Hey there Weekenders!
Hm. Let me try that again: I said, Hey there, Weekenders!
OK, it seems like a bunch of you are away on vacation. Can’t say I blames ya. Unplugging and disappearing into the woods actually sounds pretty good right now. Just one caution for those considering a great escape: You’re not going to find much in the way of performance-based sculpture, or virtuosic tap dancing, or post-nuclear family drama, or searing classic rock riffage out there in the wilderness. (Plus you can’t watch the Teen Choice Awards without a TV.)
So it looks like you’ve got a very important decision to make. (Or 11.) Let us help you with that.
OFF THE WALL This weekend you can be the first to experience “Augment,” the latest work from artist Nick Cave. Building off of Cave’s internationally beloved “sound suits,” this new exhibit at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts allows viewers to walk “through, under, and amidst” an assembly of Cave’s colorful inflatable sculptures — and the sculptures themselves will go for a stroll on Sept. 14, when Boston’s “first-ever joy parade” proceeds from the South End to Uphams Corner, where a massive community-created public artwork will bloom across the facade of 555 Columbia St. (and will be on view through April of next year). This weekend marks the kickoff of this months-long collaboration between Cave and Boston public art accelerator Now + There. “Augment” is up through Sept. 13 at the Boston Center for the Arts. Find more info here.
SERVED COLD: Fans of Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent’s bed-checking horror “The Babadook” should queue up now for her latest film, “The Nightingale,” which Globe film critic Ty Burr says “similarly subverts a familiar genre from within” in his 3½-star review. It’s at once an “unsparingly brutal” revenge tale and an epic love story, trailing the tragic path of Claire (Aisling Franciosi), an Irish convict seeking her own justice against her tormentors in 19th-century Tasmania. (One thing it is not is a feel-good story — as Burr says, “It’s painful to watch because the truth is often painful.”) Now screening.
CLASS WARFARE: Also sporting 3½ stars at the movies this weekend is “Luce,” praised by Globe contributor Nora McGreevy as “a psychological thriller where no character turns out to be quite who we expected them to be.” Led by a “remarkably nuanced performance” from star Kelvin Harrison as a star student adopted from war torn Eritrea (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth play his adoptive parents, and Octavia Spencer plays a high-school teacher with grave concerns about their son), and guided by Julius Onah and J.C. Lee’s “tightly crafted script” (adapted from Lee’s 2013 off-Broadway play), it’s a movie short on answers but big on questions that “echo long after the credits roll.” Now screening.
COMING OF AGE: Globe music contributor Maura Johnston calls the “introspective Texan” 21-year-old Khalid “one of pop radio’s most singular voices,” and you can hear that standout style all over his latest album, “Free Spirit,” a confident step up from his 2017 breakthrough debut, “American Teen.” Along for the ride on Saturday’s show at TD Garden is Boston’s own Claire Cottrill, a.k.a. Clairo, whose impossibly catchy “Pretty Girl” damn near broke YouTube (and whose new album we’ll get to below). Grab tickets here.
PROUD FERRY: If you’re more in the mood for an older soul and some rock ’n’ roll, none other than CCR frontman John Fogerty will be coming to Vineyard Haven to play Beach Road Weekend. A half-century after Woodstock, Fogerty is still busting out “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou,” and “Fortunate Son.” But his repertoire for the “My 50-Year Trip” tour also includes his own takes on the classics that shaped his sound along the way — so expect some Sly, some Who, some Lennon, and more. Fogerty plays the new festival on Saturday, but this brand new three-day festival also includes Phil Lesh & Friends, Dispatch, Grace Potter, Galactic, and more. Find the full weekend lineup and tickets here.
STEPPING OUT: Put on your dancing shoes because . . . actually wait. I sort of rushed into that one. Please actually do not put on your dancing shoes, because that would be highly distracting and disrespectful to Beantown Tapfest, which welcomes you to its celebrated annual tap-stravaganza. Especially since this is the last Tapfest under the watch of dancer, teacher, and impresario Julia Boynton, who is audibly stepping down from her post as festival producer after 10 step-endous (sorry) years. The festival runs through Sunday at Roxbury Community College Media Arts Center, with the Beantown Tapfest Faculty Showcase serving as a reliably thrilling centerpiece on Friday. Find more information and tickets here.
BODY WORK: Farther afield in Becket at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, you can catch Andrea Miller’s company Gallim, which will perform a newly-commissioned piece inspired by the company’s past decade of uncompromisingly adventurous work. Meanwhile, in the Doris Duke Theatre, and as a centerpiece to the Festival’s “The Land on Which We Dance” program centered on indigenous dance and culture, the Toronto-based company Red Sky Performance will present the US premiere of Sandra Laronde’s “Trace,” inspired by the “sky and star stories” of the Anishinaabe. Both performances run through Sunday; find performance times and tickets here.
FAMILY FALLOUT: While you’re out there, hop over to Lenox for the Shakespeare & Co. presentation of Lucy Kirkwood’s “The Children,” which Globe theater critic Don Aucoin calls a “subtle, artful, altogether splendid play” that takes a hauntingly new approach to the notion of the nuclear family. A retired couple, an unexpected visitor, and a massive disaster turning the outside world upside-down all set the stage for this breakthrough work from Kirkwood, who proves herself “a master at forcing us to ponder questions of collective responsibility, not by sermonizing but by constructing a compelling big picture from snapshots of a small but vividly particularized world.” See it now. It runs through Aug. 18; find tickets here.
THE HAR IN HARBOR: If your summer so far has been bereft of any hijinks at sea, you can take care of that this weekend on the Comedy Cruise. This second of three seaworthy comic excursions from cruise-masters Mike McDonald and Red Peters features everything you want in a cruise (high-grade stand-up acts Tom Cotter, Corey Rodrigues, and Kerri Louise Cotter) and nothing you don’t (buffet bacon, norovirus, more than three hours on a boat). That’s Saturday, boarding at 6 p.m.; find tickets and more information here.
KENYA DIG IT: And last from the outside world this week is the ninth annual Boston African Festival taking place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Boston Common. This free festival organized by the Shalupe Foundation is expecting over 15,000 guests to take in its array of musicians, artists, artisans, and designers from all over the continent. Be sure to catch Congolese singer P-Kaz (1:30 p.m.), Vermont-based refugee beat powerhouse A2VT (3:45 p.m.), and the Haitian band 4RealLiye (5:45). Also I have zero room to tell you how amazing the food will be. Just go. Find more information here.
OR STAY IN: HBO’s sleeper hit “Succession,” about a family of gross media types (HEY!), returns for a second season on Sunday at 9 p.m., on the heels of five Emmy nominations (including best drama). “It’s so much fun hating the Roy family,” writes Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert. “They are the worst of the one percent, and their world is a virtue-free zone. The media mogul Logan Roy and his family have no redeeming qualities, except that they are riveting and, at times, hilarious.”
Speaking of things that are at once riveting, hilarious, and the worst, the Teen Choice awards are on Sunday at 8 p.m. on Fox, with Lucy Hale (“Pretty Little Liars”) and David Dobrik (uhh, YouTube?) hosting, and performances by OneRepublic, Bazzi, Blanco Brown, Mabel, “Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland, and more. “Avengers: Endgame” leads the pack with nine noms, while Lil Nas X and his uber-hit “Old Town Road” snagged five (and will likely win them all).
And since we’re feeling all young and vibrant all of a sudden, the aforementioned homegrown good-vibes pop genius that is Clairo has just released her debut album, “Immunity,” produced by Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, and indicative that Clairo “has found her sound, one more elaborate and fitting for the lyrical prowess that made ‘Pretty Girl’ such a hit.”
And that, world-weary Weekenders, is all I’ve got in the backpack this week. Take deep cleansing breaths wherever you end up, and however you spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday.
See you next time!