From owning previous restaurants in Central America and Southeast Asia to appearing on the Food Network's Chopped, award-winning chef Kristen Davis is no stranger to staying busy. At Popcorn Noir Restaurant & Bar, she draws on her seemingly endless reservoir of energy to craft completely new menus of her New American cuisine every season. Her cinema-themed menu includes "trailers"—appetizers like local Vermont tofu with sweet chili – and "feature presentations"—mains like P.E.I. mussels by the pound with a choice of sauce.
The menu's movie references don't come out of nowhere—Popcorn Noir hosts a film series for its members, as well as occasional screenings for the public. Besides cinematic entertainment, Popcorn Noir's weekly events include trivia dinners, open mic nights, and mixology classes where bartenders teach three cocktail preparations. Outside of the classroom, the mixology team showcases its skills by crafting cocktails mostly made with house-infused liquors, such as gimlets with house-infused cucumber vodka.
For two decades, New Century Theatre has provoked thoughtful postshow discussions with a mix of new works and fresh renditions of familiar classics. "Distracted," a new play by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter, Lisa Loomer, follows the parents, teachers, and doctors of a rambunctious 9-year-old boy as they try to determine whether he has ADHD. By turns hilarious and poignant, the action unfolds within Smith College's Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, a performance hall built in 1964 and recently renovated to add modern comforts and chase Banquo's ghost from the wings.
Wrapping up its third season, Out! For Reel holds monthly screenings of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender films from around the world. The first celluloid feature of the evening is eCupid, a romantic comedy that follows a newly single gay man as he searches for true love on the Internet and finds more than he bargained for. Or choose to view A Marine Story, an award-winning drama about a female soldier who is discharged from the military when she is discovered to be a lesbian and finds renewed purpose in training a teen for boot camp. The feature is preceded by Chained!, a short film about wallet chains and their centuries-long feud with metal detectors, by Betsy Kalin, who will be present at the screening.