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Boston entertainment to distract and divert

By Ben Beriss

Section: Arts

February 2, 2018

As we settle into the routine of second semester, you may be looking for something to break up the grind. Here’s some recommendations of where to go in Boston:

Phantom of the Disco: Heart and Dagger Productions are staging a show loosely inspired by the classic “Phantom” story. It follows a company retelling of the story with disco and a Christine Daae who has unexpectedly died. Now you must fill in for the soprano in the fusion of drag, rollerskating and the Bee Gees which comprise the “Phantom of the Disco.” The show runs from Feb. 1 to March 2, with tickets ranging from $25-35. It is shown at Club Café, and audience members receive a 20 percent discount on food.

Hype Man: Company Theatre One is presenting a show about hip-hop in the current political climate. It is centered around a trio about to hit their big break until the news that an unarmed black teenager has been shot by police threatens to tear them apart. Remarkably in touch with today’s politics, the show examines issues of race, privilege and friendship in the way only theater can. It also has some surprisingly sick beats in its music. The show runs through Feb. 24 and student tickets are $15 presale and $10 rush.

Proof: Central Square Theater is bringing Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play “Proof” to Boston to redeliver its story of family and mathematics. The show follows a theoretical mathematician, Caroline, haunted by her genius father, who spent his final days in the throes of mental illness. As Caroline struggles to find her own identity and overcome self-doubt, the show prompts the audience to re-examine their assumptions about accomplishment and self-image. Created by a rare majority Asian-American cast and director, the show is a moving portrait of the struggles associated with everyday living. The show runs through Feb. 18, with tickets ranging from $16-56.

Letters from War: Examining the same theme from a different perspective, Marblehead Little Theatre is presenting a haunting tale of three women affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It starts with a woman, Lily, coming to terms with the fact her grandmother Mae’s Alzheimer’s has progressed so far she can no longer be cared for at home. As they transition Mae into a home, however, Lily’s daughter discovers a trove of family documents and must fight to recover their family history before Mae’s memories disappear. A hauntingly realistic portrait, the show presents both the grim realities of Alzheimer’s and the strength of family. Tickets run $15-25, the show is only running until Feb. 3.

Hear Word! Naija Women Talk True: The American Repertory Theatre (ART) is presenting a reprisal of this show about Nigerian women sharing stories of inequality and transformation. “Hear Word!” uses these stories to examine issues affecting women across Nigeria and their struggles for independence, leadership and equal opportunity to contribute to their society. The show received glowing reviews in its premiere last season and has not diverged in its reprisal; it remains a powerful examination of feminism and Nigerian culture. The show runs through Feb. 11 and tickets cost $25.

Before Projection: The MIT Visual Arts Center is presenting an exhibit which features an often overlooked form of art: video sculpture before 1995 and the advent of projection. The exhibit explores the technology used to bring video and cinema into art, after the earliest struggles with video and before large-scale cinematic installations became the default. Largely ignored since it was superseded, the art featured in this exhibit brings a unique perspective to video-based art and prompts us to re-examine our current traditions and practices. Admission is free.

Institute of Contemporary Art: The Institute of Contemporary Art features a bevy of art
curated specifically to speak to the current climate. The art on display now includes “The Persistence of Vision,” a collection of work from Boston-based photographer Nicholas Nixon, based around his annual portrait of his family. It also features “A Promise to Communicate,” the work of Kenyan artist Wangechi Mutu, whose “maximalist” pieces examine such themes as feminism and Afrofuturism, and “Liquidity Inc.,” a video created by Hito Steyerl which focuses on the effects of modern dissemination of images, surveillance and militarization. Admission is $10 for students.

If you know any upcoming Boston arts events which we’ve missed or may want to feature in the future send them to eic@thebrandeishoot.com

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