Seven Can’t-Miss Events in Boston, August 2018

Including the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party, a concert from the rock legend Blondie, and more.

Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at the Crane Estate. Photo by Erica Mattison

“Early Hitchcock: The Master of Suspense in the U.K.”

Long before Psycho and The Birds terrorized generations of moviegoers, Alfred Hitchcock was directing spellbinding classics such as 1935’s The 39 Steps. For thrill junkies interested in the auteur’s early work, Emerson College professor Andre Puca presents this five-part series on Wednesdays, which will bring a chill to your summer nights.

August 1-29, Coolidge Corner Theatre, 617-734-2501,

Blondie with And the Kids

Mass MoCA’s lineup of killer summer concerts continues with rock legends Blondie. Helmed by the inimitable Debbie Harry, the band will be joined by Northampton natives And the Kids for a night of punk attitude and pop hooks. This is guaranteed to be a stellar show—one way or another.

August 3, Joe’s Field, 413-662-2111,

The Third Hotel

Memory, mystery, and heartache collide in the latest from Cambridge author Laura van den Berg. Grieving the death of her husband, Richard, the newly widowed Clare travels to Havana—where she then spots Richard. As Clare’s world unravels, van den Berg excavates past and present to reflect on love and loss.

Out August 7, $26, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,

Courtesy photo

“Whose Wine Is It Anyway?”

Join City Winery and Improv Asylum as they hilariously—and deliciously—take on a notoriously pretentious pastime: wine-tasting. Each ticket comes with a flight of vino; sip along with IA actors as they riff on tasting notes (hints of mahogany and mirth) and source suggestions from the, ahem, pinot gallery.

Out August 11, City Winery, 617-933-8047,

Roaring Twenties Lawn Party

Dust off those pearls and pinstripes: The Crane Estate in Ipswich is back with its annual retro fete, the Roaring Twenties Lawn Party. Presented by Boston Swing Central and the Trustees of Reservations, the two-day celebration transforms the estate grounds and Great House into a Gatsby-worthy sprawl of music, shopping, and as much lindy-hopping as your heart can handle. (Era-appropriate clothing, of course, is encouraged.)

If your Charleston isn’t up to par, don’t worry: Activities include dance lessons from local organizations as well as lawn games and photo ops with antique automobiles. And should you forget to lace up your Oxfords or buckle on your T-straps, you can always grab something on-site: Pop-up vintage vendors will be standing by ready to outfit you to perfection. So raise a crystal coupe glass and have a time of it, old sport.

August 4-5, The Crane Estate,

“Empresses of China’s Forbidden City”

The opulence of the Qing dynasty comes to colorful life at the Peabody Essex Museum this month. Making its U.S. debut, this exhibit takes viewers behind palace doors, painting a picture of the era’s empresses through displays of jewelry, garments, portraits, sculptures, and more.

August 18–February 10, 2019, Peabody Essex Museum, 978-745-9500,

Photo via Palace Museum

The Niceties

In playwright Eleanor Burgess’s newest undertaking with the Huntington, a seemingly innocuous conversation between a black student and a white professor erupts into a back-and-forth on race, privilege, and liberalism that leaves both women—and hopefully the audience—forever changed.

August 31–October 6, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 617-266-7900,