Take a break from the Halloween debauchery this week to learn how to cook dinner that doesn’t frighten your guests, see staged readings of acclaimed plays, and hear from the MFA director. Or keep the party going with Halloween-themed burlesque, realistic zombie scenarios, and a retro costume bash.

Monday, October 27 – “Scenes from the Big Picture”
Irish arts organization Solas Nua presents a staged reading of Owen McCafferty’s “Scenes from the Big Picture” at the Burren in Davis Square. The snapshot of daily life in present-day Belfast follows 21 people as their stories interweave and collide on a hot summer’s day. So you’ll like it if you’re into movies like “Magnolia” or “Crash” with a ton of characters. Or you just want to see a play in a bar so you can throw back a Guinness. Or you want to do something authentically Irish to make up for all the St. Paddy’s Days when you chugged green Bud Lights and partied at fake Irish pubs. (7:30 p.m., $10, 21+)

Monday, October 27 – Anyone Can Cook
Sure, microwave burritos are delicious and you can get two of them for 89 cents, but deep down you have to know those things are ravaging your insides. And you don’t have to be like your foodie friends with their Instagram-worthy culinary feats to cook yourself a hearty meal. The Boston Center for Adult Education’s Celebrity Chef Series welcomes Paul Turano of Cook and Tryst Restaurant for its Anyone Can Cook class covering fun and unpretentious dishes that will wow your friends and give your colon a break. Wine will be provided by 90+ cellars — one rule of cooking is that if a recipe calls for two tablespoons of wine, you’re required to finish the rest of the bottle yourself. (6 p.m., $70, all ages)

Tuesday, October 28 – Gorelesque Idol
You might as well drop the pretense of dressing up like sexy versions of cats and nurses and just see some Halloween-themed burlesque. London’s Burlesque Idol brings its Halloween spooktacular, Gorelesque Idol, to Cambridge to transform Oberon into a decadent (and haunted) 1930’s Hollywood club, complete with a live five-piece jazz band, zombie chorus girls, and a thrilling array of burlesque performers. Audience members receive a ballot to vote for their favorites, which has to be more fun than voting for political candidates. (7 p.m., $10-35, 21+)

Tuesday, October 28 – “In Search of Our Father, Sylvester Stallone”
Sorry for including another staged reading instead of a real play, but I’m not going to judge actors for reading from scripts — I got a new debit card like four months ago and I still can’t remember the number. Women in Film and Video: New England at Central Square Theater present a reading of its 2013 screenwriting competition winner, Santa Sierra’s ”In Search of Our Father, Sylvester Stallone.” The story follows a brother and sister from El Salvador who embark on a dangerous journey to the U.S. to find the man their mother always claimed to be their father, Sylvester Stallone. (6 p.m., $15-20, all ages)

Wednesday and Thursday, October 29-30 – Malcolm Rogers
Museum of Fine Arts director Malcolm Rogers’s 20 People for 20 Years lecture highlights 20 people who have influenced his thinking about museums during his two-decade tenure. The longest-serving director in the MFA’s history, in February Rogers announced his plans to retire. We have him to thank for the Art of the Americas wing, record-high attendance figures, and most importantly the museum’s series of free community days so you can save your $20 to spend at the bar later and impress people with your knowledge of art and culture. (6:30 p.m., $24-30, all ages)

Thursday, October 30 – Theories of International Politics and Zombies
Celebrate Halloween in true Cambridge fashion — with a noted political theorist’s analysis of the geopolitical implications of zombies, obviously. Tufts professor and Brookings Institution fellow Daniel Drezner stops by Porter Square Books to talk about his book that answers the questions other international relations experts are too scared to ask, or probably just too busy researching problems that exist in real life and not just in movies and TV shows. But hey, dude’s gotta sell books and you don’t see me recommending any non-zombie political science lectures. (7 p.m., FREE, all ages)

Thursday, October 30 – RadioBDC Retro Halloween Bash
The RadioBDC Retro Halloween Bash once again gives you the opportunity to dress up and dance the night away to music from an era when people your age spent Halloween trick-or-treating with their children instead of partying. That must have been awful. Julie Kramer and Adam 12 spin all your favorite old school tunes at Ned Devine’s in Faneuil Hall. RSVP here and check out a gallery of photos from last year’s party. (9 p.m., FREE, 21+)

Photo credit: e_monk/Creative Commons


This article was provided by our content partner, The Boston Calendar.