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Hey. Great to see you. Quick favor: Can you go ahead and turn your screen brightness down a little for me?
Much better. The Weekender is a little . . . sensitive to light and loud noises and soft noises too and really any sort of stimulus for reasons wholly unrelated to any midweek celebrations of freedom. Fleeting, precious, difficult-to-remember freedom.
I’ll be fine in 24 hours, which is just enough time to summon enough life force to take on a weekend full of superheroes! Pop stars! And ouch, doing that just gave me a mind-splitting headache. Let’s just assume there are exclamation points everywhere as I tell you about this amazing weekend that awaits.
CLING FILM: Now crawling up a screen near you is the latest installment of the “Spider-Man” saga — and I’m just realizing those quotes make it look like I don’t believe in Spider-Man but I actually do. I very much believe in him. So it’s a relief that the Globe’s Ty Burr pinned three stars on “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which swings us back to Peter Parker’s teen years in Queens, “The new film isn’t a masterpiece but it’s excellent summer fun,” he says, “a vast improvement on the last two entries featuring the character and an appealingly modest step back from the Wagnerian concerns of most men-in-tights movies.” Opens Friday.
DYNAMIC DUO I: Speaking of heroes, this weekend finds the First Couple of Country Y’all (i.e. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) again taking to the road together (and not once fighting about directions) to pull favorites from their individual catalogs and marry their voices to perform lovestruck duets like “Speak to a Girl.” The two come to TD Garden on Friday and Saturday nights. Find tickets here.
DYNAMIC DUO II: Elsewhere in contemporary yeehawdom, pop-country casanovas Florida Georgia Line bring their high-potency twang-bangers to Fenway Park along with an entourage of big time wingmen — i.e. Backstreet Boys (see: “God, Your Mama, and Me”) and Nelly (see: “Cruise”). Pro tip: You do not need to drive your extended cab F-150 into town for this. Someone’s going to get hurt. Take the train, which is also a super country thing to do. That’s Friday night at Fenway; tickets and info here.
KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: As though to actively erase the fact that Backstreet Boys ever set their feet onstage there, Boston’s own New Kids on the Block come Roger-Rabbiting into Fenway Park the very next night on their Total Package Tour. That is some Taylor-level shade right there. Well done, boys. Or, “Kids.” Or men, now, I suppose. Ugh, we’re so old now. It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. Which reminds me: Boys II Men are also performing, as is Paula Abdul. I’ll be the one grabbing a pretzel and making for the exits immediately after she plays “Straight Up.” Say hi. That’s Saturday night at Fenway; tickets and info here.
WILL POWER: Will Smith, a human comedy variety show, provides the inspiration for Nonye Brown-West’s “Will Smith, A Comedy Variety Show.” This jiggy-centric celebration of the “Willennium” features comedians Chanel Ali, Corey Manning, Kelly MacFarland, and Nick Chambers, as well as burlesque from Sake Toomey, Maggie Maraschino, Jolie LaVie, and Benji Bombay. Will there be terrible pickup lines? I really hope there are terrible pickup lines. That’s Friday night at Oberon in Cambridge. More information and tickets here.
SHOOTING STAR: The new documentary from filmmaker Errol Morris focuses on the iconic (and continually developing) Cambridge photographer Elsa Dorfman, whose distinctive portraits shot with a nearly 240-pound 20-by-24 Polaroid have captured titans of literature and families of five with stunning humanity. “The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography” opens Friday.
LOVE AND HAIGHT: The Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco in the late ’60s was a hotbed of [extended coughing fit] as well as art. And 50 years after that one crazy summer, the Museum of Fine Arts is presenting “The Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design,” on view through Oct. 22. The exhibition collects psychedelic posters and album art from artists like Wes Wilson and Victor Moscoso, and 32 photographs by counterculture hero Herb Greene. It’s well worth the trip. Please don’t show up tripping. More information here.
LOCAL FIGURES: “Effervescent” is reviewer Cate McQuaid’s word for “The Boston Accent: 140 Years of The Museum School,” on view for its closing weekend at Childs Gallery. A celebration of the school’s first classes, with special focus on Boston School (American Impressionism) and Boston Expressionism, “ ‘Boston Accent’ is quirky, not comprehensive, and that’s part of its charm. Anything can happen.”
WESTWARD GO! Gas up and head to maverick West Mass (I’m not stopping, ever) for two worthwhile happenings in the hills. At Williamstown Theatre Festival, you can catch S. Epatha Merkerson and Jane Kaczmarek in Jen Silverman’s “The Roommate,” a production praised by the Globe’s Don Aucoin as “a deeply satisfying kickoff to the summer season.” That’s up through July 16; get tickets and more info here. And at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, you can still catch Jessica Lang Dance’s “Thousand Yard Stare” and other works, as well as a world premiere Pillow commission featuring music from Tanglewood fellows and alumni. That’s happeningthrough Sunday; tickets and info here.
MUSIC IN THE AIR: And speaking of Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s season opens this weekend with an Andris Nelsons-led performance of Mahler’s second symphony (you never forget your first time). The evening will feature performances from soprano Malin Christensson, mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. That’s Friday evening in Lenox. You can find tickets and full program information here.
OR STAY IN! My whole Facebook friendbase seems dazzled and mystified in a “what even is this?” kind of way by “Okja,” “a day-after-tomorrow parable about a little girl (An Seo Hyun) and her giant mutant pig named Okja. Call it ‘Charlotte’s Matrix.’ ” Ty Burr recommends it as “another overstuffed but mesmerizingly crafted Bong Joon Ho [“Snowpiercer”] movie, pure and simple.” It’s available now on Netflix.
And finally, Saturday night at 10 p.m. on HBO, you can experience every twist and turn of Andy Samberg’s “Tour de Pharmacy,” a mockumentary about doping in the 1982 Tour De France starring John Cena, Daveed Diggs, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Orlando Bloom, and (not joking) Lance Armstrong. “The never-ending jokes are profane, obvious, ludicrous, repetitive, absurdist, puerile, crass, tasteless, and, of course, totally freaking stupid, writes Matthew Gilbert. “Yeah, I loved it.”
And that, my fellow potentially very delicate right now friends, will do it for this week. However you can take on this weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday — which includes being able to remember it. Lesson learned. Moving on. See you next week!Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur