Coming Attractions: November 5 through 21 — What Will Light Your Fire

Our expert 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 I Like Movies, screening on November 9 at the Boston Jewish Film Festival

Boston Jewish Film Festival
through November 12
Multiple Venues

BJFF showcases a global selection of contemporary films on Jewish themes, accompanied by panel discussions, musical events, and live video post-discussions.

Visiting filmmakers coming to the fest this year include: director and producer Paul Michael Bloodgood and choreographer Stephen Mills (Finding Light); Canadian writer and director Chandler Levack and actor Isaiah Lehtinen (I Like Movies); writer and director Louise Archambault (Irena’s Vow); director and producer Hilla Medalia (Mourning in Lod). Special Guest is Nathaniel Kahn, Emmy-winning filmmaker of My Architect (2003), Two Hands (2006), The Price of Everything (2018), and film The Hunt for Planet B (2021). Arts Fuse preview and Doc Talk.

The Found Footage Festival Vol. 10: Popcorn Classics
November 10 at 9 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

Joe Pickett (The Onion) and Nick Prueher (Late Show) have over 11,000 VHS tapes in their collection. This evening they will take viewers on a guided tour through their latest and greatest finds, including rare footage from a short-lived video dating service featuring 1987’s most eligible bachelorettes, a questionably sexy striptease video called “Males in Motion,” and a mysterious New Age seminar called “Elimination: The First Step.”

A scene from The Case of the Vanishing Gods.

The Case of The Vanishing Gods
November 11 at9:15 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

From the director of NOTFILM comes a cinematic fable told via puppets and film clips. According to critics, it is a new kind of hybrid, half dream / half document that “pushes the essay film into exciting new territory.” The narrative’s protagonist is Hugo, a tortured ventriloquist’s dummy who has lost his memory. Put under hypnosis, the puppet recovers his lost past; the result is a tour through the cultural history of ventriloquism, from its prophetic beginnings to the modern horror film. “Join Hugo on this strange journey into the hidden lives of puppets, and into the collective unconscious that links them to our own lives.”

Boston International Kids Film Festival
November 11 at 10 a.m.
Mosesian Center for the Arts at 321 Arsenal Street Watertown

This festival –“By Kids and for Kids” — highlights independent filmmakers who do their best to inspire “young people to share their own stories with the world.”

Schedule of Events: 10 a.m. Student-Made Documentaries; 10:30 a.m. Shorts for Middle Schoolers and Above; 12 p.m. Student Academy Showcase; 1 p.m. Student-Made Animations; 2 p.m. Shorts for Middle Schoolers and Above Part 2; 3:30 p.m. Shorts for Middle Schoolers and Above Part 3; 4 p.m. Student-Made Narratives; 7 p.m. Saturday Night Special Event and Feature.

A scene featuring Robert Fripp in In the Court of the Crimson King, King Crimson at 50.

In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50
November 8
7:30 p.m. at the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge
7 p.m. at the Cabot in Beverly

This doc is a probing examination of the seminal prog-rock band, offering tantalizing glimpses of its turbulent (to say the least) history. Says director Toby Amies, “In the Court of the Crimson King is not a film that wants to tell the audience what to think, rather it presents several different points of view about the creative process and what it means to be in this most unusual band; leaving the audience with a sense of both how complicated it all is, but also just how incredibly rewarding the King Crimson experience is both for the musicians and its fans.” (Fuse review)

Joan Baez: I Am a Noise
November 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Regent Theatre, Arlington

Regent Theatre Midweek Movies presents the award-winning and revealing biography of the iconic folk singer. She was the daughter of a physicist of Mexican descent and, despite little formal musical training, her beauty, activist impulses, and compelling voice put her in the forefront of the ’60s folk music revival. Famously, Baez was romantically involved with Bob Dylan and was a powerful influence on the early years in his career. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2021, and has written two books: the 1968 autobiography Daybreak and the 1987 memoir And a Voice to Sing With. (Fuse review)

Wicked Queer: Docs
November 10 – 18
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

The MFA and Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival present documentary films by and about members of the queer community. Five films are scheduled (all are linked to descriptions): Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes, It’s Only Life After All, Jewelle: A Just Vision, Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field, and Playland

Boston Open Screen
November 14 at 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline

Open Screen is Boston’s only open mic night for filmmakers! Share your film with lively strangers. If your movie (or part thereof) is under 10 minutes, this is the place to screen it.

November 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Regent Theatre, Arlington

After three of the most dynamic and successful US charities were shut down by conservative charity watchdogs, destroying lives and cutting off precious resources to the needy, many of the top influencers in the field knew something had to be done to overhaul the nonprofit sector. Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk on the subject inspired philanthropists and changemakers. This documentary, based on Pallotta’s book, Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential, is directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal (father of actors Jake and Maggie). The film exposes the dark side of philanthropy and then explores a radical new way of giving, in which charities can be freed of traditional “sackcloth-and-ashes” constraints.

Picks of the Week

Her Master’s Voice (2012)
Amazon prime, iTunes, Apple TV

A scene from Her Master’s Voice.

In addition to The Case Of The Vanishing Gods at the Brattle Theatre (see above) examination of ventriloquism, here is a terrific documentary on the subject from British ventriloquist Nina Conti, daughter of Tom Conti (Rueben, Rueben; Oppenheimer). She has been credited with reinventing the art form. The man who taught Conti the art was her older lover, Ken Campbell, an eccentric genius who became a respected maverick in the British theater. When he passed in 2008, the bereaved actress took his puppets on a pilgrimage to “Venthaven” in Kentucky, the resting place for the puppets of dead ventriloquists. A convention of performers/ventriloquists was being held at the same time.  Conceptually brilliant, this distinctive documentary is insightful, clever, and very funny. It also features some masters of the art. (60 minutes).

— Tim Jackson

Roots and World Music

Wortown Rising
November 8, 6 p.m.
Skyline Commons, Brandeis University

The 50th anniversary of hip-hop has inspired many local artists and historians to examine how the culture developed in their own communities. One of those is Kaz Supernova, a veteran Worcester musician and artist who was present at the dawn of hip-hop in Central Massachusetts. He’s now completed a documentary, Wortown Rising, which tells the story of Worcester’s scrappy hip-hop scene. After a number of well-received Worcester screenings, the film makes its Boston area debut at this free event. Kaz will be on hand for a Q&A and there will also be a student art exhibition.

ToriTori, a very promising new local singer will be performing in Somerville this week. Photo: courtesy of the artist

ToriTori and The Pearl Handles
November 9, 7:30 p.m.
Warehouse XI, Somerville

ToriTori’s compelling debut EP Pocket Knife shows her to be a very promising new voice in Boston whose songs authentically express both the inspirational and the sassy sides of R&B. She’ll be showcasing her 10-piece band along with vendors, a full stage set, a set by DJ WhySham, openers Aura and Zed Kenzo — and some surprises as well.

Fuse fave Ryan Lee Crosby performing the blues in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, last month. Photo: Eddie Wagner

Ryan Lee Crosby “Ode to Bentonia”
November 11, 7:30 p.m.
City Winery, Haymarket Lounge

Singer/songwriter and longtime Fuse favorite Ryan Lee Crosby is presenting a night of blues inspired by his time in Bentonia, the tiny Mississippi town with its own distinct sound. Joining Crosby are fellow guitarist Peter Parcek and violinist Ilana Katz Katz.

Musical Pathways from Asia Minor to the Mainland Greece
November 11
Maliotis Cultural Center, Brookline

Vasilis Kostas, the Boston-based master of the laouto lute — perhaps best known as a member of pianist Danilo Perez’s Global Messengers — has released a second volume of the essential The Soul of Epirus, his collaboration with legendary clarinetist Petroloukas Halkias. Hopefully there will be another Soul of Epirus tour in the future. In the meantime, Kostas is part of the Anatoliama Ensemble, along with percussionist George Lernis and kanun player Panos Aivas. That group is at the core of an ambitious evening of traditional Grecian music that also includes clarinetist Manos Achalinotopoulos, vocalist Aimilia Chalkia, and members of St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine Choir and the nascent New England Greek Orchestra.

Boston Festival of New Jewish Music: “New Klezmer Dances”
November 15, 7 p.m.
The Boston Synagogue

The third season of the invaluable Boston Festival of New Jewish Music in itself is a cause for celebration. But the evening is also shout-out for the release of artistic director and clarinetist Nat Seelen’s new book, New Klezmer Dances Volume 1. And if that’s not enough to make you say “dayenu,” it’s also Seelen’s birthday. Rachel Linsky will be leading some of the dances in the book, and they will be performed by an all-star band of Seelen, Edmar Colón on saxophone, Cory Pesaturo on accordion, Kirsten Lamb on bass, and Grant Smith on drums.

November 17, 7 p.m.
Roxbury Community College Auditorium, 1234 Columbus Avenue, Boston

Normally, this discerning space would frown on such an early holiday celebration. But an exception must be made for this Christmas-themed evening with three masters of Puerto Rican folk culture: Humberto Martínez Rivera, Juan Nieves, and Victor Manuel Reye, all taking part in a show presented by Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción.

Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway
November 17
Berklee Performance Center

In his recent review of Molly Tuttle’s new album, Arts Fuse writer Scott McLennan called breakout newgrass star Tuttle “the pro-pot feminist psychedelic tale-spinning guitar virtuoso you need in your life right now. Tuttle is on top of her game on City of Gold.” Apparently audiences agree: the tickets remaining for this gig approached single digits as of press time. Fellow Berklee alum Jobi Riccio opens this Celebrity Series presentation.

Journeys in Sound 10th Anniversary
Swedenborg Chapel 50 Quincy St, Cambridge
November 18, 3 p.m.
November 19, 5:30 p.m.

Journeys in Sound, the brilliantly curated concert series led by John Bechard, is celebrating its first decade with a typically strong and eclectic mix presented over two afternoons. Day one features pan-Balkan fiddler Beth Bahia Cohen, the East-West fusion of Memoried Trio, the Korean/blues duo of Yoona Kim & Roman Barten-Sherman, and American primitive guitarist Liam Grant. The Sunday affair includes a stride piano set by Anthony Coleman, Georgian song from Iveria, Turkish experimentalist Heiraza, and the tap dance brilliance of Jenny Herzog & Jacob Hiser. Reservations are encouraged at

Salsa y Control Dance Company 20th Anniversary – Featuring Tipica ‘73
November 18
Westin Hotel, Waltham

Hip-hop isn’t the only great musical innovation from New York celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In 1973, a group of musicians who’d been playing with Ray Barretto splintered off to form an exciting new salsa ensemble called Tipica ‘73, which quickly became one of the leading attractions of Fania Records. Over the years the band stretched its stylistic boundaries from hard salsa pure to elegant charanga; it also introduced audiences to future stars like violinist Alfredo de la Fé, tres player Nelson Gonzalez, and singer José Alberto “El Canario.” The group’s 50th anniversary tour comes to Waltham, where Salsa y Control is celebrating its 20th anniversary of serving the local salsa community through lessons and dances.

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
November 19, 7 p.m.
The Wilbur, Boston

Once a country radio star, Marty Stuart has embraced life on the outer edges of twang. One example: his wonderful new LP Altitude, an exploratory psychedelic space cowboy concept record guaranteed to lack all commercial potential, at least as far as Nashville is concerned. Those songs will be mixed in from selections from Stuart’s storied career, all played by one of the best bands in any genre, His Fabulous Superlatives.

— Noah Schaffer

The Smack Dabs will perform at Cambridge’s Lizard Lounge. Photo: courtesy of the artist

The Smack Dabs and The Soggy Po Boys
November 18 at 9 p.m.
The Lizard Lounge, Cambridge

At the CD release show of The Smack Dabs — the joyous Boston-based swing-blues sextet — you’d be excused for plumb forgetting you’re in 21st century Cambridge. Late ’30s Chicago is the jazz reference point of the Smack Dabs, a rowdy yet disciplined outfit inspired by Windy City masters such as Tampa Red, Memphis Minnie, and The Harlem Hamfats. It’s the jubilant sound of surprise: a sophisticated, slippery trombone solo might be followed by a kazoo. The Dabs call it bawdy yet inclusive. Also on the bill are New Hampshire’s finest exponents of New Orleans joy, The Soggy Po Boys. A night of danceable jazz.

— Daniel Gewertz


COVID PROTOCOLS: Check with specific theaters.

A scene from The Gottabees’ Don’t Make Me Get Dressed. Photo: PST

Don’t Make Me Get Dressed, written and performed by The Gottabees. Presented by the Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St, Brookline, November 10 through 26.

A world premiere from local favorites The Gottabees — creators of Squirrel Stole My Underpants and Go Home Tiny Monster. The troupe’s latest show comes from the Puppet Showplace Theater’s new works Incubator program. It is the fourth show from The Gottabees to premiere on the PST stage. “For every child who has struggled to get into their clothes first thing in the morning (and for every parent who has fought valiantly in the battleground of the morning routine), comes Don’t Make Me Get Dressed — a gloriously silly and inventive ode to the feelings we have when we choose our clothes… and to what happens when our clothes come to life and choose us.” All ages welcome, recommended for ages 3+. Puppets galore: object puppetry, hand puppetry, materials manipulation, and  ull-body puppetry.

The Good John Proctor by Talene Monahon. Directed by Kimberly Senior. Running in rep with Becky Nurse of Salem by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Curt Columbus. Staged by Trinity Repertory Company at the Dowling Theater, 201 Washington Street, Providence. Schedule: The Good John Proctor, through November 12. Becky Nurse of Salem, through November 10.

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible has inspired a pair of feminist revisionist visions. The Good John Proctor “reexamines the Salem Witch Trials through the eyes of the four young girls at its center.” Becky Nurse of Salem centers on “Becky Nurse, a modern descendant of an executed Salem ‘witch.’ She’s been fired from her job, troubled by her granddaughter’s boyfriend, is pining for a married man, and taking pain pills to cope after her daughter’s overdose. To reverse her bad fortune, she consults an eccentric local witch … leading to shocking, funny, and even disturbing results.”

T: An MBTA Musical, written by Mike Manship (book) and Melissa Carubia (music and lyrics). At the Rockwell, Davis Square, 255 Elm Street, Somerville, November 3 and 17, and December 1.

The show “chronicles the journey of three struggling Bostonians whose lives have been derailed by the MBTA’s incompetency. When they discover a secret map that will enable them to overthrow the transit system’s inefficiency, they set forth on a colorful journey that is part love story, part melodrama, part scavenger hunt, all one big transportation nightmare.” The script and score are updated seasonally to reflect current events and the latest MBTA struggles. Note: Limited on-the-train tickets are also available for each performance, where audience members can join an eccentric cast of T riders and personnel on stage as part of the action.

Saint Dad by Monica Wood. Directed by Sally Wood. Staged by Portland Stage, 25 Forest Ave, Portland, ME, through November 19.

A new comedy about how life is changing in Maine from a playwright who lives in the state: “Suzanne, Bud, and Denise made the tough decision to sell their childhood camp when their father was at death’s door, but now that he’s made a miraculous recovery, they’re doing everything in their power to make sure he doesn’t find out. The new owner, Leona, gets more than she bargained for when all three siblings, and her college-bound daughter all unexpectedly drop by.”

Christopher Rivas performing The Real James Bond…Was Dominican. Photo: Andres Tagliaferro

The Real James Bond…Was Dominican, written and performed by Christopher Rivas. A DNAWORKS production presented by ArtsEmerson at the Emerson Paramount Center, Robert J. Orchard Stage, 559 Washington Street, Boston, November 8 through 12

“What happens when a James Bond-obsessed Dominican boy in Queens (who won’t go anywhere without his nerf gun), finds out that the real James Bond was Dominican? Learning that Bond creator Ian Fleming drew upon the life and career of Porfirio Rubirosa — a Dominican diplomat, international polo champion, race-car driver, pilot, and spy — as the inspiration for the classic 007 character shook performer Christopher Rivas’s very foundation and set him on a quest to find his true self.”

The Rocky Horror Show, Book, Music, & Lyrics by Richard O’Brien. Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner & Jo Michael Rezes.  Staged at the Central Square Theatre, 450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, through November 26.

According to the Theatre Communications Group, this musical, based on the 1975 cult film, is one of the most produced shows of the 2023-2024 American season. “On a dark and stormy night, sweethearts Brad and Janet suffer a blowout. Dammit (Janet). Without a spare they enter (at their own risk) the eerie mansion of the dangerously charming Dr. Frank-N-Furter who seduces them with his B-movie horror film wonderland complete with a motley crew. Do the time warp (again). Be hypnotized by this hedonistic rock-n-roll promenade through gender, sexuality, and identity, and learn what it means to be from the planet Transsexual.”

L to R: John Hardin (Peter Mooney), Abigail Milnor-Sweetser (Shirley) in Gamm Theatre’s production of Hangmen. Photo: Cat Laine

Hangmen by Martin McDonagh. Directed by Tony Estrella. Staged by the Gamm Theatre at 1245 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick, RI, through November 26.

The New England premiere of Martin McDonagh’s critically admired dark comedy, which premiered in New York in 2022: “Its 1965, and the death penalty has just been abolished in the U.K. In a small town in northern England everyone wants to know what Harry Wade, the second best hangman in the country, has to say about it. As the news breaks, Harry’s pub is overrun with a motley crew of sycophants and a cub reporter hungry for a quote … until the attention turns to Mooney, a smiley, inscrutable visitor with interior motives.”

Ben Jonson, England’s first poet laureate. And a hell of a playwright.

The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson. Directed by Bryn Boice. Staged by the Hub Theatre Company of Boston at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont Street, through November 12.

“Shakespeare is only three years dead and already the London stage is littered with badly botched Hamlets, ripped-off Romeos, and plagiarized Pericles. With the clock ticking, his comrades in art must band together to outwit an embezzling publisher, a drunk poet laureate, and their own mortality as they race to publish Shakespeare’s masterpieces and preserve his memory. Replete with history, hijinks, and Shakespeare’s greatest hits, this tale of the First Folio sheds new light on a man and a legacy you thought you knew.”

Save Shakespeare’s plays by all means. But one of my personal favorites, Ben Jonson, is a character who needs to be “outwitted” — there’s no doubt he is the “drunk poet laureate” in the description above. I may be need to check this production out to see if Gunderson has treated Jonson with proper respect, as Edward Bond did in Bingo. Or are we going to get another insulting fiasco, such as the portrait of Ben as a double-dealer in the 2011 film Anonymous.

How I Learned To Drive by Paula Vogel. Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue. Staged by the Actors’ Shakespeare Project at the Roberts Studio Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., through November 25.

The oft-produced play, winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and nominated for the 2022 Tony Award for Best Revival, “puts us behind the wheel of a ‘56 Chevy with our protagonist, Li’l Bit, as she looks back on her rocky journey from adolescence to adulthood. Fasten your seat belts as she navigates dark family secrets, teenage growing pains, and her turbulent relationship with her Uncle Peck.”

MidSummer; Kinda?, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream  by Pascale Florestal. Directed by Florestal. At the Modern Theatre, 525 Washington Street, November 16 through 19.

“It’s Midsummer Night’s Dream… but not really! The same idea with familiar and new twists! It’s about love, magic, and new beginnings. It’s part adaptation, part devised, part new play.”

The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig. Directed by Fred Sullivan Jr. Staged by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, November 10 through December 17.

A who-dun-it farce that promises plenty of “slapstick and hilarity” with its “murder and mayhem.” “It’s a blustery December night in 1936 at the Connecticut mansion of actor William Gillette, whose life was recently threatened by a rogue gunshot while he was onstage performing his most celebrated role, Sherlock Holmes. A cavalcade of quirky friends arrive upon his request for a weekend of revelry all with the intent of finding out who pulled the trigger. But when one of Gillette’s glitzy and glamorous guests is stabbed to death, the survivors are trapped inside a fun house of hidden passageways and trick mirrors where any of them could be the killer.”

A scene from Double Edge Theatre’s Lightning. Photo: Double Edge Theatre

Lightning, conceived and directed by Jeremy Louise Eaton. Staged by Double Edge Theatre at The Farm, 948 Conway Road, Ashfield, November 8 through 12.

Sold-out performances during Double Edge Theater’s 2022 Fall Performance Series have led to the mounting of another iteration of this show, directed and devised by the company’s design director, Jeremy Louise Eaton, and co-created with the Double Edge Company. “Layering large puppetry, shadow, and song, Lightning takes place at the collision point between the worlds of our internal and external experiences. We look at our past and tell the birth story of the inner monsters we both need and deny.” The new version features Double Edge Ensemble members Milena Dabova and Hannah Jarrell.

Hauntings I Have Lived Through written and directed by James Wilkinson. Staged by Exile Theatre at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, November 10 through 19.

A local playwright promises audiences “a spooky good time.” “What is this world? That’s the question lurking in the background of stories offered up by three different characters. Shaken by their experiences, our protagonists share accounts of ghosts and hauntings which have left them reassessing how they understand their lives. A new homeowner fears that she is not alone. A teacher’s hidden past roars back with a vengeance. A preacher spins a tale of forthcoming evil. As the narratives unspool, audiences are invited to ponder their confidence in the veil separating this world and the next.”

Brian Thomas Abraham and Jennifer Apple in the Huntington Theatre Company/SpeakEasy Stage production of The Band’s Visit. Photo: Nile Hawver

The Band’s Visit, music and lyrics by David Yazbek, book by Itamar Moses. Based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin. Choreography by Daniel Pelzig. Music Direction by José Delgado. Directed by Paul Daigneault. A Huntington Theatre Company and SpeakEasy Stage co-production at the Huntington Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave, Boston, November 10 through December 17.

“In this Tony Award-winning, feel-good musical (based on the acclaimed 2007 film), an Egyptian band of musicians is stranded in a small Israeli town after a transportation mix up, and with no lodgings available, the locals take them in for the night. By morning, surprising connections have been made and friendships forged over moments of shared humanity and love of music.”

— Bill Marx

Visual Arts

Annette Lemieux, Available Portrait Colors, 1990. Photo: Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum

Time was when all you had to do to color in a face or a bare arm was grab the pinky beige Crayola crayon marked “Flesh Tone.” No more. Nowadays almost everyone knows that human skin comes in a bewildering variety of shades and hues. Dissecting Portrait Colors, a workshop at the Harvard Art Museum, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will update the idea of flesh tone by assisting participants “to explore the biological origin of skin color and learn how artists recapitulate this process through paint and synthetic materials.” Workshop leader, artist, and medical student William Shen will begin with a tour of the exhibition Seeing in Art and Medicine. He will use Annette Lemieux’s painting “Available Portrait Colors” (1990) in the Harvard Museums collection as a model to show how to dissect complex hues into primary constituents and recreate them in acrylic paint. Registration is required and space is limited, $15 materials fee.

On November 18, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., regionally based musicians spaced throughout the galleries of Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art will recreate Alvin Lucier’s 1970 composition “(Hartford) Memory Space.” The piece, which premiered at the Hartford Art School, asks the performers to recreate sounds they heard while out in the city. The event, offered in conjunction with the exhibition Rules and Repetition, is free with admission.

Salmon Tor, Boys in Bed, 2021. Photo: Farzad Owrang

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University opens Salman Toor, No Ordinary Love on November 16. The show is billed as a major solo exhibition of Pakistani-born Toor’s paintings, supplemented with a selection of his drawing and notebooks as well as with “contextualized” works from the Rose collection. Combining influences from Pakistani and Indian modern artists with his love of European masters like Caravaggio, Rubens, Titian, and Watteau, Toor’s works explore “his experiences as a Queer diasporic South Asian man, creating imaginative new worlds for the 21st century.”

The Williams College Museum of Art has embarked on the construction of its first purpose-built home in its century-long history. Florian Idenberg, co-founder of SO-IL, the Brooklyn-based architectural firm selected to design the new museum, will deliver this year’s Plonkster Family Lecture in Contemporary Art on November 16 starting at 6 p.m., preceded by a reception at 5 p.m. Both events will take place in the ‘62 Center for Theatre and Dance on the Williams campus. Idenberg’s talk will explore the history of art museum design and how it has influenced the firm’s ideas for the Williams project. He will also touch on some of SO-IL’s previous work.

Women Reframe American Landscape, opening at the New Britain Museum of Art on November 18, includes two parts. The first is the first-ever solo exhibition of the work of 19th-century American painter Susie M. Barstow (1836-1923) who, in her lifetime, exhibited alongside such major male Hudson River School artists as Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church, and Asher Brown Durand. Yet, until now, Barstow has received far less scholarly attention. This part of the show will also include works by women artists in Barstow’s circle. The second part of the exhibition will include examples from 13 acclaimed contemporary female artists working with landscape, many of whom have created site-responsive installations especially for this exhibition.

Wedding basket. Gift of Mrs. William Whitman, 1930. Photo: courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Harvard University

Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology was created to preserve the cultural artifacts of Native American peoples at a time when it was assumed that the people themselves would soon disappear. Fortunately, Native Americans survived wars, forced relocations, government attempts at assimilation, media stereotypes, repression, and neglect to eventually look after those objects themselves. Stephanie Mach (Dine), Curator of North American Collections at the Peabody Museum, will join other Dine (Navajo) scholars in a conversation on November 15 about how each cares for Navajo culture within their professional work and interests. Offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the program will take place both online and on the Harvard campus at the Peabody Museum and in the Geological Lecture Hall at 24 Oxford Street. Registration required for both online and in-person attendance.

— Peter Walsh


“Divas Live!”
November 10 at 8 p.m.
Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge

Presented by the Cambridge Jazz Foundation, this concert, which features a distinguished trio of Boston-area singers, is dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk, Nina Simone, and Roberta Flack. The singers are Dominique Eade (Monk), Farayi Malek (Simone), and Gabrielle Goodman (Flack). The vocalists will be accompanied by the Ron Savage Trio: pianist Consuelo Candelaria-Barry, bassist Alexander Toth , and drummer Savage.

Grammy-nominated singer Tierney Sutton. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Bevan Manson feat. Tierney Sutton
November 11 at 7 p.m.
Regettabar, Cambridge

Boston audiences might remember Bevan Manson as a brilliant pianist who played around town in the ’80s and ’90s when he was a member of the New England Conservatory faculty. Since then, he has departed for points West, teaching (now at Ventura College in Southern California), arranging and scoring for film and TV, and continuing to write and play jazz. He’ll showcase his latest project, “Talking to Trees,” with an octet that includes Grammy-nominated singer Tierney Sutton, vibraphonist Joe Locke, and drummer Matt Wilson. (An earlier version of this post stated, incorrectly, that Manson played with the Either/Orchestra.)

November 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston

Anthony Coleman — a key collaborator with John Zorn in New York’s Downtown scene of the ’80s and ’90s, and now a faculty member of New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Musical Arts Department — has organized this concert around a year that is  “pivotal in Music History.” The program will celebrate experimental American composer Henry Cowell; Rosita Quiroga, the first woman tango singer; Mongolian soundscapes as described by a tourist visiting China in that year; a tribute to early Blues recordings; and the first recording of “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,” the hymn which has come to symbolize the struggle for African unity and liberation in South Africa. Also included are Jelly Roll Morton’s “King Porter Stomp” performed by Coleman’s CMA Early Jazz Ensemble, an exploration of Kurt Schwitters’s “Ursonate,” performed by Lautaro Mantilla’s Contemporary Rock Ensemble, and Bartók’s “Dance Suite,” performed by Eden MacAdam-Somer’s CMA Chamber Ensemble. It’s free, but reservations are required.

“Havana Nights”
November 16 at 7 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge

Mark Walker has been a go-to drummer for Afro-Latin jazz sessions in Boston for years, even before becoming a regular with Arturo Sandoval. For this show (part of JazzBoston’s Jazz All Ways series) he’s put together a sextet that will feature singers Lizje Sarria and Samuel Batista, as well as pianist Rebecca Cline, percussionist Eguie Castrillo, and bassist Oscar Stagnaro. The idea is “to celebrate the rich legacy of Cuban song in a jazz setting.” And maybe get people dancing.

Trumpeter Kelly Bray. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Kelly Bray
November 16 at 7:30
Lilypad, Cambridge

The free-improv-centered This Music Series presents trumpeter Kelly Bray fronting a quintet with pianist Jacob Hiser, bassist Brittany Karlson, drummer John Dalton, and Marie Carroll on koto. Bray’s mentors at New English Conservatory included Anthony Coleman (see November 14) and Joe Morris, classical trumpet man Steve Emery, and jazz trumpeter John McNeil. And, hey, koto!

November 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston

In December, the composer Mehmet Alí Sanlíkol lead a hellacious sold-out performance at Crystal Ballroom of his album Turkish Hipster: Tales from Swing to Psychedelic,” a blend of his varied jazz, Turkish, and Latin influences. Now comes his a 20th-anniversary celebration of his Turkish-music collective, DÜNYA. The program will include classical Ottoman/Turkish music and original jazz compositions, played on traditional Turkish and jazz instruments as well as Sanlíkol’s extraordinary Renaissance 17 — a digital microtonal keyboard instrument with 17 keys per octave. At Crystal Ballroom, Sanlíkol used the keyboard organically — and musically — to access the tricky microtones of traditional Turkish and Greek music. The concert is free, but a ticket is required.

Legendary guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer will perform in Cambridge as part of Third Thursdays. Photo: courtesy of the artist

James “Blood” Ulmer
November 16 at 8 p.m.
Harvard-Epworth Church, Cambridge

In the ’80s – working with, among many others, Ornette Coleman, Arthur Blythe, and David Murray, and on three Columbia albums as a leader — James “Blood” Ulmer opened new vistas for electric guitar in general and jazz guitar in particular. He’s since done a mix of freewheeling improvisation and more-or-less straight-ahead blues (with his own grainy vocals). He’s the special guest for this edition of Third Thursdays, hosted by another former Ornette cohort, Dave Bryant. Ulmer will play a solo set, followed by a band with keyboardist Bryant, saxophonist Neil Leonard, bassist Frederick Williams, and drummer James Kamal Jones.

(l-r ) Drummer Tomas Fujiwara and cornettist Taylor Ho Bynum. Photo: Bandcamp

Laszlo Gardony Quartet
November 17 at 7 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

The exciting pianist and composer Laszlo Gardony’s live shows most often feature him either solo or with his longtime trio-mates, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel. But one of the best albums in Gardony’s impressive discography is Life in Real Time (2015), where he was joined by three tenor saxophonists. One of them, Don Braden, complements the trio tonight.

Clifton Anderson Sextet
November 18 at 7 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

Trombonist Clifton Anderson  — well known as a longtime band member and wingman for his uncle, Sonny Rollins — fronts an excellent sextet at Scullers that includes saxophonist Antoine Roney, pianist Edsel Gomez, bassist Belden Bullock, drummer Steve Johns, and percussionist Victor See Yuen.

Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara
November 18 at 8 p.m.
Peabody Hall, Parish of All Saints, Dorchester

The cornettist Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer Tomas Fujiwara have long worked together — in Bynum’s sextet, Mary Halvorson’s bands, and in many other configurations, including a number of duet albums. In this outing, they go head to head as a duo.

Brad Mehldau Trio
November 18 at 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston

Technically gifted and formally adventurous, the pianist and composer Brad Mehldau has been a major voice since emerging the mid-’90s, most notably with Joshua Redman’s quartet, and his expansive lyricism has been a boon ever since. He never sounds better than when he’s with his longtime trio mates, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard.

— Jon Garelick

Classical Music

Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Leonidas Kavakos performing at Symphony Hall in 2017. Photo: Robert Torres

Kavakos plays Berg
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
November 9 at 7:30 p.m., 10 & 11 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

Violinist Leonidas Kavakos returns to town to perform Alban Berg’s haunting Violin Concerto. Also making a second visit is conductor Hannu Lintu, who conducts further pieces by Peter Lieberson and Robert Schumann.

Sir András Schiff in recital
Presented by Celebrity Series
November 10 at 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston

The eminent pianist presents his first in-person CS recital since 2016. The program consists of Romantic selections by Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert introduced from the keyboard.

La Cenerentola
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
November 8 & 10 at 7:30 p.m., 12 at 3 p.m.
Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston

BLO’s new production of Rossini’s brilliant comedy transplants the action to Boston. Cecelia Hall, Levy Sekgapane, and Brandon Cedel are among the stars; David Angus conducts.

Renee Fleming will be performing in Boston this week. Photo: Celebrity Series

Renée Fleming in recital
Presented by Celebrity Series
November 12 at 5 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

NOTE: Covid strikes again! This concert has been RESCHEDULED for February 4, 2024, at 5 p.m.

Soprano Fleming and pianist Inon Barnatan join forces to present a new program inspired by the singer’s 2022 album, Voices of Nature: the Anthropocene.

Daniil Trifonov in recital
Presented by Celebrity Series
November 15 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

The Russian-born wizard of the keyboard makes his Symphony Hall recital debut in works by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, culminating in the latter’s Hammerklavier Sonata.

Gerstein plays Ligeti
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
November 16 at 7:30 p.m., 17 at 1:30 p.m., and 18 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

Thomas Adès and Kirill Gerstein return to Symphony Hall and mark the centennial of György Ligeti’s birth with a performance of the Hungarian master’s Piano Concerto. Further works by Liszt, Stravinsky, and Adès round out the program.

Hochman plays Bartók
Presented by Boston Philharmonic Orchestra
November 17 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

Pianist Benjamin Hochman joins the BPO for their second concert of the season, playing Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Benjamin Zander conducts additional pieces by Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10.

Khachaturian and Rachmaninoff Tribute
Presented by Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra
November 21 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

Pianist Sergei Babayan joins the ANPO for a one-night-only performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The same composer’s Symphony No. 2 and excerpts from Aram Khachaturian’s ballet Spartacus fill out the evening.

Earl Lee conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in 2023. Photo: Winslow Townson

Earl Lee conducts Tchaikovsky
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
November 24 at 1:30 p.m. and 25 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

BSO assistant conductor Lee leads the orchestra in one bona-fide favorite – Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 — plus César Franck’s tone poem Le Chasseur maudit and Henri Tomasi’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. Virtuoso Stephen Banks is soloist in the latter.

Presented by Handel & Haydn Society
November 24 at 7:30 p.m., 25 & 26 at 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

H&H’s new artistic director Jonathan Cohen steps in to lead the ensemble’s annual performances of Handel’s holiday favorite. Joélle Harvey, John Holiday, Stuart Jackson, and José Coca Loza are the soloists.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

Author Events

Tracy K. Smith at the Brattle Theatre – Harvard Book Store
To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul
November 7 at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30)
Tickets are $32 including copy of book

To Free the Captives touches down in Sunflower, Alabama, the red-dirt town where Smith’s father’s family comes from, and where her grandfather returned after World War I with a hero’s record but difficult prospects as a Black man. Smith considers his life and the life of her father through the lens of history. Hoping to connect with their strength and continuance, she assembles a new terminology of American life.

“Bearing courageous witness to the terms of Freedom afforded her as a Black woman, a mother, and an educator in the 21st century, Smith etches a portrait of where we find ourselves 400 years into the American experiment. Weaving in an account of her growing spiritual practice, she argues that the soul is not merely a private site of respite or transcendence, but a tool for fulfilling our duties to each other, and a sounding board for our most pressing collective questions: Where are we going as a nation? Where have we been?”

Carl Safina at the Harvard Science Center – Harvard Book Store

Alfie & Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe 
November 7 at 6 p.m.
Tickets are free with RSVP, $34.53 with book

“When ecologist Carl Safina and his wife, Patricia, took in a near-death baby owl, they expected that, like other wild orphans they’d rescued, she’d be a temporary presence. But Alfie’s feathers were not growing correctly, requiring prolonged care. As Alfie grew and gained strength, she became a part of the family, joining a menagerie of dogs and chickens and making a home for herself in the backyard. Carl and Patricia began to realize that the healing was mutual; Alfie had been braided into their world, and was now pulling them into hers.

Alfie & Me is the story of the remarkable impact this little owl would have on their lives. The continuing bond of trust following her freedom — and her raising of her own wild brood — coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a year in which Carl and Patricia were forced to spend time at home without the normal obligations of work and travel. Witnessing all the fine details of their feathered friend’s life offered Carl and Patricia a view of existence from Alfie’s perspective.”

Sigrid Nunez will read from her new novel, The Vulnerables, at Porter Square Books. Photo: Nancy Crampton

Sigrid Nunez in conversation with Valeria Luiselli – Porter Square Books
The Vulnerables
November 8 at 7 p.m.

“Elegy plus comedy is the only way to express how we live in the world today, says a character in Sigrid Nunez’s ninth novel. The Vulnerables offers a meditation on our contemporary era, as a solitary female narrator asks what it means to be alive at this complex moment in history and considers how our present reality affects the way a person looks back on her past.

“Humor, to be sure, is a priceless refuge. Equally vital is connection with others, who here include an adrift member of Gen Z and a spirited parrot named Eureka. The Vulnerables reveals what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other and how far even small acts of caring can go to ease another’s distress. A search for understanding about some of the most critical matters of our time, Nunez’s new novel is also an inquiry into the nature and purpose of writing itself.”

Alice McDermott at Harvard Book Store
Absolution: A Novel
November 9 at 7 p.m.

“With a narrative impact that recalls Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, Alice McDermott confronts the unresolved mysteries and ironies of America’s tragic interference in Southeast Asia.”

Kevin Pang in conversation with Julia Collin Davison – Porter Square Books
A Very Chinese Cookbook
November 12 at 7 p.m.

“James Beard Award winner Kevin Pang and his dad Jeffrey, hosts of the hit America’s Test Kitchen series “Hunger Pangs,” show you the way to delicious Chinese cooking in this accessible, funny, heartfelt cookbook. From American Chinese classics (General Tso’s Chicken) to Sichuan street foods (Dan Dan Mian) and Hong Kong dim sum favorites (Shu Mai), A Very Chinese Cookbook is ideal for both the Chinese food-curious and experienced cooks seeking a weekend soup dumpling project.

“Chock full of tips, techniques, stories, and friendly ingredient guides, with over 100 of ATK’s trademark rigorous recipes — and even a magic trick with fortune cookies — the cookbook in your hands is very practical, very personal, and very Chinese indeed.”

Lauren Graham – brookline booksmith
November 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston MA
Tickets are $180- $45

“Lauren Graham has graced countless television screens with her quick-witted characters, earning a reputation as a pop culture icon who always has something to say. In her latest book, Have I Told You This Already? she combines her signature sense of humor with down-to-earth storytelling sharing personal stories about her life and career — from her early days spent pounding the pavement while waitressing in New York City, to living on her aunt’s couch during her first Los Angeles pilot season, to thoughts on aging gracefully in Hollywood.”

Kim McLarin at Harvard Book Store
Everyday Something Has Tried to Kill Me and Has Failed: Notes from Periracial America
November 14 at 7 p.m.

“With accumulated wisdom and sharp-eyed clarity, Everyday Something Has Tried to Kill Me And Has Failed addresses the joys and hardships of being an older Black woman in contemporary, “periracial” America. Award-winning author Kim McLarin utilizes deeply personal experiences to illuminate the pain and power of aging, Blackness and feminism, in the process capturing the endless cycle of progress and backlash that has long shaped race and gender.”

The Launch of AGNI 98 – AGNI Online (
November 15 at 7 p.m.
Boston Playwright’s Theatre, 949 Commonwealth Ave Boston

“The fall issue includes fiction by Lucy Sweeney Byrne, Mylene Fernández Pintado (in Dick Cluster’s translation), and Subraj Singh; nonfiction by Peter Balakian, Mara Naselli, and Emmanuel Iduma; poems by Sharon Olds, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Denise Duhamel, Leila Chatti, and jason b. crawford; hybrid work by Sabrina Fountain; and much more. Cover artist Eva Lundsager sets the tone, finding motion in landscapes at the edge.The evening will also feature an interlude of live folk music by Boston-area vocalist and bassist Hazel Royer and guitarist Ira Klein.”

Jim Sullivan – brookline booksmith
Backstage & Beyond: 45 years of Modern Rock Chats & Rants
November 16 at 7 p.m.
Public Library of Brookline, 31 Pleasant St, Brookline

“Jim Sullivan spent 26 years writing about music for the Boston Globe and two decades more writing for national publications. He has interviewed and reviewed countless musicians, many of them multiple times. The first volume of his music-writing anthology focuses on artists who came to prominence in the ’50s and ’60s. Twenty-one of them are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The second volume focuses on artists who came to prominence in the ’70s and ’80s: punk, new wave, post-punk and beyond. Eleven of them are already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In the preface, Sullivan writes, “My hope is that the recollections contained here … trigger some memories, bring you back to where you wanted to be — backstage and beyond, as it were. And if you weren’t around then, I hope this transports you back to several golden ages of rock and roll.”

Caleb Gayle – brookline booksmith
We Refuse to Forget 
November 17 at 7 p.m.
Free or $5 to support the store, $18 for book pickup, or $28 delivery

“Award-winning journalist Caleb Gayle tells the extraordinary story of the Creek Nation, a Native tribe that two centuries ago both owned slaves and accepted Black people as full citizens. Thanks to the efforts of Creek leaders like Cow Tom, a Black Creek citizen who rose to become chief, the U.S. government recognized Creek citizenship in 1866 for its Black members. Yet this equality was shredded in the 1970s when tribal leaders revoked the citizenship of Black Creeks, even those who could trace their history back generations– even to Cow Tom himself.

“Why did this happen? How was the U.S. government involved? And what are Cow Tom’s descendants and other Black Creeks doing to regain their citizenship? These are some of the questions that Gayle explores in this provocative examination of racial and ethnic identity. By delving into the history and interviewing Black Creeks who are fighting to have their citizenship reinstated, he lays bare the racism and greed at the heart of this story. We Refuse to Forget is an eye-opening account that challenges our preconceptions of identity as it shines new light on the long shadows of white supremacy and marginalization that continue to hamper progress for Black Americans.”

Ani Gjika with Shuchi Saraswat – brookline booksmith
An Unruled Body
November 21 at 7 p.m.
Free or $26 with in store pickup or $36 delivery

“In a searching and powerful debut memoir, award-winning poet and literary translator Ani Gjika tells a different kind of immigrant story by writing about the ways a woman listens to her own body, intuition, and desire. Ani Gjika was born in Albania and came of age just after the fall of Communism, a time in which everyone had a secret to keep and young women were afraid to walk down the street alone. When her family immigrates to America, Gjika finds herself far from the grandmother who helped raise her, grappling with a new language, and isolated from aging parents who are trying in their own ways to survive. Then she meets a young man whose mind leans toward writing as hers does, and Ani falls in love — at least, she thinks it’s love.

Set across four countries — Albania, Thailand, India, and the United States — An Unruled Body tells the story of a young woman’s journey to selfhood through the lenses of language, sexuality, and identity, and how she learned to find freedom of expression on her own terms.”

— Matt Hanson

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