Friday, July 30, 2010

FRI 7/30: Art, Poetry, Theatre, Music, Comedy



FRI 7/30

10am to 9:45pm
Community Day
at Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston (Fenway)

If you have the afternoon off and have nothing to do, why not go to the MFA for free?

A visiting Van Gogh painting is leaving in a couple weeks, the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit is closing in a week, and this is the last weekend for an exhibit on Shinto shrine art. Even walking through the galleries of the permanent collection is a highly cultured way to beat the heat...

The museum is open until 9:30 on summer Fridays to accommodate some mixing and drinking (cash bar) in the courtyard from 5:30pm to 9:30pm. There's music as well like tonight's Little Bang Quintet who will probably lay down some funky, jazzy, India-flavored jam-rock since it's related to this band.

Thanks, Highland Street Foundation!

FRI 7/30 to SUN 8/1

7pm to 10pm
Boston Poet Tea Party
at Pierre Menard Gallery, 10 Arrow St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

88 local and visiting poets each get 8 minutes to do their thing over a mind-blowing 23 hours of poetry over three days. I did the math, and it seems like they've allotted plenty of buffer time for transitions, introductions, and the possibility of someone going over the time limit.

According to the organizer, he's planning to be there for the whole thing keep the poets in line.

The Poet Tea Party changes location on Saturday & Sunday to Outpost 186 (Inman Sq) where it runs from noon to 10pm on both days.

FRI 7/30 (and SAT 7/31)

"Cyrano de Bergerac"
at Mary O'Malley Park, Commandant’s Way, Chelsea Waterfront

Tonight, the classic love story is performed "en Espanol" and English tomorrow.

Think of this as a chance to visit a place you usually just drive through without thinking much about it. Take the #111 bus for an adventure in free theatre -- and who knows what else -- on the other side of the Tobin.

FRI 7/30 (to SUN 8/15)

at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common)

Tuesdays to Saturdays -- 8pm
Sundays -- 7pm (2pm matinee on 8/8)

If my count is correct, "Shakespeare on the Common" is returning for its 15th season. Even if one doesn't make a donation, we shouldn't take for granted what is one of the highlights of free/cheap Boston culture. Take the time to go in the next three weeks.

The productions are always well done, and "Othello" is especially one of the Bard's best. As usual, the design has been moved to a different time period. The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company seems to favor the early 20th-century; the set and costumes have a '40s influence.

As I mentioned the other day, Seth Gilliam plays the title character. You'll probably recognize him as Sgt. Ellis Carver on "The Wire" or Clayton Hughes on "Oz" among many film & TV appearances.

FRI 7/30

Monsters Of The Midway: Benefit for Joe Coughlin
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
$10 minimum donation

Feat: John Powhida, Chandler Travis, Lenny Lashley, Rick Berlin, Classic Ruins, Johnny & the Jumper Cables, Roy Sludge, Richie Parsons, Philly Roy All-Stars, more (?)

I don't know Joe Coughlin personally, but he's been supporting and writing about the local music scene for a long time. I read that he was quite ill on a discussion board. A bunch of awesome musicians are getting together to help out with whatever expenses Joe needs to take care of.

Probably a bunch of solo sets, but some of these folks don't gig a lot. It should be a special night of rock and more.

FRI 7/30

Union Square Round Table: "The Birth of the Cool"
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$8 / 21+

Will the U.S.R.T. be too cool to tell jokes and be funny in other assorted ways? Or will they take the theme "The Birth of the Cool" and find some humorous observations about being cool? Maybe a bit of both and/or somewhere in between

Featuring the funny Sarah Heggan and musical guest Baby Driver

Some of the possible performers: Chris Braiotta, TD Sidell, Ben Dryer, Keira Horowitz, Nick Branigan, Steven Derocher, Marian Didio, Caitlin Roy

FRI 7/30

Air Traffic Controller w/ String Quartet
at Tommy Doyle's, 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

I wish I could tell you more about this gig, but most of my info is from the flyer. It's free, and a string quartet is joining former naval-air-traffic-controller-turned-folky-pop-phenom.

Whenever I'm listening to WERS and they play "The One", I want to turn it up really loud and sing along with all the windows rolled down. It's too bad that I don't have a car and am usually listening to radio at the office.

String quartets seem like a trend may be forming among singer-songwriters. John Shade has been doing it around town, and I recall seeing others. Maybe string quartets are easier to work with than your average rock band -- even if you probably have to write charts for the classically trained players.

Or maybe it's a band called "String Quartet"...?

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