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Mass Education: Natalie Portman rolls out guest lineup for Boston Calling


One of the more intriguing aspects of Boston Calling 2018 is the Arena lineup, a full run of events and appearances separate from the bands and musicians on the festival’s three outdoor stages. Launched last year with a stand-up comedy component, this year’s programming in the Arena is significantly more varied, hosting live podcasts, comedians, and actress Natalie Portman doing Natalie Portman things.

Portman, who is also curating the “Female Gaze” film festival at the Brattle in the days leading up to May 25 to 27’s Boston Calling weekend, has three hour-long blocks reserved for each day of the fest. Those are mysteriously billed as “Natalie Portman And Friends,” and this week, the actress revealed a few of her guests, including Boston Calling performers St. Vincent, Zola Jesus, and Leikeli47, as well as American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and cellist Clarice Jensen.

No word on just what, exactly, Portman and her guests will be doing or talking about, but do you really need a concrete program for anything involving St. Vincent and Zola Jesus?



If you’re looking for some sort of tease, Zola Jesus took to Twitter to share her excitement over the Portman collaboration. When one person asked if it involved a “rap battle,” Zola Jesus cheekily replied: “damn you guessed it brother”, followed by some winky-smiley action.

Stay tuned.

Featured St. Vincent image courtesy of Boston Calling.