Outside The Box Brings Plenty Of Artists To Perform Inside The Common

Posted July 8, 2016 by Brian Keaney in Theater & Arts
Outside The Box is a wonderful opportunity for artists and audiences to share creative experiences.

Outside the Box, a massive celebration of the arts, is returning to the Boston Common for another five day festival. From July 13th through the 17th, hundreds of performers and artists of all stripes will engage, educate, and entertain attendees. With more than 100 artists and performers, there is sure to be something for everyone. Classical music fans will mix with indie rock groupies, while theater fans will rub shoulders with patrons of dance and comedy.

Big names include Smash Mouth and Daughtry, both headliners, while lesser known acts include Alex the Jester. The Museum of Fine Arts will have a presence, as will the Blue Man Group in a drum off, and teachers from Boston Swing Central will instruct in the fine art of the jitterbug.

“Our region is already known for its universities, hospitals and for its history,” founder and philanthropist Ted Cutler said in a statement. “It’s my hope that we add the arts to what people think of when they think of Boston.”

The festival is the culmination of a lifelong dream for Cutler, who with his late wife Joan was instrumental in restoring the 1,200 seat Cutler Majestic Theatre to its former glory. He has long wanted to bring his hometown a world-class, citywide arts festival. With Outside the Box, the Dorchester native has done just that.

The festival opens on Wednesday, July 13th, and each performance is free to the public and kid friendly. In fact, there will even be hands on activities for the little ones if they get too restless during a performance. Organizers are hoping for large crowds, but ask that no alcohol or drugs be consumed at the festival, and that all “weapons, negative ju-ju and Debbie Downers” are left at home.

This year, the third in the series, the festival is going to be adding talks and panel discussions by business innovators to the event designed to educate and inspire creative thinking. It is expected to be even bigger and better than last year.

“Outside The Box is a wonderful opportunity for artists and audiences to share creative experiences,” artistic director Georgia Lyman was quoted as saying.  “The 2016 performances range from spectacle to intimate. They’re immersive, interactive, and represent the diverse talent that Boston has to offer.”

Daughtry and Smash Mouth are both performing Friday night, and Saturday begins with Boston’s favorite blue mute drummers. Michael Franti & Spearhead, who are perhaps best known for “Say Hey (I Love You),” and “The Sound of Sunshine,” will follow along with several other acts.

Dancers will include BoSoma Dance, the Boston Ballet II, Tony Williams Ballet Company, StreetHYpE, Luminarium Dance Company, Arthur Murray, and more. For children, Matt Heaton & the Outside Toys, the Puppet Showplace Theater, and Tanglewood Marionettes will be sure to please.

The new addition to this year’s festival, OTBi (OTBInteractive), will begin at the nearby Paramount Theatre on Wednesday afternoon with a CapX Talk entitled “Reimagining Perspectives: Identifying Gaps that Revolutionize Industries.”