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Beyond Brandeis, an art world flourishes

By Emily Beker

Section: Arts

September 7, 2012

The arts at Brandeis are always a big success, but an equally important aspect to mention is the arts and culture that surrounds our campus in the Greater Boston Area. With plentiful museums, outlets for theater, and dance and music, the opportunities for Brandeis students to enjoy culture outside of campus are practically unlimited.

If students are looking for different music outlets, Boston has many different genres available. The Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) is New England’s largest opera company. Some shows featured this coming season are “Madame Butterfly” and “Clemency.” The Boston Modern Orchestra Program (BMOP) performs mainly new music in orchestra formats. The Boston Pops, in conjunction with the Boston Symphony Orchestra offers an array of concerts as well as features special musicians. This coming season they will be featuring Itzhak Perlman, an Israeli violinist as a soloist and conductor. World Music/CRASHarts aims to present contemporary world music to a wide variety of listeners.

In addition to The Rose Art Museum, which is located right on our own campus, there are a variety of other worthy museums in the surrounding area. The Institute of Contemporary Arts of Boston, otherwise known as the ICA, features a mix of performance pieces and artistic pieces. The ICA is easy to access via public transportation by taking the Red Line to South Station and then transferring to the Silver Line Waterfront. The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park is another fascinating museum not far from campus. The DeCordova features many different sculptures—some of which are even interactive. Artist talks and classes like yoga also take place at DeCordova. The price for students to visit the museum is $5, and the value one can get for those $5 is amazing. The variety of exhibits and individual pieces are like no other. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum located on the Fenway features beautiful landscape work, and music performances as well as a collection of contemporary art. One exhibit on view this coming January is a collection by Luisa Lambri called “Portrait.” The museum also features a fall concert series and landscape lectures about the grounds at the museum.

Another museum that is a great resource for Brandeis students is the Museum of Fine Arts, also known as the MFA. Something that most students might not know is that admission to the MFA is free if you show your Brandeis student ID. The MFA is also conveniently located on the Green Line so both upperclassmen with cars and students without such flexible transportation are able to get there easily.

The final museum that should be noted is the more humorous Museum of Bad Art. Their slogan, “art too bad to be ignored” speaks for itself and the art in their three galleries around the Boston area. There is a new virtual wing in the museum that features interpretations by friends of the museum. All the work in the collections the museum holds has a special quality that sets the pieces apart from the art of the merely incompetent.

The Boston Ballet is now selling tickets for this coming season and always features the classics, such as “The Nutcracker,” and will also be showing such modern shows like “Sleeping Beauty.” Broadway in Boston is as it sounds: Broadway shows coming to Boston on tour, and this coming year will include “The Book of Mormon,” “Wicked,” “Jersey Boys” and “Memphis.”

Actors Shakespeare Project performs a variety of Shakespeare plays, and this coming year will be showing “Macbeth” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” among other plays. Huntington Theatre Company performs plays such as “Invisible Man” and “A Raisin in The Sun.” Lyric Stage Company of Boston will be performing “The Mikado,” “The Chosen” and “33 Variations.” SpeakEasy Stage Company will be performing a selection of Broadway shows now coming to Boston, including “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” and “In The Heights.”

All of these resources are also a good alternative to Brandeis’ lively culture of the arts for when students go looking for off-campus locations to enjoy art, music, theater and dance. These museums and theater companies are all an easy ride from Brandeis and it is worth spending the time to experience the vast variety in artistic creation available for appreciation.

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