[Updated.] Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, theater, and film that’s coming up this week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Equally comfortable backing trumpeter Terence Blanchard and rapper Common, bassist Derrick Hodge is perhaps best known as a key collaborator in pianist Robert Glasper’s explorations of the commonalities of hip hop and jazz. Now he’s stepping out as a leader with a quartet of his own (featuring both Christian Sands and Travis Sayles on keyboards and a fellow Glasper stalwart, Mark Colenburg, on drums) and a new CD, Live Today—both of which at times venture into territory quite different from that of the Glasper Experiment. There’s only one performance, so don’t let this one slip by you.
Mozambican guitarist/vocalist/composer Albino Mbie is one of the freshest voices to arrive on the Boston scene in recent years. Underlying the gentle flow of his music is an almost subliminal rhythmic and harmonic sophistication that sweeps you along to destinations you may not have been anticipating. Mbie comes to Ryles with a sextet anchored by the outstanding rhythm section of pianist Jiri Nedoma, bassist Chuks Opku, and drummer Roberto Giaquinto.
Cogent and articulate. That’s Nicholas Payton, as a trumpeter/keyboardist, and as one of the most astute musician-bloggers around. Payton returns to Scullers next Thursday with a stellar trio that includes bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Corey Fonville.
— J. R. Carroll
The superb conductorless chamber orchestra performs works of Mozart (Symphony No. 38, “Prague”), Josef Suk (Serenade for Strings) and Gideon Klein (Partita).
James Pappoutsakis Flute Competition winner Thomas J. Wible is joined by harpist Franziska Huhn and pianist Ayako Yoda for a free recital paying tribute to the great former BSO flutist Fenwick Smith.
The program features compositions by Jean-Marie Leclair (Sonata in E minor, Opus 9, No. 2), Charles-Marie Widor (Suite for Flute and Piano, Opus 34), Sigfrid Karg-Elert (Sinfonische Canzone) and Peter Child (Dialogue for Solo Flute), the latter commissioned especially for the competition. Here is the Arts Fuse on the career of Fenwick Smith.
— Susan Miron
Boston Calling Music Festival (featuring Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, Local Natives, Kendrick Lamar, The Gaslight Anthem, Major Lazer, and more)
Saturday-Sunday, September 7-8, 12:50 p.m.
City Hall Plaza
Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and pretty much every other music festival on earth come but once a year, and yet we’re being treated to the second installment of Boston Calling just three months after the first. There seems to be a bit less buzz for the festival this time around, which is perhaps to be expected, but the lineup is arguably superior to what was presented in May. Saturday night headliners Vampire Weekend are can’t-miss, while Sunday night headliners and Boston’s own Passion Pit should receive a nice hometown welcome, despite the fact that I personally can’t stand them.
The rest of the bill hits all the major musical bases from the straight rock of Gaslight Anthem, to the electronic sounds of Major Lazer, to the soul of Solange (psst… she’s Beyonce’s little sister), and everything in between. Let’s hope the organizers of Boston Calling keep up the good work, even if we have to wait a whole 12 months for the next chapter.
Assuming you like New Order, you probably like their first two albums, Movement and Power, Corruption, and Lies. You probably also like the singles that were released around the same time as these albums, like “Blue Monday” and “Temptation.” Well then, you’re in luck, because those are exactly the albums and songs that former New Order bassist Peter Hook will be playing with his band the Light when he kicks off his North American tour in Boston this week. This does unfortunately mean that there won’t be any “Bizarre Love Triangle” or “Love Vigilantes,” and there also won’t be any Joy Division songs (if you really want to hear Hook play those, you’ll have to head out to Riot Fest in Chicago in the middle of the month), but, if you have to hear two albums back to back plus related singles, you could do a lot worse than Movement and Power, Corruption, and Lies.
— Adam Ellsworth
The Stolen Man
Saturday, September 7 – Sunday, September 8
Museum of Fine Arts
This screening is the first of four films by an Argentine filmmaker who is part of the new wave of the country’s great young filmmakers. The entire series runs September 5 through 21. These films were shown at the Harvard Archives last year, and for art film buffs and those interested in the new Argentinean cinema, here is another chance. Bomb Magazine describes the director:
His films are remarkable for their worrying of literature and the tension between text and image. Each of the four films takes either a literary figure or text as the jumping-off point for an exploration of the slippery correspondence between narrative and reality. Piñeiro is making movies that point to one of the original questions raised by cinema: How does the imposition of writing—of language or of a lens—alter the world? His carefully structured films—balanced like mobiles, as he says—describe with precision that slippage between words and reality.”
The Stuart Hall Project
Friday, September 6 – Thursday, September 19
Institute of Contemporary Art
Stuart Hall is one of those provocative cultural theorists who sparks the imagination of students during their college years. This film is entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking and comes at a time when we need thoughtful cultural dialogue. The Guardian says “John Akomfrah’s film is a tribute to the critic and New Left Review founder Stuart Hall—a montage of existing documentary footage and Hall’s own words and thoughts on film.” The director will be present on September 6th.
Sunday, September 8
This film disappeared too soon from Boston theatres. Texas director David Gordon Green is one of the country’s most interesting directors, with films as diverse as the riveting character studies of George Washington and Snow Angels, and the buddy film Pineapple Express. Here he tells the story of a growing friendship between two men hired to repaint a highway that was damaged in a Central Texas forest fire during the summer of 1988. It’s another quirky character study and an endearing pas-de-deux by Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.
— Tim Jackson
The Jungle Book, produced in association with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and the Huntington Theatre Company. At the Boston University Theatre, Boston, MA, through October 13.
This world premiere musical has Broadway bound written all over it, with dreams of Lion King II drifting through the heads of producers and the creative team. It is an adaptation by Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman of the beloved anthropomorpic stories by Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling as channelled through the popular 1967 animated film from Walt Disney. Academy Award and Grammy winner Richard M. Sherman — whose numerous songwriting credits with brother Robert B. Sherman include the motion pictures The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The AristoCats — is part of the creative team. Kipling’s yarns are surprisingly dark — here the ‘tooth and claw’ archetypes will be airbrushed and fluffy (which is just the way Walt liked them), though expect a visual extravaganza, with Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli and Indian dance consultant Hema Rajagopalan combining “elements of classical Indian dance forms with jazz, tap, and more to enhance the storytelling.”
Twins by Julian Olf. Directed by Anna Trachtman. Staged by the Boston Actors Theater at Boston Playwrights’ Theater, Boston, MA, through September 21. A new script that deals with a number of contemporary issues from “past University of Massachusetts, Amherst professor of playwriting & Department Chair Julian Olf.” The comedy is kicked off “when the red-necked gambler Ernie learns that his gay identical twin Jonathan has died,” and “Ernie offers to impersonate the deceased to help his Lebanese widow Zaida get her green card. The scheme requires that he take a crash course in the life of a brother he hardly knew and on the details of a highly unconventional marriage.”
— Bill Marx