Actor and comedian Russell Brand frees chortles from belly prisons with his unique style of manic, irreverent humor. Riffing on the nature of fame and celebrity, Brand regales audiences with edgy observations and outsized characters to delight audiences grown bored with tamer comedians and telephone time-of-day services. Visiting a series of colleges, the tour filters the eccentricities of American universities through Brand's singular wit. George Mason University's recently renovated Patriot Center contains the glee in arena-style seating, ensuring everyone has a clear view of both Brand and the cricket whispering jokes in his ear.
For two decades, New Century Theatre has provoked thoughtful postshow discussions with a mix of new works and fresh renditions of familiar classics. "Distracted," a new play by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter, Lisa Loomer, follows the parents, teachers, and doctors of a rambunctious 9-year-old boy as they try to determine whether he has ADHD. By turns hilarious and poignant, the action unfolds within Smith College's Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, a performance hall built in 1964 and recently renovated to add modern comforts and chase Banquo's ghost from the wings.
Wrapping up its third season, Out! For Reel holds monthly screenings of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender films from around the world. The first celluloid feature of the evening is eCupid, a romantic comedy that follows a newly single gay man as he searches for true love on the Internet and finds more than he bargained for. Or choose to view A Marine Story, an award-winning drama about a female soldier who is discharged from the military when she is discovered to be a lesbian and finds renewed purpose in training a teen for boot camp. The feature is preceded by Chained!, a short film about wallet chains and their centuries-long feud with metal detectors, by Betsy Kalin, who will be present at the screening.
The two screens of Tower Theaters host an eclectic cast of characters, from the flying superheroes of summer blockbusters to elaborately costumed opera singers. And 3D technology propels many of them toward the audience with the vivid clarity of digital projection. The dancers and singers appear as part of an opera-and-ballet series, which showcases stage productions such as Caravaggio or Die Fledermaus in digital high definition. But on the first Saturday of every month, film and live performance combine with midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, during which a shadow cast poses in front of the screen to mirror the cult classic's plot and catch Tim Curry when he falls out.
Under the direction of Rose and Charles Flachs, who have choreographed more than 50 ballets and danced the lead parts in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and more, the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet sends dancing students twirling toward a mastery of graceful pirouettes and elegant grand jetés. Expert instructors lead students through classes founded on the world-class techniques of the Russian syllabus, encouraging artistry and creativity while students hone essential techniques. With a spacious, contemporary studio, the academy brandishes sprung floors for soft landings and for comfortably performing the post-modern "napping" position. Go online to check out the class schedule.
A member of the New England Collegiate Baseball League since 2008, the Blue Sox incubates top college players while they stay fresh and limber between seasons in the NCAA. Partially funded by Major League Baseball, the league consists of 10 teams across six New England states, all competing in a summer of hardball that begins in June and concludes with the playoffs in August, just before players trade in baseballs for rubber-band balls and return to school. Originally founded in 1997 as the Concord Quarry Dogs, the Blue Sox wield homefield advantage at Mackenzie Stadium, a venue that can seat more than 4,000 fans or 30 anti-T-shirt missile silos.