Arts This Week

Jared's arts picks for this week: Listen Hear: The Art of Sound (left), The King and I (top right), Barbecue (bottom right)

Arts This Week: 'Listen Hear,' 'The King and I,' 'Barbecue'

April 13, 2017

This week, WGBH News' Arts Editor Jared Bowen takes you to the theater and explores the sights and sounds of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Listen Hear: The Art of Soundon display at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum through September 5

The sounds of living creatures fill the Gardner Museum Courtyard as part of Lee Mingwei's sound installation "Small Conversation"
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Photo Credit: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Synopsis: Sound, and especially music, was important to Isabella Stewart Gardner. Throughout her life she supported musicians and composers, organized musical evenings for her friends, and regularly attended other concerts. Gardner understood that sound plays a critical role in creating a sense of place, and installed fountains in and around the Courtyard to make sound a permanent feature of her Museum. Now, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum features a group exhibition of seven sound works in the museum and two off-site pieces of public art. Exploring some of the ways sound affects our environment, our bodies, and our state of mind, Listen Hear spreads across both the Gardner's historic and new buildings, with works demonstrating the rich variety of this contemporary medium. The two public art pieces outside the Museum offer new ways to experience the city of Boston. Fens (a downloadable app) is an immersive listening walk in a nearby park, while Harmonic Conduit live-streams from city streets around the Ruggles T station. 

Jared Says: "The Gardner is being adventurous and we are much the better for it. It's a sound move."

The King and Ipresented by Broadway in Boston at the Boston Opera House through April 23

Laura Michelle Kelly and Jose Llana star in in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I
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Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Synopsis: Set in 1860’s Bangkok, this musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Based on the Lincoln Center Theater’s critically acclaimed production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I, Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher directs this four time winner at the 2015 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, featuring a score packed with such beloved classics as "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Hello Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance," "Something Wonderful" and "Getting To Know You." 

Jared Says: "An urgent, pulsing, tender production. Just glorious!"

Barbecuepresented by Lyric Stage Company through May 7

James R. Milord, Jasmine Rush, Lyndsay Allyn Cox, Jasmine Rush, and Ramona Lisa Alexander in Lyric Stage Company's "Barbecue"
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Photo Credit: Mark S. Howard

Synopsis: This rowdy and raucous new comedy, directed by Summer L. Williams (Intimate Apparel, By the Way Meet Vera Stark) introduces, and reintroduces, the O’Mallery family, as they gather in a public park for an intervention with their sister, Zippity Boom. James T., Lillie Anne, Marie, and Adlean are the kind of family that comes to such an occasion armed with a Taser, even though they're all worthy of their own interventions. Audiences will never guess all the surprises in this piercingly funny new play by Robert O'Hara (BootyCandy).

Jared Says: "Simply great theater. It peppers you, it flips you over and over until you're well done, and it'll take a while to digest."

With the weather warming, what outdoor activities are you looking forward to? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!


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