Every Thursday, WGBH Arts Editor  Jared Bowensums up the exhibitions, theater, movies and music you should check out in and around Boston and delivers news from the city's arts scene.


The news: David Mugar, the philanthropist who has been the lead producer of the Boston Pops’ Esplanade Fourth of July Celebration for more than 40 years, has announced that he’ll retire after next year’s event.

Jared says: “This is very, very significant because David Mugar is the Fourth of July in Boston. He is the one who really worked with Arthur Fiedler and the Pops to make it the spectacular event that it is today.”

THE SNOW QUEEN, playing at New Repertory Theatre through Dec. 20

Synopsis: Hans Christian Anderson’s story about two young best friends separated by a cold-blooded Snow Queen is told through pop-rock songs sung by a steampunk-styled cast.

Jared says: “For kids, it’s a very enchanting piece. I love the aesthetic value here…The book and the lyrics are quite uneven; some of the performances are uneven. But it’s still a fun holiday offering.”

ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH, the international art fair wrapped up Dec. 6

Synopsis: The sprawling annual fair showcases modern and contemporary art from leading galleries worldwide, attracts tens of thousands of visitors, and brings in millions of dollars to Miami.

Jared says: “Surely there was an arts scene beforehand, but it’s very interesting to see how something so big, so splashy—because you have everything from your major, major blue-chip artists…to the very small, emerging artists that are very accessible—...does have a trickle-down effect.”

THE DANISH GIRL, in theaters Friday

Synopsis: The fictionalized account of one of the first people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery stars Eddie Redmayne as one half of an artist couple striving to stay whole through the transition.

Jared says: “It’s a beautiful portrait by Eddie Redmayne. You think that you’d seen it all with ‘The Theory of Everything’ last year, but that’s not the case.”

If you—like Jared —have never seen the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” join him and WGBH’s Jim Braude at the Brattle Theatre Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. RSVP for the free screening at Brattlefilm.org.