The Weekender: Lost dogs, emo foxes, and Easter bunnies
Hey Weekenders! You came back! Whew. I worry sometimes.
Speaking of grand returns, it’s Easter and Passover weekend, if you’re into that sort of thing. That means a few days worth of bunny ardor, eggs made of things other than egg, matzo, a brief window of acceptability for pastel clothing, and possibly some church or temple. For the rest of you, it’s April Fool’s weekend — and, frankly, the mind reels at the many ways these two days might become one.
All right, these eggs aren’t gonna hunt themselves. Let’s get on with it.
IRONIC DOG PUN: Some people are dog people. Other people are allergic to dogs, but really try not to make a federal case out of it since everyone else is a dog person and they take it all personally that you would just rather the dogs, the very cute dogs, stay over there please. Same goes for Wes Anderson. Some people want to scratch him behind his ears and tell him what a good boy he is, and for others he’s the stuff of aggressively symmetrical nightmares. Well, dog- and Wes-lovers, this one’s for you: Globe film critic Ty Burr gives Anderson’s latest stop-motion dystopian canine fantasy “Isle of Dogs” a solid three stars, calling it “a surfeit for the senses, largely in a good way” (though he did find himself growling at the film’s “celebration and/or exploitation of Japanese culture.” Still, Anderson’s’ “most political work to date” is a wagworthy spectacle with an all-star cast (including Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Bill Murray, Kunichi Nomura, and Yoko Ono — and I’m not April Fooling). No Benadryl required (although it does enhance the animation). Now screening!
BACK TO THE FUTURE: Also opening this week is Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of Ernest Cline’s best-selling book “Ready Player One,” which taps into the director’s never-ever-spoken-about-or-even-vaguely-mentioned interest in video games to . . . oh, I’ll just let Ty do it: “The movie is Steven Spielberg’s attempt to plug himself back into the zeitgeist with a rip-roaring, cutting-edge, virtual-reality action fantasia. Also, to remind us that he helped invent the modern blockbuster genre 40 years ago. How do you do, fellow kids?” Zap! Ty still gives it 2½ stars (the film rating equivalent of a blinky life meter), saying it “works more frequently than you might expect.” Stars include Tye Sheridan (“X-Men: Apocalypse”), Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance, and (yay!) Lena Waithe. Opens Friday.
IN CIRCLES: Most of this week’s stars go to “Foxtrot” (3½, to be exact), a “stark, dreamlike drama” from Israeli director Samuel Maoz. Highly controversial at home and abroad (staff from the Israeli embassy in Paris were ordered not to attend the screening in that city’s Israeli Film Festival), it “brings a coolly critical, occasionally surrealist eye on the assumption that Israel’s military efforts have made for a better, wiser people” and finds its power in a “poetic conviction that there’s no greater weakness than an insistence on strength.” Opens Friday (in Hebrew, with subtitles).
QUEER AND PRESENT: And finally in film, this weekend (and through April 8) you can catch “Wicked Queer,” which, no, is not like a cold, it’s just the name of Boston’s very own LGBT film festival, now in its 34th year. It’s a stacked lineup this weekend on screens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Emerson’s Paramount Center, and the Brattle Theatre; but of particular note is the festival’s thru-line of films tackling issues of immigration, including Tadeo Garcia’s “En Algún Lugar” (Friday, Paramount, 7:30 p.m.), Arshad Khan’s “Abu: Father” (the director will attend the Saturday 5 p.m. screening at the Brattle), and Koichi Imaizumi’s “Berlin Drifters” (the director will attend the Saturday 9:30 p.m. screening at the Brattle). Full lineup and tickets here.
EMO FILL-UPS: “He was the face of emo at its cultural peak,” writes Globe correspondent Ryan Burleson of Chris Carrabba, frontman and enduring pretty face of emo-core heroes Dashboard Confessional. After eight years free from the van and its funk, the band is back to touring and recording again, but is third wave already due for a second coming? That’s what you call a hot topic. On Friday, the band rolls into House of Blues for an early evening (5:30 p.m) show with Kississippi and (the mighty) Beach Slang. Find tickets here .
LAUGH CHANCE: You know how your friends are always telling you how funny you are? Or, rather, you know how they should be telling you that but they’re probably just jealous of how funny you are? Totally. Well, you might be interested to know that The Comedy Studio (still between homes) is hosting a Comedy Central audition showcase at the Rockwell Theatre in Somerville on Saturday and — wait, wait, wait, put that busted-up piece of paper back in your pocket. The lineup is already booked. Sorry, I didn’t mean to get your hopes up. I just thought, “Hey, I know someone who likes comedy.” (Awkward . . . ) In any case, the lineup includes Zachary Brazao, Nick Chambers, Drew Dunn, Xazmin Garza, Carolyn Riley, Laura Severse, and others. Maybe someone will get sick? Bring the paper just in case. I feel bad now. Tickets here!
ALL AMERICAN: Our art call for this weekend is a trip to Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum for “T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America,” an exciting new show of works from the Native American painter, poet, and musician (who died at 31 in 1978). “They flame,” writes reviewer Cate McQuaid of his paintings, “and not just with sunbaked Southwestern tones. The oppression and violence he came to know as a Native American and a soldier in Vietnam took root in his bones. The best way he had to make sense of it all was through art.” Still, she finds something “buoyant and catchy” about his work, and the show “shrewdly weaves” Cannon’s poems and songs into the experience of viewing his art. It’s up through June 10. Find more info here.
HEAVY DUTY: Globe theater critic Don Aucoin really digs “Guards at the Taj,” Rajiv Joseph’s Obie Award-winning play now realized in an Underground Railway Theater production by director Gabriel Vega Weissman. The play, set outside the yet-to-open Taj Mahal in the mid-17th century, is a “sharply drawn and engrossing portrait of a close friendship that is jeopardized by political forces the friends cannot control,” and Aucoin credits Weissman’s direction for its gripping atmosphere, “alternately foreboding, jolting, and elegiac.” It’s on stage through Sunday at Central Square Theater, and you can find tickets here. (Oh, and heads up if you don’t like blood: There’s some blood.)
FRAUD COUPLE: Also on stage this week is the New Repertory Theatre production of “The Bakelite Masterpiece,” a “smart and twisty two-hander” of a play by Kate Cayley (and here directed by Jim Petosa) that finds art historian Geert Piller (Laura Latreille) and art forger Han van Meegeren (Benjamin Evett) caught in a cerebral game of feint-and-parry involving Nazis, alleged Vermeers, and “what is authentic and what is counterfeit.” That’s at the MainStage Theater at Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown through April 8. Grab tickets here.
HOP ALONG: And because “biting the ears off of bunnies” just seems like a weird blurb to write, there’s also the “Easter Nature Quest” on Easter Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon at Francis William Bird Park in Walpole. Who needs Peeps when you can search for non-marshmallow-based signs of spring in one of the most beautiful settings in the state? Adept explorers may find clues that lead to a certain notable Bunny. (You are not to bite his ears off.) Ready thy baskets and find more info here.
OR STAY IN! And because “biting the ears off of bunnies” is going to be the actual weekend plan for so many of you, I’m keeping my stay-at-home recommendation this weekend simple and suggesting you get comfy with the new Kacey Musgraves album, “Golden Hour.” Terence Cawley calls it a “step sideways” for the country star — “a dreamy, blissful album of love songs unlike anything she’s ever recorded.” You’ll be glad your ears survived the weekend.
And that, good Weekenders, is all I’ve got for you in my festive little basket — aside from a caution that mayonnaise makes very convincing icing. Just be on guard this weekend. (And on that note, if someone doesn’t mind clicking back 2,000 years on iCal, I’d say it’s worth checking to see if the very first Easter also coincided on April Fool’s. Man, that would be something!)
Until next time, make it a weekend you’ll miss come Monday. See you next week!