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Hey there Weekenders! Or should I say, “Top o’ the weekend to ya!”?
I shouldn’t? OK, that’s fine. In any case, it’s the weekend! And in addition to all the pints, parades, and Padraigs you may encounter on your merry way, there’s also a bunch of worthwhile not-necessarily Hibernian diversions. But before we get into all of that, do I have time to tell you the story of when I got electrocuted as a kid trying to climb through the fence of an Irish pony farm?
I don’t? OK, that’s fine too. (I mean, that was pretty much the whole story. Moral: Be careful out there.) Off we go!
TOUGH LOVE: No St. Patrick’s Day (or hazy three-day radius around it) would be complete without a helping of Dropkick Murphys. The elder statesmen of anthemic Southie punk hold court at House of Blues all weekend long (actually from Thursday through Sunday), with Saturday’s double-fister featuring a card of boxing matches as well as karaoke — guess how I’ll be knocking out passing strangers? Find tickets (as well as opening acts for each performance) here.
HEARTY HAR-HARS: In addition to my karaoke performance, it’s also a solid weekend for intentional comedy. Individual tickets (and resales) remain for Brian Regan’s Friday date at the Wilbur Theatre. (You may recognize the stand-out stand-up comic from his Netflix series “Stand Up and Away! With Brian Regan” as well as his recurring role on “Loudermilk.” Check here first. Under-utilized “Saturday Night Live” featured player Chris Redd comes to WBUR CitySpace on Saturday for a set of stand-up — where he gets a chance to stretch out and shine. More info here.
MOORE PLEASE: Julianne Moore alert! Everyone ready? OK. She’s in a new film by Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio — though, actually, it’s sort of an old film. “Gloria Bell” is a remake of his 2013 film “Gloria,” which found Paulina García in the title role. This time through, Moore plays “a divorced insurance worker in Los Angeles with two grown children.” In a 2½-star review, Globe critic Mark Feeney says Moore “takes the role of a recognizably everyday person — she’s not a serial killer or social-issue signboard or superheroine in disguise — and gives a performance that’s a tour de relaxed force.” Recommended if you like Julianne Moore. Now screening.
OFFICE MACKS: At District Hall (in the Seaport District) through Saturday you can catch the Celebrity Series presentation of Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s intensely clever two-woman show “Happy Hour.” A pre-theater bite in both literal and figurative senses (you get a beer and some microwave popcorn), the show finds Barnes and dancer Elisa Clark as slimeballs at an office party, doubling as “performers and partygoers.” “As bros looking to hit on women at an office party,” writes Globe critic Jeffrey Gantz, “they’re relatively benign, in part because the macho posturing is so comic and pathetic and in part because what really seems to matter to them is each other.” Find tickets here.
POISONED IVY: In 2017, Harvard Art Museums acquired a real stunner of a Kara Walker piece, the 12-by-15-foot ink and graphite drawing “U.S.A. Idioms,” and it’s now on display as one of two concurrent shows that attempt to materialize what Globe art critic Murray Whyte calls “the dark specter of American slavery.” The other, “Slavery in the Hands of Harvard,” at the Center for Government and International Studies at Harvard University through Saturday, uses the arrest of Henry Louis Gates (for entering his own home) as a starting point for exploring historical links between the school and the varied institutions of slavery. It’s a powerhouse pairing and a firm reminder that history seldom stays in the past. More information here.
WHO’S THERE: J.B. Priestley’s 1945 thriller about a wealthy family, a working-class girl who turns up dead, and a mysterious inspector comes a-knocking for the third time as director Stephen Daldry revives his own 1992 revival of “An Inspector Calls” — along with his extraordinary staging of the family home (i.e. “precariously atop stilts, looking more like a doll’s house than a family manse”). You can catch this ArtsEmerson presentation at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre through March 24. Grab tickets here.
TAKING FLIGHT: Meanwhile over at Babson College’s Sorenson Center for the Arts, you can see Steven Maler’s “intimate, poetic, and beautifully realized production” of “Birdy” — Naomi Wallace’s stage adaptation of William Wharton’s 1978 novel. “Maler draws compelling and varied performances from his cast of six,” writes Globe theater critic Don Aucoin, “as Birdy, Will Taylor delivers the single most gripping performance in the production without saying a word.” Produced by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and presented by BabsonARTS, it’s up through Sunday. Find tickets here.
SOUND PLANNING: Classical music fans should brace themselves for several days worth of sitting and attentively listening. It’s a big one. The Boston Lyric Opera brings director Sarna Lapine’s realization of Britten’s particularly resonant vision of “The Rape of Lucretia.” That’s at Artists for Humanity EpiCenter in Fort Point through Sunday. Tickets here. On Friday and Saturday at Symphony Hall, you can take in an all-Strauss program from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, dedicated to the memory of André Previn and featuring soprano extraordinaire Renée Fleming in the final scene from “Capriccio.” Tickets here. And on Friday at Jordan Hall, Celebrity Series reunites longtime friends Kirill Gerstein and Thomas Adès, who wheel out two pianos and several hours of Debussy, Stravinsky (in transcription by Shostakovich), Lutoslawski, and Adès himself. Tickets here.
THELONIOUS HIMSELF: And finally from the outside world this weekend, on Saturday night at Scullers you can catch a one-off set from T.S. Monk — son and namesake of the giant stepper himself, and a ferocious drummer in his own right. A video I just watched gives me the impression that this man is not fooling around. Not one bit. Nor should you when it comes to getting tickets to this, which are here.
OR STAY IN! If you simply can’t run the risk of having green beer spilled on your ensemble, there’s plenty to do at home. The likable-bordering-on-lovable Mass. native Rob Delaney launches the fourth and final season of his powerful relationship British sitcom, “Catastrophe” on Amazon this Friday. It’s a show that “turned into a surprise hit despite its cynical, dark-comic depiction of marriage and parenthood,” writes James Sullivan, “Or maybe because of it.”
And starting Friday on Hulu, you can catch “Shrill,” the new comedy starring increasingly-amazing “SNL” star Aidy Bryant, and adapted from the memoir by writer Lindy West. “The six-episode comedy-drama gives us a heroine — Bryant’s Annie — whose mildness and extreme modesty can be painful to watch,” writes Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert; it’s also “a humane slice of life, like ‘Better Things’ and ‘Insecure,’ with plot strands that sit together effortlessly and side characters who are richly drawn.”
And that, O’Dearest Weekenders (sorry) is all I’ve got in the pot o’ gold (sorry sorry) for you this time. However you decide to spend your weekend, may the road rise up to meet you (which is not a reference to falling down drunk) and make it one you’ll miss come Monday!
See you next time!