A week of events in Cambridge and Somerville, from Megerdichian art to ‘Yellow Bird Chase’
Sunday, Sept. 18
SerbFest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church of Boston, 41 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge. Free. There’s live music, ethnic homemade foods, folk dancing troupes, activities for children and stands with souvenirs, books and arts and crafts for sale – and a large dancing party. Information is here.
Dance Happens Here: 2022 Street Party & Performances from 2 to 9 p.m. in Central Square. Free. This 30th anniversary celebration of Central Square’s Dance Complex of course emphasizes performances by troupes: African Brazilian cultural dance by Isaura Oliveria; SambaViva; Irish dancers Rising Step; Laura Sánchez Flamenco; hip-hop specialist Carl Alleyne; and Boston choreographer/dancer Junior Cius. There will be lessons from samba to swing and a street party with tunes spun by DJ InfraBos, and at the Central Square Theater there’s a 2 to 5 p.m. event called “Your Town: A Community Dance & Story Gathering Event” where a team member will listen to you tell the story of your neighborhood, offering food in return. There will also be food trucks to serve the hungry, and Ponnapa Prakkamakul will create visual art throughout the day on streets and building walls; there will be an illuminated window installation called “Dance Happens”; a drumming circle at the front door of the complex; and “30 Dialogues,” a video installation by Lindsay LaPointe that begins its yearlong residency in the complex’s windows after the day’s activities. Information is here.
Sofar Sounds Concert from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at Lamplighter Brewing, 284 Broadway, The Port. Tickets are $24. Expect two or three short sets by performers from all musical genres and sometimes even spoken word, comedy or dance. (The curators try to preserve an element of mystery to make each event feel like … an event.) Information is here.
The Dream Syndicate plays “plays The Days of Wine and Roses” at 8 p.m. at at the Somerville Theatre’s Crystal Ballroom, 55 Davis Square. Tickets are $30. On the 40th anniversary of this album, the great 1980s band is signed to a new label and has a new album, “Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions” that will get some time during the show. Information is here.
Monday, Sept. 19
Abraham Megerdichian’s Machined Metal Miniatures at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. Megerdichian (1923-1983) was a lifelong Cantabrigian (and Rindge Technical School graduate) who turned his skills as a machinist to making useful things for the home – and then to less useful but even more charming works of art, called “Love in Metal” in this exhibit spread throughout the Main Library. Look in the lobby, connector, Cambridge Room and Children’s Room for works in what the library is calling the first major exhibit in Cambridge of Megerdichian’s artwork and photographer Scott Sutherland’s photographs of it. They can be seen during all open hours of the library through Oct. 14. Information is here.
Rachel Aviv reads from “Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. The New Yorker staff writer explores how the stories we tell about mental disorders shape lives through anecdote and narrative that “quietly explodes our neat narratives,” in the words of reviewer George Makari. Aviv will be in conversation with Harvard alum Francesca Mari, a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine who is based in Providence, Rhode Island. Well-fitting masks are required. Information is here.
Tuesday, Sept. 20
Mario Gotoh faculty artist recital at noon at the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden St., Harvard Square. Free. This innovative violinist-violist is new to the school but arrives with strong bona fides – she’s a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and was in the original symphony for the Broadway hit musical “Hamilton,” in addition to appearing on “Saturday Night Live” and at The Grammys and with musicians from Roger Waters and Perfume Genius to Adele and Doja Cat. Information is here.
First and Last Word Poetry from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Tickets are $4. This series founded in 2010 happens the third Tuesday of every month with hosts Harris Gardner and Gloria Mindock. Readers have yet to be announced; there’s always an open mic at the end. Information is here.
Ardal O’Hanlon comedy at 7:30 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre’s Crystal Ballroom, 55 Davis Square. Tickets are $30. O’Hanlon, with a specialty in surreal but punchy observational comedy honed since the 1990s, is known as one of the godfathers of contemporary Irish comedy and won a Bafta for playing Father Dougal McGuire on the iconic British 1995-1998 sitcom, “Father Ted.” His opener is the acerbic Dana Cairns, a mainstay of the local comedy scene. (“She has been called dry – both comedically and physically.”) Information is here.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
Books Unite Us drop-in for Banned Books Week from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Cambridge library’s O’Neill Branch, 70 Rindge Ave., North Cambridge. Free. Stop in and make a button, grab a postcard and take part in other activities standing up for books during an increasingly relevant week of protest against censorship. Information is here.
“The Art of Living Together” traditional Chinese paper-cutting workshop at 6 p.m. at Cambridge Community Television, 438 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Free, but participants must bring their own scissors. Artist Zhonghe (Elena) Li shows how to do traditional Chinese paper cutting, combined with watercolors and acrylics, collages and lighting to show the “Art of Living Together” – specially, living with endangered big cats during National Save a Tiger Month. “Please join and use your art and creativity to speak out,” said the artist. “We are interconnected with all other species on Earth.” Information is here.
Stacey D’Erasmo reads from “The Complicities: A Novel” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. A novel about a woman resetting when her husband is caught in Madoff-style financial fraud forces reflection on excuses “that we didn’t know, that we weren’t there, that it wasn’t our fault” and the asking of hard questions: When damage is done, who pays? Who loses? Who is responsible? “There is menace here in D’Erasmo’s disquieted world, and terrible beauty, too,” said author Ruth Ozeki in a review. Well-fitting masks are required. Information is here.
Thursday, Sept. 22
Stringlight Social dancing from 6 to 8 at The Science Center Plaza, 1 Oxford St., next to Memorial Hall near Harvard Square. Free. Beginner swing dance lessons followed by a social dance under a tent. Despite being outdoors, organizers ask for masks to be worn. Information is here.
“Sacred Songs and Rituals: The Kora Performed” by Yacouba Sissoko from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. A peek into a living history out of the 14th century’s Mali Empire, which encompassed present-day Chad, Niger, Mali, Senegal and the Gambia, as Sissoko plays the kora, a 21-string lute with a large gourd resonator. It’s the signature instrument of the djely, storytellers who have served as oral historians, jurists, interpreters of current events and advisers to rulers. Information is here.
Julian Aguon reads from “No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay” at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. The Chamorro human rights lawyer and climate activist – the Chamorro are the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands – brings a book that’s part memoir and part manifesto and weaves together stories from a childhood in the villages of Guam with searing political commentary. “This book took my breath away,” author Junot Díaz said, calling it “alive with passion, wisdom and heart … you can almost feel its pulse.” Aguon will be in conversation with Khury Petersen-Smith, Middle East fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. Well-fitting masks are required. Information is here.
Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville (and continuing Friday and Saturday). Tickets are $30. It’s the immortal tale of star-crossed lovers but with one actor selected at random every night to drink for the four hours before showtime, leaving the remaining sober cast to fight their way through the show while incorporating, rectifying, justifying and generally improvising around the drunkenness. Versions of this show have been running since 2010 using various Shakespearean works. Masks are required. Information is here.
“Monsters, Inc.” pop-up outdoor movie screening at 7 p.m. at Summer Shack Harvard Square, 1 Bennett St., Harvard Square. The seafood chain’s new location offers this series of free, mainly family-friendly movies every Thursday and Saturday through Oct. 29, with films such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Little Shop of Horrors” coming up. Information is here.
“Out Tonight” queer variety show from 7 to 9 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square. Free. Performance from music to drag by artists in Greater Boston and beyond. Information is here.
Friday, Sept. 23
Poet Joshua Bennett reads at 7 p.m. at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop on 6 Plympton St., Harvard Square. Admission is $10, and registration is required. The Dartmouth College assistant professor of English and author of “Being Property Once Myself,” “Owed” and ”The Sobbing School” reads after an introduction by Jesse McCarthy, author of “Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul?” and the forthcoming “The Fugitivities.” Information is here.
Jasmine Guillory reads from “Drunk on Love” at The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $18.25 with a copy of the book, or $6 for admission only at this Harvard Book Store event. The New York Times bestselling romance author is back with a story set in California’s Napa Valley, in which the woman running a family winery has a good one-night stand with a handsome tech burnout, only to see him turn up for work the next day as her recent, sight-unseen hire. Guillory will be in conversation with award-winning young-adult author Sara Farizan. Information is here.
Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” (continued) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville (and continuing Saturday). Tickets are $30. Masks are required. Information is here.
Celebrating Coltrane from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second St., East Cambridge. Tickets are $35. Grammy-nominated saxophonist Tia Fuller takes the stage with the Ron Savage Trio on the birthday of the celebrated jazz composer and performer John Coltrane, whose star hasn’t faded since his death in 1967. This evening starts with an hourlong cash bar reception with complementary hors d’oeuvre. Information is here.
Comedy x Music from 9:30 to 11 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $25 for this 21-plus show. Comedians and musicians and comedian-musicians perform, including Briana Woodward, Cam Ohh, Zach Stewart, Andy and Maddie Kelly, with host Deby Xiadani promising even more surprise guests. Masks are required. Information is here.
Saturday, Sept. 24
Garden Giveback for National Public Lands Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Longfellow House and the Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, 105 Brattle St., West Cambridge. Free. Of course this event is free – it’s a day of volunteerism to help maintain the site’s almost 200-year-old garden, though water, sunscreen and bug spray will be provided and participants will walk away with a free single-use National Park pass while supplies last. Kids’ activities will be available. Information is here.
Solar Festival and ribbon-cutting from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Graham & Parks School, 44 Linnaean St., Neighborhood 9. Free. Come race a mini-solar powered car and ride an energy-efficiency-in-action bike, make art to create a solar mural and take part in sustainability activities featuring science and art, win prizes for guessing how many solar panels are on the schools’ roof, have some refreshments … and meet with the representatives of the city’s climate and energy programs to learn about making your home greener. Information is here.
“The Oak Cycle” performance from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge. Free. Cemetery artist-in-residence Ira Klein performs selections from his original solo guitar project inspired by Mount Auburn’s historic oaks, followed by a Q&A with audience members and a performance of contemporary folk music with vocalist and bassist Hazel Royer and guitarist Kevin Barry. Information is here.
Ninja Brian’s All-Star Variety Spectacular at 7 p.m. at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville. Tickets are $15. Brian Wecht, “Ninja Brian” from the comedy band Ninja Sex Party, does a silent stand-up comedy set, brings up musicians the Super Guitar Bros, Jim Roach and Steve Hrab and introduces other entertainments in this touring show. Information is here.
Bryn Mawr Book Store’s 50th Birthday Celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Bryn Mawr Book Store, 373 Huron Ave., West Cambridge. Free. Refreshments are free and books are half-off in recognition of this unique store – a volunteer-run space of more than 30,000 books where all proceeds since its founding in 1971 (by Bryn Mawr College alums) are used to fund scholarships for students from New England attending the Pennsylvania institution. Information is here.
Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” (continued) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville (and continuing Saturday). Tickets are $30. Masks are required.
Sunday, Sept. 25
“Yellow Bird Chase” from 1 to 3 p.m. at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive, Central Square. Free. Making up for a performance canceled during the extreme heat of July, the Liars & Believers troupe brings back the tale of a clownish maintenance crew finding a magical bird. The discovery leads to a mad chase over land and sea and through the air in battles with pirates and monsters in this imaginative, family-friendly theater piece. Information is here.
Kardemimmit plays at 7 p.m. at Club Passim, 47 Palmer St., Harvard Square. Tickets are $20. Music lovers looking for something new can still enjoy the sound of four Finnish sisters touring behind their sixth album, “Sister, Do You Recall?” They specialize in the kantele, a stringed box like the zither that’s their national instrument but has been little adopted in the United States, and feature a reki-singing style with a foundation in Finnish, Eastern European and Scandinavian tradition. Patrons and staff must wear masks at Passim unless actively eating or drinking. Information is here.
In a look ahead at a week of Cambridge and Somerville events, XXXX