Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See Milva DiDomizio and Courtney Hollands' picks for the top things to do around the Hub this weekend. Take a peek, then get out!
'The Comic Vision of Elaine May': Remember Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty in "Ishtar"? The movie may have been a mammoth box office flop (and put a serious damper on its director's career), but Elaine May's films live on as testimony to her uncompromising originality. She visits Boston for this complete retrospective of the movies she directed, which include the aforementioned 1987 flick, and three from the 1970s: "The Heartbreak Kid," "A New Leaf," and "Mikey and Nicky." May will be at the 7 p.m. screenings on Friday and Saturday. Other screenings: 7 and 9 p.m. Sunday. $7-$12. Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-495-4700, hcl.harvard.edu/hfa
'Vengeance is the Lord's': The family issues that get worked on at the holiday dinner table can be as tough as an overcooked Thanksgiving turkey. In this Bob Glaudini show, the Horvath clan deals with its particularly difficult problem at a series of gatherings. The drama, receiving its world premiere in a production by the Huntington Theatre Company, looks at how a mother and father deal with their daughter's murderer coming up for parole — one with the hope of forgiveness, the other with a desire for retribution. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. (through Dec. 12). $25-$89. Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston. 617-266-0800, huntingtontheatre.org
'Sound and Light': Saxophonist /singer/flutist/actor Stan Strickland has been a constant in the Boston arts scene for so long that sometimes we take him for granted. Not for long, though. He's always popping up to remind us how lucky we are to have him. He's performed the world over, opened for greats including Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, toured with the Village People, and appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops. He demonstrates his artistry and versatility once again in this show, a unique pairing with performance painter Nancy Ostrovsky. She paints while he plays. 7:30 p.m. $15, $13 seniors and students. Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second St., Cambridge. 617-577-1400, cmacusa.org
Boston Bhangra After Party: This fête tops off a day of dancing — the Boston Bhangra Competition — at the Orpheum and is being billed as "the biggest South Asian event in the Northeast." Show off your moves as DJs Dark MC, Jaz Dhami, Harvey, and others spin music on the Middle East's two floors. 10 p.m. Tickets: $20. Middle East. 617-864-3278, bostonbhangra.com/bbc
Porch Party Mamas: You never know what's going to come from having a porch party, especially when the attendees are a bunch of dynamic lady musicians with impressive resumes (for example — opening acts for Willie Nelson, degrees in classical piano and guitar, Lilith Fair finalist). The five women to whom we refer had so much fun jamming that they started this band. Now we all get to hear their fun-loving music, which they describe as urban folk, country, and blues. Kick back and enjoy their sweet harmonies, fiery fiddle, rocking accordion, and guitar, percussion, and bass. 7 p.m. $7, $3 under 18. Arlington Center for the Arts, 41 Forest St., Arlington. porchpartymamas.com
Comics Come Home: Boston's thriving comedy scene has launched a lot of careers. Some have moved on to pursue fame and fortune in television, movies, and beyond. What better reason for their return than Cam Neely's annual fundraiser? This year's edition features guest host Denis Leary, along with comedians Lenny Clarke, Adam Ferrara, Jim Norton, Joe Yannetty, Pete Correale, and Thomas Dale. Proceeds benefit the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. 7:30 p.m. $42-$157. Agganis Arena, 925 Comm. Ave., Boston. 800-745-3000, agganisarena.com
Somerville News Writers Festival: This year's fest is headlined by the indefatigable Malachy McCourt, whose accomplishments include writing a play with older brother Frank; running as a 2006 Green Party candidate in New York (he lost to Eliot Spitzer); acting in movies, soaps, and Broadway; and authoring several books including the bestselling memoir "A Monk Swimming." Also participating are Boston poet laureate Sam Cornish, Jennifer Haigh, Steve Almond, Fred Marchant, and others. Cooper DeVille provides music. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free. Readings at 7 p.m. Free, evening event $10. Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. somervillenewswritersfestival.com
Mary Black: We're excited about this Irish vocalist's upcoming show, and for good reason. She hasn't done a concert in this neck of the woods in more than three years. We expect her performance will display the range and artistry she's developed over a quarter century of successfully merging her traditional Irish folk roots with contemporary influences. In 2008, she celebrated the silver anniversary of her first solo album with the compilation "25 Years/25 Songs," a release that aptly demonstrates the breadth of her pure, expressive voice. 8 p.m. $30-$42. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Mass. Ave., Boston. 617-876-4275, worldmusic.org
Bent Wit Cabaret: This bawdy variety show — hosted by UnAmerika's Sweetheart Karin Webb and Mary Dolan — concludes its year-long residency at Oberon Sunday with tap-dancing bananas, puppetry, music from Elephant Tango Ensemble, and a sneak preview of "The Slutcracker" (coming soon to Somerville Theatre). Get your freak on. 8 p.m. Tickets: $10-$35. 18+. Oberon, 617-496-8004, cluboberon.com
Kings of Leon: This band sure has a work ethic. After wrapping up a promotional tour for breakthrough album "Only By the Night" one year ago, the four Followill boys took just a few months off before heading back to the studio. The result is the rockers' fifth album, "Come Around Sundown." They're on the road again in support of the new record, no doubt hoping to equal or exceed the success of their last outing — more than six million sold and four Grammy Awards. 7:30 p.m. $45, $59.50. TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston. 800-745-3000, livenation.com
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.