A week of events in Cambridge, Somerville: Once in Valhalla feast, Sutton Foster and chili
Making a Mystery from 7 to 8 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Porter Square. Cozy mystery writers Clea Simon, Joanna Schaffhausen, Kate Flora and Julie Hennrikus take audience suggestions to construct a novel on the spot. Free. Information is here.
William Gibson reads from “Agency: A Novel” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The First Parish Church, 3 Church St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $29.75 with a copy of the book (with fees, $32.23), or $8 (with fees, $9.39). Author of “Neuromancer” and coiner of the term “cyberspace” presents his new vision of the future, and then the even farther future, in a novel about messing with technology and the past. Information is here.
Got Game? Hip Hop and Video Games from 7 p.m. to midnight at The Jungle, 6 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville. Admission is $10 (with fees, $12.24). Enjoy video game classics such as “Mario Kart,” “Super Smash Bros” and “Street Fighter” while hip-hop acts challenge each other in a video game tourney. Podcasts Future//Perfect and The Geek Down will be on hand. Information is here.
Farris and Friends Comedy Hour from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect St., Central Square. Admission is a $10 suggested donation, or pay what you can. Kathe Farris and Colleen Daisy Riley are joined by other funny people with varying levels of stand-up experience and stage fright. Information is here.
“Erosion: A Conversation of Undoing” with Terry Tempest Williams and “Living on Earth” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free, but register here. Bestselling author Williams (author of “Refuge”) and the hosts of nationally syndicated environmental radio show “Living on Earth” discuss Williams’ new book, “Erosion: Essays of Undoing,” addressing continuing assaults on America’s public lands as well as the erosion of our commitment to the open space of democracy. Information is here.
First or Worst film festival from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Free, with a suggested donation of $5. Like the “Mortified” series but on film, this lets some brave filmmakers and animators show off their awkward-but-necessary creative growing pains, screening their first and/or worst at an event cosponsored by the Weird Local Film Festival and AniMAtic Boston. Information is here.
Disasterpiece Theatre viewing of “Mom” at 7:30 p.m. at High Energy Vintage, 429 Somerville Ave., near Union Square, Somerville. Free, but RSVPing is a necessity, because attendance is limited to about 30 people; there’s a suggested donation of $5 for enjoying pizza and refreshments. In a continuing series of seriously bad films on VHS comes “Mom,” a 1991 movie in which an L.A. man is shocked to discover that his elderly mother has become a vicious werewolf. Information is here.
“Medusa: Reclaiming the Myth” from 9:30 to p.m. at the Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston, on the Cambridge border. General admission is $20 in advance, or $25 on the day of the show. Costumes of a Greek or Roman mythological character or creature – or one’s personal version of Medusa – are encouraged as Brian King and cabaret band What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? This animated audio play directed by Eileen Little retells the Medusa tale for the modern era, reclaiming underlying themes of female empowerment, cunning, collaboration and triumph. Each of three summer shows sold out; the early show for this night is sold out too. Information is here.
Film Friday: “The Farewell” from 7 to 9 p.m. at CultureHouse, 500 Kendall St., Kendall Square. Free. Lulu Wang’s astonishing and heartbreaking story of a family returning to China under the guise of a wedding to say goodbye to the family matriarch, who doesn’t know she has only a few weeks left to live. Free drinks and popcorn, too. Information is here.
Suitcase Stories at 8 p.m. at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square. Tickets are $27. Foreign and U.S.-born residents share stories of refugee and immigrant life, exposing the complexity of immigrant experiences through personal narrative. Part of the proceeds support programming for local refugees and immigrants. 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.
Mike the Bubble Man from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Aidekman Arts Center at Tufts University, 40 Talbot Ave., near Powder House Square, Somerville. Tickets are $9 in advance, or $10 at the door. Mike the Bubble Man brings magic and science to the stage with this interactive 45-minute indoor show. Information is here.
The 12th annual “Some Like it Hot” Chili Cook-off from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday on Brattle Plaza, Harvard Square. Free. This Super Bowl precursor offers free samples of chili from local restaurants, with the winner of the most samplers’ votes getting the Harvard Square Chili Pot for the year. Information is here.
Photoshoot wearing your favorite garment from 1 to 8 p.m. at Lesley University’s Lunder Arts Center, 1801 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square. Free. Get photographed in a portrait-style setting as artist Lauren Clay explores the relationship between people and their favorite clothing. Information is here.
Once in Valhalla 10-course feast from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Cuisine en Locale, 156 Highland Ave., Somerville. General admission is $150 (with fees, $107.72). This 10th annual Scandinavian feast by J.J. Gonson features 10 locally sourced courses, including roast lamb, succulent braised turkey, cheese oat porridge and much more – this feast lasts for hours. Costumed servers and Norse-themed entertainment, featuring live music and other theatrics, helps justify the expense, but this meal will be remembered long after you’re done paying it off. Information is here.
The 42nd Annual Sci-Fi Marathon from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Building 26-100, also known as the Compton Laboratories, at 60 Vassar St. Admission is $8, or $5 after midnight. There’s special meaning to this year’s celebration, since 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything – as explained in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” which plays this year along with “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” “Idiocracy” and some surprises. Information is here.
An Evening with Sutton Foster from 8 to 10 p.m. at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., near Harvard Square. Two-time Tony-winning singer, dancer and actor Sutton Foster is Broadway royalty and a television celebrity as star of ABC Family’s “Bunheads” and TV Land’s critically acclaimed dramedy “Younger.” Information is here.
15th Annual Great Chili Cook-Off from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Olde Magoun’s Tavern, 518 Medford St., Magoun Square, Somerville). Free. Some 30 kinds of chili will be served up, with prizes for the best. Information is here.
Third Annual Rock for Rights from 1 to 4 p.m. at Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville. Free, and 21-plus. Live music from Krush Faktory (pictured), Detroit Rebellion, Jeff Breeze and Violet Neff, as well as T-shirt sales and action letter signing to benefit Amnesty International Local Group 133. Information is here.
Eoin Colfer reads from 3 to 4 p.m. at Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Porter Square. Free. Colfer, the New York Times bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series, reveals his high-octane adult novel about a vodka-drinking, “Flashdance”-loving dragon who lives an isolated life in the bayous of Louisiana until crossing paths with a 15-year-old troublemaker on the run from a crooked sheriff. Information is here.