Best of the Week: Our Picks for October 26-30, 2015

This week, feast on gourmet tacos, watch cat videos, see special Halloween concerts, and more.

Welcome to Best of the Week, our recommendations for what to check out around town this week. If you’re wondering what to do in Boston this week, check out these events.

Monday, October 26
Judah Friedlander

We know that Judah Friedlander is a world champion—but what is he a world champion of? “It’s changed over the years from being this real life superhero, greatest athlete, karate master, sexiest being on the planet,” he told us. But now the 30 Rock star has yet another claim to fame: cartoonist. This Monday, he comes to Cambridge to present If the Raindrops United: Drawings and Cartoons, a book filled with scribbly musings of equal parts whimsy, absurdity, and politics. Friedlander on Trump: “Trump’s hats are horrendous. First of all, they are made in China, they’re not even made in America. Secondly, they’re red and white. What is he running for the president of Canada? Last time I checked, our colors were red, white, and blue.” For more searing insight, head to the Brattle Theatre.

$5, October 26, 6 p.m., Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge. For tickets, call 617-661-1515 or visit

Tuesday, October 27
Taco Tuesday Takeover at Toro

Over the last few years, Boston has been seized by a highbrow taco frenzy—but not as much as New York City chef Alex Stupak. In 2010, Alex Stupak walked away from his gig as wd~50’s pastry chef, lured by the siren song of another passion: Mexican food. Since then, he’s gone on to open Empellon Taqueria (followed by Empellon Cocina, then Empellon al Pastor). Now he’s spreading the gospel of transcendent tacos to the world, with his brand-new cookbook Tacos: Recipes and Provocations, “a deep dive into the art and craft of tacos.” While the book shows you how to make such inventive items as Cape gooseberry salsa and sea urchin tacos on your own, why not let the master make them for you? This Tuesday, he joins Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette at Toro, one of our favorite South End spots.

Alex Stupak takeover starts October 27, 5:30 p.m., Toro, 1704 Washington St., Boston, 617-536-4300,

Cover art from The Witches: Salem, 1692

Cover art from The Witches: Salem, 1692

Wednesday, October 28
Stacy Schiff discusses The Witches: Salem, 1692

“It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.” So starts the story of Salem’s witchcraft hysteria that every American schoolchild learns. More than 300 years later, our collective memory of these events have provided us a lens to view everything from our fear of Communism (The Crucible) to our love of tawdry bodice rippers (Salem), not to mention provide an excuse for all sorts of macabre merriment in Witch City itself. But this year, author Stacy Schiff brings a fresh look to history. With The Witches: Salem, 1692, Schiff uses exhaustive research to bring the with trial reports—and the reports of the 17th-century women in the hot seat—to life. See her speak in Harvard Square this week.

$5, October 28, 7 p.m., First Parish Church, 1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. For tickets, call 617-661-1515 or visit

Grumpy Cat / Photo provided

Grumpy Cat / Photo provided

Thursday, October 29
Internet Cat Video Festival

Caturday is coming early this week: On Thursday, the Internet Cat Video Festival returns to Boston—and it happens to coincide with National Cat Day. For its second go-round, they’ve purrfected the festivities. They’re slated to screen roughly 100 cat videos, from six-second Vines to short films, curated by Will Braden, creator of the popular “Henri le Chat Noir” series. And of course, because this is Boston, they’re giving it an academic twist, via host Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School professor and Internet expert who will discuss the growing cat video phenomenon and its importance.

$8 in advance, $12 day of the show, October 29, 7:30 p.m., Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston,


Friday, October 30

Halloween week in Boston means it’s a time when local bands dress up as other, more famous bands for our amusement—see also: Jukebox the Ghost transforming into Queen and Vanyaland’s mock-rock extravaganza featuring faux-Garbage, fake CHVRCHES, and the Daily Pravda doing the Trainspotting soundtrack. But things that go bump in the night can be found outside the clubs; they’re also in our most renowned concert halls. This week, Boston Pops, conductor Keith Lockhart, and Berklee College reveal their classic-horror collaboration. Together, they’ve revamped the score to F. W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film Nosferatu. See its world premiere tonight—if you dare.
$37-$47, Friday, October 30, 8 p.m., Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 888-266-1200,