Coming Attractions: February 25 through March 12 — 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.


2024 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action
Opens February 16
Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline & Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge

2024 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animated
Opens February 16
Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline & Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge

2024 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: Documentary
Coolidge Corner Theatre, opens on February 23

Three locations are offering several opportunities to see all of the Oscar-nominated Short Films. The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston has also scheduled screenings of Oscar Shorts at various times. These selections are usually quite good. The Academy Awards take place on March 10.

Adam Sandler in Spaceman.

February 27 at 8:15 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

The Independent Film Festival of Boston Screening Series presents a sci-fi film from the director of the 2019 miniseries Chernobyl. This odd futuristic drama, with echoes of Solaris and 2001, stars Adam Sandler, a giant talking spider, and Carey Mulligan. The plot: an introverted Sandler plays Jakub, a Czech astronaut who is on a solo mission to investigate a mysterious gas cloud near Jupiter. But then an alien (or a hallucination?) appears in the form of an arthropod — voiced by Paul Dano — who acts as therapist, interested in nudging Jakub to reassess the reasons for his failing marriage.

Grrl Haus Cinema
Feb 28 at 7 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

Grrl Haus Cinema returns with a lineup of music videos, micro shorts, experimental pieces, comedies, and a touch of drama. All crafted by women, non-binary, trans, and genderqueer artists and a diverse mix of local, national, and international talents.

Hinata Hiiragi and Soya Kurokawa in Monster. Photo: Suenaga Makoto

The UNIQLO Festival of Films from Japan
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
February 23 through April 4

This showcase presents new titles as well as restored classics.

Monster — February 29 at 7 p.m. — Another Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters) masterpiece. The story unfolds in three parts, each from a different perspective. The final episode discloses multiple misunderstandings, revelations that invite viewers to reframe their earlier judgments.

Blue Giant — March 3 at 2:30 p.m. — Yuzuru Tachikawa (Mob Psycho 100) based this anime on the award-winning manga of the same name. The film is a moving ode to the power of music and the artist, featuring electric performances and a stunning jazz soundtrack.

Baltic Film Festival
In Person: March 1-3; Virtual: March 4-18
Emerson Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street, Boston

The Baltic film fest begins with a “Meet The Baltic Filmmakers” panel discussion on Friday evening. That is followed — through Sunday — by nine feature films and documentaries, plus a Shorts Program. Film Schedule and descriptions

Hundreds of Beavers
Starts March 1
Somerville Theatre in Davis Square

In this supernatural winter epic, set in the 19th century, a drunken applejack salesman attempts to become North America’s greatest fur trapper by defeating hundreds of oversized beavers. This surreal satire has received surprisingly good reviews, critics hailing its relentless slapstick inventiveness. “If Guy Maddin made a live action Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoon with the structure of a video game it would come out something like “Hundreds of Beavers” …  a pastiche of varied influences, unlike anything you’ve seen before.” (Reeling Reviews).

A scene from Winners. Photo: MFA

March 2 at 2:30 p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston

This is the final film in the Iranian film series. The story deals with two children from a small Iranian community who discover the lost Academy Award statuette of Asghar Farhadi (Salesman). The feature was developed in Scotland, shot in Iran, and selected as the British entry for the Best International Feature Film. But it did not make the list of finalists. The film is an ode to the joys of cinema, paying tribute to the great achievements of Iranian filmmakers.

9th Annual No Man’s Land Film Festival
March 8 at 7 p.m.
Regent Theatre, Arlington

Since 2015, this all-women + gender nonconforming film festival has been celebrating a range of athletes and adventurers by undefining femininity in adventure, sport, and film. This exclusive Boston screening is part of the series’ world tour celebrating International Women’s Day

Pick of the Week

The Oscar (1966)
Streaming free on Kanopy (with a library card)

Eleanor Parker and Stephen Boyd share a passionate moment in The Oscar.

This tawdry melodrama is led by wooden hunk Steven Boyd, who is surrounded by a hodgepodge of “big stars”: Elke Sommer, Jill St. John, Joseph Cotten, Ernest Borgnine, Walter Brennan, Bob Hope, Broderick Crawford, Edie Adams, Peter Lawford, Hedda Hopper, Nancy Sinatra, and introducing Tony Bennett! It features an unhealthy dose of misogyny, macho posturing, and a heaping helping of overacting. This is perfect guilty pleasure viewing for Oscar season. It was co-written by Harlan Ellison and the director Russell Rouse (one of four writers of 1959’s Pillow Talk). In glorious technicolor.

— Tim Jackson

Bruce Dern and a robotic drone in 1972’s ecological dystopian film, Silent Running.

Silent Running
February 26 at 6 p.m. (free)
At the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge

The Fuse‘s Michael Marano wrote about this increasingly relevant film on its 50th anniversary. Here is an edited excerpt: The film braids three of the era’s “cultural forces into what endures as an iconic ecological dystopia. The premise: the very last American forests, along with other ecosystems, have been sealed in pressurized domes in order to be preserved in outer space. That is, until orders come to return the spacecraft to commercial use — after jettisoning and nuking the habitats … Silent Running is a manifestation of what stood in opposition to the technological optimism embodied by the three Apollo missions. It also reflected the rise of conservationism, reinforced by 1972’s “The Limits of Growth,” a prescient report about climate change, and the moral rot of the Vietnam War.”

Part of the Brattle’s “Elements of Cinema” series: Matthew Nash of Lesley University’s College of Art + Design will introduce the film and lead the post-screening discussion.

— Bill Marx

Classical Music

Violinist Pekka Kuusisto will perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra this week. Photo: Harrison Parrot

Pekka Kuusisto plays Nielsen
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
February 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

There are few major concertos the BSO hasn’t played; among them is Carl Nielsen’s Violin Concerto, which gets its belated Boston Symphony debut with Pekka Kuusisto as the soloist. John Storgårds conducts a program that opens with Outi Tarkiainen’s Midnight Sun Variations and concludes with a triptych of Sibelius tone poems.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
March 1, 3, 6, 8, & 10, 7:30 p.m. (3 p.m. on Sundays)
The Huntington Theatre, Boston

Matthew Aucoin’s new arrangement of his operatic setting of the Orpheus myth (with librettist Sarah Ruhl) gets its local premiere. Sydney Mancasola sings the title role and Elliott Madore is Orpheus. The composer conducts.

Pianist Anna Fedorova will perform with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra on March 3. Photo: Facebook

Anna Fedorova plays Tchaikovsky
Presented by Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
March 3, 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

Pianist Fedorova, who wowed in her 2018 Boston debut with these forces, returns to town to perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Further works by Benjamin Britten, Charles Ives, and Ravel fill out a program that does double duty as an early celebration of conductor Benjamin Zander’s 85th birthday later in the week.

Orchestre Métropolitaine
Presented by Music Worcester
March 3, 4 p.m.
Mechanics Hall, Worcester

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin brings his Montréal-based ensemble to Worcester. Their program features the US premiere of Cris Derksen’s Controlled Burn, plus Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 and Tony Siqi Yun playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Peer Gynt
Presented by Boston Symphony Orchestra
March 7 at 7:30 p.m., 8 at 1:30 p.m., and 9 at 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

The BSO’s “Music of the Midnight Sun” festival continues with a staged performance of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt accompanied by Edvard Grieg’s incidental music. Dima Slobodeniouk conducts.

— Jonathan Blumhofer

World Music and Roots

Isle of Klezbos will perform at City Winery this week. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Isle of Klezbos Quartet
February 28
City Winery Haymarket Lounge, Boston

They might have the funniest name in the Yiddish music revival, but the all-female Isle of Klezbos are no joke when it comes to being among the best at reviving and refreshing traditional Jewish songs and dance music. The group is celebrating their 25th anniversary with a new record, “Yiddish Silver Screen.” As the title implies it’s a deep dive into gems from early Yiddish (and Hollywood) film soundtracks, and it’s also chock full of other previously unreleased tracks that the band has recorded. For this intimate Boston show it’ll be paired down to a quartet. From the core group: Debra Kreisberg on clarinet & alto saxophone, Shoko Nagai on accordion & keyboards, Eve Sicular on drums/bandleader. They will be joined by Boston violinist Abigale Reisman of Ezekiel’s Wheels.

Burna Boy
March 2
TD Garden, Boston

As far as we can tell this arena show by Afrobeats king Burna Boy is the biggest ticketed African concert to ever be put on in New England. (Even in their primes, fellow Nigerians Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade never drew more than a few thousand people to area venues.) Although most of the seats have been snapped up, there appears to be robust secondary market business. For those willing to wait it out, some relative bargains might pop up right around showtime.

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer with Jake Blount and Chao Tian
March 3
Club Passim, Cambridge

This traditional folk supergroup is on a tour it calls “From Appalachia to China.” The duo of Fink and Marxer have been keeping traditional American song alive for 40 years. They recently started collaborating with Chinese classical hammered dulcimer virtuoso Tian. It turns out that stringed instruments from very different places have more in common than you might realize. For this round of shows, fiery Rhode Island–based old-time star Blount — who has credited Fink and Marxer for their role as pioneering out queer artists in the traditional music world — joins the mix.

Pineapple Pounce with Muck and the Mires and Shaun Young
Doors/DJ at 7 p.m., live music at 8 p.m.
March 9, Midway Cafe, Jamaica Plain

In pre-Covid times, the braintrust behind Swelltune Records and the New England Shake-Up would occasionally host tiki-themed nights that saw a significant decor and drink menu overhaul of the beloved JP dive bar Midway Cafe. The night is finally returning, along with music from garage pop masters Muck and the Mires and honky tonk hero Shaun Young.

Sierra Hull will perform in Cambridge on March 9. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Sierra Hull
March 9, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge

Local bluegrass fans with long memories might recall the days when mandolinist Hull was a Berklee student who had signed a contract with Rounder Records before she had started her classes. Many years later, Hull has remained an endlessly fresh innovator; she is one of the leading figures in new acoustic music. Hull’s back in town to play with her quintet at this Celebrity Series concert.

Jim Lauderdale
March 9, 9 p.m.
The Porch, Medford

It’s been too long since the great country singer/songwriter and past ArtsFuse interview subject Jim Lauderdale has been in these parts. He’ll be drawing on the songs he composed for country superstars and for his bluegrass band, as well as those he wrote with Grateful Dead tunesmith Robert Hunter  — and you can bet he’ll be resplendent in one of his Nudie suits.

— Noah Schaffer


COVID PROTOCOLS: Check with specific theaters.

Installation view of the exhibition Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme: May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth. Digital photograph courtesy of MIT

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme: Only sounds that tremble through us in the Hayden Gallery at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, through March 3.

Given how grievously Boston’s theaters are overlooking events in the contemporary world, particularly in the Middle East, this multichannel sound and video installation suggests possibilities, for stage artists, of how the ongoing turmoil might be dramatized. This is a new site-specific iteration of Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahm’s May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth (2020–ongoing), a multipart project that brings together (according to its publicity) “fragments of communal song and dance in Iraq, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen, which the artists collected from videos posted on social media over the past decade, with new filmic performances created by the artists with dancers and musicians who responded to specific gestures, music, or texts from the archive. In looking at ephemeral performances in politically marginalized parts of the world and asking what it means to archive sound and gesture through embodiment, the artists reveal performance to be both a critical space of resilience and an ever-evolving repository of memory.”

John Proctor Is the Villain by Kimberly Belflower. Directed by Margot Bordelon. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for The Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston, through March 10.

According to the Huntington Theatre Company’s publicity material: “At a rural high school in Georgia, a group of lively teens explore Arthur Miller’s The Crucible while navigating young love, sex ed, and a few school scandals. With a contemporary lens on the American classic, the young women begin to discover their power and agency, finding a way to hold both the classic text and their community to account.”

Jim Ortlieb as Man, a performer seeking an audience in Stand Up If You Are Here Tonight. Photo: Michael Brosilow

Stand Up If You Are Here Tonight, written and directed by John Kolvenbach. Staged by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Maso Studio in The Huntington Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, through March 23.

According to the publicity release: “You’ve tried everything. Yoga. Acupuncture. Therapy. You floated in salt water in the pitch black dark. You juiced, you cleansed, you journaled, you cut, you volunteered. You ate only RINDS for three days and nights. You reached out, you looked within. You have tried. And yet here you are.” 

Thus begins John Kolvenbach’s script, which deals with “a man desperate for connection, bent by isolation, and deeply in love with the audience itself. ” Jim Ortlieb plays The Man. Arts Fuse review.

A scene from Aristotle Thinks Again. Photo: MIT

Aristotle Thinks Again, directed and choreographed by Dan Safer. Text by Chuck Mee. At MIT Theater Arts (Building W97), 345 Vassar St, Cambridge, on March 2 at 8 p.m.

Billed as a “contemporary dance /theater collision course on some ancient Greek themes,” the show comes to Boston after an acclaimed, sold out run, extended for an extra week, in NYC this past month. One performance at MIT — for one night only. In her New Yorker review, Helen Shaw wrote: “[The show] circles a central question: What if we survive the apocalypse? The answer is clearly to take pleasure in one another, and in the way our miraculous bodies move in space.”

Palestine, written and performed by Najla Said. Directed by Sturgis Warner. Presented by the Center for Arabic Culture in collaboration with Her Story Is at the First Church of Boston, 66 Marlborough St, March 2 at 6:30 p.m.

The Center for Arabic Culture description of this show: “A unique passage into one of the most volatile and historic corners of the earth. With compassion, humor, and honesty, Najla Said makes a case for Palestinian and Arab points of view in ways that truly allow them to be heard.” Said first performed this one-woman play in 2010.

King Hedley II by August Wilson. Directed by Summer L. Williams. Staged by the Actors’ Shakespeare Project at Hibernian Hall, Roxbury, March 8 through 31.

Another installment in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle. The plot: “fresh off of a seven-year stint in prison, King Hedley II (named after his father, who was played by Johnnie Mack in ASP’s critically acclaimed production of Seven Guitars) dreams of going straight. He’s going to open his own video store — even if he has to steal every refrigerator in Pittsburgh to make it happen. Returning home to the Hill District in 1985, King finds that his community is beset by violence, con men, and redlining. As King fights to keep his family afloat, the harsh realities of Reagan’s America threaten to drag him under.”

Queer Voices 10 Minute Play Festival,  at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Plaza Theatre, 539 Tremont St, Boston, March 8 through 10.

The first go-round for this event. “The submission-based showcase, produced by Joey Frangieh and Lisa Rafferty, offers seven vibrant and diverse ten minute plays written by LGBTQ+ playwrights. A platform for those voices to share their stories and perspectives, this festival plays a vital role in promoting representation in the arts and aims to celebrate the diversity and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community.” Hey, one of the plays is entitled Thanks for the Mammaries!

Petey Gibson (Carl), Elena Hurst (Lynette), and Stacey Raymond (Polly) in American Repertory Theater’s world premiere production of Becoming a Man. Photo: Nile Scott Studios and Maggie Hall

Becoming a Man  by P. Carl, adapted from his memoir of the same name. Directed by Diane Paulus and P. Carl. Staged by the American Repertory Theater  at the Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, through March 10.

The statement on the A.R.T. website about this world premiere production: “For fifty years, P. Carl lived as a girl and then a queer woman, building a career and a loving marriage while waiting to realize himself in full. When he decides to affirm his gender, his transition puts everything—family, career, friendships—at stake…. Each performance will begin with a Radical Welcome, where a community member will welcome the audience to the A.R.T and share what has brought them to the show. Each performance of the one-act play will culminate in Act II, a 20-minute facilitated conversation with a local leader, scholar, or activist and a brief audience Q&A exploring the production’s essential question.” Arts Fuse review

The Antelope Party by Eric John Meyer. Directed by Brooks Reeves. Staged by the Apollinaire Theatre Company at Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet Street Chelsea, through March 17.

The plot: “Equestria is a land of of magic and friendship. Every Tuesday night, Ben hosts ‘The Rust Belt Ponies Meet-Up Group for Adult Fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ in his apartment in rural Pennsylvania. Sharing fun with these friends is a wonderful place to be. After all, nothing bad can happen in Equestria.… But when an ominous neighborhood watch brigade starts patrolling the streets, fear and paranoia creep into the circle of friendship. The outside world is turning more violent and authoritarian, and it is sucking our heroes into an entirely different story.”

My Mother Had Two Faces: Reflections on Beauty, Aging, and Acceptance, written and performed by Karin Trachtenberg. Directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson. At The Rockwell, 255 Elm Street, Somerville, March 3.

According to the show’s publicity: “This autobiographical one-woman dramatic comedy dares to expose what lies beneath the mask of the perfect mother. Discovering her mother’s diaries after her passing, Karin, the heroine, begins to examine the history of their complicated relationship from the gritty, urban streets of New York to her Swiss mother’s manicured orderliness.”

British playwright Caryl Churchill. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey.

Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill. Directed by Liz Diamond. Staged by Yale Rep at 1120 Chapel Street, New Haven, March 8 through 30.

According to a Guardian review of the 2016 London production of this script by one of the English-speaking world’s finest living playwrights: “A light-on-its-feet, elliptical view of apocalypse. It runs for less than an hour. It foresees that when we are poisoned by chemical leaks, private patients will be able to buy gas masks in assorted colours. That when a wind developed by property developers starts turning heads inside out, the army will fire nets to catch flying cars. That the obese will sell slices of themselves. This is fantasy intricately wired into current politics. It is intimate and vast. Domestic and wild.” All that and the cast includes the legendary Sandra Shipley.

Thirst by Ronán Noone. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Staged by the Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, 2nd Floor, Boston,  through March 17.

According to the theater’s website: “There’s a whole other story unraveling on the other side of the kitchen wall of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Two Irish immigrants, including a disappointed cook whose shuttered heart only blooms when she has a bottle in her hand and a vibrant young maid who survived a trip on the Titanic, pass the day amid their gloomy daily chores alongside a resilient American chauffeur with a troubled past. As tensions rise, high-spirited humor and harsh cynicism boil over as the trio confront abandoned dreams and heartbreaking misfortunes. Underneath it all, hope is not as far away as it seems.”

Golda’s Balcony by William Goldman. Directed by Daniel Gidron. Presented by Shakespeare & Company at the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre at the Emerson Paramount Center, Boston, through March 10.

According to publicity material: “The world premiere of Golda’s Balcony was produced at Shakespeare & Company in May 2002 and went on to become the longest-running one-woman play in Broadway history. The inspiring story of Golda Meir — Russian immigrant, American schoolteacher, and fourth Prime Minister of Israel – is back, featuring Annette Miller reprising her original performance.”

Dishwasher Dreams, written and performed by Alaudin Ullah. Directed by Chay Yew. Presented by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre in Lowell, February 28 through March 17.

According to the MRT publicity: “From Bangladesh to New York City, from graffiti crews to baseball games, courageous honesty to emotive humor, Dishwasher Dreams explores the complicated realities of dreams we make for ourselves. When Alaudin sets out to become a film actor in Los Angeles, his Bangladeshi family can’t understand. Driven by laugh out loud writing and accompanied by tablas percussion, Ullah’s edifying and dynamic tour-de-force explores the humor and complexity of the American Dream through a deeply personal story.”

Exception to the Rule by Dave Harris. Directed by Donovan Holt. Staged by Front Porch Arts Collective at the Modern Theatre, Suffolk University, Boston, March 7 through 17.

​According to Front Porch Arts Collective’s webpage: “Stuck in detention in the worst high school in the city, six Black students try to make it through, fighting, flirting, and teasing. How does our society treat the kids that are considered ‘low achieving’? What does it mean to be a token black kid in a sea of other black kids?”

— Bill Marx

Visual Arts

Justin Favela, Recuérdame, 2018. Photo: Michael Palma Cir

The New Britain Museum of American Art describes its exhibition Justin Favela: Do You See What I See, opening March 1, as “a vibrant, piñata-inspired environment.” Bright with colors, tissue paper, and cardboard, the main gallery installation is an immense piece that is also an intended narrative about Latin American identities, landscapes, stereotypes, fantasies, and the urge to be seen and recognized. Salted throughout the museum galleries are other works, placed to “raise questions as to who and what is seen — or not seen — in American art.”

Billed as the first major survey of Southern photography in 25 years, A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845, opens at the Addison Gallery in Andover on March 2. Organized by Atlanta’s High Museum, the exhibition draws on the High collection and on loans from public and private collections. It explores the extensive, if often uncomfortable, role Southern photography has played in American visual and political culture. The show’s scope ranges from images of the American Civil War to unsettling works from the Farm Security Administration on the 1930s, with their focus on poverty and inequality, to vivid documents of the intense struggles of the civil-rights era.

LaToya M. Hobbs, Scene 5: The Studio, from Carving Out Time, 2020–21. Photo: Ariston Jacks; courtesy of the artist.

LaToya M. Hobbs describes her Salt of the Earth project as “the personification of Black women as salt in relation to their role as preservers of family, culture, and community.” Part of the series Carving Out Time, a suite of woodcuts, is featured in the Harvard Art Museums’ exhibition LaToya M. Hobbs: It’s Time, opening for its inaugural presentation on March 1. In five scenes, the monumental, full-scaled prints depict a day in the artist’s life and her multiple responsibilities as a wife, mother, educator, and artist. The show includes Hobbs’s preparatory drawings for the project.

Future Minded: New Works in the Collection, also opening March 1, explores the Harvard Art Museums’ “collecting vision and strategies,” fraught topics in many of today’s art museums, under inside and outside pressure to acquire work by artists of previously neglected communities. Among the operating acquisition principles that the Harvard Museums hope to demonstrate are “acquiring art that expands the range of artists and cultures represented in the collections” and art “that pushes boundaries and embraces experimentation.” Many of the 30 or so artists on view are, perhaps unsurprisingly, alive and working today. Media include an impressive array: drawings, photographs, prints, paintings, and sculptures “spanning centuries and continents.”

On February 28 starting at 4:30 pm, the Bates College Museum of Art will present Presence Is Power: An Evening of Indigenous Short Films. Organized in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, Exploding Native Inevitable (through March 4), the program is a mini–film festival of 11 films, made in the last decade, by indigenous filmmakers from tribes around “what is today called the United States and Canada.”

George Osodi, Delta Black Gold, 2013, c-print. Photo: Fitchburg Art Museum

The Fitchburg Art Museum hosts an opening reception for its exhibition Africa Rising: 21st-Century African Photography on March 2 from 2  to 4 p.m. The exhibition inaugurates the museum’s new collection of contemporary African photography with works by both locally and internationally known photographers who together explore such themes as postcolonial identity, environmental exploitation, and Afro-Futurism. The reception is open to the public free with admission to the museum but advance registration is required.

— Peter Walsh


(L to R) Angela Morris and Anna Webber will lead the NEC Jazz Orchestra this week. Photo: Bandcamp

Anna Webber/Angela Morris
February 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston
Free, but tickets are required, available at the NEC link

A couple of weeks back, flutist, saxophonist, and composer Anna Webber gave a memorable residency concert at New England Conservatory leading various student ensembles and her own Simple Trio (with Matt Mitchell and John Hollenbeck). Tonight Webber (co-chair of NEC’s Jazz Studies department) and fellow flutist-saxophonist-composer Angela Morris lead the NEC Jazz Orchestra in selections from their vibrant book (some of which can be heard on the Webber/Morris Big Band’s celebrated 2020 release Both Are True).

Warren Wolf Quintet
March 1 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

Vibist Warren Wolf came to the fore as a standout in Christian McBride’s bands. Wolf comes to Scullers for a show he’s calling “History of the Vibes,” with pianist Alex Brown, bassist Blake Meister, and drummer Lee Fish.

George Coleman
March 1-2, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge

George Coleman, who will turn 89 on March 8, was pretty much present at the creation (or near the creation) of hard bop, and played with everyone, most notably with the Miles Davis Quintet on a handful of recordings beginning with Seven Steps to Heaven, and he’s still playing hard. The formidable Memphis tenor man plays four shows over two nights at the Regattabar.

Pianist Michael Weiss comes to Scullers Jazz on March 2. Photo: John Abbott

Michael Weiss Trio
March 2 at 7 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

Pianist Michael Weiss made his bones as a sideman for the great Johnny Griffin for 15 years, but he’s worked with a gazillion other heavy cats, including the aforementioned George Coleman, plus Frank Wess, Charles McPherson, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and on and on. Past accolades include two Thelonious Monk Institute competition wins, one for piano and one composition. He comes to Scullers on the heels of his latest release, Homage, with bassist Paul Sikivie and drummer Pete Van Nostrand.

Saxophonist Allan Chase in action. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Allan Chase Septet featuring Sheryl Bailey
March 3 at 6:20 p.m to 8 p.m.
Lilypad, Cambridge

Allan Chase’s projects are always worth hearing — not only is he a superb saxophonist (alto and baritone), but his writing and mix of material is always choice, as well as his voicings for specific ensembles. Tonight he’s joined by Joel Springer on tenor saxophone, trumpeter Dan Rosenthal, trombonist Randy Pingrey, electric bassist Fernando Huergo, drummer Austin McMahon, and “featured” player Sheryl Bailey on guitar. The program will be “New arrangements and compositions and classics for jazz septet.

Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra with George Garzone
March 4
Regattabar, Cambridge

The big band composer and arranger Ayn Inserto learned her craft with the legendary Bob Brookmeyer at the New England Conservatory. Now a professor at Berklee College of Music, she continues to write and record (her Down a Rabbit Hole is remembered as one of the best jazz releases of 2018). She brings her forces to Scullers with the Fringe’s George Garzone as the featured soloist.

Tony Malaby will be performing in Providence on March 7. Photo: Randy Thaler

Tony Malaby’s Firebath
March 7 at 7 p.m.
In Your Ear, Providence

Saxophonist Tony Malaby’s Firebath is something to see and hear. A large ensemble with a rotating cast of characters following what I can only call Malaby’s “directed improvisations,” it’s mostly free, sometimes cacophonous, but never chaotic, and often quite beautiful. The crew that Berklee associate professor Malaby has assembled for this Providence show includes percussionists Matt Crane and Max Goldman; bassists Nate McBride, Louis Stringer, and Evan Palmer; violinist Tom Swafford; trumpeter Greg Kelley; reed players Malaby, Noah Campbell, and Brendan Carniaux; and guitarist Eric Hofbauer.

Mark Zaleski & Friends
March 7
Regattabar, Cambridge

The excellent Boston-based saxophonist Mark Zaleski attacks a high concept head-on with this show, entitled “Portrait of the ’90s: Radiohead, Michael Jackson, Nirvana & Beyond.” The band is first-rate: Zaleski with his brother Glenn on piano, trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Matt Dwonszyk, and drummer Mark Whitfield Jr. “Plus surprise guests!” The show is part of JazzBoston’s “Jazz All Ways” series.

Joe Farnsworth Quartet
March 8 at 7 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston

A couple of weeks ago, drummer Joe Farnsworth’s joyful precision was the spark plug for Kurt Rosenwinkel’s “standards trio” (with bassist Alex Claffy) at the Regattabar. Now Farnsworth is leading his quartet, at Scullers, with saxophonist Abraham Burton, pianist Jordan Williams, and bassist Nat Reeves.

Arturo Sandoval & Pedrito Martinez
March 8 at 8 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center, Boston

Two powerhouses of Afro-Cuban jazz of different generations, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and percussionist Pedrito Martinez, share this Celebrity Series double-bill at the Berklee Performance Center.

Mango Blue
March 9 at 7 p.m.
Long Live Roxbury Brewery & Taproom, Boston

In the ’90s, Ecuador-born bassist, singer, and composer Alex Alvear fronted a Boston ensemble that had a unique pan-American flavor that drew on a variety of Afro-Latin traditions, with strong dance grooves and melodies. Alvear has since relocated to his home country, but he returns for this show with some of his old cohort: keyboardist Rebecca Cline, conguero Ernesto Díaz, percussionist and vocalist Gonzalo Grau, drummer Bertram Lahmann, vocalist and timable player Manolo Mairena, saxophonist Felipe Salles, and alto saxophonist Jonathan Suazo. It’s part of a new series of free shows at the Long Live Roxbury Brewery & Taproom.

Zahili Zamora’s Jazz Ensemble
March 9 at 3 p.m.
Bethel A.M.E. Church, Boston

Cuban pianist and singer Zahilil Zamora, a graduate of the country’s prestigious National School of Music, has become a presence on the Boston scene, having co-curated last fall’s Jazz Along the Charles. In this free program, also presented by Celebrity Series of Boston, she’ll be joined by bassist Gerson Lazo-Quiroga, drummer Yandy García, and guest vocalist Bárbara Zamora. The program will include Zamora’s pieces as well as music by Tania Maria, Mario Bauza, Gerardo Alfonso, and Eliseo Grenet. It’s free, but you should RSVP here.

Pianist and composer Danilo Pérez brings his trio to Cambridge. Photo: John Abbott

Danilo Pérez Trio
March 9 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge

Pianist and composer Danilo Pérez, one of the essential figures in the jazz of the past three decades, heads up a trio with his former Wayne Shorter Quartet bandmate John Patitucci and drummer Adam Cruz.

— Jon Garelick

Author Events

Grubbie Debut: Shalene Gupta in conversation with Michelle Bowdler – Porter Square Books
The Cycle: Confronting the Pain of Periods and PMDD
February 27 at 7 p.m.

The Cycle uncovers a hidden epidemic, delivering the definitive portrait of a widespread chronic illness most people haven’t even heard of. From a historical overview of feminist debates, to on-the-ground interviews and a searing critique of menstrual stigma, Shalene Gupta lays out how disregard for this disorder has left too many people scrambling for appropriate healthcare. Deeply researched, movingly intimate, and refreshingly hopeful, this book is essential reading for any curious reader, especially those navigating a world ill-equipped to support their health.”

Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy at Harvard Book Store
What Works in Community News: Media Startups, News Deserts, and the Future of the Fourth Estate
February 26 at 7 p.m.

“Local news is essential to democracy. Meaningful participation in civic life is impossible without it. However, local news is in crisis. According to one widely cited study, some 2,500 newspapers have closed over the last generation. And it is often marginalized communities of color who have been left without the day-to-day journalism they need to govern themselves in a democracy.

“Veteran journalists Ellen Clegg and Dan Kennedy cut through the pessimism surrounding this issue, showing readers that new, innovative journalism models are popping up across the country to fill news deserts and empower communities. What Works in Community News examines more than a dozen of these projects.”

Kayla Min Andrews at Harvard Book Store
The Fetishist 
February 28 at 7 p.m.

The Fetishist is the story of three people — Kyoko, a Japanese American punk-rock singer full of rage and grief; Daniel, a philandering violinist forced to confront the wreckage of his past; and Alma, the love of Daniel’s life, a Korean-American cello prodigy long adored for her beauty, passion, and talent, but who spends her final days examining if she was ever, truly, loved.

“An exuberant, provocative story that confronts race, complicity, visibility, and ideals of femininity, The Fetishist was written before the celebrated author’s untimely death in 2019. Startlingly prescient, as wise and powerful as it is utterly delightful, this novel cements Katherine Min’s legacy as a writer with a singular voice for our times.”

March Ice Cream Story Hour with Honeycomb Creamery! – Porter Square Books
March 2 at 11 a.m.

“Porter Square Books and Honeycomb Creamery are back with a monthly series that will take place on the first Saturday of each month: Ice Cream Story Hour with PSB Bookseller Connor! We’re bringing a selection of some of our favorite dessert-themed kids’ books and Honeycomb Creamery is providing the desserts, freshly scooped ice cream from their small-batch craft ice cream. It’s the perfect pairing to read with a sweet kids’ book!

“Story hour will be hosted at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 2 at Honeycomb Creamery’s storefront (1702 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02138). Spaces are limited, so RSVP below to secure your spot at story hour!”

Aube Rey Lescure with R.F. Kuang – brookline booksmith
River East, River West
March 4 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are free, or $40 with copy of book

“In a stunning reversal of the east-to-west immigrant narrative and set against China’s political history and economic rise, River East, River West is an intimate family drama and a sharp social novel. Alternating between Alva and Lu Fang’s points of view, this is a profoundly moving exploration of race and class, cultural identity and belonging, and the often-false promise of the American Dream.”

Virtual Event: Tana French with Lev Grossman – brookline booksmith
The Hunter
March 5 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $35 with book pickup, $40 as order

“It’s a blazing summer when two men arrive in a small village in the West of Ireland. One of them is coming home. Both of them are coming to get rich. One of them is coming to die. Cal Hooper took early retirement from Chicago PD and moved to rural Ireland looking for peace. He’s found it, more or less: he’s built a relationship with a local woman, Lena, and he’s gradually turning Trey Reddy from a half-feral teenager into a good kid going places.

But then Trey’s long-absent father reappears, bringing along an English millionaire and a scheme to find gold in the townland, and suddenly everything the three of them have been building is under threat. Cal and Lena are both ready to do whatever it takes to protect Trey, but Trey doesn’t want protecting. What she wants is revenge. From Tana French, who is “in a class by herself,” (The New York Times), a nuanced, atmospheric tale that explores what we’ll do for our loved ones, what we’ll do for revenge, and what we sacrifice when the two collide.”

Colum McCann and Diane M. Foley at Harvard Book Store
American Mother 
March 7 at 7 p.m.

“In late 2021, Diane Foley sat at a table across from her son’s killer, Alexanda Kotey, a member of the ISIS group known as “The Beatles” who plead guilty to the kidnapping, torture, and murder of her son seven years before. Kotey was about to go serve life imprisonment and this was Diane’s chance to talk to the man who had been involved with brutally taking her son’s last breath. What would she say to his killer? What would he reveal to her? Might she even be able to summon forgiveness for him?

So begins American Mother — which reads alternately like a thriller, a biography, a mystery, a memoir, and a literary examination of grace.”

Rimi Chakraborty and Samantha Anderson – Porter Square Books
Beyond Resilience to Rootsilience
March 8 at 7 p.m.

Beyond Resilience to Rootsilience shows us how. Rootsilience (“root – zeel – ience”) is a new word and rhymes with resilience. We invented the word because to affect real, transformational change, we need to create new consciousness with new language. The book is inspired by ancient teachings and modern science and combines three key branches: conscious leadership, healing foods, and mind-body integration. This book highlights the honesty and vulnerability that Rimi and Samantha share from their life experiences highlighting key lessons for women leaders.

“Resilience is not enough to deal with the stressors and challenges of the day. Our new word, Rootsilience, takes the notion of ‘resilience’ a step deeper, and teaches us to be grounded, rooted and able to respond to stressors from a place of security rather than being stretched beyond our limits. We need to rise beyond resilience to Rootsilience.”

Xochitl Gonzalez at Harvard Book Store
Anita de Monte Laughs Last: A Novel
March 12 at 7 p.m.

“1985. Anita de Monte, a rising star in the art world, is found dead in New York City; her tragic death is the talk of the town. Until it isn’t. By 1998 Anita’s name has been all but forgotten — certainly by the time Raquel, a third-year art history student is preparing her final thesis. On College Hill, surrounded by privileged students whose futures are already paved out for them, Raquel feels like an outsider. Students of color, like her, are the minority there, and the pressure to work twice as hard for the same opportunities is no secret.

But when Raquel becomes romantically involved with a well-connected older art student, she finds herself unexpectedly rising up the social ranks. As she attempts to straddle both worlds, she stumbles upon Anita’s story, raising questions about the dynamics of her own relationship, which eerily mirrors that of the forgotten artist.”

— Matt Hanson

Remembering Franz Kafka at the Goethe-Institut, Boston, on March 9 at 4 p.m.

A film and discussion that commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Franz Kafka.

Film Screening at 4 p.m.: Kafka Goes to the Movies, directed by Hanns Zischler.

“At the beginning of the 20th century, cinema was new and sensational and Franz Kafka was fascinated by it. The Prague-born writer experienced the emergence of the cinematograph and he was fascinated by the very first early films. From today’s perspective, this was ‘primitive cinema,’ often of a tabloid nature. But these films captivated Kafka; he mentions  seeing them in his diaries and his letters written to his fiancée Felice Bauer. According to the director of Kafka Goes to the Movies, German actor and writer Zischler, ‘His comments on the films are written in an ‘excited, passionate’ and at times ‘melancholic tone.'”

Panel at 5:30 p.m.: Franz Kafka’s Diaries. Ross Benjamin and Veronika Tuckerová

Moderator: Igor Lukes, Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic and Professor of History, Boston University

“A conversation between Ross Benjamin who translated Kafka’s diaries, and scholar Veronika Tuckerova. Dating from 1909 to 1923, the handwritten diaries contain various kinds of writing: accounts of daily events, reflections, observations, literary sketches, drafts of letters, accounts of dreams, as well as finished stories. This volume makes available for the first time in English a comprehensive reconstruction of the diary entries and provides substantial new content, including details, names, literary works, and passages of a sexual nature that were omitted from previous publications. By faithfully reproducing the diaries’ distinctive — and often surprisingly unpolished — writing in Kafka’s notebooks, translator Ross Benjamin brings to light not only the author’s use of the diaries for literary experimentation and private self-expression, but also their value as a work of art in themselves.”

— Bill Marx

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