By Jared Bowen | Thursday, September 29, 2011
Sept. 30, 2011
Watch the video segment that aired on September 27 on WGBH's Greater Boston.
BOSTON — The Tent at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is the new, pulsating heart of Boston Fashion Week. For three runway shows on one night, local designers take fashion forward.
One of the hallmarks of Boston Fashion Week is that it offers opportunity for emerging designer talent. Susanne Hatje is the general manager at the Mandarin Oriental Boston. "We have people who got a chance who might not have been seen and give them the platform in a beautiful environment, a beautiful setting, which is high quality and show it to the public. And maybe you see something which you have not seen before," Hatje said.
For the first time in Boston Fashion Week's history, much of the runway action happens at The Tent at the Mandarin Oriental: A 3,000 square foot tent evocative of shows in New York, London and Milan. Twenty designers will unveil their collections here — each presenting 15-minute shows offering around 24 different looks.
Designer Victoria Dominguez-Bagu was the first to show her collection. "I have a little bit of '70s inspiration, I was around in the late 1970s and I just love the pop of color with the teal and the yellow. I want people to see the collection and say, 'I can wear this. I'd really love to wear it because it's so sophisticated and classy and it makes you feel good when you wear it,'" Dominguez-Bagu said.
A colorful piece from designer Victoria Dominguez-Bagu's collection. (via Greater Boston)
Backstage where all the hair and makeup was happening, each of the designers that was showing during Boston Fashion Week had met with their stage, lighting, sound, hair and makeup people to decide what their looks were going to be for the week.
Next up on the runway, showing his couture collection, was one of Boston's most iconic designers, Daniel Faucher.
"I wanted to take you through all the different aspects of a woman's dressing, for special occasion, from a fun dinner out and a luncheon, to obviously the ultimate walk down the aisle as a bride," Faucher said.
One of the striking things about Faucher's collection is the drama he creates for a woman just in the architecture of the dresses he designs. "That's actually what we sort of pride ourselves on. I'm a technician and it's true couture. It's built from the inside out and there's nothing that looks like that or fits like that and the dress walks on its own. And the woman's in there," said Faucher.
And just how much work goes into one of his pieces? Faucher said the average dress takes between 100-150 hours to create. "But the dresses with elaborate beadwork go much more," Faucher added.
For the final runway show, changing fashion from the top, was designer Marie Galvin and her Galvinized Headware collection.
Galvinized Headware offered a deliciously divergent show drawing its own über chic audience. The line's blend of grace and sculpture suggests that every woman should be wearing hats. Its designer disappeared before I could grab an interview — we'll excuse her though. Perhaps after such a successful show, she had nothing left to give.
Susanne Hatje thought the night was a success. "The pieces which came out, the craftsmanship, the elegance, it was flawless. There were so many pieces where you said 'please, I want to wear it, I want to be part of it,'" Hatje said.
For Faucher's part, he said he was relieved it was over. "Oh my God you have no idea! I hate runway shows. They're just too stressful!"
By Jared Bowen | Friday, September 23, 2011
Sept. 23, 2011
BOSTON — As he and his sad sack team limped into the 2002 baseball season, Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane was desperate for a new winning strategy. In Moneyball, a film adaptation of Michael Lewis's 2003 book of the same name, Beane (played by Brad Pitt) realizes baseball has become a game of Moneyball.
Given that the A's have little money compared to the major market teams, his new Assistant GM Peter Brand (played by Jonah Hill) devises a system of Sabermetrics — assembling a team by statistics, not salaries. "I see it as a movie about challenging the system and being undervalued and being an underdog and thinking differently," Hill explained during a recent stop in Boston. "That's the element I related to the most."
Promotional poster for Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt. (via Greater Boston)
Hill's character, a Yale-educated economist, is actually an amalgamation of several number-crunching baseball brainiacs not unlike Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, whom Hill met in prepping for the film. "[The GMs Hill met with] felt the system was archaic and things hadn't changed in 150 years and maybe it was time to try something different," Hill said.
It worked for the A's who wound up pulling off a 20-game winning streak that season, an American League record. "I just looked at it as Billy was the bazooka and Peter was the ammunition," Hill said. "Billy acts on raw emotion and Peter's the most logical person in the entire world so together we form one perfect person to start something new, like Frankenstein."
The 27-year-old Hill has established himself over the last seven years in a string of comedies. Moneyball is his first drama. "I happen to have done a lot of comedic movies, but I love dramas and doing this…having this be the first kind of big drama that people will see me in with Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman is a dream-like surreal experience," said Hill.
The newly slimmed down actor stars in the film alongside a legion of legends from well-known character actors to Pitt — the icon whose stardom looms large. "After the first couple of rehearsals I was like, I need to get over that because I need to focus on just killing it in this part because these guys trusted me, they gave me an opportunity to do something different and I'm not going to let them down," Hill explained. And he doesn't — helping to transform what could have been a cumbersome story about numbers and sports clichés into one of the most engaging films of the year.
The Grammy Awards are this Sunday and among the nominees is Bostonian and Berklee College of Music alumnus Danilo Pérez, nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for his latest release Providencia.
With a career that spans more than two decades, Pérez’s journey has taken him from his native Panama to stages all over the world. Perez’s latest releasefinds him crossing musical genres from around the globe, combining elements of jazz, classical, and Latin American folk music.
Pérez has played on several Grammy Award-winning albums before, as part of bands backing up Arturo Sandoval and Dizzy Gillespie. This is his first nomination under his own name and as his own producer.
“It's very exciting… this is very special for me…for many years, with my name, I'm supposed to be playing and producing only things that are related to Latin music. So in a sense, it’s new to have a Latin name in the jazz category,” says Pérez.
Providencia opens with a piece inspired by Pérez’s oldest daughter, which he plans to develop into a longer symphony.
“I started with the emotion I felt when she was born. My wife and I just looked at her and we started crying,” says Pérez.
“There are six years of her life in the music, and my youngest one is also a part of the piece. I'm committed to developing this piece. They have brought so much Inspiration to my life, and I feel so energized and so creative when I'm around them.”
Maria Hinojosa: One-On-One: Danilo Pérez
In this interview with María Hinojosa, Pérez talks about what he learned from Dizzy Gillespie, his creative process, and the future of jazz. The broadcast include a perform taped in our studios.
Maria Hinojosa: One-On-One: Danilo Pérez in Concert
In 1993, a young Danilo Perez came to our WGBH studios, then located on 125 Western Avenue, to tape a music special for our series La Plaza. This wonderful special features Danilo performing some of his early compositions.
Jazz with Steve Schwartz: Only on 89.7
Host Steve Schwartz plays recordings made here at WGBH during live performances in our studios. This music can be heard no where else! Listen to Danilo Pérez, Fred Hersch, Greg Abate, and George Garzone.
February 9, 2012 – We can only imagine, that ever since the high middle ages - when Geoffrey Chaucer first turned the feast of an obscure 3rd century Saint into a celebration of romantic love - that Valentine's Day has had its advocates and its detractors: Lovers - awash with romantic notions - have perhaps always looked forward to Feb 14 with anticipation. And maybe others – loners, independents and skeptics - have long rolled their collective eyes at all the fuss. Well these days, Valentines Day – like so many holidays – comes with no shortage of stuff to buy, themed menus and special events - for every possible demographic. And in the end, can you really argue with a mid-winter excuse to get out of the house on a weeknight? So here are some Valentine's Day ideas for all you lovers – and you loners – out there from our resident insiders, J Squared - Jan Saragoni and Jared Bowen.
Dining El Centro/South End (Shawmut Ave)
Cozy Mexican bistro with a real, live Mexican chef. Chef Alan Rodriguez’s Valentines Day menu features Empanadas Rellenas de Queso con Pollo (cheese empanadas stuffed with chicken and vegetables); Queso Fundido con Rajas de Chile Verde (melted cheese served with roast pepper, marinated pork or vegetables); Salmon Ranchero with asparagus and oven baked potatoes with a medium spicy sauce. Signature deserts: Chocolate Flan and Arroz con Leche (rice pudding). Delicious Sangria. All entrées priced between $10 & $20.
Area Four/Technology Square, Cambridge
“Misery Loves Company” menu. Dates are welcome this Valentine’s Day, but the real fun is for the singles. Groups of any size welcome to enjoy the Bloody Heart Pizza (beef steak tomato hearts, carmelized onions, house-made mozzarella, $15 & $23.50) ) Breakup Banana Split (homemade chocolate & vanilla ice cream, brandied cherries and chocolate, marshmallow and salted caramel sauces, $10 per person). And for those who want to drown their sorrows, cocktails by the pitcher.
Lala Rokh/Beacon Hill
Tucked away in Beacon Hill, Persian-themed Lala Rokh takes its name from an epic romance by the 19th century poet Thomas Moore, which tells the story of a beautiful young princess on a journey of love and discovery. Valentine’s Day features a four-course prix fixe menu ($48/person) of flavorful staples like Borani-e Garch (mushrooms over grilled, yogurt-drizzled cornbread), Baghla Pollo (braised lamb shank in tomato saffron sauce and rice spiced with fresh dill & fava beans) and Khoresht-e Bademjan (slow-cooked beef with roasted baby eggplant and saffron-seared tomatoes). An a la carte menu is also available.
Valentines Night 2012 first- course menu features Maine Lobster Chowder, Fried Wellfleet Oysters & Vermont Veal Tartare. Main course includes Sweet Potato & Ricotta Ravioli, Long Island Duck Breast and Alaskan Black Cod. Desert Rose Champagne Sorbet & Sauterne-poached Dried Apricot Tart. $75 per person, optional $25 wine pairing.
Dumpling Café/Chinatown (Bargain!)
Yummy Chinese classics including General Gau’s Chicken, Chicken with Broccoli and Tofu with Veggies. Any two entrees, dumplings and tean included for $20.95.
540 Atlantic Avenue — Parking is free with validation
Try the Grilled squid and fried tentacles with Borlotti beans and vinegar peppers and the baked rigatoni with spicy lamb ragu and provolone.
472 Shawmut Avenue in the South End
$40 3-course prix fixe menu including a glass of wine
1st Course: Melted Cheese with pepper, pork or vegetables or Cheese Empanadas stuffed with chicken or vegetables
2nd Course: Skirt Steak, 3 Cheese Chicken Breast or Salmon
3rd Course: Chocolate cake, Mexican Caramel Sticks or Rice Pudding
Asana and M Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Valentine’s Day Delights
"Experience an evening of indulgence this Valentine’s Day at Four-Star Asana restaurant. Delight in a decadent four-course dinner menu specially created by Asana’s culinary team available from Saturday, February 11, 2012 through Tuesday, February 14, 2012. Menu is USD75 per person and an additional USD55 for champagne and wine pairings. Menu attached. And toast to love at M Bar & Lounge where Executive Pastry Chef Nelson Paz has created an assortment of tantalizing house-made chocolate truffles to enjoy complimentary with the purchase of two glasses of Veuve Clicquot Rose available for USD50."
Events And Music Sex at the Zoo Lecture
Franklin Park Zoo Presents an Evening on the Private Lives of Animals.
With a nod to Valentines Day, the Franklin Park Zoo takes a peek into the private lives of animals – do they find each other attractive? Are their mating rituals between humans and animals similar in any way? What can the techniques that animals use to attract mates teach us about romance? This adults- only affair is presented by Dr. Rory Browne with insights into the pros and con of of being in a relationship vs. staying single in the animal kingdom. Lecture takes place in the Tropical Forest Pavillion, home to gorillas, ring-tailed lemurs and of course a giant anteater. Friday, Feb.10 6:00 –8:30. $20 single ticket, $35 pair. Wines by Greenvale Vineyards.
Boston Camerata – the eminent early music ensemble, performs “The Game of Love” (“Jeu d’Amour”)
Artistic Director Anne Azema is joined by intrumentalist Shira Kammen, Tom Zajac and singers Jane Sheldon and Deborah Moore in a special vocal performance emphasizing the “lighter and lustier” side of the Middle Ages (who knew?) with songs dealing with springtime, youth, erotic intrigue as celebrated in village revels, courtly chambers and pre-Internet trysting places. First Lutheran Church, Berkley Street, Boston, Sunday Feb. 12 at 8:00 p.m.
Rebecca Parris Trio/”In Love with Parris” Valentine’s Concert
Rare Boston performance with her long time trio! A romantic evening of impeccable vocal jazz from a beloved local icon of the genre. One Show Only, Saturday Feb.11, 8 pm, Arlington Regent Theater. Tickets $18 - $28.
A.R.T. Ever After Gala
Monday, February 13, 2012
"Princes and Princesses, proclaim your love for the A.R.T. with the 2nd Annual Valentine's Gala, an enchanted fairytale evening of love potions and Grimm notions. Featuring a unique cabaret performance by Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, with Jared Bowen of WGBH as emcee, and a special A.R.T. Angel Award to longtime A.R.T. friend and community volunteer Joan Parker. With a darkly romantic fairy tale theme, A.R.T. Ever After promises to be the social event of the winter. The Castle will be transformed into a wooded forest where guests will mingle with story book characters before enjoying a delicious feast."
Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 6:30-9:30 PM
"A Venetian-inspired Valentine at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Enjoy live music and good conversation over artfully-designed small plates, cocktails and dessert. And then explore the Gardner Museum's magnificent new wing and historic galleries, including the restored Tapestry Room and the rarely open Little Salon, with its putti-adorned mirror and courtship tapestries." $225 per couple/$125 per individual; Members: $150/$85
Playing at the Ames Hotel through February 26th
"Straight from its sold-out run in New York City, Company One is proud to present Travis Chamberlain's highly acclaimed site-specific production of Tennessee Williams' GREEN EYES at The Ames Hotel. Written in 1970 but unpublished for almost 40 years, this "lost" erotic thriller graphically reveals the impact of war through the sexual fantasies of a newlywed couple honeymooning in New Orleans. He's a soldier, traumatized by his participation in the war; she's a ravenous woman determined to satisfy the darkest recesses of her most deviant desires. Starring the acclaimed NYC actress Erin Markey"a kittenish vixen whose sexual pliancy hides an iron will" (The New York Times)--GREEN EYES transforms a honeymoon suite into a psychosexual battleground where desire and violence blur and become indistinguishable. With only 25 seats available per show, this is an exclusive theatrical event you do not want to miss!"
Broadway's Rachel York and Brent Barrett in Isn't It Romantic?
Sunday, February 19th, 1pm at Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston
Co-stars in the West End production of "Kiss Me Kate" (familiar to PBS audiences as it was filmed for Great Performances), this dynamic pair re-unite for a concert at Waltham's Reagle Theatre.
Project Dream Dress
Saturday, March 3 at 1010 Harrison Avenue in Boston 10-2
Military brides-to-be can choose from more than 100 designer gowns (at no cost to them) at a Project Dream Dress event held at the Atrium at Morgan Memorial Goodwill.
Lasell College has contributed the couture gowns which were donated by an exclusive and anonymous design house for Lasell's fashion students to study. They're valued at between $1,000-$8,000. Lasell fashion students will serve as stylists and provide free tailoring and Zoots will provide complimentary dry cleaning services. Brides must register in advance at bridesacrossamerica.com
December 8, 2011 – The holiday season is squarely upon us and with it comes exciting seasonal menus from some of the areas best chefs, lights and music in the streets, concerts and events that range from the elegant to the schmaltzy and - not to be forgotten - some great charities and initiatives worthy of our attention and our dollars. With so much to do and so little time, we turn to our resident insiders J Squared - Jared Bowen and Jan Saragoni - for the skinny on the hippest holiday happenings around the hub this year.
Jan: Classic Italian Cuisine. Cambridge’s new authentic Italian restaurant specializing in home-made pasta. Chef-owner & Rome native Riccardo Passini offers serves daily risotto, meat and fish specials as well as fresh salads & pizza, too.
The Craigie on Main Burger
Jared: Jan and I recently had the now world renowned Craigie on Main burger. Believe the hype. It’s damn good.
Jan: Hip & elegant new Kendall Square where chef-owner William Kovel (formerly of now-shuttered Aujourd’hui) serves classic American cuisine ranging from Tournedos of Beef, honey-glazed duck breast and gourmet burgers.
Jared: Formerly Jer-ne, Artisan Bistro at the Ritz Carlton sports a comfort food menu of delightf. Try the Crisp Flatbreads like the Maine Lobster, Artichoke, Gruyere and lemon, the Crab Cake Fritters and the Bistro Salad.
Jan: Jackson Cannon’s new cocktail lounge at the Hotel Commonwealth (located in former Foundation Lounge). Art fills this beautifully designed space. Open seven days a week, 5pm to 2am.
Jan: Close to the opera House, all-day neighborhood bistro Kingston Station offers a theater-friendly menu for Nutcracker-bound diners. Thirty-minute menu. Also seasonal home-made ice creams like peppermint stick, egg nog and gingerbread.
Jared: Yes, oysters...but the burger at Neptune Oyster is damn good as well. Located in the North End, Neptune Oyster is a must visit. You’ll have to fight long lines but the wait is worth it. Right now don’t miss the Nantucket scallops which are served raw and prepared simply. The burger is done to perfection: Delicious beef, and it’s topped with fried oysters!
Jan: New Mediterranean restaurant near Fresh Pond Circle in Cambridge. Joint project with Casablanca owner Sari Abdul-Jubein and his son Jason. More causal, lower prices featuring some Casablanca favorites: house-smoked pulled lamb with charred tomatoes with spicy yogurt.
Harbor Sweets in Salem
Jared: The 38-year-old company kindly sent us some chocolates to try and they’re fabulous. A favorite was the almond butter crunch. The candy-making process hasn’t changed since they opened—they still employ hands on manufacturing using copper kettles and wooden paddles. What’s more they feature factory tours five days a week at 9am, 11am and 2pm.
Concerts and EventsThe Castle for Venturing Out
Jared: A non-profit organization that teaches men and women who are about to be released from prison how to start their own businesses, they hold a fundraising event December 8 at The Sorenson Centor for the Arts at Babson College. The event offers a staged reading of “The Castle” which was first performed off-Broadway and written entirely by former prison inmates. It weaves in real-life stories from childhood to crime to leading straight and sober lives.
The Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll
Emily: Thursday, December 8, 6–9pm. What's not to love? Victorian carolers, strolling brass quintet and horse and buggy rides. The tree lighting takes place at 7pm on the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon Street.
This Shining Night
Jan: The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus rings “This Shining Night” to Jordan Hall through Dec.19.
A Christmas Carol
Jan: At the North Shore Music Theatre. 18th year that David Coffee has played the cranky Ebenezer Scrooge. Through Dec.23. Unwrapped toys for kids aged 2 –12 are appreciated for Toys for Tots.
Radio City Christmas Spectacular
Jared: The schmaltzy show returns in an all-new fashion this year. The biggest difference is a giant 50 foot LED screen that serves as a backdrop. Tired numbers have been refreshed and in a new scene for the tour, a lifelike double-decker bus takes visitors on a tour of a holiday decked-out New York. My personal faves are Parade of the Wooden Soldiers and The Living Nativity although they bagged their cheesy Charlton Heston-ish voice-over in favor of a teenager. It doesn’t work.
Emily: I'm an avid tennis player. This organization brings the sport into the lives of inner city youth.
For art-lovers and men-and-women-about-town, the coming weeks promise to be an embarrassment of riches, with street music celebrations, gallery openings and film festivals abound. Our resident insiders – Jared Bowen and Jan Saragoni – reveal which happenings are not to be missed.
Jan's Picks Storyville
Legendary jazz club returns to Boston in the subterranean Exeter St. space formerly occupied by “Saint”, which used to be Café Budapest. Jazz legends Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald performed throughout the ‘50’s. Owner Brian Lesser calls it a “speakeasy and a nightclub” all rolled into one. “Saint” was completely gutted and re-designed by Steve Sousa of Sousa Designs and is now divided into two rooms; the red Bordello Room (which is what the New Orleans red-light district used to be called) and a larger space for a dj and dancing.Chef Louis DiBiccari, formerly of Sel de la Terre) serves dishes inspired by food history of Boston. Looked at old menus from Union Oyster House & Locke-ober. Fifteen plates, designed for sharing, include: Crab Louis, Beef Wellington and of course, baked beans. Jamaica Plain Open Studios Saturday 9/24-Sunday 9/25, 11am-6pm
18th annual Open Studios. Artists include painters Bill Chisolm, Rachel Wood and sculptor Ruth Rosner
Join many of the artists for breakfast at Cheverus Saturday morning to hear more about the exhibits
Biggest group exhibition, almost 75 individual artists (mostly photographers), from the gallery’s 40-year history on display through the end of October. Located in the Hotel Commonwealth, Kenmore Square. Gallery started by Tony Decaneas as a one-room basement space on Bay State road. Oldest fine art photography gallery in New England, specializing in contemporary, modern and vinatage photography including Asel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz and Constantine Manos.
Boston Classical Orchestra Saturday 9/24, 8pm-10pm, Faneuil Hall
Steven Lipsitt conducts a “best of the classics” program featuring Beethoven’s powerful “Eroica” Symphony No. 3 and Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” overture. Cellist Allison Eldredge performs Saint-Saens “Cello Concerto."
Cooking Class at the Four Seasons Tuesday 9/27, 6:30-8:30
ABC's of Cooking. Learn hands-on, basic skills like grilling, brazing and sautéing with classes supervised by Executive Chef Brooke Vosika. Prepare the perfect roast chicken with rosemary roasted potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts and whipped butternut squash.
Tuesday 10/18, 6:30-8:30
Cider Specialties for the Oct. 18th class, including braised pork loin with fresh cider, sage and Winesap apples. Students get an apron, recipe cards and endless amounts of food & drink for $15.
Steely Dan Wang Center, 9/28–9/30
Are you reeling in the years?
Jared's Picks Betsey Johnson 10/15 at the Cyclorama in the South End
The legendary Fashion Designer presents her pret-a-porter collection at a gala event to benefit the South End Community Health Center’s Breast Cancer Prevention Program. Jared Bowen is the emcee. Varying ticket prices gain access to VIP reception, fashion show, party, etc. Part of the NY fashion scene since 1964, the iconic designer was part of the 1960s Warhol scene, has more than 65 stores worldwide, has won nearly every fashion award known to man and is a breast cancer survivor herself.
Life is Good Festival 9/24-25 at Prowse Farm in Canton
Two day music festival benefits The Life Is Good Kids Foundation whose mission is to help children mired in dire circumstances and challenges like violence, illness and extreme poverty. Features a host of performers and headliner Ray LaMontagne, The Avett Brothers, Michael Franti and Spearhead and many more.
Honk! Festival 2011 9/30-10/3 in Davis Square, Somerville
6th Annual Festival of Activist Street Bands. 30 street bands from all over the country return to Boston (where the festival was founded in Davis Square). Playing in and around Davis Square and Harvard Square these bands take to the streets performing, raising awareness about social issues and making general merriment.
Boston Fashion Week 9/23-30
Taking its cues from New York City’s fashion week and the tent at Lincoln Center, Boston ups the ante this year by consolidating the annual event in one Tent housed at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Runway shows feature the city’s hottest designers and are private but a host of fashion-related events will be happening around the city and at the Tent.
Hepburn and Chaplin
ArtsEmerson’s October film program features the films of Katharine Hepburn and Charlie Chaplin. Films are screened at The Paramount Center in the Bright Family Screening Room on Washington Street. Tickets are $10. October begins a three-month, 13 film Hepburn retrospective including A Bill of Divorcement, Little Women, a new 35mm print of Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia story and more. The Chaplin films are all new 35mm prints and feature The Kid, The Circus and Modern Times.
About the Author
Jared Bowen Jared Bowen is WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts.