The Cultural To-Do List

Your guide to this month’s events.

boston cultural events july 2015

Photograph by AP Photo/Robert E. Klein


When U2 takes the stage this month at the TD Garden for an almost weeklong residency, it’ll be just one more chapter in the Irish band’s 35-year love affair with our city. After all, it was in December 1980 that Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. played their legendary show at the Paradise—cited as the rapturous gig that made their name in America.

Since then, the quartet has continued returning here to promote its efforts. In 2001, for example, U2 memorialized its “Elevation” comeback tour on DVD by highlighting the show at the Garden. Seven years later, the Edge previewed the band’s U2 3D IMAX film at the New England Aquarium. And, perhaps most famously, in 2009 the group played an intimate gig at the Somerville Theatre—effectively shutting down traffic in Davis Square—in advance of the “360 Tour,” still the highest-grossing concert series of all time. Now that they’re touring behind Songs of Innocence (forget the iTunes debacle, the album’s great) with a run through indoor arenas, it’s time to welcome them back to their stateside home.

July 10-11, July 14-15, TD Garden, 800-745-3000,


This exhibition at Winchester’s Griffin Museum showcases artist Lindsey Beal’s blue-and-white abstracts framed in petri dishes. Her source material? Magnified samples of syphilis and gonorrhea from the CDC.

July 9-August 31, Griffin Museum of Photography, 781-729-1158,

The Art of the Con

In this art-crime survey, Anthony Amore examines the stories behind some of the “most notorious fakes, frauds, and forgeries in the art world,” from e-commerce scams to the recovery of a stolen Cézanne. It’s a brisk read penned by a notable expert on the subject: In his day job as head of security and chief investigator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Amore is trying to crack the world’s most famous unsolved art heist.

Out July 14, $26, Palgrave Macmillan.

Outside the Box

After a one-year hiatus, Boston’s (free!) music and arts festival returns to the Common with more than 70 acts over six days. Headliners include the Gin Blossoms, Kacey Musgraves, and Guster, while our eclectic local scene will be represented by the likes of Boston Bhangra, the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, and Puppet Showplace Theater.

July 14-19,


Company One once again breaks new ground with this play by Andrew Hinderaker. A world premiere coordinated with four other companies, Colossal focuses on a football player who must reevaluate his future when one disastrous game play changes everything. In an innovative twist, the play is structured like the game itself, with four quarters, a halftime show, and a drum line.

July 17-August 15, Boston Center for the Arts, 617-933-8600,

King Lear, Shakespeare on the Common

In its 20th year, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company tackles the Bard’s greatest and most heartbreaking tragedy for the first time. Boston theater vet Will Lyman plays the title role in this free, open-air production of the timeless saga, which explores filial betrayal, holy fools, civil war, and wretched grace.

July 22-August 9, Boston Common,

The Last Patrol

The Perfect Storm author Sebastian Junger has also earned accolades for his war-related films. Released last year, The Last Patrol follows Afghanistan vets as they walk the railroad tracks from DC to Pittsburgh to honor a fallen comrade and get to know their homeland again. After this screening in Truro, Junger will answer questions from the audience.

July 29, Payomet Performing Arts Center, 508-487-5400,