Halloween is almost here, and local theater groups are gearing up with events designed to delight, spook and perhaps scare us. No tricks, all treats all the way.
There's no reason to be afraid this coming weekend when Navasota Theatre Alliance conducts its annual Lanterns & Legends guided tours of Navasota's historic Oakland Cemetery. In fact, the tours are not frightening at all, but they are fascinating and informative. You'll learn much more than the name and dates carved onto the tombstones.
This is the sixth year for Lanterns and Legends, and the tours just get better and better.
"Each year the stories are new, but the format remains the same," said Mavis Anderson, theater board member. "The event presents gravesites, where costumed actors portray the actual people buried there."
Theme for this year's event is "Carved in Stone: Monuments and Mysteries."
The news release for the event said if it weren't for their grave markers, most of people buried in the cemetery would be forgotten by now. "Their tombstones tell us their names and vital statistics. But if we dig a little deeper, we find even more questions than answers. Examine the connection between two pioneering clergymen and also the biographical notes on one monument and how it's tied to very different people. Listen in on a chat with two German immigrants as they talk about The Knight of Pythias. Learn about one of the first burials in the Hebrew Cemetery of Navasota and the story behind the monument for a young African-American women who died at age 20."
Tours are offered every 15 minutes from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tour groups are limited to 15 people, and tickets are required. They are $10 each and are available online at navasotatheatre.org.
Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and bring insect repellent and a flashlight.
For those who can't make one of the guided tours, Navasota Theatre Alliance will offer the same program at 2 p.m. on Oct. 28 inside the Sunny Furman Theatre at 104 W. Washington Ave. in downtown Navasota.
Oakland Cemetery is located at 801 Sixth St. in Navasota.
For more information, call 936-825-3195.
Oh, the horror
It's time to do the Time Warp -- again -- when The Theatre Company in Bryan presents a special weekend of performances of The Rocky Horror Show. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. and midnight on Saturday.
Tickets are $25 and available online at www.theatrecompany.com. Be aware that The Rocky Horror Show is rated PG, so leave the younger ones at home.
Richard O'Brien wrote the musical as a tribute to those fondly remembered science fiction and horror movies of the 1950s and 1960s. It is the story of Brad and Janet, an innocent young couple who, caught in a storm, stumble on the home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a mad transvestite scientist who has set about to created the perfect specimen of a man named Rocky Horror.
You may be familiar with the film version, which became a cult classic and played late night in theaters across the country, including the old Campus Theater in Northgate. Audiences sang along and acted out the various parts. Feel free to do so at The Theatre Company's live version.
The cast includes Roger Pine as the narrator, Tyler Lewis as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Paul Early as Brad, Christina Freeman as Janet and Jensen Klodnicki as Rocky. Others in the cast include David Moreno, Hannah Hildebrandt, Mike Kilgore, Andrew Armstrong, Tyler Bruffett Taylor Christenson, Jasia Correa, Grace Demers, Brittney Green, Allison Harrell, Kelsie Kullman, Chaz Macklin, Madeline McLevish-Hughes, Rachael Medders, Keith Owen, Andrew Roblyer and Keri Salscheider.
Adrienne Dobson directs and Debbie Prince produces. Weston Russell conducts the orchestra.
Dennis Berthold and Pamela Matthews, along with 3rd on Main Kitchen, are underwriting Rocky Horror. Orchestra underwriters are Watson Wealth Management and Alan Bryant, who takes the wonderful photos you see at The Theatre Company and at StageCenter. Adrienne Rowell, Realtor, is underwriting the marketing. The costumes are underwritten anonymously. Be sure to thank this generous people and businesses who make sure theater is alive in the Brazos Valley.
The magnificent Brazos Breeze Flute Choir gets into the Halloween mood at 5 p.m. Oct. 28 with a concert of appropriate music such as Paul Dukas' Sorcerer's Apprentice.
The concert will be at First Methodist Church, where Brazos Breeze is ensemble in residence. The church is located at 506 E. 28th St. in Bryan. Admission to the concert is free but a free-will offering will be accepted to help defray costs of music.
Other selections on the program include Jonathan Cohen's Wicked Vicar, Greg Lutz's An Afternoon with the Kiddo, Alan Leech's American Flutefare and a collection of movie themes from The Rocky Horror Show, Psycho, The Munsters and The Addams Family.
Concert attendees are encouraged to come in Halloween costumes if they so desire.
The composition of the Brazos Breeze is piccolo, C flutes, alto flutes, bass flutes, contrabass flute, string bass, bassoon and percussion. The members are professional musicians from cities around the area including Huntsville, Bellville, Brenham, Anderson, Austin, Waco, greater Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas and Bryan-College Station. Rob Towell is conductor.
Brazos Breeze concerts are always a delight. For more information, please contact Penny Zent at 979-268-1743 or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So kids can eat
Bryan High School's Viking Theatre is promising a multitude of treats Saturday when it hosts "Trunk or Treat So Kids Can Eat" event in the fine arts parking lot at the school.
There will be plenty of fun, but the biggest treat is the food drive for the Brazos Valley Food Bank.
Trunk or Treat will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. There will be food trucks where food can be purchased and bounce houses and safe fun for the entire family.
Admission is five cans of food. While any food is appreciated, foods high in protein are greatly appreciated.
One night only
History buffs of all ages are invited to learn more about the Lone Star State when the Star of the Republic Museum hosts its annual Night at the Museum on Saturday. The museum is located at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site between Navasota and Brenham.
Night at the Museum will feature wagon rides, a flashlight museum tour with live exhibits and tavern tales.
This year's event includes an evening wagon ride that takes visitors around the Barrington Living History Farm, founded by Dr. Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas. Wagon rides will run between 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., weather permitting, and last 10 minutes.
Tours of the Star of the Republic Museum will begin at 7 p.m., when the museum lights will be turned down and the exhibits come to life with live characters telling the story of the Texas Republic. Visitors are encouraged to bring flashlights to explore the museum as they meet early Texas settlers, a riverboat captain, a French sailor, a Texas Ranger, a doctor with a patient, and a preacher with a barkeeper.
At 7:45 p.m., guests can visit a nearby tavern, where they will be encouraged to walk through a cemetery and listen to stories from former Old Washington residents of the 1800s.
Lisa Berg, the museum's curator of education, said, "Offering the sundown wagon ride and tavern tales in addition to the museum tours has made the Night at the Museum more of a well-rounded experience for our visitors. It gives us an opportunity to share a little more history with them -- in a unique way."
Night at the Museum is family-friendly and designed for visitors of all ages.
Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children ages 6 and younger. Blinn students and employees can receive free admission with a current Blinn ID.
Visitors looking to start early on the fun are invited to visit the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site's Visitor Center from 3-6 p.m. for games, refreshments, treats, a costume parade and a pumpkin patch.
Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is located off Texas 105 on F.M. 1155.
For more information, go to www.starmuseum.org.
• Today through Oct. 28 -- Dirty Dealings in Dixie melodrama, Brazos Valley TROUPE, 3705 E. 29th St. in Bryan, today and Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., $7 to $25. (bvtroupe.com)
• Nov. 4 -- Fei-Fei Returns with Van Cliburn Piano Competition finalist Fei Fei joining our Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, 5 p.m., Rudder Theatre, $16 to $45 at the MSC Box Office. (bvso.org)
• Every Sunday -- Open mic and poetry slams sponsored by Mic Check Poetry, 8:30 p.m. Revolution Café in Downtown Bryan, (miccheckpoetry.com)
Items for Arts Watch should be emailed to email@example.com. Deadline is noon Tuesday before the weekend you want it to run.