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What to do this weekend

Posted by Courtney Hollands  April 29, 2010 10:00 AM

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Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See June Wulff and Courtney Hollands's picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend. Take a peek, then get out:

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WEEKEND

'The Great American Trailer Park Musical': Armadillo Acres is up in arms when Pippi, a stripper on the run, settles in at the trailer park and sets her sights on Jeannie's toll-collector husband. Betty, Lin, and Pickles band together to save their pal's marriage. It's not Shakespeare — in case you were wondering. This SpeakEasy Stage Company production stars Leigh Barrett, Mary Callanan, Kerry A. Dowling, and Broadway's David Benoit. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. $51, $54; $46, $49 students and seniors; $30 gallery seats; pay-what-you-can performance May 5 at 7:30 p.m. ($14 minimum). Stanford Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston. 617-933-8600. www.speakeasystage.com

FRIDAY

Bettye LaVette:
At the ripe old age of 16, LaVette recorded her first single, "My Man--He's a Loving Man." That was 1962, and the song became a Top 10 R&B hit later covered by Tina Turner. In 1965, LaVette's theme song, "Let Me Down Easy," was released — it didn't take long to go from love to let down. Five decades later, the Grammy-nominated and W. C. Handy Award-winning soul songstress is still singing up a storm and celebrating her upcoming studio album, "Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook." 8 p.m. $28. Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville. 617-876-4275. www.worldmusic.org

TraniWreck: GOLD: We foresee a lot of gold lamé at this Truth Serum shindig. MC Heywood Wakefield and friends — including Johnny Blazes, Becca D'Bus, Frieda Fries, and more — present burlesque, comedy, even aerial arts. And, be sure to stay for the post-spectacle dance party: DJs Chris Ewen and Justincredible will man the turntables. 18+. 10:30 p.m. April 30. $20-$35. Oberon. 617-496-8004. www.truthserum.org

SATURDAY

Kentucky Derby Event: Time to dig out your candy-colored oversized hats. Order a Mint Julep with Maker's Mark for $7, or choose from several other bourbons to round out your drink, including Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, Bulleit, and more (prices range from $7-$13, depending on the bourbon). There will also be free appetizers until racetime. We're counting on you, Paddy O'Prado! 5 p.m. May 1. No cover. Redbones. 617-628-2200. www.redbones.com

White Rabbits: This Brooklyn sextet — who played the second day at Coachella alongside Old Crow Medicine Show and the Tokyo Police Club — brings its brand of handclapping, drum slapping rock to the Paradise Saturday night. Spoon’s Britt Daniel produced the band’s 2009 sophomore album “It’s Frightening.” Listen for the taut, thumping single “Percussion Gun” — driven, as you might expect, by the White Rabbits' two drummers. It could get rowdy and you’ll be humming it and beating out the polyrhythms on your desk for days. Trust us. Here We Go Magic opens. 18+. 8 p.m. $15. Paradise, 967 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. 617-562-8800. www.livenation.com

'Computer Beach Party': It all started in 1991 when Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett found the training video "Inside and Outside Custodial Duties" at a Wisconsin McDonald's. The hunt for strange and stupid videos continues under the name Found Footage Festival and Saturday's "wonderfully awful" selection (their review, not ours) is "Computer Beach Party." Live comedy bits and interactive trivia will accompany this 1985 sex comedy about a couple of computer geeks who try to stop a developer from turning their beach into a tourist attraction. The original VHS copy was found in an Ohio thrift store. 11:55 p.m. $10. Recommended for ages 16 and older. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 617-734-2500. www.coolidge.org

May Day at Springstep: We wish you a happy Protomagia — that's Greek for May Day, the focus for Saturday's "Protomagia: Greek Songs of Spring & Summer." This evening of Greek dance and music features rare, handmade string, wind, and percussion instruments played by Panayotis League and his band, Galaxavra. Dancing duties will be handled by the Metropolis of Boston Youth Dance Group and you. Greek food and wine will be available for purchase. 8 p.m. $10-$22, $25 at the door; $10 under 17 (in advance). Springstep, 98 George P. Hassett Dr., Medford. 781-395-0402. www.springstep.org

FRIDAY & SUNDAY

'La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein': Jacques Offenbach operettas come equipped with sparkling melodies, sharp social satire, highly theatrical set pieces, and comic verve. The satire victims of this Opera Boston show are militarism and those darn obsessions of the ruling class. When the operetta premiered in 1867 to celebrate the Exposition Universelle in Paris, visiting diplomats and dignitaries found themselves the targets of the composer's satirical pokes. Stephanie Blythe makes her Boston stage debut in the title role. The opera will be sung in French with spoken dialogue in English. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Sunday (Through May 4; free talks one hour before curtain). $29-$132. Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont St., Boston. 800-233-3123. www.telecharge.com

SATURDAY & SUNDAY

Somerville Open Studios: It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a trolley to cover the city of Somerville where more than 350 artists participate in this weekend-long event. Free rides run every 12-15 minutes to whisk you around to studio spaces and the Somerville Museum for the Artist's Choice exhibit. Mother's Day is coming, so buy that special lady a painting, piece of sculpture or pottery, a lovely bauble, or other handcrafted gem. Noon-6 p.m. both days. Free. Maps available on Elm Street in Porter Square (near bus stop), Davis Square (near T), and other locations. Somerville. 617-398-0346. www.somervilleopenstudios.org

Boston Sailing Center Open House: Ahoy mates of all abilities. Layer up and sail along Boston's historic waterfront with your experienced skipper aboard a sailboat from 24-40 feet long. Trips are on a first-come-first-sail-basis. 1-5 p.m. Free. Boston Sailing Center, Lewis Wharf, off Atlantic Avenue, Boston. 617-227-4198. www.bostonsailingcenter.com

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Contributors

Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.

Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.

Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.

Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.

Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.

Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.

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