The Weekender: Wrinkles in time, tricks up sleeves, and ‘Pretty in Pink’ 


A scene from Ana DuVernay’s film adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

By Michael Andor Brodeur Globe Correspondent 

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March on in, Weekenders! Traditionally, this is a low-key weekend in Boston. One might take it a wee bit easy knowing that a tide of green beer swells just beyond the horizon. (Or one might take it easy knowing that the green beer people are coming.) In either case, we will handle that whole situation next week. For now, as the Irish say, the grass that grows in March disappears in April, so let’s get on with it!

 A FURROW IN BROW: After years of planning and months of precision-stoked anticipation, Ana DuVernay’s film adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s landmark sci-fi fantasy “A Wrinkle in Time” has arrived — and according to Ty Burr’s 2½-star review, it’s “not terrible, not great, something of a disappointment after what feels like a geological epoch of hype.” (Womp, womp.) While he admired the film’s “warmth” and its adherence to the book’s themes of “love of family, love of being alive, love of our common humanity and the experiences that bind us together,” in DuVernay’s conception of L’Engle’s universe, “the stars’ celebrity overwhelms their roles” (Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon among them) and the director’s attempts to visualize the author’s abstract vistas, while impressive, still don’t fathom the depths of one’s own imagination: “For all the strenuously pixelated onscreen wonder,” Burr writes, “it’s not quite the same language.” Opens Friday.


WIZARD OF AUS: Also in cinemas this weekend is “Gringo,” the first feature film in 10 years from Australian director Nash Edgerton, which Burr accords 2½ stars and calls “a twisty dark comedy in the action-suspense vein, piled high with talented actors playing cretinous fools and featuring enough betrayals, mistaken identities, and narrative switchbacks to keep you pleasurably befuddled.” Starring David Oyelowo (“Selma”) in a promising comic turn as “a sweet-natured and naive corporate patsy named Harold Soyinka,” the film “plays a little like a Coen brothers movie without the sense of cosmic jest,” Burr writes, “or a Steven Soderbergh confection . . . but without Soderbergh's generosity toward his characters.” Opens Friday.

BODY PARTS: If you have the kind of attention span that makes a list of blurbs far easier to consume than a long block of text, first of all, hello! And secondly, you might appreciate the Boston Ballet’s “Parts in Suite,” onstage at Boston Opera House from Friday through April 7. The program brings together three of ballet’s most innovative choreographers: New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck (“In Creases”), William Forsythe (the premiere of “Pas/Parts 2018”), and Jorma Elo (“Bach Cello Suites,” featuring cellist Sergey Antonov).  More information and tickets here.

LA WOMAN: Last year, the Globe caught up with Los Angeles-based songwriter Ella Vos — which wasn’t easy because she was fast on the rise. For a while, her single “White Noise” seemed to drown out everything else on Spotify. Born Lauren Salamone Perez, Vos is a classically trained pianist and a sharp lyricist whose songs summon all sorts of satisfying subby bass and skittering rhythms that spread out under her soaring vocals. Her “Words I Never Said” tour (with the entrancing Freya Ridings in tow) comes to Sonia on Saturday — and it’s a small (all ages!) show that feels like a big opportunity. Grab tickets here.

Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys of OMD.

MIDDLE-AGE KICKS: Few things can take care of a severe case of environmentally triggered MRDS (MollyRingwaldDisaffectionSyndrome) like the soul-healing sounds of synth-pop pioneers OMD. The Merseyside masters of maudlin pop are on a 40th-anniversary tour, but don’t expect a sulk down memory lane. You’ll hear “Enola Gay,” “Electricity,” and yes, the inevitable “Pretty in Pink” meltdown of “If You Leave,” but you’ll also hear a fair amount from “The Punishment of Luxury,” the band’s 13th album, released just last year, which Maura Johnston calls “a gorgeously appointed, world-weary look at the future present and its ills.” The band comes to House of Blues on Friday — and it’s all ages as well — so bring your coolest kid (and maybe give her a heads up that it doesn’t stand for Oh My Dog). Tickets here.

DRAWING ATTENTION: Do you have thoughts on cigarettes? Wet floors? Automatic paper towel dispensers? So does Demetri Martin, his are just way weirder than yours. The multifaceted stand-up comic incorporates music and drawings into his act, yet still somehow comes off as something of a minimalist. For a sample of the goods before his two sets at the Wilbur on Friday night, check out his book of drawings, “If It’s Not Funny It’s Art” and his recent stand-up special for Comedy Central, the effortlessly Googleable “Demetri Martin: Stand-Up Comedian.” There are still tickets available for the late show here. (If not, I’d try doodling some and give it a shot.)


TO THE BONE: This weekend the Huntington Theatre Company presents Dominique Morisseau’s “Skeleton Crew,” part of her “Detroit Project” cycle of plays. “Set in the break room of a small stamping plant facing tough times,” writes Christopher Wallenberg, “the play centers on four characters and the collision of their hopes, dreams, and fears as they await their fates.” This tale of the ways economic and social strife pull at the fabric of American families is a precariously relatable one — Wallenberg notes that “Skeleton Crew” is “the third most-widely produced play of the 2017-18 season at regional theaters nationwide, according to American Theatre magazine.” That’s at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA through March 31. Get tickets here.

TRICKS (OR TREATS): Magic, we know how I feel about it; but the wonder of this world (and really, its only hope) is that you are different from me, and still hold the capacity for delight at trickery smuggled through wonder. If so, you might want to pick up tickets to one of Adam Trent’s five appearances (and, presumably, disappearances) at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Friday through Sunday. Expect high-tech props (they call him “The Futurist”), a fair share of laughs and eyeball-rubbing hocus pocus, and the faint sound of me growling in frustration from the back row (I may go just to get mad). More information and tickets here.

SPAIN RELIEVER: Dig out your best castanets (and then leave them at home). It’s time once again for the annual World Music/CRASHarts Flamenco Festival, and this year’s offering should pull you out of your seat. On Saturday, Jesús Carmona brings his 10 dancers and musicians to perform “Impetu’s,” a work set to the music of Albéniz, Riqueni, and Escudero. And on Sunday, the festival welcomes Compañía Eva Yerbabuena for the Boston premiere of “¡Ay!,” which finds the legendary dancer accompanied  by a percussionist, guitarist, violinist, and trio of male singers. Both performances are at the Berklee Performance Center, and you can still get tickets here.

LINES OF INQUIRY: The Museum of Fine Arts has a wonderful show of drawings from Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele on view. “Klimt and Schiele: Drawn” is assembled from “a trove of drawings held by Vienna’s Albertina Museum, offered to commemorate the centenary of the artists’ deaths,” and traces fine connections between the differing lines and visions of the two artists: “If Klimt was working something out in his drawings,” writes Cate McQuaid, “Schiele appears to have explicitly set out to confront life’s ragged edge, and even glory in it.” (Unrelated but related: Have you ever listened to “Music for Egon Schiele,” that gorgeous album from the group Rachel’s? Maybe Spotify it on your way through the show.) It’s up through May 28. More information here.


Van Morrison performing on Boston Common in 1968.

OR STAY IN! And finally, the ultimate way to stay low-key: staying on the couch. To that end, Ryan Walsh’s (hi Ry!) new book, “Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968,” is an exhaustively researched lost history around Van Morrison’s seminal album, which, according to Mark Shanahan, “places the creation of Morrison’s masterpiece in the context of what else was happening in Boston, name-checking everyone from Thomas Hart Benton and Timothy Leary to Jonathan Richman and James Brown.” Read an excerpt here.

And without presuming too much about your personal situation at this moment, just a heads-up that there’s a brand new podcast from Globe “Love Letters” columnist Meredith Goldstein. Launching March 20; “Love Letters” will spend each season digging deep into different topics concerning the lovestruck, lovelorn, and lovebugged. This season’s big question: How do you get over a breakup? (And don’t say “Maybe just go to the magic show with him next time?” because I’m not doing that.)

You can subscribe and listen to the trailer today on Apple PodcastsStitcherRadioPublic, or wherever you get your podcasts. And for updates about the show, visit or sign up for the newsletter here.

And that, good Weekenders, is all I’ve got for you this week. Watch your step out there, this weather bites; and like the Irish say, “Cha b’e là na gaoithe là nan sgolb,” or “The windy day is not the day for thatch-wattles.” I actually have no idea what that means. 

Until next time, make this one a weekend you’ll miss come Monday. Catch you next Friday!

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