The Weekender: Tall ships, short films, and dad jokes

John Mayer at a Dead & Company show in Worcester in 2015, with drummer Bill Kreutzmann.
Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis
John Mayer at a Dead & Company show in Worcester in 2015, with drummer Bill Kreutzmann.

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Hey folks, it’s that time of the week again. But this weekend isn’t just any weekend – it’s Father’s Day! [cue: “I’ve Written A Newsletter To Daddy”]

Depending on the dad in question, this can mean faithfully executing a paternalist agenda or relaxing all regulations and resigning to a hammock. Both are perfectly appropriate ways to celebrate fatherhood.

But should your papa be of the former class — i.e. a rolling stone — here’s a motherlode of father-friendly weekend options. Tighten your hip-pack and pull up those dress socks, pops. It’s gonna be a busy one.


GREY MAYER: Says John Mayer of his role in elder statesman supergroup Dead & Company, “I have a futon in this home, and I have some stuff in the fridge.” The band, with Mayer plus core Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, plays a double-header Saturday and Sunday evenings at Fenway Park, where the line for nachos may be longer than it’s ever been. On that note, fathers be good to your daughters and don’t get arrested. This isn’t 1972 — fishbowl the RAV4 if you have to, just don’t bring that . . . thing into the park. What were we talking about? Oh yes! John Mayer! Tickets here.

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EXTENDED WARRANTY: The Globe’s Mark Feeney took “Cars 3” for a spin, and the 2½-star threequel to Pixar’s landmark “first not-great feature” barely passes inspection. This is usually the part of the blurb where I tell you about some sexy cast member who makes the 109 minutes go by a little easier, but this is a cartoon about cars, so you’d really have to use your imagination, and that’s really not what this newsletter is here to help with. Pixar fetishists, fear not: “No matter how slack the storytelling can get,” writes Feeney, “the animation conveying that storytelling is borderline miraculous.” Might be good for just before the Dead & Company show, if you catch my drift. Opens Friday.

DAD JOKES: Kevin James, a comedian with whom I am currently not speaking because he just up and decided one day that our cool moustache club was no longer his thing — which is fine, everyone gets to do what they want, Kevin, it’s a free country — is at the Wilbur this weekend. And I mean all weekend: Two shows Friday, two on Saturday, and a final one Sunday night. Frankly, if he read this today and cared one whit about what we had, he could just grow the damn thing back by Sunday night’s performance and we’d be good again — but that’s really his call, isn’t it? In any case, if you don’t know who I’m even referring to, he’s the guy from “The King of Queens,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” and “Kevin Can Wait.” And so can I, Kevin. So can I. (Tickets here.)

Salma Hayek and Jay Duplass in “Beatriz at Dinner.”
Roadside Attractions
Salma Hayek and Jay Duplass in “Beatriz at Dinner.”

EAT THE RICH: In his three-star review, film critic Ty Burr calls “Beatriz at Dinner” a “field guide to the social behavior of the nouveau riche,” “a fable for the age of Trump,” and a chamber comedy in which “both fish and barrel are asking for it.” Directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Mike White (who, it bears mentioning, is the Greatest According to Me), the film also finds Salma Hayek and John Lithgow in fine form, striking a captivating tension as opposites caught in a state of recoil. Of course, if you want to see a magnificent Hayek performance, watch her on pretty much any late-night show she appears on. Salma Hayek, what is your life?

IOWA RAUCOUS: Speaking of Trumpian fables, “You might not be in the mood for a show about a flashy, loud-mouthed con man who knows nothing about his supposed profession but nonetheless gains the support of rural residents in the Midwest by stoking their fears, anxieties, and insecurities,” writes Globe theater critic Don Aucoin, once again being absolutely correct. Still, he insists, “you’re likely to have a fine old time at the spirited production of ‘The Music Man’ that is now kicking up its heels at North Shore Music Theatre.” He’s probably right about that, too. (Aucoin/Burr 2020?) It’s up through June 18. Get tickets here.


VINCENT PRICELESS: “Things always have changed, and they’re supposed to,” says country legend Vince Gill, who just turned a sprightly 60 and comes to the Lowell Summer Music Series for a Saturday night performance. He should know. Gill’s been a songwriter, a sideman, a session guy, and pretty much since starting his Grammy collection back in 1991 (he’s now up to 21), a bona fide superstar. The Country Hall of Famer will play a solo acoustic set followed by a 90-minute second set with a full band. So if you’re on the lawn, bring a comfy blanket to lay down (Sally). Get tickets here.

ON BOARD: This weekend is the launch of Sail Boston — and believe me, regatta see it to believe it. The six-day event welcomes more than 50 tall ships to port as they compete in a 7,000-nautical-mile trans-Atlantic race visiting six countries. For the smoothest possible sailing at this enormously popular event, let the Globe provide crucial bearings. Like: What is a tall ship? How will I know one when I see one? Should I bring my selfie stick? How much anxiety should I bring? And, Wow, this whole thing must have been kind of a headache to put together, huh? Don’t miss the Grand Parade of Sail on Saturday. And please, no throwing your iced tea into the harbor. Yes, we get it.

The Spirit of South Carolina, a 140-foot two-masted pilot schooner, is shown docked in Salem Harbor and is scheduled to take part in the Grand Parade of Sail on Saturday.
Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
The Spirit of South Carolina, a 140-foot two-masted pilot schooner, is shown docked in Salem Harbor and is scheduled to take part in the Grand Parade of Sail on Saturday.

SUN SCREENS: If a shorter ship is more your speed, you can shine up your best leather (this is me innocently guessing) and ferry out to MacMillan Pier for the Provincetown International Film Festival. This year, the beloved town-consuming festival honors director Sofia Coppola (fresh off her win at Cannes for “The Beguiled”) and actress Chloë Sevigny (making her debut as director with the short film “Kitty”). It’s a packed program, so plan wisely — and don’t overdo it with the Planter’s Punch at the Boatslip or you’ll miss the proverbial and literal boats. Full festival lineup here.

PAST PERFECT: If your idea of early music is Katy Perry howling out of your alarm radio every morning, consider this blurb a wake-up call. You may already have slept on the first half of the Boston Early Music Festival, but you still have all weekend to make up for lost time (and hear what it sounds like). This year’s centerpiece is André Campra’s 1699 “Le Carnaval de Venise,” a “Baroque musical” deemed “hilarious” by reviewer Jeffrey Gantz, with final performances on Friday and Sunday. There are also all manner of performances, talks, master classes, and pub parties, so check the full schedule of events and find tickets here.

SUBJECT: OBJECTS: “Does the concept of exotic even make sense anymore?” Mark Feeney marvels at the “utilitarian magic [and] purposeful wonder” of the offerings of “one of this year’s more unusual and marvelous museum exhibitions,” “The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766-1820,” on view through Dec. 31 at Harvard Art Museums. Re-creating the three rooms of Harvard’s 18th-century “Philosophy Chamber,” the exhibition collects a curious spread of curiosities — scientific instruments, taxidermy, cultural artifacts from afar, and more than 100 far-flung antiques, artworks, and objects. More information and tickets here.


OR STAY IN! If all of these loud, noisy, bothersome things to do just remind you of the senselessness of the modern world, there’s a new five-part “Masterpiece” drama premiering on PBS this Sunday at 8 p.m. that can sweep you away to the senselessness of a slightly less modern world. Set in Ireland in 1943, “My Mother and Other Strangers” follows a restless wife who finds in a visiting airman “company that is more genteel than that of her husband” — ooooooooooh! Sayeth the Globe’s Matthew Gilbert, it’s “pleasant, slight, and a tad too obvious.” Thus, I will be so there. (Then I will rinse with an hour of “Twin Peaks.”)

And that, fair Weekenders, is the father of all weekends. Do let me know how it goes if you can wrench him away from the grill and the game. And however you spend this 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.