Ten things to do this weekend: April 20-22
Women in Comedy Festival through April 23 at venues throughout Cambridge, Somerville and Boston. Passes range from $59 to $279, with most shows costing $10 to $12.
There’s so much great stuff in this ninth annual festival that it’s hard to select just a few. But if the effort must be made, look for the Cake Comedy Tour Kick-Off Show (7 p.m. Friday at Middlesex Lounge); In Conversation with Lizz Winstead, author and creator of “The Daily Show” (11 a.m. Saturday at The Brattle); and the film-based offerings of Rachel Bloom Comedy Short Challenge Best-Of Screening (Bloom, of the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” provided the opening line of dialogue that starts each film; see the results at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Brattle) and the Short Comedy Film Competition Best of Screening (4 p.m. Saturday at The Brattle), not to mention just a barrage of amazing standup, sketch and improv and a few panels and podcast recordings. (Festival performer Sasheer Zamata of “Saturday Night Live” is above.) A complete schedule and other information is here.
MCC Literary Awardees Read at Porter Square Books from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Porter Square. Free.
Every two years, the Massachusetts Cultural Council awards grants to some of the most talented writers and poets in the state, with this year’s crop including poets Colleen Coyne (above) and Rosalind Pace and fiction writers Cynthia Gunadi and Thomas McNeely, author of “Ghost Horse” – all coming to read and talk with fans and the curious. Information is here.
Record Hospital Fest 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Holden Chapel, in Harvard Yard, Harvard Square. Suggested donation is $10 for each day, benefiting Boston advocacy groups the Muslim Justice League and the Student Immigration Movement.
This all-ages, 14-band festival inspired by the “Record Hospital” show on Harvard’s WHRB radio station includes Tiffany’s House; Kave Kraft; Dead Elect; Dazey and the Scouts; Today Junior; and Birthing Hips on Friday, and Your Dog; Bad History Month; TRIM; A Deer A Horse (above); Pucker Up; Big Man; Sour Spirit; and Nine of Swords on Saturday. Learn more about the bands and hear sample tracks here; event information is here.
Tenth Annual Bookish Ball and Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday in Harvard Square. Free.
The Harvard Square Business Association, Cambridge Historical Tours and the bookstores of Harvard Square are again hosting this free, family-friendly festival with Shakespearian performances, sonnet slams and birthday cake. This year “Romeo and Juliet” will pop up around the square as featured players in honoring the Bard. (The Actors’ Shakespeare Project is above.) The complete schedule and other information is here.
“The Natural History of Your Favorite Foods” from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., in the Agassiz neighborhood near Harvard Square. Free.
In this family drop-in activity – part of the ongoing Cambridge Science Festival – archaeologists will talk about how favorite foods such as pizza, french fries and chocolate cake became staples of the American diet. It’s a hands-on event recommended for ages 9 and older. Information is here.
Tiny Great Outdoors Festival from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Quincy Street Open Space, 16 Quincy St., near Union Square in Somerville. Free.
Go on tiny hikes led by scientists and wildlife experts through Somerville’s tiniest “urban wild” to explore urban wildlife and learn how global warming is changing the environment; help plant a tree (and take home a free seedling); and participate in activities, games and art in this event presented by the Somerville Arts Council and Somerville Office of Sustainability and Environment. Information is here.
Nave Gallery Benefit from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at The Nave Gallery, 155 Powderhouse Blvd., near Teele Square, Somerville. Free.
Almost 100 works have been donated by some 75 artists to help keep the volunteer-run Nave Galleries running, and all will be on sale for $155 (in honor of the gallery’s address). Arrive early (but not before noon) to grab a coveted piece, perhaps best scouted out at the 6 to 8 p.m. Friday or 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday previews. Information is here.
Love is a Battlefield: Opera meets the ’80s from 2:30 to 4:15 p.m. Sunday at The Burren, 247 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Free.
What do Cindy Lauper and Gounod have in common? How does Ariadne auf Naxos pair with Journey? The Opera On Tap Boston group says the 1980s featured some great music, incredible voices and dramatic emotions – just like opera – and seven of its singers (with the help of saxophonist Jon Lawson and local fashion icon Designers Circus) will serve up musical mash-ups of opera and 1980s hits all afternoon to prove it. Big hair and Members Only jackets are optional. Information is here.
Bach Society Orchestra 2016-17 Season Finale from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Harvard’s John Knowles Paine Concert Hall, 3 Oxford St., just north of Harvard Square and Harvard Yard. Free, but reserve tickets here.
With the help of French horn player Peter Kronheimer and tenor Matthew Anderson, music director Sasha Scolnik-Brower and this student society orchestra perform Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio” (taken on by Reuben Stern, the incoming music director), Britten’s “Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings” and Brahms’ Serenade No.1 in D Major to round out the season. Information is here.
In the Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (also known as BAH!), a hybrid of science and comedy founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, speakers present well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect evolutionary theories in front of a live audience and a panel of geeky judges. The festival has grown into a four-site, international phenomenon (above is a trophy out of San Francisco showing alchemist Hennig Brand boiling his own urine in hopes of producing gold), but the host of this bit of BAH is comedian-particle physicist Ben Lille; keynote speaker is Marc Abrahams, of Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony fame. Information is here.