1) Sometimes history is a serious subject but sometimes it is child’s play. The new exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center—Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s—is designed for two kinds of visitors: anyone who was a child during those times, and anyone who was or is a child, period. The show is chock full of historic toys that shaped the impressionable young minds of people such as today’s Supreme Court justices and geezer rockers. You’ve got your banana-seat wheelie bikes (the forerunners of BMX bikes) along with vintage Barbies and Kens. There are mysterious pre-digital-age artifacts based upon physical rather than electronic play—Mr. Potato Heads, Slinkys, Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Erector Sets, and more—as well as early computer and video games. Moreover, although fans of tiny bicycles are not encouraged to attempt wheelies in the exhibit space, many items can actually be played with. Are you up for a Slinky race? Through May 31. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. (MV)
2) Few bars boast a volcanic interior, but Lava Lounge naturally does. Booths nestled among faux-rock formations beneath red lighting create an atmosphere both warm and private. Forget hole in the wall. A hole in the floor also provides subterranean seating for imbibing spelunkers. The cavernous decor and the house cocktails make this watering hole a favorite along the East Carson drag. There is a dance floor, too, and each day features a different theme, from ‘80s nights to live music. Taco Tuesdays are a popular night for one great reason: 85 cent tacos, both meat and veggie, from 5 p.m. to midnight. This night also sees $4 margaritas from 4 p.m. to midnight, plus their usual weekday happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. The friendly staff, anything but volcanic, awaits your order. Hurry on over as Lava Lounge will be closing on April 30 and re-opening in late May as Monster. 2204 E. Carson St., South Side. (CM)
3) The Boss – Melissa McCarthy stars in this comedy based on a character she created when she was a member of the L.A. troupe The Groundlings. Michelle Darnell is a hard-charging business tycoon who makes money as fast as she does enemies. It turns out some of her financial gains are of the ill-gotten variety and she ends up in prison for insider trading. After her release she’s bankrupt, friendless, and homeless … and moves in with her former personal assistant, a woman Michelle humiliated every chance she got. From such acorns do mighty comedies grow. Or maybe not. But the cast is great; in addition to McCarthy there’s Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Schaal, Kathy Bates, Cecily Strong, and Margo Martindale. If any group of people could make a comedy fly, it would be this crowd. Check Fandango for screens and times.