Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, theater, visual arts, and film that’s coming up this week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
The Makanda Project, devoted to the compositions of the Makanda Ken McIntyre, presents a free performance at the annual Roxbury Founders Day celebration, sponsored by the Roxbury Action Program. On this occasion, this first-rate ensemble will consist of vocalist Diane Richardson, trumpeter Jerry Sabatini, trombonists Robert Stringer, Sarah Politz and Bill Lowe, alto saxophonist Kurtis Rivers, tenor saxophonists Arni Cheatham and Sean Berry, baritone saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase, pianist John Kordalewski, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel.
As part of this fall’s Saturday Night Jazz series, Vermont-based trumpeter/flugelhornist Arthur Brooks and Ensemble V (with bassists Jeremy Harlos and Anthony Santor, and percussionist Matt Weston doubling on electronics) return to Holyoke’s Wistariahurst for an evening of creative improvisation.
We usually associate Woods Hole with oceanography, but on this occasion the town plays host to some highly sentient terrestrial life forms: saxophonist/vocalist Stan Strickland, pianist Frank Wilkins, and drummer Stanley Swann, joined by special guest bassist Avery Sharpe.
From Human Sexual Response to Latin Bugalu? Hmmm… There may be any number of connections here, but the link that matters is Chris Maclachlan, the seminal Boston punk bassist who now has teamed up with some familiar names (trumpeter Scott Getchell, alto saxophonist Ken Field, tenor saxophonist Russ Gershon, and percussionists Rick Barry, Ken Winokur and Vicente Lebron) from the Either/Orchestra, the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, and other hotbeds of innovative eclecticism. Named after a Ricardo “Richie” Ray tune, Lookie Lookie delve into the groundbreaking Nuyorican Latin-R&B hybrid pioneered by Ray, Joe Cuba, Ray Barretto, and many others.
Dani & Debora Gurgel Quartet
Thursday, September 19, 7:00pm
The Brazilian mother-daughter team of pianist Debora and vocalist Dani Gurgel make a welcome return to the Lily Pad to celebrate the release of their new CD, Um. If you caught them when they last came through town, then you won’t require much persuasion, and if you didn’t, you’ve got an opportunity to hear what all the buzz is about.
If you’re in Inman Square to hear the Gurgels (see above), then afterwards slip around the corner to Ryles and top off the evening with trumpeter/composer/arranger Greg Hopkins and his 16-piece big band.
— J. R. Carroll
Brighton Music Hall, Boston, MA
When people speak of punk and post-punk, they speak of London, Manchester, New York, and, well, New York again. But did you know that Cleveland and its sister to the south Akron were also a hotbed of punk and post-punk in the ‘70s? If you had to boil each Ohio city down to one band, then Akron had Devo and Cleveland had Pere Ubu. The latter never had a song as commercially successful as “Whip It,” but their influence is immense, and, other than a few fallow years along the way, they’ve really never stopped releasing new music. You can’t say the same for a lot of those New York bands.
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
For a little while there, it looked like Arctic Monkeys were going to skip Boston during their fall tour of the U.S. Thankfully for local fans of the Sheffield band, this show was added to the itinerary a few weeks ago, and it promises to be an especially intimate affair considering that the last time the band was in the area, they were opening for the Black Keys at TD Garden. The venue this time around then will be smaller, but the band’s sound, as illustrated on their newly released fifth album, AM, has only gotten bigger. It should be a treat to see them in such close quarters.
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
A few days ago, Jake Bugg tweeted out the following: “2nd album done! Hope you’re all well!” We certainly will be if this second album is as good as his self-titled debut. And yes, that debut really was fantastic, though I sometimes get the feeling it’s been dismissed, for no reason other than the fact that lead song “Lightning Bolt” was used in a Gatorade commercial. Maybe it’s all in my head though. Regardless, Bugg’s Paradise show will be his very first show in Boston, and perhaps a few songs from that “2nd album” will find their way into the set.
FLAG (9/20/2013, Paradise Rock Club); Jimmy Cliff (9/25/2013, House of Blues); Foxygen (10/3/2013, Brighton Music Hall); X (10/5/2013, House of Blues); The Meat Puppets (10/13/2013, Brighton Music Hall); Pearl Jam (10/15/2013, DCU Center); Savages (10/15/2013, Paradise Rock Club); Pearl Jam (10/16/2013, DCU Center); Pearl Jam (10/25/2013, XL Center); My Bloody Valentine (11/7/2013, House of Blues)
— Adam Ellsworth
Presented by the Lexington Symphony
September 14, 8 p.m.
Cary Memorial Hall, Lexington, MA
McPhee and the Lexington Symphony kick off their season with a program of bright, mostly complementary works: Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 2, the Suite from Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Benjamin Britten’s Sinfonietta, and Mozart’s Symphony no. 29 in A major.
Presented by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
September 15, 1:30 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA
One of the best pianists on the planet comes to Boston to celebrate the upcoming release of his new recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations with – what else? – a complete performance of the Goldberg’s. The new album (out on Nonesuch on September 30th) is a knock-out; so, too, should be this concert. It’s sold out now, but there may be cancellations on the day of.
Presented by Odyssey Opera
September 15, 3 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
Gil Rose, formerly the music director of Opera Boston, is back with a new opera company, Odyssey Opera. They offer perhaps the best local Wagner bicentenary program of the year: a concert performance of Wagner’s first theatrical triumph, Rienzi, der Letzte die Tribunen. The cast is led by Kristian Benedikt, Elisabeta Matos, and includes local stars David Kravitz and Robert Honeysucker.
Andy Vores’s “No Exit”
Presented by Guerilla Opera
September 19 and 20, 8 p.m.; 9/21 at 2 and 8 p.m.; and 9/22 at 2 p.m.
The Zack Box Theater, Boston Conservatory, Boston
Andy Vores’s critically acclaimed 2008 chamber opera adapted from the play of the same name by Jean-Paul Sartre returns to the Zack Box Theater in a new production directed by Nathan Troup. Three of the original four cast members return, as well, and a stellar instrumental ensemble is headlined by Gabriella Diaz taking a turn on the viola.
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Sept 15 at 3 p.m.
Gasson Hall, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA
The fabulous violinist plays with pianist J. Y. Song. On the program: Thomas Oboe Lee’ s Grand Duo, Opus 151 (2012), Beethoven’s “Spring” Sonata, and Ravel’s Sonata.
Sunday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.
Seully Hall, Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA
Duo pianists Oleksandre Polykov and Janice Weber play, among other compositions, Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn, Anton Arensky’s Suite No. 3 for Two Pianos, and Liszt’s Mazeppa. FREE
Sept 20 at 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
The heralded group performs an all-Bach program with the superb baritone James Maddelena. The program features the Bach Cantatas 131, 82, and 72.
— Susan Miron
Arden Gallery’s Joanne Mattera
Through September 30
Head over to Arden Gallery on Newbury Street to see the latest encaustic paintings by Joanne Mattera. This solo show highlights her latest series, Chromatic Geometry & Diamond Life, in which the artist incorporates diamond shapes into a grid of multicolored segments.
— Renée E. Caouette
September 13 7:00 p.m.
Boston University Cinematheque
640 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA
Professor, filmmaker, and Arts Fuse contributor Gerald Peary begins his free Friday evening screening and discussion series with this documentary by BU professor Mary Jane Doherty. The film quietly follows one high school class on its journey through Cuba’s world famous National Ballet School where many of the teenage dancers find dance to be the only way out of poverty and the constraints of life in Cuba. Doherty, who was interviewed in Arts Fuse, will be present for a post-screening Q.& A.
Through September 19
Institute of Contemporary Art
Winner of the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Film Festival, the film is described as a “stunning, violent drama from cult director Kim Ki-Duk focusing on a brutal loan shark and the perverse relationship he develops with an older woman, who claims to be his mother.” This sounds like an intriguingly strange and irresistible treat from the Korean art-house director, who brought us the wonderful film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring in 2003.
Portrait of Jason
September 14 through 19
The Museum of Fine Arts
This oddly riveting 1967 film from Shirley Clark, an under-recognized pioneer of independent cinema (The Connection), borders on performance art. It was restored through a 2012 Kickstarter campaign. The film features the monologue of a black, gay hustler; it is also remarkable because it is one of the first no-holds-barred LGBT movies. The narrative is an ‘exploration of the failings of truth and reality told in a tongue-in-cheek verité film style.’
The Brattle Theater
The Brattle Theatre this month is chock full of films that, if you missed them the first time around, are worth getting out to see. This film is a standout in the crowd. Unfortunately it was given limited release, but the movie is a visually and aurally stunning documentary that explores contemporary whaling. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, check out the trailer online. You may be enthralled.
— Tim Jackson
The Other Place by Sharr White. Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary.
Through October 6.
A co-production by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge, MA
Dependable actress Debra Wise leads a promising cast in what could be an entertaining mash-up of “General Hospital” soap opera and mystery yarn. Besides, the action is local — it culminates “at a cottage on Cape Cod.” Wise plays neurologist Juliana Smithton, whose life “is unraveling: her husband is leaving her and a betrayal has led to an estrangement from her daughter – all the while Juliana is in the midst of a medical crisis.”
— Bill Marx