Big Plans

5 things to do in Boston this weekend

2020 Best Picture
Oscar nominees

With a little more than a week until the 2020 Academy Awards, you might be rushing to catch up on all of the best picture nominees much like the Academy was scrambling to find a host last year. Luckily, two theater chains are making it easy to catch up on seven of the nine films vying for the Academy’s top prize. (Netflix’s pair of nominees, “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story,” are available only through the streaming service.) Local AMC theaters are hosting a two-weekend Best Picture Showcase, with a three-movie marathon of “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” and “Little Women” on Saturday, Feb. 1 for $35, and a four-movie slate of “Jojo Rabbit,” “Once Upon A Time . . . in Hollywood,” “Parasite,” and “1917” on Saturday, Feb. 8, also for $35. For a bit more flexibility and value, Regal Cinemas is offering a $35 Best Picture Film Festival Pass, which lets you see all seven movies whenever you want and as many times as you want between Jan. 31 and Feb. 9. (Friday, Jan. 31 through Sunday, Feb. 9 at various times and locations; $35; films rated PG, PG-13, and R)

Grace Potter

Even if you haven’t listened to Vermont singer-songwriter Grace Potter’s music before, there’s a good chance you’ve seen her somewhere. Between numerous appearances on TV shows, singing the national anthem before the Patriots home opener in 2015, and joining Conan O’Brien and Michelle Obama visiting US troops stationed overseas, Potter (above) has been everywhere. The guitarist and former Nocturnals frontwoman will visit House of Blues Friday in support of her newest album, October 2019’s “Daylight.” (Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $41-$55; all ages)

Roomful of Blues

For more than half a century, Providence collective Roomful of Blues has brought its swing revival sound across America, thanks to a rotating group of some of the best jazz and blues players of the last 50 years. Currently an eight-piece outfit, the group will play an intimate set at City Winery this Friday. (Friday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.; City Winery, Boston; $25-$35; all ages)

‘They Live’


While John Carpenter has come to be regarded as one of the great genre filmmakers of his era and a favorite among cult film fans, a number of his movies didn’t receive their due until years after being released. One example is the sci-fi/action thriller “They Live,” in which drifter John Nada (Roddy Piper) discovers that aliens disguised as humans are slowly gaining control of the planet through subliminal propaganda. Negatively reviewed upon its 1988 release, “They Live” has remained hugely influential more than three decades later — most notably through street art like Shepard Fairey’s “Obey Giant” and ubiquitous streetwear brand Supreme, but also thanks to one unforgettable line about kicking “butt” and chewing bubble gum. (Friday, Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m.; Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline; $14; rated R)

‘High School Quiz Show’

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If you’ve still got trivia fever after watching Ken Jennings take home $1 million on “Jeopardy: The Greatest Of All Time” earlier this month, keep that geek streak alive and check out a free live taping of “High School Quiz Show,” the WGBH quiz competition that pits local high schools against each other in a battle of wits. Join host Billy Costa during episode tapings on Saturday or Sunday and get a chance to see how a TV show gets made, all while supporting some smart kids as they compete for intellectual glory. (Saturday, Feb. 1 and Sunday, Feb. 2 from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.; WGBH Studios, Boston; free; ages 7 and up)


Want more ways to get out of your home and not be bored in the city this weekend? Check out five additional things to do from now through Sunday at