5 things to do this weekend, including the return of Boston Night Fest and ducklings on parade
It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, but there’s more to do this weekend than just rummaging through the card aisle at CVS. It finally feels like spring has sprung and so have the spring events! We’ve got a lineup of events to enjoy with theatre, orchestra, and if you live in Somerville, a music festival from your very own front stoop.
'Ragtime: The Symphonic Concert'
Friday, May 12-Saturday, May 13
The Boston Pops are coming out of their annual hibernation, and this weekend they’re hitting the ground running with their spring season kickoff. Prepared especially for the Boston Pops by the original creators, this concert version of “Ragtime” will bring a familiar voice to the stage. 24 years after playing Coalhouse Walker Jr. in the original Broadway run, Alton Fitzgerald White will be returning to the role this weekend and again in July for a similar Pops program at Tanglewood.
Based on a novel by E.L. Doctorow, the musical tells the story of three families living in New York at the start of the 20th century and depicts the complex and often violent realities of American life, all through a jazzy, catchy and often boisterous score. This weekend’s performance marks the start of a season that includes music from Disney, Star Wars, and even video games!
Somerville Porchfest 2023
Saturday, May 13
Don’t you love that moment when you’re walking through a neighborhood and you happen upon a pianist or a guitarist practicing through an open window? That’s the spirit of Porchfest, a relatively informal festival in Somerville that’s been running annually since 2011.
There are no roped-off areas with an usher to check your ticket or large temporary stages named after beer and energy drink sponsors at this festival. Attending Porchfest is as easy as walking through Somerville on Saturday, and with dozens of performances scattered throughout the city, the music will be nearly everywhere. From noon until 6 p.m. on Saturday, the performances will happen on various porches, driveways and front yards throughout the city.
Boston Night Market
Saturday, May 13
Even in 2023, it still feels good to come across the phrase “back for the first time since the pandemic.” Boston Night Market only had two iterations before the pandemic began. Now, four years since its last festival, the market returns on Saturday night at Boston City Hall Plaza.
Inspired by nighttime bazaars that are popular in many Asian countries, Boston Night Market’s 2023 lineup includes a long list of foods, performers and vendors. The last event in 2019 brought in over 16,000 people, so attendees should expect a crowded gathering. The festival runs from 4 to 10 pm and costs $12 per person to enter, free for children under 8.
THT Rep presents 'The Marvelous Party'
Friday, May 12- Saturday, May 13
And here’s another story of an arts organization enduring the pandemic despite its infancy. After opening in March 2020, The Brickbox at The Hanover Theatre’s Conservatory in Worcester has been more and more frequently producing new and experimental theater. This weekend, the conservatory is presenting a play that is billed as “equal parts party and performance.” It’s based on the Noël Coward 1938 poem of a similar name.
The show is directed by Livy Scanlon who has earned a reputation for modern takes on classic works. She recently directed a gender-bent Brickbox production of “The Crucible” with women playing both the male and female characters. Just as Coward used to perform the poem with piano accompaniment, this production will also feature music, including songs you might find on a modern party playlist. Like many of the Brickbox’s performances, tickets for this show will be sold on a sliding scale. Audience members can choose to pay between $8 and $150 for any seat.
Duckling Day Parade
Sunday, May 14
Make way! And don’t feed these ducklings your stale bread. It’s Duckling Day in Boston. For those unfamiliar with the event, it’s sort of like Santa Con but family-friendly and duck-themed. This annual celebration of Rovery McCloskey’s beloved children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings” has been a tradition for more than 30 years, which means it’s pretty likely there are people who participated in the parade as children who now bring their own little ducklings.
While the spectacle is free, admission to a Playtime on the Common costs $35 per family. The pre-parade party begins at 10:00 a.m. on the Boston Common at the Parkman Bandstand, where there will be interactive activities, performances and goody bags for children. At 11:45 a.m., Mayor Wu will give the ducklings a send-off, and at noon the Harvard University Marching Band will lead the parade. It will end near the famous “Make Way for Ducklings” statues in the Public Garden. While you’re there, be sure to look out for the blooming tulips throughout the park.