The Must List: October

By Matthew Reed Baker | Boston Magazine |

From its birth in a tiny Somerville apartment, Rounder has grown into one of the recording industry’s most influential labels. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, this month it’s releasing this four-CD set representing its wide range of styles, from klezmer to George Thorogood, Alison Krauss to zydeco. $50,

The last episode of Boston Med was a doozy: Susan Whitman Helfgot made the heart-rending decision to donate her late husband’s face to a man nearly killed in an accident at the Ruggles T stop. Helfgot explores her family’s role in the groundbreaking transplant in this new memoir, a story that uncovers hope in the depths of tragedy. $26,

A regular on Comedy Central and NPR, this Shrewsbury native has a knack for, as he says, “making awkward situations more awkward.” Like the time he felt compelled to explain to a hotel clerk why he was wearing only underwear. And bleeding. Birbiglia tells that (painfully) true story and others in Sleepwalk with Me at the Wilbur Theatre. $52, 10/13

This two-year-old orchestra is bursting with youthful verve. All 40 of its performers are twentysomethings (including conductor Courtney Lewis), and it has made its name running high-energy workshops for public school kids. At the Sanders Theatre on opening night, hear the group’s fresh takes on old Beethoven and Schoenberg. $20–$35, 10/17

Boston Ballet opens its season with a showcase of pieces performed by the first and second companies. With a guest spot by French star Dorothée Gilbert, the dance constellation will glitter even brighter than usual. $25–$132, 10/23

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