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    Things to Do

    The Weekender: ‘Apes,’ crooks, and dragons

    “War for the Planet of the Apes” opens Friday.
    20th Century Fox
    “War for the Planet of the Apes” opens Friday.

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    Ahoy Weekenders!

    Now, I realize the forecast is calling for an indefinite amount of shoes to drop, but that’s no reason to hide inside. Yes, the world may be coming apart, but this weekend really seems to be coming together! Just take a gander:

    SERKIS ACT: Andy Serkis is arguably the Marlon Brando of motion capture, having suited up in sensors to play the likes of Gollum, King Kong, Caesar (the monkey one), and in a forthcoming dark turn on “The Jungle Book,” the hopefully-still-docile Baloo. This weekend, he reprises his simian self in “War for the Planet of the Apes,” which finds Caesar leading his forces in an epic battle against Woody Harrelson. Mood spoiler: At least on this side of the screen, Woody’s winning. Mood improver: Opens Friday!


    UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY: On Friday night at the Xfinity Center, you can leave this dimension for a few fleeting hours and experience what country music might sound like if it hadn’t been taken over by self-driving trucks sometime in the mid-aughts. The fantastically bearded and also talented Chris Stapleton will be joined for his “All-American Road Show” by Brent Cobb and Anderson East — who may not be able to convincingly throw a phone, but sure can work a heartstring. On that note, expect him and Stapleton to take a stroll through “My Girl.” (And check out the Globe’s chat with Stapleton’s producer Dave Cobb, who also lent his Midas touch to Lori McKenna and Lake Street Dive.) Find tickets here.

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    RHODE WARRIORS: The Globe’s Ty Burr recently described the hit Providence-probing podcast “Crimetown,” hosted by Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier, as “addictive as a bottle of pep pills — a series of true-crime half-hours that alternates legends of wise guy malfeasance with the over-arching saga of the late Vincent ‘Buddy’ Cianci, the six-term mayor, two-time convicted felon, and a walking embodiment of the city’s contradictions.” Like coffee milk, right? Why not just put more milk in your coffee. So weird. Anyway, the live version of “Crimetown” rolls onto the Wilbur Theatre stage on Saturday night, featuring “some of the wiseguys, cops, and other citizens of Providence whose stories brought the first season to life,” with a Q&A session to follow. Any answers on that coffee milk thing would be appreciated. Tickets here.

    Darnell Abraham and the ensemble in Barrington Stage Company’s production of “Ragtime.”
    Daniel Rader
    Darnell Abraham and the ensemble in Barrington Stage Company’s production of “Ragtime.”

    CLASS PORTRAIT: Out in Pittsfield is Barrington Stage Company’s production of the roaring Tony-winning musical adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s “Ragtime,” which the Globe’s Don Aucoin calls “enthralling . . . right from the show’s opening moments,” with “reverberating connections between present and past.” That’s up through Saturday , and you can find tickets and more information here.

    PILLOW FLIGHT: Down the road in Becket, the Paul Taylor Dance Company returns for its 17th visit to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival to perform landmark works like Taylor’s “Esplanade” (set to two Bach concertos) and enduring favorites like “Airs” and “Syzygy.” Meanwhile in the Doris Duke Theatre, Israeli company Roy Assaf Dance makes an anticipated US debut. Both are up through Sunday at Jacob’s Pillow. Performance times and tickets here.

    FIELD TRIP: On your way back (or your way out), maybe hit up the reliably delightful Green River Festival, happening all day Friday through Sunday at Greenfield Community College. This year’s installment upholds the fest’s trusty tradition of blending folk, world, blues, and rock into a three-day picnic for the ears, with acts including The Mavericks, Funky Meters, Lake Street Dive, Pedrito Martinez, the Deslondes, Amadou and Mariam, Tank and the Bangas, Chicano Batman, and Big Al Anderson. Oh, and balloons! A whole [whatever the collective noun is] of hot-air balloons. Full festival lineup and ticket information here.


    CLASSICAL GRASS: If heading west isn’t in the cards this weekend, you can still experience a bit of the Berkshires on good ol’ Boston Common with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Friday night presentation of “Tanglewood in the City.” Fold up your fanciest blanket for this open-air simulcast from Tanglewood, featuring Andris Nelsons conducting a program of Ravel, Adès, Haydn, and Mozart, all beamed live from Lenox. And before you say a word to anyone or bother the cop on the horse, remember: It’s essentially legal now. Well, not in public parks, but Mozart would have been totally cool with it. Chill. More info here!

    LENS CRAFTER:“The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography” is the new documentary from filmmaker Errol Morris focusing on the iconic 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. It left Ty Burr seeing (2½) stars, calling it a “deceptively mild-mannered visit with an artist-practitioner” offering “chewy, if oblique, insights into her methods and her medium.” Opens Friday.

    MAINE MAN: Though the artist Marsden Hartley spent the bulk of his life elsewhere, this “founding father of American Modernist painting,” as Mark Feeney calls him, considered himself late in his life to be “the painter from Maine.” It’s a side of this multifaceted artist fully explored in “Marsden Hartley’s Maine,” an exhibition of more than 90 paintings and drawings that’s recently made its way from the Met Breuer in New York to the Colby College Museum of Art in Maine, where it will be through Nov. 12. More information here.

    MY BOO: The familiar take on what the afterlife looks like offered by director David Lowery in “A Ghost Story” may have some viewers considering the eternal popcorn break: Says Ty Burr in his 3½-star review, “You may hiccup briefly and proceed with what the movie’s trying to do, or you may throw in the winding sheet and call it a night.” But those who stick around will be rewarded by a film that “keeps expanding metaphysically even as it pares away details.” (Plus it’s an effective way to see Casey Affleck without actually having to see Casey Affleck.) Opens Friday.

    Peter Dinklage and Sophie Turner in “Game of Thrones,” which returns on Sunday.
    Helen Sloan/HBO via AP
    Peter Dinklage and Sophie Turner in “Game of Thrones,” which returns on Sunday.

    OR STAY IN! Where are my dragons? Oh, I got them right here. This newsletter is not going to pretend like much else matters this week beyond the return of “Game of Thrones,” which, somehow, will seem like a calming old-world travel show compared to what the real world is currently churning out. The penultimate season of just seven increasingly wintry episodes kicks off Sunday on HBO. And now that we’re beyond the charted territory of the books, all bets are off — so watch your back, Ed Sheeran. Check out Matthew Gilbert’s "GoT" survivor wish list here.


    And that, my presumably attractive readers, is all I’ve got for you this weekend. Stay cool out there, try not to tweet any self-incriminating e-mails, and however you choose to spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday.

    See you next week!

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