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Greetings once again, Weekenders!
This week, I’m focused on nothing short of changing the course of history. This hasn’t traditionally been the greatest weekend in Boston. On May 19 in 1713, a riot broke out on Boston Common over a citywide food shortage and the lieutenant governor got shot. (Bad optics all around.) On the same day in 1780, the city was plunged into darkness as millions of tons of mystery soot blackened the skies. (No optics all around.)
Knowing full well that it takes three (however historically detached) to make a trend, I’m doing everything in my power to keep any further disasters at bay — or at least somewhere past 495. The following weekend options should be foolproof.
SCARY GOOD: I’m a devoted fan of the whole “Alien” franchise (yes, even the one with Winona), which means I’m also a devoted hatewatcher of “Prometheus.” Man, is that movie bad. So many horrible lines. (“I just want answers, babe.”) So many wasted performances (Charlize, Idris, my office — now). So many stupid moments that will echo over whatever installments come next like Noomi Rapace’s “Nooooooooooooooo!” Lucky for people like me, Globe film critic Ty Burr reports reassuring improvements in the newest chapter from director Ridley Scott, “Alien: Covenant.” “The violence wreaked by the creatures is bloody in fresh and unnerving ways,” he writes in his three-star review, “to the point where a viewer can feel unmoored, no longer safe.” Meaning that rumble in your tummy might not be the Milk Duds. (Although — how old are those things?) Opens Friday.
FAIRY TALE: When I was 16 I was walking down John Fitch Highway in Fitchburg to the Blockbuster so I could rent “My Dinner With Andre” or something, and some yahoos with their hoods popped on the strip (as was the custom whilst “Fitchin’ ”) took issue with my Pixies shirt. “Hey [expletive]. Who the [expletive] are the Pixies?” Well, from that moment, I was determined to find out. And now, some 25 years later, I can heartily recommend catching them — three of them, anyway, as the beloved art-punk progenitors (or so I hear) play a trio of shows at the House of Blues on Friday and Saturday and the Paradise on Sunday. (Oh, and to any Kim holdouts out there, sorry: Still no Deal.) Say hi if you see me — I’m the one in the tiny Pixies half-shirt.
ARGENTINE SPIRIT: “I don’t think you ever feel you’re looking at dancers doing steps,” says Tony nominee John Weidman (“Contact,” “Assassins”) about “Arrabal.” And he should know, he wrote the book. The stirring tango musical is up now at the ART, and while it’s light on script, it’s narratively rich, using tango as language to tell the story of a young woman and the military junta ruling Argentina in the 1970s. It’s also got a powerhouse artistic team behind it, including Weidman, Tony-nominated director Sergio Trujillo, and Academy Award-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Babel,” “The Motorcycle Diaries”). That’s at the Loeb Drama Center through June 18. Get tickets here.
WORKS OF ART:Simon says one thing. Art says another. Our hearts say something different altogether because we just want them to play “A Hazy Shade of Winter” one more time and then maybe break up again so we don’t have to listen to them bicker. But hey: Anything beats the sound of silence from either of these old friends, and this weekend, Art Garfunkel will dip into his deep catalog of favorites (as well as his forthcoming memoir) for a pair of intimate appearances in the ’burbs — Friday night at the Cabot Theatre in Beverly, and Saturday night at Plymouth Memorial Hall in Plymouth.
TROUBLED WATERS: “ ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ is essentially a Hallmark Channel movie set to music and performed live,” writes Globe theater critic Don Aucoin, “but no Hallmark movie has ever had an actress like Jennifer Ellis in the lead role.” The SpeakEasy Stage Company’s production of the musical adaptation of Robert James Waller’s 1992 bestseller (written by Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown, and directed by M. Bevin O’Gara) shines from the ease with which Ellis “elevates and deepens material that is soapy and soggy enough to make Douglas Sirk blush.” It’s up through June 3 at the Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. Tickets here.
PLUG AND PLAY: You know how electronic music is cold and forbidding and foreshadowing a technofuture of isolation and sadness? That was a trick question! It’s none of those things. And the Together Festival, now in its eighth year, is cueing up once again to disabuse the local masses of their burdensome misapprehensions toward electronic music by presenting a citywide celebration of the stuff in all its forms. You can catch floor-pushing talents like Adesse Versions, Kerri Chandler, and Detroit Swindle (Friday at the Middle East Downstairs), flip through a record fair hosted by Beautiful Swimmers and Martyn, and hear sets from Com Truise, Kim Ann Foxman, Andre Obin, Pantha du Prince, and others. It runs through Sunday all over town. Full event schedule here.
UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY: If you’re a fan of beers, hanging out, and unleaded beard & ballcap nu-Nashville country rock, well my dude, you may be into Patriot Fest, which rides up on The Lawn on D like a pair of ill fitting Wranglers on Saturday afternoon and features rising beards Tyler Farr and Eric Paslay. Tickets here. Elsewhere in country (Shirley, specifically) Angaleena Presley, erstwhile member of Miranda Lambert’s now-dormant Pistol Annies who just released the new solo album “Wrangled,” takes the stage at the Bull Run on Saturday night.
LA LA LAND: Taking the stage at the Boch Center’s Shubert Theatre Friday through Sunday is the L.A. Dance Project, the company founded by choreographer Benjamin Millepied (whom you may recognize from his role in “Black Swan” alongside wife Natalie Portman) and just heading into its fifth-anniversary season. For its Boston debut, the company performs works by Millepied as well as Justin Peck, and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, with visuals by artists Mark Bradford and Sterling Ruby. Presented by Celebrity Series of Boston; find tickets here.
OBJECT LESSONS: Using found objects (soda pop, shoelaces, shopping carts) to reconstruct the immigrant experience (otherwise known as the American experience), Nari Ward, a former artist-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and recent recipient of the $100,000 Vilcek Prize in Fine Arts, creates artworks “at once mystical and deeply rooted,” according to the reviewer Cate McQuaid. And the artist’s new “Sun Splashed” exhibition at the ICA (at which over 100 people were recently sworn in as American citizens) “meets us where we are: in a country grappling with fear, decay, and prejudice, yet buoyed by tenderness and hope.” It’s on view through Sept. 4. More information here.
OR STAY IN! Oh my, do you see that? Ominously crawling toward you in the living room?! It’s the scream-inducing, pie-gulping, coffee-brewing, weird-dancing return of David Lynch’s mid-’90s avant-noir masterpiece “Twin Peaks.” Making good on Laura Palmer’s bizarro promise to see us all again in 25 years, the back-from-the-dead Showtime revival has devoted holdovers (like me) squeezing our toothpaste in anticipation. (As long as it’s better than Season 2, we’re good.) That’s Sunday night at 9 p.m.
Elsewhere in surreal sagas and dark otherworlds is “The Wizard of Lies,” HBO’s new film starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer as Bernie and Ruth Madoff as they surf the crash of the largest financial fraud scheme in US history right into the rocks. That’s Saturday night at 8 p.m.
Or if you’re looking for a less traumatic 25-year flashback, the Boston-Calling-bound Buffalo Tom just released a 25th-anniversary edition of its seminal “Let Me Come Over” album, which includes the band’s first live album, ““Live From London, ULU, 1992.” (Album does not include wooden necklace you lost at Buffalo Tom concert.)
And that oughta do it, Weekenders! We’ll see you here next week, same inbox. And however you choose to spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday!Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.