“Graceland” Comes to Bucks, Racism In America, More “Murdoch Mysteries,” Mardi Gras, “Mrs. Maisel,” “Better Things,” Even Better: Fastnacht

From "Graceland" in Newtown, to Mardi Gras in Washington Crossing, and so much more, including fasnachts, the weekend is here and it's hot- despite the snow and ice.

Friday, February 25: Going Out 8pm to 10pm Stop reading right now and buy tickets. Yes, there was snow. Then it warmed up. Then it froze again. Even if there aren’t tickets left, if you live in Newtown, walk over to the Newtown Theater and see if there are empty seats because, yikes, snow, ice. Because the people who remember when the “Graceland” album came out – 1986 – might be people who are afraid to drive in this weather. For the young: someone named “Paul Simon” – surely you’ve heard of him? – went to Africa and brought back this sound. It was … world music. People went nuts. Paul Simon (yes, he’s still alive) won’t be at the Newtown Theater. But Bakithi Kumalo (first name Ba Gi Ti, last name just like it’s spelled), who went on tour with Simon, will be. Kumalo plays a four-string fretless (yes, you read that right, even though it looks like it has frets) U bass guitar made out swamp ash. His “Graceland Experience” will perform the classic “Graceland” album, with vocalists, drums, horns, saxophones, the whole deal. I don’t know who will sing “You Can Call Me Al,” but wait until you hear Kumalo on the bass. And try to sit still. Hurry, hurry, hurry because they were selling out!!! $35, The Newtown Theater, 120 North State Street, Newtown.

Friday, February 25: If you stay home you can catch up on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” staring Rachel Broshahan. Discuss among yourselves the issue of non-Jewish actresses playing Jewish characters in starring roles, see Tracy Ullman as Betty Friedan in “Mrs. America,” Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in “RBG,” Rachel McAdams as an Orthodox Jewish woman in the movie “Disobedience” and many more. “Mrs. Maisel,” which really is funny, and marvelous, with lots of hats, is on Amazon Prime and began last week. Two episodes will drop every week until the finale on March 11. If you haven’t watched it before, get ready for the bad news: there is only one more season. The good news? You can go back and stream Seasons One, Two and Three.

Saturday, February 26: 5 pm “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America.” Lambertville’s Human Rights Council along with Only Together We Will End Racism. A documentary film, followed by a discussion led by Bruce Harris. The film is directed by Emily and Sarah Kunstler, daughters of the lawyer William Kunstler. Acme Screening Room, 25 Union Street, Lambertsville, NJ.

Saturday Night, February 26: Are you a stay-at-home? Then you should appreciate that tonight is the start of Season 15 of “Murdoch Mysteries” on the Ovation Channel. This is a 24-episode season, folks. Does everyone know where to find the Ovation Channel? Otherwise, AcornTV on February 28th, running every Monday night until August 8. Don’t say the Bucks County Beacon doesn’t give good value. Full episode guide and wiki here.

Sunday, February 27: noon to 6 pm. Did it get warm enough to melt the snow and ice? If so, give this a try. Mardi Gras. We know Mardi means “Tuesday” and this is “Dimanche” but close enough since we’re not in New Orleans, eh? (Also, you might buy some Fasnachts on your way there.) At the Crossing Vineyards & Winery you are invited to “Pass a good time” as they say in NOLA with live jazz, beads and king cake cupcakes. No charge! They are also serving what they call a “CAT-5,” their version of New Orleans’ famous “Hurricane.” (Hurricane recipe: lots of rum, lots of fruit juices, sweet syrup like grenadine, big squeeze of lime, top with fruit.) Laissez le bon temps rouler! But don’t roulez too much on your way down the hill, if it gets icy. Information (215) 493-6500 1853 Wrightstown Road, Washington Crossing.
 

Sunday, February 27: Stay home. I’m not even going to tell you what to watch on TV. How about reading Kelly Weill’s “Off the Edge: Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything,” published last week. It will help explain why Dr. Fauci has a hard time explaining how medical information changes, why some people don’t understand the difference between climate and weather, and why it may be impossible to argue facts with people who do not understand reason.

Better Things,” Pamela Adlon, right

However, February 28, Monday night, is the premier of the last season of “Better Things” on FX and you’d better listen up good. If you have not paid attention before, I give good advice about popular culture. “Better Things” is the best television show, ever, about family life – if you don’t mind some rough words and straight talk about sex and lady things. Adlon plays Sam, a mid-career actress with three daughters and a mother who lives next door.  Adlon wrote, produced and directed a lot of these episodes. The show has so many devoted fans you will see surprising guest stars, like Sharon Stone, Lenny Kravitz, David Duchovny, Molly Shannon, or Griffin Dunne in tiny roles, or, in a recurring role, Matthew Broderick as Sam’s therapist. This is not slapstick comedy. Here are character studies that turn family arguments about who was supposed to set the table, do the laundry, drive the car, find the loose pet into comedrama, tears and laughter. Things don’t always work out. People, including grownups, slam doors. It is wonderful. Monday night. Season five. “Better Things.”

And don’t forget to grab all the Fasnachts you can on Tuesday.

Linda Lee

Linda Lee

A former editor and reporter at The New York Times, Linda Lee has written seven books, and started a magazine about real estate and design in Miami. While her interest lies in Bucks County, her family lives near Harrisburg. She has a Shih Tzu named Yolo.

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