April Staff Picks
Showers to Flowers: April Picks For You
Spring is here, and the whole city is budding and blooming with excitement. The traditional theatrical season approaches its final act, while seasonal concerts, performances, and exhibitions abound. Step out into warm and dewy Boston to find some of the very best arts events to date!
What We’re Recommending:
Now – April 22
“I’ve always been a sucker for gender swaps and flexible casting , in all incarnations, from the drag scenes in Some Like it Hot to Neil Simon’s female version of The Odd Couple. I love the idea of letting women play with the classic roles of Sherlock and Watson, and I love even more that the story takes into account the time period and what it may have been like for two women in 1880s England to overcome the social realities of the time. To quote the Chicago Tribune, it would appear that ‘being the world’s greatest detective is even harder when one is metaphorically doing it backward and in high heels.’ I may not be the world’s greatest detective, but I hear that!”
Now – April 29
“If you’ve never been to the beautiful and intimate Sanctuary Theatre, don’t wait any longer as this is José Mateo’s final repertory concert as Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director! This incredible performance will include two of the strongest ballets in his repertoire and his final original premiere work before stepping down from the position. After these final performances, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre will cease repertory concerts until they find Mateo’s successor, so make sure you don’t miss this one.”
“Let me let Jeanette Winterson speak on my behalf this month. In her essay ‘Art Objects’, Winterson says: ‘Long looking at paintings is equivalent to being dropped into a foreign city, where gradually, out of desire and despair, a few key words and a little syntax make a clearing in the silence.’ She admits, ‘My lack of interest was the result of the kind of ignorance I despair of in others. I knew nothing about painting and so I got very little from it. I had never given a picture my full attention for even one hour. I had fallen in love and I had no language…The usual response of “This painting has nothing to say to me” had become “I have nothing to say to this painting.” And I desperately wanted to speak.’ Join the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum this April and learn to converse with art.”
April 12 – 22
“Boston Playwrights’ Theatre was the first theater I fell in love with in Boston, and is now the only theater I can walk to from my home in Allston. They have long been a home for provocative new work, making The Rosenbergs a perfect choice for them. I have never seen a musical at BPT, let alone an opera, so I am curious to see how this genre plays in their intimate space. The Rosenbergs and the drama around their trial and execution have long fascinated me, so I’m quite excited to see this piece adapted directed from their correspondence while they were imprisoned. Boston University owns a searchable archive of over 500 letters sent between Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, so I cannot think of a better research institution to back the North American Premiere of The Rosenbergs, which was recognized as Denmark’s Best Opera of 2015. Support local and international new work all at once — I’ll see you there!”
“I think it’s incredibly serendipitous that Moonbox’s Cabaret (see below!) opens the same night that Max Raade & Palast Orchester comes to town. If you love 1920’s and 30’s music or always wanted to be a flapper without actually going back in time, now is your chance. Tear up the town with the band blending American and German big jazz sounds of that era and bringing vaudeville to the modern age. You’ll laugh, you’ll dance, and most importantly, you’ll catch this one-night-only event of a lifetime!”
April 14 – 29
“Kander and Ebb are my all-time favorite Broadway composers. My all-time favorite Broadway show is Chicago. I love Kander and Ebb shows. Their songs just speak to me. They have great melody, but also each song has such an element of humanity. Cabaret is usually done with choreography in the style of Fosse, my absolute favorite choreographer, so it’ll be interesting to see what Moonbox does with it. In the hands of local-favorite Rachel Bertone, I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.”
April 17 – 29
“When Gloria Estefan tells you to ‘Get on Your Feet’, you oblige. After all, how can you resist? And if you ever needed a motivating song to get you going, this is it. I’ve always loved how the Estefan’s created a catchy and fun song that’s all about taking action in your life and making things happen for yourself. It’s a daily reminder that we can make things happen just by getting on our feet!”
April 26 – May 13
“I could take you there. I could go with you,’ states Ms. Nina in Wig Out! by dramatist Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight); I am ready to take her hand and enter the drag ballroom scene of the early 2000s. While RuPaul’s Drag Race has brought drag competition to the national spotlight, McCraney’s piece hones in on the world we only get a glimpse at on the hint TV show – the real and chosen family that many queens and LGBTQ people create for themselves. The competition will be fierce – 10’s across the board – as McCraney’s glamazons click/clack down the runway at OBERON and the stellar cast (who have been blowing up Company One’s social media presence) deliver a powerful, intimate story.”
April 26 – May 27
“For over 20 years, Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans have been parodying film, theatre, and pop culture with their signature razor-sharp wit and gender-bending casting. Later this month, the troupe tackles Rodgers & Hammerstein’s landmark musical Oklahoma!, mixed with classic westerns Destry Rides Again and the Joan Crawford-led Johnny Guitar. In this very adult adaptation, Brokelahomo is a town overrun by dirty, outlaw gays…until a heterosexual is sent for. While every Orphans show is a must-see theatrical event for me (I’m still laughing from 2013’s Mildred Fierce), I’m particularly giddy to see their take on Oklahoma! having grown up not only performing the R&H canon, but doing so right down the road from Hammerstein’s farm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It’s been fifteen years since I was onstage singing about how the farmer and the cowman should be friends – something tells me that this time around they’ll be much more than pals.”
“David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning the little match girl passion is such a smart choice for Emmanuel Music’s new Late Night series. Like their other Late Night sessions, the hour long program will be performed in a cabaret setting with food and drink. While this is a different take for the group, the sterling quality of the music making with the Emmanuel ensemble under the leadership of Ryan Turner remains the same.”
Check out all these picks and more on the ArtsBoston Calendar.
What arts or cultural event are you most excited for this month? Let us know on Twitter by tweeting us, @artsboston!
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Pictured above: The cast of On Your Feet! performs.