Five Must-See Arts and Entertainment Events in July

Matthew Reed Baker’s guide to this month’s events.


July Fourth is just one day, but Boston Harborfest provides families with almost a week’s worth of activities, among them tours of tall ships, concerts on City Hall Plaza, Revolutionary War reenactments, and more than 2,000 gallons of creamy clammy goodness, all of which will be served at Chowderfest. 7/2–7/7


This year’s Shakespeare on the Common—a rendition of the crowd-pleasing romantic comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona—is dedicated to Boston’s outgoing first couple, Tom and Angela Menino, both steadfast supporters of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company over the decades. 7/6–7/28 


For those looking to get their orchestral fix on the Esplanade sans fireworks, the Boston Landmarks Orchestra starts its summer season this month, with weekly Wednesday concerts at the Hatch Shell. Opening night features Beethoven and Strauss, as well as the premiere of “At the River,” a new work by Northeastern’s music department chair, Anthony De Ritis. Wednesdays at 7 p.m., 7/17–8/28


Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On makes its New England premiere at the BCA Plaza Theatre thanks to the local troupe Company One. With a late-’80s setting and a focus on aspiring teenage DJs, it’s a nostalgic, rap-battling drama. 7/19–8/17


The college-radio stalwart New Order makes a rare appearance at the Bank of America Pavilion at the end of this month. Although some fans may snipe that the reunion doesn’t include the iconic bassist Peter Hook, the rest of us will be in (or on?) ecstasy as “True Faith” and “Blue Monday” blow like a summer breeze through the Seaport. 7/31