15 cool things to do in Boston this weekend
A night with the Boston Yeti, a party for latkes, local singer-harpist Audrey Harrer and more weekend events.
An Evening with the Boston Yeti
Thursday, 6 p.m.
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
It snowed a hell of a lot last winter. In fact, it snowed so much that a yeti was spotted around town, and this year he’s returned. If you’ve ever wanted to meet him (who doesn’t?!), the Yeti will appear live at the Brattle Theater for a photo op and a quick Q&Afollowing a screening of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Friday and Saturday
Coolidge Corner Theater
290 Harvard St., Brookline
This surreal, highly imaginative 1988 re-telling of “A Christmas Carol” is a classic of 80’s comedy and a classic “selfish jerk who’s forced to face the music” role for Bill Murray, whose merciless treatment at the hands of his three ghostly visitors is always satisfying to watch. Haters of CGI will get all nostalgic for the film’s wild, non-computerized special effects.
The Mayor’s Celebration of Lights
Thursday through Sunday
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St., Boston
Sure, it’s a bummer that it gets dark so early this time of year, but that makes it all the better for light shows. This one, running each night this weekend, is a ten-minute loop with 3D projections, created by Australian artist Anthony Bastic. You can catch it on the Dartmouth Street side of the Boston Public Library.
Somerville Illuminations Tour
Saturday, 4:30-10 p.m.
Somerville City Hall
93 Highland Ave., Somerville
$10, 617-625-6600 ext. 2985
Trolleys will leave from Somerville City Hall this Saturday evening for a tour passing by some of the most decorated homes in the city—the tasteful, the garish and everything in between. You can pick up tickets for a ride exclusively at Ball Square’s Blue Cloud Gallery—see the website above for more details.
Rebels Without Applauze
Saturday, 8 p.m.
45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge
ImprovBoston and Improv Asylum are, of course, the two most prominent improv comedy troupes in the city, but there are many others, including this group, who’ve been making people laugh on the spot since 2004. This is their holiday show—come armed with weird audience suggestions. In the giving spirit, some of the proceeds will go to Pine Street Inn.
Saturday, 8 p.m.
Arts at the Armory Café
191 Highland Ave., Somerville
It’s hard to avoid comparing local singer-harpist Audrey Harrer to Joanna Newsom, her most famous harp-toting contemporary. Nonetheless, they’re quite different: Harrer’s voice is much smoother than Newsom’s weirdly abrasive, elfin tones, and her lysergic, complexly textured chamber pop compositions favor detached, intellectual cool over storybook “freak folk” whimsy. She’ll be joined by Korean gayageum player Do Yeon Kim.
Saturday, 10 p.m.
1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge
Local indie pop act Babydriver releases their second LP, “Let All the Sun In,” Saturday night. The record boasts 13 melodically rich, inventive tunes and a very creepy cover by local artist D.L. Polonsky, whose bright colors and trouble-in-the-suburbs imagery perfect mirror Babydriver’s apparently pleasant but subtly disturbed sound. Purchasers of $20 advance tickets get a copy of the record with admission.
Chadwick Stokes and Friends
Saturday, 8 p.m.
967 Comm. Ave., Boston
$25, all ages, 800-745-3000
Chadwick Stokes Urmston is best known as the guitarist from Dispatch, one of the jammy bands that defined “college rock” in the late 90’s and early 00’s. He also has a post-Dispatch project called State Radio, but tonight he’ll be appearing solo with Matt Embree, Bonnie Paine, and the Parkington Sisters for a concert benefitting the charitable nonprofit Calling All Crows.
Sunday, 9 p.m.
1222 Comm. Ave., Allston
$7, 18+, 800-745-3000
In an era of 90’s nostalgia, Lowell trio Blindspot’s sound recalls the moody but upbeat tone of 00’s powerhouses like Coldplay and the Killers, who hearkened back themselves to the immortal U2, another major influence for Blindspot. Out of fashion? Maybe, but combined with their sincerity, fine pop songcraft and Lex Economou’s commanding vocals, Blindspot’s style only makes them stand out from the crowd.
Citi Shubert Theater
265 Tremont St., Boston
This musical, which tells the story of an Irish singer-songwriter who’s given up music and the unnamed Girl who inspires him to give it another shot, was developed right here in Boston at the American Repertory Theater. Despite its minimalist staging and accompaniment (the actors play their own instruments), it went on to conquer Broadway, winning several 2012 Tony awards.
Massouth Story Slam: Debauchery
Monday, 7 p.m.
47 Palmer St., Cambridge
Massmouth holds a number of “story slams”—like poetry slams but with personal stories—throughout the year, and the winners of each get to compete in the finals later on. Each competition has a theme, and this week’s is a fun one: debauchery. Tales of excess, lost weekends, weird sex—and possibly from the person you’d least expect.
4th Annual Gingerbread House Competition
Through January 3
290 Congress St., Boston
A full-fledged architect, used to working in more permanent, less edible media, took up the amusing—but of course, dead serious—challenge of designing each of these quite elaborate gingerbread houses—really, whole gingerbread complexes, and quite a few candy-fied Boston landmarks. You can check them all out and vote on your favorite.
Everyone Loves Latkes Party
Sunday, 1:30-2 p.m.
31 Brattle St., Cambridge
Hit Harvard Square Sunday afternoon for some free potato latkes from local restaurants, each of whom will put their own spin on the classic Hanukkah treat. Because this is Boston, there will also be Dunkin Donuts for dessert. Local ensemble Klezwoods will bump some traditional klezmer music, just to make things a bit more festive. Bonus points if you stop by after church.
The Van Buren Family Road Show: Holiday Pageant
Thursday, 8:30 p.m.
1667 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Local band the Van Burens and what we’re told is their “weirdo extended family” present the last of their three shows this season at Lizard Lounge. Last week was “Star Wars”-themed, but this week they tackle the holiday season, with their signature mix of music, comedy and theater. Fans of “Adult Swim” should appreciate what they describe as “subversive hipster anti-humor.”
Friday through Sunday
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave., Boston
It’s “Nutcracker” season in the dance world, and there are many different versions to choose from, but if you can see only one, maybe see this comic, postmodern parody-tribute from the Bang Group, because it’s got, dizzyingly, a little of everything—tap, ballet, disco, Duke Ellington, even something involving bubble wrap—and that’s just what we can fit in this blurb.