Things to Do

The Weekender: Waitresses, prison guards, and princesses

Charity Angel Dawson, Desi Oakley, and Lenne Klingaman in the national tour of “Waitress,” which is at the Opera House through March 4.
Joan Marcus
Charity Angel Dawson, Desi Oakley, and Lenne Klingaman in the national tour of “Waitress,” which is at the Opera House through March 4.

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Weekends are about ending weeks, and I honestly can’t think of a better thing to do to this one. Geez Louise, that was not good. However: While your impulse may be to explore the unseen depths of your comforter and hide this weekend, this week’s selection seems curated by the cosmos to push you out into the world a bit, and show you some of the good stuff that doesn’t make the news. Dressed? Keys? Wallet? Phone? Let’s hit the diner first . . .

CHECK PLEASE: While the touring production of the hit musical “Waitress” won’t bring Sara Bareilles to the stage of the Boston Opera House (Desi Oakley is covering her shift playing Jenna on the road), it brings all the songs and swoons that earned it four Tony nominations (tip: Never come out with a musical the same year as “Hamilton”). The all-female dream creative team of “Waitress” includes Bareilles (music and lyrics), Jessie Nelson (book), Lorin Latarro (choreography), and ART artistic director Diane Paulus (direction). I’m trying to come up with something like “empathy is a dish best served warm” but eh, I’m gonna need some more coffee over here. (And some of that incredible pie, please.) That’s at the Boston Opera Housethrough March 4. Get tickets here.

WORLD TOUR: It’s quite possible you’re thinking about other countries right now — I feel you. Airfare being what it is, an actual escape might not be in the cards, but on Saturday night, the return of CRASHfest will spread 10 acts across three stages with considerably less distance between them than their nations of origin. The lineup is actually kind of crazy, including Mali’s “Hendrix of the Sahara” Vieux Farka Toure, the female mariachi magic of Flor De Toloache, the roots-infused música Brasileira of So Sol, the Moroccan trance of Innov Gnawa, Zimbabwe fusion masters Mokoomba, the Brooklyn melting pot of Rubblebucket, and the “infectious party music” of Kotoko Brass (which features members from the United States, Ghana, Antigua, and Japan). If this all sounds like too much fun, I’ve heard a steaming cup of General Foods International Coffee can have a similarly transportive effect. (Oh, whither Jean-Luc?) That’s at the House of Blues; get tickets here


TROT TROT TO LYNNE:  If the resounding introduction of “I Am Shelby Lynne” didn’t reach you (when it won her the Grammy for best new artist in 2000), and you slept right through the lush lullabies of “Not Dark Yet” (her recent duo album with sister Allison Moorer), let this Friday night’s show at the Natick Center for Arts get you acquainted with one of the more stirring, soulful voices in country. (Or blues. Or rock. Or jazz.) There’s not much Lynne can’t sing, and you can expect her to prove it this weekend. Find tickets here.

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COUNTRY RHODE: While we’re taking a detour through outsider country, it’s as good a chance as any to recommend the CD release party for Rhode Island’s Mickey Lamantia, a prison guard whose free time is spent locking down his own take on beer, beard & ballcap country rock. He’s serving some stiff Merle and Wayland vibes (with more than a splash of Jamey Johnson to smooth the finish), but his inmates aren’t the only ones paying attention; “Rolling Stone” just named him one of “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.” And now you do! Check out the release of “Every Bad Habit” on Friday night at Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits in South Kingstown, R.I.

The R&B duo dvsn will be at Royale Sunday.
OVO Sound
The R&B duo dvsn will be at Royale Sunday.

DO THE MATH: On the R&B tip — and for a breath of fresh Canadian air — you can catch the cinematic soul of Drake proteges (and copy editor nightmares) dvsn (pronounced “division”) on Sunday night at Royale. The duo of vocalist Daniel Daley and mega-producer Paul Jeffries (“Hotline Bling”) deliver a futurist take on the classic ’80s and ’90s R&B they grew up on, and explode the experience into a multimedia spectacle. The show is freshly sold out, but there are resales worth hunting. 

CHILE RECEPTION: Globe film critic Ty Burr calls Sebastián Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman” a “gently heart-wrenching, quietly furious movie from Chile” and gives it 3½ stars. The film, which follows Marina, a trans woman, “rising to her feet” after the death of her lover and the disdain she faces in mourning, is Burr’s pick for best foreign language film at the forthcoming Oscars. “A Fantastic Woman,” he writes, “is, in a way, an updated and very wise variation on a classic Hollywood woman’s film, with a beleaguered or unseen central figure gradually gathering pride and self-worth on her own.” Opens Friday.

YAMMER TIME: Also at the cinema this weekend is Sally Potter’s new comedy “The Party,” which Burr gives 2½ stars and calls “a tart black comedy of bad behavior among the British boho-bourgeoisie” but a “surprisingly slight offering” from Potter (best known for “Orlando”). “The new film is a lightly poisoned amuse-bouche that’s made with tasty high-end ingredients, but at 71 minutes it leaves you hungry for more.” Those high-end ingredients are a cast of highly watchable talents including Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, and Patricia Clarkson. Burr doles out some extra points for great performances, dialogue, and music — “Points for everything, in fact, except a larger point — there doesn’t seem to be one.” Opens Friday.


PRET-A-POITIER: Finally in film is a career-spanning retrospective on the legendary Sidney Poitier, “Something of Value: Sidney Poitier on Screen,” which starts Friday and runs through March 18 at Somerville Theatre. According to writer Loren King, the selection (which will screen entirely in 35mm) puts “particular emphasis on neglected titles and rarities.” On Friday you can see “No Way Out”; Saturday will feature “Cry, The Beloved Country” and “Blackboard Jungle”; and on Sunday you can see “Edge of the City” and “To Sir, With Love.” More info here.

‘RAINBOW’ CONNECTION: Onstage this week is the “impassioned” new production of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” presented by Praxis Stage at Roxbury’s Hibernian Hall. “There is beauty and pain, anger and hope, humor and urgency, and, above all, resonance in the blend of monologues, dance, and music that makes up ‘For Colored Girls,’ ” writes the Globe’s Don Aucoin. Directed by Dayenne C. Byron Walters and choreographed by W. Lola Remy, this updated take on the essential play “makes clear that Shange’s ‘choreopoem’ has lost none of its vitality or its power to move us.” It’s up through Sunday; grab tickets here.

SLIDE SHOW: There’s a good chance the little ones in your household suddenly fancy themselves ice skaters; or maybe you let them see “I, Tonya” for some reason and they’re just craving bedazzled drama of any sort (again, I feel you). In either case, you can’t really go wrong with the latest from Disney on Ice, “Dare to Dream.” TD Garden will be absolutely lousy with princesses through Sunday , as nearly two dozen skaters bring characters from “Cinderella,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Tangled,” “Frozen,” and “Moana” to the ice and to life. The show is about 100 minutes with a 15-minute break, so don’t put away your thermies just yet. Tickets here.

TECH SUPPORTS: “Art + Tech: A Citywide Collaboration” is an ongoing collaborative series of exhibitions organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art’s chief curator Eva Respini and appearing in various forms across a dozen museums and universities around Boston. Tied to the ICA’s “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today,” the series, according to art critic Cate McQuaid, “throws a wide, easy net over digital art, a medium so common that almost any American city could coordinate cross-institutional programming. But this project belongs here.” (I’d personally nudge you toward the MIT List Center for “Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974-1995” — a celebration of futurist visions in clunkier times, featuring works from Mary Lucier, Nam June Paik, and Diana Thater. A full list of participating institutions can be found on the ICA site.

OR STAY IN! Pretend that cable news is lava, and focus your homebound downtime this weekend on more enjoyable things. Like podcasts! So many podcasts. Ty Burr offers a sample of his current favorites. And not to give you homework, but I’m giving some of you homework. The Globe’s list of required reading for white America is required reading. It’s a syllabus of sorts from some of the brightest lights in black literature (like Claudia Rankine, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Rita Dove, who selected my favorite collection of 2016, Tyehimba Jess’s transcendent “Olio”). There will be a quiz (i.e. the rest of your life).  


And that, weary, winded, world-worn Weekenders, is all I’ve got for you this weekend.

Well, actually that’s not true. I’ve got an urge to tell you to be good to one another, to hold your loved ones and liked ones tight, and to try your best to believe in a better tomorrow. (Maybe consider this weekend one big tomorrow.) In the meantime, make this one a weekend you’ll miss come Monday. (Sorry Amy, IT’S BACK).

See you next time!

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur