Here’s what to do in Boston this weekend
Irish Film Festival, Boston
55 Davis Sq., Somerville
This festival showcases some of the best filmmaking coming out of the Emerald Ile, with comedy, drama, shorts, documentaries and even a kids’ program, displaying the highly diverse voices and faces of modern Irish identity. There will be several in-person appearances by directors and actors, including charmingly dyspeptic comedian/actor Dylan Moran, featured in the short film “Breakfast Wine”.
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
Sunday, 7 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy St., Cambridge
The spiritually searching hero of this 2013 film spends time on a commune in Estonia, goes Thoreau in the woods of Finland, and starts a black metal band in Norway. Why? This isn’t one of those movies that tells—it just shows. If that still isn’t enough for you, the directors will appear at this screening for a Q and A.
Thursday, 8 p.m.
17 Holland St., Somerville
$20, 21+, 800-745-3000
Comedian Brody Stevens is tall, with a slightly demented gaze, and tends to shout his jokes, stalking across the stage like a motivational speaker who’s gone off message. He’s a friend of Zach Galifianakis, and he has a similar sense of the absurd and a fondness for deconstructing standup cliches. His Comedy Central series “Brody Stevens: Enjoy It” debuted in December.
Friday, 8 p.m.
Old South Church
645 Boylston St., Boston
What happens when you mix Elvis Presley with the bassoon? We sure don’t know, but you’ll find out if you attend this concert by Symphony Nova. The program also includes “La Revue de Cuisine Suite”, a piece by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu about love affairs between pieces of silverware. More classical concerts should be this weird.
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
246 Tremont St., Boston
Definitely one of the world’s premier ukulele virtuosos, Hawaiian native Jake Shimabukuro is a true wizard of the humble four-stringed instrument, wresting every kind of sound from pseudo-metal shredding to far-out jazz to classic Hawaiian luau fare from its tiny frame. See him play one song and you’ll never dare call it a novelty instrument again.
A Song of Passing Years
Saturday and Sunday
First Church in Boston/Goethe-Institute, Boston
170 Beacon St., Boston/66 Marlborough St., Boston
Rock and pop musicians usually produce their best music when young, but classical composers, along with virtually every other kind of artist, usually produce their best work in their twilight years, as this program from Chameleon Arts Ensemble, with late works by Brahms, Ravel, Ives, Birtwistle and Enescu, attests. Saturday’s show takes place at First Church, Boston; Sunday’s at Goethe-Institut.
Seeing Glacial Time: Climate Change in the Arctic
Tufts University Art Gallery
40R Talbot Ave., Medford
Art and science come together in this multimedia exhibition, featuring eight artists attempting to communicate something of the life of glaciers, the movements of which are all too subtle to notice in real time—at least they were until recently, when they began melting at disturbing rates. The artists employ a variety of approaches, from documentary to purely aesthetic points of view.
Thursday through April 12
263 Putnam Ave., Cambridge
More than 30 artists from across our great Commonwealth are featured in this exhibition. The radically different approaches, subjects and media employed by these artists attests to the cultural diversity of the state, something the juror, Dina Deitch, knows well, having spent time as a curator at Williams College, the deCordova Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Gasson Hall, Boston College
140 Comm. Ave., Chestnut Hill
This author, a regular contributor to “The New Yorker”, will discuss his latest book, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America”, in which he charts a perceived decline in American solidarity from many points of view. “Over the years,” he writes, “America had become more like Walmart. It has gotten cheap.” Say it ain’t so, George!
Thursday through April 12
Salem Theater Company
90 Lafayette St., Salem
Salem Theater Company presents this French comedy by Gerald Sibleyras, translated to English by Tom Stoppard. It’s about three World War I vets who are beginning to get terribly bored in their retirement home. They hatch a plan to escape to Indochina, or at least somewhere off campus. As for whether they do or not, well, you’ll just have to see.
SLAM Boston: Diverse Voices in Theatre
Tuesday and Wednesday
Boston Playwrights’ Theater
949 Comm. Ave., Boston
This two-night event is like a poetry slam, but with ten minute plays instead of poetry. The eight competing teams will perform the same pieces both nights, but not in the same order. The judges will be chosen from the audience, and the rest of the audience’s response will count too, so if you go, don’t be passive!
Friday through April 6
400 Harvard St., Cambridge
The latest production from the Jose Mateo Ballet Theater finds its director and choreographer reaching far into his back catalogue for 1992’s “Isle of the Dead”, accompanying it with two works from 2012: “Circles” and “Risk of Repetition”. Taken together, the works present a cyclical notion of life, with music from Phillip Glass, Rachmaninov and Schnittke.
Thursday, 9 p.m.
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$10-$12, 18+, 800-745-3000
From their “the” name down to their classicist 60’s Brit-rock sound and look, Irish band the Strypes give the impression of having shown up a decade late for the early 00’s garage revival. Well no matter, boys, it’s about time to get that party started again anyway—every now and then someone needs to remind the world what real rock music sounds like.
Monday, 6:30 p.m.
Paradise Rock Club
967 Comm. Ave., Allston
$25, 18+, 800-745-3000
Gary Numan was one of the first pop artists to employ almost exclusively electronic sounds—every sound but the drums on his best-known track, the 1979 hit “Cars”, was created via synthesizer. Not only his way of making music but his major themes as an artist, especially the alienation of a technologically oversaturated culture, seem more relevant than ever.
Born Without Bones
Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
T.T. the Bear’s Place
10 Brookline St., Cambridge
$9, 18+, 617-492-2327
This local band’s latest album, “Baby”, opens with a plaintive, muttered acoustic faux-folk tune. Oh great, you think, another band trying to sound “mature” by copping to some “Llewyn Davis” vibe. But it’s actually a fake-out—these guys are really a killer power pop/emo band. Right on—phony maturity’s for bores. Who needs it when you’ve distorted guitars, impassioned vocals and big choruses?