Coming Attractions: What Will Light Your Fire This Week

Arts Fuse critics select the best in music, dance, film, and theater that’s coming up this week.

By The Arts Fuse Staff


Photo: Lisa Voll

A glimpse of “Performance.” Photo: Lisa Voll

Performance by Rashaun Mitchell, Stephin Merritt and Ali Naschke-Messing
Jan 24-25
Institute of Contemporary Art
Boston, MA

Magnetic Fields front man Stephin Merritt, former Merce Cunningham dancer and choreographer Rashaun Mitchell and site-specific visual artist Ali Naschke-Messing join forces in a collaboration sponsored by Co-Lab: Process and Performance, a joint project between the ICA and Summer Stages Dance at the Concord Academy that tries to come to terms with the deliberate and unintentional performances we present in social settings.

Table of Contents by 83paperbirds
Jan 25-26
Dance Complex Cambridge, MA

This collaboration among choreographers Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp and Crystal Nilsson, filmmaker Erin Mayfield and designer Benoit Beauchamp explores memory, and has been augmented by a special “memory booth” where dancers have been able to share and recreate some of their fondest and most difficult reminiscences. Free.

Next Steps: A Green Street Studio Benefit
January 26
Green Street Studios
Cambridge, MA

The dance community continues to pull together in another fundraiser with performances by local troupes including Audra Carbetta, Lorraine Chapman, Kathy Hassinger, Anna Myers and others.

The Deborah Abel Dance Company in Calling To You
January 25-26
Tsai Performance Center, Boston University
Boston, MA

If you didn’t happen to be in Jaipur, New Delhi, or Chennai when Deborah Abel and her dancers toured India last winter, now is your chance to catch this local troupe in choreography that addresses sexual and spiritual longing.

BB@ Home: Jeffrey Cirio
January 30-31
Boston Ballet
Boston, MA

He’s an adept, fleet dancer but Jeffrey Cirio steps out of the shadow of the Bronze Idol and Nutcracker Prince and other flashy roles to present the choreographic side of his talents. There are only 150 seats for each performance at Boston Ballet’s studios in the South End, so reservations are definitely recommended.

— Debra Cash

Classical Music

A Evening of Haydn and Beethoven
Presented by the Handel and Haydn Society
January 24 at 8 p.m. and January 26 at 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston

America’s oldest musical society kicks off 2014 with a performance of Haydn’s famous concerto. Richard Egarr conducts a program that also includes three symphonies: Haydn’s no. 104, W.F.E. Bach’s Symphony in G major, and Beethoven’s Fourth.

A Beautiful Ruckus
Presented by Collage New Music
January 26, 8 p.m.
Pickman Hall – Longy School of Music, Cambridge

Collage New Music opens the 2014 half of its season with an invigorating program that surveys a wide stylistic cross section of living composers: David Lang, James Primosch, Kati Agòcs, and Charles Fussell. Pianist Christopher Oldfather takes a solo turn in Primosch’s Pure Contraption, Absolute Gift, while the scores by Lang and Agòcs receive Boston and U.S. premieres, respectively.

Photo: Onyx

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham joins the BSO this week. Photo: Onyx

Bernard Haitink conducting Ravel
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
January 30 – February 6, 8 p.m. (Friday’s concert is at 1:30 p.m.)
Symphony Hall, Boston

The BSO’s conductor emeritus returns for the first of two weeks of concerts at Symphony Hall, this first one devoted entirely to music by Maurice Ravel. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham joins the orchestra in Shéhérazade; the program also features the jaunty Alborada del gracioso and a complete performance of Daphnis et Chloé.

– Jonathan Blumhofer

El Dorado Ensemble: Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares
Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.
First Church Cambridge, Lindsay Chapel, 11 Garden St., Cambridge, MA.

El Dorado Ensemble (Carol Lewis, Janet Haas, Paul Johnson, Mai-Lan Broekman and Alice Mroszczyk, viols; Olav Chris Henriksen, lute) performs masterpieces of renaissance consort music, including pavans, galliards and almains by the great John Dowland.

Boston Harp Gala
Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.
Seully Hall, Boston Conservatory, The Fenway

Boston Conservatory harpists and their colleagues from 6 local schools put on their biennial free concert, which includes works by Bach, Britten, and Fauré as well as jazz and harp with voice. Reception with the artists follows the concert.

Anne Hutchinson
Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3 p.m.
At the Modern Theater, Suffolk University, 525 Washington St. Boston, MA

Intermezzo Opera is staging the world premiere of Anne Hutchinson by composer Dan Shore and librettists William A. Fregosi and Fritz Bell. The opera revolves around the trial for heresy of a woman who struggled for religious freedom despite the persecution of Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop and his ministers. Edward Jones conducts: the singers include Marion Dry, the superb David Kratitz and Mason McStoots, David McFerrin, Ray Bauwens, and Paul Soper.

Concord Chamber Players
Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3 p.m.
At the Concord Academy Performing Arts Center, 166 Main Street in Concord Center.

BSO members Wendy Putman (violin), Thomas Martin (clarinet) and Vytas Baksys (piano) and members of the BSO wind section perform Britten: Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 6; Harbison: Variations for Clarinet, Violin and Piano (1982); Beethoven: Quintet in E-Flat Major for Piano and Winds, Op. 16. The pre-concert performance and lecture begin at 2 p.m.

Percussion Revolution: the Americans
Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m.
Community Music Center of Boston, 34 Warren Ave, Boston MA

A performance from the Boston Percussion Group that focuses on three iconic American composers, their background and approach to music, and the ways they use (and even invent) percussion instruments.

— Susan Miron


David Sanborn Trio with Joey DeFrancesco
January 24-25, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston MA

Alto saxophonist David Sanborn is sometimes disparaged by jazz nerds as a “pop instrumentalist,” but Sanborn’s blues and R&B chops stand up with the best, and in terms of improv invention, he’s gone head to head with brainiacs like Tim Berne. Expect the grooves to be nice and greasy when he teams up with Hammond-B3 monster
Joey DeFrancesco and a drummer Byron Landham.

Luciana Souza Trio
January 25, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge MA
Arts Fuse interview

Joe Hunt Group
January 26, 8 p.m.
Lily Pad, Cambridge MA

Drummer Joe Hunt is one of those local Boston treasures — a legend who made his bones playing in the bands of George Russell, Bill Evans, and Stan Getz. Now teaching at New England Conservatory, he gathers a group of like-minded souls to hit the tiny Lily Pad in Cambridge: saxophonists Brian Levy and Hery Paz, pianist Bert Seager, and bassist Dan Raney.

Matt Wilson Quartet + John Medeski
January 29, 8 p.m. + 10 p.m.
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston MA

Pound for pound, inch for inch, the best jazz album of this young new year is drummer Matt Wilson’s Gathering Call (Palmetto), where the 49-year-old bandleader and drummer joins forces with his longtime friend (since their days together in Boston’s Either/Orchestra), pianist John Medeski. Wilson the composer mixes his taste for Ornette-ish jazz and hard-bop blues with a superb taste in covers: Ellington’s “Main Stem” and “You Dirty Dog,” Hugh Lawson’s “Get Over, Get Off and Get On,” Charlie Rouse’s “Pumpkin’s Delight.” When the music isn’t swinging hard, it’s drifting through poised chamber jazz. And Medeski is the perfect foil for this usually “piano-less” quartet, which also includes trumpeter Kirk Knuffke, saxophonist Jason Lederer, and bassist Chris Lightcap.


Matt Wilson Quartet and John Medeski.

Bruce Gertz Quintet
January 29, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge MA

Bruce Gertz has long been a mainstay of the Boston scene, as bassist, composer, and teacher. He celebrates the release of a new CD, Open Mind, with the always estimable Jerry Bergonzi on tenor sax, pianist Gabriel Guerrero, and drummer Austin McMahon.

Guillermo Klein Quintet
January 29, 8 p.m.
The Red Room @ Café 939, Boston

A fixture around Boston in the early ’90s, the Argentine-born pianist and composer Guillermo Klein has gone on to earn wide praise for his visionary approach with his band large ensemble Los Guachos. He returns to his alma mater, Berklee, playing the Red Room with saxophonist Bill McHenry, trumpeter Richard Nant, and drummer Jeff Ballard.

Donny McCaslin Quartet
January 30, 7:30 p.m.
Regattabar, Cambridge MA

A powerful tenor saxophonist who came up in the ’80s with the Gary Burton Quartet, Donny McCaslin has been releasing one provocative album after another. His latest, the Grammy-nominated Casting for Gravity, marks a turn from McCaslin’s usual acoustic setting to a more electric sound, with electric keyboards (Jason Lindner) and bass (Tim Lefebvre) and drummer Mark Guiliana. A combination of hard grooves and electronic textures (McCaslin cites Aphex Twin as an influence), the album is equally as experimental and ambitious as anything McCaslin has done.

Upcoming and on sale….

Sketches (1/31, Lily Pad); Kenny Garrett (1/31—2/1, Regattabar); Roy Hargrove (1/31—2/1, Scullers); Ran Blake (2/5, Regattabar); Mango Blue (2/8, Regattabar); The Bad Plus (2/6-2/7, Scullers); Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz (2/13, Scullers); Newport Jazz Festival Now (2/13, Berklee Performance Center); Dave Holland and Prism (2/13-2/14, Regattabar); Danilo Pérez (2/15, Scullers); Sun Ra Tribute (2/20, Berklee Performance Center); Dave Liebman (2/20, Scullers); Donal Fox and Warren Wolf (2/21, Regattabar); Michel Camilo (2/22, Scullers); Bill Evans’s Soulgrass (2/22, Regattabar); Patricia Barber (2/26, Scullers); David Sanchez (2/26, Regattabar); Spring Quartet (DeJohnnette, Lovano, Spalding, Genovese, 3/6, Sanders Theatre); Vijay Iyer with Robert Pinsky, PoemJazz (3/14, Sanders Theatre); Dave Liebman/Mark Copland Duo (3/15, Lily Pad).


The Alloy Orchestra performs live to He Who Gets Slapped.
Saturday, January 25 at 8 p.m.
Presented by World Music/Crash Arts at the Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA

See Arts Fuse feature

A moment of fleeting triumph in 1933's "King Kong."

A moment of fleeting triumph in 1933’s “King Kong.”

King Kong
Monday, January 27 at 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA

What could be a better antidote to this age of anything goes computer-generated images than this masterpiece of stop motion animation? Animator Willis O’Brien wields magic in these images. The wonderful backgrounds, the Max Steiner score, and the tender love story between beauty and the beast, the battle atop the Empire State Building, and the screams of Fay Wray make this one of the great classics of early sound cinema. It’s rarely on the big screen. Another plus: guest speaker Chris Whittier, a veterinarian known for his work in gorilla intervention and conservation, will guide a discussion.

Aka Doc Pomus
Thursday, January 30th at 7:30 p.m.
Arlington Regent Theater, Arlington, MA

This documentary played for only one night to a packed house and is back for a single encore screening. It is a celebration of the music and the remarkable life of a too little known, but major, songwriter of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The Arts Fuse interview

— Tim Jackson


HOUSE/DIVIDED, written and staged by The Builders Association. Directed by Marianne Weems. Presented by Arts Emerson at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA. January 30 through February 2.

Sounds intriguing: “An incisive and bold examination of the American Dream, HOUSE / DIVIDED juxtaposes scenes from the current mortgage crisis with passages drawn from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, revealing how deeply the foreclosure crisis has affected and undermined our collective sense of American character and identity.” We are all sharecroppers for the 1%?

The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez. Staged by New Repertory Theater, January 25 through February 16.

This story of “post Civil War freedom seen through a Southern Jewish soldier and his former slaves” has been making the rounds of regional theaters around the country. Benny Sato Ambush directs a strong cast, which includes Johnny Lee Davenport, Jesse Hinson, and Keith Mascoll. An Arts Fuse review of a 2012 production of the play at the Hartford Stage was generally admiring: “In the course of 90 minutes, the playwright generates an intense drama that revolves around secrets and revelations that bind his characters together and tear them apart.”

— Bill Marx

Roots and World Music

Tito Rojas
Saturday, Jan. 25
Wonderland Ballroom, Revere, MA
This night is billed as a celebration of straight-ahead salsero Rojas’ 30th anniversary – presumably to mark the release of his solo hit “El Campesino,” since he spent part of the ’70s with the immortal Fania All-Stars.

Sonny Landreth with Cindy Cashdollar
Tuesday, Jan. 28
Regattabar, Boston, MA

Louisiana swamp ax hero Landreth usually does blistering sets with his combo, but on this occasional he’ll be join in a stripped-down duo by Texas lap steel champ Cindy Cashdollar.

Giant Kings
Tuesday, Jan. 28
Debo Band
Tuesday, Jan. 30
Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA

The tiny Lizard Lounge stage has been featuring residencies by some very large ensembles this month. The all-star soul aggregation known as the Giant Kings finds belter Chris Cote paired with local guitar greats Duke Levine and Kevin Barry. This is the last night of their run, while the Debo Band will be doing Thursday night Ethiopian funk dance parties through mid-February.

— Noah Schaffer

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