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Hello Weekenders! What with the weather cooling, and the leaves (and potentially the sky) falling outside, you may be looking to hunker down and hide this weekend. But I promise you, there are still plenty of things to feel good about out there.
Take “Orchestrating Change,” for example — it’s a documentary by Margie Friedman and Barbara Multer-Wellin (with five screenings in the Boston area starting Saturday at the Boston Public Library) that plays through the story of the locally-based Me2/Orchestra — formed by conductor Ronald Braunstein for players with mental illness.
It being World Mental Health Day, it’s as good a time as any to take account of how you’re taking care of yourself — and on that front, the arts — each and every one of ’em — can be a big help. Here’s a starter kit for this weekend.
SHELL GAME: If you’re looking for a cinematic escape from headlines exposing massive networks of corruption forged by shady global financial powers, maybe skip to the next blurb because “The Laundromat” is not about lost socks. It’s a Steven Soderbergh-directed, Scott Z. Burns-written adaptation of Jake Bernstein’s book “Secrecy World,” starring Meryl Streep (wow!), but it’s also a film about the Panama Papers scandal (oh). “Is the Panama Papers debacle . . . even possible to squeeze into a 95-minute film?” asks Globe film critic Ty Burr in his 2½-star review. “Probably not, so maybe we should be thankful someone even tried.” It’s now screening at Kendall Square, but comes to Netflix on Oct. 18. Up to you. The grift isn’t going anywhere.
PERSONAL SPACE: For something a bit more down-to-earth in a very literal sense, Globe film contributor Tom Russo gives two stars to “Lucy in the Sky,” director Noah Hawley’s “nominally fictionalized account of the psychological spiral of NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak,” (yes, the one arrested for attempted kidnapping in 2007 whilst wearing a diaper) here played by Natalie Portman. Russo calls it “a deep-thinking character study that’s provocatively if imperfectly presented — at least until the story devolves right along with its subject’s state of mind.” Now screening.
ON THE MARK: Shout-out to displaced New Havenites (I have no idea if that’s what you’re called), but Miracle Legion and Polaris cofounder Mark Mulcahy is coming through town to play some joints off his latest solo album, “The Gus,” on Friday at Berklee’s Red Room at Café 939. “His sensibility hasn’t made him as famous as some of his fans, including Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Thom Yorke of Radiohead, and J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr.,” writes Globe contributor Eric R. Danton, but his “intriguingly opaque” and “utterly unique” lyrical style have made him a cult hero worth getting wise to. Find tickets here.
POLITICAL RACKET: Speaking of utterly unique, Boston’s own Aardvark Jazz Orchestra is in the middle of its 47th year blowing horns and minds, and on Saturday night, they give a free concert at MIT’s Killian Hall, centered around original compositions by trumpeter and music director Mark Harvey. “Trumputin Tango” and “Fake News Blewz” may give you some sense of what to expect from these satirical selections from the ensemble’s latest LP, “Democratic Vistas,” but works like “Consecration” as well as every Aardvark performance on the books stand as reminders that this big band specializes in the unexpected. Find more info here.
CLARA-FICATION: At Jordan Hall Sunday you can celebrate the 200th birthday of the incomparable Clara Schumann, whose compositions have recently “been rolled into a brighter spotlight” following the release of some long-deferred recordings of her work, and whose “incredible genius” will be the subject of this year’s installment of NEC’s Composer Anniversary Concert series. Globe classical correspondent Zoë Madonna spoke to series founder and director Tatyana Dudochkin about this rare opportunity to hear a range of Schumann’s music, including her Concerto for piano and orchestra, Op. 7 (performed by the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra). Find more program info and tickets here.
SIMBA PLEASURES: If you missed the performance of Julie Taymor’s adaptation of Disney’s “The Lion King” that opened the (then) Boston Opera House 15 years ago, you and your much-taller-now children can feel the love tonight (or anytime this weekend) as Broadway in Boston brings the “freshly transporting experience for audiences young and not-so-young” to the (now) Citizens Bank Opera House. “Abounding in sinuous movement, extraordinarily expressive masks, highly mobile scenery, and puppets that make the word ‘puppet’ seem wanly inadequate, Taymor’s adaptation still offers a master class in how to transform the cinematic into the theatrical,” writes Globe theater critic Don Aucoin. Have fun! Just please, please stay behind the barrier, folks. They bite. It’s up through Oct. 27. Find tickets here.
ROAR ON THE FLOOR: Oh, and speaking of the kings of the jungle, this weekend is also the Lion’s Jaw Performance + Dance Festival presented by New Movement Collaborative at the soon-to-be-no-more Green Street Studios. On Friday and Saturday, you can catch two performances that emerge from this five-day intensive collaborative program; and on Sunday you can catch “The Thing,” an informal in-festival performance followed by an all-ages dance party. Find all the details about the festival and public performances here.
PIECE FOR PEACE: Also on Sunday, you can catch Sphinx Virtuosi, who made a big splash with their debut at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum last year. This year the self-conducted all-star ensemble of black and Latinx musicians returns to Calderwood Hall with a program titled “For Justice and Peace,” which, according to Zoë Madonna, will range from “Schubert and Bartók to Jessie Montgomery’s tribute to her parents’ civil rights activism ‘Source Code,’ and Philip Herbert’s memorial to hate crime victim Stephen Lawrence.” Grab tickets here.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Globe art critic Murray Whyte calls “Fatimah Tuggar: Home’s Horizons” at the Davis a “terrifically ambitious solo exhibition of the Nigerian-born, Kansas-based artist that brings together her works in “sculpture, video, and augmented reality all the way to handmade craft,” including a newly commissioned installation, “Deep Blue Wells,” which marries modern technology with the indigo dye wells of Kano, Nigeria, to sublime effect. It’s up through Dec. 15 at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, and tickets are required. Find those here.
HOST WITH THE MOST: And lastly from the outside world this week, on Saturday you can catch comedian and “WTF” podcast maestro (which I’m guessing stands for “way too funny” and just crossed the 1,000-episode line) Marc Maron as he brings a new hour of comedy — the “Hey, There’s More” tour — to the stage of the Shubert. Fresh off the screen from his role in “Joker,” and receiving many an Internet high-five for his defense of much-maligned “woke” comedy, Maron will likely have a few things to say that more than a few people need to hear. Be one of them; get tickets here.
OR STAY IN: Provided there aren’t impeachment hearings to watch, what better way to kick back and relax than with a [checks notes] new “Breaking Bad” movie? OK, this already has me stressed out, but Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert seems shruggingly open to “El Camino” — which follows the post-saga story of Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman, and arrives on Netflix on Friday. Will it be a masterpiece or another fine meth?
And you can check in with another dysfunctional family (in nicer suits) as the second season of HBO’s hit “Succession” reaches its season finale on Sunday at 9 p.m. “Everyone is brutally conning everyone else on ‘Succession,’ always,” wrote Gilbert on his smitten-ness with the latest season, “as the dramatic subtext pinballs breathtakingly between ‘Gotcha!’ and ‘Got me.’ ”
And that, unimpeachable Weekenders, is all I’ve got. (You’ll have to subpoena me for the rest.) Take care of yourselves, and whatever you get into this weekend, make it one you’ll miss come Monday.
See you next time!Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.