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Well hello there, Weekenders! I hope you enjoyed that whole summer thing. I’m just gonna reach past you and give the master thermostat a hard counterclockwise turn just to make sure you know it’s over. Feel that? Nice.
Now, while you all make the transition from sweating to sweating in sweaters, I'm dumping out a veritable giant cornucopia of proverbial decorative gourds for your autumnal enjoyment. (i.e. I have a bunch of events to tell you about.) Let’s fall in.
MARS LANDING Not sure what Bruno Mars song you’re listening to? Let your body be your Shazam. If a wiggling sensation spreads through your limbs it’s probably “24K Magic,” if your shoulders start to see-saw it’s “Finesse,” if spasmodic gyrations ensue you’re up to your booty in “That’s What I Like,” and if you’re blocking your ears it’s “Locked Out of Heaven” — boy, do I hate that song. Nobody’s perfect, but Mars and his live band shimmy pretty close to it. And helping matters this time around is tourmate Ciara, who will be giving a “Dose” of much-needed fierceness this Friday night at TD Garden — and there’s really no telling what your body will do. Find tickets here.
TARDY FOR THE PARTY: If you missed Kevin Hart’s set at the Garden last weekend, take Hart in knowing there will be no avoiding this dude for the next two, three years at least. He’s already back for two more hours of your time in the form of “Night School,” his new comedy with the endlessly watchable Tiffany Haddish — of whom I can’t get enough, but who “doesn’t get to do much at all” here, according to Globe film critic Ty Burr’s two-star review. Fans of “Girls Trip” who watch that thing to completion Every Single Time It Comes On, beware: “The movie’s being sold as a Kevin Hart-Tiffany Haddish film, and that’s a bait and switch.” Still, Hart’s extremely-late-for-graduation class-clown routine makes for “an acceptable time-waster.” Just like school! [flicks cigarette] Now screening.
WINNING CHEMISTRY: Oops, sorry “Science Fair.” Totally didn’t see you standing there. School’s all right, I guess. And according to Burr, you’re pretty solid evidence. Though “Science Fair” follows a now lab-tested formula of the “kiddie competition” documentary (i.e. “Take a bunch of earnest and gifted young people, provide background on their lives and hopes, enlist them in a contest, and get us to both root for a winner and ponder what ‘winning’ means.”), this project still gets 3½ stars, with Burr praising it as “an absolute treat that may have you weeping with empathy for the boys and girls whose lives it depicts.” Just remember, kids, the theater is no place to discover what happens when you dump your Mentos into Mom’s Diet Coke. (I’m serious. Don’t.) Now screening.
ROCK SOLID: Music fests aren’t for everyone, especially those looking to insert some space between themselves and drugs or alcohol — or anything for that matter (claustrophobes unite!). And for that portion of everyone, there’s the first-ever Recovery Fest taking place this Saturday night at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket. Above the Noise — an addiction awareness foundation — presents this drug-and-alcohol-free festival featuring performances from Macklemore, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Lowell’s own PVRIS, as well as guest speakers, a job fair, recovery meetings, a voter registration drive, and food trucks. (And elbow room!) More information here.
CASE STUDY: If I examine all the clues (like you reading this), they all point to you needing something to do this weekend. I know; I’m quite the detective. And for a similar wallop of high-grade sleuthery (plus some touching observations on long-term relationships), you might consider “Sherlock’s Last Case,” from the Huntington Theatre Company starting Friday and running through Oct. 28. Writer Terry Byrne says “playwright Charles Marowitz amplifies the more outrageous aspects of this dynamic duo to comic and chaotic effect” in this production, and Dr. Watson (Mark Zeisler) seems to concur: “The cleverness of the play is the way it questions the relationship between these two characters and considers what’s going on underneath all the clichés and trappings of tea and scones and puzzles,” he told the Globe. You can suss out tickets here.
BETTER LATE: There was a slight delay in staging the short Tennessee Williams play “Talisman Roses” — about 81 years. (I’m thinking they probably just had trouble printing the PDF.) But it will finally come to life at this weekend’s 13th annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival (making the 12th time the festival has hosted a world premiere of the playwright’s work). Marsha Mason directs and Amanda Plummer stars in this lost gem, which follows “a young woman released from an institution into the care of her aunts.” The fest runs all weekend, and you can find the full schedule and tickets here.
FLATLEY FOOTED: Here in town, you can catch “Riverdance” sensation Michael Flatley’s future-forward evolution of the concept, “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games.” Yes, you get the spectacle of Flatley’s trademark tightly-synced hyperjigs (though not from Flatley himself, he’s retired), but you also get a massive flatscreen backdrop, all kinds of “world champion acrobats” flying around, plus rainbows, unicorns, and “dancing robots” — none of which, it bears mentioning, appear in that Tennessee Williams play I was all excited about two minutes ago. Of course, you can do both; this is a one-night-only affair at the Emerson Colonial Theatre (Friday, to be specific). Get tickets here.
HIGH SCORE: While we’re in a futurist mode, around the corner through Saturday you can catch “Permadeath,” the ambitious tech-boosted new “video-game opera” from librettist and impresario Cerise Lim Jacobs (“Madame White Snake,” “REV. 23”) and composer Dan Visconti that uses facial motion capture technology (as well as a companion augmented-reality app) to bring its cast of animated characters to life — which isn’t as unlimited as we thought, no matter what cheat code you have. (Please, no chucking your controllers at the stage; it’s only an opera.) More information and tickets here.
SPACE CADETS: With its new location in Union Square open for funny business, The Comedy Studio is putting the “LOL” in Somerville. So now it will have to be known as Somerlolville. Or maybe Somervilole? I'm going to get back to you on this. What’s important is that they’re up and running, and on Friday and Saturday they’ll fill the stage with a bunch of up-and-coming chuckleheads (including Geoffery Asmus, Mike Dorval, Tooky Kavanagh, Brian Longwell, Amy Tee, Kathleen DeMarle, Mark Gallagher, and Al Park) as well as “Comic in Residence” Liam McGurk. Go check out the space and meet your new neighbors. Truth be told, they would have preferred a Comedy Two Bedroom, but this is Slolmerville, after all. (Nailed it.) More info here.
ONE IN A MILNE: Lay off the honey this weekend so you don’t get so stuck in your “howse” that you can’t make it to the MFA, where “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic” is on view through Jan. 6. This comprehensive wander through the “history and universal appeal” of A.A. Milne’s beloved teddy bear assembles drawings, letters, photographs, early editions, and all kinds of Pooh ephemera into a spectacle that might even make Eeyore crack a smile. What’s that? You didn’t hear any of that through the walls of the honey pot on your head? Oh, bother . . . (more info here).
OR STAY IN! Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert calls the new 10-episode Netflix series “Maniac” a “fascinatingly trippy” tale directed and co-written by Cary Joji Fukunaga (“True Detective”) and starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as two participants in a pharmaceutical drug trial. “While you’re working to process all the strange twists and turns in the story,” he writes, “you’ll have plenty of spectacle to be dazzled by.”
Slightly less trippy, but still a trip is the four-disc set “An American Treasure,” which assembles lost takes, live performances, and previously unheard songs from the late, great Tom Petty, as compiled by friends, family, and longtime collaborators. “In a way,” writes Stuart Munro, “you see these family members and decades-long musical collaborators and friends coming to terms with their loss through the music that Petty made.
And slightly more trippy is “For My Crimes,” the eighth album from Jamaica Plain’s own Marissa Nadler, a collection of songs that Globe contributor Isaac Feldberg says “vividly situate what’s to come within the same gothic soundscape that’s long defined her brand of dreamy folk-rock.”
And that, begrudgingly layered Weekenders, is all I’ve got for you this time. Although — since you’ve got that fetching fall ensemble on, you might as well take it to the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, the giant free yearly block party bringing together top jazz talents and running all day Saturday on Columbus between Mass. Ave. and Burke Street. (All the info is here.)
I just shook out the rest of my jacket pockets, and that’s seriously all I’ve got apart from some CVS receipts from last winter. (Here we go again.) However you decide to spend your weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday.
See you next week!Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.