Things to Do in Boston This Weekend
Concerts, films, comedy, and more.
This three-part performance, created by lauded choreographer Bill T. Jones and his company’s associate artistic director Janet Wong, is based on the four part novel series The Emigrants by Swedish writer Vilhelm Moberg, but rather than sticking literally to Moberg’s tale of Swedish immigrants in mid-19th century America, the pair invented completely different 20th century European characters. Each night, you’ll meet a different one.
$40, through Sunday, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston
The sad, weird, gross story of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem is one of the most messed up legends in rock history, as pathetically comic as it is jaw-droppingly hideous. It’s been told many times, but in this renaissance for the true crime genre, it only makes sense that someone would craft a new dramatized version, and director Jonas Åkerlund, who sprung from the same ’80s and ’90s Scandinavian metal scene, seems a perfect man for the job.
$12, Friday through February 21, Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge
Considering that Andrew Webber has adapted such canonical literature as The Phantom of the Opera, T.S. Eliot, and, well, the Bible for the stage, it was a little surprising when he announced he was adapting the charming but smaller-scale 2003 Jack Black vehicle School of Rock, the story of a frustrated guitarist who reluctantly takes gig teaching high school kids. Doubt him not, though: School of Rock ran for four years on Broadway, like a little engine that could… could rock.
$40-$200, through February 24, Boston Opera House, 539 Washington St., Boston
While it’s billed as parody of Hamilton, this musical spoof, presented by Huntington Theater Company, has a great deal of meta fun skewering the naked ambitions of the original’s actors, particularly composer-star Lin-Manuel Miranda. In the era of “personal branding”, such an angle couldn’t be more apt. Spamilton also strays off from its source material a ton, skewering several other Broadway personalities, past and present.
$109, through April 7, Virginia Wimberly Theater, 527 Tremont St., Boston
Botticelli’s most famous paintings, such as “The Birth of Venus” and “La Primavera,” feature his very recognizable blonde muse, but this show spotlights a very different piece by the master, the zoomed-out tragic scene Lucretia. Long a treasure of the Garden Museum collection, it will be contextualized here alongside similar Botticellis loaned from other museums, including its sister piece, Virginia, plus contemporary interpretations from local cartoonist Karl Stevens, best known for his long-running Boston Phoenix comic strip Failure.
$15, through May 19, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 25 Evans Way, Boston
Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony through Schumann’s Piano Concerto, with Chinese pianist Yuja Wang in the starring role. Widely believed to reflect the mood-swinging composer’s struggle for the hand of his wife, Clara, the work is ideal for a Valentine’s-adjacent concert. It’s followed by the grand but graceful 9th Symphony of Bruckner, which the Austrian composer didn’t quite live long enough to finish.
$39-$147, Friday through Sunday, Symphony Hall, 301 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
We usually think of falling in love a good thing, as long as it’s mutual. But what if your romance started an actual war? That’s what happens in Greek myth when the Trojan prince Paris absconds from Sparta with the legendarily beautiful queen Helen. It was the love affair, and not Trojan War itself, that interested the 18th century German composer Gluck in his opera. But still, the war lurks here, cast like a shadow into the future.
$25-$100, Friday and Sunday, Huntington Avenue Theater, 264 Huntington St., Boston
Presented by the Fourth Wall, this pair of true stories from pro storytellers Erika Kate MacDonald and Paul Strickland, respectively, are separately ticketed, but if you like one you might like the other—you’ll also get $10 off if you buy a ticket for both. MacDonald tells the story of her evacuation from Indonesia in the midst of political instability; Strickland, clad with his guitar, tells of a fanciful, fictional town threatened by normality.
$25-$40, Friday and Saturday, the Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge
You may not know Kyle Dunnigan by name, but if you liked Inside Amy Schumer, you’ve heard his jokes, because he was one of the show’s writers—he even won his own Emmy for writing the song “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup”. He also played officer Trudy Weigel’s boyfriend Craig on the rather underrated Comedy Central series Reno 911! More recently, he’s gotten attention for his eclectic array of impressions, including Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump, and Mark Zuckerberg.
$25, Friday and Saturday, Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston
The Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts presents this Black History Month show, rolling up four centuries of African-American history into a single evening, from the old kingdoms of Africa to the election of Barack Obama. “Sankofa” is a word in the Twi language of Ghana, meaning “go back and get it,” most often found in the proverb, “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”
$30, 5 p.m., Strand Theater, 543 Columbia Rd., Dorchester
The Coolidge Corner Theater’s midnight movies are often nostalgic American horror picks, but this time they’re showing a 2017 French film by a new director, Coralie Fargeat. Our heroine, Jen, suffers a horrific sexual assault, and, initially presumed dead, spends the rest of the film getting wildly badass revenge. Fargeat carries it all out with an artistry that raises the proceedings into a realm beyond just the preoccupations of “#metoo era”.
$14, 11:59 p.m., Coolidge Corner Theater, 290 Harvard St., Brookline
This local sketch comedy troupe is still the only one in the world whose members have all been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. They’ve won many admirers on and off that spectrum, and even became the subjects of a self-titled, Duplass Brothers-produced documentary film in 2016. But they’re not autism activists or anything—they just want to be funny. And they are, endearing audiences with their geeky humor, bizarre puns, and playful absurdism.
$20, 8 p.m., Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St., Boston
This local MC won a break appearing on Oxygen’s Sisterhood of Hip-Hop in 2014. Signed to RCA Records, she’s dropped a series of singles plus an EP, Nice Girls Finish Last: Cuidado, this past September. Her fusion of Latin and trap sounds, plus her lyrical sharp tongue, give her a distinct style that seems poised for a major breakout, if the fates allow. She’s summarized her approach in three words: “Unfiltered, unapologetic, and powerful.”
$20-$40, 7 p.m., Middle East Downstairs, 480 Mass. Ave., Cambridge