Worcester Weekly: Trooper Clardy benefit + 5 more things to do, May 15-22

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Tuesday, May 17 — Worcester Area Memory Café, 2-3:30 p.m., Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence St.  “An Alzheimer’s, dementia or memory café is a monthly gathering of individuals with memory loss along with their caregivers and/or friends and family in a safe, supportive and engaging environment. … The café is a time to leave the disease at the door and just enjoy ourselves.”

Sure, this is a relatively small — but unfortunately growing — segment of folks, but anyone who’s had even a glimpse into this life knows what a profound and important free service the Senior Center is offering. Spread the word.

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Wednesday, May 18 — Take Down the Wall Cafe, 6:30-8 p.m., Coffeehouse Room, Alternatives Worcester Satellite, 454 Grove St.  Started a couple of years back by area musician Nat Needle (Dr. Nat, Fridays at Nick’s), this monthly open mic is intended to be truly open and inclusive. Alternatives Unlimited Inc. is a Whitinsville-based group that helps folks with developmental and mental-health challenges assimilate into their communities. The monthly showcase has been a way for people of all abilities to come together to enjoy “creativity and humanity.” Free admission and refreshments. Donations welcome.

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Thursday, May 19 — “George Washington’s Journey,” by T.H. Breen, 7-9 p.m., Antiquarian Hall, American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury St.  So, how do you make George Washington sexy again?! Well, you don’t, probably — but, heck, those wild-and-crazy Antiquarians are going to try anyway! T.H. Breen, noted historian and certified guy-who-knows-what-he’s-talking about, will speak about his latest book, which attempts to show a side of the nation’s first president few have seen. Seating for the society’s free public programs are first-come, first-serve.

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Emily the Strange and her posse of cats are part of a WAM exhibit.

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Emily the Strange and her posse of cats are part of a WAM exhibit.

Friday, May 20 — Rob Reger Live Painting Event, Meow Exhibit Opening, 8-11 p.m., Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St.  Say this about WAM: those people commit. Three-plus months of wall-to-wall feline exhibits and events coming at you this summer on Salisbury Street! And they’re starting it all off with a legit throwdown of an opening night party that includes music, performers, a trio of city food trucks, Worcester Wares silk-screened T-shirts … oh, and this guy:

Rob Reger is a graphic artist and painter known for the cult-classic and cat-fancying “Emily the Strange” character and series of books. So, I guess you can watch him paint something amid this feline extravaganza. Members hour for the whole shebang starts at 7. $20 general admission; $5 students/youths.

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Saturday, May 21 — Multicultural Cooking Competition, noon-1 p.m., REC’s YouthGROW Farm, 63 Oread St.  Back by popular demand — or so says Worcester Common Ground, the Piedmont neighborhood community development nonprofit — is this tasty side dish to the Regional Environmental Council’s Spring Garden Festival and Plant Sale (10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Up to 12 contestants will prepare a delicious [I mean, that’s presumptuous, but hey …] dish that highlights their culture. There will be judging, and prizes of course. Contact Charise at WCG to learn more. That’s two events in one, by the way — thank us later.

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Save the date!

Happy Birthday to Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts!

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Lenny Clarke and friends are headed to Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Sunday, May 22 — Lenny Clarke and Friends: A Benefit Night for the Family of Trooper Clardy, 7:30 p.m., Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St.  Lenny Clarke, Boston comedian, actor and friend to all the rich guys, will bring some of his (less well-heeled) friends to Federal Square for a night of cathartic humor to raise money for the family of State Trooper Thomas Clardy, who died on duty March 16 when he was struck by a speeding car while sitting in his cruiser during a traffic stop.

Lenny’s friends include Boston-area standups Tony V, Artie Januario, Christine Hurley, Frank Santorelli, Dave Russo, Johnny Pizzi and Graig Murphy. Tickets are $35, $40 and $70.

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