Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Sunday, Dec. 11

Voices of Poetry in Cambridge from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. Mary Buchinger, Tom Daley, Chard DeNiord, Paul Nemser and Tzynya Pinchback read, with music by guitarist, composer and musicologist Sebastien Jean. Information is here.

“Dear Friend” faculty artist recital at 3 p.m. at the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden St., Harvard Square. Free, but a donation of $10 or more is suggested, and attendees must pre-register. Chamber ensemble-in-residence A Far Cry performs works capturing the moments composers spend with friends, colleagues and mentors, including Saariaho’s “Aure for Violin and Viola,” Stucky’s “Nell’ombra, Nella luce,” Brahms’ “Hymn in veneration of the great Joachim for two violins and double bass” and more. Information is here.

Michael John Ciszewski in “Lovefool.” (Photo: Zeke Dolezalek)

Michael John Ciszewski performs “Lovefool” from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $20. Bridging stand-up comedy and confessional, the show “brims with heart and humor and makes a starry-eyed argument for falling head-over-heels through life.” Information is here.


Monday, Dec. 12

William Giraldi and S.E. Boyd read from their new novels at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. Giraldi’s “About Face” looks at celebrity and obsession in a 21st century Boston setting, and “The Lemon” is a mystery taking advantage of Boyd’s insider knowledge of high-end restaurants and low-end media. Well-fitting masks are required. Information is here.

Music Speaks from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Somerville Public Library West Branch, 40 College Ave., near Davis Square. Free. Violinist Joshua Peckins plays Bach, Toshio Hosokawa, Jessie Montgomery and Paganini, introducing the composers and their music with spoken word. Information is here.

The Jazz Immersions ensemble and “The Modern Standard” at 8 p.m. at the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden St., Harvard Square. Free, but a donation of $10 or more is suggested. Chris Klaxton leads the ensemble through interpretations of pop tunes from the mid-1970s to today, including works by artists such as Elton John, Elliott Smith, Ornette Coleman, Soundgarden and The Stylistics. Information is here.


Tuesday, Dec. 13

 

Blank Paper Protest public art demonstration from 3 to 5 p.m. in The Pit, 1400 Chester Square in Harvard Square. Free. Artist

Yolanda He Yang in a previous performance of her “Blank Paper Protest.” (Photo: Harvard Square Business Association)

nda He Yang, who arrived in United States from North China in 2019, honors the blank-paper protests in China – a symbol of defiance in a highly censored environment – by using white paint on a piece of glass to write repeatedly, “You know what I want to say” and “你知道我想说什么” until the pane is covered in white, becoming a piece of blank paper. Musician Brabeeba Wang accompanies the work. Information is here.

“Solstice: Reflections on Winter Light” with timed entries every half-hour from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge (and continuing through Dec. 21). General admission is $30, though today is pay-what-what-you-want. This annual event includes outdoor, large-scale light and sound artworks and an indoor experience with live music and candle lighting, evoking the winter solstice as a moment to reflect on change. Information is here.

The Parker Quartet presents The Beethoven Project from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. A performance by the Grammy-winning quartet, whose members are professors at Harvard. Information is here.

John Freeman and Ha Jin read from new works at 7 p.m. at Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square. Free. Freeman’s “Wind, Trees” is a meditation asking what trees can teach us about inhabiting space together; Jin’s “The Banished Immortal” imagines a biography of poet Li Bai, who enlivened the Tang dynasty (701–762) and remains an inextricable part of the Chinese language. Well-fitting masks are required. Information is here.


Wednesday, Dec. 14

“Solstice: Reflections on Winter Light” (continued) with timed entries every half-hour from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge (and continuing through Dec. 21). General admission is $30. Information is here.

A still from Albert Birney’s “Tux and Fanny.”

Cinema Strange from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave., in the Winter Hill neighborhood. Free. Somerville High School junior Chris Hopkin curates bizarre and beautiful cinema, this month Albert Birney’s 8-bit animated “Tux and Fanny” (2019), which Hopkin calls “an expert blend of existentialism, absurd humor and strangely heartwarming moments.” Information is here.

Poets Matt Donovan, Farnaz Fatemi and Vincent Katz read at 7 p.m. at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop on 6 Plympton St., Harvard Square. There is a suggested donation starting at $5. Alex Braslavsky introduces the readers. Proof of vaccination and masks are required. Information is here.

“Emily Wilson: Fixed” from 8 to 9 p.m. at the Somerville Theatre’s Crystal Ballroom, 55 Davis Square. Tickets are $25. Stand-up comedian, actor and writer Emily Wilson reflects on her trials as a 15-year-old competitor on the television competition “X Factor.” The show is co-written and directed by Arlington High grad Sam Blumenfeld, a friend and collaborator since the two met at New York University. Blumenfeld called the show “humiliating and outrageous” as Wilson leads the audience through “her most embarrassing, cringey and downright hilarious moments,” mixing in original music and archival footage. Information is here. (Tom Meek)

“Jazz Ain’t Nothin’ But Soul” class performance at 8 p.m. at the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden St., Harvard Square. Free, but a donation of $10 or more is suggested, and attendees must pre-register. Come hear what a jazz singer sounds like today, now that global folk, R&B, rock, classical and other styles have influenced the art. Information is here.

Holiday Drag Night from 8 to 10 p.m. at Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville. Tickets are $10 at this 21-plus show. Queens Coleslaw, Severity Stone and Harlow Havoc perform. Masks are required when not actively eating or drinking. Information is here.


Thursday, Dec. 15

“Solstice: Reflections on Winter Light” (continued) with timed entries every half-hour from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge (and continuing through Dec. 21). General admission is $30. Information is here.

“Waterlines: Stories of Urban Ebb and Flow” public opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Somerville Museum, 1 Westwood Road, in the Spring Hill neighborhood. Admission is $5. Works by five local artists up through March 22 invite consideration of the ecological, spiritual and social dimensions of water and our connection with it, curated by Arlinda Shtuni. Information is here.

Kwan Kew Lai. (Photo: Charles FitzGibbon)

Kwan Kew Lai reads from “The Girl Who Taught Herself to Fly” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Free. The author presents her memoir of going from a childhood in Malaysia, overcoming poverty, hunger, illness and sexism, to become a student at Wellesley College and a doctor, then leaving a professorship to do humanitarian work during epidemics and disasters around the world. She will be in conversation with writer Yifei “Effie” Kong. Information is here.

The Conversation from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The MIT Museum, 314 Main St., Kendall Square. Tickets are $15. We seem predisposed to mistake fluent speech for fluent thought – as a Google engineer did recently by claiming an artificial-intelligence-run chatbot was sentient because it could generate grammatical, meaningful language. Josh Tenenbaum, a professor of computational cognitive science, and Anna Ivanova, a postdoctoral researcher in language, cognitive science and machine learning, dig in, moderated by Eric Smalley. Information is here.

MIT Chamber Music Society two-piano concert at 7 p.m. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Ave. Free. The performers take on works by Aresky, Borodin, Poulenc, Saint-Saën, Smetana and Fauré. Information is here.

Smoke & Shadows: Burlesque and Variety Show from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $28 for this 21-plus show. Vaudeville, music and comedy, studded with rhinestones in a monthly show that defies decade and genre, each time offering a mix of performers from near and far. This show features burlesque with twists of classical ballet and glamorous vaudeville by Maestro Maestra, songs from Maryann Murray and comedy from Alex Giampapa. Masks are required. Information is here.


Friday, Dec. 16

A snowy scene at Longfellow House and the Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site. (Photo: National Park Service)Holiday open house from 4 to 8 p.m. at Longfellow House and the Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, 105 Brattle St., West Cambridge. Free. Stroll halls decorated in period style and featuring special seasonal objects from the site’s museum collection, pick up “take-and-make” crafts and treats and stop by the outdoor selfie station, using the house’s history to reflect on past and present ways of celebrating being together. Information is here.

“Solstice: Reflections on Winter Light” (continued) with timed entries every half-hour from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge (and continuing through Dec. 21). General admission is $30. Information is here.

The Midwinter Revels: A Solstice Celebration at 7:30 p.m. at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., near Harvard Square (and continuing though Dec. 28). Tickets are $24 to $112. The 52nd annual celebration of this moment in the calendar; this year using the music, stories and dance of Irish, German and Russian Jewish families and the Mexican nurses they meet on Christmas Eve at Ellis Island in the 1920s. Information is here.

Opera Experience Live! at 8 p.m. at the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden St., Harvard Square (and continuing Saturday). Free, but a donation of $10 or more is suggested, and attendees must pre-register. Student scenes from opera, operetta and musical theater are presented by stage director Carol Mastrodomenico and music director Libor Dudas. Come early or stick around after for Private Audience, in which a Longy singer performs a song tailored for a single listener – breaking down barriers to explore how music shared between two people forges a connection. Information is here.

“Christmas in Renaissance Spain” at 8 p.m. at First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St., Harvard Square (and returning Saturday). General admission is $40, down to $10 low-income tickets and up to $87 reserved seats. The vocal ensemble Blue Heron has a program of sonorous motets, exuberant villancicos and comic ensaladas for the Christmas season from composers active from 1468 to 1629, backed by guitars, percussion and dulcian. Information is here.


Saturday, Dec. 17

MIT Art, Culture and Technology student showcase screenings from 1 to 3 p.m. at The MIT Museum, 314 Main St., Kendall Square. Free with museum admission; general admission is $18. Wa Liu shows “Gamma Garden,” a video essay exploring how military technologies and ambitions to modify nature are affecting our lives, breeding unease amid climate change; Lee Tzu-Tung shows “Writing the Time Lag,” one of a series about political experiences in Taiwan and America. A discussion follows. Information is here.

A scene from the new Midwinter Revels “Solstice Celebration” show. (Photo: Revels)

The Midwinter Revels: A Solstice Celebration (continued) at 3 and 7:30 p.m. at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., near Harvard Square (and continuing though Dec. 28). Tickets are $24 to $112. Information is here.

“Christmas in Renaissance Spain” (continued) at 3 and 8 p.m. at First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St., Harvard Square. General admission is $40, down to $10 low-income tickets and up to $87 reserved seats. Information is here.

“Solstice: Reflections on Winter Light” (continued) with timed entries every half-hour from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge (and continuing through Dec. 21). General admission is $30. Information is here.

Illuminations bike tour of holiday lights at 5:45 p.m. Free. Starting at the main entrance of Somerville High School, 81 Highland Ave., this family-friendly, 90-minute bike ride stops at the best-decorated houses in Somerville and ends in Ball Square. Information is here.

Opera Experience Live! (continued) at 8 p.m. at the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden St., Harvard Square. Free, but a donation of $10 or more is suggested, and attendees must pre-register. Information is here.

Awkward Sex … and the City from 8 to 10 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. General admission is $15 for this 21-plus show. Comedians relive their most awkward sexual experiences for your viewing pleasure, from cocaine-infused one-night stands to IBS flare-ups during intimate moments. Hosted by Natalie Wall. Information is here.


Sunday, Dec. 18

An aerial view of the FIFA World Cup Stadium in Qatar. (Photo: Ross Dunn via Flickr)

World Cup finals screening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lamplighter Brewing, 284 Broadway, The Port. It’s free to attend this 21-plus event. Regardless of who’s playing, the back taproom will show the action. Cold beer or coffee is available. Pepita Coffee breakfast sandwiches are available until 2 p.m. Information is here.

Winter in the Garden: Birds in Winter from noon to 2 p.m. at the Somerville Community Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave., near Union Square, Somerville. Free. Learn about winter birds and how they survive the colder months, then build your own bird feeder to take home. Information is here.

The Midwinter Revels: A Solstice Celebration (continued) at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St., near Harvard Square (and continuing though Dec. 28). Tickets are $24 to $112. Information is here.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” with the Heather Pierson Trio from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville. General admission is $25. Vince Guaraldi’s iconic soundtrack of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” additional Guaraldi compositions and other holiday favorites are played by the Conway, New Hampshire-based band. Information is here.

Gingerbread house building at 2 to 6:30 p.m. at Aeronaut Brewing, 14 Tyler St., near Union Square, Somerville. Tickets are $10. There are three sessions available that come with a kit for building your own gingerbread house. Information is here.

“Solstice: Reflections on Winter Light” (continued) with timed entries every half-hour from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., West Cambridge (and continuing through Dec. 21). General admission is $30. Information is here.