A week of events in Cambridge, Somerville: BCMFest, St. Sebastian Fest, food fest, more
Robin Cook and Daniela Lamas read from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. Cook, author of genre novels such as “Coma,” combines flu, an organ transplant black market and cutting-edge CRISPR gene-editing technology into the thriller “Pandemic,” while Lamas (pictured, by Beowulf Sheehan) is a critical care doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School) whose nonfiction “You Can Stop Humming Now” looks at what happens when medical science extends patients’ lives for days, months or years beyond what’s expected. Information is here.
Trash Night Video: “Munchie Strikes Back” from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $8. This monthly film event lovingly selects and screens cinematic trash, and “Munchie Strikes Back” is that – an inept 1994 kid’s film that these days we’d suspect was written by AI, from the teen romance to the sports redemption story to the mom’s sleazy boss (mom is Lesley-Anne Down, eliciting sympathy for the path she traveled since “Upstairs, Downstairs”) with an unconvincing and supposedly wacky imp character all puréed into a film in which “a goodly portion of the appeal” is spotting how many times the cinematographers allowed the board Munchie is nailed to into the shot. Information is here.
Great Molasses Flood from 8 to 11 p.m. at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. General admission is $20. This Iguana Music Fund-winning project takes place on the 100th anniversary of a strange and dark day in Boston’s history, with the eponymous quartet recording a live album of songs about an actual fatal flood of molasses with readings from Stephen Puleo’s “Dark Tide,” the preeminent book on the subject. Information is here.
January Dispatches: Boston Sci-Fi Film Fest Best of Fest 2018 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square. Tickets are $11. Five of the best short films from last year’s festival are screened to whet appetites for the upcoming 44th festival, coming in February. Information is here.
“Othello” from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. (and playing through Feb. 9) at the Loeb Mainstage, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $25 or $55. This tale of fatal bigotry and xenophobia from Shakespeare, via an imported (and acclaimed) production by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and director Bill Rauch. It’s been playing for a while and continues for a while – but most performances already have either limited seating or are already sold out. Today’s performance is considered more open than most by the box office, but that’s not saying much. (Look also at seats from Saturday to Jan. 24.) Information is here.
BCMFest of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic music from 7 to 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight (and continuing through Sunday afternoon) in Harvard Square. Tickets are $10 to $25 and sold by different venues, depending on the show. The area’s twice-annual homegrown celebration of Celtic music and dance marks its 16th year, with dozens of performances over the course of a weekend – including a Dayfest with 12-plus hours of music Saturday – at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St.; the Atrium on the fourth floor of 50 Church St.; and at The Sinclair, 52 Church St. The weekend includes workshops as well as performances. Information is here.
Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven play at 7 p.m.in The Middle East Downstairs, 480 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Tickets are $22 in advance or $25 on the day of the show. This is annual now? These linked bands made the 1980s and 1990s tolerable for a certain kind of person – in large part, the smart-asses among us – but there’s no denying they produced some classic songs hitting notes from Southern to psychedelic, such as “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” “Low” and “Euro-Trash Girl.” The bands each get sets in a classic Cambridge music venue, just like last year at this time. Information is here.
“The Scarlet Ibis” opera from 8 to 10 p.m. (and continuing through Sunday) at the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden St., Harvard Square. General admission is $25 to $35. The Boston Opera Collaborative presents the local premiere of an opera based on James Hurst’s short swampland tale about Doodle, a boy with disabilities whose older brother pushes him to be “normal.” Puppetry and a minimalist but lush score performed with a nine-piece orchestra add to the exploration of notions of physical limitations and mystical otherness. Information is here.
James Geary presents “Wit’s End” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Porter Square. Free. The author of “Wit’s End: What Wit Is, How It Works and Why We Need It” brings film clips, folktales, literary anecdotes, jokes and juggling – of ideas, words and balls – to his readings. Information is here.
BCMFest of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic music from 7 p.m. to midnight (and continuing through Sunday afternoon) in Harvard Square. Tickets are $10 to $25 and sold by different venues, depending on the show. (Pictured: Linsday Straw, appearing with Jordan Santiago at 10 p.m. at Club Passim’s Festival Club event.) Information is here.
The Theater Offensive’s Saint Sebastian Festival 2019 from 5 to 9 p.m. at La Fabrica Central, 450 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 online or at the door. The traditions of honoring Saint Sebastian, one of the great icons of modern queer culture, return for a third year of Puerto Rican food, community parade, theater and live performances by Jorge Arce & Bombazo Boricua, Fabiola Mendez & Herencia Criolla, Samantha Love and Eric German & His Orchestra. Information is here.
“The Jackie & Laurie Show” comedy with Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Sonia, 10 Brookline St., Central Square. Tickets are $25 for this 18-plus show. The comedy veterans bring their podcast tour to town, with each doing a stand-up set before chatting about comedy with insights from their careers (Kashian, of “Conan” and an opener for Brian Regan and Maria Bamford, also hosts “The Dork Forest”; Kilmartin writes for “Conan” and is author of “Dead People Suck” and “Sh*tty Mom”). Information is here.
BCMFest of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic music from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (and continuing through Sunday afternoon) in Harvard Square. Tickets are $10 to $25 and sold by different venues, depending on the show. Information is here.
Taste of the World Food Festival from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston, 145 Brattle St., West Cambridge. There is a suggested donation of $15 for adults or $10 for children 12 and under. Authentic cuisine from nine countries is offered: Persian/Iranian, Armenian, Lebanese, French, Chinese, Russian, Italian, Brazilian and Greek. Information is here.
Fourth Annual Jeff Berlin Fundraiser concert from 3 to 11:30 p.m. at The Burren, 247 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. This family-friendly event raises money for the Our Space Rocks nonprofit for children and teens with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, with performers The Royer Family Band, Hybrasil, Club d’Elf with Duke Levine & Dana Colley, Abbie Barrett, Bow Thayer with Jeremy Curtis & Jeff Berlin, Andrea Gillis, The Silks and Ali McGuirk. Information is here.