The Weekender: Dictators and kings; paintings and Polaroids; tricks and treats

The Weekender: Dictators and kings; paintings and Polaroids; tricks and treats

And while none of this weekend’s selections is technically a Halloween party (yet), there’s certainly nothing stopping you from dressing up before stepping out — though I’d lose that witch hat if you’re going to the movies, and your inflatable T-Rex suit probably won’t fit in the seats at Symphony Hall, and I’d really, really like you to rethink the Sexy Rudy Giuliani idea.

To make things easier, please find simple, affordable, and frankly brilliant costume ideas supplied with a number of this week’s picks. PRO TIP: The streets will be absolutely lousy with Pennywises, Jokers, and Trumps. (Enough with the scary clowns, people!)

IMAGINARY FIEND: Jojo Rabbit,” the controversy- and curiosity-courting new film from director Taika Waititi arrives this weekend, and is probably best prefaced with its official summary: “Jojo is a lonely German boy who discovers that his single mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend — Adolf Hitler — Jojo must confront his blind nationalism as World War II continues to rage on.” (I did Nazi that coming.) Globe film critic Ty Burr gives it 2½ stars. You know, I’m thinking we’ll go ahead and bump the Halloween costume ideas to the next blurb if that’s OK by you. Great. Now screening.

REGARDING HENRY: Also at the movies this week is “The King,” director David Michôd’s “bracing, highly enjoyable mix of medieval intrigue and epic action” that charts the rise of Shakespeare’s fave Henry (the fifth one) and gets 3½ stars from Sir Burr. Donning the crown is Unstoppable It Boy, Timothée Chalamet, who plays “an emo Henry V, an adolescent brooder who ascends the English throne only to discover — to the shock of many, including himself — that he’s a natural leader.” Also a total fox. The film comes to Netflix on Nov. 1 — but why not take your own star turn at the cinema? With a black blazer, a messy wig, and some coaching from Chloe Fineman of “SNL,” you too can be Chalamet for a day. Now screening.

CREATING A MONSTER: And lastly at the movies this week is “Memory: The Origins of Alien,” a new documentary from Alexandre Philippe that goes deep into Ridley Scott’s landmark second feature film — and then presumably comes bursting out of its chest and kills everyone. Just kidding, you’ll be fine. Feeney gives 2½ stars to the film, which “sees ‘Alien’ as a cultural touchstone, nexus of myths, and confluence of influences: from the horror-fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft … to the painter Francis Bacon.” It’s also an opportunity to pair a curly wig with a jumpsuit and two pairs of barbecue tongs and pretend you’re Sigourney rocking one of those loaders. Screening Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Brattle.

SHAKE, WAIT: ” In an analog world,” writes Mark Feeney, “Polaroid was a unicorn in a dray horse herd. In a digital world, it was … beside the point.” And at the MIT Museum, these influential instant images — 200 of them — are the focus of “The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology,” on view through June 21. He calls the show “techie heaven” — “or it’s techie heaven in a very late-in-the-day steampunk sense. That is, tech is no longer primarily a matter of things; and ‘The Polaroid Project’ is very much a show about thing-ness. That’s no small part of both its excitement and why it feels so distant in technological time.” Artists on view include Robert Rauschenberg, Walker Evans, and Andy Warhol — who is easily cloned with a white wig, a black turtleneck, and a weird vibe. More info here.

Kanishka Raja's
Kanishka Raja’s “I and I (Double Cross): SW3-XY” is part of the “I and I” exhibition at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College.Courtesy of the Artist’s Estate and Juli Raja, © Kanishka Raja.

OUTSIDE THE LINES: “Kanishka Raja, a painter who died last year at 49 from cancer, forcefully and exuberantly made art that dissolved boundaries,” writes Globe visual art contributor Cate McQuaid. “The work now feels urgent, and like a salve.” You can experience his kaleidoscopic colors for yourself at the “deep and dazzling” exhibition, “Kanishka Raja: I and I” on view at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College through Dec. 15. Raja’s paintings, writes McQuaid, are “like a gang of poets playing a sophisticated game of telephone. Every iteration is new and sumptuous, and the line from one to the next is a living thread.” Find more information here. (And while this Bob Ross costume is strangely calming, this Bob Ross painting costume is way more original — sort of.)

DYNAMICS DUO: Calling all dads: Your favorite band Steely Dan is setting up shop at the Orpheum for a five-night residency, with each set noodling its way through an entire album. On Friday, Donald Fagen and friends waste no time getting down to business with a rapturous run through the 1977 masterpiece “Aja” — which somewhat-recent Steely Dan convert (and Globe contributor) Marc Hirsh called the band’s “Steely Daniest” album: “It’s airless, distant, and perfect.” On Saturday, they play Fagen’s cruelly underrated 1982 solo album “The Nightfly.” (The other three shows are next weekend – including a “Greatest Hits” closer next Sunday.) Costume couldn’t be easier: Go as your dad. Oh! Looks like you beat me to it. (Tickets here.)

NEW ADDITION: On Friday and Saturday at Scullers, you can catch sets from the newly configured (and transformed) jazz trio the Bad Plus, as the new lineup of pianist (and jazz vet) Orrin Evans, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King makes its local debut four times over. (Founding member Ethan Iverson left the band in 2017 for reasons.) They also play the Press Room up in Portsmouth, N.H., on Sunday. The band’s new album “Activate Infinity” comes out Friday as well. (You can hear that here.) Will the sight of several dozen Kenny G’s in the audience throw them off their game? Only one way to find out. Grab tickets here.

HAVANARAMA: Inspired by their 2015 travels to Cuba, “A Tuba to Cuba” is the Preservation Hall Jazz Band as you never heard them (especially if you’ve never heard them). On Friday at Berklee Performance Center, the Cuban singer-songwriter Yusa and other special guests will join the New Orleans institution for an evening of music that emerged (on a record and in a film of the same name) from their trip across the Gulf. And if you’re craving a costume with some New Orleans flavor, a heavy dusting of confectioner’s sugar and POOF: Who ordered the Sexy Beignet? Find tickets here.

FINNISH STRONG: The Boston Symphony Orchestra is preparing to kick off its ambitious Leipzig Week in Boston programs (starting Sunday and running through Nov. 2), but in the meantime, on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening, Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki leads a program of Fauré, Messiaen, and Debussy, along with the American premiere of a piano concerto by Dieter Ammann (featuring soloist Andreas Haefliger). Costume-wise, Fauré is pretty easy: He had a bushy white mustache and (this is an important detail) no cellphone. Find tickets here.

LAST DANCE: Globe dance contributor Karen Campbell says Laugh Track, a show that combines dance and comedy, produced by Jessy Zizzo and Eliza Malecki, “promises a hilarious evening’s exploration of life’s absurdities” — one of which is certainly the loss of Green Street Studios, for which this serves as the closing performance at the storied space on Friday and Saturday. According to the producers, “this interdisciplinary show will highlight deep, vital parts of the human experience such as getting weird texts from your grandma, how to treat your waiter with respect, and the audacity of beating a dead horse.” TIP: Do not dress up as a dead horse. Find tickets here.

Kathryn Hahn stars in
Kathryn Hahn stars in “Mrs. Fletcher.” /HBO

OR STAY IN: (Because that candy ain’t gonna eat itself oops I mean hand itself out.) On Sunday you can catch the premiere of “Mrs. Fletcher,” a new HBO limited series (trend alert!) written and produced by Tom Perrotta and based on his 2017 novel. Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert praises this tightly written tale of a mother and son “renegotiating their roles” as a “dual character study in contrasts” with a “deeply humane perspective.” Kathryn Hahn takes the lead, “once again confirming her status as one of TV’s best actresses.” Tune in at 10:30 p.m.

And on Friday, “Dolemite Is My Name” — the Rudy Ray Moore biopic starring a resurgent Eddie Murphy — comes to Netflix. Ty Burr gave it three stars when it made a preliminary run in theaters earlier this month, calling it “one of those movies about the making of a movie where the movie you’re watching is better than the movie that got made.”

And that, spooky Weekenders, is all I’ve got in my plastic pumpkin. (Well, that and like a dozen fun-size Charleston Chews that appear to be from the Reagan era. Trade you?) However you spend your weekend (and whatever you go as) 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.


Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.

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