Five things to do this weekend: April 5-6
The North Cambridge Family Opera’s “Rain Dance” at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday at the Peabody School, 70 Rindge Ave., North Cambridge. Admission is free, but there is a welcomed donation of $10 for adults or $5 for children, with organizers saying “More is appreciated, and less is fine.” Tickets can also be bought online. Seating is general admission.
“Rain Dance,” written by musician Stuart Hancock and librettist Donald Sturrock, is the tale of animals on the African savannah facing a drought, the Machiavellian lion they elect to lead them and their unlikely hero, a brilliant but neurotic and politically apathetic rabbit. (It was inspired by Tish Farrell’s short story, “The Hare Who Would Not Be King” and is family-friendly – in fact, its more than 140 chorus members and soloists, divided in two and dependent on which performance you see, range in age from what producers call “7 to grandma.”)
This is the U.S. premiere production of the show, which is made up of two 40-minute acts with an intermission. Snacks are available for purchase at intermission, and sandwiches will be available at the 5 p.m. Sunday show. Event information is here and you can like the organization on Facebook here.
Multimedia reading from “A Map of Everything: A Novel” by Elizabeth Earley at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free.
Two-time Pushcart Prize nominee Elizabeth Earley, musician Steph Barrak and poet Janae Johnson come together for a reading and performance centered around Earley’s illustrated novel, “A Map of Everything,” in which a family heals after the narrator’s bright and lovely teen sister sustains a traumatic brain injury in a near-fatal car accident – a plot inspired by the author’s own sister’s injury. (Proceeds from the novel, which was crowdfunded on Indiegogo, go to people with brain injury and The Brain Injury Association of America.)
Publisher Jaded Ibis Productions made a compilation of music and spoken word created in response to or inspired by the debut novel, and artists from the compilation have been performing their work live at each stop on Earley’s reading tour.
The novel will be available for sale in full color and black and white editions with 20 original illustrations by artist Christa Donner. A limited-edition CD of the complete music and spoken work compilation will be included while supplies last.
A Tribute to Pete Seeger at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Nameless Coffeehouse at The First Parish Church, 3 Church St., Harvard Square. There is a $10 suggested donation at the door, with proceeds benefiting the Charles River Conservancy.
Environmental champion and legendary seven-decade folk singer Pete Seeger, who died in January, is honored with a night of musical performances by Vance Gilbert, Sol y Canto, Dean Stevens, Ken Perlman, The Greater Boston Intergenerational Chorus conducted by Joanne Hammil, Jon Svetkey & Heather Quay, Chris Thompson and the a cappella group No Flattery.
Reproductive rights activist, actor and playwright Madeline Burrows wrote this hourlong solo performance piece based on a year of immersive research and interviews at anti-abortion conferences, fundraisers and rallies. To goal: to explore how girls develop a sense of self and sexuality despite ongoing political backlash against feminism and reproductive rights.
“Mom Baby God” follows the fictional Jessica Beth Giffords, 15, whom Burrows calls “equal parts Justin Bieber superfan and aspiring pro-life celebrity” as she attends a Students for Life of America conference, absorbs misinformation from an abstinence-only workshop and struggles to contain her crush on a flirtatious Christian boy sporting a purity ring. Over the course of the show, Jessica – and the audience – meets six other characters based on real-life pro-life activists who are brought to life by Burrows.
The show is co-sponsored by the Boston Doula Project, Boston Hassle, Brandeis Women and Gender Studies Department and Harvard International Women’s Rights Collective. It is directed by Emma Weinstein.
CSO Night at the Museum Benefit Gala from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., in the Agassiz neighborhood. Tickets are $30, or $15 for children under 12 at the door.
The nonprofit Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, which is made up of community members and performs several free and affordable concerts each year, is holding this affordable fundraiser with an abundance of perks: Guests will have the run of the Harvard Museum of Natural History; there will be music in the galleries provided by the CSO’s own Cambridge Symphony Chamber Players and The Klezniks, a klezmer band; there will be light refreshments, beer and wine from the cash bar; and a silent auction and raffles are described as holding “lots of juicy and appealing” prizes.