A week of events in Cambridge, Somerville: ArtBeat, Short Film Fest, Air Guitar, more
Improbable Research Table Talk from 7 to 8 p.m. at Toscanini’s, 159 First St., East Cambridge. In this series, Ig Nobel Prize founder Marc Abrahams and ice cream-making gourmet and Tosci’s founder Gus Rancatore lead brief talks about a research study that makes people laugh, then think – in this case, a study about the “Microbiological Laboratory Hazard of Bearded Men.” Information is here.
Boston Short Film Festival from 8 to 10 p.m. (and repeating through Friday) at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square. Free, but register here. Local and international short films – that is, up to 55 minutes long – with an edge, with prizes for the best narrative, documentary, animated, underground and experimental films and a “Boston Eagle Award.” Information is here.
Henry David Thoreau talk: “Worthy to be Any Man’s Friend” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt Auburn St., West Cambridge. Free. Concord historian Richard Smith introduces some famous friends of Thoreau who can be found around the cemetery (the literary and political figures of Longfellow, Charles Sumner and Margaret Fuller among them), pointing our that the “hermit of Walden Pond” wasn’t such a hermit after all. Information is here.
Cambridge Comedy Underground Television Taping from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Cambridge Community Television, 438 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Free, with limited seating. The channel’s television comedy showcase includes sets from Reece Cotton, Tim McKlasky, Jai Demeule, Tommy O’Deed, Lloyd Legacy Sharp, Emily Mame Ford (pictured) and Sam Rainsy, with hosts Demetrius “Big D” Hullum and Casey McNeal. Information is here.
The Story Collider: “Side Effects May Vary” from 8 to 10 p.m. at Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $12. The science storytelling event looks at unexpected outcomes in tales from Peter Degen-Portnoy, Amanda Goodwin, Jess Kanwal, Ashley Smart and Vanessa Zoltan with hosts Ari Daniel and Katherine Wu. Information is here.
Behind The Mask’s “Cat Mountain” from 10 to 11 a.m. at Glacken Field (600 Huron Ave.), West Cambridge. Free. A Japanese folk tale comes to life with masks, original music and traditional Japanese songs, telling the story of Sho, a girl who journeys to Cat Mountain to find her cat and freedom – part of Cambridge Arts’ Summer in the City outdoor performance series. (Rain site: The Haggerty School, 110 Cushing St.) Information is here.
“Exposure” photo show opening reception from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Van der Noot Gallery of Lesley University’s University Hall, 1801 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square. Free. The Photographic Resource Center’s annual juried show includes 14 artists selected by Mark Alice Durant, including Astrid Reischwitz, Cate Wnek (her “Raising Goosebumps,” pictured), Gregory Jundanian, Hank Hauptmann, Jaina Cipriano, Jessica Burko, Judy Haberl, Kristen Joy Emack, Mary Zompetti, Molly Lamb, Navid Reza Haghighi, Nick Meyer, Regina DeLuise and Reid & Factor. Information is here.
Cambridge Art Association’s Emerging Artists exhibition reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the association’s Kathryn Schultz Gallery, 25 Lowell St., West Cambridge. Free. Emerging artists of all ages are chosen for exhibition by Chanel Thervil, a Haitian-American artist and educator working in public art, portraiture and collaborations with institutions such as MassArt and Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition is up through July 26. Information is here.
“All Fantasy Everything” podcast live show from 7 to 11 p.m. at The Sinclair, 52 Church St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $25 for this 18-plus show. Comedian Ian Karmel and his fellow hosts take the concept of fantasy football and apply it to anything – birds, candy, Tom Hanks movies and whatever topic they chose for this part of the tour. Information is here.
Night (Insect) Life at Fresh Pond from 8 to 10 p.m. starting at the entrance to the Lusitania Woods where the bike path connection meets Concord Avenue across from Wheeler Street, Alewife. Free, but registration is required here so organizers can communicate what to wear and bring. Learn directly from the Earthwise Aware project entomologist and help gather data on insects and other arthropods (spiders and mites, for example) for entry on global databases that that can affect policies for wildlife and ourselves. Information is here.
Be Free Music Fest from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at A celebration of culture and world music at Sonia, 10 Brookline St., Central Square. Tickets are $20 (not free) for this 18-plus show. World music performances by Black Pirates, Cakeswagg, Leary, Dmoney Martinez, Gee Q, JLou, Kasual Live, Niya, Maya The Mayan, Persian Prince, Mesaje, Clyde, Ashanté, Mozado, Mula M.O.E and more. Information is here.
“Woods” staged reading from 8 to 11 p.m. at Unity Somerville, 6 William St., just off College Avenue near Davis Square, Somerville. There is a suggested donation of $5. Five friends’ fun camping trip turns introspective and romantic relationships past and present become the burning topic around the campfire. It’s a one-night-only performance from Theatre@First of a play written and directed by Matthew Garlin, followed by a talk-back. Information is here.
ArtBeat 2019 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Raindate is Sunday.) Free, with a $3 suggested donation. Somerville’s signature arts festival is even bigger this year, returning with dance troupes and more than 15 bands, 90 craft vendors, food and all-age activities throughout Davis Square – this time along the year’s theme of “Consumed,” a look at how artists and climate activists can collaborate to reduce consumption. Information and a schedule is here.
Teranga Children’s Festival from noon to 4 p.m. at University Park Commons, in Cambridgeport near Central Square. Free. Senegalese dance taught with music and history by West African artists, drummers and dancers in the style of a village-centered storytelling experience. Information is here.
Air Guitar Championships from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Middle East Upstairs, 472 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Tickets are $15. Boston’s best fake guitarists (age 18-plus) battle it out for a chance at real glory – winners will be flown to Nashville, Tennessee, to compete in the U.S. Air Guitar National Finals on Aug. 3. Information is here.
Movies in the Park: “Mary Poppins Returns” from 7 to 10 p.m. at Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park, 300 Grand Union Blvd., Assembly Square. Free. Bring a blanket, lawn chair and picnic for this series from WBZ NewsRadio 1030 and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. Information is here.
The Roaring ’20s “Windchest” art fundraiser from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Central Square (at a location to be released to ticket-holders closer to the event). General admission starts at $25 for this 21-plus event. “Windchest” is interactive art – columns with sound and light, activated by people leaping on pads – being prepared for the upcoming Burning Man festival. This Art Deco-themed event include music, roving burlesque and 1920s-style performances, dancing, drinks and the art itself. Era-appropriate costumes are encouraged. Information is here.
Midnight Specials: Late Nite Movies in 35mm “Pink Floyd The Wall” at midnight at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square. Tickets are $12. This film is, unfortunately, way too appropriate for our times. But it it also awesome. Information is here.
Poetry in the Garden from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at The Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave., near Union Square, Somerville. Poets Jennifer Clarvoe, Cammy Thomas, Simeon Berry and Edwin Alanis Garcia read. Information is here.