It's a Shakespeare night for cheap thrills.
There is one more week of "Coriolanus" in the Common, and two other related events: a talk that gives you enough time to walk over to the play -or- a variety of pieces performed in another downtown park.
Spaghetti Dinner (6pm), Axemunkee (7:30pm)
at Johnny D's, 17 Holland St, Somerville (Davis Sq)
One fun part of the spaghetti westerns were the badass, guitar-heavy soundtracks. Tuesdays at Johnny D's have been dubbed "The Good, The Bad, & The Local" for the summer as a tip of the hat with different instrumental bands.
Along with your locally-sourced pasta dish, the price of admission includes some the most badass, guitar-heavy instrumental rock courtesy of Axemunkee that is more action-film than western.
"Shakespeare on Love" & "Bard Over Broadway"
at Christopher Columbus Park, about 120 Atlantic Ave, Boston (Waterfront/North End)
Instead of sitting through the whole play on the Common, one can enjoy a compilation of scenes, sonnets, and songs by the Bard (or inspired by his works).
Yes, they know it's on the same night as "Coriolanus". The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company also produces this program.
6:30pm to 7:30pm
"Coriolanus on the Common: An Introduction to Shakespeare's Tragedy"
at South End Branch Public Library, 685 Tremont Street, Boston (South End)
The more you know about what's going on in a Shakespeare play, the better chance you have to enjoy it. If there are wasn't a lot of grand themes and subtext, would we keep praising this particular playwright.
South End resident (and former English teacher) Judith Klau won't test you or send you anywhere except to the Common to watch the play.
Katherine Powers & David Gordon, "Ride a Cockhorse": Discussion
at Porter Square Books, 25 White St, Cambridge (near Shaws Market)
There is an article that posits Raymond Kennedy's 1991 novel predicts the emergence of a public character like Sarah Palin.
Katherine Powers and David Gordon will read from their departed friend's story as well as leading a discussion.
TUES 8/7 (thru SUN 8/12)
Shakespeare on the Common: "Coriolanus"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common / Tremont St Side)
Tuesdays to Saturdays -- 8pmIn its 17th year, Shakespeare on the Common is perennially one of the best cheap thrills you'll find in Boston. Sure... New York has 'Shakespeare in the Park', but not every town has professional actors bringing the Bard to life outside where anyone can walk up and get cultured.
Sundays -- 7pm
The story in "Coriolanus", a play set in Rome and written 400 years ago, might be familiar to the contemporary audience: People rioting in the street, because resources are being withheld from the masses. Those in power think they don't deserve it, and the main character has a special disdain for the common person although he's encouraged to run for office.
Although last year's film may have earned some accessibility for the play, it's long been said to be one the lesser works of Shakespeare. Like the movie, the sets probably won't look like Rome; there will also be some fight scenes.
Despite my indifference to the selection, I will still list the play every night, because 1) you might like it anyway and 2) this is an annual gift to the residents (and visitors).
"May not be appropriate for all ages. Parental discretion is advised."
Show up early for musical performances from NEC students like jazz by Michael Prentky's Bone Town from 6:20 to 7pm.
Scott Reynolds, Fred Mascherino, Lenny Lashley's Gang of One, The Toy Cannons, The Old Edison
at Middle East - Upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$10 / 18+
Some punks do like to turn down the volume after blasting everyone's face off, and punk fans do listen to records that bring the adrenaline level below The Ramones.
You might recognize Scott Reynolds from his days in ALL, and Fred Mascherino is probably best known for his stint in Taking Back Sunday. The Toy Cannons are Philly punks who have gone powerpop.
On the Boston angle, former Darkbuster frontman Lenny Lashley is doing his own guy-with-acoustic guitar thing these days while The Old Edison play a punky-folky style that can be found around town in different flavors.
Spider John Koerner
at Sally O'Brien's, 335 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
While Spider John Koerner's name may not be familiar to the general public, he's been a major traditional folk artist for decades.
Koerner plays a fingerstyle blues and folk guitarist and has been an influence on many including Bob Dylan who mentioned him in "Chronicles, Vol. 1". Hear him free tonight or at the Plough & Stars next week.
Planes Mistaken for Stars, Now Denial, Furnace, Kid Bastard, Lunglust
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
If you happen to be in the mood to rock, Planes Mistaken for Stars are back on tour after a 2010 reunion and should be thrashing n' bashing it out emo-proggy like they did in the early part of the century.
They're joined by a walloping amount of modern Boston hardcore/punk.