July Staff Picks

Enjoy Cool Art as Summer Heats Up

Whether the midsummer heat brings you outside to Boston’s parks, or drives you to search for air conditioning, Boston is bursting with arts and culture offerings that meet your climate needs. Celebrate our nation’s legacy in the home of patriots and poets!

What We’re Recommending:


Proyecto Melaza residency showing | Presented by Danza Orgánica

July 6

“Although Danza Orgánica began working on Melaza back in 2017, I have yet to see this social justice-infused dance theater piece. What began as an exploration of the colonial relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico has deepened into a completely new phase of the project; Proyecto Melaza: Tejiendo Historias/ Weaving Stories takes a closer look at the effects Hurricane María has had on Puerto Rico through a lens of environmental justice and decolonization. This informal showing is the culmination of the company’s week-long residency with five Puerto Rico-based artists, and will give us a peek into what lays in store when the piece is premiered in December.”


Neighborhood Nights: Viewfinder | Presented by Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

July 11

“Boston’s cultural institutions love taking advantage of the warm weather to expand the space and ways their visitors can enjoy. Perhaps the best venue for this kind of summer fun is the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. For the last few summers, Isabella’s home has been transformed into a family-friendly, interactive street fair of sorts. What I didn’t know about Neighborhood Nights is that the IGSM is actually free after 5:00 PM on Thursdays! Never has there better time to check out the summer happenings there than for this particular iteration of the Neighborhood series, co-produced by director of Pineapple Diaries fame, Paloma Valenzuela.”


Harborwalk Sounds: Shelia del Bosque

July 18

“Harborwalk Sounds, the concert series on ICA Boston’s deck curated in partnership with Berklee College of Music, is one of my favorite parts of each summer in Boston. I don’t get to the Seaport much, but these free Thursday concerts are worth braving the Silver Line. I’m particularly interested in Shelia del Bosque’s performance there because it’s rare that a flutist leads a band. Perhaps I’ve been listening to too much Lizzo, but it’s definitely something I’d like to see and hear this summer.”


Symphonic Space Odyssey: 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing | Presented by Boston Landmarks Orchestra & Museum of Science

July 17

“I love a great interdisciplinary collaboration, and this one looks extraordinary. Boston Landmarks Orchestra is teaming up with the Museum of Science to celebrate the 50th anniversary of NASA’s moon landing. For one night only, these two organizations will provide a tribute to human achievement in astronomy in the form of archival footage set to music inspired by our galaxy. Best of all? This concert at the Hatch Shell is totally free of charge.”


Freaky Friday | Presented by North Shore Music Theatre

July 9 – 21

“Coke vs. Pepsi has long been a debate. If you were brought up on Disney, you’ve undoubtedly been part of a similar debate:  Jodie Foster or Lindsay Lohan. Of course I am referencing the 1976 film, Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster which was then remade in 2003 with Lindsay Lohan. Freaky Friday is the story of an overworked mother and teenage daughter who magically spend a day in each other’s shoes. Disney’s madcap body swap comedy is now a musical making its New England debut at North Shore Music Theatre. Disney? Check. Musical? Check. Add a new pop/rock score by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winners Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal)…I’m definitely there.”


The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical | Presented by Huntington Theatre Company

July 17 – 28

“As a lover of both musicals and magic, I’m so excited to see The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical! I grew up reading Rick Riordan’s books, and new musicals are always so high energy and fun – plus, what better way to live out your childhood fantasies than with demigods and power ballads?”


Greenway Public Art Tour | Presented by Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

July 25

“The Rose Kennedy Greenway is known for it’s beautiful parks and harborside views, but did you know it’s one of the most prolific spaces for public art in our city, too? I love seeing the mural change in Dewey Square each year, but this month, I’m looking forward to hopping on a volunteer-led Public Art Tour of the Greenway. Twice a month, while the weather’s nice, the Greenway Conservancy has volunteers lead tours of just some of the amazing installations in their space. Tours alternate what they show each month, so it’s always a fresh experience. I’ll have to go again next month, too, to see what’s out there!”


Cymbeline | Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

July 17 – August 4

“For some reason or another, there’s this idea that Shakespeare is supposed to be this lofty art form that few can understand. In reality, as one of my brilliant English professors noted, Shakespeare was writing soap operas for the illiterate masses. While we’ve definitely come a long way from 16th century England, I do believe Shakespeare should be just as accessible in 2019. That’s why I always look forward to my yearly tradition of Commonwealth Shakespeare’s free summer production on the Common! There’s nothing quite like sharing a picnic on the Common with friends (and a couple hundred strangers). The shared camaraderie and beautiful large scale production is something I hope everyone is able to experience this summer.”

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: Janet Echelman’s sculpture, As If It Were Already Here, hangs above the Greenway in Summer 2015.

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