Things to Do

The Weekender: Cosplay, Broadway, and Lethal Ladies

Brendan Clarke of Salem at the recent Boston Comic Con costume parade at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
David L Ryan/Globe Staff
Brendan Clarke of Salem at the recent Boston Comic Con costume parade at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

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Treat every newsletter like it’s your last, my grandma used to say to me in not so many words.

I didn’t know what she was talking about then, and I’m not 100 percent sure she knew either, but wow: So true.

With gram in mind, I’m taking that moment-seizing spirit into the weekend at hand, which, as it happens, already has more than enough fire and fury (i.e. musicals and step dancing), thank you very much. So off we go; no time to waste! (Wish I were joking!)


NERD HERD: Before you ask why the subway suddenly looks just like that costume party you show up naked to in those dreams you’ve been having, it’s Boston Comic Con. They’re dressed for Comic Con, the annual celebration (this year turning 10!) of all thing sci-fi, horror, fantasy, anime, superhero, and, let’s be honest, lycra, happening Friday through Sunday at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. So, that’s not really the Mother of Dragons sharing earphones with Luigi. (Or is it?) And that’s definitely not Faith from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” played by Eliza Dushku, or the cast of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Or — for real this time — is it?!) And that’s not actually one of the Woodsmen from “Twin Peaks” — in fact, I don’t think that guy’s even going to Comic Con so maybe just give him some space. Full Comic Con program viewable here. Me helping immensely with your last-minute costume prep here.

The cast of “Finding Neverland.”
Jeremy Daniel
The cast of “Finding Neverland.”
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PERSONAL PAN: Elsewhere in slightly more hermetic fantasy realities, “Finding Neverland” — the musical tale of “Peter and Wendy” playwright J.M. Barrie that first took flight in 2014 at the American Repertory Theater and winged its way to Broadway — is landing in Boston on its national tour and exhausting all of my flying puns. It’s a slightly tweaked and more finely tuned production than what Broadway audiences saw — with John Davidson taking over Kelsey Grammer’s dual role of Charles Frohman/Captain Hook. That’s incredible! (Ugh, I’m old.) It’s running through Aug. 20 at the Boston Opera House. Find tickets here.

SECOND ACT: Yay! More musicals! (Although this one has a bit of drama happening as well.) The Reagle Music Theatre’s production of “42nd Street” was almost taken off road when star Tom Wopat (he of “Dukes of Hazzard”[trying-to-think-of-another-word-for]-fame) was arrested for indecent assault on a fellow cast member and possession of a “sandwich hefty bag” of cocaine — typically reserved, I’m guessing, for massive sandwiches (cue: “You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me”). But as the Globe’s Don Aucoin points out in his review of this “knockout” show (up through Aug. 13): “To the degree that it’s about anything, the unabashedly corny musical ‘42nd Street’ is about a theatrical production that manages to overcome a sudden, unexpected calamity and achieves a triumph on opening night. Talk about life imitating art.” There really is a sunny side to every situation.

Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor at rehearsal for their 2015 concert at Fenway Park.
Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff/file
Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor at rehearsal for their 2015 concert at Fenway Park.

AWW COUPLE: OMG these two. Seriously. Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor? First, let me just say: Both legends. She is such an insanely good guitarist and an absolute force onstage; he’s the songwriter that defined the permachill temperament of a generation of my parents’ friends — I totally get it. So much respect. But this whole thing where they keep playing shows together (first in 1970 at Harvard, most recently in 2015 at Fenway, and again at the park on Friday night) is just so frickin’ cute. I just want to pinch them. Yes, I know they’re both spoken for, and I know this is a reductive treatment of their respective genius or whatever but this is a blurb and that’s my takeaway this time: This whole thing is adorable. Tickets here.

PICTURES OF YOU: For obvious reasons, our cultural memory of rock ’n’ roll’s heyday may be a little spotty, so exhibitions like “Rock ’n’ Roll Through Our Lenses” — on view at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River through Sept. 1 — feel especially eye-opening. This dual exhibition showcases the portraits of rock photographer Deborah Feingold, whose iconic images have been seen in Rolling Stone, Time, and The New York Times, and the candid shots of May Pang, whose intimate photos provide an unseen perspective on her then-lover John Lennon during his infamous “Lost Weekend” period. You can find more information on the exhibition here.


WINTER IS COMING: There are two types of people in this world: Those who don’t really care what Jeremy Renner is doing as long as he’s on screen, and those who [same idea just insert Elizabeth Olsen]. These two factions (who are probably already dating each other) can now come together for “Hell or High Water” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut, “Wind River,” which stars Olsen as an FBI agent investigating a murder on a Wyoming Indian reservation, and Renner as something-something-something. In his three-star review, the Globe’s Mark Feeney says the richest performance comes from the vast emptiness of the Wyoming terrain and the “unrelenting menace posed by winter weather”: “There’s a near-constant tension in ‘Wind River,’ and it’s nearly as much meteorological as emotional,” Feeney writes. (I was wondering why it was getting kind of hot in herrrrrre.) Opens Friday.

STAY TUNED: In your travels down the dial, you may have seen Ben Kronberg on Comedy Central, spotted the acoustic guitar, and reflexively changed the channel before the audio even had a chance to kick in. I like how you roll, and I applaud your instincts. But in the unique case of Kronberg, that was the wrong move. The former “Last Comic Standing” contestant is not just a “funny guy with a guitar,” he’s actually a funny guy with a guitar, and on Friday night, he’ll headline the monthly laugh-in “The Gas” at Great Scott, Allston’s unofficial headquarters for funny guys with guitars (different kind). Get tickets here.

Tayla Solomon and the Lethal Ladies in “Step.”
Fox Searchlight Pictures/20th Century Fox
Tayla Solomon and the Lethal Ladies in “Step.”

RHYTHM QUEENS: The Globe recently talked to filmmaker, Broadway producer, philanthropist-activist, and Baltimore native Amanda Lipitz, whose new documentary, “Step,” follows the path of the Lethal Ladies, a title-holding step dance team based out of a Baltimore high school. “In a musical, characters can’t speak — they sing and dance to express their dreams, hopes, and fears,” says Lipitz, “and that’s what these young women were doing with step.” They’re also beating the ever-living-hell out of gymnasium floors (and other teams). Peter Keough gives “Step” 3½ stars, calling it “taut, intimate, passionate, and celebratory.” Pop an Anacin and go. Opens Friday.

SHORE THING: And finally, for a vision of fury that won’t send your blood pressure soaring, the Cape Ann Museum has “Rock Bound: Painting the American Scene on Cape Ann and Along the Shore,” a survey of the ongoing love affair between painters like Childe Hassam, Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery, and the shoreline of Gloucester. Cate McQuaid calls it “a bracing, wind-stung exhibition, sometimes warmed by the summer sun.” It’s up through Oct. 29. More information here.

OR STAY IN! I’m kind of keeping my “Game of Thrones” feelings to myself right now, so you go ahead and watch that on Sunday. But for a little switch-up, our stay-home option for this week is centered on Ty Burr’s rad little roundup of graphic novels you should be reading right now. Nine of ’em.


And that, my friends, oughta do it for this week.

Oh wait! One more thing before I forget. Longtime Boston rock scene stalwart (and founder of Readercon and Typecon) Bob Colby is hanging up his promoter . . . mittens? (what do promoters wear?) just in time for his 65th birthday bash to be held all day Sunday at ONCE in Somerville with a concert featuring the Wrong Shapes, the Very, Carissa Johnson, Viva Gina, Thalia Zedek, and more. (Happy B-Day Bob!)

OK, for real this time, I’m done. Hang in there folks, I have faith that another weekend awaits. Until then, make this weekend one you’ll miss come Monday. See you next time.

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