Shelter in Place Attractions: January 10 through 26 — What Will Light Your Home Fires

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.



Raise a glass to the end of a hideous year with three films that don’t so much condemn alcoholism as explore excess drinking as a pastime, an inspiration, and perhaps a necessity. These three films defy political correctness — and possibly good health — by gleefully subverting what we know about addiction to alcohol. These are appreciations, even celebrations, of the spirit behind the spirits.

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan
Brattle Virtual Theater

The former lead singer of the Irish band The Pogues has more than a few regrets about his lifetime of drinking. Director Julian Temples employs unseen footage from the singer’s career along with archive material and testimonials from MacGowan’s family and friends, including Gerry Adams, the controversial former President of Ireland’s Sinn Féin Party, and actor Johnny Depp, who is also credited as one of the producers. MacGowan holds forth about his early life of poverty, where he began drinking at age five. Colorful animations and lively testimonials provide a counterpoint to his gnarly, crabbed presence. Consigned to a wheelchair, a beer always at hand, he celebrates his career, which vitalized Irish culture with a spirit of true rebelliousness.

Mads Mikkelsen in a scene from Another Round.

Another Round
Brattle Theater Virtual
Coolidge Corner Virtual

Thomas Vinterberg’s film begins with the theory, allegedly posited by Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skårderud, that a consistent alcohol level of .05 level is natural for the human species and will, inf act, enhance one’s focus and performance. Four dispirited teachers, led by Mads Mikkelsen, agree to try out that theory to drastically different results. Vinterberg is one of the original Dogma 95 directors who championed handheld cameras and minimal editing. While he no longer shoots in that extreme style, the film has documentary feel and a wicked sense of humor. His satire grows increasingly absurd, becomes unsettling, and finally concludes with a cathartic dance sequence. The tipsy cast also includes Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, and Magnus Millang. Arts Fuse review

A scene from Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets.

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
On Amazon Prime

This film is allegedly set on the last day of a Las Vegas bar called The Roaring 20s. In truth, the bar is located in New Orleans and the cast made up of carefully chosen non-professionals who were shot in verité style with hand-held cameras over two 18-hour days. Regardless of the arranged set-up,  the unscripted dialogue of the customers successfully catches the ambience of any number of small barrooms. Like the Safdie brothers (Uncut Gems), Bill and Turner Ross experiment with a hybrid of feature and documentary. This act of faith and editing results in a humane profile of some colorfully archetypal barflies. Regrets? They’ve had a few. Day wears into night, tongues loosen, the memories of tipsy patrons grow increasingly weepy. Arts Fuse review


Atsuko Maeda in a scene from To the Ends of the Earth.

To the Ends of the Earth
Brattle Virtual Theatre

Set entirely in Uzbekistan, a young actress named Yoko dutifully engages in her duties as a travel show host while an erratic production crew makes her doing her job increasingly difficult. Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa is best known for horror films (Cure, Pulse, Creepy) and knows how to make an audience uneasy as they laugh at seemingly absurd events. The film adroitly blends history, cultural dissonance, comedy, and suspense. Atsuko Maeda, who sang with the successful girl group AKB48, plays the resilient heroine with great charm — and she can really sing (wait for it!). One of my Best Foreign Language films of 2020.

The Reason I Jump
Coolidge Corner Virtual

Previously listed in Kino Marquee, the Coolidge presents this film is a “fascinating attempt to look at the world through the eyes of people with autism, though it is somewhat heavy on visual lyricism. Must the perspectives of the neuro-diverse always be so beautiful? Still, a meaningful and moving step toward a refreshed vision of ourselves. The film is based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, written when he was 13. (Bill Marx — Arts Fuse)

Art on Film

For visual art lovers Kino Now offers a selection of award-winning films about art available to be rented or purchased. From a biography of dancer and Balanchine muse Tanaquil Le Clerq to an in-depth look at the meticulous preparation of a Dutch museum’s exhibition of Hieronymous Bosch, it is a huge section of films to broaden your knowledge of visual and performing arts.


Claire Dunne in Herself.

On Amazon Prime

This is the story of an Irish mother who, escaping her abusive husband, is consigned to public housing with her two young daughters. She takes matters into her own hands by attempting to build a small house on a scrap of land in the backyard of woman for whom she is a caretaker and house cleaner.  Meanwhile, she battles the legal system, juggles another job, and appeals for help in the construction. It is an engaging story of her tireless struggle for respect and independence. Arts Fuse review

American Skin
January 15 on Video-on-Demand

Nate Parker (The Birth of a Nation) was bedeviled by a controversy that undermined his first feature on the Nat Turner rebellion. which made waves at last year’s Venice Film Festival. The new film, a Spike Lee presentation, tells the story  of an Iraq War Vet named Linclon ‘Linc’ Jefferson who decides to take matters into his own hands when his son is killed by a police officer. He decides to take over a police station and hold a trial right there in hopes of getting justice for his son’s murder.

The Village Cheerleaders in a scene from Lance Oppenheim’s documentary Some Kind of Heaven. Photo:David Bolen.

Some Kind of Heaven
January 15 on Video-On-Demand and TBA at Theaters.

A documentary that looks at four residents of the palm tree-lined fantasyland of America’s largest retirement community, The Villages, Florida. As they say “You come here to live, you don’t come here to pass away.” You may be appalled at the idea or you may find the place inspiring and endearing but you won’t be bored. I had never heard of this Disney style elder oasis — this documentary was a real eye opener. Arts Fuse review




— Tim Jackson


Trumpeter/composer and JazzBoston vice president Jason Palmer will be part of an online forum about “how we thrive.” Photo: courtesy of the artist.

JazzBoston will present a free online forum on How We Thrive – Jazz in Isolation on January 20 from 7:30 to 9 p.m EST. All are invited! The Zoom link will be posted at as well as on the organization’s Facebook and other social media pages.

The participatory forum will include video presentations by four jazz musicians describing their process of producing streaming “isolation videos” of their music. The idea is to give you, our Boston area jazz community, some ideas about how you can continue to be creative and share your work with the public during this continuously challenging time of club and venue closures. Presenting will be: Bassist Bruce Gertz, who produced an isolation video with saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi; trumpeter/composer (and JazzBoston vice president) Jason Palmer; pianist Zahili Gonzalez, who is with the Cuban all-female group OKAN; and saxophonist Geoff Adams, who will show a video he produced with the Second Line Brass Band. There will be time for audience questions and comments.

— Bill Marx

Singer Roseanna Vitro and pianist Kenny Werner will perform this week. Photo: John Abbott Photography.

Roseanna Vitro and Kenny Werner. Livestream from Soapbox Gallery, January 16, 8 to 9 p.m.

The excellent jazz singer Roseanna Vitro pairs up with longtime pianist pal Kenny Werner for this streaming concert from Brooklyn’s Soapbox Gallery. Werner is no stranger to the vocal/piano duo, having played and recorded in duo and co-leader sessions with Brazil’s Joyce Moreno (2015’s Poesía) and most recently Peter Eldridge (2019’s Somewhere), as well as six projects with Vitro (and one in the oven, as they say). Vitro’s 14 albums include tributes to Ray Charles, Bill Evans, and Clare Fischer, as well as the Grammy-nominated Music of Randy Newman (2011). Her most recent albums are the winning, soulful exploration of her Southern roots, Tell Me the Truth (2018), and the just-released reissue on CD and streaming of her 1984 debut album, Listen Here.

Lisa Fischer and Louis Cato, part of the “duos and duets” series from the Carr Center. Streaming concert, January 23, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

If you saw Morgan Neville’s Oscar-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom about some of the amazingly talented background singers that have contributed to some of pop music’s greatest hits, you’ll definitely remember Lisa Fischer. After that film Fischer embarked on — finally! — her own solo career. For this January 23 show hosted by the Carr Center and presented in partnership with, she teams up with Louis Cato, a brilliant multi-instrumentalist and singer you can catch as part of Jon Batiste’s Stay Human band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Cato (yes, another stellar Berklee grad) has recently been posting wonderful self-produced “covers” on his Instagram page.

On the Radio: Antônio Carlos Jobim Festival. (Columbia University radio), January 25, 12 p.m. to January 26, 1 a.m.

January 25 marks what would have been the 94th birthday of the great Brazilian composer who brought bossa nova to the world. You can celebrate by listening to 13 hours of Jobim’s music — which went far beyond just bossa — courtesy of Som do Brasil, WKCR’s Brazilian program.

— Evelyn Rosenthal


Kate Mitchell in “GOLDEN.” Motion State Dance Film Series.

Motion State Dance Film Series
January 14 at 6:30 p.m.
Live-Streamed Online Viewing

Tune in this week for a live-streamed online viewing of Motion State Dance Film Series’ third edition. The event features contemporary dance films from Canada, Iceland, Israel, and the U.S., along with a talk before the screening given by co-founders of Motion State Arts Ali Kenner Brodsky and Andy Russ (joined by Lila Hurwitz and David Henry) about the choreographers and project.

Look Back, Focus Forward
January 21-31
Online Viewing

Featuring “a visual representation of Boston Ballet’s journey and essence,” Look Back, Focus Forward proffers viewers an one-hour long virtual production featuring key moments from Boston Ballet’s impressive history. Enjoy an intimate look at ballets by Leonid Yakobson, a preview of Ken Ossola’s new work, and excerpts from the company’s international tours.

Further afield…

Voyeur: The Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec performs live in NYC.

Voyeur: The Windows of Toulouse-Lautrec
January 16, 23, and February 13 at various time slots between 6-9 p.m.
Live Open-Air Performance

Those who are able to travel to New York City and are missing live performance should mark this event on their calendars! This intimate outdoor production glides along the sidewalks, doorways, and windows of Greenwich Village while choreographically exploring the absinthe-riddled dreams of iconic artist Toulouse-Lautrec, as he recalls his final years living and working in Montmartre, Paris. Advanced ticket purchase highly recommended, as each audience is limited to 8 masked individuals over the age of 13.

Those Were the Days, Pre-Pandemic
January 19 at 7 p.m.
Live-Streamed Online Viewing

Miami Light Project and Perez Art Museum Miami present ScreenDance Miami Festival 2021 this month. While many of the festival’s events take place in Florida, New England viewers can easily attend the festival’s upcoming live-streamed online event: a screening of dance film shorts with the theme of “Those Were the Days, Pre-Pandemic.”

— Merli V. Guerra

Classical Music

Stefan Asbury will conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra this week. Photo: BSO

New Beginnings, Part 1
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
January 14, 12 p.m.
Streaming online

A new BSO video stream features Stefan Asbury conducting pieces by Thomas Adès, Debussy, Vaughan Williams, and Smetana – plus, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in Elena Langer’s haunting Five Reflections on Water.

Presented by Celebrity Series
January 18, 7:30 p.m.
Streaming online

Members of Castle of Our Skins are joined by youth ensembles from City Strings United, Boston Citywide String Orchestra, and Boston String Academy in a program that celebrates the work of four composers of color: Valerie Coleman, Monthati Masebe, Eleanor Alberga, and Jessica Mays.

New Beginnings, Part 2
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
January 21, 12 p.m.
Streaming online

Thomas Wilkins conducts this installment of the BSO’s New Beginnings series, leading works by Kareem Roustom, Astor Piazzolla, and Paul Hindemith. A chamber group from the orchestra also plays Carlos Simon’s Warmth from Other Suns.

Presented by A Far Cry
January 23, 8 p.m.
Streaming online

A typically eclectic program from the Criers kicks off the chamber orchestra’s New Year: pieces by Lei Liang and Thomas Sleeper frame John Luther Adams’ beguiling The Wind in High Places.

— Jonathan Blumhofer


A scene from the British production of Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran. Photo: Pete Dibdin

Under the Radar Festival, ArtsEmerson partners with NYC’s  Public Theater, multiple events streaming through January 17

An ambitious round-up of artists from across the U.S. and around the world, including Chile, Iran, and the U.K. The festival is curated by Mark Russell, and will feature digital livestream and streaming on-demand performances. The website contains all you need to know about the offerings, which include Alicia Hall Moran’s the motown project and Javaad Alipoor’s Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran.

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.”

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. Arts Fuse review of Episodes 1 through 5.

“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.”

Extra! Extra! A glimpse of the Royal Court Theatre’s Living Newspaper.

Living Newspaper Online produced by the Royal Court Theatre, Edition One

I suggested this as a project for Boston theaters in a column two months ago. Alas, none of our companies dared take their cue from America’s Federal Theater Project. But the Royal Court Theatre in London is taking up the challenge. Its online “living newspaper” — presented via weekly installments — will be “urgent, responsive and fast – with writers filing their pieces by Tuesday and actors performing from Thursday, script-in-hand, hot off the press.”

Williamstown Theatre Festival on Audible

“In an innovative collaboration devised to meet the challenges posed by the global health pandemic, the 2020 season will be the first-ever complete theatre season released by Audible, the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling. The WTF Season on Audible is being produced in an audio-only format safe to elevate, entertain, and transform audiences from the comfort of their homes.” Here is what is currently up and ready for earplay.

A Streetcar Named Desire: “Following his 2019 production of A Raisin in the Sun, Tony Award nominee Robert O’Hara returns to WTF to direct this Tennessee Williams masterpiece. With Emmy, Grammy, and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Blanche DuBois alongside Carla Gugino as Stella. Haunted by her past, Blanche seeks refuge with Stella and Stanley (Ariel Shafir) in New Orleans, where she wrestles with the nature of her sister’s husband, her sister’s denial, and her own unraveling mind.

Photograph 51: “In 1951, chemist Rosalind Franklin (Anna Chlumsky) works relentlessly in her King’s College London lab, closing in on a major discovery that could unlock the mysteries of the DNA molecule. Undermined by her colleague Maurice Wilkins (Omar Metwally), she struggles to compete with rival team Watson and Crick (David Corenswet and Aasif Mandvi) as pressure intensifies to produce results. The script is by Anna Ziegler; Susan Stroman directs.

Animals by Stacy Osei-Kuffour. Directed by Obie Award winner Whitney White, premiering on December 17 at 3 a.m. ET: “Lydia (Aja Naomi King) and Henry (Jason Butler Harner)’s dinner guests (Madeline Brewer and William Jackson Harper) are about to arrive when Henry’s spontaneous marriage proposal threatens to burn the evening to a crisp. Wine bottles and years of unspoken tensions are uncorked, and, before the evening is through, Lydia must confront her long-held fears and feelings if she’s going to commit to a future with Henry. World premiere of a comedy that marches into the muddy intersection of romantic entanglement, identity, pride, and survival.”

Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club by Shakina Nayfack. Directed by Laura Savia. The world premiere of a play that centers on a vibrant, international group of transgender women who band together at a hotel in Thailand to confront the challenges and joys of gender confirmation surgery. Despite the group’s warm welcome, Kina (Nayfack) prepares for her life-altering operation all alone. But a caring nurse (Ivory Aquino), a wise couple (Kate Bornstein and Annie Golden), and a karaoke-loving bellhop (Telly Leung) may be exactly who she needs to ignite her truest sense of self.”

A scene from the 2018 Mint Theatre Company revival of Days to Come. Photo: Todd Cerveris.

Days to Come by Lillian Hellman. Directed by J.R. Sullivan Streamed by NYC’s Mint Theatre Company through February 21.

I have never seen this Hellman drama about a union on strike in Ohio, perhaps because it did badly when it premiered on Broadway in 1936. Critic George Jean Nathan called the production “a deserved prompt failure.” The NYTimes review of the Mint Theatre Company’s 2018 revival is pretty negative — but why not take a look and make up your own mind?

The African Company Presents Richard III by Carlyle Brown. Directed by Carl Cofield. A livestream (free but donations welcome) presented by Red Bull Theater on January 11 at 7:30 p.m. EST. This is a Live Event. The cast will come together to present the play LIVE from their homes — anything can happen. A recording of the January 11 broadcast will be available until 7 p.m. EST on January 15 – then it disappears.

Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side by Adrienne Kennedy. Directed by Timothy Douglas, Staged by Round House Theatre. The video will stream on demand and you may watch it (and all other festival plays) at your convenience at any time through February 28.

A world premiere of a play by the venerable dramatist, the final production of Round House Theatre’s virtual play festival The Work of Adrienne Kennedy: Inspiration & Influence.

“Etta and Ella Harrison are astoundingly gifted scholars, deeply connected sisters, and dangerously bitter rivals. They frequently write and teach together, and even their separate works are unnervingly similar, often sourced from their own family history. Now, after a lifetime of competition, they are on the verge of destroying each other. Adrienne Kennedy intricately blends monologue, dialogue, voiceover, and prose to create an experience that is part experimental play, part narrative thriller, and wholly unforgettable. Set against the gothic backdrop of their academic New York world, Etta and Ella on the Upper West Side is a taut, kaleidoscopic tale of ambition and madness—brought to theatrical life for the very first time.”

A scene from Circle Jerk Photo: Fake Friends.

Circle Jerk, written and performed by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley. Tickets start at $5 and the recording is viewable until January 17.

Fake Friends presents an encore stream of Circle Jerk, “a critically acclaimed satire about gay white supremacists.” Penned and performed by the team who wrote the book for Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, this is billed as “an unsettling examination of right-wing trolling in the queer community.” You couldn’t ask for better timing.

The Race by Mark Binder. Directed by Brien Lang; staged by Rhode Island’s Wilbury Theatre Group. Performances via Zoom,
January 15 – 31.

The world premiere of a “challenging new play that examines the common, and sometimes uncommon, obstacles of a high-pressure corporate interview dance in the Zoom era.” “Two job-seekers from vastly different backgrounds vie for the same position in a large, faceless corporation. Each reveals uncomfortable truths from their past while dodging landmines from their competition, and dealing with an increasingly demanding disembodied interviewer. The audience also plays an integral part as they can communicate in a live chat, as the interview happens onscreen, and ultimately decide who is the best man for the job.”

— Bill Marx

Walking Plays, an audio play series, Lyric Stage Company of Boston

According to Lyric Stage’s artistic director Courtney O’Connor, this new audio series was created as a way to bring “a form of live theatre” to a public that hasn’t been able to experience it since theaters closed because of the Covid pandemic.

“The Walking Plays provide a way for audiences to explore both the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of Boston and the joy of theatre beyond the Lyric Stage doors. This series will commission six 10- to 15-minute plays exploring private moments we experience in public. Listeners will be able to use maps provided by the Lyric Stage to walk along with the plays or to listen to them from their own homes. Together, the plays will form a loop beginning in Copley Square, winding through the city, and ending at a special location in the Back Bay. The plays will be available for free on the Lyric Stage’s website.

“The Walking Plays will include ‘Easter eggs’ throughout the walk, which will add another level of enjoyment for listeners. Executive director Matt Chapuran said, ‘It’s a great chance for people who are unfamiliar with the city of Boston to learn more about what makes it so special. Or a chance to fall in love with the city all over again.’

“The series premieres on January 15 with the release of On Paying Attention by David Valdes, a Cuban-American playwright interested in stories of personal identity, especially global majority and LGBTQ experiences. He teaches playwriting at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, as well as English at Tufts University.

Also premiering that day will be Monster in the Sky by Ginger Lazarus. “Lazarus is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose works have been featured in her native Boston area, around the country, and across the pond in London. She holds a master’s degree in playwriting from Boston University and currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts Boston.”

“The remaining four plays will be released in two batches later in the winter and spring.”

— Evelyn Rosenthal

Roots and World Music

Klezmer Conservatory Band. Photo: Randy Goodman.

40 Years in Yiddishland: The Yiddish Book Center celebrates the Klezmer Conservatory Band. Streaming on January 24 at 2 p.m. EST. The event is free and open to the public. It will be presented via Zoom and will stream live on the Yiddish Book Center’s Facebook page. To reserve a virtual seat in the Zoom audience — which will allow you to submit questions — registration at this link is required.

This will no doubt be a lively (and well-deserved) celebration.

“In 1979, 24-year old Hankus Netsky began organizing student jam sessions at Boston’s New England Conservatory to play the little known Eastern European folk music known as klezmer. The Klezmer Conservatory Band’s first gig followed in 1980 at NEC’s Brown Hall. Meanwhile, in Western Massachusetts, 24-year-old Yiddish literature graduate student Aaron Lansky launched a campaign to save the world’s Yiddish books, hoping to rescue the estimated 70,000 Yiddish books believed to be salvageable, a goal Lansky’s Yiddish Book Center surpassed in six months.”

“Two enduring pillars of the Yiddish cultural resurgence mark 40th anniversaries with an event featuring interviews with Klezmer Conservatory Band founder Netsky and Yiddish Book Center founder Lansky by noted film critic Kenneth Turan.” There will also be excerpts from acclaimed KCB performances and cameos by KCB collaborators, including Itzhak Perlman and Joel Grey.

— Bill Marx

Visual Art

As the pandemic continues to surge in New England, the list of art museums temporarily closed to physical visits has once again grown. Added recently to the group are the Museum of Fine Arts, the Portland Museum of Art, the Currier Museum of Art, and the Fitchburg Art Museum. All of these institutions are offering on-line lectures, virtual gallery talks, activities for children, and other events so check out their websites to keep in touch.

Erin Shirreff, “Four-color café terrace (Caro, –––––, Moorhouse, Matisse),”
2019. Photo: courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

Among the sturdy few remaining physically open, with COVID-19 restrictions in place, limited hours, and advanced ticket reservations required, is the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown. On January 16, the Clark opens Erin Shirreff: Remainders. In it, the Canadian artist explores relationships between art, artists, and art history on several levels, in analog and digital media, through video manipulated photographs of her own sculpture and of sculptures she found in books. She asks what is left of the work and traces of the artist once they have entered the art historical canons.

The Peabody Essex Museum, where a host of exhibitions are currently on view to physical visitors, opens Where the Questions Live: An Exploration of Humans in Nature, on January 16. The multi-media, multi-sensory, site specific installation by artist Wes Sam-Bruce is billed as a “curiosity-driven, format-bending romp” and also features an original soundscape by award-winning composer Ruth Mendelson. The museums is offering a 360 degree on-line tour of the show that online visitors can explore, moving virtually throughout the physical space and zooming-in on details at will. More details are on the PEM website (

Electronic duo Sylvan Esso — singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn — will perform in Audiotry AFter House. Photo: MASSMoCA.

The electronic duo Sylvan Esso — singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn — provide the music, light, and color in MASSMoCA’s Auditory After Hours series.  A pre-recorded modular set with sounds from past albums will transform the MoCA’s galleries after dark. Performances are at 7:00 p.m.. 7:30 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. on January 16, 23, and 30. Guests can arrive any time within 30 minutes of their timed tickets and the indoor galleries will remain open for exploration until 9:00 pm. Tickets are limited so reserve soon through the MASS MoCA website (

— Peter Walsh

Author Events

Julia Cameron
The Listening Path: The Creative Art of Attention
January 12 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $45- $18, including hardcover or paperback copy of book

The Listening Path is a transformational journey to deeper, more profound listening and creativity. Over six weeks, readers will be given the tools to become better listeners– to their environment, the people around them, and themselves. The reward for listening to truly listen is immense. As we learn to listen, our attention is heightened and we gain healing, insight, clarity. But above all, listening creates connections and ignites a creativity that will resonate through every aspect of our lives.”

Jane Smiley
Perestroika in Paris: A Novel
January 13 at 7 p.m.
Free with $3 contribution

“Paras, short for ‘Perestroika,’ is a spirited racehorse at a racetrack west of Paris. One afternoon at dusk, she finds the door of her stall open and — she’s a cautious filly — wanders all the way to the City of Light. She’s dazzled and often mystified by the sights, sounds, and smells around her, but she isn’t afraid. Soon she meets an elegant dog, a German shorthaired pointer named Frida, who knows how to get by without attracting the attention of suspicious Parisians.

Paras and Frida coexist for a time in the city’s lush green spaces, nourished by Frida’s strategic trips to the vegetable market. They keep company with two irrepressible ducks and an opinionated raven. But then Pras meets a human boy, Etienne, and discovers a new, otherworldly part of Paris: the ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly-one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother live in seclusion.”

Berneice Lerner
All the Horrors of War
January 13 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are free, $36 with copy of book

All the Horrors of War follows Glyn Hughes, a high-ranking British officer, and Rachel Genuth, a teenager from the Hungarian provinces, as they navigate their respective forms of hell during the final, brutal year of World War II. Their stories converge before the war’s end, in Bergen-Belsen, where Hughes finds himself responsible for an unprecedented situation: 25,000 of 60,000 war-ravaged inmates are in need of immediate hospitalization. Rachel is among those at death’s door. Their narratives tell a larger story — about the suffering of the victims and the struggles of liberators who strove to save lives, about the human capacity for fortitude and redemption.”

Jeanne Theoharis
Julian Bond’s Time To Teach: A History of the Southern Civil Rights Movement
January 14 at 7 p.m.
Free with $3 suggested donation

“Horace “Julian” Bond was an influential social justice activist, politician, and visionary who is best known as one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). For over two decades, he taught a popular class at the University of Virginia on the history of the civil rights movement.

Compiled from his original lecture notes, Julian Bond’s Time to Teach brings his invaluable teachings to a new generation of readers and provides a necessary toolkit for today’s activists in the era of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Bond sought to dismantle the perception of the civil rights movement as a peaceful and respectable protest that quickly garnered widespread support. Through his lectures, Bond detailed the ground-shaking disruption the movement caused, its immense unpopularity at the time, and the bravery of activists, some very young, who chose to disturb order to pursue justice.”

Jenny Offill
Weather: A Novel
January 19 at 7 p.m.
Free with $3 contribution

“Lizzie works in the library of a university where she was once a promising graduate student. Her side hustle is answering the letters that come in to “Hell and High Water,” the doom-laden podcast hosted by her former mentor. At first it suits her, this chance to practice her other calling as an unofficial shrink—she has always played this role to her divorced mother and brother recovering from addiction—but soon Lizzie finds herself struggling to strike the obligatory note of hope in her responses. The reassuring rhythms of her life as a wife and mother begin to falter as her obsession with disaster psychology and people preparing for the end of the world grows. A marvelous feat of compression, a mix of great feeling and wry humor, Weather is an electrifying encounter with one of the most gifted writers at work today.” Arts Fuse review

Recognize Fascism: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Series
Virtual Panel
January 22 at 7 p.m.

Across many worlds and many timelines, these stories depict the moments when people see the fascism in front of them for what it is, accept it as real, and make the choice to fight it. Who are the canaries in the coal mine? When can the long-hidden voice no longer be ignored? Anti-fascist rebellion can take many forms. A transgender woman living on an artificial satellite learns to reject oppression via poetry. A machine ethicist finds a way to dance with her gods in a surveillance state. Will you recognize fascism and join the revolution? With stories by Sam Miller, Jaymee Goh, Brandon O’Brien, Octavia Cade, Jennifer Shelby, and many more….

Elizabeth Powell & Mark Wunderlich
Atomizer & God of Nothingness
January 25 at 7 p.m.

Atomizer explores fragrance and perfumery as a means of biological and religious seduction. In his collection of poetry, Wunderlich asks: “how is it we go on as those around us die?”

Gabriel Byrne
Walking With Ghosts: A Memoir
January 26 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $31, including copy of book and signed bookplate

“Moving between sensual recollection of childhood in a now almost vanished Ireland and reflections on stardom in Hollywood and Broadway, Byrne also courageously recounts his battle with addiction and the ambivalence of fame. Walking with Ghosts is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking as well as a lyrical homage to the people and landscapes that ultimately shape our destinies.”

— Matt Hanson

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  1. […] Shelter in Place Attractions: January 10 through 26 – What Will Light Your Home Fires […]

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