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    Your Week Ahead

    5 things to do this week in and around Boston

    Magic tricks that will make you laugh, Chinese culture on stage, Frankenstein’s beginnings, and more things to see and do.

    Atrium Alive, Chinese Art and Culture
    Walter Silver
    Atrium Alive, Chinese Art and Culture

    DAI BING
    Shen Yun

    February 5 and February 7

    HER HORROR STORY

    What natural phenomenon occurred in 1815 that helped influence Mary Shelley’s writing

    of Frankenstein? (Scroll to bottom to see answer.)

    a. Tornado

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    b. Meteor shower

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    c. Volcanic eruption

    d. Blizzard

    In her new book, The Lady and Her Monsters, Boston author Roseanne Montillo reveals this detail and other fascinating stories behind the writing of Shelley’s masterpiece. Montillo reads and signs copies at Brookline Booksmith (617-566-6660; brooklinebooksmith.com) on Tuesday and Concord Bookshop (978-369-2405; concordbookshop.com) on Thursday, both at 7 p.m.

    February 7

    STRAIGHT TALK ON GUNS

    John Rosenthal, a founder of the nonprofit Stop Handgun Violence (you’ve seen its gigantic billboard along the Mass. Pike near Fenway), will speak on common-sense gun control Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck in Gloucester. Suggested donation $10. 978-758-1210; rockyneckartcolony.org

    February 8-10

    EASTERN PAGEANTRY

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    Shen Yun, a vivid spectacle of traditional Chinese dance through the centuries, colorful costumes, and music, comes to the Boston Opera House for five shows Friday through Sunday. Tickets start at $50. 617-259-3400; bostonoperahouse.com

    Justin Willman

    February 9

    SWEET MAGIC

    You may recognize him as the host of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, but Emerson grad Justin Willman has another career as a comic magician. He’ll perform at the Wilbur Theatre on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $22. Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000; thewilburtheatre.com

    February 9

    YEAR OF THE SNAKE

    Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum celebrates the lunar New Year on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. with lion dance performances, a Chinese yo-yo show, storytelling, art activities, and more. Free with museum admission. 978-745-9500; pem.org

    Answer: C

    SHARE YOUR EVENT NEWS. Send information on Boston-area happenings at least two weeks in advance to week@globe.com.