Saturday, January 24, 2009

SAT 1/24: Lit & Wine, Drama, Music, Sweets

Oh, me of such weakness! I'm up on a Saturday morning, and I'm still typing! (After last night's sushi, sake, and snooze.)


SAT 1/24

2pm to 3:30pm
"Hemingway and Pamplona: A Celebration 1959-2009": Discussion & Reception
at Rabb Lecture Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St, Boston (Copley Sq)

Today's panel discussion includes a Hemingway-loving professor (U. West Florida) Allen Josephs, Hemingway collection curator of the JFK Library(WTF?) Susan Wrynn, Bruce Rettman of the Boston Writing Project, and Mayor Yolanda Barcina of Pamplona. Maybe you're mildly interested in Papa's time in Pamplona? The discussion is followed by a reception with wine from the region to get your "Hemingway on"...

SAT 1/24

2pm & 7:30pm
"Uncle Vanya"
at Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for Arts, 539 Tremont Street, Boston (South End)
FREE w/ RSVP (Donations gladly accepted)

Although Checkov wrote this play over a 100 years ago; the way he weaves frustration, existential angst, regret, arrogance, and desperate love has continued to push buttons and pull strings in various adaptations. I've seen a couple, and the strength and richness of the material paves a way for potent performances. I wish I would've gone last week to tell you more, but the new Boston Art Theatre has given a contemporary feel to the setting and dialogue.

What do I have to tell you? This is a great play performed by people who have a passion for their craft!

SAT 1/24

Jimmy Ryan Duo (6pm to 9pm), Caitlin Frame (10pm)
at Atwoods Tavern, 877 Cambridge St, Cambridge (East Cambridge)

Two different shows at Atwoods, and no cover.

I can't be the first person to say it, but Jimmy Ryan is the Jimi Hendrix of mandolin. The guy is comfortable in all kinds of genres from bluegrass to punk, and he can basically do anything he wants on that thing. It's going to a mandocello (bigger mandolin) and fiddle duo with fiddler-at-large Dan Kellar. Perfect for an evening buzz at place with a great beer selection...

It's really hard to write about Caitlin Frame when listening to her superb songs, because I can't type while playing the air drums to "Give In" and swaying like Stevie Wonder. At first, I was thinking "Aimee Mann in a good mood"; but that's unfair, because Caitlin has deeper timbre in her voice. Remember being there tonight (or her next few shows), because the sound is well-built for success.

SAT 1/24

8pm to 10pm
"Milk Chocolate Tasting"
at Room 306, Stratton Student Center, 84 Mass Ave, Cambridge (MIT campus)

This is obviously not a pig-out. You try a dozen-or-so chocolates and discuss the characteristics of flavor. Expect to hear about the process of chocolate-making and local choco-commerce.

There's limited space (maybe 50?), but there's a "dark chocolate" tasting next weekend.

Not as fancy as the Boston Chocolate Trolley Tour, but it's also $70 cheaper!

SAT 1/24

Longwave, Wheat, Bon Savants
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$10 / 21+

I'm really digging Longwave this week. I know I've heard of them before, but the new album sounds really good. Check it out if you like catchy guitar-rock. I wondered if the chime-y, soaring guitars would start to bug me; but they mixed up with some chunky tones and fuzziness -- good variety throughout.

A few years ago, I was in a big Wheat phase. The singer even called me out at a gig, because I had a giant, goofy perma-grin for the whole set. It's an original approach to rock that doesn't beat you over the head that I liken to (non-Amnesiac) Radiohead with nod to Beach Boys arrangement. The Bon Savants make good modern-rock; I like it when I hear them.

SAT 1/24

7pm 'til Morning
31st Annual Science Fiction Marathon
at Room 100, Bldg 26, 60 Vassar St, Cambridge (MIT campus)
$6 / $3 after "Brazil"

"Jurassic Park" (7pm), "Brazil" (10pm), "Doctor Who: Blink" (1am), "Southland Tales" (2am), "Planet of the Apes" (4:45am)

This is a really good line-up especially for the price. If I didn't have somewhere else to occupy my night-time hours, I'd definitely consider it -- just to see how I'd feel about watching "Southland Tales", the bizarre followup from the director of "Donnie Darko", at 2am. I didn't mention it above, but there's a pizza break after "Brazil" (around 12:30am), which is very likely included in the admission...

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