Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 11/29/06

Every first Friday of the month, the Museum of Fine Arts holds a social gathering they call First Fridays. And the artist district of Boston, south of Washington Street (SoWa) has one too. SoWa is at 450 Harrison Ave, Boston, MFA is 465 Huntington St, Boston. I’m told it’s a bit of a meat market if you are dating, but I’m sure it’s very arty and fun as well. Admission includes the MFA exhibits and I believe they serve classy booze.

The weird event of the week has tickets which MUST BE BOUGHT TODAY. Stephen Colbert, from Comedy Central, will be at the Institute O’ Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Friday Dec 1 @ 4pm. The only catch is that since the event will be oversold, they are having a lottery. I guess that’s more fair though than simply giving the tickets to the first 100 people since that certainly wouldn’t include me! You have until today, Wed Nov 29th to sign up at

More weirdness, this one is delightful, this weekend Dec 2-3 is the The Great Marlborough Train Show. Best Western, 181 Boston Post Rd (Rt 20). Marlborough, MA. 10-5 S, 10-4 S. 781-862-0388. See some serious train enthusiasts, it’s bound to be cheesy but I love seeing passionate people. And trains.

Another weird event, is called Aging 101: Live to be 100. It’s one of many lectures that happen at the Museum of Science, Boston. 6pm. A panel of centenarians discuss their experiences and advice on living to be really really old.

I went to see Avner the Eccentric and it was definitely worth seeing, especially if you have kids. Basically it is a recreation of a silent vaudeville show circa 1900.

By the way, the IOP has a great mailing list and senior people are always coming to lecture at Harvard. For example, just this week, the US Global Aids Coordinator, a former US ambassador to the UN, some newly elected members of Congress, and Christine Todd Whitman the governor of New Jersey, are all speaking!

The MIT Musical Theatre Guild is showing Children of Eden, which is non-preachy story about Genesis, and not to spoil the ending or anything, but Cain did it. Dec 1-9, MIT in Cambridge.

Handel’s Messiah is beind performed by the Handel & Hayden Society, Symphony Hall, Dec 1-3.

Two events are essentially bazaars dressed up as festivals. But then you need to get some holiday gifts, right? The expensive stuff will be at Crafts at the Castle, an art sale for charity. Whenever I see the words charity or benefit I always think expensive. Dec 1-3, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA.

The inexpensive one is yet another open studios, the Charlestown Open Studios, Dec 2-3, in Charlestown, MA. It’s possibly smaller than the other Charlestown festival, Art in the Park, but a good excuse to walk around a neighborhood, see local studios and artists’ private homes and maybe buy something or chat with an artist about their work.

If you want to think truly inexpensive, you’re either short on cash or need to buy gifts for people whom you don’t like very much, skip professional artists entirely and go for student work. Wednesday, Dec 6th is the annual sale of students at the Museum of Fine Arts. 230 The Fenway, Boston, right behind the MFA,

If you love dogs, or own a dog, check out the Jingle Ball Walk (Dog Charity Walk). Dec 3rd on Boston Common.

Also, David Lynch, the director/writer, is screening the film Inland Empire, Dec 3rd, at the Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge. This might sell out so call in advance. I’m still feeling trauma from seeing Eraserhead, so I won’t be going.

A bunch of performances are coming up and I should give you a little notice rather than popping it as a surprise when tickets may be running out.

Next week, STOMP opens, Dec 5-17. I haven’t seen this production but I have seen STOMP elsewhere and it’s really good. It’s like Blue Man Group but more musical, less random, and fun. Colonial Theatre

Also the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes is coming, Dec 7-29. I wonder if that’ll be any good. Wang Theater.

One thing I’m really looking forward to though is The Reduced Shakespeare Company in Completely Hollywood (abridged). Dec 7-17. Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell. If you like Shakespeare there will be a ton of “in” jokes here as they compress Shakespeare plays into succinct and witty 5-minute skits, and then parody them by pretending to include Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington. Oh wait, Denzel was actually a film based on a Shakespeare play. This thing is coming full circle.

I’d still like to know where the Christmas Caroling is. I’m not even religious, I just think it’s fun. Someone please write me! I’ll do some research on this next week.

Continuing events from last week: Lysistrata, Seacoast Repertory Theatre. Portsmouth, NH. Medicine Wheel, which is a memorial to AIDS victims, Nov 27-Dec 3. 539 Tremont Street, Boston. 617-268-6700. And the Nutcracker continues of course. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee continues through Dec 31 at the Wilbur Theatre. It looks really interesting but then I noticed that the DISCOUNTED tickets are $65. I’m not sure it’s worth quite that much unless it’s totally awesome opossum. Anybody on this list heard any gossip about it?