If you have fond memories of solving crimes with Nancy Drew as a kid, then there's an art exhibit you need to visit this weekend. But if art's not your thing, we've got comedy legends, film festivals and Shakespeare to keep you busy all weekend. You've always wanted to see an all-women version of "The Winter's Tale," right?


Book Illustration: Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys

Through Sept. 12

The Brush Art Gallery

256 Market St., Lowell

Free, 978-459-7819


This exhibition contains 40 original illustrations for the covers of books from the “Nancy Drew” and “Hardy Boys” books, spanning 60 years. These images, with their meddling kids snooping around dark corners, either running from trouble or about to get into it, often upstaged the cheesy, ghostwritten content of the books themselves, inspiring three generations of young readers. 

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Britt Connors

Friday, 8 p.m.

Club Passim

47 Palmer St., Cambridge

$18, 617-492-7679


Singer-songwriter Britt Connors is a native of West Boylston, MA, but the spiritual home of her music is the South—a rootsy sound her bio describes cleverly as “Ya’ll-Ternative.” She may never have the hometown cred, but the clarity and warmth of her voice and the sincerity of her songs more than make up the difference. 


Steve Sweeney

Thursday through Saturday

Laugh Boston

425 Summer St., Boston

$20-$25, 617-725-2844


The relatively new waterfront venue Laugh Boston hosts one of the city’s true comedy vets, Steve Sweeney, this weekend. Sweeney was a member of the Boston comedy circle that included such legends as Steven Wright, Jay Leno and Lenny Clarke. Sweeney’s strong Boston accent is one of his trademarks — he even starred in a short-lived Boston-set sitcom, entitled “Park Street Under”. 


Films at the Gate

Friday through Sunday

Chinatown Park

Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

Free, 617-428-2380


This is the tenth year for Films at the Gate, the annual weekend of outdoor Chinese performances and film screenings in Chinatown. The festival starts officially on Friday, but there’s a kickoff block party tonight, with games and activities and a screening of “9-Man”, a documentary about Chinese volleyball. Check the website above for a full program. 


'The Winter’s Tale'

Through Sunday

Nathan Tufts Park

850 Broadway, Somerville

Free, 815-325-8526


Maiden Phoenix Theater Company presents Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale.” Its radical shifts from tragedy to comedy, eccentric geography, random 16-year time jump and somewhat preposterous ending have baffled generations of scholars. It also contains the Bard’s single greatest stage direction: “Exit, pursued by a bear.” Maiden Phoenix’s version features an all-female cast and highlights themes of family relations and domestic violence.