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Hey there Weekenders! There are plenty of reasons not to leave the house this weekend: winter, coronavirus, impeachment drama, and Grammy hors d’oeuvre prep, to name just a few (those Lizzo-rella sticks look good as hell). But as you can see below, there are even more reasons to venture out and culture up this weekend. Exquisite artworks, sci-fi ballets, Passover plays, and so much more awaits.
ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT: Director Guy Ritchie makes a return to his gangster-film roots (see: “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and “Snatch”) with his latest outing, “The Gentlemen,” which finds Matthew McConaughey playing “an American expat who’s shrewdly parlayed his introduction to upper-crust British society ... into a UK-wide cannabis empire” — and who causes chaos in London’s criminal underworld as he tries to offload his operation. Globe film contributor Tom Russo gives the film 2½ stars and calls it “a diverting if slightly undercooked throwback that could offer more genuine intrigue, but that’s still worth it to see the cast gamely chuck manners and vanity out the window.” Rounding out the solid cast of seedy characters are Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, and “Cockney Cleopatra” Michelle Dockery. Now screening.
LAWRENCE OF AMERICA: Globe art critic Murray Whyte highly recommends taking a jaunt up to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, where through April 26 you can behold (most of) the acclaimed Black painter Jacob Lawrence’s stunning series of historical paintings, “The American Struggle.” Just 23 of the 30 panels of the complete work remain (some are missing, others too fragile to exhibit), but their impact feels more vital than ever. “Overlooked for years, ‘The American Struggle’ feels suddenly urgent, for the country and artist both,” Whyte writes. “In ‘Struggle,’ the vastness of Lawrence’s ambition is matched by his artistic clout. His colors seethe and burn; his scenes are dense knots of form and action — dynamic, angular, alive.” Find more information here.
YOUNG AT ART: For a fresh and fitting companion to the Jacob Lawrence show, visit the MFA this weekend to check out its “Black Histories, Black Futures” exhibition, which draws together works from the MFA’s permanent collection as well as the National Center of Afro-American Artists, as selected by the dynamic squad of local Black, Latinx, and Asian-American teen curators known as “The C6.” Globe contributor Diti Kohli caught up with four of the young selectors to find out what guided their choices, but the 50-something paintings and works on paper (by artists including Maria Auxiliadora da Silva, James Van Der Zee, and Archibald Motley) speak for themselves. It runs through June 20, 2021. Find more info here.
BODY OF WORK: At Howard Yezerski Gallery, you can take in an exhibition of intimate Polaroids by the late art historian, curator, critic, and former ArtForum editor John Coplans. “John Coplans: Self-Portrait Polaroids (1984-02)” assembles a selection of close-cropped black-and-white images the artist took of his own nude body. But as Globe art contributor Cate McQuaid points out, “he wasn’t photographing an object of desire. He was matter of fact about his own flesh. His form — fingers, hairy torso, horny-toed foot — had humility.” It’s on view through Feb. 18; find more information here.
FUTURE IMPERFECT: This weekend you can catch an intriguing collaboration between Providence-based future-pop band Arc Iris (led by Jocie Adams, formerly of the Low Anthem) and HDC Dance Ensemble. “iTMRW” is a “sci-fi ballet” that, according to Globe arts contributor James Sullivan, “unspools a color-saturated vision of the year 2080, in which a huge conglomerate provides citizens with every product they’ll ever need, including, for men, the ‘companion bot’ of their dreams.” It’s an energetic, forward-charging, multimedia inquiry into the hazards and promises of progress, and a cautionary tale with a core of hope: “like a rose through concrete, the human spirit won’t be suppressed.” That’s Saturday and Sunday evening at Oberon; grab tickets here.
RITE OF SPRING: At the BCA’s Calderwood Pavilion this weekend, you can take in a world-premiere Huntington Theatre Company production of “We All Fall Down,” directed by Melia Bensussen. The story of a long-married couple throwing their inaugural Seder, the play pulls its sensibilities from sources as disparate as “Fiddler on the Roof,” the later works of Neil Simon, and “what we might call revelations-at-the-dinner-table plays, such as Stephen Karam’s ‘The Humans,’” says Globe theater critic Don Aucoin. A humorous and heartfelt “anatomization of the stress fractures endemic to family life,” it’s on stage through Feb. 15. Grab tickets here.
PASS THE BATON: It’s a fine weekend for classical fare in town. At Symphony Hall on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening, you can welcome Andris Nelsons back to the podium to conduct a program of compositions by Barber, Dvorak, and Shostakovich. Find tickets here. On Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, the Handel and Haydn Society presents a night of Mozart (his Lord Nelson Mass and Violin Concerto No. 4) and Haydn (Symphony No. 100), conducted by Harry Christophers and led by violinist Aisslinn Nosky. Tickets here. And on Saturday, Boston Camerata presents a modern staging of the medieval opera/liturgical drama the “Play of Daniel,” directed by Anne Azéma. That’s at First Church in Cambridge. Grab tickets here.
SODER POPS: And lastly from the outside world, a recommendation to plop down in front of comedian Dan Soder, who comes to Laugh Boston this weekend. The popular comic, actor (“Billions”), and radio host (as heard on “The Bonfire” on SiriusXM’s Comedy Central Radio) just released his first-ever HBO special, “Son of a Gary” (now streaming, and recommended if you like drug dogs, “fun” alcoholic dads, and imaginary fights in the shower). The Friday and Saturday sets have already sold out, so hop on those newly-released tickets for Sunday’s show while you can. (Get those here.)
OR STAY IN: Since we’re kinda light on new movies this weekend, it’s a great time to catch up on films you might have missed at the multiplex but which have recently alighted upon your favorite streaming services, including a number of Oscar nominees. Globe film critic Ty Burr offers a solid list of films that will keep you happy and couch-bound all weekend.
Also recommended, the season 2 episode dump of “Shrill,” starring the extremely watchable “SNL” cast member Aidy Bryant. Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert calls it “an overlooked gem.” “Bryant stars as a woman who’s fine with her body but has to deal with the harsh weight judgments of her friends, family, and acquaintances. It’s funny and poignant, and well worth checking out.” It lands on Hulu on Friday.
And lest we forget (disclosure: we already forgot), the 62nd Grammy Awards air on Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS (though for the real news of the red carpet, you may want to tune in a little early). Alicia Keys hosts, and performers include Ariana Grande, Aerosmith, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Blake Shelton, and Gwen Stefani. Be sure to check out Maura Johnston’s crystal ball predictions of who will take home the blingy gramophones.
And that, world-weary Weekenders, is all I’ve got on the platter for you this week. Stay warm, be cool, and however you decide to spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday. See you next week!