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Well hello there Weekenders! I know we’re only a few days into the new month, but August is already serving up some serious mixed messages.
Friday is both National IPA Day and National Grab Some Nuts Day, which just sounds like a dangerous combination. (I have a deadly nut allergy, what did you think I meant?) Saturday is National Chocolate Chip Cookie day and National Mustard Day. (Not to poupon this naturally occurring episode of “Chopped,” but eww.) And Sunday somehow combines National Underwear Day with National Work Like A Dog Day, which really just sounds like my current employment situation. (It’s also American Family Day and National Friendship Day, both of which, you will not be surprised to hear, can prove challenging in briefs.)
Clearly, operating at the national level is a quick way to lose one’s valued marbles and friendships, so let’s forget about all of these fake days and focus instead on the real ones right in front of us. A wild weekend awaits! And there’s absolutely no reason not to have underwear on the entire time. Every day, really.
FAMILY AFFAIR: If you’re anything like this newsletter, you’ve spent hours patiently listening and nodding along through the extended marriage counseling session of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s last few releases. Between “Lemonade,” “4:44,” and the audio version of public makeup sex that is “Everything Is Love,” it seems pretty clear that love conquers all — and also that you really, really, really should not [expletive] with Beyoncé because she will mess you up and you will have to rent the Louvre to fix it. Might as well start getting on her good side now, when the two bring their “OTR II” co-headlining tour to Gillette Stadium on Sunday. Tickets are still available here — including some $295 standing-room “Club Carter” spots, reserved for their closest therapists.
URBAN PLANNING: When I think “America’s hottest Kiwi,” I suddenly remember that grocery bag I left in the trunk. Once I have that sorted, I think of country music superstar Keith Urban, or as my people know him, Nicole Kidman’s Husband. Free of his American Idolatry and back on the road behind his newish album “Graffiti U” — and its weird, wolfwhistly flirtation with the #metoo movement — the New Zealander is making his return to New England for a show at Xfinity Center on Saturday. You can get tickets here.
BFF + CIA = OMG: In theaters this weekend is the new comedy thriller “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” starring dual forces of nature Mila Kunis and “Saturday Night Live” star Kate McKinnon and directed by Susanna Fogel. Globe film critic Ty Burr gives this “merry, brutal, bullet-pocked chase through the capitals of Europe” just two stars, writing “it’s essentially ‘Romy and Michelle’s Mission Impossible’ ” and “an easy, awfully disposable two hours that scatters some off-kilter belly laughs among a lot of labored gags and efficiently-shot action movie setpieces.” I know the answer is no, but is there any way we can actually do the “Romy and Michelle’s Mission Impossible” thing? I really want this right now. Now screening.
JAZZ DRIVE: There are still single and multi-day passes available for this year’s Newport Jazz Festival, which is honestly kind of bonkers, because this lineup is honestly beyond bonkers. Take R+R=Now, the supercharged combo of Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, Derrick Hodge, Taylor McFerrin, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, and Justin Tyson (performing Friday), which serves as a kind of microcosmic representative of the eclecticism that defines the rest of the fest. Saxophonist Charles Lloyd will be served three ways through the weekend (including a Sunday set with Lucinda Williams); Saturday will feature performances by Andra Day, Grace Kelly, and Laurie Anderson in collaboration with Christian McBride; and on Sunday, don’t miss the seven-piece supergroup Artemis. Get ’em here, and get you there.
NOLA TENGO: Alternatively, you could throw all that music into a blender and come out with something like the Voodoo Threauxdown tour, which comes Big Easying into the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on Saturday. This show stirs together the sounds of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Galactic, the Preservation Hall Brass Band, and the New Breed Brass Band into one big, simmering good-time gumbo. Expect lots of heat at a fraction of the humidity. Grab tickets heeyah.
HUXTA-POSED: Somewhere between “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “The Cosby Show” (keep reading) is Josh Wilder’s “inventive and emotionally involving” new play “Leftovers,” developed through Company One Theatre’s C1 PlayLab, directed by Summer L. Williams, and on stage at the Strand Theater through Aug. 18. A giant dandelion blooms in the sidewalk of a South Philly neighborhood, one of several alternate realities teenagers Jalil and Kwamaine find themselves navigating. “‘Leftovers,’” writes the Globe’s Don Aucoin, “gets real and surreal.” Find tickets here.
EXTRA CHEESE: If you like pizza and laughing, and know how to balance the two without other diners having to step in and get involved, you might consider this two-night stand at Giggles Comedy Club (at Prince Pizzeria in Saugus) featuring local legend Lenny Clarke joined by longtime Howard Stern sidekick Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling and Christine Hurley — a first runner-up in Nick at Nite’s “America’s Funniest Mom” contest (which seems to me funnier than actually winning). They’ve got one show Friday and two on Saturday. Grab tickets here.
BROKEN CHINA: In Provincetown this weekend, you can catch a potent exhibition from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (which happens to mark the 50th anniversary of P-Town’s esteemed Fine Arts Work Center). FAWC executive director Michael Roberts describes “Rebar and Case” as a “spiritual commemoration” of the lives lost in an 8.0 magnitude earthquake in China that killed 69,000 — including thousands of children caught in the ruins of poorly constructed schools. “My only advice is to act,” Ai told the Globe recently. “Each individual must believe in humanity, in the good of our children and other people’s children. To see humanity as one.” More info here.
WEST WORLD: If getting out of town is the plan, you can head west to Becket and catch the ever-innovative Hubbard Street Dance Chicago through Sunday at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. This 40th-anniversary program was still shrouded in mystery, but there have been promises of choreography by Crystal Pite, and resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo, among others. And what happens when promises aren’t kept? I could tell you, but I’d rather show you through dance, and this newsletter just isn’t that sophisticated yet. It may never be. Tickets here. Speaking of sophistication, in the Shed at Tanglewood this weekend, you can hear Ken-David Masur conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Stravinsky’s “Firebird” on Friday, Bramwell Tovey leading Bernstein’s “Songfest” on Saturday, and soloist Joshua Bell making his annual visit with Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2. on Sunday. Tickets here.
CRASH SCENE: And if you do head west this weekend, maybe check out (or check into) Tourists, the new North Adams hotel opened by Wilco bassist John Stirratt. If nothing else, that’s 48 fewer rooms at Porches hogged by Wilco’s friends every time Solid Sound comes back. (THE SHADE IS REAL IN THE WEEKENDER!!!) We snuck in and poked around. It’s cute.
OR STAY IN! One good way to stay ahead of the pop-culture/outrage curve is to actually watch Sacha Baron Cohen’s relentlessly controversial Showtime series “Who Is America?” when it airs on Sunday instead of when it froths up through thousands of headlines (and yes we are guilty so whatever). Whose political career will careen pantsless into the dirt this week? Let’s watch. (Or stick to politics with real stakes and watch “Big Brother” with me.)
And with that, I’m proud to announce that today is National I’m Out of Events to Tell You About Day. I know how I’m gonna celebrate.
See you next week!Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.