A week of events in Cambridge, Somerville: Poetry marathon, Ignite! food fest and more
Improbable Research Table Talk: “Can twins tell themselves apart?” from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at Toscanini’s, 159 First St., East Cambridge. In the third in a 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 “Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins.” Information is here.
Eleanor Elektra, Pinkie Promise and Crispin Swank from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $12. Lend an ear to the future of folk with Eleanor Elektra (pictured), a singer-songwriter who blends the genre hauntingly with jazz and classical influences; Kaitlin Pelkey of the band Nosy Mangabe, who will be taking the stage as Pinkie Promise to perform some genre-bending “bubblegum jazz”; and New York’s Crispin Swank, who has a progressive take on folk music. Information is here.
Art Barbecue from 1 to 2 p.m. at Danehy Park, 99 Sherman St., in Neighborhood 9 just east of Fresh Pond. Free. Teens perform poetry and music in an event with free burgers, hot dogs, vegetarian options and drinks sponsored by Cambridge Arts and the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Information is here.
“Bend the Arc” staged reading at 2:30 and 7 p.m. at the Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Free, but RSVP by emailing [email protected].Voting and civic engagement are the themes of this investigative work in progress by the theater’s Youth Underground group, written by Betsy Bard and directed by Vincent Ernest Siders. Information is here.
Skip the Small Talk from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville. There’s a suggested donation of $10 for this 21-plus event. It’s back: the chance to forget the dumb small talk that comes from meeting new people and – thanks to provided cards with “big talk” conversational questions – get right to the kinds of conversations you have late at night where for some reason, you feel safe talking about the things you actually care about. There’s a discounted cash pizza delivery planned for early in the evening. Information is here.
Boston Poetry Slam Team Send-Off from 7:15 p.m. to midnight at The Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. There’s a $5 cover. Neiel Israel, John Pinkham, Meaghan Ford, Allison Truj and Sara Mae are featured readers before heading off to represent the region in the National Poetry Slam in Chicago (and will have merch on sale to fund the trip). There will also be an hour of open mic starting at 8 p.m. Information is here.
The Comedy Studio Presents from 8 to 10 p.m. at Remnant Brewing, 2 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville. Suggested donations are $5 (or $6.15 with the online service fee) with 100 percent of ticket sales going to the Community Action Agency of Somerville. (The suggested donation is really suggested because these shows sell out fast.) While The Comedy Studio’s own space is under construction at the new Bow Market, host Rick Jenkins brings a lineup of comedians to the outside beer garden of its soon-to-be neighbor, which will serve its own lineup of freshly hopped beer. (The show is 21-plus.) Comedians include Mariel Cabral; Dan Crohn; Valeria Dikovitskaya; Kathe Farris; Mark Gallagher; Corey Rodrigues; and Shea Spillane. Information is here.
Mount Auburn Book Club: “From Here to Eternity” by Caitlin Doughty from 10 to 11 a.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge. Free. Fascinated by our fear of corpses, mortician Doughty went on a global expedition to discover how other cultures care for the dead, discovering everything from Zoroastrian sky burials to wish-granting Bolivian skulls among the world’s funerary customs. Information is here.
“What does 1968 have to do with us?” from 6 to 8 p.m. at Cambridge Community Center, 5 Callender St., Riverside. Free. Teen researchers from the Our Riverside group have been researching this 50-year-old question and have some responsive research projects and art installations to present. Information is here.
Movie Night/Summer in the City from 7 to 10 p.m. in the East Cambridge Savings Bank parking lot, 292 Cambridge St., East Cambridge. Free. Hand-crafted Caravan Puppets starts off the entertainment with music and original stories, and then there’s a movie – the name of which can’t be revealed, but the hint provided by sponsoring East Cambridge Business Association, Cambridge Arts and the bank is that it involves “Little Red and other fairy tale characters on a live-action musical journey into an enchanted forest.” Information is here.
Armory Pub Sing from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Free. This monthly event is based on a traditional English pub sing and encourages chorus-based songs that are easy to learn and fun to do as a group. Information is here.
The Boston Rap Race Preliminary Round at 8 p.m. at The Middle East Downstairs, 480 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Tickets are $13 for this 18-plus show. There are six preliminary rounds in a competition to find the hip-hop act that will win $500, studio time, bragging rights and an opening slot on a national touring show. This round pits M.E.C.C.A. (Freddie Black and Spliftout), AJ, Carlito Sofritomn(pictured), Tommy Tony, Joe Grizzly, DJ HiYella and Idol Hans against each other in 15-minute sets. Information is here.
“Passports: Lives in Transit” exhibit closing event with Mama Africa Party from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Lamont and Houghton libraries, on the southeast side of Harvard Yard near Cambridge and Harvard streets. Free, but RSVP here to help guarantee there are enough refreshments. Starting with an hourlong Lamont panel discussion and Q&A on “Global Mobility: Identity, Migration & Passports,” this event switches locations and tone to become the Mama Africa Party, a cross-cultural celebration of humanity’s common roots with an exhibition viewing, live Afro-pop and Moz-jazz music by Albino Mbie; Afro-Latin dance by Angie Egea of Masacote Dance; and food by Suya Joint All African Cuisine. Information is here.
Boston Poetry Marathon 2018 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. (and continuing throughout the weekend) at Outpost 186, 186.5 Hampshire St., Inman Square. Free, but expect a small suggested donation. More than 100 poets read for eight minutes each in an epic annual event. Information is here.
Summer Residency Showcase Reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at Gallery 263, 263 Pearl St., Cambridgeport. Free. Celebrate the work residents Woomin Kim, Graham Yeager., Carolyn Sirois and Abigayle Cosinuke have created over the past six weeks in the gallery’s summer residency program. Information is here.
Dancing on the Charles from 2 to 11 p.m. in the parking lot by the American Legion Marsh Post, 5 Greenough Blvd., West Cambridge. Admission is $25 to 35 (actually, slightly more with online fees), by reservation only. Attend this series of 21-plus dance parties and make some memories before they’re done away with to preserve residents’ ears. Not kidding. Expect six sets by DJs, including Steve Porter, Pat Fontes, Bons, Melee, Brianna Paon and Evan Berube. Information is here.
“Soaring Through the Matrix”: Magnus Johnstone paintings reception from 3 to 5 p.m. at the The Nave Gallery, 155 Powderhouse Blvd., near Teele Square, Somerville. Free. Johnstone, a trailblazing radio DJ from the 1970s through the 1990s (on WZBC 90.3 FM and WMBR 88.1 FM) was also a visual artist. He died in 2013, and his family is now mounting exhibitions to raise money to preserve his dozens of trippy, occasionally disturbing and always surprising works. Information is here.
Ignite! Global Street Food & Fire Festival from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday in Union Square Plaza, 90 Union Square, Somerville. There is a suggested donation of $2. (A contribution of canned food is welcome, benefiting the Somerville Homeless Coalition.) This celebration of the sizzling food landscape in and around Union Square features international eats, fire throwers and other roving entertainment. Food vendors include 7ate9 Bakery, Bao Nation, Casa B, Cantina La Mexicana, Machu Chicken, Gracie’s Ice Cream, In Season, Siam Ginger, El Mineirao, Pikliz International Kitchen, Tasty Momo, Union Square Pizza and the Arts Council’s Nibble Culinary Entrepreneurs. The rain date is 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday. Information is here.
The Late Tonight Night Show: Globe Travelers from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Comicazi, 407 Highland Ave., Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $8 (or $9.34 with the online fee). A live “late night” style comedy show features comedic characters, standup comics, artists and acoustic musicians, as well as local people talking about their projects and talents. This, er, episode explores the excitement and horrors of traveling abroad. Information is here.
Art at the Farm from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Hurley Street Neighborhood Farm, 213 Hurley St., East Cambridge. Free, but register here. Children 4 through 11 accompanied by a parent will enjoy learning about animals that live in Cambridge – we’ve got everything from snapping turtles to monarch butterflies – while making a simple hand puppet out of empty boxes. They’ll also go away with Cambridge wildlife trading cards. Information is here.
“Reaching Across Poems & Translations” poetry reading from 3 to 4 p.m. at Longfellow House, 105 Brattle St., West Cambridge. Free. Not the typical reading, as award-winning poets and translators reach across cultures to feature new and lively voices (as well as their own new work): Chloe Garcia Roberts, managing editor at Harvard Review, presents her translations of Chinese poet Li Shangyin; Ani Gjika (pictured) brings us her translations of Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku and Kosavar playwright Xhevdet Bajraj. Information is here.
“Silents Please”: Laurel and Hardy Silent Shorts in 35mm from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square. General admission is $15. Four rare early silent shorts starring Laurel and Hardy (“Big Business,” 1929; “Call of the Cuckoos,” 1927; “The Finishing Touch,” 1928; and “You’re Darn Tootin,’” 1928) have been borrowed from the Library of Congress for screening in rare 35mm with live musical accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis. Information is here.