The Weekender: Paranoid androids, jazz heavies, and some decent costume ideas

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP/file

Bruno Mars plays TD Garden Saturday and Sunday.

By Michael Andor Brodeur  Globe Correspondent 

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Well hello Pumpkin Spice (sorry to tell everyone my nickname for you), and hello October! Your telltale kiss of briskness arrives not a moment too soon, as we were all growing bored with forgetting that we’ll be freezing soon. This fresh dread gives us something to do. 

And so does this newsletter! Every durn week, as it happens. (Have you told your friends about us? I think I'm ready to meet your friends.) But that’s not all the Weekender provides. As promised last week (when I made a handful of you very cross with me for being mean to Steve Bannon), this week’s Weekender is also a value pack of completely fantastic Hallowe’en costume ideas you can spend the month crafting. (Just not this weekend. Very busy. See below.)


MARS MISSION: Cool jewelry shining so bright. Strawberry champagne on ice. Silk sheets and diamonds all white. Lucky for you, that’s what Bruno Mars likes. (And side note, girl from that song, you probably shouldn’t read too much into that list.) In any case, Bruno will be bringing “24K Magic,” “Uptown Funk,” and more to the stage of TD Garden on Saturday and Sunday, and you should do your stretches in the parking lot beforehand. COSTUME IDEA: For sheer ease of execution and party-bringing effectiveness, I can’t overstress the versatility of Unclaimed Backup Dancers as a group costume. What would be tacky worn solo becomes fabulous on five to 10 people, and with light choreography, you and your crew can spontaneously back up anything (statues, mailboxes, police — maybe not police). The world is your Bruno. Oh, speaking of which, tickets here.

Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros.

Ryan Gosling stars in “Blade Runner 2049.”

FUTURE TENSE: Come Friday, the future is now with the arrival of “Blade Runner 2049,” director Denis Villeneuve’s long awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 android classic. “Is it a great movie — one of those towering epics that define an era?” asks the Globe’s Ty Burr. “Villeneuve seems to think so.” In his 2½-star review of the second coming, Burr delights in “bravura sequences” and “art direction that’s off the charts,” but struggles with a film “so swollen with purpose, so titanically self-conscious in its mythmaking, that at times it nearly paralyzes itself with solemnity.” (Heads up: You will be two hours and 45 minutes into the future by the time it’s over.) COSTUME IDEA: Ryan Gosling refusing cereal; any iteration of Sean Young; or if you have your Ernest Hemingway beard, Philip K. Dick.

DECONSTRUCTING HARRY: Burr sends 3½ stars the way of “Lucky,” the career-capping performance of legendary character actor Harry Dean Stanton (who died at the age of 90 in September). It’s a “true labor of love,” says Burr: “There’s barely a wisp of plot in “Lucky,” only the anxiety that creeps over the title character as he senses the beginning of nightfall.” (By the way, if you haven’t seen the 2013 documentary “Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction,” it wouldn’t make a bad chaser at all). COSTUME IDEA: You’d only need a bathrobe and a bandage to pull off a convincing Carl Rodd. Opens Friday.

ARTISTIC KITSCH: Elsewhere in film is “Loving Vincent,” which Burr calls “a jawdropper on the level of craft and technique” in his 2½-star review. Directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman employed 125 artists to hand-paint each frame of the film, which tells the life story of Vincent Van Gogh in the iconic style of his masterpieces. “The results are visually dazzling,” says Ty. “The movie as a whole is something less.” COSTUME IDEA: The one-eared Vinny is a classic, but so played out. For an unexpected twist, go as Vincent Van Gogh’s older brother who died at birth. His name? VINCENT VAN GOGH! (I know! So creepy. What the hell, Ma Van Gogh?!) Opens Friday.

Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff/file

Mike Birbiglia performs at the Wilbur through the weekend.

HOT MIKE: Shrewsbury-weaned comedian (I mean, how can you go wrong with that setup) Mike Birbiglia (easier just to read it than say it) is an acclaimed writer, director, and stand-up comic. His best-selling “Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories” was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor; he’s a regular on “This American Life” and has popped up on “Girls” and “Orange Is the New Black”; and most recently, he released a Netflix special (“Thank God for Jokes”) refined from a set that he tried out in 112 cities (“which is more cities than there are,” he tells the Globe. “Some of them are just an Applebee’s with a dream”). Through the weekend he performs “The New One” six times at the Wilbur. (And yeah, they’re officially sold out, but resales are out there.) COSTUME IDEA:  Stand-up comic. All you need is a mike stand, a stool with a glass of water, and your existing flop sweats. We are already terrified. 


OVERDUE NORTH: It’s been seven whole years since we’ve heard any rumblings from Broken Social Scene (I thought I’d lost them along with my unchargeable iPod Nano), but the popular and populous Canadian rock collective is back with its fifth studio album, “Hug of Thunder,” and on Saturday night the 18-person gang will lean down to “an ensemble of 10 or so” for its show at the House of Blues. Find tickets here (or find a way onto the band’s 10,000 guest list spots). COSTUME IDEA: Canadians. Super easy. Wear what you’re already wearing, just be super chill about things. 

NEW HEIGHTS: The Boston Opera House will provide a fittingly high-ceilinged setting on Saturday night for the pumping catharsis-core of Paramore, the enduringly angsty (and suddenly dancy!) rock force led by the (two-syllable) fi-erce Hayley Williams. They’ll be playing fresh anthems from this summer’s “After Laughter” as well as old favorites that’ll have you revisiting the Hot Topic that stayed open in your heart. Get there early for a last blast of summer in the form of an opening set from Best Coast. Find tickets here. COSTUME IDEA: I’ve got zero problem with Paramore, so I’m gonna broaden the field a little bit and go with Anyone From Warped Tour 2005.

TOEING THE LINE: On Friday evening, as part of the BB@Home series, Boston Ballet will showcase a selection of six “mini-premieres” from an exciting crop of dancers doubling as choreographers. “Dancer/Dance-makers” features works from principal dancer Paulo Arrais, as well as Isaac Akiba, Roddy Doble, Florimond Lorieux, Reina Sawai, and Matthew Slattery, in the intimate setting of the company’s Black Box. Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen will moderate a panel talk with the dancer/choreographers after the performance. COSTUME IDEA: Ballet dancer of course; though this is one of those instances where you’ll just have to wonder whether I’m offering the idea for your benefit or mine. Find tickets here.

HORNS OF PLENTY: The inaugural John Coltrane Memorial Concert was thrown in 1977 by percussionist Syd Smart and saxophonist Leonard Brown in a Boston loft space, 10 years to the day after the death of the iconoclast saxophonist. And for the 40 years since that first tribute, the JCMC has kept Coltrane’s visionary work alive and drawing deep new breaths of inspiration. A full week of programming celebrating this year’s milestone culminates on Friday with a memorial concert (featuring a 20-piece ensemble) and Saturday with a performance by the Pharoah Sanders Quartet. Find tickets and full program information here. COSTUME IDEA: I’m still pretty raw over “La-La Land,” so jazz is off limits this Halloween. Let’s move on. 

ART ATTACK: Some strong gallery and museum shows this weekend: The newly redubbed Krakow Witkin Gallery (Neat! Hi Andrew!) opens the season with “Tara Donovan: Compositions (Cards),” featuring five stunning works made entirely from arrangements of styrene cards. (That’s up through Nov. 4. More info here.) Up at Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the wall-sprawling “Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters From Between the World Wars” features nearly 100 posters and publications from the collection of Eric and Svetlana Silverman. (That’s up through Feb. 11. More info here.) And at Simmons College’s Trustman Art Gallery, there’s a nifty collection of large-scale screenprints (test proofs and extras) from Andy Warhol, in the appropriately named “Andy Warhol: What’s the Difference.” That’s up only through Oct. 11, so get your 15 minutes in, slowpoke. COSTUME IDEA: This one is demanding as a performer, but: David Bowie as Andy Warhol. Nobody does it better. Try it anyway. 

OR STAY IN!: So much tubing to be done. On Saturday night at 8, there’s the new Susan Lacy documentary on Spielberg (called “Spielberg”) on HBO, answering essential questions about the esteemed director, like “Did he reinvent cinema or ruin it?” “Is he an artist or an entertainer or both?” “Zero Charisma or Cintus Supremus?

Nick Briggs/Lookout Point for Masterpiece

Sarah Parish (left) and Poppy Corby-Tuech in “The Collection.”


Oh, and on PBS Sunday night at 10, there’s the new Masterpiece series “The Collection,” set in the haute-seat of postwar Parisian fashion. I, for one, can’t imagine watching every episode of this weekly and repeatedly whilst summoning bon-bons at regular intervals from the kitchen, oh noooooooo not me. Our trusty and just Matthew Gilbert finds it “embellished with many — too many — subplots,” but I already don’t know what too much embellishment is supposed to mean. What does that mean?

Finally, for your ears and your costume idea — provided you’ve got a chill optician and can get around OK (ouch dude, sorry, that sucks, get well soon plz) — Marilyn Manson has a new album, “Heaven Upside Down.”

And that, folks, is all I’ve got for you this week! Enjoy the first few days of this fall thing and try to stay out of trouble. (And leaf piles, which are actually kind of gross most of the time. Just looking out for you.) 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.