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'Something Rotten,' 'Rainfield,' and 'Art & Medicine'

Jared's arts picks for this week: "Something Rotten!" (left), "Rainfield" (top right), and "Art & Medicine" (bottom right)

Each week, WGBH Arts Editor Jared Bowen sums up the exhibitions, theater, movies, and music you should check out in and around Boston. Here's this week's rundown.

"Something Rotten!" | Boston Opera House through Jan. 29

Adam Pascal (center) shines as a rock star William Shakespeare in "Something Rotten!"
Joan Marcus

Broadway in Boston's Synopsis: "Set in the ‘90s—the 1590s—this hilarious smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write their own hit play while the "rock star" Shakespeare keeps getting all the hits. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical!"

"'Something Rotten!' really ripens into a purely enjoyable, original musical," Bowen says.

"Rainfield" | MassArt Design and Media Center through 2017

Artist Daniel Clayman (right) looks out at his installation
Will Howcroft

MassArt's Synopsis: "The 60’ long sculpture, titled Rainfield, was conceptualized by renowned New England sculptor Daniel Clayman, Visiting Professor this semester for the interdisciplinary class, Structured Light, and created in partnership with his 18 students. Since the beginning of the term in September, the class has been fabricating the components of the piece and working through logistics of installation. ... Based on the sensual, poetic moodiness of a rainstorm, while tapping into a visceral memory of the sound of rain on a copper roof, Rainfield is a continuation of Clayman’s exploration of the landscape sited in interior spaces. A nod to Pointillism, Clayman has produced a visual statement where the thousands of elements combine to make a singular moment, prompting the viewer to embrace the beauty of the gathering storm." 

Bowen describes it as "a piece that invites slow looking."

"Art & Medicine" | Open Studio explores the artwork at MGH Cancer Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Jonathan Zuker, artist-in-residence with the Illuminations program, paints in Mass General Hospital's Cancer Center
Megan Carleton

Synopsis: This week "Open Studio" looks at the healing power of art in medicine right here in Boston. At the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, the Illuminations program is a rotating art exhibit designed to lighten patients' moods and surround them with a diverse and changing backdrop of art. As the current artist-in-residence for the illuminations program, Rock Port artist Jonathan Zuker stops by the Cancer Center every Wednesday to paint and interact with patients. Zuker lost his own father to cancer in 2004.

Across town, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has curated over 1,500 works of art for their patients. Jane Mayer, chair of the Art and Environment program, has helped curate a museum experience at the Farber, with works from such famous artists as Andy Warhol, Donald Baechler, Alex Katz, Red Grooms, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Lewitt, Dan Dailey, Ralph Helmick, and many more. To help patients stay active between cancer treatment sessions, Dana-Farber has also created an interactive audio tour they can listen to on their cell phones.

"[These programs are] two clear examples of how art does matter," Bowen says.

How do you think art heals? » Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter.

This post has been updated.

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