A week of events in Cambridge, Somerville: Jazz Fest, Salsa Squared, new theater, more
Stories and Song in the Park from 10 to 11 a.m. at Magazine Beach, at the river end of Magazine Street in the Cambridgeport neighborhood. Free from the Magazine Beach Partners. Stories and songs for kids and families to enjoy by the river, led by staff from the Central Square branch library. Information is here.
Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at The Lizard Lounge, 1667 Massachusetts Ave., between Harvard and Porter squares. Watching is $7. This open mic of two original songs (or 10 minutes), running for more than a decade, draws some top talent and touring acts alongside people just trying out their talents. Information is here.
“Folked Up” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Cambridge Community Television, 438 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Free. The monthly folk showcase features Beacon for Spirits, Mike Morrissey and John Shakespear. Information is here.
Urbanity Dance from 10 to 11 a.m. at John A. Ahern Field, 104 Fulkerson St., East Cambridge (Rain site: The Kennedy-Longfellow School, 158 Spring St., East Cambridge). A fresh, highly interactive contemporary dance performance from Cambridge Arts’ Summer in the City series celebrating diversity and encouraging community. Information is here.
GrownUp StoryTime: “Sun-Scorched Stories” from 7 to 8 p.m. at Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville. From $5 to $10 (with fees, $6.94 to $12.24). Expect tales of summertime and heat at this storytelling – like storytime before bed, except this replaces a loved one with a weird stranger, warm milk with craft brews and your bedroom with Aeronaut’s tap room. Short fact, fiction and other material written by the community is handed to performers to see what happens. Information is here.
“Blinded by the Light” film screening from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Free; download and print a pass here. Independent Film Festival Boston brings this story of a 16-year-old British Pakistani boy in Thatcher’s England being changed by the working-class anthems of Bruce Springsteen, based on a memoir by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and directed by Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham”). Information is here.
“Alice in Wonderland Jr.” from 7 to 8 p.m. (and repeating Friday and Saturday) at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Free. Updated songs from Disney’s animated motion picture and a faster pace makes for a tidy telling of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story from the Somerville Arts Council. Information is here.
“Hamlet” in the park from 7 to 9:30 p.m. (and repeating Friday, Saturday and Sunday and next week) at Longfellow Park, 175 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge near Harvard Square. Free. Praxis Stage, with Cambridge Arts, relocates its full-fledged production of Shakespeare’s tragedy, directed by Kim Carrell as “revenge, with no apologies.” Information is here.
“Inconceivable: A ‘Princess Bride’ Parody” by the Boston Lightsaber Stage Combat Club at 7 p.m. at the Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave., in the Winter Hill neighborhood. Free. How could we not highlight this? Jedi Master Buttercup has been captured by a motley crew of mercenaries, who being chased by a mysterious figures in black. You know the story; you may have forgotten how many lightsabers were involved. Information is here.
“The Women Who Took the Stage” classical duet from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at University Lutheran Church, 66 Winthrop St., Harvard Square. General admission is $25 (with fees, $27.24). Musica Spira – soprano Grace Srinivasan and harpsichordist Paula Maust – bring to life the works of 17th and 18th century women so masterful musically that they overcame the era’s prohibition on public performances by women. Information is here.
Countertop Chants poetry open mic from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Canopy Room of Bow Market, 1 Bow Market Way, Union Square, Somerville. Free. A noncompetitive night with 10 spots for poetry reading in five-minute allotments, with music from Eggy Benedict at the intermission. Information is here.
Fly, Buzz, & Hop! Festival from 12:30 to 6 p.m. at the Alewife Linear Park, North Cambridge. Free, but donations are welcome and you should register here. The fourth annual event with kids- and youth-focused art activities, dance, a parade and School of Honk music featuring a local wildlife theme. Information is here.
Dancing on the Row from 6 to 9 p.m. on Assembly Row, 340 Canal St. (between the Loft and J.P. Licks), Assembly Square, Somerville. Free. Latin dance such as merengue, bachata, salsa or denbow starting with a half-hour class for beginners. Information is here.
“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” sing-along from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at CultureHouse, 500 Kendall St., Kendall Square. Free. Chime in while watching this effervescently nonsensical 2018 sequel – or stay far, far away if you don’t imagine that even free popcorn, snacks and drinks will make this tolerable. Information is here.
Sixth 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, as well as sampling chips and a variety of the other kind of salsa from local restaurants. Once again, the party is expanded to include Brattle Street. Information is here.
“House of Several Stories: A Tragedy in Two Acts of Nonsense” from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. (and repeating Saturday and Sunday and next week) at Loeb Theater, 64 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $5 to $20. A. John Boulanger’s absurdist comedy about a dysfunctional family can be a romp no matter what kind of meaning you layer onto its slant rhyme narrative of dead (or missing) fathers, real (or not) brothers and pregnant (or not) sisters, so it’s worth seeing what the students of Harvard-Radcliffe Summer Theater do with it, led by director Julius Wade. Information is here.
“Red Velvet” from 8 to 10 p.m. (and repeating Saturday and Sunday and next week) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kresge Little Theater in Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. General admission is $10. The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble takes on Lolita Chakrabarti’s play based on the little-known but true story of Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor who, in the 19th century built a reputation on the stages of London and Europe after stepping in when Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, collapsed on stage while playing “Othello.” Information is here.
Bridgeside Cypher from 8 to 11 p.m. (and repeating Saturday) in Graffiti Alley, across from Pearl Street on Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square. Free. A collective of hip-hop artists perform at Central Square’s most colorful and iconic location, starting with an hour of freestyle circle and an hour of live video recording and open mic. Information is here.
Draw Night from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Vox Pop, 431 Artisan Way, Assembly Square, Somerville. Free; participants are invited to a bar after this 21-plus event. Artist Dave Ortega hosts a chill space where folks get together to draw, with simple supplies and even some simple lessons available for starter artists (startists). Information is here.
Movies in the Park: “Bumblebee” 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. Possibly the perfect dumb movie for enjoying outdoors? As a “Transformers” sequel, this one will test the thesis by being plenty dumb. Information is here.
A Real-Life Comedy Telethon from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to midnight at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $15 (with fees, $17.55). Absolutely not a real-life telethon, but a fake telethon raising money for a real cause – the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – with stand-up, musical and improv comedy and some modern Vaudeville as well. Information is here. (Note: As of Friday, these shows are reported on The Rockwell website as canceled.)
Cambridge BBQ Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 95 Prospect St., Central Square. General admission is $5. Local restaurants and food trucks serve ribs and brisket, spicy chicken wings and other meaty treats with Notch Brewing beer for drinking surrounded by 60 local artists and makers, antique and vintage dealers, ice cream sellers, live music, games and more. Information is here.
Cambridge Jazz Festival from noon to 7 p.m. at Danehy Park, 99 Sherman St., in Neighborhood 9 just east of Fresh Pond. General admission is free, but there’s a $25 seating option (with fees, $28.16). With performers including Elan Trotman, Carla Cook (pictured), Yoko Miwa, Eugie Castrillo and the Ron Savage Trio. Information is here.
Amal Waqar in concert from 3 to 4 p.m. at Longfellow House, 105 Brattle St., West Cambridge. Free. The young Omani-American oud player, composer and educator (now at the Berklee College of Music) performs in the final concert of a summer concert series from Berklee and the Friends of the Longfellow House/Washington’s Headquarters. Information is here.
Family-Friendly Opera from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Magazine Beach, at the river end of Magazine Street in the Cambridgeport neighborhood. Free from the Magazine Beach Partners. The Boston Lyric Opera performs a family-friendly, abridged rendition of “The Barber of Seville,” followed by a selection of arias and opera favorites. Information is here.