Five things to do this weekend: Jan. 31-Feb. 1
Seventh annual “Some Like it Hot Chili Cook-off” from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday on Brattle Plaza, Harvard Square. Free.
This Super Bowl precursor offers “Hot, Spicy, Vegan, Traditional and Exotic” free samples of chili from Harvard Square restaurants including Beat Hôtel, Fire + Ice, Grafton Street Pub & Grill, Grendel’s Den, J.P. Licks, Kennedy’s on the Square, Russell House Tavern, Salt & Olive, The Sinclair, Tasty Burger and Uno, with the winner of the most samplers’ votes getting the Harvard Square Chili Pot for the year. Comedian Jimmy Tingle, singer/songwriter Susan Cattaneo and Jenna Norton of the Boston Children’s Hospital are the event’s celebrity judges, and there will be live New Orleans-style music by the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band. Information is here.
There’s beer, of course, and a food truck, but the main draw is creative, multidisciplinary dance performances presented as part of National Choreography Month. From 6 to 8 p.m. Intimations Dance, Michael Figueroa, Sarah Mae Gibbons and Wisty Andres perform to the accompaniment of musicians including Blain Crawford, Sue Buzzard and Victor Hernandez. From 8 to 9 p.m., Paradise Lost: A Movement Collective takes the stage; and after that comes a dance party with DJ Univers-AL. The performances get a live feed projection by VJ Alex Ezorsky into the Aeronaut tap room, which opens at 2 p.m. for flights and brews. The Compliments Food Truck serves from 2 to 11 p.m. Information is here.
“Miss Penitentiary” interactive staged reading at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at The Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Harvard Square. There is a suggested donation of $10 at the door.
“Miss Penitentiary” is set in the International Penitentiary for the Individually Incarcerated, where the inmates are all guilty of the same charge – being born women – and there is only one way to freedom: winning the annual jailhouse beauty pageant. By having one inmate seek another way out, Boston playwright Laura Neubauer asks how we escape our own prisons.
The format of this reading from the Maiden Phoenix Theatre Co. and director Alyce Householter, though, asks lots of other questions. The creative team (including actors Lauren Foster, Rachel Kurnos, Jill Sampieri, Sarah Gazdowicz and Juliet Bowler) wants to track the audience’s gut reactions and character allegiances during specific, predetermined moments of the play, capture audience inquiries and ask questions in real time rather than after the presentation. Information is here.
All The Rest Burlesque’s “Unusual Suspects” at 9 p.m. Saturday at PA’s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave., Union Square, Somerville. Tickets are $10 at the door.
This is the debut show of All The Rest Burlesque, which promises a lineup “that will be sure to tantalize and delight”: Clara Blows; Roxy Shake; Leather Pixie; Stabatha La Thrills; and Catya von Sparkles, of the Bitches of Destiny; Mikey Shake hosts, and Horse Mode, Psychic Dog and Hope & the Husbands provide music. Information is here.
“Stuart Little: The Musical” at 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Cambridge YMCA Theatre, 820 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Tickets are $27. (There are also “Grandparent Packages” with two tickets to the show, a souvenir and photo with the cast, and school matinee performances available.)
Based on the classic children’s book by E.B. White, this family-friendly musical play brings life to Stuart Little, a mouse navigating his way in a human world after being born into a human family in New York City. Boston Children’s Theatre is running this charming and funny play – directed by visiting artist Peter Ellenstein – through Feb. 8 with a cast featuring 13 young area actors, including Cambridge’s Zoë Parkin.
“Boston Children’s Theatre has always been committed to providing a welcoming and creative environment for people of all ages to experience live theatre,” said the theater’s executive artistic director, Burgess Clark. “When children enter the theater for the first time and see their favorite book magically come to life on stage, it is a feeling that cannot be described. I chose ‘Stuart Little’ for that very reason. It’s a perfect title to introduce children to the wonders of theater and to help foster a potentially life-long love and appreciation of the arts. It’s also incredibly funny and entertaining!” Information is here.