The Brattle Theatre’s screens have been glowing with an eclectic slate of films since 1953, but its cultural legacy stretches back to 1890 when it first opened as a live theater. Its productions seemed destined to eventually intertwine with the burgeoning Hollywood industry, and today, the venue keeps its artistic roots alive by showing a full roster of classic, foreign, and independent movies. The cinema-savvy staff frequently bundles pictures into special repertory series—past programs have centered around a vast array of topics, ranging from tributes to Greta Garbo and Ingmar Bergman to a series of documentaries on Clark Gable's mustache. To bolster the cinematic experience, moviegoers snack on locally-made concessions including traditional box office candy as well as baked goods and beer.
At Connecticut Cycle Center, indoor spinning classes or triathlon training with coach Kelli Montgomery beckon students to wheel in their own bikes and affix them to cycling apparatuses. Both classes and training sessions emulate outdoor adventures thanks to ErgVideo and CompuTrainer systems, which mimic famous routes on TV screens. Virtual Tour de France inclines or Spanish plains challenge cyclists to push their endurance to the brink as they mingle with peers. Classes, like the art of hanging out in an operating laundry machine, range from beginner base spins to high-power interval training. Feedback after each session charts your ascent to fitness. High-quality Apex bikes are available for rental and can be taken to nearby roads for an alfresco adventure.
Founded in 2007, A Far Cry is a self-conducted chamber orchestra made up of 17 young professional pluckers and bow-wielders, known as the Criers, who have played alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma and rock band This Will Destroy You within the last month. The New York Times proclaims that the orchestra “brims with personality” that yields “performances of such passionate involvement,” and the Boston Globe writes that "members of the conductor-less string orchestra love nothing more than to throw themselves into a musical phrase with vital conviction." The collective pushes the boundaries of orchestra repertoire, eschewing the tradition of smashing their instruments on a gong after each performance while favoring collaboration and rotating leadership. This particular program features Shostakovich’s dark Eighth Quartet, John Adams’s Shaker Loops, and the premiere of double concerto K2, with fiddler Kip Jones and bassist Karl Doty. Racking up more than 200 of those performances so far, the ensemble has also released three albums and is the chamber orchestra in residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which often entails serving as live statues to fill in for artwork that’s being restored.
Today's side deal stages A Midsummer Night's Dream in the fashion that Shakespeare had always intended it to be staged—with mirror balls, roller skates, feather boas, skimpy costumes, and pounding disco anthems. For $18, you get one ticket in the "Dance Floor" section to see the American Repertory Theater's Donkey Show at the OBERON in Cambridge. This ticket can be used for shows on: 1/29 (8 p.m.), 1/30 (8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m.), 2/5 (8 p.m.), 2/6 (8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m.), 2/12 (8 p.m.), or 2/13 (8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m.). Call or drop by the box office at least 24 hours before your desired showtime to reserve your ticket. You must be 18 or older to attend.
Strictly Sail Chicago, the largest indoor boat show in the United States, brings the sails to the stage for its 16th year at Navy Pier. With more than 250 global vendors, designers on-hand to answer questions, and a veritable storehouse of sailing gear, accessories, and hardware, watercraft enthusiasts will find everything they need to set aside their aquaphobic doubts and explore the beauty of sailing and the mysteries of sea legs. Sit in on one of the many seminars that are included with admission, such as Cruising the Bahamas, A Sailor Looks at Leadership, or Hey! Is That a Kraken!?—all of which are led by some of the world's leading sailors—then stop in at the sailing pond to re-create the Battle of Trafalgar with remote-control boats. Those who choose the membership option enjoy entry to the members-only lounge, which features a coat check, a cash bar, munchies, and Internet access.
The Rush Hour series serves those who are curious about symphonic music but have never had adequate time to attend a show. Conducted by Music Director Larry Rachleff, these short, informal concerts will swiftly capture the ear’s attention by breezing through two or three classical pieces and providing educational information about their historical context and whether or not they've been sampled in a Will Smith song. Choose the concert on October 15 to hear Beethoven’s pastoral Symphony no. 6 and his expressive Symphony no. 7, or relax on November 19 to twentieth-century selections by Samuel Barber and Maurice Ravel. Brahms’ Piano Concerto no. 2 headlines the February 25 show, along with Richard Strauss’ epic _ Also Sprach Zarathustra_. Finally, orchestra buffs can immerse themselves in concertos by Lutosławski and Tchaikovsky on April 15 to celebrate Tax Day.