Things to Do This Weekend in Boston
Keep your weekend full with our roundup of fun events around Boston. And don’t miss our list of iconic things to do around Boston.
Huntington Theater has expanded their run of this prophetic 2015 Lynn Nottage play. Although it was written before “President Trump” was a thing, this story of dispossessed Pennsylvania workers eerily identifies the conditions his campaign spoke to. Defeat feels ubiquitous, relationships are tested. Two female friends, one black, one white, develop racial resentment through economic competition. As we prepare for another chance to say yes or no to Trump’s America, Nottage’s play is food for thought.
$20-$115, through March 1, Huntington Avenue Theater, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston
Lyric Stage’s latest production centers on Ida, an aging mother whose finances have become a disaster. One of her sons steps in as money manager, but it’s not long before he starts to wonder why he’s even bothering. The thing is, she’s not very likable or sympathetic, seemingly digging holes just so she can fall into them. But by the end, she may at least become comprehensible—if, that is, she can keep her son around long enough for him to find out.
$37-$75, Friday through March 22, Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon St., Boston
Jane Austen famously expected no one but her to like the heroine of her novel Emma. And in terms of likability, Emma does have the cards stacked against her. Privileged and unjustifiably self-assured, she considers herself a great matchmaker, but drama seems to be the main product of her meddling, and she just does not get it. Autumn de Wilde’s new adaptation is a withering take on the novel, with all the delicious period finery you’d hope for.
$13, opens Friday, Kendall Square Cinema, 355 Binney St., Cambridge
Benjamin Zander leads the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra in a musical journey to central Europe. Two of the composers on this program, Kodály and Dvořák, were ethnic Czechs who shared a passion for their nation’s folk music. At the same time, Dvořák was determined that his seventh symphony should “stir the world.” The third composer here, Franz Liszt, was Hungarian—an odd man out, perhaps, but with the self-taught French virtuoso Lucas Debargue at the keyboard, no one will mind.
$30-$115, Saturday and Sunday, Jordan Hall (Saturday) and Sanders Theater (Sunday), 30 Gainsborough St., Boston and 45 Quincy St., Cambridge
Some of the best ballroom dancers in the nation, amateur and professional, will converge on Boston this weekend for this competition, which claims to be the country’s most prestigious regional event of its kind, making it a unique chance to see top-drawer talent in this dance genre outside of Dancing with the Stars—and in a considerably more up-close-and-personal way than at that show’s touring events. The different segments are ticketed separately and organized by genre and other criteria.
$15-$75, Friday through Sunday, Boston Marriott Long Wharf, 296 State St., Boston
The most obvious joke about the 19th century religious communities known as the Shakers is there’s a very good reason their movement died out: They renounced sex. This, and the beautifully minimalist furniture they built, are all that is usually remembered about them, but there was much more to their history and spirituality. Music and dance played key roles, and in this contemporary dance piece, Reggie Wilson imagines the lives of black Shakers through a present-day lens.
$25, Friday and Saturday, Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston
Every year, the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble plays to a packed crowd at Regattabar—the only reason the show’s on Friday this year instead of Tuesday is due to construction at the Charles Hotel. Less authentic, perhaps, but more convenient. The band will blast its distinct take on New Orleans brass music (they kind of take it to a whole other funky, jazzy planet) with help from sax player Amadee Castenell and singer Henri Smith, both veterans of the New Orleans scene.
$22, 7:30 p.m., Regattabar, 1 Bennett St., Cambridge
CRASHfest derives its name from World Music/CRASHarts, the original name of Global Arts Live. The first CRASHfest was mounted in 2016 with the simple purpose of getting the word out about the organization and its shows, and it’s gotten better every year. More than just hosting nearly a dozen bands with members and/or styles from all over the world, Global Arts Live transforms the House of Blues into a world music haven with a global offering of food carts to match.
$48-$55, 5:30 p.m., House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston
Mo Amer was a member of the Muslim comedy collective Allah Made Me Funny, which has toured all over the world. His Netflix special The Vagabond appeared in 2018. When he was 9, the Gulf War forced Amer and his Palestinian family to flee their home country of Kuwait for the United States. He frequently returns to the ignorance and discrimination he’s faced as an Arab-American, showing not only how infuriating it is, but also how ridiculous.
$28, 7 p.m., The Wilbur Theater, 246 Tremont St., Boston
Nu-Vintage Pop, conceived and performed by the bright lights at the Berklee College of Music, takes contemporary pop artists like Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Charlie Puth, Taylor Swift, and Nicki Minaj and transports them back in time, arranging their songs as if they’d been composed between the ’20s and ’60s. The organizers acknowledge a debt to Postmodern Jukebox for the idea, so fans of that project’s popular videos will probably adore this concert.
$15-$25, 7:30 p.m., Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass. Ave., Boston
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison finished her life last year revered as one of the world’s greatest novelists. This event, including a reading and panel discussion, looks back to her 1970 debut The Bluest Eye, which centers on Pecola, a young black woman in Depression-era Ohio who wishes she was white. The narrative complexity that won Morrison so much acclaim is already well-formed here. The book’s explicit content has sometimes landed it on “banned book” lists, but that just means it’s good.
Saturday, 12 p.m. (discussion at 5 p.m.), Croma at Ágora Cultural Architects, 351 Boylston St., Boston
The mix of the banal and surreal in Patrick Hughes’ paintings recalls René Magritte. Recognizable objects and places take your attention for their dream-like juxtaposition—a set of ordinary household doors stands useless on a hardwood floor overlooking the Himalayas, for instance. But that’s just the content of the paintings. What’s amazing about them is that they’re three dimensional, but not in the way they appear to be. If you like messing with your own head, you’ll love Hughes’ work.
Through April 1, Pellas Gallery, 114 Newbury St., Boston
1939’s The Wizard of Oz has been loved by audiences of all ages, but kids just get it in a way that adults can’t, probably because kids don’t have any context for it. They can’t appreciate how surreal, how trippy this 81-year-old film still looks, or how easy that weirdness goes down, in large part due to the songs. It’s happily deranged and American as apple pie. At these screenings, each audience members gets a goodie bag, and costumes are encouraged.
$13-$18, through Sunday, Regent Theater, 7 Medford St., Arlington
The Brattle’s annual marathon of Warner Bros. cartoons returns with a cornucopia of classic animated shorts in all their 35mm glory. Rerun for years on TV after their cinematic debuts, these characters, cute but kind of edgy, kept becoming more relevant. Popular culture darkened in tone, favoring irony and sarcasm, but it only made Bugs Bunny, always the cool, detached wise-ass, seem like a carrot-chomping prophet. And Daffy? Let’s just say he’s every guy who’s made a social media post in all caps.
$9-$10, through Sunday, Brattle Theater, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge