Coming Attractions: March 8 Through 22 — What Will Light Your Fire

As the age of Covid-19 finally wanes, Arts Fuse critics supply a guide to film, dance, visual art, theater, author readings, and music. Please check with venues when uncertain whether the event is available by streaming or is in person. More offerings will be added as they come in.

The DocYard Spring Series
A hybrid option is available for Series Passholders.

A scene from the documentary El Father Plays Himself.

El Father Plays Himself
March 7 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

“A father and son return to the Amazon jungle to shoot a deeply personal film. Fiction and reality clash as father plays himself.” Director Jorge Thielen Armand reconnects with his alcoholic father, Hedderich, by taking him back to his roots in the Amazon jungle to shoot a biopic called La Fortaleza. Because the picture is based on his past, Hedderich portrays himself in brutally honest detail. What follows is a fascinating documentary about a plagued production that blurs the lines between acting and exploitation.

March 8 at 9 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

“Olivia Munn plays the titular studio executive, a woman who has everything on the outside and feels like nothing within. Her emotional instability is both caused and represented by her Voice (Justin Theroux), an audible internal bully who second-guesses every decision she makes. While we see someone who is impeccably professional, the Voice persistently insists otherwise.” (The Wrap) Originally slated to debut at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, Justine Bateman’s (Family Ties) first film casts veteran actors who know how to navigate some tricky and often uncomfortable material. Trailer

Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts
Opens March 11
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline
Each of the five individual films are described at length at IndieWire.

Tahara (2020)
March 17 at 7 p.m.
The Bright Lights Screening Room at the Paramount Theater in Boston

This is a queer dark comedy. Following the suicide of one of their peers, best friends Carrie and Hannah are obligated to spend the afternoon at their upstate New York Hebrew school reflecting on the death of a classmate they apparently hardly knew. During the funeral service, the closeness of their friendship is clear as they communicate with one another using a shared secret language — it’s a mix of looks, physical gestures, and written shorthand. As the day goes on, though, that tight bond between the two will be tested. (from a NewFest film review) A live moderated discussion with director Olivia Peace follows the screening.

A scene from The Children’s Republic.

The Children’s Republic (2012)
March 20 at 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archives, Cambridge

The Film Archives reopens its programming with this little-seen African film to which actor Danny Glover lent his talents. A group of young African men and women — their country ravaged by warfare and adults either dead or fleeing — attempt to survive by themselves in the forsaken village. The film “explores concepts of symbolism and magical realism to tell the tale of a utopian society and its young inhabitants.” Director Flora Gomes’s latest work is the first English-language film to come out of Guinea-Bissau.

Pick of the Week

A scene from the documentary Phases of Matter.

Phases of Matter
March 15 on iTunes and Kanopy

Deniz Tortum’s film is centered on the daily life of Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty, where the director’s father worked as a physician for 30 years and where she was born. The camera observes patient rooms, corridors, a dining hall, and operating theaters; this is a fly-on-the-wall portrait of healthcare professionals and their patients. Running just over an hour, and reminiscent of Fredrick Wiseman’s classic 1970 documentary Hospital, the film presents alternatively graphic and surreal looks at the dedication of health care workers in this aging Turkish hospital.

— Tim Jackson


COVID PROTOCOLS: Check with specific theaters; requirements often include proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 rapid test. Also, companies are requiring masks at indoor performances.

Alaudin Ullah and Avirodh Sharma in Dishwasher Dreams. Photo: Michael Brosilow

Dishwasher Dreams, written and performed by Alaudin Ullah. Directed by Chay Yew. Music by Avirodh Sharma. Staged by Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford, through March 20.

“Embark on a journey of the American Dream with comedian Alaudin Ullah and tabla musician Avirodh Sharma. With hilarious, transformative monologues driven by a percussive heartbeat, this play brings to life the many different characters and immigration experiences from 1930s Bangladesh, to 1970s Spanish Harlem, and present-day Hollywood.”

Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson. Directed by Jude Sandy. Staged by Trinity Repertory at the Chase Theater, 201 Washington St., Providence, through March 27.

“Set in 1904 Pittsburgh where slavery was still living memory,” this installment in August Wilson’s epic cycle, “offers a searing and mystical exploration of freedom, justice, and reclamation. Racked with secret guilt, a desperate Citizen Barlow seeks refuge at the home of ancient Aunt Ester. Renowned for soul cleansing, Ester sends Citizen on an epic journey to the City of Bones, to find redemption and renewed purpose.” The cast includes Trinity Rep vets Ricardo Pitts-Wiley and Mauro Hantman.

A scene from the American Repertory Theater’s production of Ocean Filibuster featuring Rachel Share-Sapolsky, Evan Spigelman, Nia Weeks, and Dawn L. Troupe. Photo: Maggie Hall

Ocean Filibuster, created by PearlDamour. Text by Lisa D’Amour. Music by Sxip Shirey. Directed by Katie Pearl Featuring Jennifer Kidwell. Staged by the American Repertory Theater 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge, February 24 through March 13. A digital version of Ocean Filibuster is available to preorder today. Stream anytime on demand beginning on or around March 9 through March 27.

The world premiere of a musical that “explores the climate crisis and our democratic process with wit and urgency.” The piece “was commissioned and developed through a collaboration with the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE). Inside the Senate chamber of a global governing body, Mr. Majority introduces an ‘End of Ocean Bill’ designed to shrink Earth’s oceans into a more manageable (and marketable) collection of inland seas. When the floor is opened for debate, the Ocean arrives to speak in its own defense… and so begins an epic Human-Ocean showdown.” We are told that this will be a “genre-crashing music theater experience … a fusion of myth, song, video, stand-up, and science to explore the vast depths crucial to our daily survival.” Arts Fuse review

Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End by Allison Engel and Margaret Engel. Directed by Terry Berliner. Staged by Merrimack Repertory Theater, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, live and on video, through March 13.

“America’s Funniest Mom. Ever.” This celebration of humorist Erma Bombeck “rejoices in the life of a woman considered to be one of America’s favorite moms, who championed the everyday lives of housewives with a daring truth few of her generation were willing to tell.”

Daniel Rios Jr. with Lindsey McWhorter, Alison Yueming Qu, and Karina Beleno Carney in Young Nerds of Color. Photo: Nile Scott Studios

Young Nerds of Color, arranged by Melinda Lopez. Directed by Dawn M. Simmons. A Brit d’Arbeloff Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production staged by the Underground Railway at the Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, through March 20.

“Hiding in plain sight in the science labs, grappling over civilization’s greatest challenges are ‘Young Nerds of Color.’ Some speak with the poetry of wise sages, others subvert the establishment with renegade ways, and, finally, there are rock stars whose ideas flow like jazz improvisation — all changing the world like a bolt of lightning illuminating the night sky. If knowledge is power, their powers make them superheroes. Playwright Melinda Lopez weaves together over 60 interviews with scientists from the most underrepresented backgrounds – with original music by Nona Hendryx — amplifying the rich harmonies, breaking down boundaries and showing us what is possible.” Arts Fuse review

The Nurse Antigone, co-presented by Theater of War Productions, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Resilient Nurses Initiative – Maryland, streaming on March 17, 5 to 7 p.m.

“A groundbreaking project by and for nurses, The Nurse Antigone presents dramatic readings of Sophocles’ Antigone on Zoom — featuring professional actors and a chorus of frontline nurses—to help frame powerful guided discussions about the unique challenges faced by nurses before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Antigone, an ancient play about a young woman who puts everything on the line to do what she believes is right, dramatizes the heavy cost of silencing and marginalizing caregivers, especially during times of crisis. By performing Sophocles’ play for diverse audiences, including nurses as well as concerned citizens, The Nurse Antigone aims to generate compassion, awareness, connection, and much-needed healing, while celebrating and advocating for nurses at this critical juncture in the history of their profession.” The cast includes by Dapne Rubin-Vega (In The Heights), Tracie Thoms (Rent), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), Ato Blankson-Wood (Detroit), and Bill Camp (The Queen’s Gambit).”

Brittany-Laurelle, Hadar Busia-Singleton, and Alexandria King in the Huntington Theatre production of The Bluest Eye. Photo: T Charles Erickson

The Bluest Eye, an adaptation of Toni Morrison’s novel for the stage by Lydia Diamond. Directed by Awoye Timpo. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, South End, Boston, through March 26. (Digital access to the filmed performance is available until April 9.)

The play, like the novel, tells the story of Pecola, a young Black girl who believes the world would be wonderful if she could have blue eyes. Arts Fuse review.

Everyday Life and Other Odds and Ends by Charlotte Meehan. Directed by Tara Brooke Watkins. Choreography by Peter DiMuro. Staged by Sleeping Weasel at the Emerson Paramount Center, Jackie Liebergott Black Box 559 Washington St, Boston, March 12 through 27.

The world premiere of a play that “introduces three very different couples, each of their relationships uniquely impacted by Parkinson’s disease, in a bold multi-media experience that delves into the intimate experiences that take place between heartbeats.

“Striving for unconditional love, each pair responds to the avalanche of advice heaped on them with a mix of hilarity, pain, and love. Meanwhile, every mundane daily pattern, interlude of absurd bickering, and moment of human connection takes on emotional urgency.”

Donnla Hughes as Darja in Ironbound. Photo: Cat Laine

Ironbound by Martyna Majok. Directed by Rachel Walshe. Staged by the Gamm Theatre, 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI, March 17 through April 10.

“At a bus stop in a run-down New Jersey town, Darja, a Polish immigrant who gets by on a cleaning job, pragmatism, and sheer will, is done talking about feelings. It’s time to talk money. Over the course of 22 years and three relationships, Darja negotiates for her future with men who can offer her love or security, but never both. Award-winning playwright Martyna Majok’s play is a portrait of a tough woman for whom love is a luxury — and a liability — and survival is the only measure of success.”

Once On This Island, Book and Lyrics Lynn Ahrens, Music by Stephan Flaherty. Directed by Pascale Florestal. Staged by SpeakEasy Stage Company, March 11 – April 16, 2022, at the Stanford Calderwood avilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston, March 11 through April 16.

The award-winning musical “tells the epic story of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who, guided by the mighty island gods, sets out on a remarkable journey to follow her heart and find her place in the world.” The musical is based on the novel My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy, and features a score by Tony Award-winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Seussical, A Man of No Importance, Anastasia). Arts Fuse review

Gatsby Redux, a verse adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel for the stage by Gary Duehr. An online staged reading presented by Playwrights Platform on March 14 at 7 p.m. For Zoom link, email

Adapted from the 1925 classic, this script in iambic rhymed couplets “tells Gatsby’s story in reverse, starting with the last scene of the novel and working backwards. This structure echoes the main theme: a futile attempt to relive the past.”

What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck. Directed by Oliver Butler. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St, Boston, through March 20.

Heidi Schreck’s play “breathes new life into our country’s most important document. Fifteen-year-old Heidi Schreck paid her college tuition by speaking in debate competitions across the country; now older, she tells the story of four generations of extraordinary women in her family whose lives were shaped by the Constitution.”

A scene from Bread & Puppet Theater’s Finished Waiting. Photo: Richard Termine

Finished Waiting, written and performed by Bread & Puppet Theater. Directed by Peter Schumann at First Church, 11 Garden St. in Cambridge on March 22 at 7 p.m.

The venerable political theater presents a new work: “In the tradition of theater-as-public-address, the show speaks directly from the heart of this moment of political, social and ecological rupture and uncertainty — a moment in which many feel the seduction of a stance of waiting: waiting for the pandemic to be over, for better leaders to be elected, for actions to be taken by the powerful to respond to ecological catastrophe, for families to be reunited, wars to end and empires to fall.”

According to Bread & Puppet artistic director, Peter Schumann, the production stars “the clock and its customers, skies, cities, mountains, forward dancers, backward dancers, a stop officer, and an eye divinity who teaches seeing to non-suspecting eyes.” After the performance Bread & Puppet will serve its free sourdough rye bread with aioli, and Bread & Puppet’s “Cheap Art” – books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread & Puppet Press – will be for sale.

— Bill Marx

Visual Arts

As Massachusetts creatives go, Marilyn Pappas is about as local as they come. The textile artist is a native of Brockton and based in Somerville. She studied at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and is a professor emerita at her alma mater.

An example of Marilyn Pappas’s socially engaged garment-based work at the Fuller Craft Museum. Photo: Fuller Craft Museum

Marilyn Pappas: A Retropective, which opens at Brockton’s Fuller Craft Museum on March 12, is the first retrospective in Pappas’s 60-year career. It begins with her socially engaged garment-based work of the ’60s and encompasses her travel-inspired collages and her outsized textiles depicting sculptures of gods and goddesses. The exhibition is, the Fuller says, both a visual biography of an artist reacting to and producing work inspired by the events of two centuries and a chronicle of the stages of her own life and career.

The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art’s Spotlight Exhibition Edward Russell Thaxter is a tale of what might have been. Like so many of his fellow 19th-century American sculptors, the 22-year-old Thaxter left his native Maine for Italy, seeking inspiration in the great works of classical antiquity and Italian sculptors of the Renaissance and Baroque, as well as the support of a long-established community of ex-pat American sculptors and collectors residing there. Like most of the leading Americans of his era, he worked in marble, imitating the pure white (as it was thought at the time) works of the classical Greeks and Romans.

Almost as soon as he was established in Florence, Thaxter was acclaimed as the rising American genius of his medium. The New York Times eagerly anticipated what the young artist might accomplish in “the maturity of his powers and experience.” Tragically, not long after, Thaxter was dead, a victim of typhoid fever in Naples. He was 24.

The Wadsworth show features the recently conserved Love’s First Dream, a virtuoso work suggesting the most ambitious carvings of Bernini, that one critic proclaimed as “a masterpiece of American sculpture.” After her son’s early death, Thaxter’s mother had this sculpture copied at half size, and exhibited across the US. Further copies, made in Florence, were sold to eager American collections.

The Wadsworth’s version of the work came to the collection in 1916, gift of the prominent Hartford collector Ruth Munsil. New research conducted at the Wadsworth forms a fresh context for this forgotten episode in American art.

Part of Down to the Bone: Edward Koren and Stephen Gorman at the Peabody-Essex Museum. Photo: PEM

The independent work of nature photographer Stephen Gorman and New Yorker cartoonist Edward Koren converge on the issue of the perils faced by the natural environment in Down to the Bone: Edward Koren and Stephen Gorman, which opens at the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem on March 12. Both artists focus on the global climate crisis.

Gorman’s work in this exhibition was created in Kaktovik, an Inupiat village in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge of Alaska, currently and unhappily a center of political, cultural, and environmental threats from the rest of the United States. Koren’s drawings, lithographs, and etchings feature bewildered creatures caught in a disintegrating landscape. Working from very different points of view, the two artists join forces to call attention to the great threats facing humanity from its own success.

White Shadows: Anneliese Hager and the Camera-less Photograph, which opened this past week at the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, explores the work of a previously almost unknown 20th-century artist. Hager, a German artist and poet born in 1904, worked with the “photogram,” a technique where objects are recorded on a light-sensitive surface directly rather than through a camera. Hager called the brilliant images she created in the medium “white shadows.”

The Harvard exhibition includes 29 recently acquired photograms Hager made between the late ’40s, after most of her early work was destroyed in the Allied bombing of Dresden, and the ’60s, when she stopped working in the technique. The selection  includes cyanotypes, microphotography, copy prints, photograms, and photographs. A selection of work by 19th-century practitioners in these methods, among them Anna Atkins, Ella J.C. Hurd, and Philip Otto Runge, along with other examples by Hager’s 20th-century contemporaries, provide artistic context for Hager’s own efforts.

— Peter Walsh

Roots and World Music

Allison Russell will be performing in Cambridge this week. Photo: Wiki Common

Allison Russell
March 8
The Sinclair, Cambridge

This writer has to admit he was underwhelmed the first time he saw Russell in an opening act context with her group Birds of Chicago many years ago. Clearly others saw something in Russell that I missed, and it’s a good thing they did, because her intensely personal 2021 recording Outside Child was as good as any album that came out last year. Considering how many critics agreed, it’s a bit surprising that tickets are still available for this relatively small venue show.

The Boston Festival of New Jewish Music with Abigale Reisman
March 9
The Boston Synagogue

This monthly series of Jewish music concerts has been a wonderful gift. Up next is Ezekiel’s Wheel fiddler Reisman, in a special performance with Courtney Swain (piano), Francesca Ter-Berg (cello), Jonathan Cannon (violin), & Ezekiel’s Wheel bandmate and series curator Nat Seelen (clarinet).

Burren Backroom Series
The Burren, Somerville
A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn On-Stage
Various venues

At long last, and just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, WGBH Celtic Sojourn host Brian O’Donovan is back at the intimate Burren with shows from traditional masters Teada, the Murphy Beds, and the current incarnation of the Tannahill Weavers. O’Donovan’s Celtic Sojourn multi-artist revue is also hitting multiple theaters around the region this month.

Gladys Knight and the Pips performing in 1969. Photo: Wiki Common

Gladys Knight
March 12
Emerson Colonial, Boston

One of the many great moments in the recent Summer of Soul documentary was Gladys Knight and the Pips belting out “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” in Harlem. While most of the artists in that film are gone, and the Pips are no more, Knight is still on the road and in quite good voice, typically mixing her hits with some of her gospel favorites.

— Noah Schaffer


Cellist Helen Gillet is part of the surprise matchup of the week at Lilypad. Photo: Jason Kruppa.

Gillet/Bishop/Karlson/Rosenthal + Cutout
March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge

The surprise of the week is this matchup of cellist Helen Gillet as a special guest with the crew in drummer Eric Rosenthal’s .01 Percent series at the Lilypad. The Belgian-born Gillet — a star in the city she now calls home, New Orleans — has long played with avant-garde-leaning jazz musicians, but is best known for her solo work as singer-songwriter, accompanying herself with live looping effects. For this show, she’s playing sets with both bands on the .01 double-bill: first, with trombonist Jeb Bishop, bassist Brittany Karlson, and Rosenthal; then, with the band Cutout: Bishop, saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra, pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, bassist Nate McBride, and drummer Luther Gray. No word on whether there will be time for Gillet to favor us with one of her beguiling originals, sung in English and French, or a Belgian folk tune sung in Walloon.

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque
March 11 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

The Canadian saxophonist and composer Jane Bunnett — long a Cuban music adept — several years ago began collaborating with a group of female musicians from the island nation as a showcase for young talent, with crackling results. She returns with her latest edition of Maqueque (roughly translated as “the energy of a young girl’s spirit”) for this show at Scullers. I have described past shows — with their mix of the folkloric Cuban instrumental and vocal tradition and Bunnett’s modern jazz — as “explosive,” so there you go.

James Brandon Lewis Trio
March 12 at 5:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge

The exciting semi-young saxophonist James Brandon Lewis (b. 1983) draws inspiration and sounds from rock and hip-hop beats as well as Henry Threadgill’s revered trio, Air. He will be at the Lily with equally adept trio-mates Christopher Hoffman (cello, a vet of Threadgill’s Zooid ensemble), and drummer Christopher Hoffman, who has a broad resume of boundary-pushing experimentation playing with other bands and as a solo artist.

Nicholas Payton will perform at Scullers Jazz Club this week. Photo: Colorado College

Nicholas Payton
March 12 at 8 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

The New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton came to the fore as a hardcore traditionalist, but his career has followed no predictable trajectory — early jazz, primo Miles Davis electric band, groove and pop, straight ahead post-bop — informed by his sometimes prickly broadsides (a favorite title: “Jazz Is a Four-Letter Word”). But he always sounds good, and he always passes the blindfold test when his tunes come up on his hometown radio station, WWOZ. That is, if I don’t recognize a fetching tune or piquant trumpet solo, it often turns out to be Payton. These days, his band format usually includes him accompanying himself on keyboards.

Robert Glasper
March 12 and 13 at 6 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
City Winery, Boston

Robert Glasper’s debut on Blue Note was with a straight ahead, if inventive, jazz piano trio. But since then, his amalgam of jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary R&B as the Robert Glasper Experiment, abetted by his freakish adaptation of J Dilla beats to a live-instrument setup, has made him a crossover phenom, evident from the booking of four shows over two nights at City Winery. One hopes that on this circuit he’s still working with the rhythm combo of bassist Derrick Hodge and drummers Chris Dave or Mark Colenburg and the singer/saxophonist Casey Benjamin.

Clarinetist Anat Cohen will perform in Boston on March 19. Photo: Jimmy Katz

Anat Cohen Quartetinho
March 19 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Artists For Humanity EpiCenter, Boston

Anat Cohen was primarily a tenor saxophonist until one of her mentors at Berklee College of Music, the late Herb Pomeroy, pushed her on her “second,” the clarinet. The instrument seemed to open worlds of music for her — from Latin America (especially Brazil) to her homeland, Israel. This band, a reduced version of her Tentet, features Vitor Gonçalves on piano, Tal Mashiach on bass, and James Shipp on percussion. Writing for the Arts Fuse, Steve Elman described Cohen’s previous Celebrity Series of Boston show (with the tentet) as having had “so much tone color and so much genre variety that it might be typed (unfairly) as a world music band. If you had to type it at all, it would be much fairer and more accurate to call it a ‘universal band.’”

Naledi Masilo
March 19 at 8 p.m.
All Saints Church, Dorchester, MA

South African singer Naledi Masilo, a New England Conservatory graduate, has been performing in Dreaming Zenzile, a touring theatrical tribute to Miriam Makeba. She plays this show, part of the Dot Jazz Series, with Kevin Harris on keyboards and Shahar Amdor on saxophone and flute.

— Jon Garelick

Allan Chase Quintet, featuring Lauren Sevian & Amanda Monaco
March 7, 8-9:30 p.m.
Virtuosity Musical Instruments, 234 Huntington Ave., Boston

Saxophonist Allan Chase (on alto & baritone) heads up a quintet featuring Lauren Sevian on baritone, Amanda Monaco on guitar, Bruno Råberg on bass, and Austin McMahon on drums. The group will be playing compositions by each of the players, as well as by Sam Rivers, Joe Henderson, and Jack Bruce. You can catch them in person at the Virtuosity instrument shop, or streaming on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.

Musicians for Africa Benefit Concert
March 13, 3 p.m.
Brighton Allston Congregational Church, 404 Washington St., Brighton, MA

A stellar group of international musicians join forces for this show to benefit the nonprofit Fraternity Without Borders. Donations will help to bring clean water to a village in Mozambique, the home country of guitarist/vocalist/composer Albino Mbie, whose band will be featured. Sharing the bill will be pianist/composer Nando Michelin (Uruguay) and bassist/vocalist/composer Ebinho Cardoso (Brazil). Joining both bands will be drummer Lumanyanu Bizana (South Africa). The in-person event happens at the Brighton Allston Congregational Church, but you can also attend — and donate — via the organization’s YouTube channel or Facebook page.

— Evelyn Rosenthal

Classical Music

Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Leonidas Kavakos will perform a triptych of Beethoven piano tri0s this week at Symphony Hall. Photo: Celebrity Series

Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma, and Emanuel Ax play Beethoven
Presented by Celebrity Series
March 9, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

The Kavakos-Ma-Ax Trio returns with a triptych of Beethoven piano trios in tow: the Gassenhauer and Ghost Trios, as well as a new arrangement for three of the Symphony No. 6 (Pastorale) by Shai Wosner.

Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
March 10 and 12, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

Opera-in-concert returns to Symphony Hall, courtesy of the Boston Symphony and music director Andris Nelsons, who present Alban Berg’s harrowing masterpiece Wozzeck. Bo Skovhus sings the title role and Christine Goerke is Marie.

Anthony McGill, Myra Huang, and Susanna Phillips in recital
Presented by Celebrity Series
March 13, 3 p.m.
GBH Calderwood Studio, Boston

The Celebrity Series presents McGill, the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinetist, and his esteemed friends playing pieces by Franz Schubert, James Lee III, and William Grant Still.

Brooklyn Rider & Avi Avital
Presented by Celebrity Series
March 18, 8 p.m.
GBH Calderwood Studio, Boston

The string quartet Brooklyn Rider wraps up its season-long Celebrity Series residency with a performance in which they’re joined by mandolinist Avi Avital.

Vivaldi’s Gloria
Presented by Boston Baroque
March 19 (at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and 20 (at 3 p.m.)
GBH Calderwood Studio, Boston

Martin Pearlman leads Boston Baroque in Antonio Vivaldi’s much-loved Gloria. Also on the docket is Handel’s radiant Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day.

— Jonathan Blumhofer


Island Moving Company in action.

Masterful Movers
March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
Providence, RI

Enjoy choreographer Nicolo Fonte’s seminal work, Where We Left Off, performed by Island Moving Company (IMC) dancers, and set to a score by Phillip Glass. The evening concludes with an original adaptation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, choreographed by IMC’s Artistic & Associate Artistic Directors Miki Ohlsen and Danielle Genest in collaboration with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale & Orchestra (RICCO), which features 70 choral voices and a live orchestra under the musical direction of RICCO’s Joshua Rohde.

Boston, MA

A new music/dance work, THE DAY features cellist Maya Beiser, dancer Wendy Whelan, and choreographer Lucinda Childs, with music by David Lang. A multidimensional collaboration, THE DAY is an evening-long sensory exploration of two journeys — “life and the eternal, post-mortal voyage of the soul.” Enjoy an evening exploring universal themes through the shared language of music and dance.

Constructed Sight Dance Film Festival
March 11-20
Online viewing

This ten-day film festival kicks off with an in-person Opening Night screening featuring works from Shana Simmons Dance company members, a feature from Attack Theatre, and work by international guest artists. Join this Opening Night Event online to vote for your favorite screendance films and engage in a brief talk back at the end featuring a lineup of global film artists, including Boston’s Luminarium Dance Company.

New England Now Dance Platform
March 18-20
Boston, MA

Global Arts Live is proud to partner with the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston to present New England Now Dance Platform as part of its Regional Dance Development Initiative. This exciting weekend of dance  features 18 New England  dance artists through three distinct performances. Explore each artist lineup on the Global Arts Live website.

Motion State Dance Festival in action.

Motion State Dance Festival
Through March 12
Various venues, see website

Ranging across venues and artistic styles, Motion State Dance Festival presents live performances from Edisa Weeks (NY), Shura Baryshnikov (RI), Olivier Besson (MA), Assitan “Sita” Coulibaly (RI), Heidi Henderson (RI), Lila Hurwitz (RI), Alexandra James (ME), Cathy Nicoli (RI), Joshua Tuason (RI), and Stephanie Turner (RI). The festival additionally showcases screendance films by Kate Corby (WI), Tori Lawrence (MA), Anabella Lenzu (NY), Katie Beard and Naomi Turner (UK), and Esther Dganit Zimmerman (Tel Aviv).

Ongoing, Online viewing

Engage in a cinematic opera experience with Svadba, the story of a bride-to-be on the eve of her wedding surrounded by friends and family helping her prepare for the big event. Sung completely a cappella, Svadba’s entrancing music by Serbian composer Ana Sokolović merges with dance-led visuals from film director Shura Baryshnikov and screenwriter Hannah Shepard. Slovenia-born Daniela Candillari conducts.

The Time Traveler’s Lens
Ongoing, online viewing

Hailed as “groundbreaking” (MidJersey News) and a “unique interdisciplinary work” (Town Topics), The Time Traveler’s Lens combines dance, film, technology, and history to engage viewers in a 360-degree virtual reality performance that is amazingly intimate — the viewer is placed in the center of the action. Experience five virtual reality works unfolding spherically around you on your own mobile device. You are the time traveler, you control the lens — Luminarium Dance Company provides five worlds of illusion.

— Merli V. Guerra

Author Events

Virtual Event: Nonfiction in Experimental and Poetic Form – brookline booksmith
Mary Cappello, Cassandra Lane, and Yiyun Li
March 8 at 7 p.m.

“Lectures. Reading guides. Sociological treatises. These forms of academic and nonfiction writing are not typically considered forms that afford the innovative or the lyrical. Yet such forms have recently been appearing in work best qualified as experimental or poetic nonfiction. In this panel, authors discuss their strategies for using supposedly ‘staid’ forms in creative nonfiction, and how doing so may stimulate new perspectives on contemporary issues of concern and these forms themselves.”

Virtual Event: Molly Huddle and Sara Slattery –Porter Square Books
How She Did It: Stories, Advice, and Secrets from Fifty Long Distance Runners
March 14 at 7 p.m.

“The road from a high school track to an Olympic starting line is long and sometimes shadowy. Obstacles like chronic injuries, under-fueled nutrition, and coercive coaching can threaten to derail careers before they’ve even begun. Frustrated by seeing young talent burn out before reaching their potential, professional distance runner Molly Huddle and college coach Sara Slattery have teamed up with trailblazing running legends and sports medicine professionals to create an essential guide to reach your running potential.

This is “How She Did It — an instructional and inspirational collection of stories and advice for female runners. The book begins with key information from the professionals who help make athletic excellence possible: trainers, physicians, nutritionists, and sports psychologists. Then, you’ll hear the first-person accounts of forty women who’ve done it themselves.”

Virtual Event: Anil Seth – Harvard Book Store
Being You: A New Science of Consciousness 
March 15 at 5 p.m.
Free with $5 suggested contribution

“Internationally renowned neuroscience professor, researcher, and author Anil Seth offers a window into our consciousness in Being You: A New Science of Consciousness. Anil Seth is both a leading expert on the neuroscience of consciousness and one of the most prominent spokespeople for this relatively new field of science. His radical argument is that we do not perceive the world as it objectively is, but rather that we are prediction machines, constantly inventing our world and correcting our mistakes by the microsecond, and that we can now observe the biological mechanisms in the brain that accomplish this process of consciousness.”

Virtual Event: Seth Meyers – Harvard Book Store
I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared! 
March 15 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $24 with signed bookplate

“When you’re a bear who is easily scared, it’s hard to have friends. Fortunately, Bear has one: Rabbit, who is very brave. One day, Rabbit urges Bear to face his fears and embark on an adventure together. However, things don’t entirely go as planned, and the two friends learn the true meaning of bravery.

Equal parts hilarious and touching, this funny tale of adventure, bravery, and daring rescue will both inspire the adventurous spirit in all of us and make us laugh along the way. With the unfailingly witty voice of one of America’s favorite comedians, Seth Meyers’s debut picture book is bound for hilarity history.”

Virtual Event: Anne Gray Fischer – Harvard Book Store
The Streets Belong to Us: Sex, Race, and Police Power from Segregation to Gentrification
March 18 at 12 noon
Free with $5 suggested donation

“Throughout the twentieth century, police departments achieved a stunning consolidation of urban authority through the strategic discretionary enforcement of morals laws, including disorderly conduct, vagrancy, and other prostitution-related misdemeanors.

“Between Prohibition in the 1920s and the rise of ‘broken windows’ policing in the 1980s, police targeted white and Black women in distinct but interconnected ways. These tactics reveal the centrality of racist and sexist myths to the justification and deployment of state power. Sexual policing did not just enhance police power. It also transformed cities from segregated sites of ‘urban vice’ into the gentrified sites of Black displacement and banishment we live in today. By illuminating both the racial dimension of sexual liberalism and the gender dimension of policing in Black neighborhoods, The Streets Belong to Us illustrates the decisive role that race, gender, and sexuality played in the construction of urban police regimes.”

In Person: Ilan Stavans with Grace Talusan – brookline booksmith
What Is American Literature? 
March 23 at 7 p.m.

“The distinguished cultural critic Ilan Stavans explores the nation’s identity through the prism of its books, from the indigenous past to the early settlers, the colonial period, the age of independence, its ascendance as a global power, and its shallow, fracturing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The central motives that make the United States a flawed experiment — its celebration of do-it-yourself individualism, its purported exceptionalism, and its constitutional government based on checks and balances — are explored through canonical works like Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Emily Dickinson’s poetry, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the work of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison, and immigrant voices such as those of Américo Paredes, Henry Roth, Saul Bellow, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jhumpa Lahiri, and others. This is literary criticism at its best-informed: broad-ranged yet pungent and uncompromising.”

In Person: Tara Isabella Burton with George Scialabba — brookline booksmith
The World Cannot Give
March 24 at 6 p.m.

“The Girls meets Fight Club in this coming-of-age novel about queer desire, religious zealotry, and the hunger for transcendence among the devoted members of a cultic chapel choir in a prestigious Maine boarding school — and the obsessively ambitious, terrifyingly charismatic girl that rules over them.” Burton will be in discussion with critic George Scialabba.

— Matt Hanson

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