This week, GBH Arts Editor-in-Chief Jared Bowen recommends a sensational Broadway show now in Boston, tours a business school transformation, and examines how a new mayor could impact the arts in Boston.
“Hadestown”, presented by Broadway in Boston at Citizens Bank Opera House through November 14
“Hadestown” takes the stage in Boston after winning eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical – a “really catchy musical, almost imbued with a New Orleans sensibility,” according to Bowen. Vermont singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell worked on the series for almost a third of her life and was inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to stage the story. of a musician who descends into the underworld.
“I’m a musician, I’m a songwriter, so Orpheus is that kind of hero of songwriters and musicians, and he’s an artist who believes that if he could just do something beautiful enough to change the world, he could change the rules of the world and the way things are, “Mitchell told Bowen.” I think every artist has that feeling from time to time. “
North Bennet Street School, the famous school of craftsmen and makers, turns 140
Bowen has registered with the North Bennet Street School in the North End, which he says teaches the art of crafts in a “poignant moment.” It was founded as a trade school for waves of immigrants coming to Boston, largely Italian immigrants. Now, as many people are shifting gears due to the pandemic, the school offers craft programs like bookbinding, furniture restoration, jewelry making, and violin making.
North Bennet Street School President Sarah Turner spoke to Bowen about the importance of work for students. “When you work with one hand and work on a small scale, your relationship with the community changes,” she said. “I think it’s starting to make you feel like you’re part of something a little smaller than the whole global world, which I think feels good.”
A new mayor for Boston
Amid anticipation of mayor-elect Michelle Wu taking office, Bowen reflected on what a new administration might mean for the arts in the city. Bowen said his team reached out to applicants this summer and Wu was among the first to respond with his artistic program. “She is a candidate who will bring the arts to the fore in this city in the future,” he said.
Former mayor Marty Walsh helped integrate the arts into city government with the creation of an arts cabinet post, which Wu said she would rely on. Bowen said Wu would focus on things like arts education, the licensing process for live music, and the lack of affordable studios and rehearsal spaces. “She takes care of all the good stuff, as far as I can understand, that artists in this city are dealing with,” he said.
What do you hope Mayor-elect Michelle Wu does to support the arts in Boston? Talk to Jared on Facebook or Twitter!