Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 11/09/08

You know something is up when a blog with 27 ideas seems small. There’s just not that much going on in New England, unless you’re a professional construction worker or wannabe crime novelist. This would be a great week to visit a museum (try to visit one that is holding an event of some sort) or take in a theatre show. To flesh out this week’s list I have added some ideas below. Or just grab my entire museum and venues and events spreadsheet from

The Week in Weird
Boston Veterans Day Parade Nov 11 Everywhere
The weird events of the week are all the Veterans Day parades. Boston’s begins at 1pm on November 11 on Boston Common and goes down Boylston Street to City Hall Plaza. They are all over Massachusetts, Abington, Amesbury, Braintree, Canton, Carver, Cohasset, Duxbury, Halifax, Hingham, Lexington, Marshfield, Milton, Pembroke, Plymouth, Quincy, Rockland, Scituate, Uxbridge, Weymouth, Whitman, Worcester, and probably more.
Various, Everywhere.(617) 635-4455. more
My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams Nov 18 Boston, MA
Former US President John Adams in the 18th century of course was a local from Quincy, Massachusetts. He had a powerful First Lady, Abigail Adams, who was sort of the Hilary Clinton of the time. Except romantic. When John Adams was away on business, at the Constitutional Convention, they wrote a series of love letters. This event will be a reading and Q&A about the Adams family. (Not the Addams Family.) Free but RSVP to attend.
Social Law Library, 1 Pemberton Square, Boston, MA.617-226-1311. more
Storylab @ Club Passim Nov 17 Cambridge, MA
Storytelling is not just for kids! Once in a while, on a Monday, Club Passim in Harvard Square will hold a night of storytelling for adults. Think of it like a one-person theatre show, except the old adage “show, don’t tell” is violated and the narrator steals the show and the actors never get to the stage. I’ve seen it and it’s worth a view!
26 Church Street, Cambridge, MA.617-492-7679. more
New England History Festival Nov 15 Watertown, MA
Although their website is lacking, this history festival seems to be packed with interesting speakers and re-enactors on Olde Timey New Englandly topics such as the puritans, the original Mother Goose, the Salem witch trials, and the “crime of the century”, the Brinks robbery.
Hibernian Hall, 151 Watertown Street., Watertown, MA. more
An Evening of Illumination @ OSV Nov 15 Sturbridge, MA
Also re-enactment-tastic, Sturbridge Village is bigger than and just as good as Plimoth Plantation. They are continually having events and this one is at night using 19th century lights. I’m sure it’s beautiful.
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.508 347-3362. more
The Portsmouth Comic Book Show Nov 16 Portsmouth, NH
Do you secretly long to be Peter Parker? Check out this minor comic show in New Hampshire. 10am-3pm.
Best Western Hotel, Portsmouth, NH. more

Also Fun
Comics Come Home Fundraiser Nov 15 Boston, MA
Featuring a different sort of comic, Denis Leary and other stand up stars are doing a benefit for cancer research at BU’s enviable arena.
Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA.617.931.2000. more
Boston Bhangra Competition Nov 15 Boston, MA
Here’s a cultural festival with some punch. Although it’s essentially a performance of upbeat South Asian music and dance, by putting it into a competition it’s more fun for everyone.
Orpheum Theatre, 1 School St, Boston, MA.617-679-0810. more
Irish Film Festival Nov 13 – Nov 16 Cambridge, MA
It’s yet another film festival, although several of the writers & directors will appear in person for Q&A.
Brattle Theatre & Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA. more
Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair Nov 14 – Nov 16 Boston, MA
Imagine a festival based on really old books, the kind whose copyright has expired and you’ll be able to find online by 2010. Here’s your last chance to see some original texts while children still know what a ‘book’ is. They’ll have talks by book collectors and serious workshops for hobbyists and professionals.
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA.617-954-2000. more
Boston International Fine Art Show Nov 13 – Nov 16 Boston, MA
Me: “Do you like art?” You: “It’s fine.” Perhaps you’re a target for the Fine Art Show. This seriously commercial event seems to target people with money who actually buy art.
Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA. more
Creating and Destroying the Rules of Dance” – A Dance Workshop Nov 16 Salem?
12-4pm. This appears to be a workshop on dance theatre, but the type of dance you’ll learn is not described. It may involve blue paint.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving @ Winslow Farm Nov 15 Norton, MA
It’s not Thanksgiving yet, but if you want to peep and meet some non-meat people, a local farm is offering a vegetarian version of the holiday. I’ve seen the venue and it’s a nice place for a stroll with a surprisingly large petting zoo.
Winslow Farm, 37 Eddy Street, Norton, MA.508-285-6451. more
Edaville Railroad’s Christmas Festival of Lights Nov 14 – Jan 4 Carver, MA
It’s definitely not Xmas yet, but the tide is coming like a tsunami and I can’t hold it back! This is the biggest and best “holiday lights” display in New England. Come at night and take a 20-minute train ride, or ride the ferris wheel our carousel. They have 7 million lights, and fireworks every Friday night in December. See website for coupons. Santa lets children sit on his lap, too. Daily. I’ve been and it’s a ton of fun even for adults who are kids at heart and like people-watching. Rt 3S to exit 6, Rt 44W for 8 miles to Rt 58 for 8 miles.
Pine Street, Carver, MA.877-EDAVILLE. more

Recurring Events
Salem Witch Museum Jan 1 – Dec 31 Salem, MA
Did you miss Salem in October, or want to avoid the crowds? Here are some ideas on things to do. The Salem Witch Museum is a small museum on the Salem Witch Trials, plus an immersive presentation where you sit surrounded by lights and dioramas. It’s touristy and sensationalizes history, but it’s better than the other touristy events in Salem.
Washington Square North, Salem, MA.978-744-1692. more
Peabody-Essex Museum Jan 1 – Dec 31 Salem, MA
The Peabody-Essex is a world-class art museum in the center of Salem, a nice break amongst all the 17th century New England fare. They are continually having art workshops, demonstrations, and musical events. Highly recommended!
East India Square, Salem, MA.978-745-9500. more
The House of the Seven Gables Jan 1 – Dec 31 Salem, MA
This 17th century house is the oldest “mansion” in Salem, and the home of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. Unlike many sites in Salem, it’s historic, authentic, and classy rather than touristy.
115 Derby Street, Salem, MA.(978) 744-0991. more
1627 Harvest Dinner @ Plimoth Plantation Nov 1 – Nov 29 Plymouth, MA
Plimoth Plantation is having a re-enactment of the original Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s not what you think. You’ll learn about the real foods and manners of the Pilgrims, and there will be hymn singing you can join in on. Nov 8, 15, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29 at 5:30pm. Reserve in advance.
137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, MA.(508) 746-1622. more
Shaker Supper @ Hancock Shaker Village Nov 8 – Dec 27 Hancock, MA
A similar experience is available at Hancock Shaker Village, but it’s a smaller attraction that I would only recommend if you feel youv’e “done” Plimoth Plantation. You get a tour by re-enactors, an authentic dinner, and a cappella Shaker music from the 1830s. Nov 8, 29, and Dec 27.
34 Lebanon Mountain Rd., Hancock, MA. more
Boston Jewish Film Festival Nov 5 – Nov 16 Brookline, MA
Yet another film festival continues. Plenty of the films involve a director talk.
Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA. more
National Novel Writing Month Nov 1 – Nov 30 Everywhere
Do you want to write a book? Join other procrastinators and break through by doing it all in just one month. (Don’t worry, you can revise it later.) They’ll have several local events for writers to meet each other, be inspired, and even work side-by-side in a “you can do it” environment.
Check Their Slow Website, Everywhere. more

November Oct 17 – Nov 15 Boston, MA
November is a political comedy by David Mamet about running for election and what politicans will do to win. It looks good.
Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA.617-585-5678. more
The Lieutenant of Inishmore Oct 26 – Nov 16 Watertown, MA
A funny thriller about a terrorist and his cat. The first 60 people to arrive in costume on Oct 31 either get in free or get a discounted ticket.
New Repertory Theatre, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA.617-923-8487. more
SPAMALOT Nov 18 – Nov 23 Boston, MA
SPAMALOT is the the Tony award-winning musical (2005) based on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the old British TV comedy. I’ve seen it twice and it’s a classic.
Colonial Theatre, Boston, MA. more
The Merchant of Venice Nov 6 – Dec 7 Boston, MA
The Shakespeare classic. Actually, few people including me have seen this one. I guess when they get tired of Shakespeare’s popular fare, they just want to do more Shakespeare. (You know, there are other playwrights besides Shakespeare.).
Midway Studios, Fort Point Channel, Boston, MA. more
Rock ‘n’ Roll Nov 7 – Dec 7 Boston, MA
Speaking of which, Tom Stoppard is sort of a modern Shakespeare, having written the script for the movie “Shakespeare in Love” and the play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”. Now here’s his Broadway hit about Eastern Europe, rock music, and history.
BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA. more

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