Cambridge, MA. 5:30-7:30pm. That’s close to the corner of Main Street and Vassar Street. If you feel like driving 4 hours into Maine, the Maine Lobster Festival is Aug 1 – 5. They’ll have fireworks, too. http://www.mainelobsterfestival.com There is also a Puerto Rican Festival, Jul 27 – Jul 29, at Playstead Field, Franklin Park, Boston, MA. 866.481.0695. Unfortunately, although I feel you should have the choice, so I’m listing it, I cannot recommend this event. A few vendors selling bad fried food and some old-looking portable carnival type booths. There’s a music stage, but if the field is muddy at all, which it was when I went, forget it. http://www.prfestma.org I regret also that I cannot recommend ChiliFest on Wachusett Mountain, July 28. It’s a great venue, and you can take a gondola ride to the top and ride down or hike down the mountain. But their events are a little too redneck for me. Lots of flea market style vendors. Still, chili, yum. And last time I did get to bounce on a huge trampoline for %$5. http://wawa.wachusett.com/ The Roxbury Film Festival is Aug 1 – 6. Roxbury, MA. I’m normally against stting indoors, not meeting anyone, staring passively at a screen for hours. Especially in the summer, in Roxbury. However, this one actually takes place in and around the MFA and you can take acting classes, attend panels, and they’ll have guest speakers as well. Not Brad Pitt, sorry! http://www.actroxbury.org Cambridge holds an “event” called Summer in the City which is really a series of totally unrelated events, except that they all occur at 11am when most of us have to be at work. One coming up looks fruitful, however, July 30th, Chinese Dance. 11:00am, Riverside Press Park, located at the intersection of Memorial Drive and River Street. Rain site: King school, 100 Putnam Avenue. Of course, most of us will be at work at 11am on a Monday. Check out the rest at http://www.ci.cambridge.ma.us/CAC/community_summer.html#July26 Here’s the update on free outdoor movies: — Cambridge! Wed July 25, preceded at 7pm by Dario the Magician, at Rindge Field. Call for info, 617-349-6200. The film is The Last “Mimsy”?? I couldn’t hear her on the phone. http://www.cambridgema.gov/CityOfCambridge_Content/documents/FamilyNights.pdf — Movies by Moonlight at Boston Harbor Hotel, 7/27 Inherit the Wind, http://www.bhh.com/pdf/movies — WBZ Free Friday Flicks @ Hatch Shell, 7/27 Ice Age 2, http://www.wbz.com/pages/591886.php?contentType=4&contentId=618840 — City of Somerville, July 26 Babe at Conway Park, http://www.townonline.com/somerville/movies/x1591224826 — Dorchester, 7/26, Harry Potter 4. http://www.bostonnatural.org/ — Fitchburg, MA. 7/27 Nanny McPhee, http://www.discoverfitchburg.com/Movie_List.html — Springfield, MA. 7/25 Singin’ in the Rain, 8/1 Hoot. http://www.springfieldcityhall.com/Park/149.0.html — Onset, MA, Onset Bay Movie Co, 7/26, Casino Royale. http://www.myspace.com/obmco Performance events, “A Marvelous Party! The NoÃ«l Coward Celebration” is a revue of 33 songs and by Noel Coward: sketches, anecdotes, debauchery, etc. Yum. July 13-29, at the Zero Arrow Theater, Zero Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA. http://www.amrep.org/venues/zarrow/ Ongoing events I’ve mentioned before: Misalliance, to Sept 9, http://www.publicktheatre.com. Circus Smirkus, July 31-August 1 in Revere. http://www.smirkus.org/htm/tour/tourschedule.html. Chimpanzee exhibit at the Museum of Science, to Aug 28, http://www.mos.org. Barnstable County Fair to July 28, http://www.barnstablecountyfair.org. Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at Mass MoCA, to July 28, http://www.massmoca.org/event_details.php?id=295. David and Old Ironsides, July 25, 7pm Hatch Shell on Esplanade. George Carlin, July 27, North Shore, http://www.themusiccircus.org, and July 29 South Shore, http://www.melodytent.org. Bill Cosby, July 29, http://www.ticketmaster.com. Ciao for niao.-Johnny
This is the what’s what and what’s where in New England this week.
TONIGHT! Remember dodgeball? We used to call it ‘murder ball’ in grade school until the adults stopped us. I was the fat kid in the back, usually the last one to go out because I wasn’t doing any throwing. Anyway, those glory days can be yours again. Tonight, is “open division” night at Big Kids Dodgeball in Boston. July 25, 6:30pm. Register on the Web site before showing up.
The event of the week — one of my all-time favs — is Celebrate Shakespeare Day. Stop! Don’t skip on to the next listing. This is so far from being a boring event for classics lovers only. Last year I went and took a short course in stage combat, another in comedy, and competed for the best on-stage death against a 5-yr-old (she won, the little bastard!). It’s truly sensational and apparently this may be the last year of funding so if you don’t go see this, I will call your mom. July 28 from 11:00am – 2:30pm. http://www.freeshakespeare.org/pages/ed
But that’s not all. As part of the same event they are doing a totally free “Shakespeare on the Common”. This year’s play (and again, it apparently is the last year) is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Possibly the best Shakespearean Comedy. July 22-29, on the Boston Common, Boston, MA. 617-482-9393. You must arrive early and rent a chair. http://www.freeshakespeare.org
Now on to Shakespeare’s most famous weepy, Romeo & Juliet. Remember the Publick Theatre? They have an outdoor stage that is hard to find, along Storrow Drive just west of Cambridge. I’ve been and it’s a truly great setting for a play. Intimate, outdoorsy, bring bug spray just in case. As well as Misalliance, which runs to Sep 9, they are portraying Romeo & Juliet Jul 26 – Sep 16, http://www.publicktheatre.com/
It doesn’t get much stranger than the Central Maine Egg Festival. They have Egg Olympics, parades, quiche and cheesecake contests, a tractor show, and a dog costume contest that I’m sure is cute to die for. July 23-28. Pittsfield, Maine. http://www.pittsfieldmaine.com/eggfesti
Also weird, talking dolphins! Well, it’s a lecture on talking dolphins, at least, presented by a human being. It’s “How do Dolphins Communicate?” at the Museum of Science Boston, one night only, July 26, Cambridge, MA. 12:30pm and 2:30pm. http://www.mos.org/events_activities/sp
As though Boston drivers aren’t tortured enough by pedestrians, now the buggers are putting wheels on their feet! There’s an event called SkateBoston, Jul 27 – 29. The best I can figure is, you meet other skaters and go around terrorizing the town, sort of like tough motor bikers but without the tattoos. Radisson Hotel, 777 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA. This is not for beginners. http://www.skate-boston.com
Another re-enactment this week, “Abigail Adams Meets Captain William Smith”, which is all about the wife of former US President John Adams, who was sort of the Hillary Clinton power behind the throne of her time. I mentioned this in June and they’re doing it one last time July 29 at 2:30pm. Captain William Smith House, Lexington, MA. http://www.nps.gov/ner/customcf/apps/ev
There are a staggering number of Catholic festivals in Boston’s North End, and they look fairly insular (open to the public but not really meant for non-Catholics). This one is I believe the largest. It’s the St. Joseph Feast Celebration, Jul 27 – Jul 29. If anyone can stretch a feast over three whole days, it’s the Italians. Yum! And they’ll have bands, and such. http://www.saintjosephsfeast.com
From the holiest of holies to the unholiest of the goth mindset. Have you ever felt that black eyeshadow and emo podcasting have gone too far? Do you see an irony in trendy Hot Topic stores and collective conformism of a group that preaches non-conformity and not fitting in? This is your chance at self-parody and fun at “Goths Gone Wild”, and event at Ceremony, which is really An Tua Nua, July 30. Yes, it’s a Monday, that is not a misprint. Apparently goths just aren’t popular enough to get a Saturday. The idea is to go super-Goth for a night. Play it up, wear dark bangles, and they’ll have jello wrestling. 835 Beacon Street, Boston, MA. http://www.ceremonyboston.com
More tamely, every week some poetry buffs, realizing how obscure their hobby is, seek to brighten it up with performance. This is the Boston Poetry Slam, which I’ve seen and recommend. It’s like a series of one-person performances. Like rap, without the gangsta. Um, and music. Anyway! Every year a team goes off to the national competition, and we here in Cambridge get to hear their best work. The “Send Off to Nationals” of the Boston Poetry Slam is Aug 1, The Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. 617-244-6619. 7pm. $5. Four teams battle to speak the best poetry, and one team will travel to the national competition. http://www.slamnews.com
The Lowell Folk Festival is this weekend! It’s the largest free folk festival in the US and runs Jul 27 – Jul 29. They have several stages, big ones as well as street performers you can really interact with. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. http://www.lowellfolkfestival.org
MIT performs “The Lion in Winter”, July 26 – August 4. It’s a gripping political thriller with so many plot twists it will blow your mind. At least, I enjoyed the movie. Hamlet with more ham, basically and without the olde timey language because it was not actually written by Shakespeare (ssh!! don’t let any of the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble know, it will break their hearts). July 26-28 and August 2-4 at 8:00PM in Kresge Little Theater at MIT in Cambridge. http://mit.edu/ensemble/www/current.htm
Although I try to stay within a 2-hour drive from Boston, one of the best folk festivals around is in eastern New York, called the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Its just over the border from Western, MA. This year includes The Strangelings w/ Chris Thompson, one of my favorite performers. This year it is July 26-29, Dodds Farm, County Road 7D. Hillsdale, NY. http://www.falconridgefolk.com
Much closer to home, the Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival is July 28 near Worcester, at King Farm in Sutton, MA. 508.234.9090. Take Mass Pike to exit 10A, Rt 146 South to Sutton, follow signs. http://celticfestival.blackstoneval
Are you a manly man? Then why have you never gone fishing? Your secret is safe with us, but get yourself to the Houghton’s Pond Family Fish Festival and they will teach you “angling”. July 28. Houghton’s Pond, Hillside St, Milton, MA.617.698.1802. 10am-2:30pm. Fishing rods available for you to try your luck with angling. They don’t say if you get to keep the fish! http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/educatio
A little known secret about kite flying is that it’s not easy. Think of me, trying to prove my manly manhood to my date, while my kite destroys itself in high velocity wind or — symbolically much, much worse — lies there limply on the ground. Well, here’s a chance for everyone not just to gather and fly kites but to learn how to do it right. What’s really great is that the event takes place on the Boston Harbor Islands, which are a wonderful and unique to Boston place to get away in the summer! George’s Island Kite Day, Jul 28, on the Boston Harbor Islands, Boston, MA. 617-223-8666. Kite experts give lessons on kite-flying, fre material to build kites. http://www.bostonislands.org/events_res
Have you heard of Edgar Allen Poe? Way before “Hellraiser” and way before “Psycho”, he was the real deal in horror fiction in the 19th century, practically inventing the genre before dying mysteriously in 1849. What caused Poe’s death? An author has written an entire murder mystery book set on the theme, I’ve read it and it’s good. So check out the book signing by Matthew Pearl, who wrote “The Poe Shadow”, July 30 at Brookline Booksmith. 279 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA. 617-566-6660. http://www.brooklinebooksmith.com
And now, some less exciting stuff.
Did you know that a number of wading pools and swimming pools are open all around metro Boston and even statewide? See http://www.mass.gov/dcr/recreate/po
The Yankee Homecoming Festival is Jul 28 – Aug 5, on Boston’s North Shore in