The Weekender

Funny women, big guns, and divine art

Brie Larson in “Free Fire.”
Kerry Brown, courtesy of A24
Brie Larson in “Free Fire.”

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I was going to recommend some Earth Day activities for this weekend, but honestly, at this point, the best way we can honor the Earth is by quite literally doing nothing: We should really all just try sitting in place with the lights off and laptops closed for a solid 72 hours, preferably while not breathing too hard or consuming anything. Earth will be so pumped that it will probably even submit to another year of our garbage. Think it over.

Of course, on the off chance that this eco-friendly approach to the weekend doesn’t last 72 seconds, I’ve assembled some zero-waste backup plans for you. (Just don’t go blaming the Weekender 10 years from now when you have to don scuba gear to shop at the Pru. THIS NEWSLETTER TRIED.)

Rachel Dratch performs in the Women in Comedy Festival.

GIRLS ON FIRE The Women in Comedy Festival took a year off, probably to [sexist joke]. But actually, they’ve been quite busy, running a network of podcasts and a daily humor site, staging workshops with the Boston Comedy Chicks, and showing up monthly with “Jelly” at Improv Boston. The working holiday has led up to what will be the biggest installment of the festival yet, with 85 shows and five workshops with 215 acts across 24 venues. Through Sunday, you can catch Rita Rudner, Rachel Dratch, Lizz Winstead, Sasheer Zamata, Naomi Ekperigin, (14 year old) Maeve Press, L. Michelle, and Aparna Nancherla, as well as beloved locals like Kelly MacFarland, Erin Judge, Jenny Zigrino, and Bethany Van Delft, and dozens of others. (Check out Nick A. Zaino III’s picks for the best of the fest, and get the full festival lineup plus tickets here.


GUNS, NUTS: In his three-star review, Ty Burr calls “Free Fire,” the latest from writer-director Ben Wheatley (“High Rise”), “a highly enjoyable 90 minutes, especially if your tastes run to the violent, the absurd, and the violently absurd.” “Free Fire” is a crime comedy set in 1970s Boston (“for no reason other than that the clothes were funnier then”) with plenty of comic and actual ammunition fired off by Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, and Sharlto Copley. It’s also a great excuse to try out the cop-stache you’ve been thinking about ever since they announced the “CHIPS” reboot. Opens Friday.

“Nativity” by Sandro Botticelli
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts
“Nativity” by Sandro Botticelli
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DIVINE THINGS: Now up at the Museum of Fine Arts is the largest exhibition of Botticelli paintings ever to come to the States, featuring 15 of the master’s works. Reviewer Cate McQuaid calls “Botticelli and the Search for the Divine” a “stirring exhibition.” “Its path is tender and rapturous, then dark, even angry, yet always visually lucid, always affecting,” she writes of the show, which follows Botticelli from his time painting for the Medicis to the constraint and disaffection of his late period. That’s up through July 9; more info here.

ON THE REAL: And while you’re there, this may be a good time to dip into the MFA’s ongoing 40-year career retrospective of the Boston-born “grand old godfather of documentary filmmaking,” Frederick Wiseman. “Frederick Wiseman: For the Record” is a sprawling celebration (running through June 4) of the 87-year-old honorary Oscar-winner’s 40-film oeuvre and his singular vision as a filmmaker. On Friday, you can catch “Aspen” (1991) and “Zoo” (1993); on Saturday, “Aspen” and “Public Housing” (1997); and on Sunday, “La Comédie-Française” (1996). And on May 5 at 7 p.m., Wiseman will appear for a Q&A with Globe film critic Ty Burr on the legacy of “Titicut Follies” at WGBH’s Yawkey Theatre. You can find the full screening schedule and tickets here.

MANN DOWN: “Aimee Mann’s reputation as a miserablist might be a bit overstated,” wrote the Globe’s Maura Johnston last month reviewing Mann’s latest solo album, “Mental Illness” (her ninth, and her first in five years), which “doesn’t so much revel in its sadness as it regards it from a distance, sometimes ruefully, sometimes tinged with the slightest bit of hope.” There’s no better way to experience Mann’s dexterity with a mixed feeling than live and in person, and on Sunday night, the Dalai Lama of Dolor, the Consoling Angel of Anguish, the Patron Saint of Sorrow” (as Matthew Gilbert heralds her) comes to the Wilbur Theatre for — get ready for the sad part — a sold-out show. (Remember that note of hope? Get thee to the Internet!)

DAD JOKES: At 60, comedian Bob Saget may be moving past the “Dirty Daddy” designation he adopted as the title of his 2014 memoir (no word yet on if that vasectomy ever happened), but while the “Dirty Grandpa” stall remains occupied, Saget is reverting back to his squeaky-clean name-making roots by resuming the role of doting daddy Danny Tanner on the Netflix reboot “Fuller House.” He’s also kept busy onstage, both as an actor (he had a nine-week run on Broadway last year playing Pastor Greg in the Tony-nominated comedy “Hand to God”) and in his sweet spot doing family-unfriendly stand-up. He brings the latter to the Wilbur on Saturday night. You’ll need a sitter. (Bonus: Hide under your seat for free admission to Sunday’s sold-out Aimee Mann show!) (Don’t.) Find tickets here.


JUNGLE BOOK: “A beautiful and oddly distant thing,” writes Burr of “The Lost City of Z” in his three-star review. Writer-direction James Gray’s newest film (based on the book by David Grann) tells a condensed version of the tale of English Colonel Percy Fawcett, who made repeated visits to Brazil between 1906 and 1925 in search of the titular lost civilization. It’s a slowly unfolding “parable of how the urge for imperial conquest turned at the dawn of the 20th century toward a quest for inner meaning, in one explorer and in Western society as a whole.” Bring a date! Preferably one who doesn’t mind looking at Robert Pattinson for 141 minutes. Opens Friday.

FLIGHT UNFANCY: With his bare-bones, one-man saga “17 Border Crossings,” Thaddeus Phillips navigates (as best he can) the arbitrary oddities and difficulties of international borders — “painting a picture of that idea as a very abstract, very absurd idea,” he tells the Globe. It’s a comedic world tour with requisite layovers in political poignance, or as Jeremy D. Goodwin describes it, an attempt “to put the audience in the socks of folks patiently holding their shoes.” Presented by Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental and ArtsEmerson, it’s at the Paramount Center through April 29. Find tickets here.

POETRY IN MOTION: And finally from the outside world, on Friday and Saturday nights at the ICA, World Music/CRASHarts brings dancer Maureen Fleming — who is really more like a live sculptor of her own body — performing her meditative multimedia show “B. Madonna,” featuring 3-D video projections designed by Christopher Odo, text by David Henry Hwang, and music by Philip Glass (performed live by pianist Bruce Brubaker, accordionist Guy Klucevsek, and taiko drummer Kaoru Watanabe). Get there 30 minutes prior to curtain for pre-performance talks with Boston Dance Alliance executive director Debra Cash in the ICA lobby, and Friday, stick around after the show for a post-performance Q&A with the artist. You can find more program info and tickets here.

Richard Wiese and Amy Traverso are the co-hosts of “Weekends with Yankee,” a new television series on WGBH.
Mark Fleming
Richard Wiese and Amy Traverso are the co-hosts of “Weekends with Yankee,” a new television series on WGBH.

OR STAY IN! I’m disproportionately excited for “Weekends With Yankee,” a new collaboration between Yankee Magazine and WGBH, premiering Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on Channel 2. Not just because it stands to disrupt my usual ironically unproductive Sunday afternoon “How It’s Made” marathon plans, but also because I found this weird hook thing in the back of the garage and I’m hoping they can help me identify it — or maybe I can “swop” it for some antique binoculars and an anvil. Maybe not, though.

Our resident Kinks freak may have departed for Post-ier pastures, but he managed to make Ray Davies fans out of all of us before he left. Hence, we’re all about “Americana,” the first new release from Davies in nine years. Reviewer Scott Bauer calls it a “musical memoir of sorts” that “finds Davies in a reflective and introspective mood.”


Oh, and since you’re sitting there with the typebox in front of you, it’s as good a time as any to reserve your ticket for the upcoming “Globe Live” event, Friday May 19 at the Emerson Paramount Center. Listen as the Globe’s Sacha Pfeiffer recounts her dalliance with Hollywood through the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight.” Hear Matt Viser’s phone calls with Donald Trump! See fresh photos from Pulitzer Prize winner Jessica Rinaldi! Get celebrity dirt from Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein! It’s like being right there in the newsroom, only you don’t have to smell our lunch. Tickets and info here.

Is that all? [shakes bag] [pats pockets] [checks shoe] Yep, that’s all I’ve got. However you go about your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday. See you next week, same inbox.

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.