Seven Can’t-Miss Events in Boston, August 2019

From the MFA's Howard Greenberg collection to Zac Brown Band at Fenway Park.

Broadway veteran Billy Porter returns to the Huntington this month. / Courtesy photo

The Purists

Ever wonder what would happen if you combined the rhyme-spitting delivery of Hamilton with the slay-all-day camaraderie of Pose? Then we have but two words for you: The Purists. On August 30, the latest from the mind of Huntington Theatre Company playwright (and “huge hip-hop head”) Dan McCabe makes its world premiere at the BCA’s Calderwood Pavilion. As for whose name is on the director’s chair? None other than Tony Award winner (and Met Gala winner) Billy Porter.

McCabe’s story of a rap battle gone down a rabbit hole was four years in the making. “The idea started in 2015,” he says. “I was fascinated with the idea of two people who were on the surface very different, but deep down shared some similar values and ideals.” And with a savant like Porter calling the shots—“He’s the kind of person who lives his art every day,” McCabe says—The Purists is bound to be as beautiful as it is brilliant. —Endre Joseph

August 30–September 29, Calderwood Pavilion, 617-266-0800,

Bill Burr

It’s time to add “generous” to the (um, colorful) list of words describing Bill Burr. With pals in tow, the Canton native/connoisseur of sorry-not-sorry comedy is heading to the Wilbur in support of the Travis Roy Foundation, which helps spinal-cord-injury survivors. The cause may be pure, but knowing Burr, the jokes will be anything but.

August 1, The Wilbur, 617-248-9700,

Fine Arts
“Viewpoints: Photographs from the Howard Greenberg Collection”

Some of the most iconic images of the 20th century grace photographer Howard Greenberg’s collection. Swing by the MFA to view a selection of 150 of them, knowing that your history books could never do these shots justice.

August 11–December 15, Museum of Fine Arts, 617-267-9300,

John Williams’s Film Night

Join in on a Tanglewood tradition as John Williams and Boston Pops conductor David Newman take the ensemble through a program feting the music of Hollywood and beyond—including Williams’s iconic scores. This is one classic we’ll never tire of seeing rebooted.

August 24, Koussevitzky Music Shed, 617-266-1492,

Courtesy photo

The Other’s Gold

Like your beach reads with a gut-punch of emotion? Then may we recommend tossing The Other’s Gold into your L.L. Bean tote. Elizabeth Ames’s debut follows four young women from college meet-cute into adulthood, where devastating mistakes test the bonds of their friendship. (We also suggest packing some Kleenex.)

Out August 27, $27, Penguin Random House.

Boston Jazz Fest

Bid August adieu with some funk: Boston Jazz Fest takes over South Boston Maritime Park for two days of good vibes and tunes, paying homage to the genre’s roots—and sending summer off in smooth style.

August 30–31, 617-615-6361,

Photo by Diego Pernía

Zac Brown Band

This month, Zac Brown Band returns to Fenway for yet another set of all-but-sold-out shows. If you nabbed tickets, you’re in for a treat—the park’s acoustics were made for this jam band. If you didn’t, at least sound carries through the neighborhood…

August 31–September 1, Fenway Park, 617-226-6791,