Planet Weekend Picks, March 8-10

Marcia Ball performs at McCarter Theatre Friday night.
Marcia Ball performs at McCarter Theatre Friday night.

Princeton’s Geek Freak Weekend in honor of Pi Day and Einstein’s birthday kicks off today, March 8. Princeton merchants are offering deals all weekend (like the Small World Coffee Braniac Brew – a double Joe with a double shot of espresso for $3.14 that has us wired today).  Several events will take place at the Princeton Public Library and other venues, including Pi recitations, a mathlete challenge, a pie eating contest, an Einstein look-a-like contest and more. For the full schedule of events visit

Friday, March 8

Reception for ‘Sky Gazing’ Art Exhibit – Exhibit on view until May 2 at the D&R Greenway Land Trust, Johnson Education Center, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton. Group exhibition featuring works by Deb Brockway, Merrillee Drakulich, Lora Durr, Donna Gratkowski, Ann Guidera-Matey, Donna Levinstone, Charles McVicker, Lucy McVicker, Paul Mordetsky, Stefanie Silverman, Neil Thompson, and Mary Waltham. Reception 5:30-7:30 p.m., free.

Marcia Ball, McCarter Theatre – The five-time Grammy-nominated “Bayou Queen of the Piano,” will head an all-star evening of music from the American South and Gulf Coast. USA Today calls Marcia Ball, “A sensational, saucy singer and superb pianist…where Texas stomp-rock and Louisiana blues-swamp meet,” while the Boston Globe describes her sound as “An irresistible, celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana Swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues from a compelling storyteller.” 8 p.m. Tickets $20 and up.

Bravura Philharmonic Young Virtuosi of the Tri-State Area, Arts Council of Princeton – The award-winning Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra is the largest of its kind in New Jersey, with students ages 8 to 18 on various instruments participating in the Young Artists Concerto Competition. 8 p.m. Tickets $10, $5 for Arts Council members, students and seniors.

Saturday, March 9

Annual Book Sale at the West Windsor Library – Sale benefits library programming, community events, the summer reading program, additions to the library’s periodical and book collections, landscaping, and library furniture. 333 North Post Road. Runs 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 12:30-4 p.m. Sunday.

Book and Toy Fair, Glitter Lemonade, Princeton Junior School – Benefit for students at Lavallette Elementary School who were displaces by Superstorm Sandy. Proceeds will be used to replace students’ treasured items that were lost. There will also be hands-on building activities with Bricks 4 Kids. 90 Fackler Road,  Lawrenceville, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Art for Families: A Noble Quest – Join the Princeton University Arts Museum on Saturday mornings for family fun. Drop in anytime between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and enjoy a self-guided, interactive tour followed by a related art project. Each week has a different theme. Come for fifteen minutes or two hours, whatever your schedule allows. All ages are welcome; no tickets or reservations are needed. This week, explore what life was like for noble men and women in the Middle Ages and design a shield.

Johnny Winter Visits the Princeton Record Exchange – Stop by for a rare chance to meet the Grammy winning guitarist, named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone. The legendary Mr. Winter has shared the stage with other greats such as Muddy Waters & the Allman Brothers, and will be at PrEX to chat with fans, pose for photos & sign autographs. 5-6 p.m. Free.

A Brahms Serenade with Nassau Arts – Brahms ‘Ein Deutches Requiem’ performed by the choirs of All saints’ Episcopal Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Nassau Presbyterian Church. Soloists are Hope Krick-Osborne and William Walker with Eric Plutz on organ. Free-will offering to benefit the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton. Princeton University Chapel, 4 p.m.

An Evening of Physico-Mathematica-Logical Music and Comedy – The Princeton Theatre Experiment in collaboration with the Arts Council of Princeton presents a mashup of super smart comedy worthy of Princeton’s Ph.D. set and musical compositions and improvisations inspired by concepts mathematical in honor of Pi Day weekend. The line up includes: Pi Experience with “go-go boot jazz” bassist Wilbo Wright, saxophone/synth wizard Eric Haltmeier, and Box Project guitarist Jeff Nathanson together with playful Princeton faculty: Bonnie Bassler, molecular biologist; Howard Stone, engineer; and Ned Wingreen, condensed matter physicist! Concert pianist and former Institute for Advanced Study artist-in-residence Robert Taub will introduce and perform a Milton Babbitt piece as part of the evening. 7:30 p.m. at the Arts Council. Tickets $5, $3 for Arts Council members, students and seniors.

Sacco E Vanzetti, Small World Coffee – Spoken word music and multimedia for mature audiences at the Witherspoon St. coffee shop. 8:30 p.m., free.

Sunday, March 10

Fun Run for Sandy Relief at CrossFit Nassau – The Princeton Athletic Club will stage a fun run to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief with distances of 5K and 8K (3.25 miles and 4.75 miles). The run will start at CrossFit Nassau, located at 255 Nassau Street. Registration opens at 8 a.m. The run will start at 9 a.m., with refreshments to follow. Entry fee is a cash or credit card donation. The primary beneficiary is Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. This is a fun run, not a timed race, so come out with some friends, meet new people, and support an important and timely cause.

Brahms Serenade with Nassau Arts, Part 2 – The Lyons Chamber Players will perform Brahms’ Serenade No. 1 at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street. The musicians of the Lyons Chamber Players have performed with such groups as the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Quebec Symphony, Houston Ballet and the Los Angeles Opera, and they appear on many film and television soundtracks. 4 p.m., free will offering benefits Crisis Ministry.

`Sourlands’ Screening – The Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association presents `Sourlands’ at the Pennington Library, 30 North Main Street, Pennington, 3 p.m., free.

Pi Social at the Princeton Public Library – Princeton’s Geek Freak Weekend wraps up with a rock ‘n’ roll birthday party honoring Albert Einstein. Back by popular demand is PiFight, the official Einstein Alley rock ‘n’ roll band, playing a mix of songs for all ages to enjoy – dancing will be encouraged but not required. Performance starts at 4 p.m. with a break at 5 p.m. to sing “Happy Birthday” to Albert and eating cupcakes. Library Community Room, free.