The Weekender: Goofy ‘Guardians,’ greaser goddesses, and a Boss bassist

Zoe Saldana as Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”
Marvel Studios
Zoe Saldana as Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

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It’s tempting, as the weather gets warmer and the sun seems more earnest about its intentions to stay, to pack up the car/Zipcar and make for the shores to pretend it’s summer. It’s not. Don’t do this. The beach isn’t ready, you’re not ready, nothing’s ready.

(And if you’re thinking of weekending in Florida for an advance dose of the good stuff, maybe read Christopher Muther’s piece on flying Spirit before you go impulse clicking.)

Besides, there’s plenty (and I mean plenty) of stuff happening here this weekend. It’s actually why I brought you all here today:


SPACE SAVERS: Sure, Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana may be able to rescue the universe, but they can do nothing to save your two hours should you commit them to “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which Ty Burr cautions in his 2½-star review “at times . . . feels like the longest family car trip ever.” Along with “almost painfully lush” 3-D effects, there’s a whole lot of talking, huffing, puffing, hashing out, processing, and hugging — all the stuff you love about the Marvel Universe, with much less of the stuff you loved about the first installment. Oh well, better luck next 3 billion times. Opens Friday.

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DWIGHT STUFF: Whether you know the perenially underrated Dwight Yoakam from “Streets of Bakersfield,” “Guitars Cadillacs,” “Sling Blade” (yeek!), his line of Lanky Links and Lil’ Riblets, or just his ever-present cowboy hat, you know him. And on Saturday night, the honky tonk man takes the stage at the House of Blues — with Elliot Root and (whaaat) Hallelujah the Hills — for a joyride through three decades of electric hillbilly, plus a Cheap Trick cover if you’re lucky. Get your tickets here.

STELLA!!!!!: Head out to the Addison Gallery at Phillips Academy this weekend to see “Frank Stella Prints: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation,” described by the reviewer Cate McQuaid as “an exhibition so rollicking that it is, in the end, exhausting.” This celebration of the artist’s career of exploration and transformation collects more than 100 prints from the artist (and alum, class of ’54), more well known for his striking paintings and sculptures. While you’re there, check out the concurrent exhibition “The Gifts of Frank Stella,” which gathers works Stella donated to the Addison from Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Ellsworth Kelly, and Stella himself. That’s up through July 30. More info here.

GOLD STARS: If you’ve been in Boston a certain length of time (no judgment) and haven’t yet experienced a musical extravaganza from Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans (judgment): Gurl, are you waiting for an invite from the gods? Well, here’s your chance: Landry’s campy tweaks on the classics have been flooding the basement theater of Machine (a.k.a. The Ramrod Center for the Performing Arts) for two decades now, and through June 4, he’ll be staging his latest masterwork, “Greece,” which smashes a cast of mythological queens and titans (and probably some twinks) into the musical “Grease” and rolls the whole thing around in sequins. Don’t myth it. (Tickets here.)

SINKING, FEELING: In his 2½-star review, Ty Burr calls Dash Shaw’s debut animated feature, “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea,” a “Cartoon Network version of a John Hughes remake of ‘The Poseidon Adventure,’ ” which, really, should be enough. But just in case, this delightfully deadpan exorcism of Shaw’s high school years also features the voices of Jason Schwartzman, Susan Sarandon, Lena Dunham, Reggie Watts, and Maya Rudolph. Trigger warning: The high school is actually sinking into the sea. It opens Saturday at the Museum of Fine Arts and screens on various dates through May 20. Showtimes and tickets here.

E Street Band bassist Garry Talent brings his own group to the Rockwell in Somerville Saturday.
Bob Delevante
E Street Band bassist Garry Talent brings his own group to the Rockwell in Somerville Saturday.

BE YOUR OWN BOSS: When, at a Bruce Springsteen show, your hips engage and your eyes slide to the side of the stage, you have likely experienced the talents of Gary W. Tallent. The longtime E Street Band bassist has been a trusty weapon in the Boss’s pocket since 1972, and Saturday night he takes center stage at the Rockwell in Somerville with his own band — featuring Los Straitjackets’ Eddie Angel, Dave Roe, and multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin. Legend alert, people. Find tickets here.

OLD GOLD: If it ain’t broke, try harder — or so I imagine is the motto of Old 97’s, Rhett Miller’s hard-rocking alt-country progenitors (who are actually old now). The band just released its 11th studio album, “Graveyard Whistling,” and while it’s run through a darker, more nostalgic filter than 2014’s “Most Messed Up,” that turn of tone likely won’t tamp down the fire of the live show, which comes to the Sinclair Friday. The date is sold out, but resales may still be wrangleable. Show info here.

SOLO FLIGHT: The Globe’s Don Aucoin calls the Underground Railway Theater’s presentation of Tony Kushner’s “Homebody” “an eloquently discursive meditation on history, on culture, and on the far-reaching, if sometimes hidden, connections between the past and the present.” The play itself is an extended imaginative rumination on Afghanistan by the titular character, “an otherwise unnamed, middle-aged Englishwoman brought poignantly and beguilingly to life by Debra Wise,” but this literal armchair flight of fancy reveals something more stark about the uses and bounds of imagination. Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner, the show runs at Central Square Theater through Sunday. Find tickets here.

THE CLOSER: You might have seen Andris Nelsons bringing some heat over the head of Jackie Bradley Jr. when the Boston Symphony Orchestra music director took the mound to throw the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. Not too shabby, mister. But his real sweet spot is at the podium at Symphony Hall, where Friday and Saturday he closes the season with a suite from Shostakovich’s incidental music to “King Lear,” Rachmaninoff’s rarely played Fourth Piano Concerto (with Leif Ove Andsnes), and Mahler’s sublime Fourth Symphony, with soprano Kristine Opolais (Nelsons’s wife), as soloist. You can find tickets here.

Elisabeth Moss in “The Handmaid's Tale.”
George Kraychyk/Hulu
Elisabeth Moss in “The Handmaid's Tale.”

OR STAY IN! TV critic Matthew Gilbert recommends “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the new Hulu series adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s unsettling dystopian novel. The show stars Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, and Joseph Fiennes, and promises to be the feel-bad show of the decade. Please disregard any beautiful day messaging coming through your windows and commit to this.


And if that doesn’t make you feel bad enough, Amanda Palmer has a new album out. (Oh snap! It’s just me. I can’t with her. Please, carry on.) This one, “I Can Spin a Rainbow,” is a collaboration with the Legendary Pink Dots’ Edward Ka-Spel, “whose aggressively experimental approach to what a song can entail,” writes reviewer Marc Hirsh, “is so specific and unyielding that the album forces her into new modes.” OK, fine, I’m listening . . .

And finally, Ty returns with another crop of newly available on-demand films you may not have realized were worth demanding.

And that, my friends, oughta do it for this week. NO WAIT! Bonus item:

GET LOST: You can catch the final days of the ArtWeek Boston creative festival (presented by the Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center — including the Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway’s celebration of World Labyrinth Day (Saturday) with “Walk as One at 1” (meaning 1 p.m.). First-time labyrinth walkers can get a primer from Beth Mace, President of the Labyrinth Guild of New England at 12:45 p.m. Minors welcome; minotaurs not. Yes this is real. More info here.

OK, for real this time, I’m done. Choose wisely, and however you spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday. See you next week!

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