A week of events in Cambridge and Somerville, from a Peter Valentine memorial to trash circus
Sunday, Sept. 4
Rock and Roll Yard Sale from noon to 6 p.m. in Union Square Plaza, Somerville. Dealers converge to sell vinyl, CDs, cassettes and eight-tracks as well as audio gear, music magazines, silk-screened posters and other rock-related stuff. Vintage clothing peddlers and DIY crafters will be selling as well. Information is here.
Maybe Some Tambourine musical comedy showcase from 1 to 3 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square. Free. Cambridge is booming with musical comedy talent, organizers of this event say, and this is a chance to see some rising stars. The performers – seen in Ladylike Comedy, HBO’s Women In Comedy Festival, Best of Boston Sketch and more – will sing original funny songs, play music and make up songs based on audience suggestions. Information is here.
Labor Day campfire. Festival (continued) from 2 to 11 p.m. at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square (and continuing through Monday). Tickets are $10. Passim’s quirkily named, twice-a-year, four-day homegrown festival of Americana, bluegrass, blues, Celtic, country, folk and related musical styles stays hybrid in its 23rd year, with more than 50 artists performing live and remotely throughout the weekend. The lineup is loaded with familiar acts such as Sol y Canto and Dinty Child and rising stars such as Gabriella Simpkins. Information is here.
Bread & Puppet Theater’s “Our Domestic Resurrection Circus: Apocalypse Defiance” from 4 to 5 p.m. at Cambridge Common, near Harvard Square. Free. Vermont’s rabble-rousing troupe returns to wield cardboard and papier-mâché puppets painted in Peter Schumann’s exuberant, slapdash expressionist style with satirical, slapstick comedy, singing and a live band. After what’s also being called “The Apocalypse Defiance Circus” comes the sharing of famous sourdough rye bread with aioli and sale of “Cheap Art” – books, posters, postcards, pamphlets and banners from the Bread & Puppet Press. Information is here.
Tuesday, Sept. 6
Why Sharks Matter: Shark Science and Conservation from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s Haller Hall, 24 Oxford St., Baldwin neighborhood. Free, but advance registration is required. David Shiffman, an Arizona State University marine conservation biologist, talks about what’s new and next in the world of sharks, “some of the most fascinating, most ecologically important, most threatened and most misunderstood animals on Earth.” Information is here.
Smut Slam from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. There’s a $10 suggested donation at the door for this 18-plus show. Real-life, first-person sex stories from eight to 10 tellers drawn at random, competing for the best five-minute tale of debauchery before a panel of local celebrities. They can’t use notes, props or hate speech – but pretty much anything else goes. “Stories are often funny and/or epic wins, but we want to encourage people to consider sharing their sad, disturbing, poignant, serious, simple and/or ‘fail’ experiences too,” organizers say. Lucas Brooks hosts. Information is here.
Wednesday, Sept. 7
Fresh Pond nature walk from 10:15 to 11 a.m. Free. Meet in the courtyard of the Cambridge Public Library Collins Branch, 64 Aberdeen Ave., West Cambridge, from which park ranger Tim Puopolo walks and talks about what’s growing, changing and blooming in the neighborhood. Information is here.
Cambridge Carnival Jamboree from 5 to 9 p.m. in Lafayette Square, 900 Main St., at the south end of Central Square. Free. Get prepped for Sunday’s full carnival by dancing to soca, samba, copa, salsa and merengue tunes. Information is here.
Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka in conversation with Henry Louis Gates Jr. from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s Fitzgerald Auditorium, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free, but registration is required, and the event was already moved from the library to accommodate a bigger audience. The Nigerian political activist, poet and author of five memoirs, several novels and 19 plays – he got the Nobel for literature in 1986 – talks with Gates, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist and cultural critic. Information is here.
Songwriters in the Round from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Admission is $10. Inspired by the “guitar pulls” of the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee, these regular events (every first and third Wednesday) have host David Thorne Scott and musician friends seated in a semicircle and taking turns playing songs, occasionally joining in with each other and chatting as if in their own living rooms. This time it’s pianist and singer Rene Pfister, who writes musicals with young people and performs one-person shows with an LGBTQ perspective; and Janie Barnett, who honed her rootsy skills singing behind Linda Ronstadt, Rickie Lee Jones and Bonnie Raitt. Information is here.
A Book Club Walks Into a Bar from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Lamplighter Brewing, 284 Broadway, The Port. Free. Lamplighter and the Cambridge Public Library team up to highlight contemporary works from marginalized voices in this series taking place in the brewery’s back taproom. (Craft brews are, of course, for sale.) This time the book is “Olga Dies Dreaming” by Xochitl Gonzalez. Information is here.
Thursday, Sept. 8
“Evicted” exhibit opening reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Free, but registration is requested. A launch with musicians, poetry and food and drink for an immersive exhibition based on Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” hosted by the Community Action Agency of Somerville. The exhibit is up until Nov. 4. Information is here.
Poets Forrest Gander and James Byrne read at 7 p.m. at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, 6 Plympton St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $10, and registration is required. Gander’s books include last year’s “Twice Alive”; the U.K.-born Byrne is international editor for Arc Publications and the editor of The Wolf. Proof of vaccination is checked at the door, and masks are required for the duration of the event. Information is here.
Improv Live! from 7 to 9 p.m. at ImprovBoston, 620 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Free. The school may have given up its theater during the pandemic, but it’s still performing. Here its national touring cast turns audience suggestions into storytelling and off-the-cuff music. Information is here.
Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ drag show at 8 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre’s Crystal Ballroom, 55 Davis Square. General admission is $20. Full Spin Drag performs a visual album set to the instantly iconic Beyoncé album “Renaissance,” featuring Luxx Noir London of New Jersey; King Perka $exxx, of North Carolina; Shawty West of Ohio; Sasha Kills of Paris and Berlin; Lilly Rose; Kori King; Candace Persuasian; and Iris Laveau. Information is here.
Friday, Sept. 9
“A Long Line” art exhibition reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gallery 263, 263 Pearl St., Cambridgeport. Free. Eighteen artists present work that considers family (genealogical or chosen) in a national show juried by Ohio painter and “I Like Your Work” podcast host Erika b Hess. Artists in the show, on view through Oct. 8, are Brenda Ciardiello, Catherine LeComte, Devin Howell Curry, Diana Jean Puglisi, Donna Gordon, Erik Grau, James Estrada, Jila Mannani, Kara Patrowicz, Kate Holcomb Hale, Krystle Brown, L. Fayiza Wright, Patrick Brennan, Sarah Cassani, Sarah Wondrack, Scott Lerner, Sofia Berger and Wenxin Zhao. Information is here.
Annual Italian Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian from 6 to 11 p.m. (and continuing Saturday and Sunday) at Warren and Cambridge streets, in the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood. Free. This 97th annual family-friendly feast includes free performances by nationally known recording artists and rides, games and a food festival. Information is here.
Neil Hamburger performs at 7:30 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre’s Crystal Ballroom, 55 Davis Square. General admission is $25. No one has described the act better than The New York Times: “A brilliantly awful persona of an old-school, C-list funnyman – the kind with an ill-fitting tuxedo and an enormous, greasy combover – on a very bad night. Neil Hamburger toys with an audience’s expectations (and patience), and indeed his act is a kind of rude commentary on stand-up comedy altogether.” (“Major Entertainer” is the opening act.) Information is here.
One Man’s Trash: A Repurposed Circus from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville (and continuing through Saturday). General admission is $25. Acrobats, aerialists and clowns go on a junkyard-themed adventure. “Dive into our dumpsters to see how we recycle, reuse and reinvent rubbish into a circus extravaganza,” the Cirque Us collective says. Information is here.
Somer Fest from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Seven Hills Park, Davis Square, Somerville. Free. A DJ spins and there are folk, R&B, hip-hop and genre-fusion performances from soloists and bands that emphasize people of color. Information is here.
Byrne:Kozar:Duo faculty artist recital at 8 p.m. at the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden St., Harvard Square. Free, though donations are welcomed. Trumpeter Andy Kozar and soprano Corrine Byrne perform a program called “It Floats Away From You” with new works by Alexandre Lunsqui, Todd Kitchen, Qi Li and Lei Liang, as well as earlier pieces for the duo by Chris Cresswell, Finnur Karlsson and Beth Wiemann. Information is here.
H(anna)h Power Hour flute fun from 8 to 10 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. No price given. Flute duos with sketch comedy and banter with “occasional use of strong language, which may not be appropriate for all audiences.” Information is here.
Flamenco à la Mexicana with Maria Aliaga from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second St., East Cambridge. General admission is $30 (not including a $3.46 fee), but there’s a pay-what-you-can option. A celebration of the “miscegenation of which all Mexicans are a product” by the Mexican flamenco dancer María Aliaga in which the country’s music, costumes, dances and traditions fuse with flamenco, a Spanish art. Information is here.
Alice Sedgwick Wohl reads from “As It Turns Out: Thinking About Edie and Andy” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. The stories of Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol are told (by Edie Sedgwick’s sister) and their pop-art duo’s significance is explored in conversation with Megan Marshall, biographer and author of “Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast.” Well-fitting masks are required. Information is here.
Saturday, Sept. 10
Peter Valentine memorial from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square. Free. Artist and eccentric Peter Valentine, who died Aug. 9, is honored in the outdoor entertainment complex named after his suggested name for Central Square as a whole. Attendees are urged to dress colorfully and to expect chocolate cupcakes – his favorite thing to eat – and a release of pink balloons as well as an altar with artifacts from his iconic Cambridgeport home and other art inspired by him. The city’s Public Arts Commission said in August that talks are underway about the possibilities of preserving Valentine’s famous fence and home. Information is here.
Port Pride Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Clement Morgan Park, 60 Columbia St., The Port. Free. An annual celebration of the neighborhood (theme: “The South Coming Up North”) with food, music, giveaways, games, children’s activities and the MIT Museum’s Pop-up Science activities, led by the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House. Information is here.
Gilman Square Arts and Music Festival from noon to 6 p.m. in Gilman Square, 2 Bradley St., Winter Hill, Somerville. Free. The former Gilman Square Block Party has been known to bring in up to 800 people to enjoy live music, food and Winter Hill Brewery beers, art and kids’ games and crafts. Information is here.
Assembly Row Riverfest from noon to 9 p.m. at Assembly Row, 340 Canal St., Assembly Square, Somerville. Free. The day starts with a 10-vendor market and at 4 p.m. adds music from a half-dozen bands, activities such as chalk art and face-painting and random entertainments such as stilt walkers and other stuff from businesses. Fireworks begin at around 8:30 p.m. Information is here.
Annual Italian Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian from 1 to 11 p.m. (continued, and continuing Sunday) at Warren and Cambridge streets, in the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood. Free. Information is here.
One Man’s Trash: A Repurposed Circus (continued) from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. General admission is $25. Information for the early show is here; information for the late show is here.
Pemberfest from 2 to 5 p.m. at Pemberton Farms, 2225 Massachusetts Ave., North Cambridge. Admission is $22 for this 21-plus event, which is given back in coupons to spend on participating beer brands. More than 40 local craft breweries offer samples amid live music. Information is here.
Nature in the City Festival from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Magazine Beach Park Nature Center, at the river end of Magazine Street in the Cambridgeport neighborhood. Free. The fourth in a series of monthly festivals timed to coincide with the full moon that celebrate the community, connect with the nature of the park and offer meals from a food truck and live music. Nature-based games and activities, art-making and community workshops are suitable for all ages. Information is here.
A Night of Queer Comedy, Music & Dance: Together Under the Stars from 6 to 8 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square. Free. Queer-themed music from Phil Berman and friends, excerpts from the new musical “The Prince & the Painter” and more from Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music students, Nate Shu, Alexa Albanese and Danya Trommer. Information is here.
James Austin Johnson: Close to You Tour at 7:30 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre’s Crystal Ballroom, 55 Davis Square. General admission is $26. Comedy from a featured player on “Saturday Night Live” known for masterful impressions of former president Trump and other, funnier people. Information is here.
“Lucille” play reading at 8 p.m. at Unity Somerville, 6 William St., just off College Avenue near Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $10. Playwright Monique Giroux dramatizes the life of Lucy Christiana Lady Duff Gordon, a fashion designer and survivor of the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. Her reputation and marriage were shattered by accusations of rowing away from drowning passengers in a half-empty boat, having bribed crew members for preferential treatment. After the reading directed by Paul Dixon comes an audience talkback. Information is here.
Sunday, Sept. 11
Screens for Teens: “Clueless” from 2 to 5 p.m. in Menschel Hall at the Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., near Harvard Square. Free. The museums curate films for teens, starting with this classic 1995 take on Jane Austen’s 1816 novel “Emma” with Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd. Screenings may be followed by conversation with faculty from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Information is here.
Cambridge Carnival Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University Park Commons, in Cambridgeport near Central Square. Free. The Afro-Caribbean-themed carnival celebrating emancipation, freedom and expression returns to where it began in 1992, with 35,000 people expected to take part. This 28th celebration includes the traditional parade, now starting at River and Blackstone streets near the Charles River at 12:30 p.m. and winding up at University Park for music, food and a hands-on KidsFest with face painting, arts and crafts, stilt walking, train rides and other activities. Masks are asked of unvaccinated guests and recommended in crowds for all. Information is here.