HAPPY 50TH, MUSIC CENTER: Downtown's glittering, be-fountain'd, be-Dorothy-Chandler'd hub de culture is marking its first half century with a morning of free tours -- you'll wander inside the Dorothy Chandler, Mark Taper, Ahmanson, and Disney Concert Hall -- and other convivial, cultural to-dos. Like? Well, $1 dance lessons, which'll focus on line dances from around the planet. Call it a free-to-not-expensive daytime bash for a place that gives SoCal a lot of dance, ballet, opera, and drama. And check out that view of City Hall, boy oh boy. Saturday, Oct. 11
INDIECADE: Gamers, the people who make independent games, the people who write about independent games, and the games converge in Culver City for one long weekend of gameplay, industry insidery hobnobbing, and chillaxed fun-having. "(M)ore than 150 independent games" shall be about for fans to try, and that includes tabletop in addition to digital and real-world. The key word is "independent," so just prepare to gaze into the future of gaming. Oct. 10 to 12
LA STORYTELLING FESTIVAL: Been awhile since you enjoyed a ripe, well-told yarn with a few high points, a twist, a couple of gasp-inducing surprises, and a congenial storyteller at the mic? This mega event, which stretches from here through to Oct. 16, spotlights a bevy of performers (including a storyteller who is pals to this writer, disclaimer), and a whole garden to juicy topics. It's not stand-up comedy, but there is comedy, pathos, heartache, tension, fun, and more more more.
"GREMLINS" AT 30: You may forget the plot of a movie you saw two weeks ago, but you'll never forget the rules of this Joe Dante's 1984 monster-comedy, which is marking 30 years at a Street Food Cinema screening in Pasadena on Saturday, Oct. 11. Don't get 'em wet, keep 'em out of bright light, and feeding them after midnight? That's a big ol' nope. Star Zach Galligan will be there, to Q&A, but Gizmo? Well, even if he doesn't show, he's in all our hearts forever, right? That wittle fluffball.
FURTHER AFIELD: Like smooth jazz? JazzTrax opens for two music-packed weekends on, where else, Catalina Island, one of the HQs of smooth-jazzdom. Like athletes throwing heavy objects? The astounding Seaside Games shall unfurl in Ventura (wear your kilt). Like dozens of fanciful scarecrows? The Santa Ynez Wine Country is full of 'em over the next month. Like seafood? It's Harbor Festival time, in Santa Barbara. What? You want robots? Okay. Riverside has 'em.