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12 fun things to do in Boston over Labor Day weekend

King Richard’s Faire is back!
Knights
See the knights in action. Photo by Tim Rice

EXHIBITS

BUILDing Forward

You simply have to look around to see the construction boom going on, but what’s less known are the many recent innovations in designing and building. Boston Society of Architects present these innovations in this interactive exhibition, showing how technology and an evolving creative process create buildings that are “socially and physically connected, sustainable, resilient and beautiful.”

Through Oct. 5, BSA Space, 290 Congress St., Boston, free, architects.org/bsaspace

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World in a Drop: Photographic Explorations of Microbial Life

In this photo/video show straddling the line between art and science, Harvard Museum of Natural History presents the work of Scott Chimileski and Roberto Kolter, who use sophisticated technology to capture the microscopic drama that takes place every day right under our noses—sometimes literally. It’s a strange, eerie world, as beautiful as abstract art and foreign as another planet. 

Through Jan. 7, Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge, $10-$12, hmnh.harvard.edu

MUSIC

Harborwalk Sounds: Mayah Dyson

Singer-songwriter (as well as actress, dancer and model) Mayah Dyson closes this summer’s Harborwalk Sounds series. Her single “Don’t Cry” finds her smoldering amidst a hypnotic, almost shoegaze guitar riff, as she counsels an ex on how to move on. The track’s coolly defensive tone doesn’t demand vocal gymnastics; instead, Dyson’s delivery impresses with its mix of subtle, conflicting emotions.

Aug. 31, 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston, free, icaboston.com

Matty B.

Georgia native Matty B. started appearing on YouTube in 2010, at the age of 7—appropriately, his first video was a cover of Justin Bieber, whom he resembles both in prepubescent social media fame and prodigious pop talent. There’s no telling if he’ll survive the hazardous transition from viral novelty to genuine pop phenom, but he’s definitely got the skills to make the leap.

Sept.1, 6 p.m., Royale, 279 Tremont St., Boston, $25-$90, all ages, boweryboston.com

THEATER

The Weird

This play from Off the Grid Theater Company is the combined work of five local playwrights: Kirsten Greenidge, Obehi Janice, Lila Rose Kaplan and John Kuntz. Not much of the plot has been revealed ahead of time, except that it involves witchcraft and depicts “a world of magic that communes with the contentious time our nation is in.”

Sept. 1-16, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston, $20-$30, bostontheatrescene.com

Gypsy

Lyric Stage presents this 1959 musical inspired by the memoirs of burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee. Considered a masterpiece of its form, “Gypsy” has seen consistent revivals since its debut and continues to earn high praise for the complexity of its characters, particularly the ruthless but comprehensible Rose, the archetypical “stage mother," pushing her kids toward the American Dream.

Sept. 1-Oct. 8, 140 Clarendon St., Boston, $38-$77, lyricstage.com

ART

Reconfigure

“Nothing exists but the figure,” the artist Toulouse-Lautrec once said, according to one of his biographers, going on to declare landscape painters “brute artists.” We can assume them that he’d have approved of this show, which is all about the figure and what you could call its revelation by obscuration, featuring painters Ariel Basson Freiberg and Lavaughan Jenkins.

Sept. 1-Oct. 1, Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave., Boston, free, abigailogilvy.com

COMEDY

Marina Franklin and Rick Shapiro

Marina Franklin is a New York-based comic who’s performed for Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien. Her self-deprecating persona is an old standby, but her deadpan directness lends it a refreshing bite. She shares the bill with veteran LA comic Rick Shapiro, whose act calls to mind the title of Charles Bukowski’s long-running alt-weekly column: “Notes of a Dirty Old Man."

Sept. 1, 8 p.m., Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston, $29, laughboston.com

ANIMALS

The Amazing Acro-Cats

If you’re like most cat owners, you probably can’t get your cat to do much of anything, including be nice to you, not destroy your furniture, and not vomit. Chicago-based cat trainer Samantha Martin, however, has trained her cats to jump through hoops, climb ropes and even play in a rock band, all in this weird, adorable, one-of-a-kind travelling show.

Sept. 2-4, Regent Theater, 7 Medford St., Arlington, $21-$24, regenttheatre.com

FESTIVALS

King Richard’s Faire

New England’s premiere Renaissance Fair returns for another season of fake-medieval joviality. Special weekend events this year include a game called Troll Ball, the self-explanatory Cleavage Contest, a chance to renew your wedding vows King Richard-style, a “Game of Thrones” trivia and costume contest (naturally) and, balancing out the cleavage, a “Highland Hunks” male beauty contest in which all contestants must wear kilts.

Sept. 2-Oct. 22, King Richard’s Fairgrounds, 235 Main St., Carver, $32, kingrichardfaire.net

MOVIES

Night of the Vampire

Halloween comes early to the Harvard Film Archive with this diverse vampire movie marathon, featuring the early “Dracula’s Daughter” (1936), “Horror of Dracula” (1958) starring that great interpreter of the Count, Christopher Lee, Tony Scott’s “The Hunger” (1983) featuring David Bowie, Kathryn Bigelow’s “Near Dark” (1987), “Nadja” (1995), “Trouble Every Day” (2001) and the K-horror entry “Thirst” (2009) by Park Chan-Wook.

Sept. 2, 7 p.m., Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Boston, $12, hcl.harvard.edu/hfa

FAMILY FUN

Art at the Park

There’s amusement for all ages on the Lawn on D this Saturday, with glass-blowing class from Diablo Glass, jugglers the Airborne Comedians, soap bubble master Jim Dichter, magician Evan Northrup, an unique percussion creation called the Beat Bucket, chalk art, face painting, Mega Stump trivia, live mural painting by Percy Fortini-Wright and music from Gretchen and the Pickpockets, Sam Robbins and LOVE LOVE.

Sept. 2, noon-11 p.m., Lawn on D, 420 D. St., Boston, free, signatureboston.com/lawn-on-d/

 
 
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