Johnny’s List of Quirky Boston Events: 11/08/06

The weird event of the week has to be the Battle of the Lawyers, Nov 9th, 5:30pm-8pm, at Millstein Hall Auditorium, 10 Winter Place, Boston. Lawyers will re-enact the famous legal battles of all time. No doubt it will be totally incomprehensible to the layman. Tickets include cocktails and appetizers.

If that’s not weird enough, check out the Boston Bhangra Competition. It is a kind of popular folk dance in Pakistan and India that is like a “fusion of hip-hop and cheerleading”. Orpheum Theatre, Nov 11th at 6pm. It seems to be more of a performance than an actual competition.

Not much in festivals this week. Check out the Allston/Brighton Open Studios, yet another way to look at the works of local artists, Nov 11-12, Allston, MA. 617.254.3333. 12-6pm.

Then some indoor stuff is happening. For example, the Boston International Fine Art Show, Nov 9-12, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA. New collectors day is Friday. Note: they will make you feel like an uncultured part of the unwashed masses if you don’t buy anything.

Also it’s the Irish Film Festival, Nov 9-12, Cambridge, MA. More than 30 films showcasing Irish producers. Brattle Theatre.

Because of the colder weather I’ll focus more on museum and theatre events than I normally would. I went to the DeCordova Sculpture Museum to see the Animal exhibition — statues involving animals — and it was awesome as usual. The DeCordova has a park dotted with sculptures too that is fun to walk around in.

ImprovBoston is actually in Cambrige, in Inman Square, Among other things, they perform naked sometimes, see Or see Improv Asylum, which is in Boston, Or Improv Foundry at, also Boston. I really didn’t enjoy my night at Dick’s Beantown Comedy Vault. But check out the Hong Kong in Cambridge near Harvard. Jimmy Tingle’s Off-Broadway is good, in Davis Square in Someville but don’t expect much comedy from Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream, it is more of a well-thought out political commentary. The last one I can think of is Tribe,, which I haven’t been to.

Another idea, how about learning salsa dancing? There’s an event called SalsaFest on Sat Nov 11th at the Hyatt Hotel in Cambridge. 617-524-0457, or, with lessons beforehand. The Havana Club in Cambridge, and Ryles, also in Cambridge, also give salsa lessons and have dance parties., and

Hairspray, the musical they turned into a movie, is playing through Nov 19th at the North Shore Music Theatre. Beverly, MA. 978-232-7200.

Bob Dylan is playing Nov 11 & 12 at Boston’s Agganis Arena. That’s part of Boston University at 925 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. 617-931-2000. Also Lionel Richie (Hello?) performs Nov 11th at the Opera House. Aerosmith plays Nov 29th at Mohegan Sun. And it’s not too soon to buy tickets for Pop-tastic Kiss 108’s Jingle Ball. I’ve never been to one of these all-pop concerts but I bet it’s cheesy fun and great crowd-watching too, so many crazy fans.

Arlo Guthrie, you know the “Alice’s Restaurant” guy is playing at the Somerville Theatre, Nov 17th, Oh and hey! The Somerville Theatre is hosting Bruce Hornsby on Nov 12th. Eerily world-class for such a small theatre. Nice job, guys.

Speaking of colder weather, this coming weekend, Nov 12th, the Newton site of the Charles River Canoe & Kayak closes for the season. So if you want to rent a canoe, do it now. 2401 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA. 617 965-5110. Rt 90E to ex 15 to Rt 30E. Go thru two lights. Brown boathouse is immediately after crossing the river on the left. Lessons available.

Or check out Plimoth Plantation, it’s Thanksgiving season after all! This is a recreation village where live actors demonstrate how the original pilgrims lived around 1626 and the nearby native american indiands as well. It’s fascinating, really worth seeing.

Or check out “Tomb”, which is also called 5WITS, which is like a theme park ride except there’s no car to sit in and ride, you walk through it. You enter an archaeological dig with an ancient egyptian pyramid and get trapped inside by the pharaoh, who makes you solve puzzles and explore to escape. Really awesome! 186 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA. Call ahead to make sure they have a slot open for you. 617-375-9487. It’s right across the street from the AMC Theatres.

I’ve heard that Borat, the movie is hilarious and worth seeing.

I would tend to avoid the Tribute to Doug Flutie, the football star, Nov 13th at 8pm at Symphony Call. On the plus side, Boston, the rock group, will be playing. On the negative side, the Boston Pops will as well, and it may be cheesy. Also it’s a fundraiser and they always charge double for that stuff. I gave at the office.

Were you aware that the Museum of Fine Arts shows movies? Well, they do. See their website at for showtimes. Also, the museum is free Wednesdays after 4pm.

Paula Poundstone, the comedian best known for the NPR news quiz show, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”, is performing Nov 9th at 8pm at Sanders Theatre at Harvard. We forgive our comedians for a lot of things, you will have to forgive Paula for pleading guilty to child abuse. It’s a shame, she’s really funny, makes it harder to dislike her.

Continuing events, as I mentioned last week, 12 Angry Men at the Colonial Theater and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Wilbur Theatre are still ongoing. Also the Boston Jewish Film Festival ends Nov 12th,, in Brookline. As I mentioned last week, Murder at the Coconut Cabana, an interactive murder mystery is happening Friday Nov 10th. I have tickets and am really looking forward to it.

Speaking of continuing events, there are some long-running theater shows that sooner or later every Bostonian gets dragged to see. Joey & Maria’s Comedy Wedding didn’t really impress me.

Medeival Manor is worth a view but only with a big group, so you can point out the birthday boy/girl and have them direct a funny skit at the birthday victim. Basically a bunch of comedy skits and music numbers based loosely on a medeival theme. One bummer… I’ve been three times and it was always the same show. A little variety please, people!

Shear Madness just goes on and on and on. It’s good though. It’s a murder mystery set in a barbershop and the audience gets to vote on who they think the murderer is. Charles Playhouse.

Finally, what list of Boston’s touristy long-running shows would be complete without Blue Man Group. You already know about this from their relentless advertising, but I wanted to put in my two cents that it really is a fun show and worth seeing. And you can get free tickets by volunteering to usher, just make sure to sign up 2-4 weeks in advance. Also you get the worst seats in the house typically.

That ought to hold you for a week. Note, I love to hear comments and additions but try to get them to me by the Wednesday before the weekend so I can keep this blog to one mailing per week. 🙂