MERRY NOT SCARY
So the basic idea behind Halloween candy glut is to get it all for free, but it's hard to swing that once one's past puberty. The trick-or-treatin' 38-year-old might well have to deal with red-cheeked humiliation, slammed doors and questions like, "Really? What are you, 80 years old? Ha ha ha ha!" One way to avoid neighborhood shun is to wear that costume loud and proud: Go to Zoo Boo, where $10 at the door guarantees a bag full of the sweet stuff, to be collected along a half-mile of spookily decorated zoo. Granted, $10 at Wal-Mart could do the same, but there's also a haunted mine ride, a "Ghouly Games Area," a haunted reptile house and a musical revue featuring a character called — wait for it — "Witchy Poo." But Zoo Boo is an all-ages event, damn it, so use this as an excuse to affirm your arrested development. Or, bring your favorite 5-year-old. Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak. Call 248-398-0900 for more info.
Clownish grease paint? Check. Chainsaw? Check. General sense of misanthropy? Check! Habitual MySpace gazer-stalker? Check! Yep, you're officially creepy as fuck — or just ready to party with rap duo Insane Clown Posse. The Faygo-spewing Detroiters come home for their annual Halloween show. And though the music is barely hummable, the clowns' "performance art" will blow you away. Or, like, hack you to bits (emotional or otherwise). At 6 p.m. at the Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5451.
So many of us share that first memory of New York — stepping out of a cab at Times Square, gazing up at a dazzling marquis scrawled with the word CATS. By the look of your seat, you can tell how popular the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical really is: once plush, the seat's now matted, flattened by scores of asses that saw the show before you. Curtains open. Performers in fuzzy, striped unitards sing and dance. You wait for the plot to thicken. You wait for a plot. You wonder aloud (before someone shushes you) what the fuck a Jellicle cat is. Memories, indeed. Though you can no longer see the show on Broadway, traumatize a future generation by watching a touring production of the musical, which will be at 8 p.m. at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-943-2350 or check the Web page at dearbornfordcenter.com for more info.
Dia de los Muertos
In contrast to the slut-tastic costume parties, post-witching hour chocolate binges and Samhain-inspired slaughter-fests that crowd this season's calendar, try something a little happier: Detroit's Mexicantown is hosting a four-day celebration in observance of the Day of the Dead, a holiday to honor deceased friends and relatives. There's lots to do: Walking tours, culinary tours, arts and craft sales and dance performances. MOCAD will provide craft workshops, where one can make sugar and chocolate skulls, papier-mâché skeletons and collages. The event's at Mexicantown Mercado and Ford Plaza, 2826 Bagley Ave., Detroit; for a full description of the activities, visit mexicantown.org.
In his exhibition essay, former MT arts editor George Tysh says that Dennis Summers' new works "make a powerful case for the enduring centrality of minimalism, alongside cubism and surrealism, in the bedrock of contemporary art." Phase Shift, the Michigan multimedia artist's show of "video paintings" inspired by the music of Steve Reich, kicks off in a big way — with work projected (to a height of 20 feet or more) on the wall of the Manoogian Visual Resource Center. At 6-8 p.m. at College for Creative Studies, 301 Frederick Douglass (corner of Brush St.); 313-664-7800.
Friday • 2
No doubt some of you are in some sort of crowd shot from Arturo Sandoval’s new performance DVD shot during last summer’s Power Center performance. So here’s your chance, stars, to hobnob with the leading man. The riveting expat Cuban trumpeter blows back into town for release festivities on Friday. He’ll be at the downtown Ann Arbor Borders at 7 p.m., sitting for an interview and autographing copies of Arturo Sandoval Live. (The film features eight songs and an interview with WEMU-FM’s Linda Yohn,) At 9, he’ll be at the new Firefly Club to mingle and sign while the local Latin jazz group Los Gatos performs. The downtown Borders is at 612 E. Liberty Street; 734-668-7652. Firefly, 637 S. Main, Ann Arbor; 734-665-9090.
Arab Film Fest
IMPORT FILM ALERT
The third annual Arab Film Fest boasts variety: There are five-minute shorts like Heavy Metal Drummer, which is about rock music in the Arab world. There are more serious works, such as These Girls, which is about prostitution and rape in Muslim society. There's the musical comedy West Bank Story, which won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Short Film. Ten different films, each with English subtitles, will be played during the three-day festival, and a 6 p.m. opening reception will precede the films each day. For further information, call 313-582-2266 or visit arabamericanmusic.org. At the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-2266 for more info.
Al Di Meola
Like the other groundbreaking guitarists of the fusion era — John McLaughlin, for instance — Al Di Meola has lasted by varying his approach, opening up to influences from Argentine tango master Astor Piazola, bringing flamenco into the musical mix, etc., without turning his back on the music that first put them on the map. That the guy who came to fame with Return to Forever is currently touring with his New World Sinfonia suggests audiences will get both his breadth and sizzle. Shows at 8 and 10 p.m., $42.50 and $37.50 respectively. At Arturo's Jazz Theatre & Restaurant, 25333 W. 12 Mile Rd., (just west of Telegraph Road, in the Star Theatre Complex), Southfield; 248-357-6009.
Detroit Noir Book Release
"Detroit Noir is a snapshot of a city in darkness," according to Aaron Petrovich, publisher of the anthology. Containing short stories by local authors, this collection "presents a multifaceted vision of a seedy metropolis where crime beckons and repels, where honest work can provide salvation or grueling dissolution, where the guilty and the innocent share both desperation and determination." Chilling. Several contributors to the anthology will be attending the launch party at Aunt Agatha's, 213 S. Fourth St., Ann Arbor. Call 734-769-1114 for more info.
From the Top
It's imprecise to say that the young, talented artist Kristin Beaver paints her friends. What Beaver's really doing is stroking bravado, the sense of self-importance and extreme vanity. She unveils outlandish drama. Yes, she's caricaturing her clique; dressed in pink taffeta and worn-down rock Tees. But she's also aptly characterizing the very nature of painting, which is to say that maybe art is her closest ally, causing her anguish and elation just like her dearest, bitchiest buddy. Check it out for yourself in intimate quarters when she presents her solo show, From the Top, opening 5-8 p.m. The exhibition runs through Dec. 15 at David Klein Gallery, 163 Townsend St., Birmingham; 248-433-3700.
I HATE EVERYBODY
Somebody gonna get a-hurt real bad ... is a tagline of Indian-Canadian comedian Russell Peters. We won't say why, but a hint: According to his act, Indian parents love to beat their kids. Indians are also terrible athletes, he says, and horrendously stingy. But Peters isn't racist — he makes fun of everyone, not just fellow South Asians. Jew jokes, terrorist jokes, Canadian jokes — no one's safe, but it's all raucous hilarity. A comedian for 17 years, his 2006 live show, Outsourced, has been aired on Comedy Central. He's been selling out venues like New York City's Apollo Theater and Toronto's Air Canada Centre. But we'll keep it succinct: He's a funny, funny dude. Tickets are $43 for the 8 p.m. show at Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, 350 Madison St., Detroit; 313-962-0243 for more info.
MAKE THE SCENE
So it's basically Kevin Drew and pals performing, and thank goodness — the already-choked streets of little ol' Ann Arbor couldn't handle the big pimpin' entourages of each of the 12 bajillion members of indie super-group Broken Social Scene. That doesn't mean that fans won't flock to watch Drew, a BSS founder, in what's billed as BSS Plays Kevin Drew's Spirit If. Arthur & Yu also perform. At 8 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-668-TIME for more info.
Embracing Our Common Humanity
We're a far cry the Lewinsky days; former president Bill Clinton is touring the country to discuss his latest book, a chicken-soupy tome called Giving: Now Each of Us Can Change the World. Indeed, he writes, "We all have the capacity to do great things. My hope is that the people and stories in this book will lift spirits, touch hearts, and demonstrate that citizen activism and service can be a powerful agent of change in the world." Tickets range from $28.50 to $103.50, and the speech is at 6 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-576-5100.
WHO'S MINDING THE MIND?
Robert Creeley once located the kick of Ron Padgett's poetry in the fact that "You never know what he'll think of next!" And he might have added (with another exclamation) that Padgett seems as surprised in the serendipitous path of the poem as readers and listeners will be later on. How to Be Perfect (Coffee House Press) is Padgett's latest collection, and in the poem "Method" he explains his MO as going "wherever the poem seems to lead" — in this case to talk of walking behind his own face, the late poet (and friend) Kenneth Koch, Zeus, optimism, photos of snow flakes, the Chinese actor Wang Whom, the miracle of automobility to a 17-year-old, the teen's ability a year later to "drive beyond the limit of consciousness" ... and so on as the poem moves for pages. If you want to know how meandering poems like that find conclusions, see Padgett at the Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth, Detroit; 313-831-1250; scarabclub.org. He's also at Eastern Michigan's Halle Library on Friday, Nov. 9, giving a talk at 3:30 p.m. and reading with poet Ander Monson at 5 p.m.; call 734-487-4220.