The Weekender: Irish kicks, elder punks, and political jokes
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Hey there! Ni fhaca me la fada thu! (Whoa, my spell check does not appear to enjoy Gaelic, so let me go ahead and switch back to English.) Long time no see!
It’s a busy weekend out there if you can dig yourself out; but it’s also St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so I also understand that the following suggestions for your best laid plans are about as easy to commit to as work on Monday. As an Irish citizen myself (no really!), I both fully empathize and cannot imagine why you put your body through this every year. No matter. Erin go bragh!
But first, Erin, go through these picks for what to do this weekend. And for the love of Sinead, pace yourself.
MURPHYS RAW: I’m not kidding. We begin with a series of “punk rock and roll” music concerts from a popular locally-based combo calling themselves (squints through half-glasses) the Dropkick Murphys. If you’ve already witnessed gangs of shamrock’d Stormtroopers marching in the Southie parade, these reliably bonkers annual throwdowns from the rowdy step-godfathers of Boston Irish punk remain the best way to get your mind blown (and beer spilled) on St. Pat’s. Friday night they’re at House of Blues, Saturday night is Agganis Arena, and Sunday they’re sure to pack Brighton Music Hall in Allston. Ticket prices and start times vary, but you can kick off your search here. Pro tip: Reconsider wearing all those beads. Also: Your best friend is Drink O’Water.
YOUNG AND AULD: If Timmy and Tammy are still too young for the mosh pit (such wimps) or if you haven’t consumed food coloring since the Forgotten Green Beer Scare of 2010, there are still ways for you and the family to raise a glass (or sippy cup) to the auld sod. The Irish Cultural Center of New England in Canton has music, storytelling, dancing, Gaelic workshops, and brown bread in the oven all weekend long. (More info on that here.) For more family-friendly picks, check out the Globe’s roundup, which includes celebrations from Wachusett Mountain to Fenway Park, as well as a weekend worth of St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourns with Brian O’Donovan — long established as the most St. Patrick’s-y thing you can do, period. For this year’s show, O’Donovan assembles singer Karan Casey, fiddler Liz Carroll, and harp and fiddle duo Jenna Moynihan and Mairi Chaimbeul. That’s Friday at Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, New Bedford, and Saturday at Sanders Theatre, Cambridge. Details and tickets here.
AGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: Green Day isn’t just the fundamental understanding of St. Patrick’s Day that most people have, it’s one of pop-punk’s most enduring acts — which isn’t always a good look. The trio has made it work by pushing themselves where the genre seldom barges in, from Broadway (“American Idiot”) to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2015 inductees). Thirty years in, the band’s still going strong. Friday night they’ll play the uncle-punk hits as well as new stuff from the stripped-down “Revolution Radio” at the DCU Center in Worcester. Find tickets here and relearn how to sew patches on your denim vest here.
PICK UP ARTIST: “Is this a ghost story, or a metaphor for grieving, or a meditation on identity?” asks film critic Ty Burr of “Personal Shopper,” the newest film from French director Olivier Assayas starring Kristen Stewart. “Discuss, please. Just don’t expect answers.” It’s a haunting (and gently confounding) tale of living, dying, shopping, and (doublechecks) texting that scores three stars from Burr: “It contains the kind of mysteries that can leave adventurous audiences tingling pleasurably while others spit out their gummi worms in frustration.” Opens Friday.
(RE)CREATED A MONSTER: Because this tale as old as time concerning a young woman taken prisoner yet eventually swiping right on a prince trapped in the form of a hideous monster wasn’t realistic enough, we now can enjoy a live-action reboot of the 1991 classic that inspired a thousand applications to Emerson’s musical theater department, “Beauty and the Beast.” “There isn’t much magic,” says Ty Burr in his two-star review, “and what there is coasts on 26-year-old fumes” (however earnestly huffed by Emma Watson and Dan Stevens). So bring your own magic. Like Dippin’ Dots maybe. Those things are crazy. Opens Friday.
BROTHER TO BROTHER: “Topdog/Underdog” is a comic drama about a card shark-turned-Abraham Lincoln impersonator named Lincoln and his shoplifting brother Booth, and it made playwright Suzan-Lori Parks the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Critic Don Aucoin calls the Huntington Theatre Company’s production, directed by the Tony-winning Billy Porter, “searing and often riveting.” It’s up through April 9 at BU Theatre, but best not to wait with this one. You can find tickets here.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Think of “Boston Stands” as a volume boost for the American Civil Liberties Union — a 15-passenger van full of ’90s alt-rock luminaries (The Gravel Pit, Nada Surf, Juliana Hatfield, Evan Dando, Belly, and Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom) gather to plug in and give the new president a stern rocking-to from the stage of the Paradise Rock Club on Saturday night, all to benefit the ACLU. It’s looking pretty sold out, so if you score resales, don’t be lame: Make a donation, too. Even free speech ain’t that free.
HUMAN RACE: For “Finish Line,” a new documentary play that puts stories from the Boston Marathon bombing onstage at the Boch Center’s Shubert Theatre, director Joey Frangieh spoke to 94 people whose lives felt the impact of the blast, from runners and first responders to spectators and journalists. It’s a stirring (and strikingly faithful) glimpse into the lives that go on after tragedy. A portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Martin Richard Foundation, named for the 8-year-old Dorchester boy who was among the bombing victims. That’s up through March 26 and you can find tickets here. (And starting Friday, there will be a limited amount of “pay what your heart feels” tickets available.)
DAD JAZZ: This Sunday at the Berklee Performance Center, saxophonist Joshua Redman pays tribute to his father Dewey with the help of a quartet inspired by Old and New Dreams (a legendary act that featured Don Cherry on trumpet, Dewey Redman on tenor saxophone, the late Charlie Haden on bass, and Ed Blackwell on drums). Still Dreaming features Redman, bassist Scott Colley (a former student of Haden’s), trumpeter Ron Miles, and drummer Brian Blade. It’s presented by World Music/CRASHarts, and you can find tickets here.
OR STAY IN: John Oliver once veered clear of the Trump swamp, but he seems lately to have settled into his waders on his Sunday night news paroxysm on HBO, “Last Week Tonight.” Recommended righteous rage. And if watching me try to finish a serving of black pudding on Facebook Live isn’t the St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast you fancy watching, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry will host a far classier affair (well, sort of) attached to the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday morning. And thanks to live broadcasts on NECN and necn.com, you don’t have to miss a single groanworthy OUTVETS gag. Then again, you also can.
And oh! Lest I forget the most important thing to do should you opt not to do anything this weekend: Click on over to bostonglobe.com (preferably while really hungry) and get in on the Globe’s rumble-inducing Munch Madness tournament, wherein we pit perfectly reasonable restaurants against each other in a completely unreasonable deathmatch in which, ideally, it doesn’t come to that. Voting has never been this warm, this cozy.
Who will take home the championship?! I actually don’t need 3 billion furious e-mails from you fine folks, so I’m staying out of it. Green beer, anyone?
However you spend this weekend, be careful out there. And if the road rises up to meet you, may it happen as gently as possible. Sláinte, etc.