Happy Halloweek! That’s “Halloween” plus “week” and it’s what I’m calling the weeklong series of Halloween events all over the city starting tonight. May your candy bars all be king-sized, your costumes half-assed but hilarious, and your candy corn nonexistent because it’s gross and no one should have to eat that stuff, not even children.

Thursday and Friday, October 23-24 – Cirque of the Dead
The circus is scary enough between the clowns and, well, pretty much everyone else who travels with the circus as a career. But the Boston Circus Guild is more like the Cirque du Soleil kind of circus, so they had to work at making their Cirque of the Dead shows at Club Oberon scary. Running tonight, tomorrow, and next Thursday and Friday, the macabre and tasteless Halloween spectacular features live music, burlesque, aerials, acrobatics, juggling and more, with never-before-seen acts, new performers, and two bands. (7 and 10 p.m., $25-35, 18+)

Thursday to Saturday, October 23-25 – Boston Book Festival
You know how sometimes on the T you’ll see an older person staring intently at a bunch of papers all bound together? This is called a “book” and it’s where words used to go to hang out, before the Internet. Like other mostly forgotten pastimes such as classical music and baseball, books still have a small but enthusiastic fan base, who will come together at this weekend’s citywide Boston Book Festival. Herbie Hancock gives tonight’s opening keynote address, and the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library (the world’s only librarian-themed indie rock band) plays a literary jam session Saturday, along with tons of other panels with authors who aren’t also musicians. (Various times, mostly free, all ages)

Friday, October 24 – Bantam’s Big Cheese & Charcuterie Party
Part of growing up and expanding your horizons is learning how to pronounce French words, and understanding what foods those words represent. I recently learned that “crudités” are just raw vegetables and that word does not rhyme with “luddites.” Also, “charcuterie” is just a plate of adorable cured meats, and that’s nothing to be afraid of after all. Now you won’t embarrass yourself at Bantam Cider’s Bantam’s Big Cheese & Charcuterie Party, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Cider Days festival at their Somerville taproom. Pair some fine ciders with charcuterie, cheese, pâté, and wait what’s pâté again and what are those funny symbols over the letters? (7 p.m., $35, 21+)

Friday, October 24 – “The Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy”
Loosely inspired by the Hindu trinity of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the protector, and Shiva the destroyer, ”The Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy” from Company One Theatre posits that deities dwell among us in the bodies of the most unexpected underdogs. Specifically, a standup comedian, a badass high school mean girl, and a sailor crossing the cosmic ocean. The three plays will be performed separately through November 22 at the Boston Center for the Arts, or you can catch marathon performances of all three back-to-back every Saturday. (7 p.m., $25-38, all ages)

Friday, October 24 – ARCH Gallery Electric Masquerade Ball
If masquerade balls always remind you of the weird cult orgy scene from “Eyes Wide Shut” then I guess neither of us should have watched so many Kubrick movies during our formative teenage years. There’s nothing sinister about ARCH Gallery’s Electric Masquerade Ball fundraiser Friday night at Wonder Bar in Allston, featuring live music and light shows, a pop-up art sale, a mask design booth, DJs and dancing. Proceeds will help the gallery continue to bring amazing art and events to Allston. (6 p.m., $10, 21+)

Saturday, October 25 – Illuminus Festival
What’s the only upside to the sun setting before you even get home from work, robbing you of precious vitamin D and plunging you into a months-long case of “the SADs”? The darker it gets, the better the backdrop for the city’s first Illuminus Festival, a free nighttime festival of creative innovation that will see thirty regional artists performing and showcasing large-scale projections and light installations alongside immersive sound, performance, and multimedia experiences in the South End. Artificial light therapy is a proven treatment for seasonal affective disorder so you’ll have to find another excuse for your bad mood, like all of the other things going terribly wrong in your life. (6:30 p.m., FREE, all ages)

Sunday, October 26 – Market of the Living Dead
This year’s theme for SoWa Open Market’s annual Market of the Living Dead is Carnival of Curiosities, so dress up as your favorite circus freak to enter the costume contest. I’ll probably go as a carnival strongman — all I have to do is grow a twirly mustache, shave my head, and probably stop working out for a couple days so my muscles don’t actually frighten small children. (Just kidding, I’m totally going to do some push ups before the judging so my pecs really pop.) (Just kidding again, I’m actually just going to stuff a bunch of old T-shirts into a flesh-colored bodysuit.) (10 a.m., FREE, all ages)

Sunday, October 26 – Black Market
Presented by Ignore Rock ‘n’ Roll Heroes & Boston Hassle, the first-ever Black Market at the Cambridge Elks Lodge features more than 60 local vendors selling records, clothing, hand-made items, art, jewelry, crafts and lots more. In spite of the title, none of the items are actually stolen, so you don’t have to feel guilty about someone ravaging an elderly woman’s home to steal the charming vintage knick-knacks you’re going to pick up. Nope, someone kindly waited for that elderly woman to die so they could ravage her estate sale and pass those knick-knacks on to you. (11 a.m., $1 entrance fee, all ages)

Photo credit: Boston Circus Guild


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