Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 05/09/07


What nice weather. Here’s what’s going on.

The weird event of the week is the Boston Zombie March. Over 200 people get together, bring your own costuming and makeup, and march like a ravaging horde of zombies, throughout Somerville and Cambridge, entertaining passersby. I went last year and it was fantastic, even though the event seemed to lack organization entirely. By this I mean, the event organizers, if they showed up, didn’t say anything or do any leading. Anyway, go and bring a camera. Sat May 12, 6:30pm starting in Somerville.

Also weird, two events involving morris dancing, a kind of folk dancing. First there is The “Kettle of Fish” Ale Festival, May 12, in Quincy. Then, more importantly, it’s Lilac Sunday May 13, at the Arnold Arboretum. Lilacs bloom early and it’s like the first day of Spring at this enormous park run by Harvard University. I’ve been several times — check it out! and

File this one under “confusing but worth a shot!”. As best I can tell from their flyer, which says little comprehensible, there is a dance event called “Project Mayhem” at MIT and the best I can figure out, it is a modern dance experience where they’ll include some skits. They say they’ll have James Bond and Flash Gordon scenes, and robot hip hop with Indian bhangra. I would gamble on this to be a big winner. May 10-13, Little Kresge Theatre, Cambridge, MA,

Another weird one is the Scrabble Tournament Regionals, May 12, Worcester. Show up and gawk. I really have no idea how welcoming they are to people just showing up and taking a peek, but thought it wouldn’t hurt to list the event.

The weird continues. Burlesque By Women, For Women, May 15, at the Coolidge Corner Theater. Yes, it’s a real burlesque troop. No, they’re not going to admit men, but I doubt they’re going to check genitals so maybe some guys in drag could sneak in. Oh wait, my gender is written on my drivers license, so much for that idea! Brookline,

You’ve seen the cute robot competitions on TV. The place that started it all, MIT’s class “2.007”, is having their annual competition. I’ve been and it’s a true experience, professional, big, they even have an announcer. If you’ve never been to any event at MIT this would be a good one to check out. May 15-16. Unfortunately their website fails to mention the location, but I found it here:

Oh! Very exciting! The world-class dance company, Mark Morris Dance Troupe is in town and performing at the ICA! This is another great opportunity to check out the ICA, which is only really worth the visit if there’s something happening (on account of the ICA being smallish, not the quality of their stuff which is awesome opossum).

Yes, I really did just say awesome opossum.

Also exciting! There is a little known soul group in Salem, featuring Eric Reardon and Sarah Seminski, performing May 12 in Salem. I’ve been and highly recommend. A great excuse to make a day of it and visit Salem. 12:30-2:30pm Eric Reardon & Friends, Derby Square – Front Street.

Theater stuff, check out Arms and the Man, May 4 to June 2, a comedy by George Bernard Shaw set in wartime Eastern Europe, 1885. Yes, they were early innovators in war even before WWI. Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston. 617-585-5678.

Also, this looked interesting, at ImprovBoston they are doing a show called “An Evening with Ladley & Craig”, May 4 to Jun 22, Fridays only. It’s an improv comedy show about a Broadway musical lyrics & songwriting team who makes up songs according to the audience’s cues. 617-576-1253. ImprovBoston, 1253 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA.

Crazy for You was the Tony award Best Musical of 1992. Gershwin music and a New York City playbody in a Nevada mining town. North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, MA. 978-232-7200.

Also coming up are college commencement speakers, some of which caught my eye:

— Gloria Estefan speaks at Berklee College of Music, May 12.
— Tom Freston, creator of MTV Networks, speaks at Emerson College May 14.
— Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek, speaks May 12 at Emmanuel College.
— Bill Gates, who is Bill Gates, speaks June 7 at Harvard.
— Robert Pinksy, former US Poet Laureate, speaks May 18 at Mass College of Art
— Michael Bloomberg, mayor of NYC, speaks May 20 at Tufts.
— Deval Patrick speaks June 1 at UMass Boston. See, here Deval Patrick is doing the right thing, unlike Bloomberg, by staying in his home state.
— Madeleine Albright, former US Sec’y of State, speaks June 1 at Wellesley.
— Dr. Steven Chu, head of Lawrence Berekeley National Lab, speaks 5/20 at BU.
— Meanwhile my alma mater, MIT, features a former MIT president. Hmm. Not at all like the years we got Al Gore and Bill Clinton. You guys get a late cancellation? The Car Talk guys weren’t available?

I don’t usually do this, but here is an anti-recommendation. When I was in New York City I saw “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead”, which is a parody of the Peanuts cartoon featuring Charlie Brown. Unfortunately, it was awful. Parodies should make intelligent commentary and not be full of awful dialogue, lengthy scenes with no plot movement, and crassness. We walked out. It is now playing in Boston at the BCA Black Box Plaza Theatre.

By the way, this week’s Economist Magazine ranks cities around the world for “livability”, which combines factors like culture, politics, weather, economic, medical, educational, recreational, housing. In the US, Boston is tied for 3rd place behind only Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Anything from sunny California is far down the list. Please mention this to your smug Silicon Valley friends.

Ongoing events I’ve mentioned in past posts, “Animation” at the Museum of Science, Boston to May 16, Boston Turkish Film Festival to May 11, Confessions of a Mormon Boy, to May 19, Ringling Bros. Circus in Worcester to May 13, Dragonfly Festival (very-short theatre marathon) goes to May 20,

The Brimfield Antiques Festival (Spring) goes to May 18, And the sadly overrated Ancient Fishweir Project goes to May 31. I’m listing the latter because, well, it definitely fits my theme of weird, but please don’t go out of your way to see it unless you’re already in Boston Common.

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Have a great weekend and see you next week.