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Arts in the Fall: Offerings abound in Greater Boston arts scene

Banner Staff
Arts in the Fall: Offerings abound in Greater Boston arts scene
Billy Porter directs the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of “The Purists.” COURTESY PHOTO

As the weather turns cooler, the Boston-area arts scene remains hot! Theater and visual arts offerings abound. The following is a cross-section of this fall’s offerings at local museums and theatre companies.


Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Artist Fatimah Tuggar participates in a panel discussion during a symposium titled “Time and Technology” on Friday, Sept. 13 at Wellesley College’s Davis Museum at 3 p.m. Organized in conjunction with the exhibition “Fatimah Tuggar: Home’s Horizons,” the symposium brings together scholars, artists, technologists and Wellesley College students to present new critical perspectives on Tuggar’s multimedia practice. The event features talks, tours and interactive workshops organized over two days.

Multimedia artist Fatimah Tuggar (b. 1967, Kaduna, Nigeria) interrogates the systems underlying human interactions with both high-tech gadgets and handmade crafts. Now based in Kansas City, Tuggar is renowned for her work that layers binary code with artisanry, and her sculptures, photomontages, videos, and interactive works challenge romanticized notions of ancient traditions and recent inventions.

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem

The Peabody Essex Museum enters the autumn season with the opening of a new wing. Designed by Ennead Architects, the 40,000-square-foot expansion features three new floors of dedicated gallery space, a light-filled atrium and a welcoming entrance for school and group tours. There is also a new 5,000-square-foot-garden, with unique water features and plantings, that offers an inviting space to sit and relax and contemplate. In this stunning new space, visitors will encounter dynamic installations of our vast collections, including maritime, Asian export art and fashion and design, new exhibitions, new work by commissioned artists and more opportunities to encounter art in public spaces.

First Fridays


The Institute for Contemporary Art’s Sept. 6 First Fridays party on the harbor runs from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and features can’t-miss drag shows plus more dancing, more cocktails and more art!

This 21+ event does sell out; advance tickets are recommended. ICA members are always guaranteed entry.

Museum of Fine Arts

On Friday, Sept. 6, join the Museum of Fine Arts for MFA First Fridays. The monthly events are held on the first Friday of each month from 6 to 9:30 p.m. First Fridays feature fine art, music, bars featuring signature cocktails, and delicious tapas available for purchase.


On the First Friday of every month, the artists, galleries, shops and showrooms of the SoWa Art + Design District open their doors to the public for an evening of art, culture and inspiration. Meet the artists in their element, view the latest gallery exhibitions, shop small, and dine at one of SoWa’s restaurants.


SpeakEasy Stage Company

At the Speakeasy Stage Company, the first post-Broadway production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Choir Boy” runs from Sept. 13 to Oct. 12. The powerful coming-of-age story by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Moonlight” is punctuated by the soaring harmonies of live gospel, spiritual and R&B performances. For 50 years, the elite Charles R. Drew Prep School has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men; its legendary gospel choir an emblem of all it holds true. But for Pharus Young, the opportunity to take his rightful place as the leader of these talented vocalists comes at a price. Can he still earn his place in these hallowed halls and sing in his own key?

Huntington Theatre Company

Opening Aug. 30 and running through Sept. 29 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts is Dan McCabe’s “The Purists,” directed by Billy Porter.  A former rapper, a DJ and a showtunes-loving tele-sales director have become an unlikely group who hang out and spar about music on a stoop in Queens. But when an impromptu rap battle erupts between two younger female emcees, everything gets questioned. With raw emotion and uproarious humor, “The Purists” asks, What is friendship? How can we embrace new ideas? And what does it mean to be wholly yourself?

Opening Sept. 20 at the Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre and running through Oct. 20 is Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.”  This modern-day classic tragicomedy imagines the lives of two minor characters from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. As the story unfolds, they voice their confusion about the play that’s being performed without them, untangling bigger questions about life and death, reality and art. It’s all from the pen of Academy Award-winner and four-time Best Play Tony Award-winner Stoppard (“Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “The Real Thing” and “Arcadia”), and directed by the Huntington’s own Artistic Director, Peter DuBois.

Lyric Stage Company

Opening Aug. 30 is the Lyric Stage Company’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” directed and choreographed by Rachel Bertone. This award-winning sci-fi pulp musical follows Seymour, who haplessly pines after Audrey, his coworker. Suddenly, opportunity falls into his lap in the form of a mysterious, carnivorous, conniving — not to mention singing — plant that promises to fulfill Seymour’s every wish.

American Repertory Theater

A.R.T.’s production of “Six,” a musical featuring tales of the six wives of Henry VIII, runs through Sept. 29 at the Loeb Drama Center. Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. All this time, the six wives of Henry VIII have been reduced to a single rhyme — so they picked up a pen and a microphone. From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the ex-wives take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing 500 years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st-century female power.


The  Montreal-based seven-member circus troupe The 7 Fingers brings their electrifying and heart-stirring mix of circus, music and dance to ArtsEmerson for their seventh engagement from Sept. 25 through Oct. 13. Speeding through, up and over the shifting landscapes of our lives, their production “Passengers” reminds us that we always have somewhere we’ve got to go, but often don’t know where we’re headed or who we’ll meet along the way. Climb aboard and take an unforgettable ride that will engage your imagination, pull at your heartstrings and remind you what it’s like to find wonder and beauty in all situations.


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