The Weekender: Fun in the (steadily dwindling) sun
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As we begin our initial descent into autumn, please make sure that all beach umbrellas, white shoes, and tanning lotions are properly stowed and that all sweaters have been put in the “on” position. Once the captain turns on the pumpkin spice indicator, you may feel free to move about the city and begin dreading winter. (Bing!) In the meantime, here are some suggestions for your next destination.
FAB FOUR/CITIZENFOUR: “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week — The Touring Years” is director/Beatlemaniac Ron Howard’s new documentary on the most scream-inducing band in rock history. In a 3½-star review, Ty Burr calls it “a long, jangling, melodious soak, rich with backstage incident and wall-to-wall hits, and it gives us a front-row seat at the most important pop explosion of the 20th century while showing how that explosion changed the four men at its center.” You can catch it at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. If you’re more interested in whistleblowers than hitmakers, Oliver Stone’s “Snowden” finds Joseph Gordon-Levitt adjusting his awkwardness for the titular role, as Stone digs deeper into the ex-NSA analyst’s personal files in what Burr calls “Stone’s most subdued movie by a long shot.” He gives it three stars. Now playing.
TONG AND DANCE: It’s a special treat for dancing feet downtown on Friday as dance music legend Pete Tong brings his “All Gone” odyssey to Bijou. For nearly 30 years, Tong has helped steer the course of international dancefloors as the head of BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix. He’s a co-founder of the EDM wing of William Morris Endeavour, which has signed big-name (and in a couple of cases, big-eared) talents like deadmau5, Calvin Harris, and Kaskade. (He was also the producer and music supervisor for Netflix’s EDM coming-of-age tale, “XOXO.”) Expect to dance to the sickest tracks you’ve heard in years; don’t expect to remember a whit of it the next morning.
YOUR TURN: For a dance experience with a slightly more restrained intensity (and a much cooler breeze), consider the summer’s final Saturday evening installment of Tango in the Park, a weekly spin through the romantic majesty of Argentine tango music and dancing (which, fun fact, doesn’t actually require you to chomp on a rose while doing it) on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It starts at 6 p.m., with a performance by some pros at 6:45, and lessons for dancers taking their first steps at 7.
MAXED MEDIA: If your feet aren’t worn out by all this dancing I’m having you do, there are more than 250 artists in Jamaica Plain who’d love for you to drop by. The 23rd annual Jamaica Plain Open Studios take place all day Saturday and Sunday in dozens of galleries, studios, and residences all over the neighborhood. Browse and hum thoughtfully to yourself, or shake the artists’ hands and pick up something that’ll spruce up both your home and your heart — from original paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture to finely crafted ceramics, quilts, bags, and baskets (deplorables not included).
A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: If that’s simply not enough art for you (and you overdid it on espressos at City Feed), divert some of that stray energy toward the MFA on Saturday night as the museum continues its #mfaNOW celebration of contemporary art and artists with Overnight — an all-night bash in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art (6 p.m. to 9 a.m.) that will feature everything from lawn games and food trucks to music and dancing (courtesy of the all-lady DJ collective Substructure), works on view from artists including Frances Stark and Terry Winters, plus (gasp!) the nocturnal stretch of Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video piece “The Clock” that museum hours seldom let us see.
FLOWER POWER: Or you could spend your Saturday night spacing out to the psychedelic sounds of Mellow Yellow himself, the legendary Donovan, who brings his Sunshine Superman Fiftieth Anniversary Tour to New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall. You can settle in and drift away upon the music, or achieve more quantifiable inner tranquillity by ponying up for one of the limited VIP meet-and-greet packages (which benefit the David Lynch Foundation).
SHORE THINGS: If a weekend by the Charles sounds appealing, here are some options you can bank on. The third annual Brighton Bangers 5K kicks off Saturday morning at Community Rowing’s Harry Parker Boathouse in Brighton, where the seventh annual Rumble on the River music and rowing fest will also be roaring. Proceeds will benefit Back on My Feet, a running organization geared toward aiding neighbors in need, and In the Same Boat, a free program at Community Rowing for disabled and able-bodied military veterans, as well as those suffering from less visible traumas. And on Sunday at Harvard Square’s Winthrop Park, join a parade to the Charles with the Revels Chorus, who will ring/sing in the autumn equinox with a free performance by the Weeks Footbridge (at the corner of Memorial Drive and DeWolfe).
SINGLED OUT: This weekend offers four chances to duck out of real life and take in “Significant Other,” the new play by the red-hot Joshua Harmon (“Bad Jews”) presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company at the Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. According to theater critic Don Aucoin, it’s a relationship comedy bursting with Harmon’s “bracingly astringent wit” (with a healthy dollop of gay angst), but the real standout is Greg Maraio, a budding talent who delivers a sharp performance as Jordan, a gay man losing his tightest ladyfriends as they walk down the aisle. You’ll meanwhile be glued to your seat.
GORGE US: After such a busy weekend, you deserve to stuff your face with the finest offerings from local farmers and foodies at the Boston Local Food Festival, to be served up Sunday on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Snack on gluten-free granola from Maple Nut Kitchen, get a great dill from Fox Point Pickling Company, sample fruit vinegars from Mangé, and (just to make sure it’s not all healthy) pick up some ice-creamy treats from Lenox’s favorite sweet shop, The Scoop. There will also be live music, cooking demos, food trucks, a “family fun zone” and more.
OR STAY IN: Of course, the most traditional Bostonian way to greet the arrival of fall is to pull the drapes, wrap yourself in your favorite blanket, and burrow into the couch until Monday pries you free. And there’s no shame in that, especially this weekend, as the hotly anticipated “High Maintenance” finally makes the leap from Vimeo to HBO on Friday night. I nominated it for a nonexistent Emmy back in 2014, when it was just a wee Web series, and this week, TV critic Matthew Gilbert finds himself jonesing for its “detailed fly-on-the-wall glimpses of ordinary lives, wry and poignant snapshots of the multitudes that once inspired Walt Whitman.”
Oh, and you’d never forgive yourself if you missed the Emmy Awards, airing Sunday night on ABC. With “Mad Men” finally out of the picture, Gilbert says it’s anyone’s guess who’ll take home trophies — which means excitement! Maybe. Also (maybe) exciting: I’ll be live-tweeting the whole darn thing. Thumbs don’t fail me now.
That oughta do it. Have fun in the waning sun whatever you do, and see you next week!