This week, GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen joined the Morning Edition team to talk through the latest in public art and performance. There’s still plenty to see as summer begins to wind down.
Now playing on Broadway in Boston, onstage at the Citizens Bank Opera House through Aug. 28
The Broadway musical, adapted from the 1997 and 1956 films of the same name, just opened in Boston on Thursday. It tells the famously mythologized story of the Grand Duchess Anastasia of the Romanov Empire. He parents, Tsar Nicholas II and Alexandra Hesse-Darmstadt, ruled Russia until the Bolsheviks murdered the entire family. Or did they? Rumors swirled that Anastasia had not only survived the 1918 assasination but that she escaped Russia.
As Bowen describes, the musical “works so beautifully ... because she’s a woman of terrific agency. And this is just really about her trying to understand her past and find her memories and re-find her dreams and find her family.”
The production is also geared towards audiences of all ages. It’s adapted from a beloved animated film, so “Anastasia” will certainly attract families, but Bowen says “it’s also very adult.”
“[It] resonated for me for what I recognized in this young woman and how she took control of this situation for herself,” Bowen explained.
Now on view in New Bedford through Sept. 12
“Shelter’s” three exhibitions explore the titular theme through the lens of climate, housing and New Bedford’s history of involvement in the Underground Railroad. It’s a collaborative venture, overseen by the Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute.
Part of the installation is called “Star Lounge,” a domed structure that visitors can enter. As Morning Edition host Paris Alston put it, “it kind of reminded me of a big gumball machine — like, in the most fantastical way.” The second piece utilizes Abeer Seikaly’s photographs as a look into her Jordanian-Palestinian culture alongside the Bedouin tradition of travelling through the deserts of Jordan.
The third installment is RISD alum Do Ho Suh’s fabric structures, presenting a “kind of gauzy” model of his former homes across the world — from Rhode Island to Berlin to South Korea. Bowen says the art “gives you a conception of home and what home is after we leave it. But for him, it’s also about migration, and every time you move you’re crossing a new threshold, just as you cross the threshold into his structures.”
Last chance! On view outside Faneuil Hall through Aug. 18
“Summer Sets” is an installation by Colombian artist Juan Obando that taps into a raging debate in contemporary American life: what should be done about controversial statues?
Obando’s display shows a large photograph of Faneuil Hall with its Samuel Adams statue removed. In the piece, what Obando “is really trying to do is look at this notion of public art and statues,” Bowen explained. “We’ve talked a lot about statues in this country ... and what are the role of these statues and sculptures and public art today?”
The presenting organization, Now and There, has ambassadors on-site to help viewers work through their thoughts on the image and what role statues play in Boston today. One ambassador told Bowen that “it’s really evenly divided between people who want these statues to stay as a part of history, to be preserved. And other people say no — it’s time to open it up, just as the photograph suggests, for more thought, more space, more artists.”