Coming Attractions: June 18 through July 4 — What Will Light Your Fire

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.


A scene from director Yasujirō Ozu’s 1933 silent gangster film Dragnet Girl.

Ozu 120: The Complete Ozu Yasujiro
through August 13
Harvard Film Archives, Cambridge

This landmark series spotlights the films of one of cinema’s greatest artists, Yasujirō Ozu. From “He broke every rule there was and did it the subtlest way possible. Ozu’s films exercised the most discreet rebellion against cinematic norm. Widely considered the most Japanese of all film directors, his films feature no heroes or villains. We simply witness life in motion. When we arrive at a significant moment, Ozu cuts to ‘pillow shots’ or perfectly composed shots of landscapes, street signs, or inanimate objects. The idea was to give viewers room to breathe or provide them with the time to contemplate what they had just seen. It’s little things like ‘pillow shots’ that have allowed Ozu to create his own unique cinematic language.” The HFA home page for the series offers an eloquent analysis of Ozu’s contributions to the history of film.

A scene from the documentary The Embrace.

Roxbury International Film Festival
June 20 – July 1
Various Boston Venues

Now in its 25th year, RoxFilm supports media makers who create and develop new and diverse images of people of color in film, video, and the performing arts. The festival collaborates with arts institutions and organizations to promote and support independent artists as well as to contribute to the creative economy of the Commonwealth. The opening film is The Embrace, which looks at the creation of artist Hank Willis Thomas’s new memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King on the Boston Common. Events include film premieres, talks with local filmmakers, panel discussions, and script readings.  Listing of all events and venues

Nantucket Film Festival
June 21 – 26

For the 12th year a Disney/Pixar movie, in this case Elemental, kicks off the festival. Opening day also includes Sophie Barthes’ The Pod Generation, the premiere of Joan Baez I am a Noise (Baez herself will be in attendance for the screening), and the Austrian documentary Patrick and the Whale. Jules, starring Ben Kingsley and Jane Curtin, is the closing-night film.

Guests this year include Michaela Watkins (You Hurt My Feelings), Allison Williams (M3GAN), Lola Tung (The Summer I Turned Pretty), Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves), and Julio Torres (Problemista). Nicole Holofcener will receive this year’s screenwriting award. Complete Film Program

The Mummy
June 21 at 8 p.m. (Rain Date: June 22)
On the Rose Kennedy Greenway

This is a free outdoor 35mm screening in partnership with the Coolidge Corner Theatre of the 1999 version of the Egyptian horror tale — starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz.

Stay Awake
June 27 at 7:30 pm
Somerville Theatre in Davis Square

In small-town Virginia, two brothers struggle to deal with their depressed, self-destructive mother. They are trapped in a horrific cycle: they discover her passed out and then drag her to the hospital where doctors and nurses suggest rehab for her addiction to prescription drugs. Empathetic and completely convincing, director Jamie Sisley’s film offers an uncommonly nuanced depiction of addiction’s impact on well-meaning family members. “Stay Awake is frequently honest and painful about this type of addiction in a way that is often jarring, but Sisley does so in a way that never feels suffocating, always ready with a lightness or glimmer of hope that balances the entire film beautifully.” (Collider)

Pick of the Week
The Skin (La Pelle)
Amazon, Apple, Kanopy, Mubi

Finally, some long-delayed exposure for director Liliani Cavani’s (Night Porter, Ripley’s Game) subversive and surreal 1981 masterpiece, which is based on Curzio Malaparte’s memoirs about postwar depravity in Italy. Liberated after the war, Naples has devolved into a cesspool of sodomy, rape, cannibalism, and sudden explosions of violence. The representation of the occupying Americans was so disturbing (to some) that the film was denied distribution here until 2015. Cavani looks at the book through a radical feminist lens, focusing on the trading and exploitation of flesh. Despite the old-school dubbing, this is a beautiful and at times shocking film that boasts an all-star cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Ken Marshall, and the sole film appearance of Alexandra King, It was co-written with Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl, Romance) and has a score by Lalo Schifrin. Note: not for the faint-hearted.

— Tim Jackson


COVID PROTOCOLS: Check with specific theaters.

Rooted by Deborah Zoe Laufer. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Staged by Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, through June 25.

“In the claustrophobic town of Millerville, Emery Harris lives alone in a treehouse named Mabel surrounded by a dozen or so plants she researches, names, and talks to. Her overbearing sister Hazel is Emery’s only connection to reality, along with her YouTube channel, where she documents her studies that have garnered several thousand followers. When her calm and quiet is disrupted by an entourage of devotees chanting and singing to her — their botanical, new-age messiah — she is forced to look down from the branches and face the outside world.” The production stars Lisa Tucker and Karen MacDonald.

Shereen Pimentel (Eva) and members of the company of Evita at American Repertory Theater. Credit Nile Scott Studio

Evita, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Tim Rice. Directed by Sammi Cannold and choreographed by Emily Maltby and Valeria Solomonoff. Produced by the American Repertory Theater in association with the Shakespeare Theatre Company and by arrangement with The Really Useful Group, at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, through July 30.

A revival of the Tony award-winning rock opera. “Icon or human, villain or saint, aggressor or victim: Who was the woman inside the iconic ball gown?” Arts Fuse review

Private Lives by Noël Coward. Directed by Diego Arciniegas. Staged by Gloucester Stage at 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, through June 25.

We are promised a “fresh take” on this 1930 romantic comedy. Let’s hope the redo starts with one of the play’s most notorious lines: “Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.” Arts Fuse review

Steven Skybell, Firdous Bamji, and Joshua David Robinson in the HTC production of The Lehman Trilogy. Photo: Nile Hawver

The Lehman Trilogy by Stefano Massini, adapted to English by Ben Power. Directed by Carey Perloff. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at The Huntington Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave. Boston, through July 16.

Winner of the 2022 Tony Award for Best Play, “The Lehman Trilogy is an epic and timely story of family, ambition, and risk, sprawling across 163 years of history and shining a calculating spotlight on the spectacular rise and fall of the Lehman Brothers, a family and a company that changed the world. Performed entirely by three actors and one musician, the story follows the original three Lehman brothers, then their sons and grandsons, as they journey from rags to riches to ruin. In 1840s Alabama, a Bavarian immigrant dreams of a better life for his family. By the early 2000s, his descendants trigger unprecedented financial disaster.” Arts Fuse review

As You Like It by William Shakespeare. Directed by Harold Steward. Associate directed by Brooke Hardman. Staged by Actors’ Shakespeare Project, in partnership with The Theater Offensive, at Tufts University’s Balch Arena Theater, Medford, MA, through June 25.

A snippet of W.H. Auden on As You Like It: “Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, As You Like It is the greatest paean to civilization and to the nature of a civilized man and woman. It is dominated by Rosalind, the triumph of civilization, who, like the play itself, fully embodies man’s capacity, in Pascal’s words, ‘to deny, to believe, and to doubt wel'” — nier, croire, et douter bien. The play presents a balance of dialectical opposites: the country versus court, detachment versus love, honesty versus poetry, nature versus fortune, nature and fortune versus art.” Arts Fuse review

Revolution’s Edge by Patrick Gabridge. Directed by Alexandra Smith. Staged in partnership with Plays in Place at the Old North Church & Historic Site, 193 Salem Street, Boston, through September 19.

“For the first time in Old North Church’s 300-year history, the historic site will host an original play.” The drama is “set in Boston’s oldest surviving church on April 18, 1775, the day before the Battle of Lexington & Concord and mere hours before the famous ‘two if by sea’ lantern signals. The story centers on the interaction between three fathers, who share a faith but are politically divided, as Boston sits on the brink of war, searching for information and answers as to the best path forward for both their families and the colonies.”

Top of the world, Ma! Three floors with a helluva view. Photo: View Boston

View Boston, an observatory encompassing the top three floors of the Prudential Tower, Boston, just opened.

This permanent attraction certainly classifies as a spectacular theatrical experience. I was up there, and can testify to the gob-smacking views of the city from just about all angles. The lit-up diorama of Boston is also impressive, as is a swooping film tour of the city. What’s more, the computer wizardry — you can select your own itinerary (from possibilities projected on large screens) and email it to yourself or others — will spur discoveries. This is a first-of-its kind tourist set-up, and it is well done, including a snug restaurant and bar. My major reservations: tickets are pricey (this is tailored for upscale families), the computer machinations will no doubt glitch, and it would be nice to see more art by local artists on display.

The Contention (Henry VI, Part II) by William Shakespeare. Directed by Tina Packer. Associate Directors, Kate Kohler Amory & Sheila Bandyopadhyay. Staged by Shakespeare and Company at the Tina Packer Playhouse, 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, through July 14.

“Considered to be the inspiration for Game of Thrones, Henry VI, Part II is commonly regarded as the strongest of the Henry VI trilogy, telling the story of the contention and power struggles between the two ancient families of Lancaster and York who wrestled for the fate of England.

Now, four centuries on and in tandem with the current King Charles III’s coronation, Shakespeare & Company presents The Contention – an exploration of themes that remain timeless: strategic marriages, political treachery, religious unrest, and a measure of comic sport.” The cast includes S&C stalwarts Jonathan Epstein, Tamara Hickey,Allyn Burrows, and Nigel Gore. W.H. Auden on this and the other plays in the trilogy: “It is difficult to image that a historical play as good as Henry IV will ever again be written.”

David Adkins, Brandon Dial and Rebecca Brooksher in Photograph 51. Photo: Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler. Directed by David Auburn. Staged by the Berkshire Theatre Group at The Unicorn Theatre, 6 East Street, Stockbridge, through July 1.

A portrait of “British scientist Rosalind Franklin and her often overlooked role in the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure. Set in the 1950s, the age of scientific discovery, researchers are scrambling to be the first to unlock the mysteries of DNA. Among these scientists is Franklin, an underappreciated genius working as the sole woman in her field of study. When one of her photographs shows the structural outline of DNA for the first time, her competitors James Watson and Francis Crick are rapt with attention. Watson and Crick’s ambition to become the first to create a working model of DNA, coupled with Franklin’s stubbornness, leads the two men to gain notoriety as the first to complete and discover the DNA model and leave Franklin out of the history books.”

Boston New Works Festival at the Calderwood Pavilion and the Boston Center for the Arts, June 22 through 25.

The Boston New Works Festival is a weekend long festival celebrating new original plays by local playwrights.  The seven scripts selected for this year’s festival will be performed on five different stages at the Calderwood Pavilion and the Boston Center for the Arts. This year’s featured dramatists include: Ken Green, David Reiffel, Erin Davis, Regie Gibson, Gabriela Tovar, Angele Maraj, Brianne Pierre, and Sophie Kim.

Morgan Bassichis’s Don’t Rain On My Bat Mitzvah, co-created with Ira Khonen Temple, featuring Emma Alabaster, Zoë Aqua, April Centrone, and Pam Fleming. Performed live in Astor Place, July 4, 2021. Photo by Matteo Prandoni/

Morgan Bassichis: More Little Ditties at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Level 3, Sert Gallery, Harvard University, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, June 30 through September 3.

“The artist brings together performance, video, and text-based works — created both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic — that mark time, loss, desire, disappointment, and joy through playful musical gestures. The exhibition is co-organized with the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, where it will be on view September 8 to January 7, 2024.

“Through deceptively simple and incantatory ‘little ditties,’ Bassichis approaches urgent questions with critical curiosity, poetry and — crucially — pleasure. Performing solo as well as working collaboratively in duets and groups, Bassichis’ practice offers intimate encounters with learning, collectivity, and lineages of queer and Jewish radicalism. As noted by the artist, these ‘songs fall somewhere between adult lullabies and practical spells, and will not include concrete policy recommendations but maybe they should?'”

The Making of a Great Moment by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. Directed by James Barry. Staged by the Chester Theater Company at Town Hall Theatre, 15 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA, June 22 through July 2.

“Actors Mona and Terry are on tour with an epic work called “Great Moments in Human Achievement.” In New Hampshire. On bicycles. While camping.” Is this script “an uproariously funny love letter to the theatre”? Or is it something else?

— Bill Marx

Roots and World Music

The Duppy Conquerors: The Spirit of Bob Marley – Celebrating 45 Years of Easy Skanking in Boston ’78
June 19
City Winery, Boston

This space does not usually book tribute band shows, but here’s an exception to that rule: The excellent Bob Marley tribute band Duppy Conquerors will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of Marley’s appearance at the Music Hall (now the Wang Theater), which was captured on a posthumously released live album and DVD.

Jamaica’s Iba MaHr will be performing soulful reggae in Cambridge this week. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Iba MaHr and Roots Alley Collective
June 21
La Fabrica, Cambridge

The indispensable Reggae Takeova series recently relocated back to its original home: La Fabrica in Central Square. What hasn’t changed is its presentation of excellent reggae artists who wouldn’t otherwise make it to town. Case in point: This appearance by Jamaica’s Iba MaHr, who has been putting out quality soulful reggae for the past 15 years.

Larry & Joe
June 22
Club Passim, Cambridge

The one-of-a-kind duo pairs the great North Carolina old-time and bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Joe Troop with Venezulean harpist Larry Bellorín. A master of Llanera music, Bellorín is currently seeking asylum in the United States. This is a group whose story is as important as its music.

NEA Jazz Master and activist Terri Lyne Carrington will be part of BAMSFest. Photo: Delphine Diallo.

June 23-24
Franklin Field, Boston

Boston’s preeminent — and free — celebration of Black culture is returning and has added a second day. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, none other than pioneer Grandmaster Flash is headlining. NEA Jazz Master and activist Terri Lyne Carrington will also be on hand, as will many of Boston’s finest from the worlds of R&B, hip-hop, and beyond.

— Noah Schaffer

Classical Music

The Naughton Duo will perform this week at Rockport Music. Photo: courtesy of the artist

The Naughton Duo
Presented by Rockport Music
June 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA

Sisters (and duet partners) Christina and Michelle Naughton make their Rockport Music debut with a tour-de-force recital of works by Mendelssohn, Conlon Nancarrow, Gabriel Fauré, Darius Milhaud, Brahms, and Ravel.

Marc-André Hamelin & The Balourdet Quartet
Presented by Rockport Music
June 25 at 5 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport

Pianist Hamelin joins the Balourdet Quartet for a performance of César Franck’s grand Piano Quintet in F minor. Additional selections by Mendelssohn and Karim Al-Zand round out the program.

Zaira Meneses is one of five classical guitarists who are part of the concert opening this year’s Boston Guitar Fest. Photo: Jesse Weiner

Opening Night Concert
Presented by Boston Guitar Fest
June 27 at 7:30 p.m.
The Foundry, Cambridge

Boston Guitar Fest’s opening concert brings together five classical guitarists — Zaira Meneses, Adam Levin, Lautaro Mantilla, Thatcher Harrison, and Alexander Romanov — at the Cambridge Foundry.

Brahms & Schumann
Presented by Rockport Music
June 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport

Violinst Stefan Jackiw, clarinetist Yoonah Kim, and pianist Max Levinson join forces for a survey of pieces by Robert and Clara Schumann, and Johannes Brahms.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Visual Arts

The original lyrics to the patriotic American hymn “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” were written by Samuel Francis Smith in 1831, while he was a student at the Andover Theological Seminary in Andover, Massachusetts. Sung to the same melody as “God Save the King,” national anthem of the United Kingdom, the song has since had a long and complex history. A.G. Duncan wrote an abolitionist version in 1843. Smith added a verse for the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as President. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. recited the first verse in his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” at the Lincoln Memorial. Aretha Franklin sang the song at the first inauguration of Barack Obama. Before the United States had an official national anthem, Smith’s work often featured as a stand-in.

Bethany Collins, America: A Hymnal, 2017, book with lasercut leaves. Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum. Photo: Tim Johnson

Bethany Collins, America: A Hymnal, opening at Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum on July 1, features some 100 different versions of the anthem, bound together in an artist book by multidisciplinary artist Bethany Collins, along with a sound piece featuring a range of voices that Collins describes as “a familiar chaos of dissenting versions of what it means to be … American bound together.” Collins has also used the symbolic language of flowers to create a newly commissioned work of flocked flower silhouettes that cover the walls of the gallery and suggest “messages of hope, longing, and loss.” A study center provides more information on the hymn’s historical sources.

Miniatures, which reduce the size of an object while retaining its details and meaning, have had a long history in visual arts, from ritual objects to ornaments to toys and child-sized furniture. Tiny Treasures: The Magic of Miniatures, opening at the Museum of Fine Arts on July 1, explores the full range and fascination of tiny things, from the uncanny to charm, humor, and symbolic power. More than 100 objects dating from the 7th century BCE to the present and ranging from a few centimeters in size to over two feet include paintings, drawings, ceramics, and precious gems —  everything from Egyptian amulets and Japanese carved ivory and wood netsuke to a doll-scaled painting by Pablo Picasso.

Detail from Matthew Wong’s See You On the Other Side, 2019. Photo: courtesy of MFA

Also opening July 1 at the MFA is Matthew Wong: The Realm of Appearances. Wong’s critically acclaimed career lasted only six years, from 2013, when he began to paint and draw seriously, to 2019, when he died. Wong, who divided his time between Canada and Hong Kong and was largely self-taught, created distinctive landscapes in oil, ink, watercolor, and gouache, uniting influences from the European Fauves and 17th-century Chinese ink painters of the Qing Dynasty to contemporary art he admired. With about 40 works, the show is Wong’s first museum retrospective and the first museum exhibition devoted to his work.

Once considered wasted space and regularly drained for farming and development, marshes are now recognized as key parts of the environment and protected by law. They are also beautiful and fascinating for the varied life forms that make a home, feeding, or breeding place there. Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum is celebrating these essential landscapes with Pamela R. Tarbell’s “Marsh Kaleidoscope” Paintings, opening June 30. The works by the Concord, NH, native and RISD graduate are brilliantly colored, richly patterned responses to “the multi-layered movement of life above, on, and under the water.” The exhibition also includes five Tarbell paintings inspired by a late afternoon visit to the arboretum.

In celebration of Pride Month, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis is outing parts of its permanent collection. Queer Bodies, Queer Souls: Virtual Pride Tour will highlight the work of LGBTQ+ artists at the Rose. The Zoom webinar takes place at noon on June 22. Registration is required through the museum’s website.

— Peter Walsh


Legendary pianist/composer Herbie Hancock will perform at The Cabot this week. Photo: Jati Lindsay

Herbie Hancock
June 21 at 7 p.m.
The Cabot, Beverly, MA

One of the transformative masters of the music, Herbie Hancock, now 83, comes to the Cabot with a crazy-great band (natch): Terence Blanchard on trumpet, Lionel Loueke on guitar (and, we’re guessing, some vocals), bassist James Genus, drummer Jaylen Petinaud, and, of course, Herbie on keyboards.

Point of Opposition
June 22 at 7 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge

Three adventurous improvisers who have Berklee in common — Evan Palmer (acoustic bass, oboe, English horn), Hidemi Akaiwa (piano, synthesizer), and Fall Raye (saxophones) — come together for “two sets of avant-garde, experimental music including free improvisations and compositions by Evan.”

“Tribute to Toots”
June 23 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

Pianist Kenny Werner was for years the right-hand man to the Belgian harmonica virtuoso and composer Toots Thielemans (1922-2016). Tonight Werner and harmonica man Grégoire Maret (perhaps Thielemans’s greatest acolyte) pay tribute with a program that “will include songs written by or associated with Toots, including ‘Bluesette,’ ‘Midnight Sun,’ ‘Theme from Midnight Cowboy’, ‘The Dolphin,’ ‘I Do It For Your Love’ and ‘What a Wonderful World.’ Out of respect for the musician Toots Thielemans, Gregoire and Kenny will play the music of Toots Thielemans in their own style.”

Reggae band Steel Pulse is coming to WasFest. Photo: Patrick Niddrie

June 23-24
Boch Center et al., Boston

The Boch Center’s Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame, “Boston’s newest cultural and educational initiative,” launched in 2019, is presenting this multi-day, multi-venue, multi-genre festival, curated by Blue Note Records president Don Was. The artists on the various bills will “perform unique sets that often feature the album of another musician.” So pianist Gerald Clayton leads a quintet (with trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Kendrick Scott) in playing Wayne Shorter’s 1966 Speak No Evil.

Guitarist Julian Lage’s trio (with bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer David King) are joined by keyboardist John Medeski for Grant Green’s 1967 Street of Dreams. (Both at the Shubert on June 24). On the other hand, Robert Glasper is playing his own “Black Radio 1, 2, and 3” (that’s a lot!), and Meshell Ndegeocello is performing Plantation Lullabies, her startling 1993 debut (both at the Shubert Theatre, June 23). And that’s just the jazz stuff. Other sets feature the Dark Star Orchestra (the Dead!), Steel Pulse (reggae!), and Lettuce (Aretha at the Fillmore!). Arts Fuse preview of WasFest

Dameronia Legacy All-Stars
June 24 at 7 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

The Dameronia Legacy band brings together a group of heavyweights to explore the legacy of Tadd Dameron (1917-1965), a key pianist, composer, and arranger of the bop and post-bop years. (“Hot House,” “If You Could See Me Now,” Our Delight,” Good Bait,” and “Lady Bird” were all his.) The core members of Dameronia are trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, alto saxophonist Dick Oatts, baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, and trombonist Steve Davis. Joining them for this show are pianist Jeb Patton (veteran of the Heath Brothers bands) and Boston stalwart John Lockwood on bass.

Bassist and composer Bruce Gertz is bringing his quartet to the Lilypad. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Bruce Gertz Quartet
June 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge

It’s always worth hearing what the masterful bassist and composer Bruce Gertz is up to. Here he convenes regular ace collaborators Rick DiMuzio, on saxophones, and drummer Luther Gray, plus the terrific guitarist Sheryl Bailey.

Bruno Råberg
July 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge

In you case you missed his official CD-release show back in May, the virtuoso bassist and composer Bruno Råberg is giving you another shot. That would be for his first solo-bass release, Look Inside. And, if I may plagiarize myself: “The new album shows off Råberg’s broad musical knowledge (from American jazz to West African and South Indian traditions) and sterling virtuosity in 11 discrete, succinct pieces, including originals as well as Miles Davis’s ‘Nardis’ and the Gershwins’ ‘My Man’s Gone Now.’ ”

— Jon Garelick

Author Events

Mattie Kahn at Harvard Book Store
Young and Restless: The Girls Who Sparked America’s Revolutions
June 20 at 7 p.m.

Young and Restless recounts one of the most foundational and underappreciated forces in moments of American revolution: teenage girls. From the American Revolution itself to the Civil Rights Movement to nuclear disarmament protests and the women’s liberation movement, through Black Lives Matter and school strikes for climate, Mattie Kahn uncovers how girls have leveraged their unique strengths, from fandom to intimate friendships, to organize and lay serious political groundwork for movements that often sidelined them. Their stories illuminate how much we owe to girls throughout the generations, what skills young women use to mobilize and find their voices, and, crucially, what we can all stand to learn from them.”

Ibram X. Kendi at the Brattle Theatre – Harvard Book Store
Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
June 21 at 6 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge
Tickets are $24.43, including a copy of book

“Some Americans insist that we’re living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America — it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit.

“In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities. In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.”

Nash Jenkins in conversation with The Short Fuse’s Elizabeth Howard at the Harvard Book Store
Foster Dade Explores the Cosmos
June 22 at 7 p.m.

The Arts Fuse‘s podcast The Short Fuse is presenting a conversation between host Elizabeth Howard and Nash Jenkins, whose debut novel was named by the Boston Globe as one of the best new books for summer: “A New England boarding school whodunit set in the early aughts, Foster Dade unfolds in an unlikely way.” Nash has said his narrative “seeks to capture what it felt like to be alive and adolescent at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. We are arguably the first generation to properly grow up alongside the internet; its fitful approach toward maturity still feels inseparable from our own.”

Matthew Desmond and Andre Dubus III at WBUR CitySpace – brookline booksmith
Poverty, By America and Such Kindness
June 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Virtual tickets are $5

“The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Pulitzer Prize-winning sociologist Matthew Desmond (author of Evicted) offers a compelling argument in his new book Poverty, by America on how affluent Americans, knowingly and unknowingly, keep poor people poor. New York Times best-selling author Andre Dubus III’s newest novel Such Kindness tells the story of one man’s descent into poverty by forces beyond his control. Join Here & Now co-host Robin Young for a conversation with Desmond and Dubus III. Both of their books offer compassionate portrayals of what it is like to experience poverty — in essence, fictional and non-fictional mirror images of the same topic.”

FODball Productions Presents: Banned Books Comedy — Porter Square Books
Porter Square Books, Boston Edition,  Liberty Drive
June 23 at 8 p.m.
Free with suggested donation

“FODball Productions presents a Banned Books Comedy Show at PSB: Boston Edition! Head to the bookstore for a night of jokes from comedians whose memoirs Republicans would probably try to ban. Special guest author David Valdes (Brighter Than the Moon, Spin Me Right Round) will join the comedians on stage in between acts. This event is free to attend, but you are encouraged to consider donating to the comedians performing! Donations will be accepted via cash or Venmo. “We’re also excited to announce that PSB: Boston Edition will donate 20% of sales made during the event to PEN America. FODball will also be accepting donations to PEN America through their Venmo account (@FODballProductions).”

Be the Change with Patrick Sullivan and the Jericho Circle Project – Porter Square Books
Porter Square Books, 25 White Street, Cambridge
June 25 at 3 p.m.

“What does it mean to be a Returning Citizen in a society that really doesn’t want you? The roadblocks to employment, housing, family reunification and even simple things that we take for granted like a valid ID, Charlie Card or smartphone can be major hurdles.

We will have a panel of returning citizens and volunteers from the Jericho Circle Project, including the Executive Director and Director of Re-entry, who will speak about their experience of returning home, the challenges and impact of providing support, what is happening in the community as well as what needs to be done.

The Jericho Circle Project has been providing emotional support and healing circles both behind the walls of several prisons in Massachusetts and Maine for over 20 years and recently expanded into the community to support returning citizens.The panel will be moderated by Patrick Sullivan, a volunteer with the Jericho Circle Project, and an advocate through the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization for re-entry of returning citizens.”

Garrett Neiman at Harvard Book Store
Rich White Men: What It Takes to Uproot the Old Boy’s Club and Transform America
June 27 at 7 p.m.

“Serial nonprofit entrepreneur Garrett Neiman’s day job is to get rich white men to donate money to good causes and organizations. In Rich White Men, Neiman brings us into corner offices of billionaires and the boardrooms of Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Stanford, Harvard, and other enclaves of silver-spooned white men to illuminate the role of rich white men in the world and how they justify inequality.

He uses the analogy of compound interest to illustrate how the advantages wealthy white men inherit give them a leg up at key moments in their lives, gilding their trajectories and shutting others out. Through this rare, insider access, readers will discover new ways to persuade the elite toward progressive solutions. A hopeful polemic, the book sheds light on dark truths about inequality and the people invested in preserving it while also providing a blueprint for how America can become an equitable democracy.”

— Matt Hanson

Charles J. Doane in conversation with The Short Fuse’s Elizabeth Howard at the Portsmouth Athenaeum
The Boy Who Fell to Shore: The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald
Portsmouth Athenaeum, Sawtelle Reading Room, 9 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH, June 25 at 3 p.m.

Host Elizabeth Howard tosses a “Short Fuse Live” event. She will be talking to Charles J. Doane about his look at the life of a child brought up on a sailboat. “Born at sea aboard his father’s hand-built sailboat and raised barefoot on her wood decks, Thomas Thor Tangvald’s oceanic childhood was full of beauty and wonder — but was also scarred by horrific tragedies that left him an orphan. Cast ashore into regular contact with human society for the first time at age 15, this intellectually gifted and uniquely educated young man at first reveled in his new environment but ultimately was led by his trauma into spirals of addiction and broken relationships. Thomas hasn’t been seen since he sailed away from French Guiana in 2014, and some believe he must still be alive.”

— Bill Marx

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