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What to do this Weekend: Oct 29 – Nov 1

by Cristina Schreil

It’s Halloween! Whether you’re embracing the season’s thrills and chills or are simply excited about this crisper fall weather, there are plenty of ways to feel festive around the Bay Area this week. 

Launch this spooky, blue moon-lit weekend with creepy-crawlies, an artful screening of Frankenstein, a spooky, blood-soaked operatic drama, and a talk on the making of The Nightmare Before Christmas.  

Or, sink deeper into cozy fall vibes with an artist video drive-in,  a socially conscious string concert, and more. 

Check out our curated list of things to do below.

Celebrate Día de los Muertos in a Sonoma sculpture garden.

The Museum of Sonoma County has transformed its Sculpture Garden into an outdoor exhibition honoring Día de los Muertos. 

Besides a tribute to those who have passed, it’s also a rich showcase of local art and artists, including contributions from the museum’s Youth+Art students. 

The exhibition launched Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 8 at 425 Seventh St., Santa Rosa. Free. 

Info: museumsc.org/2020-dia-de-los-muertos/ 

Stream a timely performance from San Francisco Playhouse.

Friendship and its intricacies are at the heart of a new comedic theater work filmed on stage at San Francisco Playhouse. Art, by Yasmina Reza and directed by Bill English, draws from a very 2020 vibe, “when an upcoming election is showing how our nation has become divided into opposing camps.” 

Bobak Bakhtiari, Johnny Moreno and Jomar Tagatac star in this on-demand performance.

Streaming online now through Nov. 7 $15-$100. 

Info: sfplayhouse.org/sfph/2020-2021-season/art/ 

Contain your cringes with a creepy Cal Academy NightLife.

Get scary (but make it science!) with Cal Academy’s latest Virtual NightLife. The theme is “Creatures of the Night” and the Academy delivers: Hear sea monster encounters from an underwater photographer and biologist; learn about zombie worms and other blood-curdling creatures; chat with an arachnid expert; delve deep into burial practices; and more.   

What’s the best way to soothe your fears? A drag performance, naturally. Estée Longah and Vermicelli Versace serve a festive Halloween performance.

Thursday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook. Free.

Info: calacademy.org/nightlife/virtual-nightlife-creatures-of-the-night 

Those with disabilities: Sit in meditation. 

On a calmer note, the Asian Art Museum offers an hour-long workshop on mindfulness meditation specifically geared toward people with disabilities. 

Leading is Oakland-based Buddhist meditation teacher Mushim Patricia Ikeda, a core teacher at East Bay Meditation Center. “This disability- and trauma-informed approach can give you tools to help deal with the overwhelming realities of our current time,” organizers write.

ASL interpreters are available upon request. 

Thursday, Oct. 29, 10:30 a.m. online. Free.

Info: calendar.asianart.org/event/mindfulness-meditation/

View Frankenstein as you’ve never seen it before. 

Think you know Mary Shelley’s Gothic tale, Frankenstein? Think again. 

Dazzling Chicago-based collective Manual Cinema interprets Frankenstein in truly unique ways — as a real-time silent animated film employing hundreds of paper puppets, live actors and a live score performed onstage by four musicians. It’s a performance co-commissioned by Cal Performances and available to watch via its Cal Performances At Home portal. 

Thursday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m. online. $15–$60. 

Info: calperformances.org/events/2020-21/at-home/manual-cinema-frankenstein/ 

Go mad with SF Opera this Halloween weekend.

A ghost-riddled setting; a dark feud between two noble houses; a blood-soaked bride; and everlasting (possibly doomed) love. Can you get any more Halloween than this? 

San Francisco Opera’s Opera is On programming presents the sumptuously gothic Lucia Di Lammermoor, streaming all weekend beginning Halloween morning. Natalie Dessay makes her company debut in this film, directed for the screen by Frank Zamacona. 

Saturday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m. Online through Sunday. Free. 

Info: sfopera.com/streaming 

Meet those who crowned the pumpkin king.

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents a behind-the-scenes look at a long-cherished kickoff to the holiday season: the classic film, The Nightmare Before Christmas.  

On Halloween morning, join a panel of artists who worked with visionary Tim Burton on the 1993 hit as they share memories and details on the film’s production. 

Saturday, Oct. 31, 1 p.m. online. $10 ($5 for members). 

Info: waltdisney.org/education/talks/crowning-pumpkin-king-building-disney-nightmare 

Jam with Kronos Quartet, Vijay Gupta and the Los Angeles Poverty Department 

Kronos Quartet is known for thought-provoking interactive programming, and a free concert with Vijay Gupta and the Los Angeles Poverty Department promises just that.  

In this concert presented by CAP UCLA, the interactive experience Weaving: Over/Under/around/Through probes how music creates belonging and sparks conversations. 

Performance and dialogue shape the lens of a virtual audience to consider how each of us has a story worth telling; that each of our neighbors — the precious tiles on the screens of our lives — has a story worth hearing,” organizers write. The performance was originally recorded live at Royce Hall.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 8:30 p.m. online. Free. 

Info: kronosquartet.org/events/detail/the-tune-in-festival-kronos-quartet-vijay-gupta/

Attend a (virtual) feminist parade and help bring art to the streets.

Lest you’ve forgotten an election is around the corner, a digital art event over at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive brings us plenty of reminders of how and why we vote. 

Artist Michele Pred presents Vote Feminist Parade, a Zoom program of video recordings of two parades in New York and Oakland. An aim is to bring politically motivated art from galleries and studios to the people. Also find live music, guest speakers, commentary from Pred and cohosts Carmen Rios and Autumn Breon, and a guided meditation on radical love.  

The event is a prologue to the 2021 BAMPFA exhibition New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century.

Sunday, Nov. 1, 4 p.m. on Zoom. Free.

Info: bampfa.org/event/livestream-vote-feminist-parade

Watch artist videos at the drive-in.

Drive-in movies have resurrected with zeal during the pandemic, and this weekend shines a spotlight on art films and videos. The Exploratorium, KADIST, the Institute of Contemporary Art San José and the San José Museum of Art present a one-night screening of “unpredictable, unconventional, and transportive” artist videos. 

The curated program culls work from artists all over the globe. There’s also a raffle and a DJ set by Oakland-based collective Smartbomb.  

Sunday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m. at Westwind Capitol Drive-In, 3630 Hillcap Ave., San Jose. $9–$10 per vehicle. 

Info: exploratorium.edu/visit/calendar/av-artist-videos-drive-in

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