Events INSIDER: Jan 28-Feb 5, 2013

Johnny’s Picks
MIT 6.270 Robot Competition
Have you ever seen a robot competition on TV? Come see it live at the college that started it all! This week at MIT, three different courses come to an end with a final competition. This one’s the biggest and best, where students build physical robots and have them compete. 7-10pm. MIT 6.270 Robot CompetitionMIT Room 26-100 Cambridge, MA, .
Snow Quidditch!
Well, unless there’s no snow. Then it will just be Quidditch. 2-4pm. Snow Quidditch!MIT Kresge Oval Cambridge, MA, .
Harvard Model United Nations
The model UN is a serious attempt to discuss politics as though meeting at the United Nations in New York. These students really take it seriously. And I’m not really sure if you can just stroll in as a member of the public and check it out. I would think so. Harvard Model United NationsPark Plaza Hotel 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 Cambridge, MA, .
Harvard Square Winter Carnival Chili Cook-Off and Volleyball
Also in Harvard Square, there’s an outdoor chili competition. Details are few, but it’s free and presumably you get to eat chili. And they’ll have live music. 1-3pm. Harvard Square Winter Carnival Chili Cook-Off and VolleyballPlaza Cambridge, MA, .
Self: Illuminated @ the CMRI
Wayne Strattman does kinetic plasma sculpture. He lit up the Borg in the new Star Trek films! There’s a major exhibition of his work this winter at the CMRI. It’s electrifying. (What would I do without bad puns?). Self: Illuminated @ the CMRICharles River Museum of Industry Waltham, MA, .
Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Parade and Awards
Mon dieu! Bon sang! French beauty Marion Cotillard is the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year! Flock to Harvard Square today at 2:45pm to sigh over her as she leads the famous parade. Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year Parade and Awards Cambridge, MA, .
Science on Screen: RUSHMORE with guest speaker Steven Schlozman, MD
Everyone loves Wes Anderson, including the good folks who curate the Science on Screen series over at Coolidge Corner. This month’s lecture is, of course, on the adolescent brain. 7pm. Science on Screen: RUSHMORE with guest speaker Steven Schlozman, MDCoolidge Corner Theatre Brookline, MA, .
Chelmsford Winterfest
The winter festivals don’t just stop. Chelmsford’s lasts all weekend, with nighttime snowshoeing, nature walks, sledding & skiing, a chowder festival, and a pancake breakfast. It really makes you hope for snow, doesn’t it? Chelmsford Winterfest Chelmsford, MA, .
Revels Pub Sing
. Revels Pub SingThe Skellig Waltham, MA, .
Lincoln Winter Carnival
Horseback riding, snowshoe tours, snow sculpture contests, and indoor events dot this town-wide festival just one town west of the Rt 128 beltway. Lincoln Winter Carnival Lincoln, MA, .
Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival
Do you dare to climb a waterfall of ice? I don’t! So prove you’re braver at this festival and take on other adventures that all sound insane. Plus they’ll have open drytooling. (What is open drytooling?). Mount Washington Valley Ice FestivalInternational Mountain Climbing School North Conway, NH, .
Newburyport Winter Carnival
Don’t worry, there’s no mall involved. They just got a little confused naming the local park. This festival has got horse-drawn hayrides, skating on the pond, sledding, and a ‘human dog sled race.’. Newburyport Winter CarnivalBartlett Mall Newburyport, MA, .
Greenfield Winter Carnival
Further out along Route 2 in Western Massachusetts, Greenfield has a festival, too. Make a cardboard sled and race. Fireworks, snowshoeing, ice skating, ice bowling, snow volleyball, a tug o’ war, and a snowman competition with an entire snow village. Wow! Greenfield Winter Carnival Greenfield, MA, .
Temple Con
This annual gamers convention turns Steampunk this year! You’ll find board games, live roleplaying, and performances such as the Adult-oriented Saucy Puppet Show. Temple ConThe Crowne Plaza Warwick, RI, .
Giveaways & Features
Get the 2013 New England Guide
Mention my website to friends and get my 2013 New England Guide, with 700 off-beat destinations including dinosaur footprints, zoos, ziplines, where to go stargazing, and where to find an indoor water park in December! Get the 2013 New England Guide All Over, , .
Find 17 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 17 New England Regions on Twitter All Over, , .
Boston’s Largest High-Tech / Business Calendar
Do you network? Find Boston’s largest calendar of high-tech and business networking events in my free mobile app! Boston's Largest High-Tech / Business Calendar Boston, MA, .
Also Fun
USS Constitution Museum Model Show
This model show is free, but they haven’t listed what times to go to actually meet some of the model builders and do a workshop. So, call. Otherwise, it’s basically an exhibit open all day every day. USS Constitution Museum Model ShowUSS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard Building 22 Boston, MA, .
Burr Co-Op Winter Concert and Festival
This looks very much like a kids thing, but we take any ‘festivals’ we can get in the cold months. 10am-12pm. Burr Co-Op Winter Concert and FestivalNewton Cultural Center Newton, MA, .
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief
Author Lawrence right gives the low-down on Scientology. Let’s hope he also lays the smack down. Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of BeliefThe Brattle Theatre Cambridge, MA, .
Explore the MIT Chapel Organ
Most likely you can get yourself into this demonstration and concert of two lovely organs at MIT. Musical organs. Explore the MIT Chapel OrganMIT Kresge Cambridge, MA, .
Intro to Contra Dancing, with Live Folk Music
There’s more going on at MIT 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, right? 8pm. Intro to Contra Dancing, with Live Folk MusicMIT student center 491 Cambridge, MA, .
IHOP National Pancake Day
Also free are pancakes! Yummy yummy, pancakes. 7am to 10pm, any IHOP. IHOP National Pancake DayIHOP Cambridge, MA, .
Groundhog Day at Drumlin Farm
This one also involves tracking animals in the snow, if there is any. 9:30am-4pm. Groundhog Day at Drumlin FarmDrumlin Farm Lincoln, MA, .
Newport NH Winter Carnival
Wait, what is a pickleball tournament? Ooh, and there’s a parade and karaoke on the common! Newport NH Winter Carnival Newport, NH, .
Drowned Hog Weekend
Of all the ‘insane people jumping into the winter ocean for charity’ events, this one wins the prize for best sense of humor. ‘Wet suits are allowed ONLY if the wearer also wears a tutu and a tiara.’. Drowned Hog WeekendNantasket Beach Hull, MA, .
Vinegar Tom
Here’s a play about witchcraft in 17th century England Only, it’s a Caryl Churchill play, so it’s going to be postmodern and cool. Expect an edgy performance with lots of movement and song. Vinegar TomBoston Center for the Arts (South End) Boston, MA, .
The Servant of Two Masters
Here’s a musical for people who hate musicals. With its commedia dell’arte roots and place on ArtsEmerson’s impeccable program, you know this is a comedy with a pedigree. The Servant of Two MastersParamount Center Mainstage Boston, MA, .
Mathematics Department Music Recital
How bad could it be? Math geeks sing and play. But will there be numbers?? 2-4pm. Mathematics Department Music RecitalKillian Recital Hall at MIT Cambridge, MA, .
African Music and Dance at Berklee
Basically what it says. In case you didn’t know, Berklee is a world-renowned music school, so this is definitely going to be a great show! African Music and Dance at BerkleeBerklee Performance Center Boston, MA, .
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour: 55th Anniversary
Do you like jazz? Monterey is the longest consecutively running jazz fest in the world. But you probably already knew that. Dee Dee Bridfewater and Christian McBride are the stars of this event. 8pm. Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour: 55th AnniversaryBerklee Performance Center Boston, MA, .
Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw
Never heard of Benjamin Britten? You may have heard his music in ‘Moonrise Kingdom.’ Apparently he wrote an opera of The Turn of the Screw, one of the most unsettling ghost stories ever written. Is the supernatural really at work, or is the governess going mad? Both prospects are terrible, and the ambiguity is what scares. I can’t wait to see what the music is like! Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the ScrewThe Cutler Majestic Theatre Boston, MA, .
The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged
These free performances condense all of Shakespeare into a parody that will make you laugh and laugh, whether you get the ‘in’ jokes or not! The Complete Works of Shakespeare, AbridgedRehearsal Room B in Kresge at MIT Cambridge, MA, .
Dr. Faustus
Here’s the best known play by Christopher Marlowe, one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. It’s the classic story of a man who sells his soul to the Devil, only this company is staging it in the 1960s during the women’s lib movement with a nearly all-female cast. This will either be really good or really bad. Check in next week to see what our reviewer and resident dramaturge has to say! Dr. FaustusThe Cathedral of St. Paul Boston, MA, .
Monty Python Week at the Brattle
And now for something completely different: A whole week of Monty Python at the Brattle! The highlight of this series is the area premiere of ‘A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman.’ You may remember Chapman as the late Python who played King Arthur and Brian in ‘The Holy Grail’ and ‘The Life of Brian.’. Monty Python Week at the BrattleThe Brattle Theatre Cambridge, MA, .
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
This year, Imaginary Beasts is staging the Legend of Sleepy Hollow for their annual winter ‘panto.’ It’s a British thing; sort of like a cross between a vaudeville show and a fairy tale play. Pantos are always family-friendly and involve audience participation, mainly shouting. The Legend of Sleepy HollowBoston Center for the Arts Boston, MA, .
The best family-oriented theatre in New England is putting on Oliver! If you’ve got kids, this is a must. The WFT’s big musicals are always winners. Oliver!The Wheelock Family Theatre Boston, MA, .
The Glass Menagerie
There hasn’t been a decent Tennessee Williams production in Boston for a while. Bonus? This one stars Cherry Jones, the powerhouse actor who you might remember from her Tony-winning performance in ‘Doubt’ several years ago. This is a winner, kids. The Glass MenagerieThe American Repertory Theatre Cambridge, MA, .
Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival
This is the regional portion of the nation’s foremost college-level theater festival. I went one year and it’s surprisingly fun. Kennedy Center American College Theater FestivalVarious locations Hyannis, MA, .
Robert Burns Celebration
A traditional Scottish dinner in honor of one of the Highlands’ best-loved poet laureates, Robert Burns. (Do you think they’re serving deep fried Mars bars?) 6pm. Robert Burns CelebrationJ. Timothy’s Taverne Plainville, CT, .
Salon des Independants
It only sounds stuffy because they gave it a French name, but this is a free-for-all: A gallery show with no judge, no jury, no fees, and no censorship! Salon des IndependantsHygienic Art Galleries & Art Park New London, CT, .
Greater Tuna
This parody of small-town life down South is played by two actors in a myriad of roles. Looks hilarious! Greater TunaPortland Stage Portland, ME, .
Auburn Winter Festival
These outdoorsy snow sports events take place all over the region. Auburn Winter Festival Auburn, ME, .
Biddeford WinterFest
I love these small towny winter fests. They’re tiny but full of good cheer! Biddeford WinterFest Biddeford, ME, .
Ellsworth Winter Carnival
Here’s another one in Ellsworth. Ellsworth Winter Carnival Ellsworth, ME, .
Portland on Ice
While it’s mostly live music, we’ll take what we can get in February in Maine. So try this festival. Portland on Ice Portland, ME, .
Kennebunk WinterFest
A scavenger hunt, horse drawn wagon rides, ice skating, and a soup contest. What’s not to like? Kennebunk WinterFest Kennebunk, ME, .
Stowe Winter Carnival
Ice carving competition — I’d love to try that! And snow volleyball… Awesome. Stowe Winter Carnival Stowe, VT, .
Island Pond Winter Carnival
Broomball and hamburgers… Island Pond Winter Carnival Island Pond, VT, .
Burlington Winter Festival
From ice carving to snow carving. Lots of other winter activities, too. Burlington Winter Festival Burlington, VT, .