Five things to do this weekend: Oct. 7-9
Dance Party 4 Baton Rouge Relief from 9 to 11:30 p.m. Friday (doors at 8:30 p.m.) at The Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Harvard Square. There will be a sliding scale of donations from $5 to $20 for admission in the form of cash, checks (written out to Black Lives Matter Cambridge) or PayPal accepted at the event.
This dance party brings spins from Raq City (“Booty Bumpin’ Dance music” that “slowly lures you onto the dance floor, and keeps you there sweating all night long”) and SubwayDJ (often found in the graffiti alley in Central Square or Park street T station, he makes a living throwing pop-up parties in public spaces) to a fun but all-ages sober space. Child care will be provided. Information is here.
“Arkham Books” free staged reading from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Comicazi, 407 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville (free, but secure seats here) or “Blood” interactive performance and talkback from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at The Apartment, 108 Powder House Blvd., near Powderhouse Square (free, but the suggested donation per ticket in person or at the reservation site is $15).
Playwright and Flat Earth Theatre co-founder Kevin Mullins has written “Arkham Books” as a first installment of the Theatre’s “Dead But Dreaming” exploration of the work of H.P. Lovecraft. It’s a chilling, Halloween-adjacent tale of a bookstore manager unknowingly working above a cultist lair where monsters are about to be released on the city presented as a one-night-only free staged reading directed by Noah Simes and features Mikey DiLoreto, Caitlin Gjerdrum, Jake Athyal, Felix Teich, Regine Vital and Kristen Heider. Information is here.
In a totally different vein, “Blood” imagines Shakespeare’s characters interacting before their respective plays have started or after their end – “the moments before they become the characters we know and as they try to move on after their stories are supposed to be over.” It’s put on in intimate settings that sell out fast, but there are still some seats available for the Somerville show taking place Sunday. Information is here.
Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands throughout the weekend in Somerville, marching into Cambridge Sunday. Free.
The grassroots, nonprofit festival has serious underpinnings in the fight against violence and oppression, but does it in a joyous way that includes free performances by 26 rousing activist street bands – from right in Somerville to as far away as Paris and Marseille – mixing music inspired by New Orleans second line brass bands, European Klezmer, Balkan and Romani music, Brazilian Afro Bloc and Frevo traditions with a DIY attitude and, ideally, the passion and spirit of Mardi Gras and Carnival. (The Sunday parade is similarly diverse, with marchers from the Boston Feminists For Liberation’s “Nightmare Women Haunt Honk!” contingent to the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project, marching to show support for local animal life and its habitats, and identifiable from its tall Great Blue Heron bird puppets.)
Friday includes a 7 p.m. lantern parade leaving from Hodgkins-Curtin Park on Holland Street between Davis and Teele squares and an 8:30 p.m. four-band show at Once Lounge + Ballroom, 156 Highland Ave. (Information is here.) Saturday brings noon to 9 p.m. performances by all bands at seven locations around Davis Square, starting with an opening ceremony in Seven Hills Park. (The Saturday schedule and locations are here.) Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. the bands march from Davis Square to Harvard Square (Elm Street to Beech Street to Massachusetts Avenue) to play from 2 to 6 p.m. at the square’s annual Oktoberfest. (The Sunday schedule and locations are here.) Information is here.
38th Annual Oktoberfest from noon to 6 p.m. in Harvard Square. Free.
Some 200,000 revelers are expected, according to the Harvard Square Business Association, to shop at more than 100 stalls with arts, crafts, vintage items and other gifts; eat international foods sold by dozens of vendors; be entertained by acts on six stages that include Honk! bands and a variety of other genres lending themselves to dancing in the streets; and drinking at five beer gardens. (Harvard Square eateries Beat Brasserie, 13 Brattle St., and Grendel’s Den, 89 Winthrop St., have concurrent Oktoberfestivities through midnight and 1 a.m. Monday, respectively.) Information and a full schedule of bands is here.
“The Thing” dance and cabaret from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Sunday at Green Street Studios, 185 Green St., Central Square. Admission is on a $8 to $10 sliding scale.
Presented in association with the Lion’s Jaw Performance & Dance Festival, this is an informal performance night built by attendees of the event, including two hours of performances and improvised cabaret-style presentations followed by an after-party of dancing to the music of D.J. Hip Sockit (Aaron Brando). Information is here.