by David-Elijah Nahmod
October is one of the holiest months on the LGBT calendar, and Halloween is one of our most sacred days. In a city that’s as wild, crazy and fun as San Francisco, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the season, with everything from classic film screenings to parties galore.
The madness begins early at the California Academy of Sciences. Jaws fans will no doubt want to be there on October 4, when the Academy’s Thursday Nightlife series offers Sharktoberfest, with sharks and plenty of beer. Taste your way through the beer garden in African Hall. Mingle amongst robot sharks. Hear about newly discovered shark species and conservation efforts. Keep sipping that beer as you view Academy specimens, shark tooth tools, and photos of Sandy, the first shark to survive in captivity. Music by Sleazemore of Lights Down Low Fame.
Return to Cal Academy’s Nightlife on Thursday October 25 to join the incomparable Peaches Christ for Zombie Nightlife Brainy party goers beware! Experiment with slimy specimens in a Human Organ Lab. Zombie make-up artists will be on the prowl, and Peaches will present a zombie drag show. Of course there will be music and monster mashing. Both events 6pm-10pm, 55 Music Concourse Drive. 379-8000. www.calacademy.org
October will be a busy month for Ms. Peaches Christ, who’s taking over the town. On Saturday, October 20, join her and Heklina at the beautiful Castro Theater for Death Becomes Her, a wacky live stage show, followed by a screening of the creepy comedy classic starring Meryl Street and Goldie Hawn. Festivities include everlasting youth makeovers, a dead celebrities costume contest, and a fountain of youth bar with yummy libations. 8pm-12am, 429 Castro St. www.peacheschrist.com www.castrotheatre.com
A month long exhibition commences at the SOMArts Cultural Center a few weeks before Halloween and continues into November. Calling on the Spirits to Face the Future: Dia De Los Muertos 2012 invites you to attend their opening reception on Friday, October 12 from 6pm to 9pm. The show’s regular run begins the following day, October 13, and will be on display until November 10. The centuries-old tradition of building altars to welcome and celebrate deceased loved ones fuses with present-day artists’ sentiments on the state of life and politics. Works by 80 Bay Area artists will be on display. On Saturday October 20, sisters Natalia and Amanda Vigil will present Gathering the Embers: A Dia de los Muertos Tribute Show. Writers, performing artists, media makers and musicians pay tribute to love, life, loss and resiliency. 7pm-9:30pm, 934 Brannan St., 863-1414. www.somarts.org
If you’re in the mood for something naughtier, you might want to check out Masquerotica on Saturday October 20 at the San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center. Affiliated with Folsom Street Events, but partnered with a number of straight-run events, this second annual Halloween party promises a gay/straight mix of music, dance, and kink. Costumes and creative sexy wear will be the order of the night, with no street clothes permitted. 8:30pm-3am. 635 8th St. www.Masquerotica.com
We in the LGBT community have a rich and diverse history. We also have a wonderful little museum which is documenting that history. On Thursday, Oct 25, join the GLBT Historical Society, the organization which runs the GLBT History Museum, for Unmasked, their annual gala. It will be an evening of elegance and fun in The Green Room of the War Memorial and Performing Arts Building. Expect live entertainment, food, a hosted bar, and a chance to meet and mingle with local celebrities. The evening will include a performance from hunky baritone Zachary Gordon, plus Hard French DJs and Glamamore. 7pm-9pm (VIP reception from 6-7). 401 Van Ness Ave. 777-5455. www.unmaskedgala.org
As Halloween approaches, Bimbo’s 365 Club offers the Foreverland Thriller Halloween Ball on Saturday, October 27. The late, great Gloved One, Michael Jackson, will be honored by a 14-piece orchestra, including four lead vocalists. Hear classic chestnuts such as “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough,” “Beat It,” and many others, as you’ve never heard them before. Doors open at 8pm, show at 9pm. 1025 Columbus. 474-0365. www.bimbos365club.com
And what would Halloween in San Francisco be without Shocktoberfest at Thrillpeddlers’ Hypnodrome in San Francisco? Shocktoberfest 13: The Bride of Death promises an evening of horror and unhinged comedy. Described as an “extravaganza of terror and titillation” the show includes one classic Grand Guignol thriller, two world premiere one-act plays, a musical spectacle, and a scary lights-out spook show finale. The chills begin on Thursday October 4, and will run until November 17. The show can generally be seen at 8pm Thursday-Saturday, but there will be special Halloween performances on October 30 and 31 (Tues/Wed) also at 8pm. 575 10th St. www.thrillpeddlers.com
Just in time for All Hallow’s Eve, DNA Lounge offers two big parties. On Monday, October 29, Halloween Bootie lets you dance your ass off at the biggest mash-up in the world. Every musical style from every era comes together in one big, wild party.
9pm-3am. The fun gets even wilder on the 31st, Halloween night, when DNA’s All Hallow’s Eve party presents a whopping 14 DJs in 4 rooms. Dance to indie pop, new wave, dark electronica, gothic, industrial. There’s an after midnight costume contest with $1000 in cash prizes. 9pm-3am. 375 Eleventh St. 626-1409. www.dnalounge.com
If your idea of celebrating Halloween is to go out and watch a few good old-fashioned monster movies, San Francisco has two special treats for you. On Wednesday October 24, Fathom Events, in conjunction with Turner Classic Movies, presents James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) together on the big screen in pristine, digital prints. Whale was the first (as far as we know) gay director in Hollywood history to come out, and Bride was one of his coming out films. The script is chock-full of witty gay innuendos that were hard to spot in 1935, but stand out front and center to modern viewers. The evening includes a filmed interview with Sara Karloff, daughter of Boris Karloff, the legendary horror star who played the monster in both films. Advanced ticket sales are available and recommended. Screens 7pm at two venues: Century 9, 835 Market. (800) 326-3264, and Empire Cinema, 85 West Portal. (800) 326-3264. www.fathomevents.com
And finally, on Tuesday, October 30, head over to Davies Symphony Hall for a 7pm screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919). This surreal, almost dreamlike masterpiece is considered to be the first horror movie to achieve worldwide acclaim. A masterpiece of expressionistic silent cinema, the film will feature uber-cute Cameron Carpenter at the organ. 201 Van Ness Ave. 864-6000. www.sfsymphony.org
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