Six Must-See Arts and Entertainment Events in August 2014

Finding Neverland, photo courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

Photo courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

1.
THEATER

Ten years ago, Johnny Depp starred in Finding Neverland, a biopic about J. M. Barrie, the eccentric author of Peter Pan, and his relationship with the Davies family children, who inspired his most famous book. What sounds like a quaint backstory is actually a complex saga including divorce and family tragedy. Now the A.R.T. world-premieres a musical based on the film, and Diane Paulus once again brings in powerhouse partners, such as Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein, Emmy-winning choreographer Mia Michaels, and Take That pop star Gary Barlow, who cowrote the songs.

Now through September 28, American Repertory Theater, 617-547-8300, amrep.org.

2.
JAZZ

The summer’s funkiest concerts have to be the Rebirth Brass Band’s two sets at the Sinclair. Known to newbies from HBO’s Treme, Rebirth is a New Orleans juggernaut that leaves fans sweaty, smiling, and breathless.

The Sinclair, 617-547-5200, sinclaircambridge.com

3.
CLASSICAL MUSIC

For dreamy music and a most pleasant buzz, head to the Tanglewood Wine & Food Classic, where you can enjoy tastings and gourmet treats, as well as performances by Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, and maestro Leonard Slatkin, celebrating his 70th birthday with the BSO.

August 7 to August 10, Tanglewood, 617-266-1200, tanglewood.org.

"Wavelengths," courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art

Courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art

4.
DANCE PARTY

“Wavelengths,” the ICA’s summertime music series, concludes with a night of booty- shaking. The Boston DJ round robin offers local spinners like 2011 Boston Music Award winner Leah V and Big City 101.3 reggae selector Bud E. Green to go with the harbor view.

August 29, Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3100, icaboston.org.

5.
KIDS

Yes, it serves up a healthy dose of ye olde cheese, but so what? Your children will shout huzzah when King Richard’s Faire comes to Carver for its 33rd season. This sprawling, 80-acre renaissance fair features all the usual costumed characters, artisans, and musicians. But kids will also be thrilled to find fire eaters, insane acrobats, puppeteers, and knights on horseback; they can even rent a costume to join in the fun. It’s a gleeful way to make merry on a sunny (or evocatively misty) day, especially since parents can take it all in with a swig of honey mead or a nice cold “beere” (indeed, they spell it that way).

August 30 to October 19, King Richard’s Faire, 508-866-5391, kingrichardsfaire.net.

Majesty, Shinique Smith, 2012. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts and Shinique Smith.

Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts and Shinique Smith.

6.
FINE ART

A Tufts and School of the Museum of Fine Arts alum, Shinique Smith has had solo exhibitions in such art meccas as New York, Miami, Milan, and Berlin. Now she has one in Boston, “Bright Matter,” opening in the MFA’s Foster Gallery. Her painting, sculpture, and installations are distinctive, with ecstatic swirls of color that feel like a wild hybrid of graffiti, spin art, and Kandinsky.

August 23 to March 1, 2015, Museum of Fine Arts, 617-267-9300, mfa.org.

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