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I’d like to begin my testimony this week by thanking you Weekenders for letting me give my side of the story. There are some who have told you that there’s nothing worth doing this weekend.
Those are lies, plain and simple. And I am so sorry that you had to hear them, and I’m so sorry that the American people were told them. I’m here to set the record straight. That means being straightforward, honest, and thorough about your options. And maybe lightly dissuading you from seeing “The Mummy.” On that note . . .
IT’S A WRAP: In “The Mummy,” a force of nature emerges from the dead to shed its wrappings and retake its rightful place of power over the mortal scourge of this earth — and that’s just Tom Cruise. There’s also a mummy. And lots of special effects. And Tom Cruise. And lots of glaring evidence that this awakening franchise may prove hard to kill. As Ty Burr puts it in his two-star review, “the self-conscious mythmaking is not a little annoying.” The vault cracks open this Friday.
BREAK OUT YOUR RAINBOW FLAG: It’s Boston’s Pride weekend! The parade kicks off from Copley Square at noon and ends at City Hall Plaza, where there will be a festival waiting. Saturday night, paint the town ROY G. BIV with any of the dance parties, or consider taking a boat cruise before heading to the night’s biggest party over at the House of Blues. Sunday features a brunch at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, a rally at the Boston Common, and two block parties all before the big finale at the Candibar and Guilt nightclubs.
BAIT & CACKLE: Do you know what happens before “The Wizard of Oz”? I mean other than you changing into sweat pants and heating up an entire box of those mini-quiches. Well, for one thing, Elphaba (a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West) is none too happy with her sister Galina (the Good Witch) and . . . actually, I’m not sure I can sing and dance out the sordid details for you with anywhere near the elan of the cast of “Wicked,” the beloved “Oz” prequel now onstage at the Boston Opera House. The Broadway in Boston presentation runs through July 23. Get tickets here.
CAVE IN: The Globe’s Maura Johnston calls “Skeleton Tree,” the most recent album from living, breathing, brooding Aussie legends Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds, “a stunning meditation on mortality and loss that’s devastatingly intimate, with Cave’s lyrics taking a turn toward the starkly imagistic and his voice audibly aching as his bandmates churn and swell around him.” Not only is Saturday night’s show at the Boch Center’s Wang Theatre your chance to truly hear the dark depths of the new material, it’s also a perfectly appropriate forum for you to bust out your best Tracey Pew drag — talk about a hot mesh. Find tickets here.
QUITE CONTRARY: Be sure to check out the Boston Globe Magazine’s timewarp through the glory decades of Boston Rock, and then be sure to raise your fist in defiance and shout “What about Helium?!” Well here’s what about Helium: They’re back! Sort of. Mary Timony is. Not that she went anywhere (see: Wild Flag, Ex Hex); but this Saturday, she and a fresh incarnation of her undersung and influential precision-bent power-pop trio Helium fill the hearts of patient locals who just want to hear “Baby Vampire Made Me” one more time. It’ll be a gas. (Sorry.) Tickets here.
WESTWARD GO! Get out of town and head west for two intriguing art shows. In Williamstown, the Clark Art Institute has “Picasso: Encounters,” a show of 35 large-scale prints and a trio of paintings that offers a unique look into his relationships, as reviewer Cate McQuaid puts it, “to printmakers, to muses, and, more in the realm of imaginative dialogue, to heroes such as Rembrandt and Manet.” That’s up through Aug. 27; more info here. About an hour south in Stockbridge, the Norman Rockwell Museum has as unlikely a pair as you’ll find in a gallery with “Inventing America: Rockwell and Warhol,” a show that makes an odd couple of the two artists for their respective fascinations with popular culture and American identity. That’s up through Oct. 29; more info here.
FIGHTING WORDS: Maybe you missed the whole Boston Massacre thing in history class. It’s fine. This newsletter isn’t here to judge you. But should this be the case, may we recommend taking the 50-seat immersive crash course in local pre-Revolutionary mayhem that is “Blood on the Snow”? We may. (In fact, we do.) Starring Ken Baltin, Daniel Berger-Jones, Lewis D. Wheeler, and Bill Mootos and directed by Courtney O’Connor, the show recounts one of the most fateful (and fusty) war-room sessions in American history. It’s presented by the Bostonian Society through Aug. 20 at the Old State House. Be warned: Note-passers will be tarred and feathered. More info and tickets here.
IF IT AIN’T BAROQUE: The Boston Early Music Festival runs June 11-18 at various venues around town, and in keeping with its commitment to unearthing lesser or unknown works, at the center of the fest are the first North American performances of André Campra’s “kaleidoscopic” 1699 opéra-ballet “Le Carnaval de Venise,” including an opening performance on Sunday at the Cutler Majestic Theatre. (You can watch a behind-the-scenes video from the production here.) Check the full schedule of events for the week and get tickets here.
MOVE IT: Elsewhere in festivals is the José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s all-day Dance for World Community, happening Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. in the Sanctuary Theatre area of Cambridge. More than 90 dance groups will perform, you can learn a step or two at a series of on-site classes, and an entire Advocacy Way will assemble a range of nonprofits (plus munchies to keep that energy up). And much like your unique take on dancing, it’s free, baby. Full schedule here.
OR STAY IN! Elaborate song-and-dance routines aren’t exclusive to summer festivals and Senate committee hearings, they also happen onstage. Sometimes they even win awards. Don’t believe me, just watch the Tony Awards — a grand Kevin Spacey-hosted affair (which is how you can tell it’s grand), Sunday night on CBS. Oh! And in advance of the big night, the Globe talked to Chris Cooper, nominated for his turn as Torvald in “A Doll’s House, Part 2.”
Also on Sunday there’s “Claws,” the new hourlong TNT dramedy set in a South Florida nail salon. It stars Niecey Nash as a — actually never mind, gonna stop right there because that’s reason enough to watch.
Alternatively, you could force down a 13-serving portion of prison drama/comedy (I honestly can never quite tell) from “Orange Is the New Black,” which for its fifth season (available Friday on Netflix) apparently takes a dive into some Akerman-esque endurance verite — or so sayeth the Globe’s Matthew Gilbert: “In the episodes, all 13 of which are set during a three-day riot at Litchfield Penitentiary, time passes like a lethargic waiting line at the bank, or that endless delay while a page is loading on your phone, or that endless delay while a page is loading on your phone while you’re in a lethargic waiting line at the bank.” (I can’t even make it through the theme song. That’s just me. So bad.)
Oh, and saying “so bad” reminded me: There’s a new Lifetime movie on Sunday! “Menendez: Blood Brother“ stars Courtney Love as Kitty and the less said the better. Just let it wash over you.
And that, my friends, is it! I do solemnly swear that (barring any embarrassing typos) my picks are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, under pains and penalties of perjury and angry e-mails from you. This e-mail is now adjourned.
However you decide to spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday. See you next week!Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.