This week, Jared Bowen discovers a whale of a panorama and reviews the new film “Blindspotting” and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s production of “Richard III.”

“A Spectacle in Motion,” presented free at the Kilburn Mill by the New Bedford Whaling Museum through October 8

A Spectacle in Motion
A depiction of the village of Horta, Faial on the whaling panorama.
Courtesy of the New Bedford Whaling Museum

One of the longest original paintings in the world is has been restored by the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Created in 1848 by New Bedford natives Benjamin Russell and Caleb Purrington, this massive work — longer than the Empire State Building is tall — is on display at the Kilburn Mill. Drawn from Russell’s own whaling experiences, the panorama depicts what would have been a typical Yankee whaling voyage to exotic ports in the Azores, Cape Verde, Rio de Janeiro, and more. “It would have been very autobiographical, because [Russell] did experience the locations that are depicted in the panorama,” says Chief Curator Christina Connett. “His audience would have been people who are familiar with harbors, so they would have been quite critical of it if it didn't seem authentic.”

“Blindspotting,” in theaters now

Daveed Diggs as “Collin” and Rafael Casal as “Miles” in "Blindspotting"
Ariel Nava, courtesy of Lionsgate

A Sundance favorite reaches theaters this week. In “Blindspotting,” Collin (Daveed Diggs) is working through his final three days of probation with his troublemaking childhood friend Miles (Rafael Casal). When Collin witnesses the police shooting of an unarmed black man, their friendship is tested as they both come to terms with their identities amidst the rapidly changing environment of their native Oakland. The film is co-written by longtime collaborators and Bay Area locals Diggs and Casal, who spent almost a decade working on this project. Jared says the film is “a hugely entertaining, thoughtful and provocative piece about the elusive notion of home.”

“Richard III,” presented for free on the Boston Common by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company through August 5

Richard III
Faran Tahir stars as the titular tyrant in "Richard III"
Evgenia Eliseeva, courtesy of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

One of Boston’s most beloved Shakespearian traditions returns to Boston Common. Directed by Steven Maler, “Richard III” tells the classic tale of the villainous Duke of Gloucester who will stop at nothing to become king. Faran Tahir (Iron Man, Star Trek) stars as the titular Richard III, a conniving, violent and deeply paranoid tyrant who deceives and murders his way to the throne. “From the first moments he appears onstage, you get the sense of this very dark blood roiling in him” says Jared. The play is presented for free on the Boston Common by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

What do you think of the new and improved Emerson Colonial Theatre? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!