Strauss and Holst
Thursday, 8 p.m.
Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$25-$84, 617-236-0999

Benjamin Zander leads the Boston Philharmonic through two popular works in the classical canon: Holst’s “The Planets” and Strauss’ “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” The bombastic drama of “Zarathustra” was featured famously in the opening sequence of “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Holst’s work also has a cinematic connection through its strong influence on John Williams’ legendary soundtrack for “Star Wars.”

Ben Sollee and Mother Falcon
Friday, 8 p.m.
First Church in Cambridge
11 Garden St., Cambridge
$25, 617-876-4275

Maverick cellist Ben Sollee has joined forces with the Austin-based chamber pop group Mother Falcon. It’s a natural arrangement, since both already fuse classical music with popular idioms — Mother Falcon has tackled Radiohead’s epic “Paranoid Android”, and with Sollee, they cover Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself to Dance,” translating electro to acoustic, but without sacrificing an ounce of the funk.

David Wax Museum
Saturday, 9 p.m.
The Sinclair
52 Church St., Cambridge
$20, 18+, 800-745-3000

David Wax Museum’s sound is rooted in Mexican folk, in particular a style known as son music, and the folk traditions of rural Virginia—the prime influences, respectively, on main band members David Wax and Suz Slezak. It’s a style they’ve dubbed “Mexo-Americana”, and it freely crosses cultural borders—Donald Trump, you’re just going to have to deal with it.  

Autre Ne Veut
Saturday, 9 p.m.
The Middle East Downstairs
480 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$15, 18+, 866-777-8932 

The name of Arthur Ashin’s electronic R&B music project, Autre Ne Veut, is French for “I want no other”—a perfect distillation of his grandiose, romantic sensibility, which runs against the sedative grain of much contemporary pop. Ashin’s a double threat, a unique, energetic singer who crafts beats that are as cool as they are unexpected. 

Friday, 8 p.m.
The Paradise
967 Comm. Ave., Boston
$20, 18+, 800-745-3000

When Peaches first broke on the scene in the early 2000’s, her genderless persona and sexual frankness—despite multiple pop precedents—got as much attention as her music. A decade and a half later, questioning the gender binary is practically trendy, and she only seems ahead of her time. Could Miley Cyrus exist without her trailblazing? Probably not, but who’s counting.


Tales of Halloween
Friday and Saturday
Brattle Theater
40 Brattle St., Cambridge
$9-$11, 617-876-6837

This is the area premiere of this new anthology film with contributions from 10 horror directors, including Neil Marshall, Darren Lynn Bousman, Lucky McKee and Mike Mendez. There’s a little of everything — slashers, aliens, evil children, gross monsters — just like a good candy haul when you were a kid. And it all takes place in the same unfortunate suburban town.


Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche
Thursday through Oct. 30
BCA Plaza Black Box
539 Tremont St., Boston
$18-$30, 617-933-8600

This eccentric farce, presented by Heart and Dagger Productions, revolves around its five heroines, self-described “widows” living in suburban 1950’s America. They’re having their quiche breakfast as members of the double entendre-loving Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein, and you’re invited. Oh, and the world may have already been ravaged by nuclear war. Oops!

Mike and Micah Lose a Bunch of Kids in the Woods
Through Saturday
Loeb Experimental Theater
64 Brattle St., Cambridge

Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club describes this play as “part Beckett play, part buddy comedy.” As the title alludes, Mike and Micah are a couple of camp counselors on the inexorable road to adulthood, and they’ve lost their campers. Where did they get to? Is a bear involved? Will these two bros solve their existential issues before September?


Boston International Fine Art Show
Thursday through Sunday
539 Tremont St., Boston
$15, 617-363-0405

With over 3,000 works of art — paintings, works on paper, sculpture, photography, fine prints, and mixed media — this is one serious art show. If you’re in the market for art but not bleeding money, there’s some stuff for you. If you’re just window shopping, then it’s all yours — so long as you accept that you can’t take it home.

Anita Kunz: Serious Wit
Through Oct.30
President’s Gallery, MassArt
621 Huntington Ave., Boston
Free, 617-879-7339

You may not know Canadian artist Anita Kunz’s name, but you’ve probably seen her work in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and GQ, among many other publications. Her style combines painterly detail with spot-on caricature and an easily accessible humor with a more subtly subversive weirdness. It’s a style that serves both the assignment and the demands of art.


National Dance Company of Siberia
Thursday, 8 p.m.
John Hancock Hall
180 Berkeley St., Boston
$35-$55, 800-481-6162

Unlike the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, this dance ensemble is actually from Siberia, and, despite their impressive international touring history, this is the first time they’ve ever performed in the United States. You’ll see traditional dances from across Russia and Siberia, with 45 dancers and 200 different costumes — it seems kind of like the Russian answer to Shen Yun.

Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler
Thursday through Nov. 1
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston
$35-$149, 617-695-6955

Boston Ballet is the first North American company to perform this work by John Neumeier. The theme covered here are the most epic possible themes — birth, death, creation, destruction, love, loss, beauty, violence and the tension between them all within the souls of human beings. The New World Chorale joins the Boston Ballet Orchestra to bring Mahler’s grandiose work to life.


Des Bishop
Saturday, 9:45 p.m.
The Wilbur Theater
246 Tremont St., Boston
$25, 800-745-3000

Though he was raised in New York City, standup comic Des Bishop has spent most of his adult life in Ireland, where he’s created a comedy style mixing New York straight talk with Irish wit, characterized by sharp, sometimes provocative social observations and finely tuned impersonations of the locals, all delivered with a bombastic, punk rock energy.


Sarah Vowell
Friday, 7 p.m.
First Parish Church
1446 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$5, 617-0661-1515

Writer Sarah Vowell has made an unusual career with books on neglected bits of American history. Her latest, “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States,” discusses the Marquis de Lafayette, the Frenchman who helped win the Revolutionary War. When he returned in 1824, three-quarters of the city of New York came out to see him — take that, Pope Francis!


The Wrathskellar
Through Oct. 31
Davis Square Theater
255 Elm St., Somerville
$25-$45, 800-838-3006

What’s the problem with the usual haunted house? Not sexy enough, of course. Fortunately for us Bostonians, the Boston Beautease (formerly known as the Boston Babydolls) seem to understand this, because they put on a dark burlesque show each year during Halloween season, suspending their usual campy glee for an evening on the sinister side of love and desire.