Five things to do this weekend: Dec. 29-30
There’s no question things are quiet out there as revelers ready for New Year’s Eve, which is why this list includes one repeat and another thing to “do” that you can do while doing something else:
Go on Cheese Patrol. Whatever you’re doing starting at noon Saturday, would it go better with some cheese? Maybe some Neil Diamond, Abba, John Denver, Donny and Marie Osmond, Lionel Richie or Herman’s Hermits? (Even, say, Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.”) Yeah, that kind of cheese – what WMBR-FM personalities Lisa and Sue explain as “all the songs that people vociferously hate but secretly know all the words to … the songs we grew up with; overorchestrated. overwrought, oversynthed, over the top.” This has been a tradition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s radio station since 1990, varying over the years from two hours to 24, but this year runs a tidy 12, from noon to midnight at 88.1 FM.
Catch “Arabian Nights” in its final shows at the Central Square Theater. “One Thousand and One Nights,” the collection of folk tales from the Middle East and Asia, is brought to life through theater and puppetry in this all-ages adaptation by Dominic Cooke that this year won Independent Reviewers of New England awards for best ensemble, best puppetry, best costumes and best director for Daniel Gidron. Put on by the resident Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater, the show plays up suspense, romance and humor and, in the words of The Boston Globe, “transports us to another world that reminds us of the power of storytelling.” This is the second-to-last weekend; shows are at 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday at 450 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Tickets are $15 to $50 depending on seat location and showtime and are available online.
Camp out at Chillith Fair No. 2. The first Chillith Fair, celebrating “performers who identify with or were once assigned as the female gender,” was held just two months ago – planned for The Whitehaus in Jamaica Plain but winding up at the Smokey Bear Cave in Allston – but it filled up fast with bands and fans and called for an equally fast follow-up. There are 16 performers scheduled for this sequel, some local (including Turtlecat Symphony, Bell & the Bees and others) and others from as far away as New York City (Shira E, Casey Rocheteau and others), Chicago (Julie Byrne) and Quebec (Gmackrr and Andrea-Jane Cornell). The original idea was to hold 15-minute sets, but Quebec is a long way to come for a 15-minute set, so be prepared for anything. It all takes place for $10 at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Inman Square.
Say goodbye to the Midriff Records residency at Radio. The small indie/DIY record label out of Boston and New York has been hosting monthly events at Radio for a year (including a notable Halloween show that started with Pavement covers and ended with a Ouija marathon), and organizers have made the last one a big one. The bands: Eldridge Rodriguez, Guillermo Sexo, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling and No Love, all for $8 starting at 9 p.m. at Radio, 379 Somerville Ave., Union Square.
Squeeze the little ones into “Hansel and Gretel.” This energetic re-telling of the classic Brothers Grimm tale is sold out through New Year’s – unless you squeeze into the few seats left at the 11 a.m. Sunday show at the ART’s Loeb Ex theater. It’s performed by graduate students from the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training with the aid of original masks, puppets and songs, and the actors turn to the audience (drafted upon entering the theater to be members of “Hansel and Gretel’s Ultra Adventure Club”) to help the kids choose the right path back home. Tickets are $15 at the 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square, theater. (If you can’t get in Sunday, it runs through Jan. 6.)