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    Boston-area to do list

    Daniel Portnoy: Wax Custom Communications


    Barry’s brain

    Tina is a Washington, D.C., lawyer engaged to Seth, a “tweet whore” who posts about forklifts, energy bars, and more. The two are from the brain of Dave Barry, whose new book, “Insane City,” is set in the Pulitzer-winning humorist’s hometown of Miami. At Writers on a New England Stage: Dave Barry, the author will discuss his novel about the goony groom on the eve of his wedding and his adventures with an orangutan named Trevor, medical marijuana, a fake pirate ship, a gigantic snake, Russian gangsters, scheming billionaires, angry strippers, and gorgeous Cuban women. Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. $13. The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, N.H. 603-436-2400.


    The knee instrument Think of the banjo as a musical history book that chronicles life as an African slave, the antiwar movement, fads, and American musical styles. Banjo player Tony Trischka and TV writer-producer Marc Fields will talk about the “drum with strings” at “The Banjo Project.”  7 p.m. $20. Cambridge Forum, First Parish, 3 Church St., Cambridge. 617-495-2727.

    Inflation Add a zero to Arthur Frommer’s 1957 “Europe on $5 a Day” and you have “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter” by Matt Kepnes. The Boston native and world traveler (who has said that maggots taste like french fries) is in town to talk about and sign copies of his book.  7 p.m. Free. The Harvard Coop, 1400 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-499-2000.


    Magical mystery tours At this “Deconstructing Sgt. Pepper” stroll down memory lane with Beatles expert Scott Freiman, you’ll listen to audio recordings, watch video clips, and learn about the lads’ studio techniques and creative process for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and the single “All You Need Is Love” (thank you, Valentine’s Day).  7 p.m. $15. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 617-734-2500.

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    Loveless potions Billed as an “anti-romance” cooking class, “Cupid Is Stupid: Devilish Delectables” caters to Valentine’s Day naysayers with treats like devil’s food cakes, “No Monkey Business Mushrooms,” and smelly snacks with garlic and onions.  6-9 p.m. $50 ($15 for materials; registration required). Boston Center for Adult Education, 122 Arlington, St., Boston. 617-267-4430.

    Adams family From Yosemite National Park to a Cape Cod barn, enjoy a landscape and architectural journey through America through 48 photographs on view at “Ansel Adams: Masterworks.” For more than five decades, Adams championed photography and the natural environment.  Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun noon-5 p.m. (through June 2). $13, $6 kids, free under 4. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. 413-443-7171. www.berkshiremuseum


    World of weirdness After 40 years, you no longer have to remain in the dark about the identity of the Residents. They are Randy, Chuck, and Bob, and the avant-garde multimedia trio is on tour with “Wonder of Weird,” a celebration of themselves that began in 1972 with “Santa Dog.”  Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. $35. Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. 617-478-3103.