Every week, WGBH Arts Editor Jared Bowensums up the exhibitions, theater, movies and music you should check out in and around Boston.
PROVINCETOWN PLAYERS CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, the Provincetown Theater presents four plays written in 1915, Thursdays throughout Saturdays, July 2 through July 18 (except July 4)
Jared says: "The language is as resonate today as it was 100 years ago because they were the theater of the new at the time."
Synopsis: The Provincetown Players, as they’d come to be known, staged their first shows in a seaside cottage before moving to a precarious fishing shack on one of the town’s many wharves, a site now recalled by a simple marker. Legend has it, Eugene O’Neill landed in Provincetown with a trunk full of plays after he’d heard a revolution in American theater was being staged there. He found exactly what he’d been looking for—something to counter the melodramatic and overly commercial plays of New York. Within four years, O’Neill would win his first Pulitzer Prize. The Players’ co-founder Susan Glaspell would win her own 11 years after that. The centennial of the Provincetown Players founding in 1915 is now being celebrated across town, from the Provincetown Pilgrim Monument and Museum to the Provincetown Theater staging four of the company’s original works throughout July, including O’Neill’s short play “The Sniper,” written in response to the ferocity of World War I; and Glaspell’s “Suppressed Desires,” a subversive comedy about psychoanalysis run amok.
Jared says: "These are all people who are immensely, immensely talented, and here’s what we get to see them do when they are unleashed."
Synopsis: This summer, Jeffrey Cirio has created for his fellow dancers a place where they have the freedom to create, to push themselves, and where there are no restrictions. In just six years on Boston Ballet’s stage—most of them as principal dancer—Cirio has become a force, owning the stage with rarefied skill. And in a bit of genetic bonanza, much the same can be said for his older sister, Lia. The pair have formed the Cirio Collective, rallying a group of friends to create and perform during their dance downtime. The collective is all about the collaboration, Lia says—a safe harbor for expression without the pressure of the ballet world. The dancers will be artists in residence at the Vineyard Arts Project, presenting on July 18 new work as well as a solo by Jeffrey and “of Trial,” a piece he created in 2014 for Boston Ballet. Then they’ll head to Provincetown to perform in the Cape Dance Festival July 25. At the end of the summer, Jeffrey departs Boston for New York, where he’ll join American Ballet Theatre, while Lia remains one of Boston Ballet’s leading lights. Together, as a collective, they’ll dance on.
INFINITELY POLAR BEAR, in theaters Friday
Jared says: "In Mark Ruffalo’s hands, of course, it’s very endearing, very sweet, because he’s such a talented actor."
Synopsis: Cam Stuart’s family is in a bind after his manic depression leads to a breakdown that leaves him unable to work (at WGBH, no less!), and his Forbes-moneyed family is unwilling to open their pocketbook. His wife, Maggie, (Zoe Saldana) decides to go to New York to get her MBA to support them, and that means she must leave Cam (Mark Ruffalo) mostly alone with their two daughters in Cambridge. The girls prod him to stop smoking and pull himself together, and he has to find a way to get into their world, and at the same time, help them understand his. The movie is based on director Maya Forbes' childhood, and to add another laying of "surreality," as Ruffalo put it, her real-life daughter plays the older girl. (See Jared's interview with Ruffalo and Forbes on Open Studio.)