05/19 KING SAL’S OLD SEAT GOES UP FOR GRABS
Until now, 30 years of Sal DiMasi domination made the Democratic primary for the 3rd Suffolk District a fait accompli (no offense to restaurateur Sal Tecce’s 1984 run). Today’s special primary election to replace the former House speaker offers a bit of competition, but also a familiar face from the old regime: Joining South Ender Susan Passoni as a frontrunner is one-time DiMasi staffer Aaron Michlewitz.
Running for mayor? Last day to get your collected signatures filed with the city election department. You have until 5 p.m.
05/21 SEE HOW THE OTHER HALF GROWS
The Beacon Hill Garden Club’s 80th annual tour of that neighborhood’s hidden gardens provides curious green thumbs entrance into 16 private plots tucked behind those natty rowhouses. Four of the gardens have never been open to the public; all will make you feel pitiful for your inability to keep that cactus of yours alive.
05/23 BIOTECH VISIONARY BIDS THE BIZ ADIEU
Josh Boger, one of Boston biotech’s most well-known vets, retires today. CEO of Cambridge’s Vertex Pharmaceuticals, he was the face of the industry in the early ’90s. (It helped that his career was chronicled in the popular book The Billion-Dollar Molecule.) He’ll get more than a few cigars on his way out: Boger, who made $14.5 million last year, is set to collect about $3 million in bonuses and stock, meaning he can buy his own gold watch.
05/23 SAVING THE ENDANGERED ROLLER COASTER? SOUNDS LIKE A JOB FOR…
As part of its parent company’s national rollout of new and improved coasters, Six Flags New England debuts its revamped Superman ride, Bizarro. Six Flags brass hopes the rejiggered attractions can help the foundering firm raise enough cash to restructure its debt before an August deadline. Should the Agawam park close, it’d mark the end of the line for roller coasters in Massachusetts, following the 2000 demise of Whalom Park and its Flyer Comet.
CONCERTS 05/29 & 05/30
Leonard Cohen visits the Wang Theatre on his first U.S. tour in 15 years. Hallelujah, indeed.
THE HIGH POINTS OF THIS MONTH’S CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS
COMEDY When Ray Romano takes the stage at the Orpheum on 5/6, he’ll bring along longtime sitcom sidekick Brad Garrett (who played brother Robert on Everybody Loves Raymond). Garrett’s performance will be the high point: While Romano’s routines stay true to his family-friendly persona, expect audible gasps to greet the jokes from Garrett, who, as they say, works a little blue.
BOOKS Author Colson Whitehead reads at Porter Square Books on 5/7, visiting his old stomping grounds with a new novel about another of his old haunts, Sag Harbor. Stick around for the Q&A, wherein the award for sassiest question will go to whoever asks why Whitehead, a 2002 MacArthur "genius grant" winner, couldn’t get accepted into creative writing courses as an undergrad at Harvard.
MUSIC The Dave Matthews Band returns to Fenway for a two-night stand on 5/29 and 5/30. Dave devotees who were on hand when he played the park in ’06 will tell you that the coolest moment of the shows could be a reprise of the "Sweet Caroline" cover—spot-on Diamond imitation and all—that sent the crowd into a frenzy last time.