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Well hello there and welcome back Weekenders. Check us out! Making it all the way through January. This means there’s only [checks calendar] eight more months of winter. Hang in there!
I know that we’re all still in the midst of hyperventilating over the Patriots’ win and researching to see if there’s a Market Basket that sells actual eagle wings, but we can’t just pretend that this weekend doesn’t exist. You’ve got a whole week to prepare for Tom; let this weekend be about you. SHALL WE?
LOVE BITES: Odds are good that you’ve heard more than you ever wanted to about the spectacular failures of men when it comes to the art of woo; so it bears mentioning that Theresa Rebeck’s comedy “Bad Dates,” though seemingly loaded with understatement, is not some fresh addendum to the #metoo movement. Rather, as Christopher Wallenberg describes it, “it’s a crowd-pleasing, one-woman comedy with a scrappy, magnetic narrator who gets to try on beautiful clothes and fabulous shoes.” Meanwhile, it’s also a uniquely moving show about loneliness, openness, “survival of the heart and the yearning for connection — as a holy thing,” as Rebeck puts it. The wonderful Haneefah Wood stars in this 15th anniversary production, running Friday through Feb. 25 at the Huntington Theatre Company. Find tickets here.
RHYME & REASON: Also onstage this weekend is Company One’s world premiere of Idris Goodwin’s “Hype Man: A Break Beat Play.” Following his breakthrough “How We Got On,” Goodwin’s new show tells the tale of Pinnacle, Verb, and Peep One — a rising young hip-hop trio whose path toward success hits a hard detour after the police shooting of an unarmed teen raises a host of unexpected questions. It’s up at the Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts, through Feb. 24. Find tickets here.
DISTORTION PETALS: Those of you born in that prime Gen X/bicentennial sweet spot of the mid-’70s were fortunate enough to adolesce through the blissfully noisy ’90s, when Big Muff pedals, Marshall stacks, long bangs, and tattered sweaters all converged into something of a belle epoque of power pop that ran parallel to the whole grunge thing (but took showers now and then). Think bands like Veruca Salt, Fountains of Wayne, and (ahhh yes) The Posies. On Friday night at City Winery, head Posies Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow will perform minor hits like “Dream All Day” (and hopefully most of “Frosting on the Beater”) as a duo. Come for the memories, stay for the shameless display of air-drumming dads in the audience. Tickets here!
SHE’S SO UNUSUAL: If you’re a fan of “Lady Dynamite” and laughter in general, or if you’re just constantly buckling under the weight of your crippling depression or social anxiety (on that note, “Lady Dynamite” was just canceled), you would do well to subject yourself to as much Maria Bamford as possible. Erratic, confusing, and relentlessly funny, Bamford’s style is sui generis (i.e. aggressively weird) and her show on Friday at the Wilbur (trigger warning: more bad news) is sold out. However! Resales exist; and thus, so does hope.
FILM HERSTORY: And while we’re talking about subtle female mastery of things, we’re taking a break from the blockbusters this week (are there any?) to point you toward the Brattle Theatre’s “Who’s That Cutting My Film?” series, which zooms in on the women at the editing tables of legendary films — women like Verna Fields, Dede Allen, and Thelma Schoonmaker — whose control of rhythm and timing have as much to do with the movies’ enduring allure as the men in the director’s chairs. The yearlong series starts Friday with Martin Scorsese’s rarely screened debut, “Who’s That Knocking at My Door” (1967, edited by Schoonmaker) and Steven Spielberg’s “The Sugarland Express” (1974, edited by Fields), and runs through the weekend with “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Raging Bull,” and more. Tickets and full program here.
DOC STAR: Since you’ll be in Harvard Square anyway, I’m going to go ahead and make it a Full-On Female Filmmaker Friday. Over at the Harvard Film Archive that night at 7 p.m., you can catch a screening of “The Gleaners and I,” the 2000 documentary from the legendary Agnès Varda. “A prominent figure in the French New Wave of the 1960s,” writes Peter Keough, “Varda has more recently gone beyond features to develop personal, essayistic, and deceptively whimsical documentaries.” (Her latest, “Faces Places,” is up for a documentary Oscar this year.) It’s a good chance to see one of Varda’s strongest films before she comes to town Feb. 26-27 to give the Harvard University Norton Lectures on Cinema (along with Frederick Wiseman and Wim Wenders).
BRAZILLIANT: In dance this weekend, you can’t go wrong with Grupo Corpo — unless you have some weird distaste for sumptuous rhythms and high-intensity blasts of traditional and modern Brazilian dance, in which case, skip this. For the rest of you, the long-running troupe (founded in 1975) is coming to town from Friday to Sunday to perform a pair of new works: Cassi Abranches’s “Suíte Branca,” and “Dança Sinfônica” by resident choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras. That’s presented by Celebrity Series of Boston at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre, and you can grab tickets here.
FORCE OF NATURE: Up at the Portland Museum of Art, you can catch a “small and highly appealing show” from a photographer that the Globe’s Mark Feeney says changed the nature of nature photography and “helped alter both the medium and society.” “Eliot Porter’s Nature” collects 23 of Porter’s stunning images of the natural world, which have the ability to reopen our eyes to the world around us. “In his work,” writes Feeney, “the beauty of nature is always intrinsic rather than subsidiary to human imagination.” It’s up through March 18; more information here.
BOT-ICELLI? If you’ve ever wondered what Alexa dreams of doing once she retires, check out “Artificial Creativity: Neural Network and Augmented Intelligence Art,” an exhibition of AI-assisted artworks that explore how machine learning can shape human creativity. Experience a virtual reality dream, a suite of data-driven portraits, experimental videos generated by their own music, and, of course, a moth bot (which is fun to say even if you’ve no idea what it is). That’s at Boston CyberArts Gallery through Feb. 18. More info here.
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES: And finally from the outside world, a pair of classical events worth sitting very still for. Boston Symphony Orchestra artistic partner and composer Thomas Adès will join the BSO for a program of his own music (a suite from his chamber opera “Powder Her Face”) as well as Stravinsky and Beethoven. This weekend will also feature violinist Augustin Hadelich performing Gyorgy Ligeti’s Violin Concerto. That’s Friday and Saturday at Symphony Hall. Tickets here. Down the way at Jordan Hall on Friday evening, Celebrity Series presents violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Jeremy Denk performing all four Violin Sonatas by Charles Ives. Before the performance, five singers of Hudson Shad will perform various hymns and songs quoted freely by Ives in his sonatas. Tickets here.
OR STAY IN! You may have heard mention of “Mudbound” during the Golden Globe Awards; star Mary J. Blige was nominated for best supporting actress and her song “Mighty River” was nominated for best original song. Or perhaps its more recent Oscar nods — another supporting actress nomination for Blige, plus nods for best adapted screenplay and best cinematography (for Cambridge native Rachel Morrison) — put Dee Rees’s breakthough film on your radar. In any case, the Globe’s Ty Burr gave it 3½ stars when it came out, and it’s available on Netflix now.
Also streaming this weekend (starting Friday) is Amazon’s “Britannia,” what the Globe’s Matthew Gilbert describes as “a baffling, hysterical, campy, and bizarre answer” to “Game of Thrones.” Set in 43 AD during the Roman conquest of Britain, and snatching tropes from “Thrones” and other sword-swinging battleporn, the show emerges “a fabulous, stupid mess.”
Oh, and how could I forget, the Grammys are Sunday! (I was told that if you act excited about something, you can actually trick yourself into getting excited, so: Yay!) James Corden hosts; Cardi B, Bruno Mars, SZA, Kesha, Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid, and Patti Lupone (genuine yay!) perform; and I’ll be watching the whole thoroughly godforsaken thing. (Red carpet included.) Join me maybe?
And if a grand total of none of this sounds appealing to you and you just want to retreat for a few hours to an era where things kinda-sorta made sense, you might just curl yourself up with Boston native (and former blogger in chief to Obama) Sam Graham-Felsen’s new book, “Green,” a coming-of-age tale set in 1990s Jamaica Plain (where certainly someone was listening to the Posies).
And that, my dear Weekenders, is all I’ve got for you this week.Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.