Coming Attractions: April 10 Through 25 — What Will Light Your Fire
As the age of Covid-19 more or less wanes, Arts Fuse critics supply a guide to film, dance, visual art, theater, author readings, and music. More offerings will be added as they come in.
April 17, 7:30 p.m.
Apple Cinemas, Cambridge
Turkish director Emin Alper’s latest film won the Certain Regard Award at Cannes and has been nominated — or won — the Best Film prize at numerous global festivals. The plot’s look at corruption is nothing new. A new prosecutor, Emre, has been sent to a Yaniklar, a small town where he sets out to make improvements, only to find himself tumbling down a rabbit hole of conspiracy, homophobia, and toxic masculinity. Post-screening discussion with Roberta Micallef, Coordinator of Turkish Language Program at Boston University Partial proceeds to benefit Global Giving, which is prioritizing longer-term recovery efforts in the impacted areas of Turkey and Syria. Arts Fuse review
Only in Theaters
West Newton Cinemas, April 14 through 20
Cinema Worcester on April 14
The Laemmle family has owned the movie house chain since the first days of film with a dedication to great cinema. The film is a love letter to art of film and a story of the triumphs and travails of the multigenerational family who own the beloved 84-year-old arthouse cinema chain in Los Angeles. Generations of Laemmles, who came to America as Jewish immigrants, have survived competition with television, commercial blockbusters and finally the pandemic.
There will be an afternoon Q&A featuring director Raphael Sbarge on April 16. Also a screening and Q&A at the Cinema Worcester on April 14.
BRIGHT LIGHTS FILM SERIES
4th floor of the Paramount Center at 559 Washington Street, Boston. All films are free of charge
April 13 at 7 p.m.
This astounding work of animation made many of the Best Film lists for 2022. The plot concerns the “Assassin,” an iron-clad humanoid with a gas mask and a crumbling map, who descends into a rusty, peril-laden underworld of grime, blood, and unsettling monstrosities. As the stealthy invader meanders through the labyrinthine post-apocalyptic wasteland on a mysterious mission, he goes deeper and deeper in this nightmarish realm gradually reaching his final destination — a grotesque tower of torture.
Director Phil Tippett and producer Colin Geddes will be in attendance. Arts Fuse review
April 20 at 7 p.m.
Also on a number of 2022 Best Film lists, this film focuses on a group of women who gather in a hayloft to discuss how to respond to abuses by the men of their religious colony. While the men are away, the women narrow their options down to three: do nothing, stay and fight, or leave. Some fear that any act of defiance will jeopardize their entry into heaven and others argue that they cannot survive without husbands and sons. A few are willing to take any measures necessary to escape the terror of their domestic lives and insist that “the truth is stronger than the rules”. Based on the Canadian 2018 novel of the same name by Miriam Toews, and inspired by gas-facilitated rapes at the Bolivian Mennonite settlement of Manitoba Colony. There will be a post-screening discussion with Professor Colleen Kelly Poplin.
Roxfilm Shorts: On Being Black Outdoors
April 14 at 7 p.m.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Roxbury Film presents a series of three shorts on adventures in the great outdoors, A panel discussion will follow the screening. Films include: Black Ice; Wood Hood; Mardi & The White.
April 16 at 11 a.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre
“Paula hopes for a glamorous life in the front row, with its own storyline, thrilling scenes, and soundtrack –unlike her mother, who works as a supporting character stuck in the background, with limited dialogues and missing emotions. Paula attends the school for main characters on a quest to prove she has what it takes to be a rousing lead. She is at the top of her class in cliff-hanging, and can do slow motion and panicked screaming in her sleep — but so far she fails at creating great emotions.” The Ordinaries won two German Cinema New Talent Awards for Director and for Producer at the 2022 Munich International Film Festival, and the Children’s and Youth Film Award of the Goethe-Institute.
GRRL Haus Cinema
April 20 at 8 p.m.
A 90-minute program of international and local shorts as well as video art made by women, non-binary, trans, and genderqueer artists. A mix of artists present works in a variety of disciplines: narrative, documentary, experimental, and conceptual. There is an emphasis on low budget and DIY.
Pick of the Week
Tori and Lokita
Now Playing at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline
A special recommendation for the theatrical release of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s new film, Tori and Lokita. Seventeen-year-old Lokita and twelve-year-old Tori (Pablo Schils and Joely Mbundu) are struggling to survive after being smuggled into Europe from Benin and Cameroon. Shooting in their signature vérité style, the directors immerse us in tense situations that offer few avenues of escape for the protagonists. As usual with the Dardenne brothers, the performances, drawn from the film’s non-professional leads, are astounding. Lokita and Tori puts a very human face on the exploitation and trafficking of immigrants, particularly the plight of women and children. The Dardennes have said that the story was inspired by articles they had read about the shocking number of unaccompanied immigrant minors who have disappeared.
— 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.
The Inferior Sex by Jacqueline E. Lawton. Directed by Tatyana-Marie Carlo. Staged by Trinity Repertory Company at the Dowling Theater, Providence, 201 Washington Street, through April 16.
A world premiere: “It’s the summer of 1972. The battle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment is ramping up across the nation. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm is campaigning for president. And in midtown Manhattan, a group of women have created a magazine ‘for feminists who love fashion.’ As the war in Vietnam intensifies, and the Watergate scandal erupts, the charged political and social climate challenges friendships and the future of the magazine itself.”
K-I-S-S-I-N-G by Lenelle Moïse. Directed by Dawn M. Simmons. Staged by Front Porch Arts Collective and The Huntington at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, with digital access to the filmed performance available until April 16.
The world premiere production of a play by award-winning poet, playwright, screenwriter, and performer Lenelle Moïse, who thinks of the script as “a date-night for revolutionary thinkers.” The story “follows high school student Lala as she makes fine art on the back of pizza boxes. A sweet and sticky summer inspires her to romance Dani, a budding feminist – and Albert, his smooth-talking twin.” Arts Fuse review
The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter. Directed by Todd Brian Backus. Staged by Portland Stage at 25A Forest Avenue, Portland, ME, through April 23.
A much-produced comedy that promises to have “characters that are human, layered, and true, and a story that asks us all to evaluate our beliefs and our capacity to love.” The plot: “Della has planned to bake Jen’s wedding cake since she was a little girl, but when Jen comes back from NYC with her fiancée Macy, Della doesn’t know what to do. This deliciously funny comedy asks what happens when what we believe comes in conflict with those we love.”
Clyde’s by Lynn Nottage. Directed by Taylor Reynolds. A Huntington Theatre co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre. At the The Huntington Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston, through April 23.
“A truck stop sandwich shop offers its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff a shot at reclaiming their lives. Even as the shop’s callous owner tries to keep them under her thumb, the staff members are given purpose and permission to dream by the enigmatic, zen-like chef and his belief in the possibility of the perfect sandwich.” Arts Fuse review
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes (Part 1: Millennium Approaches) by Tony Kushner. Directed by Eric Tucker. Staged by Central Square Theatre, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, April 20 through May 31.
Bedlam Artistic Director Eric Tucker brings his “signature, pared-down approach” to the first part of Tony Kushner’s much lauded comedy-drama epic. Some very fine local talent in the cast, including Debra Wise, Nael Nacer, and Maurice Emmanuel Parent. Tucker will tackle the role of Roy Cohn.
Plays for the Plague Year, a revival of a theatrical concert written by and featuring Suzan-Lori Parks. Directed by Niegel Smith. Staged by The Public Theater at Joe’s Pub, 25 Lafayette Street (at Astor Place), New York, NY, through April 30.
Boston’s theaters have pretty much put the Covid years into the rear view mirror, aside from having to grapple — at times awkwardly — with what rules to set for mask-wearing. So I wanted to salute this reminder, at New York’s Public Theater, of recent history and what lessons it has for us going forward. This production is a remount of a show whose initial run was truncated due to Covid-19 cases.
“On March 13, 2020, as theaters shut their doors and so many of us went into lockdown, Suzan-Lori Parks picked up her pen and her guitar and set out to write a play every day. What emerged is a breathtaking anthology of plays and songs that chronicle our collective experience and the hope and perseverance that occurred throughout that troubling year. Performed in the intimate music venue Joe’s Pub, Plays for the Plague Year is a theatrical concert featuring the music and plays of Suzan-Lori Parks. At once, both a personal story of one family’s daily lives, as well as a sweeping account of all we faced as a city, a nation, and a global community.”
Dance Nation by Claire Barron. Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques. Choreography by Audrey Johnson, Staged by the Apollinaire Theatre at the Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, April 14 through May 14.
“Somewhere in America, an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plots to take over the world. And if their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at Nationals in Tampa Bay.” This is a play about “ambition, growing up, and yearning to embrace our bodies and our souls.”
Inflammatory Earthling Rants (with help from Kropotkin), written and performed by Bread & Puppet Theater at the Center for the Arts at the Armory, Somerville, on April 21 at 8 p.m.
Here is what the venerable political theater’s press release tells us about this touring production, which marks the troupe’s 60th year: “Earthlings are now aflame and consequently need inflammatory rants, directed against the arsonist: Western Civilization and its incompetent government,” says Bread and Puppet director Peter Schumann. “The habitual pragmatic communication jargon won’t do, so the ranters have to resort to the original language which was tasked to employ the spells, charms, and incantations needed to confront the disaster in order to instigate change – with help from Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid ideology.” After the show ,Bread & Puppet will serve its famous 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.
Sister Act Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Glenn Slater. Book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner with additional materials by Douglas Carter Beane. Directed by Leigh Barrett. Musical direction by David F. Coleman and Choreography by Dan Sullivan. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, through May 14.
For those who enjoy this kind of jovial fantasy, the Lyric Stage’s publicity proclamation pretty well sums it up: Sister Act, based on the beloved hit movie, will have audiences relishing “heavenly” voices and jubilant performances. Featuring a choir of cheeky, lovable nuns led by the fabulous, unforgettable, (and sequin loving!) Deloris Van Cartier, toes will be tapping and spirits will be lifted at this celebration of friendship, the joy of music, and the importance of togetherness.” Love those toes a-tapping.
The House of Ramon Iglesia by José Rivera. Directed by Arthur Gomez. Staged by Moonbox Productions at the Mosesian Center for the Arts at 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, April 14 through 30.
A domestic drama: “It’s 1983, and the Iglesia family is caught between two worlds. Aging and ailing, parents Ramón and Dolores are eager to leave their rickety house in New Jersey and return to their native Puerto Rico – but their three sons, all raised in America, are deeply divided on whether or not to go. ”
Coriolanus by William Shakespeare in a new verse translation by Sean San José. Directed by A. Nora Long. Staged by Actors’ Shakespeare Company in partnership with Play On Shakespeare at the Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street Boston, March 29 through April 23.
Playwright Sean San José’s new Play On modern verse translation offers a new lens into the impact of violence and political power on marginalized populations.
The pitch for today’s audiences: “Equal parts war epic, political drama, and psychological thriller, Shakespeare’s Coriolanus echoes with the immediacy of 2023. As war and famine destabilize the Roman republic, the eyes of the citizens turn to celebrated general Caius Martius Coriolanus. No one knows battlefield prowess like Caius, but the theater of war is nothing compared to the bloodthirsty theater of politics. Can Caius win the voice of the people, or will his arrogance and wrath be his downfall?” Arts Fuse review
— Bill Marx
Acquiring a painting by Rembrandt van Rijn is not easy and not just because so many museums and collectors lust after a work by the man who, in the popular imagination, is the greatest artist in European history. Consider this: Rembrandt usually shared his studio space with a friend or with a group of pupils and assistants; all of them used the same paints and materials and worked in a similar style. Rembrandt himself often added touches and corrections to his students’ works. This means that there are dozens of paintings and drawings that are very much like Rembrandt but are not quite by the master himself, not to mention pieces by hosts of imitators, admirers, and forgers. Generations of Rembrandt scholars have tried to sort things out. It is almost commonplace for work considered to be a Rembrandt for decades to be unceremoniously demoted to a studio piece or a fake after an expert re-examines it.
Throughout much of its long history, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art has been on a serious quest for a Rembrandt painting of its very own. It holds authentic Rembrandt works on paper but, though the institution thought it had acquired a Rembrandt painting, each time the attribution was downgraded to be the product of a pupil or imitator. Chasing Rembrandt: The Wadsworth’s quest for Rembrandt van Rijn, which opens on April 20, looks in particular at three of these works, now rarely seen, that entered the collection as Rembrandts. The show also explores the history of Rembrandt attribution and connoisseurship — and looks at the artist himself as “a modern media phenomenon.”
Thanks to a series of man-made environmental disasters that ruined the local fishing and farming economy, early 20th-century Provincetown, at the far tip of Cape Cod, began to attract artists seeking low rents and picturesque views for the summer months. The aging, run-down New England seaside village became the country’s leading artists’ colony and retains its bohemian reputation to this day.
The Provincetown Printmakers, which opened last week at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, looks at an important though neglected slice of the Provincetown scene. A group of close-knit artists, many of them women, created experimental color woodblock prints known as the “Provincetown Print,” which became nationally influential. The printmakers’ willingness to share their new techniques with other artists helped make Provincetown a major center for modern American printmaking.
Drawn from the collection of the late Leslie and Johanna Garfield, The Provincetown Printmakers includes almost 50 prints and focuses on six pioneering artists at the center of the Provincetown movement. It includes works by Blanche Lazzell and other students and successors to the original group. All but one of the twelve artists on view is a woman.
Established through an anonymous gift, the RISD Museum’s Dorner Prize, named for its prominent early 20th-century director, Alexander Dorner, is “an annual juried competition that invites RISD student artists and designers to create new installations, performances, programs, or digital encounters that engage the public by using the RISD Museum’s object collections, public spaces, and digital platforms.” The Dorner Prize 2023 exhibition, (un)heard voices, which opens on April 11, aims to change the standard art museum monologue into a dialogue with visitors and non-curatorial staff in order to inspire new approaches and change.
On April 16, the Harvard Art Museums present two events which unfortunately overlap in different spaces, which means you may have to choose one or the other. At 2 p.m. in Menschel Hall, the Harvard Art Museums Student Board will present a panel discussion, Conceptualizing Controversy: Displaying Truth in Museums Today, that features Brenda Tindal, Harvard’s Chief Campus Curator, Sarah Clunis, Director of Academic Partnerships and Curator of African Collections at Harvard’s Peabody Museum, and Stephanie Huron Tung, Byrne Family Curator of Photography at the Peabody Essex Museum. The topic: how contemporary art museums can responsibly approach difficult subject matter and reshape traditional cultural narratives. The event is part of the Board’s Museums in Focus series, which explores contemporary challenges to museum that will be of particular interest to young people.
At 2:30 p.m. in Deknatel Hall, in conjunction with the current exhibition, A World Within Reach: Greek and Roman Art from the Loeb Collection, two international scholars will present The Many Faces of James Loeb. Florian Knauss, of the State Collections of Antiquities and Glyptothek in Munich, will look at James Loeb’s complex history as a collector of ancient art and a philanthropist in the United States and Europe. Mirte Liebregts, of the Radboud University in the Netherlands, will turn to Loeb’s establishment of the Loeb Classical Library, the long-running series that publishes Classical Greek and Latin texts with facing English translations. Harvard Professor Richard F. Thomas will moderate a conversation following their presentations.
Both lectures are open to the public free of charge, seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Harvard Art Museum admission is also free to all on Sundays.
— Peter Walsh
Point01 Percent Presents. . .
April 11 at 7:30 p.m.
This month, the always fascinating Point01 series (curated by Eric Rosenthal and Pandelis Karayorgis) “brings to fruition . . . a long-considered project” by brass player Stephen Haynes: his Vibes Quartet, with Bryan Carrot on the resonating tubes, Nathan McBride on basses, Rosenthal on percussion, and Haynes on cornet and flugelhorn. The second set will be a duo performance by pianist Karyorgis and drummer Luther Gray.
Jared Sims & Hellbender
April 12 at 8 p.m.
Lizard Lounge, Cambridge
Reed player and composer Jared Sims, long a regular on the Boston scene and now “Director of Jazz and Commercial Music” at West Virginia University (which seems antithetical, but OK), celebrates his new album, Helbender: The Resistance. The always formidable Andrew Stern plays guitar and Sims the saxophones, with bassist Marc Friedman and drummer Randy Wooton. Sims describes the music as “like Ornette or Miles sitting in with Zeppelin.” We get more of a free-funk vibe from the bits we’ve heard, but it’s still tasty.
Sasha Dobson feat. Peter Bernstein
April 14 at 7 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston
Sasha Dobson’s pop music credential include opening for Willie Nelson and touring with Neil Young, and as part of the trio Puss N Boots with her pal Norah Jones, but she also leans heavily the jazz way, especially on her new album of all-originals, Girl Talk. A regular at NYC jazz haunt Mezzrow, the singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Dobson comes to town with an impressive crew from the album — bassist Neal Miller, drummer Kenny Wollesen, and guitarist Peter Bernstein.
April 15 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston
The distinguished pianist, composer, and arranger Alan Broadbent has worked in all manner of formats, with everyone from Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, and Michael Bublé to Grammy-winning sessions with Natalie Cole and Shirley Horn. But he really thrives as a player in the intimacy and free-flowing exchanges of a trio, in this case with bassist Harvie S and drummer Billy Mintz.
The Mahavishnu Project
April 18 at 7:30 p.m.
City Winery, Boston
Ordinarily I’d steer away from anything resembling a tribute band, but if you’re OK with someone playing an hour’s worth of standards, then why not classics like Birds of Fire? That’s what the Mahavishnu Project will be doing on this tour, celebrating the 50th anniversary of that album’s release by playing it “in full” (as well as offering tribute to Jeff Beck). The Project was founded in New York, in 2001, by drummer Gregg Bendian, whose credits include Pat Metheny, Ornette Coleman, and John Zorn. (I also recall a memorable night in Cambridge when Bendian filled in for Bob Gullotti with the Fringe.) The other members of the band are guitarist Robbie Mangano, bassist Brian Mooney, and keyboardist Neil Alexander.
April 20 at 8 p.m.
Harvard-Epworth Church, Cambridge
This month’s convening of the Ornette faithful by former Prime Time keyboardist Dave Bryant will include “members of the NYC-based Just Ornette Quartet, led by electric piccolo bassist Al MacDowell, a former Coleman collaborator,” including fellow Coleman collaborators Tony Falanga on acoustic bass and drummer Tony Lewis. Says Bryant’s presser: “MacDowell’s veteran quartet is guided by Coleman’s groundbreaking free jazz principles and explores his deep and diverse catalog of compositions.”
April 20 at 8 p.m.
The singer Linda Sharrock made several pathbreaking recordings in the late ’60s and early ’70s with Pharoah Sanders and her husband at the time, the great avant-garde guitarist Sonny Sharrock, most notably the Sharrocks’ Black Woman (1969). After splitting with Sonny, Linda continued to perform and record in Europe. After being sidelined by a stroke in 2009, she returned to performing in 2012. She’s making her first US appearances in decades, in New York and at Cambridge’s Lilypad. She’ll be joined by the ensemble she’s been performing and recording with in recent years, the Linda Sharrock Network: saxophonist Mali; Eric Zinman, piano, synthesizer; Vance Provey, trumpet; Glynis Lomon, cello, voice, Aquasonic; Albey Balgochian, electric bass guitar; and drummer Matt Crane.
April 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Bosto
The 73-year-old Cuban trumpeter, pianist, composer, and all-around dynamo Arturo Sandoval holds forth with his band for four big shows over two nights at Scullers.
Sheila del Bosque Quartet
April 22 at 3 p.m.
Arlington Street Church, Boston
The Celebrity Series of Boston describes Cuban flutist and composer Sheila del Bosque’s music as “building on a base of Afro-Cuban music with European classical and contemporary jazz elements,” drawing inspiration “from all aspects of Cuba, from the sun and sand to the passionate dances to the tiredness and nostalgia and everything in between.” This free performance by del Bosque’s jazz quartet is being presented in a sequence of Celebrity Series concerts highlighting Latina bandleaders, presented in collaboration with Ágora Cultural Architects. It will also be available for streaming beginning May 4 at 4 p.m.
April 23 at 3:30 p.m.
The trio of saxophonist Tony Malaby, pianist Angelica Sanchez, and drummer Tom Rainey is a kind of free-jazz supergroup, all with distinguished achievements solo and as part of other ensembles. In the mid-oughts, they released two now hard-to-find albums, Barbès: Alive in Brooklyn, Vol. 1 and 2. Last year came Huapango, from the French RogueArt label. Here are concise statements of free improvisation in a variety of moods and textures (Sanchez augments piano with Wurlitzer electric piano for a distinct Sun Ra vibe) with the formal integrity of written compositions, from raucous blowing to quiet intimacy. As Malaby puts it about his relationship with his bandmates: “There’s no leading, no following. We’re in the moment together. They even know when I’m going to take a breath — I can feel it.”
Bruce Gertz Quintet
April 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge, Mass.
The esteemed bassist, composer, and educator Bruce Gertz brings a sterling quintet to the Lilypad, with Phil Grenadier on trumpet and flugelhorn, guitarist Tim Miller, tenor saxophonist Rick DiMuzio, and drummer Austin McMahon.
— Jon Garelick
Nelsons conducts Ravel, Escaich, and Rachmaninoff
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
April 13 at 7:30 p.m., 14 at 1:30 p.m., and 15 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston
BSO music director Andris Nelsons opens his spring residency with the BSO by leading two chestnuts – Maurice Ravel’s Alborada del gracioso and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 – alongside the American premiere of Thierry Escaich’s Les Chants de l’Aube. Cellist Gautier Capuçon takes the solo spotlight in the latter.
Beatrice Rana in recital
Presented by Celebrity Series
April 14, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston
Rana – who played some electrifying Tchaikovsky with the BSO last season – returns to town for a recital that culminates in Beethoven’s enormous Hammerklavier Sonata. Before that come Bach’s French Suite No. 2 and Debussy’s Pour le piano.
Das Lied von der Erde
Presented by Boston Philharmonic Orchestra
April 14, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston
Benjamin Zander and the BPO wrap up their season with a true local rarity: Gustav Mahler’s visionary song cycle, Das Lied von der Erde. Dame Sarah Connolly and Stefan Vinke are the soloists. Prefacing the Mahler is Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8.
Mutter plays Mozart and Adès
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
April 20 at 7:30 p.m., 21 at 1:30 p.m., and 22 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston
Anne-Sophie Mutter joins the BSO for a pair of pieces: Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and the local premiere of Thomas Adès’ Air, which was written for her. Soprano Golda Schultz makes her BSO debut in Sibelius’s luminous Luonnotar and Andris Nelsons conducts the same composer’s Symphony No. 5.
Iphégenie en Tauride
Presented by Boston Baroque
April 20-21 at 8 p.m. and 23 at 3 p.m.
GBH Calderwood Studio, Boston
Boston Baroque marks its fiftieth birthday with a new production of Gluck’s Iphégenie en Tauride. Wendy Bryn Harmer sings the title role, William Burden is Pylade, and Jesse Blumberg Oreste. Martin Pearlman conducts.
Evgeny Kissin in recital
Presented by Celebrity Series
April 23, 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston
The great Russian-born pianist returns to Symphony Hall with a program of specialties: pieces by J. S. Bach, Mozart, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Roots and World Music
Ian Coury and Catherine Bent
Brazilian string wizard Ian Coury has made a big splash since he came to Boston. He’ll be exploring the space between jazz and Brazilian music with his frequent duo partner, cellist and Berklee College of Music professor Catherine Bent.
Folk Song Society of Greater Boston house concert, Acton
Acoustic bluesman Andy Cohen learned his trade during the ’60s folk revival, back when many of the country blues greats still roamed the earth. He’ll be sharing his finger-style guitar with a concert audience on Saturday and with a Piedmont blues workshop on Sunday.
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
Crystal Ballroom at Somerville Theatre
Mali’s Bassekou Kouyate is a master of the ngoni, the African stringed instrument that many believe is the forerunner of the banjo. He’s also the leader of one of the greatest African combos, Ngoni Ba, a family band which happens to feature several variations on the ngoni. It’s great to have him back in Boston courtesy of Global Arts Live.
Fulks isn’t just one of the most original and compelling singer/songwriters around, he’s also a mean bluegrass guitar picker. He’s got a new string band record called Bluegrass Vacation: chock-full of songs that seemed destined to be sung around the campfire at bluegrass festivals. The album is on banjo player Alison Brown’s Compass Records, and she’s one of the many superpickers who appear on the recording, a lineup that also includes Sam Bush, Sierra Hull, and Tim O’Brien.
— Noah Schaffer
Susan Crawford – Harvard Book Store
Charleston: Race, Water, and the Coming Storm
April 11 at 7 p.m.
“In Charleston, we meet Rev. Joseph Darby, a well-regarded Black minister with a powerful voice across the city and region who has an acute sense of the city’s shortcomings when it comes to matters of race and water. We also hear from Michelle Mapp, one of the city’s most promising Black leaders, and Quinetha Frasier, a charismatic young Black entrepreneur with Gullah-Geechee roots who fears her people’s displacement. And there is Jacob Lindsey, a young white city planner charged with running the city’s ten-year ‘comprehensive plan’ efforts who ends up working for a private developer. These and others give voice to the extraordinary risks the city is facing.
“The city of Charleston, with its explosive gentrification over the last thirty years, crystallizes a human tendency to value development above all else. At the same time, Charleston stands for our need to change our ways — and the need to build higher, drier, more densely-connected places where all citizens can live safely. Illuminating and vividly rendered, Charleston is a clarion call and filled with characters who will stay in the reader’s mind long after the final page.”
Virtual Event: Justice Malala – Harvard Book Store
The Plot to Save South Africa: The Week Mandela Averted Civil War and Forged a New Nation
April 12 at 6 p.m.
“Johannesburg, Easter weekend, 1993. Nelson Mandela has been free for three years and is in power sharing talks with President FW de Klerk when a white supremacist shoots the Black leader’s popular young heir apparent, Chris Hani, in hopes of igniting an all-out war. Will he succeed in plunging South Africa into chaos, safeguarding apartheid for perhaps years to come?
In The Plot to Save South Africa, acclaimed South African journalist Justice Malala recounts the gripping story of the next nine days, as the government and Mandela’s ANC seek desperately to restore the peace and root out just how far up into the country’s leadership the far-right plot goes. Told from the points of view of over a dozen characters on all sides of the conflict, Malala offers an illuminating look at successful leadership in action and a terrifying reminder of just how close a country we think of today as a model for racial reconciliation came to civil war.’
Lauren Kay Johnson with Joanna Rakoff – Porter Square Books
The Fine Art of Camouflage
April 13 at 7 p.m.
“A powerful generational coming-of-age narrative against the backdrop of war, The Fine Art of Camouflage reveals the impact from a child’s perspective of watching her mother leave and return home to a hero’s welcome to that of a young idealist volunteering to deploy to Afghanistan who, war-worn, eventually questions her place in the war, the military, and her family history—and their place within her.”
Quinn Slobodian at Harvard Book Store
Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy
April 13 at 7 p.m.
“Crack-Up Capitalism follows the most notorious radical libertarians — from Milton Friedman to Peter Thiel — around the globe as they search for the perfect space for capitalism. Historian Quinn Slobodian leads us from Hong Kong in the 1970s to South Africa in the late days of apartheid, from the neo-Confederate South to the former frontier of the American West, from the medieval City of London to the gold vaults of right-wing billionaires, and finally into the world’s oceans and war zones, charting the relentless quest for a blank slate where market competition is unfettered by democracy.
A masterful work of economic and intellectual history, Crack-Up Capitalism offers both a new way of looking at the world and a new vision of coming threats. Full of rich details and provocative analysis, the volume offers an alarming view of a possible future.”
Elizabeth Graver at Burns Library at Boston College
Kantika: A Novel
April 19 from 4:30- 6 p.m.
“A kaleidoscopic portrait of one family’s displacement across four countries, Kantika — “song” in Ladino — follows the joys and losses of Rebecca Cohen, feisty daughter of the Sephardic elite of early 20th-century Istanbul. When the Cohens lose their wealth and are forced to move to Barcelona and start anew, Rebecca fashions a life and self from what comes her way—a failed marriage, the need to earn a living, but also passion, pleasure and motherhood. Moving from Spain to Cuba to New York for an arranged second marriage, she faces her greatest challenge—her disabled stepdaughter, Luna, whose feistiness equals her own and whose challenges pit new family against old.
Elizabeth Graver is co-director of the Creative Writing Concentration at Boston College, where she teaches fiction and nonfiction writing workshops. Kantika is her fifth novel.
Light refreshments will be served following the program. Copies of Kantika will be available for sale and signing.”
Rob Verchick at Harvard Book Store
The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience
April 21 at 7 p.m.
“One morning in Miami Beach, an unexpected guest showed up in a luxury condominium complex’s parking garage: an octopus. The image quickly went viral. But the octopus — and the combination of infrastructure quirks and climate impacts that left it stranded — is more than a funny meme. It’s a potent symbol of the disruptions that a changing climate has already brought to our doorsteps and the ways we will have to adjust.
Rob Verchick examines how we can manage the risks that we can no longer avoid, laying out our options as we face climate breakdown. Although reducing carbon dioxide emissions is essential, we need to adapt to address the damage we have already caused. Verchick explores what resilience looks like on the ground, from early humans on the savannas to today’s shop owners and city planners. He takes the reader on a journey into the field: paddling through Louisiana’s bayous, hiking in one of the last refuges of Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert, and diving off Key Largo with citizen scientists working to restore coral reefs. The book emphasizes disadvantaged communities, which bear the brunt of environmental risk, arguing that building climate resilience is a necessary step toward justice.”
A Celebration of National Poetry Month
Cambridge Public Library
April 22 from 2-4:30 p.m.
“This event, presented by Voices of Poetry, will feature five acclaimed poets: Toni Bee, Eileen Cleary, Deborah Leipziger, Michael McInnis & Lloyd Schwartz. Registration is not required but encouraged. Cosponsored by the Cambridge Public Library.”
Julia Argy at Harvard Book Store
The One: A Novel
April 24 at 7 p.m.
“Emily didn’t join the cast of The One for fame or for a relationship. She simply didn’t have anything better to do. Newly fired from her dead-end job, it doesn’t take much convincing when she’s recruited as a last-minute contestant for the popular reality dating show. Emily has been performing her entire life — for her family and friends, former boyfriends, and coworkers. How different could it be playing herself in front of cameras?
But the moment Emily arrives, it becomes clear she’s been tapped to win it all. Emily’s producer Miranda sees her as the golden ticket: generically pretty, affable, and easily molded—all the qualities of a future Wife. Emily herself is less certain. It’s easy enough to fall in love under romantic lighting and perfectly crafted dates, but it’s harder to remember what’s real and what’s designed. And as Emily’s fascination with another contestant grows, both Emily and Miranda are forced to decide what it is they really want — and what they are willing to do to get it.
A brilliant send-up of our cultural mythology around romance, The One examines the reality of love and desire set against a world of ultimate artifice and manipulation.”
Katy Kelleher at Porter Square Books
The Ugly History of Beautiful Things
April 25 at 7 p.m.
“Paris Review contributor Katy Kelleher explores our obsession with gorgeous things, unveiling the fraught histories of makeup, flowers, perfume, silk, and other beautiful objects.”
— Matt Hanson
Tagged: Bill-Marx, Jon Garelick, Jonathan Blumhofer, Noah Schaffer
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