Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Including Janelle Monáe, free Shakespeare on the Common, and more.

Janelle Monae

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe is back in the public eye in a big way. Her new album, Dirty Computer, is turning heads both for how personal it is (the ever-inventive Monae has often worked with fictionalized personas in the past) as well as a series of creative, eye-catching music videos. Monae’s electro-poppy hits are the perfect anthems for a night out in the July air.

$59+, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., Boston,

Photo by Ali Campbell

Culture Club

Local artists and musicians are taking over the ICA for one night in an audio-visual explosion of creativity. Come explore censorship in China and the Boston immigrant experience through Furen Dai’s mylar balloons and lanterns, or take in animator Julia Emiliani’s lively illustrations, all set to live music thanks to local rap group Vintage Lee. There’s no better excuse to spend a night looking out over the harbor, drink in hand.

$15, Friday, 6:30 p.m., Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston,

Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva, CSC

Richard III

Shakespeare’s most evil play, Richard the III, opens this week on the Boston Common, free to all. Get off at Park Street and park yourself on a blanket in the grass to see the most twisted of all Shakespearean villains wreak havoc on his way to the throne, courtesy of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Faran Tahir, of Star TrekIron Man, and eyebrow fame, brings Richard III to life.

Free, through August 5, various showtimes, Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common, Tremont St. at Winter St., Boston,

Alex Edelman

Alex Edelman doesn’t shy away from the title of “millennial”—he names his show after it. His 2014 “Millennial” tour earned him awards, openings for names like Patton Oswalt and Ricky Gervais, and a spot on plenty of “comedian to watch” lists. His hilariously awkward delivery weaves anecdotes about everything from getting a haircut in Scotland to meeting Neil Armstrong into a sidesplitting set. You can also probably expect that Edelman, a Boston native, has some specially crafted zingers for his hometown.

$25, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston,

Photo by Pedro Cruz

Festival Betances

The longest-running celebration of Latino culture in New England is back for its 50th year. With events for all ages, the festival blends music, food, art, and more into one weekend-long party in honor of all things Latin America. Andy Montañez, the Puerto Rican “Godfather of Salsa” headlines the musical acts, joining a hefty lineup of local musicians and dance groups. Bring the kiddos along for a parade, arts and crafts, and facepainting. 

Free, Saturday and Sunday, Plaza Betances, 100 W Dedham St., Boston,