beatrice and Benedick hate each other so much… it must be love! Classical Shakespeare and modern technology collide in Hub Theatre’s take on Shakespeare’s comedically combative courtship. With witty wordplay, memorable misadventures and modern miscommunications, this timeless romantic comedy explores the many masks we wear (both literally and figuratively) when it comes to finding love. The production features twelve local actors: Nettie Chickering, Michael John Ciszewski, Lauren Elias, Jessica Golden, Lorraine Kanyike, Johnny Kinsman, Jamie Hernandez, Robert Orzalli, Jon Vellante, Regine Vital, Arthur Waldstein and Micheline Wu.
Theater of War UK
2:00 PM – 4:30 PM EST
“Theater of War is an innovative public health project that presents readings of scenes from ancient Greek plays–Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes–as a catalyst for guided discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, and their families. Using Sophocles’ plays to forge a common vocabulary for openly discussing the visible and invisible wounds of war, these events are aimed at generating compassion and understanding between diverse audiences.” Featuring performances by Damian Lewis, Lesley Sharp, Nyasha Hatendi, and Jason Isaacs. Translated and directed, and facilitated by Bryan Doerries.
The Tattooed Man Tells All by Peter Wortsman. Streamed by the Silverthorne Theatre Company on November 13 and 14.
A timely revival, given a recent survey that found almost a quarter of people in US aged 18-39 said they believed the Holocaust was either a myth, had been exaggerated, or were not sure about the genocide. Wortsman’s solo piece is woven from a series of interviews conducted in Vienna in 1975 with witnesses to and survivors of the Holocaust. Keith Langsdale stars as The Old Man. An alarming finding from the study: Majority of Americans Polled Believe Something Like the Holocaust Could Happen Again.
Altered States, presented by The Empty Space Theater at Babson College. Directed by Beth Wynstra. Video design by Seaghan McKay. Score by Dewey Dellay. Free virtual showings through November 7. Make a reservation here.
With most of our mainstream theaters back on their heels, wary of taking chances, student productions will bear watching. This one sounds particularly intriguing: “We are living through a moment of great change right now: the social, political, and national states are being altered all around us; our personal, mental, and emotional states are being altered within us. Altered States takes on this moment of transformative potential and offers a curated series of digitally presented, 21st-century monologues to demonstrate the complexity, creativity, and resilience of the human spirit when faced with extraordinary challenges. Both individually and together, these works deepen and enrich the ways we might think about change as we work our way through the altered states we live in right now.”
A Bintel Brief: Staged Reading
November 11 at 7 p.m.
“JArts TheatreWorks proudly presents a staged reading of selections from the Yiddish advice column founded by Abraham Cahan in the early 1900’s. Through letters, advice, and wisdom, this column, which originally connected Jewish immigrants to their community, now asks us: “how do we stay connected despite the distances between us?” Dori Robinson directs.
“Join us for the premiere of these letters reimagined, followed by a Q&A with Dr. Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.”
Perfect Fifths by Bret Bucci. Directed by Rachael Miles. An online reading presented by The Forge Theater Lab. Available on The Forge’s Youtube Channel November 7 through the 22. Free with donations accepted.
“The moment young violinist Nicholas has been working for his whole life has arrived: his debut concert at Aviezar Hall. But when a woman arrives from Wyoming claiming to be his long-lost sister, a web of manipulation threatens to silence every truth he knows about himself. The characters in this play deal with the weight of wondering, ‘are the people closest to you the most trustworthy?’ says playwright Bret Bucci.”
On Demand through December 9
“Nationally acclaimed, Boston-born artist Oompa returns to OBERON to premiere new songs and perform old favorites in a new show that highlights the evolution of herself, music, and artistry. The performance is captured for streaming by The Loop Lab, a BIPOC-led nonprofit whose mission is to empower Womxn and People of Color in careers in the media arts.”
Bartholomew Abominations, an adaptation of Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair by Paul Sirett. Directed by Jenny Sealey and Polly Thomas. Produced by Naked Productions and Graeae for BBC Radio 4, broadcast on November 7 at 3 p.m..
What sounds like a fascinating update of Jonson’s masterpiece about high and low life that places Deaf and disabled artists center stage. This reinvention, by an Olivier-nominated playwright, “brings the bitingly satirical Jacobean comedy to vibrant modern life, transforming it into a comic and razor-sharp political comedy about contemporary British identity. In the original, Jonson takes a swipe at the narrow-minded puritanism of the early 17th century; this bold new version reflects on the narrow-minded disability discrimination and English nationalism of the early 21st century. Building on growing nationalism and changing views of citizenship, identity and belonging, he has set the story in 2032, at an annual event, where suitors must find the “perfect” partner or face deportation.”
The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs (Valor, Agravio y Mujer) by Ana Caro. Directed by Melia Bensussen. A staged reading from Red Bull Theatre, presented in association with Diversifying the Classics | UCLA, streaming on November 16 at 7:30 p.m.
A very intriguing chance to see the revival of a script by one of the Spanish Golden Age’s “most accomplished female playwrights.” Presented in a brand new English translation, the play is “a comedy of wild intrigue and lively ingenuity in which Leonor crosses geographical boundaries and defies social expectations of gender in order to bring her fickle lover to justice and restore her lost honor.”
The livestream benefit reading will feature Anita Castillo-Halvorssen, Helen Cespedes, Natascia Diaz, Carson Elrod, Anthony Michael Martinez, Sam Morales, Alfredo Narciso, Ryan Quinn, Luis Quintero, and Matthew Saldivar.
Dream Boston Plays, a new series of short audio plays produced by the Huntington Theatre Company: By the Rude Bridge by Melinda Lopez; Overture by Kate Snodgrass; McKim by Brenda Withers; and The 54th in ’22 by Kirsten Greenidge. Seven additional titles have been added to this series of short audio plays, entitled Dream Boston. Four plays were posted in July; the next seven are now being released. They are available on the Huntington’s website, as well as on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
“Conceived and commissioned by the Huntington artistic department, the company asked Huntington Playwriting Fellow alumni Kirsten Greenidge, Kate Snodgrass, and Brenda Withers, and Huntington Artist-in-Residence Melinda Lopez, to imagine their favorite locations, landmarks, and friends in a future Boston, when people can once again meet and thrive in the city – a vision of a future Boston that is somewhere between dream and reality.”
“This next set of 7 plays includes works by local artists John Oluwole ADEkoje, Miranda ADEkoje, J. Sebastián Alberdi, Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro, Elle Borders, Patrick Gabridge, and John Kuntz. Each play is set at a specific local landmark with 1-3 characters, and is about 6 minutes in length. The local landmarks that serve as settings for this round of audio plays include Franklin Park, Harvard’s Memorial Church, the Harvard Art Museums, the Old State House, the Fenway nightclub Machine, Harrison Avenue, and Malcolm X Boulevard.”
Insulted. Belarus(sia) by Andrei Kureichik. Streaming of a staged reading presented by Arlekin Players Theatre and Cherry Orchard Festival. On November 8 at 8 p.m. in English via ZOOM. Playwright Andrei Kureichik will join the reading from hiding. There will be a post-show discussion with the cast and audience.
With so many of our theaters doing so damned little to respond to the times — endangered democracy, perfidious social media, eight million unemployed, the mega-rich becoming even richer — these online staged readings should be commended. Kureichik wrote his play right after the debacle of the Belarus election. He is a member of the Coordination Council of Belarus — a group working to lead the transition to a new government and institute free elections. Many in the troupe are now in prison: Kureichik is in hiding. For me, the reading offers Zoom’s usual theatrical drawbacks: a succession of close-ups that invite in-yer-face disconnection and bouts of overacting. I am not sure that the script is successful as multidirectional political drama — good versus evil is a settled matter — but the dramatist’s depiction of dissent’s endurance in the face of brutal tyranny is an affecting piece of witnessing. It was heartening to see it, and to hear from the courageous playwright during the post-reading discussion. It is not often a writer tells you what it is like fighting the good fight in medias res. My Arts Fuse commentary here.
Watertown Historical Moving Plays: The Charles W. Lenox Experience by Ken Green. Directed by Michael Ofori. Presented by New Rep, through November 8. Productions will be located outside, at sites in Watertown.
New Rep has partnered with the Watertown Free Public Library and the Historical Society of Watertown to bring to you Watertown Historical Moving Plays, an immersive and educational theatrical experience that leads participants on a stroll through historical sites in the city. This one-person show explores the life of Sgt. Charles W. Lenox, a black barber who enlisted as a private in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment — a military unit immortalized by the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston Common, and depicted in the Academy Award-winning 1989 film Glory.
Sacred Emily by Gertrude Stein. An online staging of the poem the Fort Point Theatre Channel.
Somehow the times seem right for Stein’s playfully sardonic absurdity. “A live streaming production of Gertrude Stein’s poem Sacred Emily, from her 1922 book Geography and Plays, adapted for Zoom meeting by Greg Kowalski and Mitchel K Ahern, artistic directors at FPTC. Featuring 16 performers, the poem will be performed sequentially, with self-actuated lighting effects.”
Sixteen performers isolated from each other, performing live.
Sixteen performers creating their own stage.
Sixteen performers managing their own broadcast technology.
Sixteen performers setting up and operating their own lighting effects.
Sixteen performers performing one of Gertrude Stein’s surrealist poems.
— Bill Marx
As the COVID pandemic continues and expands over much of the country, art museums continue to come up with more creative ways to connect with audiences not quite ready to visit in person, including exhibition tours, gallery talks, and even cooking classes. Below is a brief roundup of on-line happenings for early November. All of these museums are also open to the public for those who want more traditional visits. Check websites for hours and ticketing information.
The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston turns to food matters with Talking Taste: Chef Ellie Tiglao on November 10 at 6 p.m.. The virtual event will take place on Zoom and will feature a full cooking class with Boston chef Ellie Tiglao, owner of Somerville’s Tanam, the first restaurant concept by Olio, a worker cooperative run primarily by women of color. This class will feature “narrative” Filipino cuisine, using food and art to share stories from the people who live them. Tickets are $10, free to ICA members, and are available on the ICA website.
The Museum of Fine Arts is offering “Creative Watercolor Online” starting on November 2. The five session studio art series is open to teens and adults, age 16 and above and runs through November 30. Classes take place on Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to !2:00 p.m. and will explore both wet and dry techniques as well as abstract and “observational” drawing styles. Tickets are available on the MFA website, MFA.org.
Also on November 2, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will offer an online gallery talk on Wampum Artisanship. Carefully fashioned from local quahog shells, wampum held profound spiritual meaning for coastal Native American tribes and even served as a medium of exchange and source of wealth. This short talk by William Donehey will cover his own journey as a contemporary artist creating wampum and will describe his work advocating for the Connecticut-based Mohegan Tribe. The talk takes place online between noon and 12:30 pm and is free of charge.
The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is offering virtual tours both of the late Georgian mansion where Florence Griswold housed and fed a generation of New England artists during their summer working seasons and the current exhibition Nothing More American’: Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community: An Exhibition by Matthew Leifheit. Leifheit, a Brooklyn-based photographer, photographed a Pakistani-American family who, in 2018, took refused from deportation officials in the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, a project commissioned by The New Yorker. The exhibition, which is currently on view in the museum adjacent to the Griswold house, includes period paintings and prints of the church along with Leifheit’s photographs, in a dialogue between past and present. Both these tours are available free via the Griswold’s website.
— Peter Walsh
Presented by London Symphony Orchestra
Available November 1
Stream online (free)
Sir Simon Rattle leads the LSO in a chamber adaptation of Belá Bartók’s opera. Gerald Finley sings Bluebeard and Karen Cargill is his doomed bride, Judith.
Alisa Weilerstein & Inon Barnatan in recital
Presented by Celebrity Series
November 8, 7 p.m.
Stream online (ticketed)
Cellist Weilerstein and pianist Barnatan perform a recital from The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla, California. It consists of two works – Manuel de Falla’s Suite populaire Espagnole and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata – followed by a post-concert Q & A with the artists.
Presented by Handel & Haydn Society
November 8, 3 p.m.
Stream online (free, donation suggested)
H&H’s annual community concert this year marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with a program that celebrates the contributions of women composers. Featuring Reginald Mobley, members of the H&H Chorus, and the H&H Youth Choruses Concert Choir.
Masur conducts Dvorak and Ives
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
November 19, 12 p.m.
Steam online (ticketed)
The BSO returns to Symphony Hall for the first time since March. This taped opening program features Ken-David Masur conducting Dvorak’s New World Symphony, Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question, and a chamber group from the orchestra performing Florence Price’s String Quartet in G.
The Shape of Joy
Presented by A Far Cry
November 21, 8 p.m.
Stream online (ticketed)
The Criers’ virtual season continues with an aptly-themed program comprising pieces by Akshaya Avril Tucker (Breathing Sunlight), Caroline Shaw (Limestone & Felt), and Mozart (the String Quintet no. 1 in B-flat).
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Roots and World Music
For over four hours, the OneBeat Marathon will feature live-streamed multimedia performances by musicians from 14 countries stretching over five continents “to transport audiences to a paradigm-bending sonic universe.”
OneBeat, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and produced by Found Sound Nation, is redefining music diplomacy. For the past decade, OneBeat residency programs have convened young pioneering musicians from across the world to dive into the musical unknown together and build a global network of artists committed to civic discourse. The OneBeat Marathon will begin a year-long celebration of online events and programs to commemorate OneBeat’s 10th anniversary in 2021.
Former OneBeat fellows will perform 18 sets of “surprising, soulful” music in solo, duo and trio acts. Opening the program in the Lake Baikal region of Siberia, mohin huur player Alexander Arkhincheev will play at 12 p.m. ET, followed by a kaleidoscopic array of musicians and spoken word artists in Accra, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Bogota, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, New York City, Sacramento, Seoul, Sulaymaniyah and more. Hear everything from electronic pop sets to microtonal accordion tunes to improvised experimental trios playing together across continents and timezones.
The Marathon closes with a festive duo between longtime Bang on a Can All-Star Mark Stewart and Nigerian guitarist Biodun Kuti, a 2013 OneBeat fellow who went on to play alongside Mark in Paul Simon’s band. Other featured acts include composer, trumpeter and santur player Amir ElSaffar, Indonesian sinden vocalist Peni Candra Rini, South African future folk performer Dumama, superstar pan-Latin group LADAMA, poet, musician, writer and performer Dahlak Brathwaite.
The OneBeat Marathon will be free to stream and all Marathon performers are compensated. But an entire ecosystem of composers and performers need our attention, our love, and our financial support! Please consider purchasing a ticket! Doing so will help Bang on a Can to do more performances, pay more players, and share more music worldwide.
— Bill Marx
While most in-person outdoor concert series have concluded, there are a few stragglers. New England rockabilly heroes the Gamma Rays and the Hi-Fi Lowdowns will split an outdoor bill Nov. 8 at Nick-a-Nee’s in Providence. That same day, the Reggae Takeova yard in Dorchester will present supreme salsa singer and percussionist Manolo Mairena and La Pura Vida Band. Mainena is also part of the Latin jazz sounds of Combo Sabroso playing an indoor distanced show at the Portsmouth Music Hall on November 13. The Porch in Medford has multiple funk, soul, bluegrass and blues shows inside its restaurant each week. The authentic blues of the Undaunted Professor Harp returns November 6.
Virtual concerts will remain a crucial way of supporting artists and venues for the foreseeable future. One of the most interesting series is the Boiler House Jazz Series being streamed by the Charles River Museum. Curators Ken Field and John Bechard pair up musicians for one-time improvised duo performances. Next up is Noell Dorsey and Forbes Graham on November 13. The Museum’s Americana-centered 2nd Shift series is also online now, and has the country-leaning soul of Kemp Harris on November 12.
Club Passim continues its wide-ranging streaming series all month. Highlights include folk vet John McCutcheon and an all-banjo open mic.
The CelebritySeries is mixing free Neighborhood Arts streams with ticketed events by the likes of the Watkins Family Hour. And, of course, there’s no need to limit streaming concerts to those presented by local organizations. The World Music Institute’s November offerings include Galecian bagpiper Carlos Nunez and a jazz/Balkan guitar pairing of Fareed Haque and Goran Ivanovich.
— Noah Schaffer
Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, Rebecca Kirby
The Sacrifice of Darkness
November 2 at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are free with suggested donation of $5
“Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby adapt Gay’s New York Times bestselling short story “We Are the Sacrifice of Darkness” as a full-length graphic novel, expanding an unforgettable world where a tragic event forever bathes the world in darkness. Follow one woman’s powerful journey through this new landscape as she discovers love, family, and the true light in a world seemingly robbed of any. As she challenges notions of identity, guilt, and survival she’ll find that no matter the darkness, there remains sources of hope that can pierce the veil.”
Stephen Greenblatt, Martha Minnow, Timothy Snyder, Mariama White-Hammond
What Just Happened: Writers Discuss the Post-Election Moment
November 5 at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets are free with $3 suggested donation
“Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes acclaimed writers and thinkers Stephen Greenblatt, Martha Minow, Timothy Snyder, and Mariama White-Hammond for a panel discussion exploring the post-election moment. The discussion will be moderated by National Book Award-winning writer and novelist James Carroll. Join Harvard Book Store, our many co-sponsors, and this esteemed panel for a conversation exploring what just happened, what’s happening now, and what must happen next.”
Barry C Lynn
Liberty from All Masters: The New American Autocracy vs. The Will of the People
November 9 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are free with $3 suggested donation
“Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes Barry C Lynn — Founder and CEO of the Open Markets Institute and author of the book End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation — for a discussion of his latest book, Liberty from All Masters: The New American Autocracy vs. the Will of the People. He will be joined in conversation by Zephyr Teachout, Associate Law Professor at Fordham Law School.”
Dr. Paul Koudounaris and Baba the Cat
A Cat’s Tale: A Journey through Feline History
November 13 at 7 p.m.
“Since the dawn of civilization, felines have prowled alongside mankind as they expanded their territory and spread the myth of human greatness. And today, cats are peddled on social media as silly creatures, here to amuse humans with their antics. But this is an absurd, self-centered fantasy. The true history of felines is one of heroism, love, tragedy, sacrifice, and gravitas. Not entirely convinced? Well, get ready, because Baba the Cat is here to set the record straight.”
Dana Alison Levy/ Yamile Saied Mendez & Linda Camacho /Marietta Zacker
Above All Else & Furia
November 16 at 7 p.m.
“In Above All Else, a novel as riveting, irresistible, and heartbreaking as Into Thin Air, teen climbing prodigies Rose and Tate attempt to summit –and survive — Mount Everest. Furia is a powerful contemporary YA for fans of The Poet X and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line — even her blooming love story — to follow her dreams.”
— Matt Hanson