The Weekender: Rampaging monsters, reclusive poets, and a revived ‘Rent’

Anne Hathaway in “Colossal.”
Courtesy of NEON
Anne Hathaway in “Colossal.”

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We’ve seen unfold this week the hazards of approaching the Easter weekend without soundly laid plans; don’t let this happen to you. Yes, you may already have important meetings scheduled with your creator, your tax accountant (procrastinator!), and an anthropomorphic bunny or two, but you still need to devote some time to you, the most special egg of them all.

Here’s a veritable basket of opportunities to leave the house this weekend. And to thank me, just send me your surplus Creme Eggs. (I hoard them for the endtimes.)



CREATURE DOUBLE FEATURE: “What do hip one-liners and heart-sore putdowns have to do with giant kaiju rampaging through downtown Seoul?” asks Globe film critic (and freakin’ Pulitzer finalist whaaaat!) Ty Burr in his 3½-star review of “Colossal.” “A lot, it turns out, and very little of it predictable.” An unexpectedly charming mash-up of indie comedy and monster movie written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, “Colossal” involves a good-time girl trying to get her life together (Anne Hathaway), a 300-foot-tall menace destroying parts of South Korea, and an equally sizable (but far less destructive) metaphor. Also stars Jason Sudeikis and (swoon-trigger warning) Dan Stevens. Opens Friday.

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OVERDUE LOOKS: On view now at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln is the impressive new exhibition “Expanding Abstraction: New England Women Painters, 1950 to Now,” a formidable mix of works revisiting influential (and undersung) women painters with regional ties, including Helen Frankenthaler, Maud Morgan, Natalie Alper, Sharon Friedman, and Kristin Baker. And if you’re a jet-setter, New York’s Museum of Modern Art opens “Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction” this week, and the “Women of Abstract Expressionism” show at the Palm Springs Art Museum makes a fine West Coast bookend. (Please take me with you.) The deCordova show’s up through Sept. 17. More info here.

THREE’S A CHARM: Speaking of powerhouse women, Esperanza Spalding, Geri Allen, and Terri Lyne Carrington reunite for the third time as the ACS Trio to play four sets at Scullers on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s a return to hardcore jazz for Spalding, who has been taking all sorts of experimental solo trips, most recently “Emily’s D+Evolution,” a dazzling album that Maura Johnston described as taking “the experimental ideals that she learned as a student of jazz into new directions — heady funk, tongue-twisting soul, sparsely arranged confessional — that consistently surprise.” Consider this the Must Do Thing of the Week. Tickets here.

BEHIND THE MUSIC: A lyrical cinematic portrait of Emily Dickinson may not immediately sound like your idea of a Wild Night, but Burr quite enjoyed “A Quiet Passion,” Terence Davies’s latest, which offers an imagined view into the life of the White Lady of Amherst (which is about as non-specific as nicknames get). Cynthia Nixon gives a “controlled yet somehow epic performance as Dickinson ages from ardor to reclusiveness across the decades,” says Burr in his 3½-star review; but the real treat of the film is the life it gives to her poetry, “stitched throughout the film and occasionally soaring above it like an uncaged bird: hard, far-seeing, and waiting for the day it will be understood.” Opens Friday.

WHO’S WHO: A: Knock-knock. B: Who’s there? A: Betty Who. B: Betty Who who? A: No, that’s it. It’s Australian singer-songwriter and Berklee College of Music grad Betty Who. B: Oh. And Who’s there? A: No, but she‘ll be at Royale on Saturday night, playing fiery jams like “Human Touch” as part of her Party in the Valley Tour, with opening act Verité. B: That was needlessly confusing. A: Yeah, sorry about that, she’s actually no joke. B: Just tell me where to get tickets, please. A: Here.


A FAMILY AFFAIR: Last year, director Summer L. Williams took playwright Robert O’Hara’s raucous “Bootycandy” to the Speakeasy Stage Company (for a production that Globe theater critic Don Aucoin called “part kaleidoscope, part funhouse mirror”). Now Williams helms a “twisty, uproarious production” of O’Hara’s “Barbecue” at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston through May 7, praised by Aucoin as a “corrosively comic examination of the culture of addiction as exemplified by two families, one white, one black.” The 10-person cast “features some of the most distinctive performers in Boston, all in fine form here,” and O’Hara’s plays reliably pack (and seldom pull) punches. (The Globe took a behind-the-scenes look at the show earlier this month.) Find tickets here.

Skyler Volpe in “Rent.”
Carol Rosegg
Skyler Volpe in “Rent.”

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: On the off chance you’re not feeling old today, please note that Jonathan Larson’s smash musical “Rent” is turning 21 (and taking its eighth lap through Boston). If this fact finds you feeling suddenly tired, it finds the show freshly re-energized, both by the very different world churning outside the walls of the Boch Center’s Shubert Theatre (where it runs through April 23), and onstage as well. Aucoin says this new touring production directed by Evan Ensign and choreographed by Marlies Yearby “pulses with insurrectionary energy.” Warning: Prepare to have “Seasons of Love” lodged in your head until you physically claw it out. (Some things never change.) Tickets here.

ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK: Elsewhere onstage this weekend, the Boston Opera House hosts the Broadway in Boston presentation of the national touring production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic “The King and I,” directed by Bartlett Sher. It’s a musical that can present actors with a tricky balancing act, but Aucoin was relieved to find that “the necessary equilibrium on the verbal seesaw, along with the sizzle of genuine chemistry, can be seen, heard, and felt in the lavish touring version of Sher’s production.” (For a closer look inside the show, check out Christopher Wallenberg’s recent chat with actress Laura Michelle Kelly, who plays the role of Anna.) That’s onstage through April 23. Find tickets here.

WORLD PARTY: Perhaps the best known world representatives of the nomadic Tuareg people of Northern Africa, Tinariwen are also among the finest purveyors of the culture’s yearning, intoxicating “desert blues.” On Friday, they come to Royale for a performance with equally entrancing (though slightly wilder) Dengue Fever, whose mix of Cambodian rock, Afro-pop, stoner psych, and untamed surf will remind you just how wide this world is. No visa (or United flight) required. Get those tickets here.

WORLD PARTY II: And while we’re globe-trotting, don’t miss the Boston International Film Festival, running through April 17 at various venues including Emerson College’s Paramount Center, AMC Loews, and BPE Studio at 9A Hamilton Place. Nearly 50 films from around the world will screen (full schedule here), including the premiere of Holliston filmmaker Raouf Zaki’s “Fireflies,” on Friday evening. More program information and tickets here.

Tony Hale and Julia Louis Dreyfuss in the HBO series “Veep.”
Justin M. Lubin/HBO
Tony Hale and Julia Louis Dreyfuss in the HBO series “Veep.”

OR STAY IN! Maybe you’ve got eggs to dye, or bunny ears to bite. That’s none of my business. But should you PAAS for a break (oof), there’s plenty of worthwhile TV to keep you occupied on the couch on Sunday. HBO has the return of Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta’s harrowing post-“Departure” drama “The Leftovers” at 9 p.m. Then at 10:30 p.m., the return of “Veep” (what Matthew Gilbert has dubbed “TV’s sharpest political comedy”) finds Selina Meyer navigating the post-POTUS void. Over on Showtime at 9 p.m. on Sunday is the premiere of “Guerrilla,” a six-part miniseries about 1970s black radicals in London, written and directed by John Ridley and starring Idris (calming breath) Elba.

And if I were a betting man, I’d guess there is more than enough good stuff to keep you and your headphones busy all weekend on Kendrick Lamar’s new album, “DAMN,” due to drop Friday (and rumored to have guest spots from U2 and Rihanna).

And that oughta do it! However you spend the weekend (get those taxes done, sheesh!), make it one you’ll miss come Monday.

See you next week!

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

An earlier version misstated one date for the ACS Trio.