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The arts venues are bursting with color

Dozens of plays, concerts and comedic performances are all over the Hub this fall

Theater in September


‘Wicked’
Through Oct. 17
The Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston
$49-$178, 800-982-2787
www.broadwayacrossamerica.com/boston


Living in the greater Boston area, you’d think this wildly successful musical was about regional accents. Nope. This is that one for all those Wicked Witch of the West sympathizers.

‘The Real Inspector Hound’
Through Sept. 25
BCA Plaza Theatre
527 Tremont St., Boston
$33-$38, 617-933-8600
www.publicktheatre.com


Tom Stoppard’s skewering of English murder mysteries and newspaper critics should smart around these here parts, but we won’t take offense until we find ourselves involved in an English murder mystery.

‘Romeo and Juliet’
Through Sept. 25
The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont St., Boston
$13-$17, 617-286-2437
www.thefactorytheatre.org


Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy is, unlike its lead characters, immortal. The Independent Drama Society goes all Baz Luhrmann on its ass with this late ’80s/early ’90s punk-inspired adaptation.

‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’
Through Oct. 2
The Lyric Stage Company
140 Clarendon St., Boston
$27-$54, 617-585-5678
www.lyricstage.com


Metro critic Nick Dussault loved this one. You probably will, too.

‘Boston Marriage’
Through Oct. 3
Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal St., Watertown
$28-$58, 617-923-8487
www.newrep.org


David Mamet plays pair perfectly with Boston, especially those involving upper-middle class Victorian “women of fashion” and their plotting and scheming. Let’s hope the Victorian era had already discovered the best swears.

‘Cabaret’
Through Oct. 9
American Repertory Theatre
2 Arrow St., Cambridge
$25 and up, 617-547-8300
www.americanrepertorytheatre.org


Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls is in this!?Need we say more? OK, we will. Tomorrow. Read Nick Dussault’s review.


‘Alice vs. Wonderland’
Saturday through Oct. 9
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle St., Cambridge
$15, 617-547-8300
www.americanrepertorytheatre.org


Lewis Carroll’s much-loved children’s stories get a pop-culture “remix” by adapter Brandon Shea, who describes this production as “Lewis Carroll meets Lady Gaga.” This is appropriate, seeing as how Lady Gaga seems to have been birthed from some opium-fueled capitalist fever dream. Read Nora Dunne’s story next week.


‘In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)’
Tomorrow through Oct. 16
Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont St., Boston
$30-$55, 617-933-8600
www.speakeasystage.com


It’s the 1880s, electricity is all the rage, skyscrapers are going up, railroads are being plotted and doctors are using, ahem, vibrators to treat “hysterical” women. This comedy follows a doctor and his wife and how this new thing is, um, shaking up the household.

‘After Hours’
Sept. 24 and 25
The Albert Alphin Library
8 The Fenway, Boston
Free, 617-912-9222
www.bostonconservatory.edu


Boston Conservatory faculty member Marjorie Morgan and director Doug Lockwood promise a “site-specific experimental musical theater event” that incorporates Shakespeare, the Beatles, Bernstein and Rogers & Hammerstein. Each show is limited to 30 people.

‘The Shipment’
Sept. 24 through Sept. 26
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
$22-$25, 617-478-3103
www.icaboston.org


Young Jean Lee’s provocative theater piece incorporates minstrel motifs and stand-up comedy in its roasting of African-American stereotypes.

‘Enron’
Sept. 24 through Oct. 16
BCA Plaza Black Box Theatre
527 Tremont St., Boston
$20-$30, 617-933-8600
www.zeitgeiststage.com


Hey, remember Enron? Wow, they screwed people over. Like many scandals of the past and present, the Enron debacle is now a tragi-comic vaudevillian theater event.

‘Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: There’s a Party in My City!’
Sept. 25 and 26
Citi Wang Theatre
270 Tremont St., Boston
$35-$135, 866-348-9738
www.yogabbagabbalive.com


If you’ve got kids, you’re probably familiar with this Nick Jr. show, characterized by its explosive colors, dance sequences and a dude with a fuzzy orange hat called DJ Lance Rock. If so, you’ll love it live!

‘The Laramie Project’
Sept. 25 through Oct. 2
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St., Boston
$15-$79, 617-824-8000
www.artsemerson.org


This unique play pulls its script from interviews conducted with more than 200 residents of Laramie, Wyo-ming, following the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard. This runs alongside “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” a second production that interviews those same people to discover how and if the town has changed.

‘Vissi d’arte, La Tosca, and Sarah Bernhardt’
Sept. 26
Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Ave., Boston
$18-$22, 617-369-3306
www.blo.org


The life of 19th-century French actress Sarah Bernhardt is told through what she left behind. Perhaps this will help us, for once and for all, to stop confusing her with Sandra Bernhard.

‘Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2’
Sept. 29 through Nov. 21
Midway Studios, Fort Point
15 Channel Center St., Boston
$15-$48, 866-811-4111
www.actorsshakespeareproject.org


The Actors’ Shakespeare Project tackles the Bard’s take on Hank the Fourth.


Theater in October


‘Rock of Ages’
Oct. 6 through Oct. 17
Colonial Theatre
106 Boylston St., Boston
$25-$92, 800-982-2787
www.broadwayacross
america.com/boston


Stop balking at the concept of a night out at the thea-ter: This ’80s rock ’n’ roll love story features the music of Journey, Night Ran-ger, Styx, Poison, White-snake and more big-hair radicalness to blow your theater-hesitant mind.

‘A Moon for the Misbegotten’
Oct. 7 through Nov. 7
Central Square Theater
450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$20-$40, 866-811-4111
www.centralsquaretheater.org


Nora Theatre Co. opens its season with a production of this Eugene O’Neill play, which isn’t as well known as “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” but includes one of that play’s characters.


‘In the Summer House’
Oct. 7 through Oct. 23
Boston University Theatre
264 Huntington Ave., Boston
$7, 617-933-8600
www.bostontheatrescene.com


Part of Boston University’s 14th annual Fringe Festival, this Jane Bowles drama tells the story of two opposite mothers: one domineering, the other dominated.

‘IDS Neo-Futurists Project’
Oct. 14 through Oct. 23
Democracy Center
45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge
Tickets TBD, 617-286-2437
www.independentdramasociety.com


The Independent Drama Society breaks down the fourth wall with this project, based on the new idiosyncratic style by the Chicago-based “Neofuturists,” that aims to present 30 plays in the course of a single hour. We like to think we are a Neofuturist paper — evidenced by all these listings in the course of a few pages.


‘Circle Mirror Transformation’
Oct. 15 through Nov. 14
Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont St., Boston
$15-$89, 617-266-0800
www.huntingtontheatre.org


Set at a Vermont community theater, Annie Baker’s off-Broadway hit documents the emotional warfare of a small creative drama class’s theater games. Think “The Breakfast Club” — minus high school, detention and John Hughes jokes.

‘Little Red’s Most Unusual Day’
Oct. 16
Seully Hall
8 The Fenway, Boston
Free, 617-912-9222
www.bostonconservatory.edu


John Davies’ children’s opera is set to the music of Offenbach and Rossini, with Kirsten Z. Cairns directing. The plot eludes us, but it’s safe to say that Little Red’s day will be most unusual.

‘Aftermath’
Oct. 27 through Oct. 31
Paramount Theatre
560 Washington St., Boston
$25-$79, 617-824-8000
www.artsemerson.org


Based on the interviews of 35 people who fled Iraq for Jordan during the Iraq War, this new show by the award-winning creators of “The Exonerated” looks at the many lives caught up in turmoil and removed from any notion of home.


Music in September


The Bad Plus
Tonight
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass. Ave., Boston
$25-$30, 617-747-2409
www.beantownjazzfestival.org


Performing as part of the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival, this trio is known for their covers of songs by Nirvana, Pixies, Rush, Black Sabbath, the Bee Gees and Wilco. Not your father’s piano jazz, obviously. Remember, Matt Dinaro referenced them on page 14?


John Coltrane Memorial Concert
Saturday
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave., Boston
$15-$20, 617-373-4700
www.jcmc.neu.edu


Eric Jackson hosts the 33rd annual memorial concert for the saxophone titan, featuring a performance by Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra Concert.

Olodum
Sunday
Somerville Theatre
55 Davis Square, Somerville
$40, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org


Samba, samba, samba! The Afro-Brazilian band cele-brates its 30th anniversary with a performance that’s as much a party as concert.

Revels RiverSing
Sunday
Weeks Footbridge
DeWolf St. and Memorial Drive, Cambridge
Free, 617-972-8300
www.revels.org


Celebrate the first day of fall with this free community sing-a-long alongside the Charles River. The Revels will get you singing, the Actors’ Shakespeare Project will provide the poetry and saxman Stan Strickland will blow that crazy horn.

Terence Blanchard
Sept. 25
Scullers Jazz Club
400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston
$28, 617-747-2409
www.beantownjazzfestival.com


Known for scoring many of Spike Lee’s films, this trumpet player is touring behind an ambitious project, “A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina),” inspired by the hurricane of the same name and its messy aftermath.

‘Schubert Loves Mozart (& Mozart Loves Bach)’
Sept. 25 and 26
Faneuil Hall
Congress & State sts., Boston
$20-$65, 617-423-3883
www.bostonclassical orchestra.org


The Boston Classical Orchestra’s 31st season opens with a program of Bach (Violin Concerto No. 1), Schubert (Symphony No. 5) and Mozart (Symphony No. 40). The love triangle is for you to figure out.

‘Pops in the Park’
Sept. 26
Boston Common
www.bso.org


Lockhart and the gang pretty much ushered summer in with their Fourth of July bash. Now, sadly, they usher it out.


October


Esperanza Spalding
Oct. 2
Sanders Theatre
45 Quincy St., Cambridge
$22-$32, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org


She plays an upright bass, has a beautiful Afro, has jammed with Herbie Hancock, made history as the youngest instructor at Berklee and has a new project, Chamber Music Society, that fuses improv with string trio arrangements. ‘Nuff said.


‘Mozart: A Musical Journey’
Oct. 1 through Oct. 3
Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$18-$75, 617-266-3605
www.handelandhaydn.org


The Handel and Hadyn Society move through Mozart’s life via his music, from the pretty good stuff he penned as a teenager to the pretty darn good stuff he wrote as an adult.

The Italian Madrigals of Palestrina
Oct. 10
First Lutheran Church of Boston
299 Berkeley St., Boston
$15-$35, 857-998-0219
www.exsultemus.org


For 16th-century Roman school of composition, you kinda can’t get any better than Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s sacred music. If you think otherwise, y’all better come correct.

Ron Carter with the Berklee World Strings
Oct. 14
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass. Ave., Boston
MBTA: Green Line to Hynes
$10-$65, 617-747-2409
www.ticketmaster.com


For five decades, Ron Carter has rocked the bass on jazz classics, and even laid down some low-end theory for A Tribe Called Quest. Seriously: Ron is on more than 2,500 albums. With the help of the Berklee World Strings, he’ll perform the music of Oscar Pettiford.

Hugh Masekela
Oct. 15
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass. Ave., Boston
$30-$42, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org


South African trumpeter Masekela strikes a balance between Afrobeat and jazz, a fusion funky enough to attract Motown’s attention in the early ’70s.

‘We Are the Dreamers of Dreams’
Oct. 16 and 17
Goethe-Institut Boston
170 Beacon St., Boston
$20-$40, 617-427-8200
www.chameleonarts.org


The Chameleon Arts En-semble of Boston presents a night of music by Beetho-ven, Bartok, Ives, Joan Tower and Nikolai Roslavets. That latter piece was banned in Russia, so you know it’s gotta be good.

From the Top
Oct. 24
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave., Boston
$20-$30, 617-585-1260
www.fromthetop.org


Wunderkinds and prodi-gies, ahoy! NPR’s popular show features the classical talents of kids 8 to 18, and tapes here twice each year.


November


Pink Martini
Nov. 3
Orpheum Theatre
One Hamilton Place, Boston
$40-$60, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org


Your dreams of fronting a band that pulls influences from Latin music, jazz, cabaret and cinema soundtracks — and is named after a cocktail — will probably be squashed by the existence of Pink Martini.

‘Convergences’
Nov. 12
Tsai Performance Center
685 Comm. Ave., Boston
$10-$30, 617-354-6910
www.bmv.org


All kinds of stuff intersect, criss-cross and fender-bend in Boston Musica Viva’s production of pieces by Donald Harris, Chris Arrell and Bernard Hoffer. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich brings new life to A.R. Ammons poems.

‘Ordo Virtutum’
Nov. 14
First Lutheran Church of Boston
299 Berkeley St., Boston
$15-$20, 917-412-6472
www.clausura.org


Perhaps the first opera in history, Hildegard von Bingen’s oldie-but-goodie has the devil and the 16 virtues battling for Anima (the soul). This is, like, never performed — and these guys are adding a feminine twist.


Dance in September


Trajal Harrell
Through Nov. 6
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
$18-$20, 617-478-3100
www.icaboston.org


So voguing is back in, um, vogue. Good news for New York-based choreographer Trajal Harrell, who moves through 20 different personas in his latest show.

‘Ghosts of the White Ship’
Sept. 17 and 18
Cambridge Multicultural
Arts Center
41 Second St., Cambridge
$20-$25, 617-577-1400
www.bostondancealliance.org


If writing about music truly is like dancing about architecture, as Elvis Costello once said, then dancing about Ireland’s Great Famine is … um, sorry, that joke wasn’t going to make any sense. Choreography by Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center artistic director Karen Murphy-Fitch.

‘A Summer Dream: Dance the Night Away to the Music of Bo and Bill Winiker Orchestra’
Sept. 23
Upstairs on the
Square Restaurant
91 Winthrop St., Cambridge
Free, 617-864-1933
www.upstairsonthesquare.com


For one night only, Upstairs on the Square ain’t for eatin’. They’ll get rid of the tables (and those pesky diners) and bust out music from swing to foxtrot. You show up prepared to shake that thang.

‘Fraulein Maria’
Sept. 23 through Oct. 3
Paramount Theatre
559 Washington St., Boston
$25-$69, 617-824-8000


“The Sound of Music” gets a makeover in Doug Elkins’ production, which turns the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical into an edgy cabaret-style good time.

‘Encounter’
Sept. 24 through Oct. 2
Julie Ince Thompson Theatre
536 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$15-$20, 617-776-7939
www.navarasa.org


Poems by Sufi poet Kabir and Bhakti poet Akka Mahedevi, and songs by Bob Marley, are incorporated into this contemporary dance production. Inspiration is pulled from Indian dance, world music and martial art.

‘Elements of Passion’
Sept. 24 through Oct. 10
The Sanctuary Theatre
400 Harvard St., Cambridge
$38, 617-354-7467
www.ballettheatre.org


The wildly popular Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre celebrates its 25th season of intimate, cabaret-style dance theater this year with a trio of stories of “desire, passion and frenzy.” Includes music by Schubert, Bach and Oliver Messiaen.


October


Corbett/Donovan/McCusker
Oct. 1 and 2
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
$30, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org


Three area dance companies combine limber forces in this three-for-one show. Pieces by Caitlin Corbett, Daniel McCusker and Kelley Donovan & Dancers are preceded by a 20-minute talk. They may not say “don’t try this at home” —but that doesn’t mean you should.

RUBBERBANDance Group
Oct. 22 through Oct. 24
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
$40, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org


This Montreal-based troupe blends the hipness of street dance with the diligence of ballet.


November


Alwin Nikolais, Merlin of Multimedia
Nov. 11 through Nov. 13
Boston Conservatory Theater
31 Hemenway St., Boston
$10-$25, 617-912-9222
www.bostonconservatory.edu


Pieces by Alwin Nikolais, modern dance visionary, include “Crucible,” “Mechanical Organ,” “Noumenon Mobilus,” “Blanc on Blanc” and “Tensile Involvement.”


‘Petrushka’
Nov. 11 through Nov. 21
Paramount Theatre
560 Washington St., Boston
$25-$79, 617-824-8000
www.artsemerson.org


If actual humans dancing doesn’t do it for you, how about dancing puppets? Master puppeteer Basil Twist reimagines the classic Ballets Russes production with dancers on strings.


Comedy in the fall



‘Hungry Hungry Hipsters’
Ongoing
Improv Asylum Theater
216 Hanover St., Boston
$20, 617-263-6887
www.improvasylum.com


Everyone hates hipsters, and everyone wants to be a hipster — whether or not that’s true, we can all agree that everyone likes to laugh at hipsters. Especially when you imagine them as hippos in a game from your childhood. Also, you need to check out IA’s NXT cast on Wednesday nights, with the witty title and equally witty show, “Lost in Boston, or The Fenway We Were.”

‘John Hughes High: Totally ’80s, Totally Improvised’
Ongoing
ImprovBoston
40 Prospect St., Cambridge
$12-$16, 617-576-1253
www.improvboston.com


The ’80s were a pretty funny decade at the time —think big hair, big clothes and bright colors — but they’re even funnier in hindsight. ImprovBoston’s weekly Friday showcase features a cast of ’80s high school types, along with a soundtrack of synth-pop and power ballads. Also recommended: IB's “Friday Night Face-Off,” because the only thing better than improvisational comedy is when two improv teams go head-to-head.


Blue Man Group
Ongoing
Charles Playhouse
75 Warrenton St., Boston
$58-80, 800-BLUEMAN
www.blueman.com


These guys do some artsy stuff that could really fit into any of the categories in this Arts Guide, but we choose to think of them as the dream job of David Cross’ “Arrested Development,” which means we’ll list them as comedy.

The Wilbur Theatre
246 Tremont St., Boston
Prices vary, 800-745-3000
www.thewilbur.com


Some of the big acts coming here this fall include: Broken Lizard (Sept. 22), Louis CK (Sept. 26), Dick Gregory (Oct. 10), Demetri Martin (Oct. 27). The nearby Citi Wang has slightly heavier hitters like Ron White (Oct. 22) and Jim Gaffigan (Nov. 13).

Mottley’s Comedy Club
61 Chatham St., Boston
Prices vary, 877-61-LAUGH
www.mottleyscomedy.com


This is where the roots of local laughs are sprouting. We suggest “Daniella’s PJ Party” (Sept. 23), Otto & George (Sept. 24-25), “Harry Gordon Roasts America” (Oct. 7) and Martin Plant (Oct. 22-23).


– Listing assistance provided by ArtsBoston.org, Boston’s premiere arts and entertainment online calendar, putting Boston’s arts at your fingertips.

 
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