If you're depressed by how you almost had to turn the heat back on in June (we know none of you actually did it, because this is Boston), here are a few reasons to get out of the house this weekend.
American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood
Saturday through September 7
Peabody Essex Museum
161 Essex St., Salem
This is the first major exhibition of the work of Thomas Hart Benton in over a quarter century. It focuses on the painter’s influence from cinema — the birth and ascendance of which paralleled his own lifespan — and how he crafted a narrative style both modern and American while remaining indebted to the old European tradition.
Cambridge Arts River Festival
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Now in its 35th year, this outdoor festival kicks off the Boston summer in grand fashion, attracting thousands to its diverse array of art displays, live music, dance, poetry, theater and other performances, plus dozens of crafts and food vendors, family-friendly activities, beer gardens and other attractions, like People’s Sculpture Racing — an “old Cambridge tradition,” according to the Festival’s web page.
'The Wild Party'
Thursday through Sunday
Boston Conservatory Theater
31 Hemenway St., Boston
Boston Conservatory presents this musical tale of the jazz age, inspired by a poem by Joseph Moncure March. The plot: vaudeville chorus girl Queenie throws a seriously wild party with her boyfriend, which progresses from raucous to dangerous as the night wears on. As the proverb goes, it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye — or worse…
Sunday, 7 p.m.
425 Summer St., Boston
You may have seen Emily Heller on “Conan,” “Chelsea Lately” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Her warm but sardonic style tackles the political and personal, whether it’s hip-hop misogyny, the unpopularity of feminism, the loneliness of being single or the frustrations of her own rebellious brain, which she compares to “a radio DJ who does not take requests.”
Monday, 7 p.m.
Coolidge Corner Theater
290 Harvard St., Brookline
This 1983 film captures the early days of hip hop with a choice soundtrack including Grandmaster Flash, Busy Bee Starski, the Cold Crush Brothers and other pioneers of the form appearing as themselves. The plot concerns Zoro, a graffiti artist who wins a commission from a wealthy art patron to do a painting for a rapper’s convention.