Maybe Central Square isn't going to the dogs after all. This weekend I caught a performance of a stage adaptation of one of my favorite books ever, Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams. The show is closed now, and you can read better reviews of it in the Phoenix for example. I enjoyed it a great deal, but more than that, I'm happy that it was put on in a new theater space in my neighborhood in collaboration with another neighbor, MIT.
If you don't know, the Central Square Theater opened this summer or fall at 450 Mass Ave, on or near what I think was once the site of Pho Republique. The production of Einstein's Dreams is the work of something called the Catalyst Collaborative, a joint venture of MIT and Underground Railway Theater (URT) for "creating and presenting plays that deepen public understanding about science, while simultaneously providing an artistic and emotional experience not available in other forms of dialogue about science." How cool is that? In addition, I spotted MIT Prof. Robert Jaffe's name on the advisory board - you might remember him from another excellent MIT arts collaboration, the MIT-Photographic Resource Center gallery at the Center for Theoretical Physics. And yes, the show did feature blackboards. The next Catalyst Collaborative joint is going to be Bertolt Brecht's Life of Galileo - with puppets! - in conjunction with the Cambridge Science Festival in the spring.
One should't have to choose, but I'd probably take a theater over a police station as a neighbor. But I'd certainly rather have police patrolling the neighborhood than actors.