There are a couple choices to sit outside and be entertained for free. It couldn't be worse than sitting in your apartment?
Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
at Titus Sparrow Park, 200 W. Newton St, Boston (South End)
I rave about the HonkFest every year, and the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble were a big part in getting that started. They've been the wild sound and vision of New Orleans and free jazz for years including multiple gigs at Mardi Gras.
From their first gig at a "pagan women's ritual celebration" to the Kennedy Center, we can still see big-horn-party jazz in crazy costumes on a summer evening in the park (thru WED 9/5).
Landmarks Orchestra & Boston Lyric Opera: "Around the World in 80 Minutes"
at Hatch Shell, Storrow Dr, Boston (Charles River Esplanade)
Wagner, "The Flying Dutchman - Overture"For the more sophisticated crowd who wants to hang out in a park, opera will float over the Charles River. One doesn't need to be too much more sophisticated, because the program is a sampler box of sweet treats from the favorite works of the genre.
Wagner, "Tannhäuser - Song to the Evening Star"
Wagner, "Tannhäuser - Dich Teure Halle"
Puccini, "La Bohème - Marcello/Rodolfo Duet"
Puccini, "Madama Butterfly - Flower Duet, Un bel di"
Puccini, "La Rondine - Quartet"
Mozart, "Così Fan Tutte - Fiordiligi/Dorabella Act I Duet"
Wagner, "Lohengrin - Prelude to Act III"
Mozart, "Così Fan Tutte - Fiordiligi/Dorabella Act II Duet"
Bizet, "The Pearl Fishers - Nadir/Zurga Duet"
Delibes, "Lakmé - Flower Duet"
Sullivan, "The Mikado - A Wand’ring Minstrel I, Here’s a How-de-do"
Puccini, "Turandot - Nessun dorma"
Bernstein, "Trouble in Tahiti - What a Movie"
Weber, "Oberon - Over the Dark Blue Waters"
Hence the catchy title, "Around the World in 80 Minutes", for the locations where the operas take place like France, Italy, Japan, America, and Sri Lanka.
Cheryl Strayed, "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar": Reading
at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Harvard Sq)
Maybe you haven't read the "Dear Sugar" advice column on The Rumpus, but the advice seems rather honest and helpful.
The columnist Cheryl Strayed has compiled a "best-of" with previously unreleased goodies in her newest book. It may not be chosen for Oprah's Online Book Club like her novel "Wild", but that's not such a bad thing.
WED 8/8 (thru SUN 8/12)
Shakespeare on the Common: "Coriolanus"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common / Tremont St Side)
Wednesday to Saturday -- 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.
Sunday -- 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 The Malcolm Campbell Trio from 6:20 to 7pm.
The Connection, The Sleepwalkers, Mike Gent
at Radio, 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
$8 / 21+
Hail, hail, rock n' roll.
The Connection whip up their own hippy-hippy-shake like a really fun band from the early-60s as if you're hearing newly remastered gem.
Wisconsin rockers The Sleepwalkers are loud 'n jangly with a bit of twang that exudes a vitality in music and lyrics.
Mike Gent of The Figgs will probably open up with a solo set of killer songs, because any more night overshadow the other bands.
Lucky Tubb & The Modern Day Troubadours, Roy Sludge Trio, Pete Wiltham & The Cozmik Zombies
at The Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Jamaica Plain
It's not every night that an heir of true honky-tonk passes through these parts. Lucky Tubb seems like the genuine article of hillbilly-country and based out of Austin to be just a little weird for the 21st century.
It doesn't matter whether good ol' Roy Sludge is genuine, this is damn fine & witty country music for New Englanders to drink, dance, and holler. (Those things happen when listening to country & western.) Along for the ride is rockabilly Pete Wiltham and his The Cozmik Zombies.