Five things to do this weekend: Feb. 28-March 1
The Math of Comedy and Songs About Dicks at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Building 26-100, also known as the Compton Laboratories, at 60 Vassar St. Tickets are $4, or free for students.
Comedian, actress, writer and singer Rachel Bloom has won plenty of attention with her music videos, which have been featured on the Onion AV Club, Jezebel, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Cracked – as you might expect of works called “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury” (a 2010 work that so delighted nerds with its combination of science fiction and sex that it won Best Music Video at the next Dragon Con and was nominated for a 2011 Hugo Award for “Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form”) and “You Can Touch My Boobies,” which won the LA Weekly Web Award for Best Youtube Song. (And now we begin to get the sense of how many awards there are in the universe.) Los Angeles-based Bloom, who has also released the albums “Please Love Me” and “Suck It, Christmas!!! (A Chanukah Album),” is in town to give a presentation about the “math” of sketch comedy, fully enlivened with sketches, songs and, of course, music videos. Information is here.
“Sleep of Reason” art performance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Lesley University’s Marran Theater, 34 Mellen St., in the Agassiz neighborhood near Harvard Square. Free.
This examination of U.S. torture – newly relevant with the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee “torture report” – ran in New York City in 2010 and 2011, but this is its first viewing in Boston, and it’s staged under the auspices of Lesley University, produced and co-directed by Angelica Pinna-Perez and performed by students, alums and faculty members Pinna-Perez, Ali Giacona, Ciera Shimkus, Stephanie Soule-Maggio and Carmen Thurston. The concept, though, comes from writer and director Rachel Frank, the video, sculpture and performance artist. She borrows the narratives in Francisco Goya’s “Los Caprichos” to examine the implications of abuse seen in photos from Abu Ghraib. The show’s official description: “Evoking both living sculpture and cinematic picture, staged tableaux vivants featuring beaded masks and sculptural forms are illuminated briefly between almost film-like cuts or void periods of silhouetted blackness, allegorically suggesting the recurrent darkness and repressed animality that underlies the rational and enlightened society of today.” Latecomers cannot be admitted once the performance has started. Information and registration is here.
It’s almost perfect that this classic murder-mystery play is appearing on stage here and now, since it involves a young couple and their guest house customers being trapped by a snowstorm and learning that one of them is a murderer. (Obviously, it’s perfection because it’s been snowy here.) This play has been running in London’s West End since 1952 – the classier, Agatha Christi-er version of Boston’s “Shear Madness” – but the hunt to uncover the identity of the murderer before kill again comes with a twist ending that still has the power to surprise. The all-volunteer, Somerville-based Theatre@First troupe, founded in 2003, is behind this staging, which runs through March 7. Information is here.
New England Philharmonic “Spring Awakening” concert from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave.Tickets are $40 general admission, or $25 for seniors and $10 for students.
Welcome or at least invoke spring with Benjamin Britten’s choral “Spring Symphony,” celebrating the arrival of the season after a long English winter, with settings of lyric poems from Spenser, Auden and others, and with Aaron Copland’s beloved American ballet, “Appalachian Spring” and John Harbison’s “Darkbloom: Overture for an Imagined Opera.” The Britten piece is the big deal here, and it draws in Sarah Pelletier, soprano; Krista River, mezzo-soprano; Ray Bauwens, tenor; Chorus pro Musica, led by Jamie Kirsch; and the Boston Children’s Chorus, led by Anthony Trecek-King. Information is here.
“Non, je ne regrette rien” Edith Piaf celebration from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. There is a suggested cash donation at the door of $13 general admission, or $10 for students and people on a fixed income, with registration; or $15 and $12 without.
Singer Christine Zufferey and guitarist Catherine Capozzi once did their interpretations of French singer Edith Piaf regularly in the local group Ziaf. With Zufferey living in Paris herself, the Ziaf appearances have understandably dropped off – but her visit allows for a reminder of the duo’s fresh perspectives on old, beloved and powerful songs. Information is here.