As the esteemed late-20 th century poet, philosopher, and Black Flag-er Henry Rollins once said: “In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.”
So now that life has just begun to squeak its way out from the cracks between the ice and snow, bookmark this spread for all you future springtime fun time planning needs. And have fun out there.
You’ve earned it.
BY: SPENCER SHANNON @SUSPENCEY
You know the old saying: “When Boston has a historic winter with neverending snow and then the melting begins, people want to catch live theater.” Okay, that’s our saying, but whatever. Check out these shows and get ready for a great theater experience in town all through spring.
The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville
May 9 – May 31
In this world premiere starring Mandy Patinkin (perhaps better known as that beloved Spanish fencer Inigo Montoya) and Taylor Mac, Waiting for Godot meets The Three Stooges meets…R.E.M.? When a biblically epic flood washes the world away, just two people are left alive. These men believe that they have nothing in common—until they discover a shared language in song and dance. Performed in the traditional vaudeville fashion that characterized American performance in the early 20th century, An Apocalyptic Vaudeville combines music, movement, and comedy in a unique production that manages to be simultaneously surreal and slapstick. The great thing about vaudeville is that it’s synonymous with variety—song choices will range from Sondheim to Queen—so there’s sure to be something for everyone in this performance.
Diary of a Jewish Identity Crisis
April 11 – 12
Living as a woman is hard—the unrealistic standards of beauty, the battle for equality, and the sometimes impossible balance of work and family are enough to wear anyone down. When all of the above is coupled with the complicated history and expectations of her religion and culture, the protagonist of Maiden Phoenix’s one-woman show finds herself completely lost. Written and performed by Jenna Grossman and directed by Alyce Householter, this intimate exploration of the multifaceted contemporary Jewish experience follows Jenna as she seeks personal peace and wholeness in a world that sometimes can feel totally devoid of balance. Proceeds will benefit DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended), an organization based in Quincy.
March 20 – April 5
This collection of five short works from writer James Wilkinson and director Teri Incampo capture the mysterious, the weird, and the beguiling encounters that add color—or sometimes darkness—to our everyday lives. The pieces range from mildly unsettling to morbidly deep: The arrival of a mysterious package sends its unwitting recipient on a quest for an explanation of its origins, a good Samaritan offers a ride to a sick stranger only to find the trip’s outcome holds much more than he bargained for, and when a woman disappears, her sister and her boyfriend are unable to let her go. These tales dig into the daily strangeness of human life while exposing the inevitable mortality that makes it so beautiful.
Green Street Studios. 185 Green St., Cambridge. For showtimes and tickets, visit exiledtheatre.com
The Farnsworth Invention
June 12 – 27
From the mind of Aaron Sorkin, one of the entertainment industry’s most popular contemporary screenwriters—he’s the guy behind The Social Network, The Newsroom, and The West Wing, just to name a few—comes The Farnsworth Invention, a play about the controversial events surrounding the invention of the television set. The work tells the story of Philo Farnsworth, a 14-year-old child genius from the plains of rural Idaho who invents the most influential product of the 20th century—only to have it all be called into question when he unwittingly comes into conflict with the young media mogul David Sarnoff, president of RCA. It’s a classic story of American innovation that questions the way we create history—and later, how we recount it.
May 29 – June 6
In one of the most exciting crossovers of the upcoming spring season, rockstar artistic director Diane Paulus teams up with literal rock stars (well, string orchestra stars) in an operatic dramatization of a narrative pulled from the pages of Walt Whitman’s diary. While many of us know Uncle Walt as a poet, he also traveled with the wounded as a Civil War nurse in the early 1860s. Through the moving music of 25-year-old composer Matthew Aucoin, Crossing examines the affecting experiences of soldiers and the brutality of war. This original opera presents contemporary classical music’s next generation of voices in a world premiere where old meets new and a dynamic, fresh form is created.
BY: DIG STAFF
There’s a reason people still go to comedy clubs despite being able to stay home drinking beer and glued to YouTube. The experience of howling alongside like-minded jackasses can be utterly intoxicating, a real-world validation of your worldview and philosophy. Take, for example, how rapey college boys swarm ’round misogynistic jesters with recycled dick jokes.
But while the cliché is that the wide world of humor is overwhelmingly liberal, and that most humorists are political southpaws, in reality the stand-up landscape can be lonely for lefties—both from behind the microphone and in the crowd. Not just because of comedy’s stale male population, though that’s there, but rather because funny people tend to have no greater purpose than to boost their own careers. Which is what makes Laughing Liberally Boston so sexy; Matthew Filipowicz and his posse of progressive friends don’t claim to save the world through punchlines, but they at least throw punches at the villains who deliberately do the opposite.
For this latest Boston installment of Laughing Liberally, a longstanding national series, Filipowicz is bringing along an elite roster of anti-elitists, one-percenters in the niche of far-left Hub hilarity including Emily Ruskowski, Nick Ortolani, Jiayong Li, Stirling Smith, and Jay Johnson. If that’s not a drastic enough change of pace for a comedy show, the bill also features a live interview with Robin Jacks of NoBoston2024.
Because really, the idea of building a titanic Olympic volleyball stadium in the middle of beautiful Boston Common is nothing short of a massive, hilarious joke.
BY: JAKE MULLIGAN @_JAKEMULLIGAN
A spattering of notable film screenings, showcases, and festivals to keep you entertained and inspired throughout spring. Don’t forget the butter on the popcorn.
Noah Baumbach will be presenting his latest film, While We’re Young, in person on the 19th. Check the Brattle’s website for information regarding the free passes—they’ll be scarce—but if you can’t make it, the three Baumbach films playing the prior day (among them the sublimely screwball Frances Ha) should be a suitable substitution.
Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle St., Harvard Sq., Cambridge. For showtimes and tickets visit brattlefilm.org
Boston Underground Film Festival 2015
This may not be Boston’s biggest film festival, but it’s the most eclectic. Dedicated to the disreputable genre fare that most fests wouldn’t touch with a samurai sword, and sporting programming that looks far beyond domestic shores, BUFF is among the city’s singular film events.
Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle St., Harvard Sq., Cambridge. For showtimes and tickets visit bostonunderground.org
Monday Evenings at the Coolidge Corner Theatre
March 30-June 15
On Monday nights, the Coolidge dedicates its main auditorium—which is on the very short list of best places to see a movie in Boston—to repertory screenings. The program banners may alternate by design (for instance: Cinema Jukebox brings you Singin’ in the Rain in May, Big Screen Classics answers with Grey Gardens in June) but the selection never falters.
The Boston Cinema Census
Local Boston filmmakers get their opportunity to present work on a big screen at the annual Cinema Census. Submissions are past due already, but come to see the scene, or to figure out if you belong in it.
Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Sq., Somerville. 7pm/$10. bostoncinemacensus.com
The Boston LGBT Film Festival
Our city’s specialty film festivals provide a venue for innumerable movies that would otherwise go unreleased, and very few do so as comprehensibly as the annual LGBT fest. Even films like last year’s centerpiece, Tom at the Farm, are rarely afforded another run on Boston screens—you have to see them here.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. For showtimes and tickets visit bostonlgbtfilmfest.net
Ben Rivers’ Horror Show
Experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers, a Harvard fellow, will be programming deep cuts direct from the University’s archives for late shows throughout April and May. Re-Animator, Messiah of Evil, and The Beyond are among the films tentatively scheduled—and by nature of the series, you won’t be able to see these particular prints anywhere else.
Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy St., Harvard Sq., Cambridge. $7-9. For showtimes and tickets visit hcl.harvard.edu/hfa
The Films of Wojciech Jerzy Has
April 10-May 11
Two Has films played Boston last year as part of a series programmed by Martin Scorsese. One, The Saragossa Manuscript, may have been the best film this writer saw in 2014. Now the HFA has his complete works. Make no mistake, Bostonians: This is the film event of the year.
Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy St., Harvard Sq., Cambridge. $7-9. For showtimes.and tickets visit hcl.harvard.edu/hfa
Southern Phantoms: Three Films by Charles B. Pierce
Even within the grindhouse scene of the 1970s, Pierce was a maverick—shooting horror films in Arkansas and seasoning them with his knowledge of local legends and myths. Three of his films—including the seminal Town That Dreaded Sundown—will splatter across screens this April, courtesy the Coolidge’s midnight program.
Coolidge Corner. 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 11:59pm/$9.25-11.25. coolidge.org
The Brattle’s annual tribute to all things Henson brings together Muppets old (the original film) and new (the reboot), alongside commissioned works (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and dreamy, disconcerting originals (Labyrinth). And to top it off: a Sing-along screening.
Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle St., Harvard Sq., Cambridge. For showtimes and tickets visit brattlefilm.org
Independent Film Festival Boston 2015
The filmmakers come into town for premieres and parties during this eight-day fest, which presents nothing less than the best films of the year-to-come. (Among hundreds of other movies, the organizers unveiled Boyhood to local audiences last year.) If our film culture has a center—a beating heart—it’s the IFFB.
Various Locations TBD. For showtimes and tickets visit iffboston.org
BY: JASMINE FARRELL
With this winter being especially harsh on local bars and restaurants, it’s important you go out and support them by eating and drinking. It’s also important you know where to find the best new spots for wining and dining. Here’s a selection of a few of the new establishments coming your way along with the warm spring winds.
Chef Michael Serpa, previously at the famed Neptune Oyster in the North End, may be sourcing the seafood fresh and local, but his inspiration for his very own forthcoming oyster bar is completely global. Think: Catalonian nut-free romesco with roasted peppers, tomatoes, and cuttlefish ink. 50 Gloucester St., Boston. selectoyster.com
End of March
You’ve loved the meat for years, but now there’s more. So much more. With the addition of a “back room,” you can now feast on the glory of wood-fired pizzas and a daily rotisserie selection overseen by none other than charcuterie maestro Joshua Smith. As a general guideline, it’s safe to say there’ll be lots of bacon. Say it again. Bacon. 468 Moody St., Waltham. 781.216.8732. facebook.com/pages/Moodys-Delicatessen-Provisions
Aeronaut Brewing Company just got better. Once completed, Tasting Counter will become your go-to spot for when you feel like splurging or impressing out-of-towners. It’s a complete multi-course dining experience with only 20 seats and a view of the kitchen where the chefs prepare each meal with locally sourced ingredients. When you do decide to go, buy a ticket. Reservations don’t exist at a place like this. Inside Aeronaut Brewery, 14 Tyler St. Somerville. 617.987.4236. thediningalternative.com/tastingcounter
Gas stations are great for a lot of things: gas, dirty bathrooms, and Villa Mexico Cafe. As of this spring though, the gas station that previously held Villa Mexico is sans restaurant as the owners are opening their first brick and mortar location. It’ll be everything that was good about your favorite burrito spot, only less gas-station-y. 121 Water St., Boston. 617.957.0725. villamexicocafe.us
Late March/Early April
Samuel Gosselin will be popping his restaurant-owning cherry in what used to be Petit Robert Bistro. Josephine will still be French, but with a less traditional and more contemporary twist. In the atmosphere alone, Gosselin is trying to create the love child of chill San Francisco, edgy New York City and, of course, modern Paris. Because it’s hard to eat in the Paris of the past. Unless you’re in Midnight in Paris. 468 Comm Ave., Boston. 484.995.2797. josephineboston.com
One rooftop garden. Two indoor food trucks. One repurposed machine shop. This is Coppersmith Hall, the brainchild of John Childs and Jerry Curtains, and it’s poised to become a mecca for the Boston farm-to-table movement. A regular menu will boast comfort food made with local goods (occasionally sourced from a mere stairwell away), then to top that off, the two food trucks will feature rotating menus of global street fare. This restaurant is pretty much a city in itself. 40 W. 3rd St., Boston. facebook.com/coppersmithbos
Sure you have your favorite Irish pub, and maybe another old standby with American fare, but what if that’s not enough? What’s missing from your life is traditional Japanese izakaya. And inside the Verb Hotel is the incoming Hojoko, a high-energy karaoke joint that’ll make you enjoy karaoke again. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have O Ya’s team Cushman behind it either. 1271 Boylston St., Boston. 855.695.6678. verbhotel.com
Mid- to Late March
Ever heard of Mario Batali? Well you should’ve, for reasons like his 20 or so restaurants (including Eataly) and his multiple TV appearances (and those damn Crocs he always sports). And you should know that after much rumormongering, he’s opening his first Boston (and green-certified) restaurant. There’ll be wood-fired pizzas and pasta excellence with three separate bars for alcohol, pizza, and antipasti. There will be a patio in the summer too, which is ideal for warm-weather pizza-ing. 11 Fan Pier Blvd., Boston. facebook.com/babboboston
Club Passim isn’t going anywhere, but the venue’s food provider, Veggie Planet, unfortunately did. That’s alright though, because plans for the new kitchen are more than promising. Open for lunch and dinner before performances, it’ll serve new American cuisine with global flair, like butter-poached lobster and Southern fried chicken. With chef Brandon Arms (Garden at the Cellar, Cilo) behind it all, you know it’s going to be good. 47 Palmer St., Cambridge. 617.492.7679. clubpassim.org
You know Griddler’s from the Cambridge Street location, but with the new flagship opening on Boylston things are going to a little different. You can still find tasty and creative burgers and dogs (like the OG Griddler with special sauce), but the look and menu have been revamped for the better. There’s a greater focus on sourcing locally and regionally, and when that means Grillo’s Pickles, everyone’s a winner twice over. 134 Boylston St., Boston. 617.973.0480. griddlersburgers.com
After opening nine locations in New York state, it’s about time nightlife kingpin Seth Greenberg (Bastille Kitchen) brought Serafina to Boston. Known for thin crust pizza, this place features the kind of Italian fare that gets everyone excited. While pasta and pizza will be plentiful, there’ll also be dishes like branzio al forno and filet of bass al Pinot Grigio, which sound so classy they have to be tasty. 10 High St., Boston. serafinaboston.com
STRIP has already been making waves, and although some of those waves are due to interesting choices of advertising, most of the commotion is centered on the restaurant itself. Nick Varano’s latest culinary venture promises a modern steakhouse-meets-lounge combination with dishes like duck fat marble potatoes to get your mouth lusting and wavy ceiling panels to get your eyes glittering. Wavy ceiling panel décor does that. 64 Arlington St., Boston. stripsteakhouseboston.com
BY: SCOTT MURRY @HOTDOGTACO
In the middle of the kind of winter we’ve had, the idea of running brings up feelings of blind rage and pure contempt.
However, Boston is a running mecca, a city invested in health and wellness, and badass hometown shoe innovators like New Balance have been monitoring our stride since 1906, when founder William Riley cited chicken feet (with their three-clawed footsies), as means of perfect balance.
I fell in love with NB when the company introduced its Minimus line. Those lightweight, barefoot-style shoes feel lean and natural without asinine toe fingers or awful colors. And they cater to my wide, Hobbit-esque foot. Now that I log longer miles however, I crave a smoother ride on some pavement-rich days.
Thankfully, NB isn’t a brand to rest on its running laurels. The company is updating its Fresh Foam line, introducing the Zante, which is being released March 19, and the smooth ride is already melting away my running woes. JF Fullum, Director of Design in the NB Innovation Studio, said these bright green kicks are “designed to give runners a faster feeling and align well with runners with more of a mid-foot to forefront strike.”
And how. The Zante shoe is the result of nearly 18 months of data collection and extensive testing. It has a six mm drop from heel to toe, and “no-sew support” in the forefoot, which means the shoe quite literally keeps you comfortably moving forward during your stride. They’re so smooth to run in that I felt I was literally traversing the pavement on butter. Okay, not literally. Still. Smooth.
“Color is a powerful design tool,” says Fullum. “The final product needs to look and feel fast. I don’t think a beige running shoe would give you the same feeling.”
True—no one ever feels good about shoes boasting a frumpy palate (or anything approaching Seinfeld white-on-white veneers). When prodded about the forthcoming Boston variation, also coming in spring, Fullum kept mum.
“I cannot give too much,” he says. “The Limited Edition Boston shoe speaks to that go-fast attitude and history of running in this city.”
New Balance will be unveiling that shoe April 6. So between both these two spring releases, better start stretching for the road ahead.
Now that you’ve got a tip on your next great pair of road runners, here are a selection of great races in the area (and one in New Hampshire) to put them to the test throughout spring. For good measure, some involve craft beer, dancing, and partying afterwards. Because running.
Named for a cherished event in Ireland, the Ras na hEireann carves a path through the (snowy) tree-lined streets of Teele and Ball Squares, finishing in Davis Square. Post-race parties at spots like The Burren, Sligo Pub, Joshua Tree, and Five Horses Tavern. baevents.com/rasnaheirann
The inaugural race for WGBH, this is a USATF-certified course covering DCR’s Artesani Park in Brighton and weaves around the Charles River. No, entering doesn’t mean a guest spot on Beat The Press. wgbh.org/events
First ever of a race that totals 26.2 miles, moving through Nashua, NH. Involves Main Street and Mine Falls Park, with five loops through a spread of neighborhoods and mostly flat terrain. You got this. gcsmarathon.com
Missed BAA? Well, this is your run, and it’s a 5k half-marathon that works its way through downtown Boston, all in the name of remembering fallen heroes and soldiers. Kicks off from the Seaport World Trade Center. bostonsruntoremember.com
Hot on the heels of summer, this is an East Cambridge run ending at Canal Park. Awaiting you there: a post-race party, free food, craft beer, music, and a costume contest-slash-dance party. Naturally. cambridge5k.com/freedom
BY: KAREN CINPINSKI @CATSINPJS
It’s tough to even think about springtime releases when large swaths of the region resemble Winterfell. But the warm season is almost here, and you’ll want to plan accordingly. After all, the joy of drinking at this transitional time of year is that everything is fair game. You’ve got inky stouts, early IPAs, and bubbly saisons. The lack of a distinct identity of springtime brews means greater variety in the beers ready for release (or just out now). So when winter finally breaks the hateful vice grip in which it holds Hub’s throat, you’ll want your fridge stocked with these six new local springtime releases.
RELEASE DATE: Now
That seasonal disconnect between what’s outside your window and what’s inside your glass is the cause of utter dismay among beer drinkers. Slumbrew gets you. They purposely whipped up a new galaxy-hopped saison dubbed “Creep,” cleverly branded as the “greedy little troll” who deprives us of our precious time, demanding we move on too fast.
RELEASE DATE: Now
This light country table beer bearing the name of the New Hampshire brewery’s new farmhouse restaurant is fresh to Smutty’s seasonal rotation. A quintessential warm weather saison, Hayseed will pair well with any impending spring day. Or any day. Look for it in six- and 12-packs.
RELEASE DATE: Now
The new India Pils Lager from Vermont’s Otter Creek is brewed with 100-percent positive vibrations, single-hopped with Citra hops, and finished with a crisp, bready foundation from German malts. This is liquid spring.
RELEASE DATE: Now
Known for its line of drinkable, hops-forward, full-flavored beers, Maine’s Peak Organic is filling out its lineup of malt-forward brews with this delicious new release: the light and creamy Nitro Stout. You’ll want this dark, heady stout for cold nights.
RELEASE DATE: March 31
Debuting at Night Shift’s third-year party on March 31, along with two other new brews—Guinevere and Mordred—is the Mass-based suds innovator’s Lancelot, a tart Berliner Weisse aged with blood oranges. The complex sour ale packs plenty of tartness and bright citrus flavor, basically telling this ungodly winter to piss off.
RELEASE DATE: March 30
We know this spring release Morning Dew as a brewpub favorite. Now the elderflower-flavored, dry-hopped saison is making its way into bottles for the first time. Reacquaint yourself. Limited release 22-ounce bottles will be coming at you this month.