Best of the Week: Our Picks for January 25-29, 2016

This week, feast on fondue at Menton, see Muse rock TD Garden, and get lost in a magic forest.

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.

Muse: Drones Tour

Muse / Courtesy photo by Hans Peter

Monday, January 25
Muse: Drones World Tour

Some bands offer musical subtleties best enjoyed from the sweet spot of your home surround sound setup, bands whose best nuances are completely lost in a cavernous amphitheater. And then there are bands like Muse, who are perhaps best enjoyed for their sheer spectacle. After all, there’s a reason they played the 2012 London Olympics. This week, the prog-pop masters bring their sensory-overload stage show—which the San Jose Mercury News touts as “on par with the best of Pink Floyd, Coldplay and, yes, U2”—to TD Garden.

$45-$65, January 25, 7:30 p.m., TD Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston,


Fondue photo via Shutterstock

Tuesday, January 26
Stir on the Road: Après-Ski

This winter, let the Alps come to you: Gather ‘round Menton‘s famed Molteni cooking range for a Stir-inspired evening of palate- and horizon-broadening. For their “Après-Ski” class, Menton chefs will demonstrate how to cook—and pronounce—the best of Swiss cuisine, a hearty expression of its French, German, and Italian influences. On the menu: gruyère fondue, spätzle, schweinebraten, pizzoccheri (a tagliatelle-like pasta), wiener schnitzel with potato salad, and Gateau de Savoie (aka French spongecake) for dessert. And to drink, you’ll “learn how the Barbara Lynch Gruppo team selects the perfect wines from soil made by glaciers to pair with foods that warm the soul.”

$195 (includes wine pairing, excludes tax and gratuity, January 24-26 and 31, 7-10 p.m., Menton, 354 Congress St., Boston, 617-737-0099,

Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders / Still from YouTube

Wednesday, January 27
Charlie Jane Anders reads from All The Birds in the Sky

“Humans build machines the way spiders spin silk; that’s our nature,” Charlie Jane Anders tells the audience in her Harvard TEDx Talk, a “paranoid optimist’s” musings on the future of our planet and the human race. “But the thing about nature is, it’s adaptable. And in order to survive the future, you really have to start thinking about the world in a whole new way.” Anders has done a lot of thinking about the future as the co-founder of Gawker Media geek blog io9. And in the past few years, she’s gone from writing 100 terrible short stories that she’s glad you’ll never read to writing Hugo Award-winning fiction. This month, she presents her 2016 debut novel, a “deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse,” at the Brookline Booksmith.

Free, January 27, 7 p.m., Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-566-6660,

Midsummer Night's Dream scenery

Midsummer Night’s Dream scenery / Courtesy photo via BSO

Thursday, January 28
Boston Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Shakespeare

It’s been four centuries since William Shakespeare so puzzlingly bequeathed his “second-best bed” to his wife—remarkable considering that, for a man who lived for only 52 years before shuffling off this mortal coil, his writing still inspires us today. Case in point: This January, BSO music director Andris Nelsons launches a three-week celebration honoring the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, featuring musical performances derived from Shakespearean works. The first performance—Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream—will use lighting, A/V trickery, and costuming to transform Symphony Hall into Titania’s magic woodlands.

$30-$104, January 28-February 13, Boston Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-266-1492,

An Octoroon

Brandon Green, Bridgette Hayes, and Shawna M. James in An Octoroon / Courtesy photo by Jeremy Fraga

Friday, January 29
An Octoroon

Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. But there’s one thing keeping them apart: Girl is one-eighth black, and she’s going to be sold as a slave to another man. Such is the tragic setup of The Octoroon, a wildly popular pre-Civil War weeper that served to ignite debates about abolition. Nearly 150 years later, our two favorite theater companies Company One and ArtsEmerson join forces to present this updated antebellum melodrama—the “hottest play of 1859″—which chronicles a rich plantation owner who falls on hard times and in love with a mixed-race girl.

$25-$35 ($15 students), January 29-February 27, Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, Emerson/Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., Boston, 617-824-8400,