Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 01/18/07


Here’s what’s coming up in New England.

Let’s start with a bang. Tonight, the Somerville Theatre shows their annual compilation of the best short animation films of the year. The Animation Show is Jan 18th at 6:30pm and 9pm. 55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA, 617-625-5700.

Also, how about Battle of the Brownies at MIT? It’s another of the Laboratory for Chocolate Science events, and it’s Jan 20th. 4-6pm. MIT in Cambridge. RSVP ahead if you want to compete for best recipe.

The weird event of the week is the Charity Snowman Building Competition @ MIT, Jan 21st. Don’t laugh too loud because some snow is expected Fri & Sat. 12-4pm, Kresge Oval, MIT, no limit but sign ups required to compete.

Another weird event is True Story Theater, happening Jan 22nd, 6:45-7:45pm at the United Baptist Church, 322 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA. I saw them perform at First Night Boston and it was quite interesting! You tell them a quick story from your life, like the morning you woke up on a fraternity’s pool table with no clothes on and no memory of the previous evenig. Then they act it out, improv-style. Quite engaging, I definitely recommend this. They have performances every month, the next ones being Feb 10, Mar 8. Also, somewhat vaguely, I am seeing an event on their website called “playshops”, where you get to participate and do some improv with them. Jan 28th.

I don’t normally list fashion events, but this one looks interesting. Cocktails & Couture @ The MFA is the classy event for the week. Jan 22 at 6:30. It’s a fashion show of Paris collections. Sip cocktails, get a gift bag, go to be seen, and possibly hook up with overly thin overly hip art students.

Tracy Morgan, the former Saturday Night Live star, is performing at the Comedy Connection, Jan 19-21, Fanueil Hall, 245 Quincy Market Building, Boston, MA. 617-248-9700.

Looking for something creative to do? How about a class at the Brookline Arts Center, based in, you guessed it, Brookline. Their adult classes schedule is, and they have one for kids, too. For example, they are having a free demonstration of acrylic painting Sat Jan 20th, the lecture is 10am-12pm and then a workshop 1-4pm. It’s interactive so you get to try actually painting.

You can find these kinds of events all over. For example, Jan 21 is Family Sketching Sunday at Harvard’s Sackler and Peabody Museums. This event happens every week, 1:30-3:30pm. Basically it’s a guided tour through the museum and your kids get to draw stuff. I don’t have any kids, but sometimes I *am* the kid for these events. (Oh sure, like you’ve never asked for the crayons and kids placemat at Bickford’s or Denny’s.)

This weekend is also the Greater Boston Antiques Festival, which is more of a flea market than a festival I suppose, but I’m sure you’d find some good 19th century pickings there. Shriner’s Auditorium, Wilmington, MA. (781) 862-4039.

Here’s one that going to make you shake your head and wonder where I came up with this stuff. How about renting a snowmobile, dirt bike, or ATV (an All Terrain Vehicle, which is basically a 4-wheel motorcycle)? Because what’s better than cruising up to 60mph through ice, snow, mud, and dirt in one of our public parks? Make sure to choose a park that permits it, see For rentals, see, or the Sunday River Ski Resort in Maine. I know there are others but I couldn’t find them. To buy an ATV, prices start at $3500, see and That sounds expensive but you can generally lease or buy used for $1500. For snowmobile rentals, try in Maine, in New Hampshire. Anybody know places closer?

Since it’s too cold for outdoorsy festivals I prefer to list, here are some theatre and film events.

Silence is a theatre show, a comedy set in the middle ages. Jan 17 to Feb 11. Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA. 617-923-8487.

Also Brittanicus is opening, Jan 20 to Feb 11, It’s a play about Emperor Nero in ancient Rome. Political thriller & family drama. Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA. 617-547-8300.

Science on Screen: So Much, So Fast, is a documentary film about a young man diagnosed with ALS. Speak with the director afterwards. Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA. Jan 22. 7pm.

Continuing events, it’s still IAP at MIT, the time of year when every student club and professor wants to teach, interact, and bedazzle you. The public is generally invited. And the Environmental Film Festival @ MIT is still continuing, Each film has a dinner beforehand and a discussion afterwards.

Heads up, Lord of the Dance is coming Jan 26 & 27. It’s that Michael Flatley thing, with Irish Step dancing. Opera House, Boston.

There is a great place for karaoke called Do Re Mi Music Studios in Allston. Normally with karaoke, you go to a bar, and have to hear lots of drunk people sing off-key before you get a shot. Well, Do Re Mi has a private studio. There’s no bar, so bring your own booze (or milk and cookies) and you can sing 20 songs in an hour for just $40 or so. That’s not expensive at all, if you have a group and figure you’re saving money on consumables. 442 Cambridge St, Allston. Best of all, they’re pretty much always open so if you simply can’t find something interesting to do, a good backup to keep in mind.

One closing event, every Saturday at MIT is a game called Patrol. Basically you run around with plastic toy dart guns shooting people. 8-11pm. Meet at MIT room 36-115.

Have fun