Each Thursday, GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen sits down with Morning Edition to go through the latest in Boston's arts and culture. This week, stories from the stage, screen, and page come to the fore.

'Chicken and Biscuits'

Playing at The Modern Theatre through Jan. 8

“Chicken and Biscuits” is a comedy that's set at a funeral. Bowen says the play is perfect for the holidays. The comedy, written by Douglas Lyons and produced by the Front Porch Arts Collective, explores the dynamics of the Jenkins family as they come together to celebrate their patriarch’s life. Combining heartfelt commentary with humor, Bowen says “Chicken and Biscuits” is “riotously funny, but also kind of deep as the family has their quiet time to really explore one another.”

The Front Porch Arts Collective is the first theater company in Boston founded with a focus on Black artists and their stories. “Chicken and Biscuits” is the group’s first independent production, following a number of plays co-produced with larger theater companies.

A family is gathered in a church following a funeral. At the front, the mother looks into the distance, "contemplating the family's happy future" while her children stand around a table behind her
Matriarch Beneatta (Jacqui Parker) contemplates the family's happy future in Front Porch Arts Collective's production of "Chicken and Biscuits"
Ken Yotsukura Front Porch Arts Collective

'Materialia Lumina | Luminous Books: Concept & Craft in Contemporary Artists' Books'

On view at the Boston Athenaeum through March 11

The Boston Athenaeum has a long and storied history in Boston beyond being a “fancy private library,” and a recent change in management has led to the Athenaeum opening up both literally and figuratively to the broader community. Visitors to the newly expanded Athenaeum can become members, purchase day passes and request items be brought out from their special collections.

Part of the library’s expansive collection is all manner of artists' books — books created as works of art, featuring everything from intricate design to paintings to even sculpture work. The pieces currently on view here in Boston are part of a traveling exhibition that is currently touring the world with a temporary stop here at 10 ½ Beacon St.

visitors look at artists' books on display at the Boston Athenaeum
The Boston Athenaeum currently has a wide variety of artists' books on display
Paige Brown Boston Athenaeum

'I Wanna Dance with Somebody'

In theaters Dec. 23

This biopic of megastar Whitney Houston was filmed here in Boston at Marina Studios, one of the few woman-owned studios in the area. The film features shots of the Boston Opera House, the Cutler Majestic Theater, the Wang Theater and more of Boston’s landmarks, but focuses on the story of Whitney Houston and her rise to fame, starting with her early life with her mother and discovery by Clive Davis.

Both Davis and the Houston family were involved in the creation of the film, with Houston herself played by BAFTA award-winning actress Naomi Ackie. While Bowen concedes that the film “skips from one thing to the next to the next,” its attempts to do Houston’s life story well in just a few hours “is pretty spectacular.”