Like said below, the weekend cheaply awaits you with many options.
"Free Fun Fridays"
at Sports Museum of New England, 100 Legends Way, Boston (North Station)
at Battleship Cove, Fall River
at Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield
at Cape Cod Children’s Museum, Mashpee
at Fruitlands Museum, Harvard
Every year, "Free Fun Fridays" is one of the best programs lets you choose from a different set of cool places around the Commonwealth for 10 Fridays in a row.
I don't want to freak you out, but there are 4 more Free Fun Fridays to go. Most of them are out of town today. On the other hand it's easy to pop into the Sports Museum to see Larry Bird's locker and other cool stuff.
5pm to 8pm
at MIT Museum, 265 Mass Ave, Cambridge (near Central Sq)
Honestly, there are lots of cool stuff at the MIT Museum that's worth the price of admission, but it's even better when you can get in for free.
If you really want to see the best exhibit in the building, go upstairs and spend some time with the kinetic sculptures of Arthur Ganson that will blow your mind a little bit. There is also a Berenice Abbott photography exhibit through the end of the year that should be pretty cool.
Tonight's theme is "Slide Rule Olympics", because it's a nerd -- err, I mean -- science museum.
6pm to 9pm
at Uncle Pete's, 119 Charles St, Boston (Beacon Hill)
On Twitter, they it called a "Vitamin Water" event, so maybe the vodka will be mixed with flavored water...
Not everyone that goes to a chic clothing store for a free vodka drink needs to buy something.
Maybe you will or on another visit -- or you can repeat the above mantra and enjoy your cocktail.
7pm to 9pm
Fritz Rebels World Series Fundraiser
at Fritz Lounge, 26 Chandler St, Boston (South End)
* Buy Raffle Tickets
It's been a while since Red Sox have begun to lose hope at this point in the season. On the bright side, Boston has a team going to the Gay Softball World Series in Minnesota next week.
It doesn't look like there's a cover to get in, so Bostonians of all orientations can hang out and support them by participating in raffles and auctions (but keep in mind this is a gay sports bar).
FRI 8/10 (thru SUN 8/19)
Jean Renoir’s "Grand Illusion": 75th Anniversary Restoration
at Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge (Harvard campus)
$9 / $7 Non-Harvard students, senior citizens
One usually falters when trying to convince someone about the greatness of a movie, but this is one of the masterpieces. Besides being the foundation of every prisoner-of-war movie of the last 75 years, there's a story that examines class issues and nationalism. It wouldn't happen in modern war, but analogies still apply today in other ways.
As I read about movie projectionists in the Phoenix recently, the HFA is one of the best rooms in ton to see a pristine, restored version.
It plays at various times through Monday, then next Friday through Sunday.
(Yes, it's a French black & white film with subtitles.)
7pm to 9pm
"Street Diamonds": Opening Reception
at Fourth Wall Project, 132 Brookline Ave, Boston (Fenway)
FREE / 21+
Feat: Chris Piascik, Nineta, Silas Finch, Alphabet Soup, Repeat Press, Jeremy Packer, Heather McGrath, Muro-Buro, Mitch Weiss, James Mustin, Paper Fortress, Ryan Lombardi, Josh Lafayette, Tony Luong, April Clay, Goldenstash, Dan McCarthy, The !nd!v!duals w/ Silver Oris, more
Diamonds (natural and metaphorical) are should be featured in the exhibit from a cast of street artists, illustrators, photographers, and others. I don't care much for diamonds, although the art will have loads of imagination and variety. And the "opening is sponsored by PBR."
7:30pm to 9:30pm
Anderson Comedy: "The Gas"
at Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston
$5 / 21+
Feat: Brendan Thomas Crowley, Ryan Douglass, Christine An, Mehran, Pete Davis, Anthony Scibelli
If you haven't had a good laugh during the week, "The Gas" provides assistance every Friday night. Comedians should do the trick, and you can ask the bartender for all sorts of alcoholic beverages. They finish early enough to do something else, and the price is right for a night of fun.
Mehran is one of the funniest comedians I've ever seen -- period -- and the rest of crop should keep the good times rolling.
Hang around and you can drink your way into dancing with "The Pill" at 10pm.
FRI 8/10 (thru SUN 8/12)
Shakespeare on the Common: "Coriolanus"
at Parkman Bandstand, about 165 Tremont St, Boston (Boston Common / Tremont St Side)
Friday & Saturday -- 8pmLet's hope it doesn't rain, because there are only 3 more performances.
Sunday -- 7pm
In its 17th year, Shakespeare on the Common is perennially one of the best cheap thrills you'll find in Boston. Sure... New York has 'Shakespeare in the Park', but not every town has professional actors bringing the Bard to life outside where anyone can walk up and get cultured.
The story in "Coriolanus", a play set in Rome and written 400 years ago, might be familiar to the contemporary audience: People rioting in the street, because resources are being withheld from the masses. Those in power think they don't deserve it, and the main character has a special disdain for the common person although he's encouraged to run for office.
Although last year's film may have earned some accessibility for the play, it's long been said to be one the lesser works of Shakespeare. Like the movie, the sets probably won't look like Rome; there will also be some fight scenes.
Despite my indifference to the selection, I will still list the play every night, because 1) you might like it anyway and 2) this is an annual gift to the residents (and visitors).
"May not be appropriate for all ages. Parental discretion is advised."
Show up early for musical performances from NEC students from 6:20 to 7pm.
FRI 8/10 (and SAT 8/11)
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy": Screening
at Room 100, Bldg 26, 60 Vassar St, Cambridge (MIT campus)
Speaking as someone who paid to watch it last year, I'm not sorry I didn't wait for the free screening. It was really good.
It might be helpful to know the story beforehand, because the opening 15 minutes or so are a bit vague. However the film encapsulates the story rather well despite the time limits not shared by a novel or mini-series.
Daniel Byrnes Band, John Colvert & The Great Brighton Fire, Casey Abrams
at Lizard Lounge/Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge (between Harvard Sq & Porter Sq)
I will be sad if the Lizard Lounge shutters their doors. There are other basement clubs, but I feel happy and cozy down there. And it's a sweet spot to drink craft brews while listening to soulful folk-rock, country-leaning Americana, and melancholy acoustic songwriters. That could sum up tonight's gig.
Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion, Video Drag, Royal Wedding, Spoilsport
at PA's Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville (Union Sq)
Have you partied with Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion? Maybe you have since they normally wear bandanna masks when unleashing high-octane horror-surf. One never knows, or you could go to a gig and have a great time.
I'm digging the punk-surf influences in Video Drag's sound, and even Spoilsport swirls a bit surf into their pop-punk. Royal Wedding includes a couple Big Disappointments and pluck out a ragged, angular racket that should fit in nicely for a good lineup.
at Plough & Stars, 912 Mass Ave, Cambridge (Central Sq)
$5-ish / 21+
When you hear that a band is levying town, it piques your interest like any sort of treat that you can't have anymore. Holiday Mountain has played on several bills that I've known about, but I didn't listen as closely until I was checking them out in the past week. I've missed a lot of fun swinging, arty pop with a reggae/dance vibe.
Good luck to them in Austin. You can catch them tonight or next week at the ICA.