Five things to do this weekend: Feb. 2-4
Johann Strauss II’s comedic operetta is reimagined in a modern-day corporate setting, showing the playboy Eisenstein postponing his prison sentence to attend Prince Orlofsky’s masked ball – with inflatable ball pit, champagne, the left shark, a banana boat and peanut butter and jelly – and finding himself the butt of a practical joke. The Harvard troupe promises a rousing story and score that will “turn your morals upside down and set your spirits free,” if such a thing is possible in performances sung in German with projected English supertitles. (Cast member Arianna Paz, above, makes it look like it is.) Information is here.
First comes the music, from the Chandler Travis Philharmonic and special guests Corporate Punk, with cameo appearances by Jennifer Kimball, Kami Lyle and Shaun Wortis (as The King). An expanded version of the Philharmonic (including Dinty Child and Keiichi Hashimoto, plus Dave Harris on tuba) will play around a dozen different versions of its song, “Ivan in Paris”; if that has you feeling like it’s Groundhog’s Day all over again, you’re primed for a free screening of the Bill Murray comedy “Groundhog’s Day” at 10:45 p.m. Information is here.
This is the final chance to catch this series showcasing artists with a strong history and connection to Greater Boston. It closes out with this weekend’s performances by modern and classical Indian dancer and choreographer Chavi Bansal and jazz-loving tap dancer, vocalist and improviser Jenny Herzog; tap dancer Ian Berg, originally from Chicago; street dance pioneers and teachers Billy and Bobby McClain, known as The Wondertwins (above); and guest artist dancer Emily Beattie. Information is here.
The 10th 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 free samples of chili from restaurants including Beat Brasserie, ButcherBox, Crema Café, DavidsTea, El Jefe’s Taqueria, Freepoint Hotel, Grendel’s Den, J.P. Licks, Monoa Poke Shop, Nirvana, Press Juicery and The Sinclair, with the winner of the most samplers’ votes getting the Harvard Square Chili Pot for the year. There will be live music from Grooversity, which combines the Brazilian sounds of samba and axe with funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop. Information is here. (Can’t go? There’s more grub the next day at the free 13th Annual Great Chili Cook-off from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Olde Magoun’s Tavern, 518 Medford St., Magoun Square, Somerville.)
People’s State of the Union Story Circle from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Lesley University’s Lunder Arts Center, 1801 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square. Free.
In the weekend after a State of the Union address by a divisive president, the Agassiz Neighborhood Council and Lesley University’s College of Art and Design are getting people together to communicate, ideally through storytelling about: an experience that gave insight into the state of our union; a time you felt a sense of belonging – or the opposite – to this nation or your community; or that gave you hope in the past year. “In a year that’s seen more polarizing slogans and soundbites, more demonstrations and heated debates than ever, looking each other in the eye and sharing our stories matters even more than usual,” organizers say. “In such moments, being able to cross political divides and remain in dialogue is a worthy challenge.” The event was developed by the independent art collective wryly named the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. Information is here.