Events INSIDER: Jan 6-14, 2014

Giveaways & Features
Win: Passim’s BCMFest
Win a pair of tickets to Boston’s Celtic Music Festival at Club Passim. Email to win. Win: Passim's BCMFestClub Passim Cambridge, MA, .
Win: Working, a Musical
Win one of two pairs of ‘anytime’ tickets to ‘Working: The Musical’ – which is based on Studs Terkell’s famous book about the workin’ man (and woman) and received glowing reviews during it’s NYC performances. Email to win. Win: Working, a MusicalThe Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, .
Win/Review: The Color Purple
The tour-de-force drama comes to the Speak Easy Stage, and we have 2 Pairs of tickets for Wednesday, January 15 show @ 7:30. Email to win. Win/Review: The Color PurpleSpeakEasy Stage Company, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, .
Win/Review: Opening of The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith
Blues meets drama in ‘The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith’ which finds Bessie skipping her ‘scheduled’ performance to hang and chat and sing with the audience very clever. I like it. We have a pair of tickets to give away for the 1/19 and 1/26 show. Email to win, and check out our review, too!. 7pm. Win/Review: Opening of The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith Lowell, MA, .
Johnny’s Picks
Find 16 New England Regions on Twitter
Hey! I’ve split my Twitter feed into 17 regions so that you can REALLY get just the events close to home, or pick what you like. Please check it out and add me to a ‘Twitter list’ too (google it). Find 16 New England Regions on Twitter All Over, , .
Get the 2014 New England Guide
Mention my website to friends and get my 2013 New England Guide, with 1,200 off-beat destinations including dinosaur footprints, zoos, ziplines, where to go stargazing, and where to find an indoor water park in December! Get the 2014 New England Guide All Over, , .
Snow Quidditch!
Work hard / play hard’ is in full effect at MIT this January, as they play Quiddich, which is a game from little known series of fantasy novels, in the snow. Unless there’s no snow. Then it will just be Quiddich…on the ground. 2-4pm. Snow Quidditch!MIT Kresge Oval Cambridge, MA, .
Poe at Gore Estate
I’ve seen this re-enactment and it’s wonderfully spooky! Rob Vellela portrays Edgar Allan Poe reading stories at this historic home. Trust me, you’ve got to see this! 4-6pm. Poe at Gore Estate Waltham, MA, .
Magic Month at the Regent
What is ‘Magic Month’ you ask? It’s exactly what you think it is. Illusionists, tricks, slights of hand, rabbits, doves, card tricks, and more furrowed brows and ‘howdidhedothat?!’s than you can count! Check out the website for all the details, and I heartily encourage you to make all the money in your wallet vanish in order to see every show from the best seat possible! Magic Month at the RegentRegent Theatre Arlington, MA, .
Monster Sled at Fenway Park
There’s a different kind of sliding going on at Yawkey way this January involving snow and a 20 foot tall man-made snow-tubing hill. This is *our* bleepin’ city, and this is a cool bleeping event at Fenway park. Monster Sled at Fenway ParkFenway Park Boston, MA, .
MIT IAP (Independent Activities Period)
The school that never sleeps, MIT holds a month of creative classes, lectures, and special events. Almost all of these are just for the MIT community or fully registered by now (I checked), but click through to see if anything is available that might catch your fancy! MIT IAP (Independent Activities Period)MIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
International Folk Dancing for Everyone
MIT has a folk dancing club. You read that right. The smartest people in the country also have coordination, AND dancing talent. Meanwhile I still trip myself up on the ‘Eyyyy Marcarina!’ part of the…well you know the song. Yeesh, some people have all the luck. 8pm. International Folk Dancing for EveryoneStratton Student Center, Building W20 Cambridge, MA, .
Boston Celtic Music Festival and Dance Party
Ever since seeing ‘Childsplay’ I’ve had a softspot in my heart for Celtic music, and this is an ENTIRE FESTIVAL featuring the stuff, with music and dance performances, participatory events, a parade, and lots of other awesome celtic-y things. It’s like a ye-olden carnival brought to life via fiddle, step dance, and hopefully an Irish lass or two. Boston Celtic Music Festival and Dance PartyClub Passim Cambridge, MA, .
Boston No Pants Ride
Every year the pranksters in Boston (and New York) ride the subway with only their underwear. These are the guys who unleashed fifty people in blue shirts and khakis into a ‘Best Buy’, for the record. Regarding this, I’ve seen it and it’s a pretty awesome stunt unless you’re trying to get off the subway with groceries. They meet at the South Station subway stop, outside on the street level. 1-6pm. Boston No Pants RideSouth Station Boston, MA, .
Old Newbury Bonfire
Another Christmas tree bonfire! This one is north of Boston, and has a little more to offer: Tons of food, a Christmas tree toss, a treasure hunt, skating and sledding, raffles and prizes, and- ‘weather permitting,’ fried dough. Why is fried dough dependent on the weather?! 3-6pm. Old Newbury BonfireSpencer-Peirce-Little Farm Newbury, MA, .
Full Moon Trek & Bonfire
Enjoy an adults-only one-and-a-half hour hike that includes Native American traditions pertaining to moonlight, a wine tasting, and the quintessentially American tradition of lighting things on fire for our entertainment (and warmth). 6:30pm. Full Moon Trek & BonfireHilltop Orchards Richmond, MA, .
Also Fun
Winter Trails Day
There’s one more holiday to go folks. Happy Winter Trails day! Winter Trails Day takes place all across New England, wherever there is snow. You can find free snowshoeing and free cross-country skiing anywhere there’s snow and trails! Winter Trails DayAll Over All Over, , .
Learn to Waltz via MIT
What’s better than ‘The Last Waltz’? Your first Waltz! MIT, for 3 dollars, will teach you the basics of this most elegant ballroom dance as part of a series of dance workshops. So much twirling! 7:30pm. Learn to Waltz via MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Computer Workstation Ergonomics at MIT
Learn the best office and desk practices to enhance comfort and productivity via this hour-long workshop. As someone who went from a tiny 14inch laptop computer to a desk, wireless mouse, keyboard, and 1080p monitor, the importance of having an ergonomically sound workplace cannot be stressed enough. Unless you’re MIT, in which case they’ll probably stress it just the right amount. This event is first come first serve, and you *may* have to be an MIT student. Call ahead…or ‘forget’ your ID, but I didn’t tell you that. 11:30am-12:30pm. Computer Workstation Ergonomics at MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Trash Can Drumming
Banging on a Trashcan’ is not just for Nickelodeon’s ‘Doug’ anymore, as a special performance / workshop for aspiring trashcan drummers comes to MIT. Class starts at 7pm. Trash Can DrummingMIT W20 Basement Conference Room (W20-027) Cambridge, MA, .
Harvard Coop Author Events: Amram Shapiro
We’ve all said ‘What are the odds of *that* happening?!’ at least once or twice in our lives. Well, Amram Shapiro had the presence of mind to write a book about it! He’ll be discussing that book, ‘The Book Of Odds’ at the Harvard Coop. 7pm. Harvard Coop Author Events: Amram ShapiroThe Harvard Coop, 1400 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Surveillance in Cultural Context: Seven Films at MIT
MIT hosts a film festival focused on citizens being watched by their governments. It begins with the great ‘Minority Report’ , includes ‘Rear Window’, ‘Enemy of The State’ and ends with a documentary on the ‘Anonymous’ hacking group, all with post-film discussion and light snacks! Free, too! Check it out! Surveillance in Cultural Context: Seven Films at MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Learn Kung-Fu / Taichi At MIT
In the immortal words of Neo, ‘I know Kung Fu’. Okay I don’t, but after this free series of workshops, I could! Kinda! Learn about Kung Fu and Taichi from masters of the martial arts. In addition to making you a bad-ass, Martial arts build strength, confidence, and peace of mind when done right. Check it out, it’s going on all month long. 7:30-8:30pm. Learn Kung-Fu / Taichi At MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
A special screening of the erotic (to some) ‘Secretary’ starring the gorgeous (to everyone) Maggie Gyllenhaal with a post-film Q&A with the cast and crew of ‘Venus in Fur’, a completely different, sexually charged, dramedy. Brings your questions, leave the whips and handcuffs at home. 7pm. Stage & Screen: VENUS IN FUR / SECRETARYCoolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline, MA, .
Learn to play Bridge via MIT
What is Bridge, other than the one card game on your computer you ignore? I don’t know. Thankfully, MIT does, and they’re offering a free workshop dedicated to teaching aspiring card sharps. The wikipedia is something like 3000 words long, so hands on education is probably the way to go here! 6-9:30pm. Learn to play Bridge via MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Rare Book Speed Dating at MIT
Get up close and personal with rare books via MIT’s ‘Rare Book Speed Dating’ Event. It’s okay, I’m laughing pretty hard, too. This is open to everyone, but you have to register. There are currently four seats available if you wanna get to ‘know’ some rare books. For what it’s worth a girl I knew once said a good book is better than a ‘hot date’. She didn’t get out much and ate a lot of tofurky. 10:30am-11:00am / 11:15am-11:45am. Rare Book Speed Dating at MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Isreali Folk Dancing at MIT
What is Israeli folk dancing? I do not know. Thankfully MIT does, and not only will they demonstrate it, they will teach it to any and all willing participants, with songs ranging from popular pop hits to the songs Israeli pioneers sang. Entertaining AND Educational AND Active. MIT needs to be out of session more often! 8pm. Isreali Folk Dancing at MITStudent Ctr 491 MIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Using Images in your work: A look at fair use, open licensing, and copyright at MIT
I know dozens of people who make their living via Youtube and media-related fields that use tons of copyrighted material under ‘fair use’. The rules are nebulous, changing, and confusing. And who better than MIT to hopefully set the record straight. I’d check this out if you’re a budding media creator and want to cover your booty, legally – though this focuses more on scholarly pieces and written work. Pre-registration required. 1-2:15pm. Using Images in your work: A look at fair use, open licensing, and copyright at MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Hot Stove Cool Music Benefit Concert
I never understood why off season baseball talk is called ‘hot stove’ talk, but I DO like that it afford the folks at Fenway the chance to call this benefit concert ‘Hot Stove / Cool Music’ with a bunch of ‘mash up’ bands with members of The Black Crowes and R.E.M performing to support ‘The Foundation to be Named Later’, which supports poor families. 6pm. Hot Stove Cool Music Benefit ConcertParadise Rock Club Boston, MA, .
Win: Boston Urban Ceilidh Dance Party
A ceilidh (pronounced like ‘Kaylee’) is a Gaelic social gathering with music and dance. In other words, this is an Irish contra dance event! AND we have 2 tickets to giveaway! Score! Email to win. Otherwise: $15, 8pm. Win: Boston Urban Ceilidh Dance PartyThe Atrium, 50 Church Street Cambridge, MA, .
Ice Skating via MIT
Head to Johnson Ice Rink to get your ice skating fix. Even better this event will teach you how to perform various jumps, twirls, spins, and all that other stuff people far more flexible than I do. It’s free, too! 9:30-10:45am. Ice Skating via MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Intro to Contra Dancing, with Live Folk Music
There’s more going on at MIT this January besides folk/contra dancing. I just really like contra dancing. This one has a live band (which you can join, if you play!) so that’s different. 8pm. Intro to Contra Dancing, with Live Folk MusicMIT student center 491 Cambridge, MA, .
Audio/Visual: Visual Art about Sound and Music
A series of visual art pieces about sound and music? The late Lou Reed would be proud. This event strives to convey the emotion and genre of music through various visual mediums. Certainly worth a look as long as you promise to not shout out ‘Draw Freebird! Draw Freebird!’ to the live DJ. OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 7@10pm. Audio/Visual: Visual Art about Sound and MusicWashington Street Art, 321D Washington Street, Somerville, MA, .
Mahjong Tournament at MIT
Mahjong has Winds, Dragons, Flowers, and Seasons, and that’s about all I know about it, outside of the fact that it’s fantastically popular and quite the brain-intensive adventure. MIT, a school sort of known for it’s brain-intensive folks, is hosting a tournament that’s sure to be, well, intense! 7-10pm. Mahjong Tournament at MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Learn to Cha Cha via MIT
MIT is also offering Cha Cha workshops, too! The Cha Cha is a Cuban-in-origin dance made popular via the swingin’ hips of Latin women across the globe. I won’t make a ‘Cha, you should go’ joke if you promise to go and Cha Cha…And nab a phone number or two for me while you’re at it. 7:30pm – 9:00pm. Learn to Cha Cha via MITMIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA, .
Walter Camp Weekend
Teach your offspring the difference between a 3-4, 4-3, nickel, and how to throw a forward pass! If you have an athletically inclined kid who roots for the Pats (or the Giants…I guess), and think he or she may want to get a little X’s and O’s info to go with that enthusiasm, this could be a great event! Pre-registration required, 4-7pm. Walter Camp Weekendvarious locations New Haven, CT, .
Boston Antiques and Design Show
Do you miss hunting for cool stuff at flea markets, now that it’s too cold? Check out this indoor antiques show. New this year is the inclusion of the rare book and paper show, which was completely separate before. One-stop antiquing and…paper-iquing! Boston Antiques and Design ShowShriner’s Auditorium Wilmington, MA, .
Westbrook Winter Festival – Sled Race
An honest-to-goodness dog-sled race in Westbrook, ME where racers compete for a $2000 cash prize – I’m unsure if dogs get any sort of kibble-related reward worth a day-or-two trip for those who’ve never seen such a sight. 8:30am-3pm. Westbrook Winter Festival - Sled RaceSunset Ridge Golf Course Westbrook, ME, .
American Idol World Premiere Screening
American Idol’s still on? I mean, American Idol’s still on! And you can see it on the big screen in Framingham. 7pm. American Idol World Premiere ScreeningAMC Framingham 16 – 22 Flutie Pass, Framingham, MA, .
Winterfest Weekends at Fruitlands Museum
The Fruitlands museum, Candy land’s healthier, slimmer, cousin, has a slope called the ‘OMG Hill’ during its Winterfest festival! I mean, it’s not really a ‘festival’ if it lasts 6 weeks, but they’ll have bonfires, sledding, ice skating, and snowshoeing, Saturdays & Sundays, from 11am-4pm. It would be a good idea to call ahead, since there may be last-minute cancellations due to the weather. Winterfest Weekends at Fruitlands MuseumFruitlands Museum Harvard, MA, .
Winter Wonder Days at the Roger Williams Park Zoo
Nothing to do? How about the zoo? Roger Williams Park offers half price admission January through February thanks to its ‘Winter Wonderdays’ promotion. Winter Wonder Days at the Roger Williams Park Zoo Providence, RI, .
Ocean State Theatre Family Fun Fest
Oh man, this is great, Listen to classic show tunes from Bye Bye Birdie, The Addams Family (which I didn’t know was a musical!), Cinderella, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Matilda (which I didn’t know what a musical x2), Oliver!, Snoopy, The Suessical, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown in Warwick on January 11th. They get bonus points if they bust out ‘Don’t be the Leaf if you can be the Tree’. 7:30pm. Ocean State Theatre Family Fun Fest Warwick, RI, .
Watercolors in Nature
Do you like to paint? Why not try this watercolor class at the Audubon? You’ll need some instruction- watercolors are tricky and one wrong dab can turn those beautiful blues and yellows and reds a mucky yucky brown! 10am-1pm. Watercolors in NatureMass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary Natick, MA, .
Dance! Family Day
Learn ballroom dancing techniques from a professional while *also* getting the proverbial skinny on the history of dance as an exhibition, and dance as art. This is all a part of a new exhibition highlighting the Fairy Tale art of Ruth Sanderson – tis the season for dancing it appears. 1-4pm. Dance! Family DayNorman Rockwell Museum, 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA, .
Moonlight Skiing
For one night only this winter, Notchview will be open after-hours for night-time skiing – This is not the setup to ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’, honest. There is also popcorn and cider post-ski 7-9pm. Moonlight SkiingNotchview Windsor, MA, .
Colonial Classic Synchronized Skating Competition
A synchronized skating competition in Lowell will dazzle you. I promise it. Seeing people moving in unison is great as is, but imagine doing it on skates! That’s *really* hard to do, folks! Even better, this is a three day competition, so you know you’re getting the ‘A’ game from the skaters! Colonial Classic Synchronized Skating CompetitionUMass Lowell Tsongas Center Lowell, MA, .
Check out our review of ‘Working: The Musical’ from the lyric stage! Review: WORKING, A MUSICALThe Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA, .
U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Do you like BMX? Vert Skateboarding? The X-games? Well, you should try figure-skating on for size! So much speed! So much twirling! So much jumping and landing that it gives me chills! And not just because it’s cold in there! U.S. Figure Skating ChampionshipsTD Garden Boston, MA, .
The Heart of Robin Hood
In this spectacular rendition of the English legend, the notorious Robin Hood and his band of merry men steal from the rich, but refuse to share with the oppressed peasantry. As the wicked Prince John threatens all of England, it is down to Marion to boldly protect the poor and convert Robin Hood from outlaw to hero. First seen at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2011, this new production is filled with high adventure, epic romance, amazing fight choreography, and an original score inspired by contemporary folk music. The Heart of Robin HoodLoeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA, .
Speakeasy Circus
The insane speak easy circus returns with more stunts, more lights, more colors, and more incredible feats! Speakeasy CircusOBERON Cambridge, MA, .
The Slutcracker
Yes. The Slutcracker is a real show. Yes it’s probably what you think it is, combining the classic Nutcracker Suite with burlesque-y things, ribald humor, and zany, over-the-top antics. And of course you want to see it! The SlutcrackerSomerville Theatre Somerville, MA, .
Review: Insignificance
Marilyn Monroe meets Einstein meets Joe DiMaggio, meets…John F. Kennedy(?!) in this comedy about our oft-spinning moral compass. Check out our review! Review: Insignificance Cambridge, MA, .
Review: Venus in Fur
Venus in Fur’ is one of those subversive plays that mix the actual ‘play’ with the production aspects for some fourth-wall-breaking goodness. This one has quite the legacy, too, with the film adaptation being directed by controversial filmmaker Roman Polanski it starts 1/9, and we’ll have a review you can check out 1/14! Review: Venus in FurHuntington Theatre Company, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, .
County Bluegrass Winter Bluegrass Festival
This has a Phish concert vibe; a weekend-long, camping-encouraged, country blue-glass festival in (of course) Maine, with three bands, so many banjos, and enough twang for a lifetime. Looks fabulous. County Bluegrass Winter Bluegrass FestivalPresque Isle Inn & Convention Centre Presque Isle, ME, .
24-hour Play Festival
A 24 hour play festival is actually a little misleading – there’s actually only 6 plays performed in about a 2-3 hour period. The 24 hour part comes from the writers, producers, and actors who are up from midnight to midnight writing and rehearsing them. Wanna see what a play finalized at 3am looks like? Check it out in Wakefield, RI 8pm. 24-hour Play FestivalThe South Kingstown High School Auditorium, 215 Columbia St., Wakefield, RI, .
Winterfest Hartford
Hartford features free skating and free skate rentals for a month, plus professional skating shows every Friday and Saturday, 6-7pm. (Until recently, this event was known as the Hartford Festival of Light.). Winterfest HartfordBushnell Park Hartford, CT, .
Winter West Festival
Dog sleds, sleigh rides, ice sculptures, food, winter sports, and more in Westbrook! The details on the 2014 event are scant, but it’s happening, that’s for sure! Winter West FestivalDowntown Westbrook Westbrook, ME, .
Glowlight Parade & Fireworks
You know that awesome scene in ‘Mulan’ where thousands of soldiers race down a snowy mountain carrying lit explosives, then Mulan shoots the last firework at them to cause an avalanche? Well this is like that, but instead of soldiers it’s dozens of skiers, and instead of explosives, it’s glow-lights – and there’s more than one firework, too…and hopefully no avalanche. Same kind of visual though! Check it out! 7pm. Glowlight Parade & FireworksSugarloaf, 5092 Access Rd., Kingfield, ME, .
Children’s Festival Week
Sunday River’s Children’s Festival *actually* looks like a great excuse to go yourself – kids stay free, ski free, can take discounted lessons, and be stowed away with childcare folks for half price while you hit the slopes with a little extra dough in your pocket. Sounds good to me! Children's Festival WeekSunday River ski area, 15 South Ridge Road, Newry, ME, .
Snowshoe Adventure Hikes
There’s low intensity and high intensity snowshoe walks happening in Laconia this January, which combines frigid temperatures with…sweating. Lots of people like it though, and it could make for a cool day-trip adventure for families or folks looking to try something new. Check it out. 9am, 11am, and 6pm for a moonlight walk. Snowshoe Adventure Hikes Laconia, NH, .