July Staff Picks

Better Than Christmas in July…

Classics and new acts. Musical guests and museums. Gardens and good times. Symphonies and fireworks. Like these great pairs, art and a Boston summer day go together like peanut butter and jelly. Where will you meet your match?

What We’re Recommending:


LUZIA | Presented by Cirque du Soleil

Now – August 12

“I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Cirque’s LUZIA this week. LUZIA is Cirque’s only Big Top touring show to incorporate water, and they do so beautifully – particularly with a stunning waterfall. Cyr Wheel artists perform the unprecedented feat of rolling and spinning under the rain, while an aerialist suspended from a Trapeze flies and twirls through pouring showers. The world of LUZIA is also populated by surrealistic animals of all sizes, including larger than life horses, leopards, butterflies, and birds. LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces, and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity. It’s fun for the whole family, and I can’t recommend it enough!”


ICA Watershed Opening Day | Presented by Institute Contemporary Art/Boston

July 4

“After attending the ribbon cutting ceremony and getting a sneak peek, the hype about the new ICA Watershed is true. Just across the harbor in Eastie, this massive contemporary art space is free to the public and offers bilingual tours. Catch a water taxi at the Institute for Contemporary/ArtsBoston to check out the new space, but don’t forget to puruse the ICA’s galleries for two phemonal exhibtions: Kevin Beasley, and We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women.”


Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular | Presented by The Boston Pops

July 4

“I’m basically an old soul. I grew up listening to music that was from my parents’ and grandparents’ eras. Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Leonard Bernstein are basically my favorite composers. Their music is timeless and always evokes some kind of emotion or memory. The fact that part of this year’s 4th of July Pops will pay tribute to Bernstein, marking the centennial of his birth, is reason enough for this to be my pick. Never mind free music, beautiful summer weather, and the great singer/actress/dancer Rita Moreno, who was Anita in the film version of West Side Story and remains one of the most effervescent performers of all time. Top it off with fireworks?! How can it get any better?”


Summer Happenings: Heart/Soul | Presented by Artists’ Theater of Boston

July 7

“It’s summer and a girl just wants to have fun, but the world keeps turning and NPR keeps bombarding me with terrible news and… Wait, what? You’re telling me I can get my boogie on and resist at the same time? Sold! ATB is donating most of their proceeds from this event to RAICES to help folks who are in a slightly less dance-worthy (read: horrific) situation at the border. Ashni, Dancelujah, and Sterling Rhyne are all going to be in the same place at the same time (!) making stellar funky music. Plus free snacks are definitely my vibe. See you there?”


DJ Night: DJ Jazzy Jeff | Presented by Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

July 13

“I love the ICA Boston, especially during the summer months, when you get to jam out on the boardwalk to a number of different artists. So excited to see that DJ Jazzy Jeff is here this month. Along with Geoffrey, he was always one of the best scene-stealers on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”


Richard III | Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

July 18 – August 5

“Shakespeare on the Common is a time-honored tradition in Boston, and one of the things I most look forward to in the summer. It’s an arts experience you’ll never forget. Free and open to the public every night, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company turns the Boston Common into an arts picnic with audience members from all walks of life, in a way, I believe, the Bard himself would be quite proud of. Faran Tahir promises to be an excellent Richard III in this play about power and what it means have – and lose – it. Grab your picnic blankets, and save a seat for me in the park!”


Summer Thursdays: STL GOLD | Presented by Museum of Science, Boston

July 19

“I love hip hop, especially local hip hop! STL GLD is one of the best home-grown acts Boston has right now, so I would encourage anyone who’s a fan to see them here in town before we seem them touring the world. One unique opportunity to see them in their element is at the Museum of Science’s Summer Thursdays program in July. This one-night-only presentation in the Charles Hayden Planetarium will blend STL GLD’s music with awe-inspiring visuals and views of our universe. You don’t want to miss a concert like this — it’ll truly be out of this world!”


Boston Youth Dance Festival | Presented by Boston Children’s Museum and Urbanity Dance

July 22

“The Boston Youth Dance Festival promises to be a beautiful exploration of a whole host of dance genres from around the world. From hip hop to traditional Chinese folk dance, the youth leaders of each of the presenting groups have been collaborating to choreograph whole new pieces that merge different styles and will be performed by combined ensembles. I can’t wait to see the future of Boston’s dance community on KidStage this month!”

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: Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston patrons enjoy the boardwalk on a summer night.

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