The Weekender: ‘Fun Home,’ funny guys, and Pooh bears

Joan Marcus

Carly Gold as Small Alison, Robert Petkoff as Bruce, and Kate Shindle as Alison in “Fun Home.”

By Michael Andor Brodeur Globe Correspondent 

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Greetings Globers! That rumbling you hear off in the distance is yet another rapidly approaching weekend, and it’s a doozy. So much good stuff. Especially if you have “Sweet Child O’ Mine” stuck in your head and are desperate for a way to get it out. More on that in a bit; and without further ado, the weekend afoot!

FAMILY MATTERS: Broadway in Boston brings a superb Boston premiere of “Fun Home,” the musical based on the eponymous memoir of cartoonist Alison Bechdel (creator of “Dykes to Watch Out For” and the Bechdel Test). In 2015, “Fun Home” took home more Tonys than the Green Line to Haymarket (including best musical), and it has since ensconced itself as one of the most adventurous shows in the history of the form (on that note, you might consider a babysitter for the budding theater fans in your family — it’s heavy). Globe theater critic Don Aucoin loves it: “If you have a heart, ‘Fun Home’ will break it. If you have a soul, ‘Fun Home’ will touch it,” he writes. It’s up at Boston Opera House through Oct. 29. Tickets here.


LAUGHING MATTERS: Objectively lovable comedian Jim Gaffigan brings his 44-city “Noble Ape Tour” to town Friday and Saturday at the Wilbur (and he’ll be taping a comedy special at the Saturday gigs). Trigger warning: He’s gonna make some jokes about Hot Pockets. Less triggery warning: They’re all sold out, so we’re looking at resales if you want in on this. Elsewhere in laffs, “Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. (perhaps the finest fake field reporter of the show’s post-Stewart era) will perform at the National Braille Press’s “A Million Laughs for Literacy” benefit gala at the Marriott Copley on Friday. (And yes, I just said “benefit” and “gala” in a way that suggests you should brace yourself a little for the very worthwhile ticket price when you go here.)

Vilhelm Stokstad/TT via AP

Guns N’ Roses, shown performing in Sweden earlier this year, will play TD Garden Sunday.

NOT SO YOUNG GUNS: Q: Where do we go? Where do we go now? Where do we go? Oooh, oooh, oh . . . Where do we go? Oh, where do we go now? Where do we go? Ooooh-oh, (sweet child!) where do we go now?! Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, WHERE DO WE GO NOW? AHH-AAHHH AH-AHH-AH-AH-AHHH WHERE DO WE GO?! A: TD Garden, on Sunday night, to immerse ourselves once more in the yowling, howling, sleazy, please-me, rock ’n’ roll glory of (three-fifths of) the somehow reunited Guns N’ Roses. (They’ll most likely save “Sweet Child O’ Mine” for the end, so have a little patience.) Tickets here.

ROCK SOLID: Hard-core fans of Josh Homme’s long-rocking Queens of the Stone Age might find themselves doing unthinkable things (shimmying and dancing among them). Tracks off the band’s new “Villains” maintain the gnarly scratching rock of early efforts but slip in sly doses of synthy dancefloor fire. On Saturday night Homme and homies return to Boston for a performance at Agganis Arena (with openers Royal Blood). Tickets here.

SILVER PLATTER: I have no choice but to question your commitment to good times if you aren’t already considering catching this rare appearance from ’90s hip-hop legends The Pharcyde. For this 25th-anniversary shindig at the Middle East on Friday, the crew will perform the entirety of its name-making 1992 breakthrough, “Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde,” bringing together Fatlip, Slimkid3, K Natural, DJ Manwell, and a big proverbial baggie of dank flashbacks — especially once they launch into “Passin’ Me By.” Peep a moderately NSFW preview of the party here, and grab tickets here

FOLK HEROES: West Mass (!!!) folk favorite Kris Delmhorst is hitting the road with “esteemed spouse/co-producer” Jeffrey Foucault for a tag-team tour of their respective new albums. The two will take turns fronting and backing each other up as they play tracks from Delmhorst’s first collaborative effort with Foucault, “The Wild,” and Foucault’s forthcoming “Blood Brothers.” They’ll be at ONCE Ballroom in Somerville on Saturday night; find details and tickets here.


Domhnall Gleeson and Will Tilston in “Goodbye Christopher Robin.”


BEAR BONES: With “Goodbye Christopher Robin,” director Simon Curtis takes us behind the pages of A.A. Milne, the storied creator of “Winnie the Pooh.” The film “works in spite of itself,” writes the Globe’s Ty Burr in his 2½-star review, “because it understands what Milne’s creation meant to him and to a postwar world and to every child and parent since: a place forever innocent and forever England.” And according to Curtis, it’s also a good film about England, “because in England we create some of the most famous stories, from Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling. But we struggle to say ‘I love you’ to our own family.” Oh, bother. Opens Friday.

HELL ON EARTH: Also in theaters this weekend is “Only the Brave,” the (once-again) timely tale of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, firefighters who battled the 2013 Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona and lost 19 of their crew in the flames. Jennifer Connelly, Taylor Kitsch, and Josh Brolin star. “And this absorbing film gets the message across without sensationalism, delivering a straightforward portrait of regular working men toiling at an uncommonly risky job,” writes Tom Russo in his three-star review. Opens Friday

TRYST ISSUES: Beginning Friday, you can catch Huntington Theatre Company’s world premiere production of “A Guide for the Homesick,” a new work from playwright Ken Urban (“A Future Perfect”). Commissioned by New York’s Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play is a both a 21st-century coming-out tale and a compelling look into the inner lives of international aid workers, and the myriad rifts and tensions they navigate as they move between vastly different worlds. Directed by Colman Domingo, it’s up through Nov. 4 at the Calderwood Pavilion’s Wimberly Theatre. Find more info and tickets here.

HIGH ART: The (quite literally) off-the-wall Oakland-based dance troupe Bandaloop comes to Wellesley College this weekend for a suite of six short gravity-defying performances up and down the sides of the freshly renovated Pendleton West building, accompanied by live music from Wellesley faculty. (Pro tip: If you can’t make it this weekend, the troupe will be rehearsing out in the open through the week.) And don’t miss the end of this blurb where I tell you not to try this at home: Don’t try this at home. I’m looking directly at you, Frank. That’s Friday and Saturday (and free!) at Wellesley. Find more info including performance times here.

OR STAY IN! And if all of this “fun” just sounds like too good a time than is reasonable, necessary, or appropriate given the bleakness of modernity, you can always curl up with the not-quite-30th-anniversary deluxe edition of the Smiths’ landmark album “The Queen Is Dead,” which sports one whole disc of B-sides and demos, and another disc capturing their 1986 US tour kickoff show at Great Woods (which is what I still call the Xfinity Center). What’s most extraordinary about this “ineffably marvelous,” “decisively unmodern but not quite retro album” according to Terence Cawley, is “how it translates the very specific interests of its creators into the universal adolescent grammar of longing, self-discovery, and the blessed reverie of losing oneself in music.” Sounds like a plan!

Oh! And in case your version of relaxing on the weekend is really just planning for the next weekend, please note the looming awesomeness of the next GlobeLive event! Next Friday night (Oct. 27), join hosts Akilah Johnson and Scott Helman for an in-person, onstage rendezvous with your favorite Globe writers. Hear Matthew Gilbert’s tale of bombing an interview with Joni Mitchell; follow Janelle Nanos deep into Boston’s 311 hot line, where a compelling portrait of a city emerges from disembodied bitching; marvel at Yvonne Abraham and Mike Bello’s walking tour of negative Yelp reviews of Boston landmarks; and enjoy the music of Mark Erelli. More info and tickets here.


I don’t want you spending the whole weekend reading the Weekender (even though I kind of do), so that, my friends, is a wrap. 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.