This week, GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen joined the Morning Edition team to discuss Melissa Etheridge's upcoming visit to Boston and Cirque du Soleil's latest production, which put the gymnasts on ice.

Melissa Etheridge

Performing at City Winery Boston on June 5, 6, 8 and 9

Melissa Etheridge's latest album, " One Way Out," was written in the '80s and '90s but it wasn't until recently that she felt comfortable recording these songs, which are deeply personal. The album highlights the artist's identity in a way that she wasn't quite ready to share with the world, until now.

"We think of Melissa Etheridge as a bold person full of conviction. She's a trailblazer as one of the first out celebrities and all of the scrutiny that that entailed. But there was a time where she was kind of reluctant to tell her story," said Bowen.

As the nation enters pride month against the backdrop of state-level efforts to restrict LGBTQ+ rights, Etheridge's album is a poignant recognition of the lived experience of LGBTQ+ individuals. "It's always the case that artists reflect what's happening now. They take it, they process it, and they put it back on stage or they put it on gallery walls — or they're Melissa Etheridge, telling their story in song," said Bowen.

Along with touring her new album, Etheridge also streams music on Etheridge TV, her own platform.

Melissa Etheridge
Singer Melissa Etheridge waves to the crowd at the premiere of the film "West Side Story,"
Chris Pizzello/Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Invision

Cirque du Soleil: Crystal
Playing at the Agganis Arena through June 12

"The joy, but also the terrifying nature of Cirque du Soleil is that it is dangerous!" said Bowen.

For the first time in its history, Cirque du Soleil brings gymanastics to the ice.

"Some of the feats we see here are just absolutely incredible. I think the one that still sticks out to me [...] is a human pinball game where you have the skaters all around the rink with these balls, doing these pikes and flips. It's absolutely extraordinary," said Bowen.

The show tells the story of Crystal, a girl on the outskirts of society who lives "inside her head." While skting, she falls throguh the ice and enters a magical world that brings her a greater sense of self. "It is high design, high concept, great music," said Bowen.

CRYSTAL Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil's CRYSTAL
Matt Beard Photography Cirque du Soleil