Theater/Performance Art

Sure, you could waste the weekend watching 96 continuous hours of Super Bowl pregame coverage. Or, if you play your cards right, by Monday, you could be a theater-going, ukulele-playing, ’80s-dancing, chili connoisseur with a sweet beard. It’s up to you (do the second one).

The omni-genre variety show at the Cambridge YMCA features short sets from dozens of musicians, poets, comedians, dancers, and visual and conceptual artists. You can even “just show up at will call with a guitar or a projector or a puppet” and they’ll fit you in, so for anyone with a deep, debilitating fear of puppets, stay away, this is NOT a puppet-free space. Puppets are horrifying. (7 p.m., “$5-10ish”, all ages)

Huntington Theatre Company’s annual free reading series highlights new works from local and national playwrights. So I started writing this blurb and then saw that all the readings are already at capacity. I’m leaving it in for those MIT theater buffs who built a time machine solely for the purpose of getting into sold-out shows. Also, they might release more tickets before the readings, so keep checking. (Various times, FREE, all ages)

Videodrome Discothèque’s annual dance extravaganza benefiting the AIDS Action Committee returns to Oberon. This year’s theme: “Flashdance” (the ‘80s movie about dancing that isn’t “Footloose” or “Dirty Dancing” or “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo”). Imagine if every time you went on the Internet, instead you just danced. That was the ‘80s. (10 p.m., $10, 21+) 

Somerville trio GEM CLUB celebrates their newest release at the MFA, with opener Nat Baldwin of the Dirty Projectors. From the band’s bio: “There are times when beauty and sadness are inextricably linked…GEM CLUB understands this.” The beauty of a plate of bacon. The sadness of no bacon. Who ate all the bacon? GEM CLUB did. (7 p.m., $20, all ages)

Get a leg up in your Oscar pool by seeing this year’s nominees for best animated and live action shorts at Kendall Square Cinema. How short are they? Shorter than the walk from the T to the theater. Shorter than the line for popcorn. Shorter than “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Shorter than the piss I took after seeing “The Wolf of Wall Street.” (7 p.m. animated/9:30 p.m. live action, $11, films not rated)

Think you can’t learn ukulele? Cambridge Center for Adult Education says, “Yes ‘uke’ can!” Give your girlfriend the adorable Valentine’s Day gift of playing a charming rendition of her favorite song, unless that song is “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train, in which case your girlfriend is horrible and you should break up with her. (10 a.m., $30, all ages)

Russell House Tavern, The Sinclair, First Printer, and other Harvard Square restaurants face off for the title of best chili in the 02138 area code. Bundle up, I heard it’s going to be cold. Not freezing, just a little … what’s the word I’m looking for here? Oh, right: A little nippy. (1 p.m., FREE, all ages)

Cambridge chili? Gross. Somerville chili is where it’s at. You can enter your own batch at the Magoun Square pub’s annual cook-off. If you’re not familiar, Somerville’s Magoun Square is like the new Union Square. Union is the new Davis. Davis is the new Harvard. (Noon, FREE, all ages)

Did you hear razor sales are plummeting because of the Red Sox and hipsters with their crazy beards? I grow one in the winter because beards are basically face-sweaters where you can save bits of food to eat later. Somerville Arts Council’s annual face-follicle festival awards prizes in five categories, plus best fake beard if you’re not MAN ENOUGH to grow a beard, regularly apply essential oils, style it with product and enter it in a beauty pageant. (2 p.m., $5, all ages)

More events this weekend:

Thursday, Jan. 30 – The Metropolitans’ Birthday Bash
Thursday, Jan. 30 – Back on My Feet 2014 SnowBall
Thursday, Jan. 30 – MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne
Thursday, Jan. 30 – Wynton Marsalis lecture/performance
Friday, Jan. 31 – Amy Schumer at the Wilbur
Friday, Jan. 31 – Aviary Gallery “Best in Show” Reception
Friday, Jan. 31 – Gallim Dance at the ICA
Saturday, Feb. 1 – Underground Artists Bazaar
Saturday, Feb. 1 – Brooklyn Boulders Philippines Benefit
Saturday, Feb. 1 – BPL Book Sale
Sunday, Feb. 2 – Boston Media Makers
Sunday, Feb. 2 – Papercut Zine Library Sale
Sunday, Feb. 2 – “Computer Chess” at the Brattle

[Photo credit: Steven Waka/Creative Commons]

This article was provided by our content partner, The Boston Calendar.