1. Odd man in
If you're thinking about dressing up this Halloween as Elsa from Frozen or some clever incarnation of the ice-bucket challenge, the following event is not for you, because it promises to be a mess of carnie crazy. At the Art After Dark: Freakshow Sideshow, from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday Oct. 31, guests will experience human portraits painted on humans, extraordinary contorting, fortune telling, circus performers, beauty-shop freak-overs and underground dead-thing mashups. So unless you want to look weird, you'd better come dressed up with your inner oddball out.
"We encourage our guests to embrace what makes them a freak," said Dinah Poellnitz, coordinator of Art after Dark. "It's 1940s-style circus bizarre, but freaks of every generation are welcome, so embrace what makes you different."
Inside, outside and in the depths of the Oceanside Museum of Art (704 Pier View Way), folks can sip libations among the art exhibitions and exhibitionists. See Raymond Lafferty's one-Native-American-man show exploring the thin boundary between beauty and freakishness. Watch circus contortionist Kat Madyrzak get twisted to performances by Oceanside Theatre Company singers Brooke Benjamin and Kelleigh Jones. Learn your fate from Madame Victorire's deck of tarot cards. Wander into the basement for Captain Tyler's informative exhibition on the art of creative taxidermy.
"It's going to be a very entertaining but educational experience at the same time," Poellnitz said. "The artists that we've picked display the idea of what makes them different. Yes, we are all freaks. There's no such thing as normal."
Including music by DJ Zochi, dancing, appetizers and two drink tickets, the 21-and-older show is $20 for the event only or $35 for the event and an event poster by local artist Scrojo. Get tickets at oma-online.org.
2. That accursed ugliness
What evil lurks in the shadows of the Paris Opera House? What grotesque visage hides behind the mask? Is the right choice the scorpion or the grasshopper? Would everything have been fine if Christine's curiosity didn't get the best of her? Why couldn't she just keep her hands to herself? Most of your burning questions will be answered when the Spreckels Organ Society presents Halloween Silent Movie Night, a free screening of the classic 1925 silent film Phantom of the Opera, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The action in the movie, which stars the legendary Lon Chaney as Erik the Phantom, will be set to a live musical score by organist Russ Peck. spreckelsorgan.org
Rad retail Row
In last week's Best of San Diego issue, we highlighted Lone Flag, a hip, well-curated clothing and accessories shop that's part of Row Collective, a grouping of cool, independent retail stores—including M-Theory Music, Studio Penny Lane, Boutonne, A Ship in the Woods and half a dozen more—located in the Flower Hill Promenade (2720 Via de la Valle). Check out what Lone Flag and its neighbors have to offer from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, when the Row Collective shops host their second Maker's Market. The event features in-store specials and, in the courtyard / patio area outside the shops, more than 20 local artisans selling their wares, plus a chance for you to try your hand at some DIY projects and get a jump on holiday shopping. flowerhill.com
Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.