Five things to do this weekend: July 24-26
“Thought Bomb” is a long-running variety show that’s both hard to explain and impossible to ignore. As hosted by Matthew Flynn, it’s bounced around Central and Eastern Massachusetts for years on a sketchy description – “eccentric writers, stand-up comics, illustrators, etc. get the chance to perform a story and then do a karaoke song with the aid of a live band” – while drawing big names, including Kevin Meaney, Aparna Nancherla and Joyce Brabner. There’s a different line-up for each show, and this night features writer, comedian, actor and performance artist Erin Markey; cooking phenom Thu Tran (of “Food Party” on IFC, “Late Night Munchies” on MTV and others); and comic book whiz Liz Prince (“Tomboy,” “Adventure Time” and more). The live band karaoke by Elephants. Information is here.
It’s a variety show paradise this weekend, with this comic-led late-night extravaganza featuring burlesque from The Slaughterhouse Sweethearts, JaneDoe Cabaret, Allix Mortis, Butch Sassidy & Claude Kitten and Dale Stones as well as the freak show thrills of Dr. Bones’ Circus of Marvels, the comic storyteller Ken Reid and straight-up comedian Andrew Mayer and Mike D’Angelo of “Old School Game Show.” Information is here.
There’s a lot in this mix – including chips and samples of salsa from several Harvard Square restaurants (Border Café, Boston Burger Co., Felipe’s, Fire + Ice, Grendel’s Den and Wagamama) and salsa dance lessons from Matei to Latin tunes spun by DJ D. Martinez, as well as mocktails by O Sushi for a nominal charge. Information about this free, open-air public event is here.
Run & Ride at CambridgeSide at 10 a.m. Sunday (registration at 8:30 a.m.) at CambridgeSide Galleria mall, 100 CambridgeSide Place, East Cambridge. Free.
Young bicyclists and runners can compete in the sixth annual kids-only duathlon in and around CambridgeSide (as well as a kayak race). The event for athletes 5 to 13 has prizes (including iPads), race T-shirts, giveaways and entertainment. Information is here.
The second Cambridge Jazz Festival from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the University Park Commons, near Central Square. Free.
The city’s own jazz festival returns, bringing free entertainment and raising money for The Johnny Hodges Fund, which supports the musical aspirations of Cambridge students. This Kickstarted event, led by former city councillor Larry Ward and Berklee School of Music educator and drummer Ron Savage, includes Cambridge native Nnenna Freelon, JoAnne Brackeen, Eguie Castrillo, Laszlo Gardony, the Ron Savage Trio and The Tóth Brothers. Information is here.