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    Things to Do

    The Weekender: Amanda [expletive] Palmer, Emily [expletive] Dickinson, and Queen Bey

    POTUS /FLOTUS Governors dinner
    Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
    “Obama: An Intimate Portrait. A South Coast Look Into the White House — Photographs by Pete Souza” is at the New Bedford Art Museum through June 16.

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    Hi Weekenders! Or should I say “high Weekenders”? OK, I’m getting word that I shouldn’t. This whole legal weed thing is still so weird!

    In any case, it’s 4/20 weekend, and I know very well what that means for a whole bunch of you, recreationally speaking.

    So relax, I’m not here to harsh your mellow or mess up your cookie baking (or self-baking) plans. I’m merely rolling up with some suggestions of things to do once the Doritos run out and you’re forced to leave the house. For the rest of you, here’s a dimebag of diversions to puff up your weekend plans. (Pro tip: Once you’re done, pass it along.)


    DRAMA QUEEN: Amanda [expletive] Palmer — known nationally for taking busking to scale, and locally treasured for her decade-spanning output of droll cabaret pop, theatrical antics, and spicy blog posts with terrible poems — is back. Palmer (who now lives between Woodstock, N.Y., and London, but not, like, literally between them) is touring behind her potently “bare and vulnerable” third solo album, “There Will Be No Intermission” — which gently vexed the Globe’s Zoë Madonna. Palmer makes a homecoming stop at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday night. Grab tickets here.

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    ELLE TRAIN: At the movies this weekend you can catch my favorite of the Fannings, Elle, in “Teen Spirit,” the writing-directing debut of actor Max Minghella (whom you may remember from “The Social Network”). Fanning plays “a Polish immigrant living with her dour mother (Agnieszka Grochowska) on a desolate farm on England’s Isle of Wight” who overcomes her “vague adolescent dissatisfaction” through singing, gets discovered by a talent scout, rises through the ranks of a teen singing competition, and I’m already crying. “ ‘Teen Spirit’ gives you a nice little sugar rush until the lights come up and you realize you’re still hungry,” writes Globe film critic Ty Burr in his two-star review. (That’s why I always get the jumbo bucket.) Now screening.

    THE STRUGGLE IS REAL: Slightly more promising (to the tune of three stars) is “Little Woods,” a “deadly serious tale of rural poverty and hard-luck lives” which stars the “seemingly invincible” Tessa Thompson and arrives as “a rock-solid writing-directing debut from Nia DaCosta” (whom producer Jordan Peele has tapped to direct the “Candyman” remake). “Under DaCosta’s sure, steady direction,” writes Burr, “ ‘Little Woods’ belongs with movies like ‘Frozen River,’ ‘Winter’s Bone,’ ‘Wind River,’ and last year’s ‘Leave No Trace’ — dramas about overlooked communities that ache with empathetic detail.”  Also, movies that sound like they were titled by a super outdoors-y bot. Now screening.

    Emily (Molly Shannon) and Susan (Susan Ziegler) reading in the kitchen - WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY - Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment
    Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment
    Molly Shannon (left) and Susan Ziegler in “Wild Nights With Emily.”

    EMILY’S LUST: And lastly in leading ladies at the multiplex, Burr gives three stars to “Wild Nights With Emily” writer-director Madeleine Olnek’s refreshing take on the life of poet (and proponent of unusually long dashes) Emily Dickinson, calling it “a thing that should not work yet mostly does: a silly comedy seriously felt, about the Belle of Amherst’s lifelong romantic relationship with her sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert Dickinson, and about the stodgy propriety of those who conspired to hide that relationship from public view.” Molly Shannon plays a “strong-willed, clear-eyed” Dickinson, with just “a touch of Gertrude Stein” — or maybe more like a tablespoon. Now screening.

    FOR THE GOOD TIMES: He could have been a contender (i.e. a boxer), a rugby player, a scholar, a writer, or a fighter pilot, but instead, Kris Kristofferson settled on changing country music forever. At 83, the Texas titan shows no sign of kicking off his boots just yet; and for this tour that comes through the Chevalier Theatre on Friday night, he’ll be backed by the late, great Merle Haggard’s band of outsiders, the Strangers (featuring  Merle’s sons Ben and Noel). Grab tickets here.


    HART PROBLEMS: Globe theater critic Don Aucoin first experienced David Greig’s “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart” when the National Theatre of Scotland presented its premiere in 2012 at New Haven’s Wicked Wolf Tavern, calling it “an engrossing if overlong production “built on melancholy, sometimes haunting folk music (by Alasdair Macrae).” Seven years down the road, the Apollinaire Theatre Company is staging its own take under the direction of Danielle Fauteux Jacques and music director David Reiffel. “Eerily absorbing” and “supernaturalism-inflected,” it’s up at Chelsea Theatre Works through May 4. Find tickets here.

    MIZ OPPORTUNITY: For something more miserable (French pronunciation, please), there’s “Les Miserables”! If you haven’t heard enough of the blockbuster musical blaring from your son’s locked bedroom upstairs, you now have the chance to experience the highs of its lows in person (and maybe get him out of that room for a few hours). Aucoin says the “current touring production certainly showcases some glorious voices, among them Nick Cartell as the noble Jean Valjean and Josh Davis as police inspector Javert,” and features standout performances from J. Anthony Crane and Allison Guinn — the new masters of the “Master of the House” house. The Broadway In Boston presentation is up at Citizens Bank Opera House through April 28; grab tickets here

    FREE PRES: Out at the New Bedford Art Museum, through June 16, once you get through the title, you can take in “Obama: An Intimate Portrait. A South Coast Look Into the White House — Photographs by Pete Souza,” an exhibition of 50 images from (South Dartmouth native) Pete Souza, the chief White House photographer under President Obama, and an “expert craftsman with an excellent eye” to Globe critic Mark Feeney. A tight show with “only a few missteps,” it’s one that captures a president who “could allow himself to display a human dimension as someone whose insecurities restrict him to playing a role never can.” More information here.

    RUBE AWAKENING: If the week has you weary of political machinations, perhaps distract yourself with a drive to Stockbridge and the “The Art and Wit of Rube Goldberg,” on view there at the Norman Rockwell Museum through June 9. When left to his own devices, the renowned cartoonist and imagineer of iconically overwrought conveniences struck a balance between gravitas and goofiness: “Goldberg’s zany contraptions carry darker meanings that have sharp resonance in this moment of social-media disasters and technology run amok,” writes Globe art critic Murray Whyte. Find more info here.

    JOINT EFFORT: And because this is Grassachusetts 2019 and there’s no way we were gonna make it through the weekend without some vaguely weed-related content, there’s “Lamont Price and Friends: The 4/20 Comedy Special,” which brings together three of Boston’s best rising comics — Price (of “Lamont’s Boston” on NBC 10), Bethany Van Delft, and Dan Boulger — for a blazer of a lineup at City Winery on Saturday. Grab tickets here; and, whoa, whoa, whoa — easy with those gummies there, Dr. Leary, or your next spirit quest will be the walk home from City Winery. 

    "Homecoming" finds Beyoncé at the peak of her powers. MUST CREDIT: Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment
    Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment
    Beyoncé in “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé”

    OR STAY IN:  I’ve only been able to watch “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” three times since it came out on Wednesday, so I’m probably gonna focus on doing that a few more times this weekend. Not only is it the most ferociously fierce concert documentary I’ve ever seen on Netflix — documenting Bey’s landmark Coachella performance from last year —  as the Globe’s Jeneé Osterheldt points out,  it “goes beyond her moment as the first black woman to headline the music fest. The show reminds us how the performances became black history.” Seriously y’all, it’s so good.

    Oh! Also: Fans of malaise, ennui, disaffection, angst, weltschmerz, and David Lynch, rejoice! At long last, the Criterion Channel is live, bringing upward of 1,600 high achievements in cinema to your living room, so you officially do not need  to read this newsletter anymore. Wait! Yes you do. Otherwise, how will you know where to start? (That was close.)

    And if you’d rather get all of your existentially troubled characters in one sitting, the shape-shifting and endlessly lovable/offensive Chris Lilley (of “Summer Heights High”) is back with “Lunatics,” a new Netflix mockumentary series which follows a brand new harvest of Lilleys — including one that may be going full Dolezal. 

    And that, inexplicably giggling Weekenders, is all I’ve got in the stash this week. Have fun out there, and however you go about spending 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.