Seven Must-See Arts + Entertainment Events Happening in February
A Rose Art Museum Quartet
It’s been six years, but the memory is still fresh: With the recession crippling its endowment, Brandeis University threatened to shut down its arts museum and sell its prized collection to raise some cash. Amid public furor, a lawsuit filed by prominent art collectors, and the resignation of its president, the school completely reversed course. First came a $1.7 million facelift of the building, then the hiring of vigorous young director Christopher Bedford, who was soon given a budget to buy new work. The change in fortune and philosophy is clearly on display this month, when the Rose opens four simultaneous exhibits. “New Acquisitions,” curated by Bedford, shows what he’s been buying over the past 18 months, while “Collection in Focus” highlights lesser-known pieces. “Painting Blind,” meanwhile, explores how artists blur the line between abstraction and representation. And then there’s the marquee event, “Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler,” a tribute to the modernist and superstars like Andy Warhol. Together, these shows prove that the Rose is here to stay.
February 11-June 7, 2015, Rose Art Museum, 781-736-3434, brandeis.edu/rose.
Boston Science Fiction Film Festival
Touting itself as “the oldest genre fest in America,” this showcase of sci-fi celluloid celebrates its 40th year with its usual array of features and shorts. The annual highlight is the 24-hour nonstop parade of films, “The ’Thon,” which is about as film-nerd as you can get.
February 6-16, Somerville Theatre, 617-625-5700, bostonscifi.com.
King of the Schnorrers
Two of Boston’s artistic heavyweights team up to create an unusual “comedy with music” set in the Jewish East Side of Manhattan. Based on an Israel Zangwill play, the text is by A.R.T. founder Robert Brustein and the klezmer score by New England Conservatory’s Jewish-music guru, Hankus Netsky. The plot not only tells of a Sephardic actor who cons a wealthy Hollywood producer out of everything he owns, but also frames a troubled love story among rival Jewish sects as a Montague- Capulet affair.
February 7–March 1, New Repertory Theatre, 617-923-8487, newrep.org.
Queen Boudicca: A Metal Opera
Berklee associate professor Robert E. Schlink and his son Robert C. have found one of the great untapped heavy-metal stories: the ancient Celtic queen Boudicca, who led an uprising against the Romans, burned Londinium to the ground, and died before she could be captured. The Schlinks have fashioned a modern opera that melds classical music with thrashing drums and shredding guitars. Former Rent cast member Ava Gaudet, a Berklee alum, plays the empress of rage.
February 10, Berklee Performance Center, 617-747-2261, berklee.edu/bpc.
Green Porno: Live on Stage
Since 2008, film star Isabella Rossellini has been a viral-video machine, making her Green Porno series for the Sundance Channel. Her quirky short films use puppets and costumes to explain the sexy mysteries of the animal world, whether it be hermaphroditic limpets, whale sex, or the mating rites of spiders. Now she’s taking the show on the road, with a one-woman act that is oddly both perverse and wholesome, and just right for Valentine’s Day.
February 13–15, Cutler Majestic Theatre, 617-824-8400, artsemerson.org.
Sure, The Wizard of Oz is a classic, but some of us prefer the 1978 update featuring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Richard Pryor as the titular man behind the curtain, and soul-funk classics like “Ease on Down the Road” and “You Can’t Win.” Such music is so vibrant it begs to be heard live, and so the Fiddlehead Theatre Company obliges us with its revival this month.
February 13–22, Strand Theatre, 617-229-6495, strandboston.com.
Disney on Ice Presents Frozen
Anna. Elsa. That snowman scamp Olaf. All of them live, on skates. If you don’t yet know why this is the most awesome thing ever, then you’re already not going.
February 13–16, 18–22, TD Garden, 800-745-3000, tdgarden.com.