Caught in the Act

Arts Ahead: Two Centuries of Awesome

By Jared Bowen

May 3, 2012


Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man in Marvel's latest superhero movie, The Avengers. Photo: Marvel.

BOSTON — Here are four unique ways to experience the power of the artist to stir an audience. Charles Dickens drove Boston fans to a frenzy with his arrival in the U.S. nearly two centuries ago. Alex Katz pursued his own painterly style that became the beginning of Pop Art. Marvel pulls off an unprecedented film feat, bringing its superheroes together for one awesome battle and Chita Rivera comes to town to remind audiences of the moments when her fierce dancing and powerful voice made Broadway swoon.

Alex Katz Prints

On view at the Museum of Fine Arts
Now through July 29th

Celebrating Katz's 60-year career, and the promised gift of an archive of the artist’s prints from the 1960s to today, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston presents the only US showing of the retrospective, Alex Katz Prints.

>>Read Jared's full review: Before Pop, There Was Alex Katz.

Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation

On view in the Boott Gallery in the Lowell National Historical Park
Now through October 20th

By the time Dickens came to America, he had already written five major novels and enjoyed an incredible status of fame. He got off the boat in Boston and people clamored to get to him, jumping onto the boat and shaking his hand. View a collection of rare Dickens artifacts, on loan from the Charles Dickens Museum of London, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, the American Antiquarian Society, the New York Public Library, the Fellman Collection at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the Perkins School for the Blind and other institutions.

>>Read Jared's full review: A Tale of Two Tours.

The Avengers
Opens in theaters Friday

The Super Hero team-up of a lifetime: featuring Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Naturally, he turns to his A-team of superheroes.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, directed by Joss Whedon. “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963.

Rivera will perform a selection of Broadway songs at the Shubert Theater this Friday. (Photo: Boston Youth Moves)
Chita Rivera: My Broadway
Benefit Performance at the Citi Shubert Theatre
May 4th only

Watch Jared's interview with Ms. Rivera Thursday on Greater Boston, 7PM on WGBH 2.

Ms. Rivera will perform selections from her most celebrated musicals, including numbers from West Side Story (“America”), Sweet Charity (“Where Am I Going?” and “Big Spender”), Chicago (“All That Jazz” and “Nowadays”), Kiss of the Spider Woman, Bye Bye Birdie and The Rink, and featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Charles Strouse, Stephen Sondheim and Cy Coleman among others.

Now in it’s 12th year, Swellegance is an evening of smart cocktails, swell people and sophisticated entertainment that has rapidly become one of the major events in the city. It benefits Boston Youth Moves (BYM), a non-profit, after-school arts education program encouraging young people to explore their limitless potential for artistic expression and realize personal success. Begun in 1990 by Jim Viera and Jeannette Neill, BYM offers superlative dance training to teens in the Boston and greater Boston area and provides subsidized tuition for its students and offers scholarships and financial aid to students in need.

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About the Author
Jared Bowen Jared Bowen
Jared Bowen is WGBH’s Emmy Award-winning Executive Editor and Host for Arts. 


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