Monday, January 23, 2012

MON 1/23: Art; Film, Talk, Humor, Music

It could be a good year since it's the Year of the Dragon, and dragons are cool.

Since I used to work with a couple Cantonese speakers I learned it as, "Gong hay fat choy!"


MON 1/23

6pm to 8pm
"Histories of Now: Six Artists from Cairo": Opening Reception
at Grossman Gallery, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, 230 The Fenway, Boston (The Fens)

Feat: Mohamed Abla, Ahmed Basiony, Hala Elkoussy, Shady El Noshokaty, Sabah Naim, Moataz Nasr

It was about a year ago that protestors in Tahrir Square sparked the 30-year reign of Egyptian "President" Hosni Mubarak. These are the times when skeptics tell the idealists that they'll never change anything -- and when the idealists try anyway.

The SMFA offers a multi-media sample of artists who have been doing their part more than creatively. Ahmed Basiony died in Tahrir Square last year. I doubt all of the other artists will be in attendance, but I noticed Shady El Noshokaty is giving a lecture on WED 1/25 at the Museum of Fine Arts around the corner.

On view through SUN 3/17.

MON 1/23

"Carmen Jones"
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)

The BPL's current Monday-night film series "Black and Beautiful Celebrating African American Actresses" runs through the end of February that would seem to purposely coincide with Black History Month.

Otto Preminger directs Dorothy Dandridge as the femme fatale that was simply known as "Carmen" in Bizet's opera that serves as the source material. The wayward soldier is played a young Harry Belafonte.

MON 1/23

6pm to 9pm
Bread & Puppet Theater, "Upriser Calisthenics": Opening Reception
at Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St, Boston (South End)

In conjunction with their week of annual performances at the BCA over the last few years, the Bread and Puppet Theater also displays an art exhibit mainly by company founder Peter Schumann.

At last year's reception, I was quite charmed by his mad genius. With an unkempt look and German accent that hasn't lessened after decades in the hinterlands of Vermont, he performed a piece that included violin and passages of gibberish -- and made perfect sense.

Some of Bread & Puppet as well as locals Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band will attempt to get the crowd into a dance/party mood.

Yes, there was some free food and quite a bit of art for less than $10.

MON 1/23

7pm to 9pm
Boston Skeptics in the Pub: Mathemagician Ethan Brown
at Tommy Doyle's, 96 Winthrop St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)

Every month, people get together for some drinks and skeptical conversation that usually includes a presentation from a guest speaker. The topics usually do seem casual and informal.

If you're not totally irritated by young people who are super-intelligent and talented, you might get a kick out of pre-teen 'mathemagician' Ethan Brown who incorporates some magic tricks into his mental math tricks.

The kid is performing at a science & skepticism conference in NYC in a couple months, so this is closer and cheaper.

MON 1/23

"The Classic Game Show Show"
at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)

Feat: Union Square Round Table, Anderson Comedy, Ken Reid, Liz Prince, Spencer Gralla

Two of the local comedy collectives are combining their powers a la '70s TV game shows.

The Union Square Round Table will revive their version of "Match Game" that would occasionally occurred at the old Milky Way.

Since Anderson Comedy doesn't actually want to be responsible for a $10k grand prize, they're calling their version "BYO $10,000 Pyramid".

If you really, really want to participate, you should go to the Facebook page and see if they're still interested in recruiting people. The audience will be contestants, and the USRT/Anderson folks & friends will pretend they're celebrities and try to help you win prizes -- while making everyone laugh.

This could be free, and I wouldn't expect the cover to be more than $5...

MON 1/23

Neptune (11pm), The In Out (10pm), Cotton Candy (9:30pm)
at Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
$5 / 21+

Aren't Monday nights good for something weird and noisy? Monday days are usually filled with the depressing distance of the nest weekend, but the liberated soul has fun whenever they can.

On their homemade instruments, Neptune rips out some their own peculiar, arty-funky, avant-rock groove. Once I let go and let them redefine my understanding of melody & rhythm, it was a far more enjoyable listening experience.

While I haven't warmed up to The In Out very much, I do concede they know how to play even if the genre-hopping, devil-may-care approach that draws comparisons (since others compare) to The Fall, Pavement, and others.

The opening Cotton Candy won't confront your ears so much with light and fun indie-pop, but pay attention to the lyrics and you might think to yourself, "Hmm, that's a bit weird." And then you'll be on your way to some freaky musical corners.

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