This week, Jared Bowen heads to the Addison Gallery of American Art for "From Starfield to MARS: Paul Manship and His Artistic Legacy” and reviews two new plays in Boston.
“From Starfield to MARS: Paul Manship and His Artistic Legacy,” on view for free at the Addison Gallery of American art through January 20
The Addison Gallery of American Art is celebrating the sculpture of twentieth century artist Paul Manship. Known for his Art Deco sculptures that touched on themes of mythology and the celestial, Manship is perhaps most famous for his creation of the monumental “Prometheus” statue at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The two-part exhibition at the Addison Gallery features sculptures, models, and artifacts from the artist’s estate, as well as new work by four contemporary photographers inspired by Manship’s legacy. “He was someone who knew very well how to model faithfully anatomy, but he chose not to,” says director Judith Dolkart. “He went for something more stylized. Very elegant. And I think that helped to define Art Deco.” The exhibition also marks the transformation of Manship’s summer home in Gloucester into a newly formed artists’ haven called the Manship Artists Residency + Studios, or MARS.
“Fun Home,” presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company through November 24
The Tony Award-winning musical “Fun Home” makes its regional debut at SpeakEasy Stage Company. Based on the bestselling graphic novel by Alison Bechdel and directed by Paul Daigneault, this musical follows the development of Alison at three stages of her life as she looks back at fractured memories of childhood, family, and sexuality. With intimate staging and a moving score by Tony Award-winners Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, “Fun Home” is described by Jared as “beautifully and movingly rendered ... A mosaic of the memories we gradually realize define us.”
“Equivocation,” presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project at United Parish in Brookline through November 11 in repertory with Macbeth
A new play presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project imagines the circumstances that lead to Shakespeare’s writing of “Macbeth.” Set in 1606 London, William “Shagspeare” (played by Steven Barkhimer) is pressured by King James I (Ed Hoopman) to write a propaganda play that praises the King’s efforts to stop the “Gunpowder Plot.” Written by Bill Cain, this production ponders Shagspeare’s moral dilemma of adhering to his art while reconciling what it means to work in the proximity of power. “Entertaining and often engrossing,” says Jared, “Equivocation is a portrait of the artist bound in a political nest.” The play is presented in repertory with Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s “Macbeth,” which features many of the same cast members as “Equivocation.”