Event of the Week: Thursday, Feb. 18

With presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gaining traction, there is both curiosity and doubt surrounding his platform. Sanders is campaigning as a democratic socialist, and the latter part of this self-proclaimed title has many people confused. If politics isn’t your forte, the public forum “Can the US Go Socialist?” can help you learn more. The forum, which takes place at Montserrat Aspirers Community Center, will host a discussion on whether or not socialism can survive in the Democratic Party and in America. 358 Washington St., Dorchester; 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.; free.

Friday, Feb. 19

Balch Arena Theatre at Tufts University is presenting the musical “Next to Normal.” This Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning show tells the story of a suburban mother Diane Goodman, who seems to have a perfect life. However, the audience soon learns about her bipolar disorder, which threatens to break up the thin fibers connecting her family. The play reveals the underbelly of the traditional suburban family and explores issues like suicide, loss and drug abuse. Music from composer Tom Kitt will keep the audience rocking with layered harmonies and tenor notes. 40 Talbot Ave., Medford; 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.; $15.

Saturday, Feb. 20

Chinese New Year performances aren’t over yet. The Villa Victoria Center for the Arts will be presenting a traditional Chinese dance telling the story of the dragon and the phoenix, which represent water and fire, which in turn represent Yin and Yang. The dance will feature graceful and powerful choreography to reflect the powers, also believed to be responsible for movement and life. The dance will be put on by the Chinese Folk Art Workshop, which offers Asian-Americans and westerners opportunities to learn more about Chinese culture. 85 West Newton St.; 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.; $7 suggested donation.

Sunday, Feb. 21

Emerson College’s “ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage” productions at the Paramount Mainstage present a space odyssey whose eccentricity could put Jar Jar Binks to shame. “The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!” centers around quarrelling siblings Bruce and Violet Wong, who have special, but lackluster, powers. However, they soon become Earth’s only defense when an evil monster known as the Space Chupacabra attacks. The siblings must get along if they wish to make it through the depths of outer space and defeat the monster. With a combination of puppetry and visual storytelling, prepare to be in the passenger seat with the Wong kids. 559 Washington St.; 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.; $20 – 75.

Monday, Feb. 22

Jamaica Plain storytellers will be coming to the Milky Way Lounge to demonstrate their talents next Monday. Each presenter will have eight minutes to tell a story, memorized or improvised, with the theme “drive.” After featured presenters finish their stories, audience members will be picked at random to tell their own drive-related stories. After an audience member gives it a shot, the audience will choose from their fellow patrons the best storyteller, who will receive the Story Club Boston official shirt. Whether you have a fun road trip story or a not-so-fun story of a car accident, anything and everything is welcome at the Story Club. 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain; 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.; $5 suggested donation.

Tuesday, Feb. 23

Conceptual artist Sama Alshaibi’s work provides a look into conflicts that occur between citizens and nation-states that arise following war and exile. This distinguished lecturer at The University of Arizona will be coming to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s auditorium to give a lecture on how the direct collapse of land, mobility and political systems can cripple individuals both physically and mentally. Born in Basra, Iraq to an Iraqi father and a Palestinian mother, Alshaibi cultivates experiences from two different countries in turmoil into her video and photo installations. 621 Huntington Ave.; 2:00– 4:00 p.m.; free.

Wednesday, Feb. 24

To help educate Boston residents about the consequences of rising ocean levels, the Museum of Science is hosting a conversation with several climate experts and city planners. Notable names include Brian Helmuth, professor of marine and environmental sciences at Northeastern, University and Julie Wormser, executive director of the Boston Harbor Association. Come out to the discussion and learn how Boston is planning to adapt its infrastructure to this odious omen. The event is presented in collaboration with the Northeastern University Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative and the Boston Harbor Association. 1 Science Park; 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.; free.

Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons