May Staff Picks

Some more picks for you, if we May…

Spring is here, and the whole city is budding and blooming with excitement. The traditional theatrical season approaches its final act, while seasonal concerts, performances, and exhibitions abound. Step out into warm and dewy Boston to find some of the very best arts events to date!

What We’re Recommending:


Love! Valour! Compassion! | Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company

Now – May 17

“With high-profile revivals of The Boys in the Band, Torch Song, and Angels in America all bowing on Broadway in 2018, it’s a thrilling year for the American gay male theatrical canon. So it’s really exciting that Boston’s own Zeitgeist Stage Company will be capping off its 17th season with another landmark play from the genre. Terrence McNally’s 1995 Tony Award-winning play follows eight gay male friends hashing out their passions, resentments, and fears over the course of three summer weekends at a beautiful Upstate New York farmhouse. Following recent hit runs of classic and new gay plays Steve, Bent, The Normal Heart, and, yes, The Boys in the Band, I can’t wait to see what Zeitgeist now does with Love! Valour! Compassion!.”


The Greenhouse Playlab: A Climate Theatre Incubator | Presented by Museum of Science

May 4

“I am super excited to support some amazing Boston-based playwrights and an award-winning company with revolution at the core of its mission (Flat Earth Theatre) while learning about the environmental issues facing us today. The plays that come out of this unique collaboration are sure to be stunning. As a lover of learning, art, and nature (and free things!), this performance is checking all my boxes.”


Allegiance | Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company

May 4 – June 2

“I’m a huge Star Trek fan, so I have to pick this musical inspired by the real-life experiences of George Takei as my May staff pick. Allegiance tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events at Pearl Harbor. Allegiance is still all too poignant in today’s political climate. Don’t miss this New England premiere by SpeakEasy Stage Company…and maybe even a chance to meet Hikaru Sulu himself!”


Jagged Little Pill | Presented by American Repertory Theater

May 5 – July 15

“Isn’t it ironic that a former pop star turned angsty alternative rock queen now has a musical made out of her most iconic album? I could not be more excited to see this musical inspired by this album. When I heard the announcement last year, I was instantly transported back to June 1995 at Grossman Day Camp, when little Victoria played Jagged Little Pill on loop all summer on her discman. Yes, that’s right…her discman. #oldlady”


Mujeres-Raíces | Presented by Unitas Ensemble

May 11

Raíces is the second installment of Unitas Ensemble’s season-long celebration of Latina composers. This concert, titled ‘Roots’, will explore the origins of four female composers across 200 years of music. Dedicated to producing the high caliber Latin-American music, Unitas Ensemble has been putting on incredible concerts since 2014. This piece in particular looks to be an amazing and harmonic night that both takes inspiration from and challenges classical European musical tradition.”


Trouble in Tahiti and Arias & Barcarolles | Presented by Boston Lyric Opera

May 11 – 20

“I’m clearly still on an opera kick, as my pick for May is Boston Lyric Opera’s Trouble in Tahiti and Arias & Barcarolles, which will be presented as a double-bill at DCR Steriti Memorial Rink. Usually, an ice rink is the last place I would be looking to go to, but I am intrigued to see BLO turn the giant ice skating venue into a cabaret both intimate and grand. The issues (and aesthetics!) of the 1950’s are ones I think are still relevant and compelling today. I’m excited to see Leonard Bernstein’s work brought to life by this innovative company!”


You’re All Gonna Die!: A Dystopian Game Show | Presented by ImprovBoston

May 17

“As someone who once performed a mildly successful stand-up set a million years ago, I have a very strong appreciation for those who can quip without a full 30 seconds of strained forethought. So naturally, improv impresses me. It impresses me even more when variables like unruly Bostonians, inappropriate grandmas, and uncomfortable patrons attending with their equally uncomfortable parents are part of the show — the gameshow, that is. You’re All Gonna Die, an interactive improvised apocalyptic gameshow presented by ImprovBoston,  could potentially be one of the funniest things I witness this year… or it could not, and that’s the beauty of improv, isnt’ it? What am I saying, it’s all beautiful.”


MEƎM 4 Boston: A Story Ballet about the Internet

May 18 & 19

“I love the ICA, I love the Internet, and I love experimental ballet. Honestly, I spent more hours than I care to admit getting sucked into a trance-like state while surfing the web as a teenager. MEƎM, a fully immersive, museum-wide performance, is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all who love the avant-garde — and even for those who regard memes as a form of art (I’m guilty on both accounts).”


Opus Twenty: Mendelssohn’s Octet | Presented by Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston

May 19 & 20

“Chameleon Arts Ensemble is cleverly celebrating their 20th anniversary this month with Mendelssohn’s Opus Twenty, one of his most joyful works. The Mendelssohn is partnered with works by Stravinsky, Britten, and Marc-André Dalbavie for a satisfying concert — no surprise really, as Chameleon is ace at compelling (and often surprising) programming.”


The Wiz | Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston

May 19 – June 24

“My first show ever was a high school production of The Wiz. I was three years old. My then babysitter, Elizabeth Schaffer who later became “Shanelle” Schaffer, was Dorothy.  I literally remember it like it was yesterday, especially when Liz was in the tornado. After the show, Liz signed my program and drew the cutest little caricature of herself.  Growing up in the 70’s, I then of course fell in love with the movie The Wiz. I watched it countless times and knew all the songs by heart.  I have not seen The Wiz live on stage since 1976 when I was 3 years old.  I am very excited to revisit it again.”

Check out all these picks and more on the ArtsBoston Calendar.

What arts or cultural event are you most excited for this month? Let us know on Twitter by tweeting us, @artsboston!

Want weekly recommendations on what to see and do in Boston?

Pictured above: The Broadway cast of Allegiance.

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