What to do in Boston this weekend

Der Vampyr. Credit: Marie Stein La Roque
Der Vampyr is on der loose through Saturday.
Credit: Marie Stein La Roque

Congratulations, you’ve almost made it to a holiday weekend. In the meantime, here are a few things to do this weekend.

MUSIC

‘Der Vampyr’
Through Saturday
Plaza Theater, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St., Boston
Free, 617-982-2952
www.operahub.org

Opera Hub presents Heinrich Marschner’s 1828 opera, based on English author John Polidori’s novella “The Vampyre”, generally considered the first work of modern vampire fiction—crucial to everyone from Bram Stoker to Stephanie Meyer. Tickets are totally free, but you might want to reserve online in advance. This production is a treat—the opera hasn’t been performed in Boston since 1980.

Cosmic Journey
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Museum of Science
1 Science Park, Boston
$15-$20, 918-605-8303
www.bostonchoral.org

This popular concert, in which the Boston Choral Ensemble performs a space-themed program alongside a show in the Museum of Science’s Hayden Planetarium, seems ideal for those lamenting the recent end of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” series—also, it’s probably the closest you could get to what the ancients called “the music of the spheres.”

Boston GuitarFest IX: An American Odyssey
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough St., Boston
$10-$40, 617-373-4700
www.bostonguitarfest.org

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, with guitar virtuosos Zaira Meneses and Eliot Fisk, perform a program including “Pop Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra” by Anthony Pal de Ritis, which works off songs by Seal, Alanis Morissette, U2 and Michael Jackson—you might expect this to be a piece from the ‘90s, but this performance will actually be the world premiere.

Ellis Paul
Saturday, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Club Passim
47 Palmer St., Cambridge
$35, 617-492-7679
www.passim.org

One of the brightest lights of the 90’s Boston folk scene, Ellis Paul writes lyric sheets that read like short stories and melodies whose strength has earned him some pop crossover success—and without sacrificing his commitments to the folk tradition, especially Woody Guthrie, and to performing intimate shows in places like Club Passim, with which he has a long history.

THEATER

‘Waiting for Gilgamesh: Scenes from Iraq’
Thursday through Saturday
Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal St., Watertown
$14-$20, 800-838-3006
www.brownpapertickets.com

What do you get when you combine the existential playwrights Brecht and Beckett with subject of the Iraq War? This play by Iraqi playwright Amir Al-Azraki, in which no one perspective among the diverse Iraqi experiences presented is allowed the privilege of full truth. Given recent events in that country, this production has an added relevance.

‘Death and the Maiden’
Through Saturday
St. John’s Church
1 Roanoke Ave., Jamaica Plain
$8-$18, 617-971-8630
www.theopentheatre.com

The Open Theater presents this 1992 play by Ariel Dorfman, based on Pinochet’s Chile—though the country in which it takes place is never mentioned. The heroine, Pauline, a figure of Chile itself, is suffering from the trauma of a rape years ago, at the hands of a figure who she fears has just re-entered her life. Saturday’s performance is pay-what-you-can.

VARIETY

‘Calamity No. 6′
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Democracy Center
45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge
$10, 203-362-7355
calamitycodance.blogspot.com

Calamity Co Dance presents a variety show featuring dance, music, comedy, theater and visual art. In keeping with their vision of art as “an everyday and everyperson event,” it’s a community-oriented evening—performers and audience are encouraged to mingle, and there’s a dance party after the show. A $4 discount is offered to anyone who brings something for the snack table.

DANCE

‘Brothers of the Knight’
Friday through Sunday
Cutler Majestic Theater
219 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$110, 617-824-8000
www.cultermajestic.org

Choreographer Debbie Allen (“Fame”) and her team have personally selected some of the best young male dancers in the area, between the ages of 7 and 18, to perform in this modernized adaptation of the Grimm Brothers’ tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”—but here it’s a group of brothers who must express their love of dance behind their puritan father’s back.

MOVIES

‘Ali: Fears Eats the Soul’
Monday, 6 p.m.
Brattle Theater
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
Free, 617-876-6837
www.brattlefilm.org

The Brattle Theater revives its “Elements of Cinema” screening and discussion series with this 1974 German film by director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, which explores the tensions in an interracial and inter-age romance between a Moroccan immigrant and a German woman 20 years his senior. Their love alienates virtually everyone in their lives—can it survive?

Art by Jain Tarnower
That wolf is lookin’ right at you.
Credit: Jain Tarnower

ART

Jain Tarnower/Jorge Drosten
Tuesday through July 28
Arden Gallery
129 Newbury St., Boston
Free, 617-247-0610
www.ardengallery.com

These two painters have a similar flatness and a strange mix of humor and seriousness. Tarnower paints images of animals—sheep, cows, birds—staring right at you, almost expectantly. Weird, funny, slightly unsettling—and the same can be said of Drosten’s images, their motif a pair of odd, wide-faced twin girls holding various creatures who may or may not be dead.

COMEDY

Throw Out the Babies and the Bathwater
Thursday through Saturday, every week
Improv Asylum
216 Hanover St., Boston
$20-$25, 617-263-6887
www.improvasylum.com

Improv Asylum’s current main stage show is all about the family—everyone has one, of one sort or another, and everyone’s embarrassed by them, especially when they try to use Facebook. It’s all here, from everyday casualties like the 30-something manchild who won’t move out from his parents’ home to stranger cases like men who desire the experience of pregnancy.

Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction
Friday, 7 p.m.
Great Scott
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$10, 18+, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

The title of this event is pretty much self-explanatory. Originating at the Nerdist Theater in Los Angeles, this evening of literary obscenity, in which 10 comedians come up with seriously half-baked tales of debauchery based on audience suggestions, has spread—not unlike a venereal disease—to several other cities—and now it lands in puritanical Boston. Lucky us!

ROCK SHOWS

Ginger Baker
Sunday, 7 p.m.
The Wilbur Theater
246 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$55, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

British percussionist Ginger Baker was one of the great drum heroes of the 60’s, capable both of subtle and complex jazz workouts and the caveman stomp and raw power demanded of the down-and-dirty blues-rock of his most famous band, Cream—and celebrated for combining the two into a style that would help define progressive rock/jazz fusion drumming in the following decades.

Marissa Nadler
Thursday, 8 p.m.
The Sinclair
52 Church St., Cambridge
$15, 18+, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com

This buzzy local singer-songwriter has a beautifully melancholic, ghostly sound and gothic lyrics to match—it’s sort of the musical equivalent of grainy photos of abandoned farmhouses bathed in sunlit fog. Her siren voice has a fragile grip, and her lacrymose songs feel like they shouldn’t be listened to so much as sunk into like a warm bath.

White Hinterland
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Middle East Upstairs
472 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$10, 18+, 866-777-8932
www.ticketweb.com

White Hinterland is not her real name (it’s Casey Dienel), but that is her voice—and it’s a hell of a voice, fusing the diva power of a Christina Aguilera with gymnastic eccentricity of a Bjork. And her songs, well, they sound like they’re from the 22nd century. White is that rarity among rarities—a truly original voice in pop.

FUNDRAISERS

Red-Raiser BBQ
Thursday, 6 p.m.
Mija Cantina
1 S Market St., Boston
$30 advance, $35 at the door or day of the event
www.redraiserbbq.com

Hosted by Ashlee Feldman from Jam’n 94.5 FM, and featuring a wide-arrangement of entertainment and festivities, the Red-Raiser BBQ is one of the best ways to enjoy Boston this summer. Featuring a silent auction, complimentary food and drink, world-class entertainment, and the chance to mingle with some of Boston’s biggest celebrities.

Attendees will enjoy:

  • An all-you-can-eat pig roast and complimentary beverage at one of Boston’s hottest hangout spots
  • A silent auction, featuring a signed Celtics game ball, Red Sox tickets, one-of-a-kind Red Auerbach memorabilia, and much more
  • Music by DJ ON&ON
  • Entertainment by the exceptional Ashlee Feldman
  • Artwork by Justyn Farano (www.sportsartillustrated.com)

All proceeds will directly benefit the Red Auerbach Youth Foundation, which fulfills Celtics legend Red Auerbach’s desire to enrich the lives of Boston’s youth by ensuring that all kids have the opportunity to participate in sports, regardless of their cultural, educational, ethnic or economic backgrounds.



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