Things to Do

The Weekender: ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Lizzie,’ Bobby, and Chick

21hamilton Company -HAMILTON National Tour - (c) Joan Marcus.
Joan Marcus
“Hamilton” is at the Opera House through Nov. 18.

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Well hello once again, Weekenders!

I’m assuming you want the bad news first because people always seem to want the bad news first for some reason. So, the bad news is that after this weekend, there’s no more summer. Frown emoji. 

The good news, however, is that we’ve been here before many times. Summer barely gives Boston enough of itself to miss by the time it gets up to leave, so this conscious decoupling feels like a routine by now, as bittersweet as a pumpkin spice latte. But the other good news is that this last summer weekend is packed enough to feel like a grand finale. 


Oh and the other good news is that “Hamilton” is finally here. Let’s get into that.

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HIP-HOP HURRAY: Get ready to party like it’s 1799, because the “exhilaratingly good” touring production of “Hamilton” has finally arrived in Boston (which took a while because buses don’t exist yet for them). Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-hoarding, history-spinning hip-hop take on America’s favorite forgotten Founding Father runs at the Opera House through Nov. 18, and, to Globe theater critic Don Aucoin, it feels like a different show these days: “In the Obama era, the ‘Hamilton’ phenomenon meant one thing; now, in the Trump era, it means quite another thing. Perhaps that’s one yardstick by which to measure creative accomplishment: that, like Shakespeare’s plays, a work of greatness always feels timely, always has something urgent to say, no matter when it is performed.” Keep an eye out for Winchester native Nicholas Christopher as Aaron Burr. And if you have only a sawbuck to spare, despair not: Ten dollar “#HAM4HAM” tickets will be available through a digital lottery. You just have to be quicker on the draw than you know who. Find tickets here.

WHACKS ON: Elsewhere in American History, Chloë Sevigny produces and swings the ax as the star of “Lizzie,” an “atmospheric and compelling” retelling of the story of Fall River’s princess of parricide, Lizzie Borden. Warning: It also “manages to be both creepy and dull.” Globe film critic Ty Burr gives it 2½ stars (out of 4), praising performances by Kristen Stewart and Sevigny, whose Lizzie is “smart, finely tuned, and slightly frustrating.” (And if you’ve got 3½ hours to spare before going, it wouldn’t kill you to watch Chantal Akerman’s “Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles,” just to set the mood.) Now screening.

GLORY OF BLAZE: And elsewhere in biopics is Ethan Hawke’s fourth directorial effort, “Blaze,” to which Burr gives three stars and calls an “immensely touching and only deceptively shapeless” love letter to Austin, Texas, country legend Blaze Foley. Co-written by Hawke and Foley’s ex-wife, Sybil Rosen (and based on her memoir, “Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley”), the film finds Hawke “chasing a vibe, one of talent blooming and fading on its own helpless timeline,” and largely succeeding thanks to a talented cast including Ben Dickey as Blaze, Alia Shawkat as Sybil, and Charlie Sexton as Townes Van Zandt. (And your homework for this is a YouTube binge of Blaze Foley’s greatest hits that were never hits.) Now screening.

A scene from the 2018 film "Fahrenheit 11/9."
A scene from “Fahrenheit 11/9.”

MOORE IS LESS: And elsewhere in talent fading on its own helpless timeline, “Fahrenheit 11/9” is the latest froth session from agitprop papa Michael Moore, and the Globe’s Mark Feeney isn’t feeling the heat. “The movie’s a dynamic mess,” he writes in his 1½-star review, “and the dynamism makes the messiness feel that much messier.” Starting with the election of Donald Trump and spreading and soaking into everything from the water crisis in Flint to the shambles of the Democratic Party, striking school teachers, the Parkland shootings, and whatever else stirs from under the brim of his ballcap, “ ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ may be pretty awful, which it is,” writes Feeney, “But as polemical documentaries go, Moore remains the master.” Now screening. (Oh, and quick note to Weekenders who like to e-mail me about my leftist agenda: HOW U LIKE ME NOW?)


FRENCH KISS: And lastly in this busy film week, you can catch a new screen adaptation of Christopher Wheeldon’s Tony-winning 2015 production of “An American in Paris” at select theaters Sunday. Shot on location in London’s West End and starring Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope, it’ll sweep you off your feet, through the proscenium arch, and into the breathless romance of Paris, long before United Airlines inflight videos ruined Gershwin for a generation. You can find the list of theaters it’s coming to here.

HEY ARNOLD: Everybody wants to talk to Tom Arnold, which is as clear a sign that we’ve entered an alternate reality as we’re likely to get. The long dis-Barred comedian and budding political provocateur has been raising eyebrows and ruining Emmy parties in preparation for his Viceland series, “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes With Tom Arnold,” which follows Arnold and his associates as they hunt down — get this — recordings of the president saying offensive things, of which we only currently have all of them. (Sorry — agenda is acting up again.) He comes to Laugh Boston on Friday for a stand-up set; grab tickets here

HART ATTACK: Ahead of the opening of “Night School” with Tiffany Haddish (on Sept. 28), you can catch costar comedian and non-stop hustle machine Kevin Hart, who soon will have even less time for comparably intimate engagements like this Friday set at TD Garden. (Dude’s got like four movies coming out next year, including a remake of “The Great Outdoors” that somehow will have to overcome the loss of Bart the Bear.) Hart’s also got his hands full with his latest role as a dad, which as you know is well-established ground for mining comedy gold. (For a look at at least five of Hart’s best sides, check out the trailer for his “Irresponsible Tour.”) You can find tickets here

OLD JACK SWING: It is 100 percent your prerogative if you decide to go down to Foxwoods this Saturday to catch Bobby Brown — who is currently touring as part of RBRM, which finds Brown joining forces with his erstwhile New Edition bandmates, Bell Biv Devoe. Will he do “On Our Own” complete with weirdly hyper-specific plot-point rap about “Ghostbusters II”?! I’m guessing he will probably not. Which is fine. As has been established, he doesn’t need my permission to make his own decisions. Find tickets here.

MAGIC: A GATHERING:  Because I’m not so big on magic, I will not be among the dazzled masses attending “Champions of Magic,” which — poof! — just kind of appears at the Shubert Theatre and runs through the weekend. Of course, that’s just what I would want you to think if I were going to — poof! — just kind of appear at “Champions of Magic.” (See? This is why I hate magic.) In any case, this cabinet of curiosities will feature Alex McAleer, the duo of Young & Strange, LA magician Kayla Drescher, and escapologist Fernando Velasco. Find tickets here before they — poof! — just kind of disappear. 


CHIC THRILLS: Described as “part fashion show, part strip tease,” choreographer Trajal Harrell’s “Caen Amour” finds Harrell and his dancers reimagining “the seductive 19th-century spectacle known as the hoochie-coochie show via an imagined meeting between early modern dance pioneer Loïe Fuller, butoh creator Tatsumi Hijikata, and Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo.” You can catch performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Find tickets here

CHICK THRILLS: Writing for the Globe, Ed Symkus spoke recently to legendary jazz pianist (and Chelsea native) Chick Corea and may have filled his head with all kinds of ideas as to how to switch things up for his five-night residency at Scullers. He’ll be playing sets through the weekend with his Vigilette Trio, featuring Carlitos Del Puerto on bass, Marcus Gilmore on drums, and you on the edge of your seat. You can grab tickets here.

WALKING BASSLINES: And if that puts the jazz bug in your ear, first see a doctor just to make sure that’s what we’re talking about here, and then make your way to “Jazz Along the Charles,” a free “walkable concert” presented by Celebrity Series, taking place Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and assembling 25 local jazz acts scattered across 25 locations along a 2-mile loop around the Charles River Esplanade. Expect the day’s repertoire to do some local wandering as well, as artists including Tim Ray Trio, the Jason Palmer Quintet, Charlie Kohlhase’s Explorers Quintet, Krewe de Roux, and Receita de Samba pay tributes to Chick Corea, Mark Sandman, and the Standells — who would probably have dug this slightly less dirty water, too. Find more info here.

OR STAY IN! You’ve been watching a little too much TV lately (that’s a guess), so I’m going to recommend you spend your fast-dwindling hammock time jamming out to the new album from Christine and the Queens. It’s a steamy synth-pop album called “Chris,” and according to reviewer Robert Steiner, it’s “dedicated to exploring the in-between: in between machismo and femininity; self-perception and outer-perception; tender, fragile love and raw, unabashed sex. It’s a refreshing, empowering record that embraces finding identity in a lack thereof.” 

“Last Seen” just hit the top 10 podcasts on iTunes.
“Last Seen” just hit the top 10 podcasts on iTunes.

And for even easier listening, you can momentarily let your guard down and download “Last Seen,” the new podcast exploring the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. It’s a collaboration between the Globe, WBUR, and, presumably, the spirit of Isabella Stewart Gardner, an avid podcaster who was almost cruelly ahead of her time. It’s good stuff; so good that it just hit the top 10 podcasts on iTunes! You can read all about it here.

And that, good Weekenders, is all I’ve got in the beach bag this time around. Enjoy these last few days of summer, let’s put those flip-flops away right now, and however you spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday. See you next time!

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

An earlier version misidentified the airline that has used Gershwin in videos.