A week of events in Cambridge, Somerville: Jazz fest, murder at Harvard, funny science
Improbable Research Table Talk: “Are Cats Both Liquid & Solid?” from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at Toscanini’s, 159 First St.,East Cambridge. In the first of a new series of public events, Ig Nobel Prize founder Marc Abrahams and ice cream-making gourmet and Tosci’s founder Gus Rancatore lead a brief talk about a research study that makes people laugh, then think – in this case, the Ig Nobel-winning study “On the Rheology of Cats.” Information is here.
“Summer In The City” by Bright Star Theatre from 10 to 11 a.m. at John A. Ahern Field, 104 Fulkerson St., at the Kennedy-Longfellow School tot lot, East Cambridge. (Rain site: Kennedy-Longfellow School, 158 Spring St., East Cambridge.) Free. Cambridge Arts’ Summer in the City series brings a performance of folk songs such as “Shenandoah” and “This Land is Your Land” and folktales from the Jack Tales of the Appalachian region to the fishing docks of New England. Information is here.
Brother Cleve at the Sandbar Pop-Up from 5 to 11 p.m. at Kimpton Marlowe Hotel, 25 Edwin H. Land Blvd., East Cambridge. Free. The hotel’s ongoing tiki-themed party gets a visit from Boston cocktail legend and tiki historian Brother Cleve, also a DJ, keyboardist in the international lounge scene and a member of Combustible Edison, which, among other things, did the soundtrack for the film “Four Rooms.” Information is here.
Amber Tamblyn reads from “Any Man: A Novel” at 6 p.m. at The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square. General admission is $5; resale with a copy of the book is $18.75. Poet and actor Amber Tamblyn discusses her debut novel, “Any Man: A Novel,” in which a violent serial rapist known as Maude hunts for men, then leaves them struggling to heal. Leading the Harvard Book Store-sponsored talk is writer, performer and activist Jaclyn Friedman, author of “Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All.” Information is here.
Charles River Herb Walk from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. starting at the Weld Boathouse, 971 Memorial Drive, Riverside. (Even if it’s a bit damp.) There’s a $5 fee. There are more than 40 species of medicinal plants growing along the river between Harvard Square and Central Square. These walks, scheduled through early fall to show them in all of stages of growth, will return the once commonplace ability to identify and use them. Information is here.
Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Longfellow Park, 175 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge near Harvard Square. Free. Praxis Stage and director Jessica Ernst presents a tragedy that asks: How do you know if a ruler’s power is legitimate? Who makes the call, and what happens if the answer is no? When you find yourself in a destabilized world, what part do you play? Any relevance you detect is no accident – Praxis was founded in out of outrage over the election of Donald Trump as president “with the goals of linking theater with activism and producing plays that enter contemporary political crisis points and ongoing cultural conversations.” Information is here.
“Romeo and Juliet” from 7 to 10 p.m. (and repeating through Saturday) at the Loeb Experimental Theater, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Free, but register here. Director Julia Belanova brings the story of star-crossed lovers into a modern era of poisonous political divides. Information is here.
Paul Collins reads from “Blood & Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Porter Square. Free. A landmark case in the use of forensic medicine is brought back to life in vivid detail by weaving together newspaper accounts, letters, journals, court transcripts and memoirs to show the aftermath of one of Boston’s richest men vanishing. The creep factor is high in a 19th century tale of grave robbery and dismemberment as Harvard’s doctors investigate one of their own for a murder hidden in a building full of cadavers. The best part: It’s all true. Information is here.
“Turning Points & Revelations” fundraiser cabaret from 8 to 10 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Free, with a suggested donation of $20. These show tunes have been chosen to represent moments of change, revelation and transformation, often by presenting them in a new light or with a new voice to reflect the mission of the Lilac Players: to foster theatrical opportunities for feminists and the LGBTQIA+, showcasing new productions and reframing existing works through nontraditional casting or performing works that challenge norms, celebrating diverse lifestyles – and entertaining audiences. Information is here.
“Moriarty’s Mysteries!” radio play from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boston Brunch Church (formerly Responsible Grace), 204 Elm St., Davis Square, North Cambridge. Tickets are $15. The Post-Meridian Radio Players present three mysteries in old-timey radio show style with sound effects created onstage, including tales of Vera Wolfe in “The Boy Who Cried Wolfe”; gentleman thief Arsène Lupin in “Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late”; and Sherlock Holmes in his duel against Moriarty, the evening’s host, in “The Final Problem.” Information is here.
“She Kills Monsters” from 8 to 10:15 p.m. (and repeating through Saturday) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kresge Little Theater in Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. General admission is $10. In this play, Agnes Evans, a young high school teacher, discovers that her recently deceased younger sister, Tilly, played “Dungeons & Dragons” when she finds a notebook containing Tilly’s unplayed game module. Agnes enlists a high school dungeon master to help her play the quest and discover the sister she never really knew. Information is here.
“Reality Zombies” game tournament from 7 to 9 p.m. at CambridgeSide, 100 CambridgeSide Place, East Cambridge. Entering is $15 for at least two brief games in a double-elimination bracket with a winner-take-all $100 prize. Players put on Microsoft Hololens headsets and see virtual zombies coming at them that can be shot with virtual weapons – a first-person shooter game made possible by augmented reality technology. Information is here or by calling (617) 714-4349.
Fifth Annual Harvard Salsa Squared from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday on Brattle Plaza, Harvard Square. Free. Take a dance lesson and salsa the night away to Latin tunes from DJ D. Martinez, as well as sampling chips and a variety of the other kind of salsa from restaurants such as El Jefe’s Taqueria, The Sinclair and Charlie’s Kitchen. The party has expanded to include Brattle Street and some off-brand aspects: There will be sushi to buy from One Ramen & Sushi and drinks from DavidsTea. Information is here.
MIT Summer 2018 Philharmonic Orchestra Concert from 8 to 10 p.m. at 700 Technology Square, Kendall Square. Free, but register here. Music director and conductor George Ogata leads the orchestra through Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, as well as Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” reflecting the theme of “weathering the storm.” Information is here.
Graffiti Alley Cypher from 8 to 10 p.m. in Graffiti Alley, across from Pearl Street on Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square. Free. Local hip-hop artists perform for the public in Central Square’s most colorful and iconic location. Information is here.
“She Kills Monsters” from 8 to 10:15 p.m. (and repeating through Saturday) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kresge Little Theater in Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. General admission is $10. Information is here.
Off-Mic comedy night from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday at Gallery 263, 263 Pearl St., Cambridgeport. There is a suggested donation of $10 at the door (or pay $3.82 in advance with a $1.18 online service fee for a total $5, which gives less money to the month’s charity, the Texas Civil Rights Project). This neighborhood art gallery is so intimate that amplification is often totally unnecessary – and without a microphone, a barrier between performer and audience is knocked down, helping to give audience members a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of performing. Chris Post and Ryan Chani host Logan O’Brien; Jere Pilapil; Emily Ruskowski; Sam Pelletier; Kwasi Mensah; and Colleen Genevieve. Beer and wine will be available. Information is here.
“She Kills Monsters” from 8 to 10:15 p.m. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kresge Little Theater in Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. General admission is $10. Information is here.
Fifth annual Cambridge Jazz Festival from noon to 6 p.m. at Danehy Park, 99 Sherman St., in Neighborhood 9 just east of Fresh Pond. Free (though there’s paid seating for $25 plus a $3.45 online service fee). More than 10,000 people are expected to show up for rain-or-shine performances from Terri Lyne Carrington and guests (celebrating Geri Allen); Gabrielle Goodman; Receita de Samba, featuring Anna Borges and Bill Ward; Mnd Flo; and the Ron Savage Trio. Information is here.
Traditional Irish Session from 5:30 to 7:30 at Magazine Beach, at the river end of Magazine Street in the Cambridgeport neighborhood. Free. Come sing, dance or just watch and listen traditional Irish music and dance, maybe with while picnicking. Information is here.