JOAN OF ART: An Iconic Musical, A Three Weekend Celebration of Food, Music & Beer, Halloween Scares & Another Kind Of Culinary Food Festival

Joan Alperin

Writer, Registered Critic

Fall is upon us which means the start of a long holiday season, but before we get to that, there's one of my favorite musicals opening on October 18th at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, THE MUSIC MAN.

This beloved Meredith Wilson musical, which I personally have seen many times throughout the years, including the one with Hugh Jackman, will star Broadway's Adam Pascal ('Rent') as the fast talking traveling salesman Harold Hill.

In 1957 The Music Man became a hit on Broadway, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and running for 1,375 performances. It included some of the most memorable songs including 'Till There Was You' and 'Goodnight My Someone' and the brassy favorite '76 Trombones.'

This is a total feel good musical that will have you smiling long after the curtain falls. The show opens Friday October 18th at 8pm and will close on Sunday October 27th.

For show times, tickets and other information go to  or call 805-449-2787. The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza is located at 2100 East Thousand Oaks Blvd in Thousand Oaks.

Now what would October be without the annual OKTOBERFEST which opened last weekend at the Fairplex and will be there for two more days, October 18th and 19th. This celebration is filled with authentic Bavarian music, German Food, chicken dances and guaranteed to be a blast for you and your family.

Guests will enjoy two stages, one complete with an Oom Pah Pah band, 12 beers on tap at multiple bars and enough food to feed a village. Two of the biggest expo halls and the outdoor plaza have been transformed and decorated to recreate a German fair.

Queen Nation, a cover band, will rock you along with The Rheinlanders and DJ Schlage spinning on the 1's and 2's.

For more information and to buy tickets go to The Fairplex is located at 1101 West McKinley Avenue in Pomona, 91768.

Since Halloween is coming up there are plenty of places guaranteed to scare you silly and one of the scariest of all takes place at Universal Studios in Hollywood. It's Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights and this year it has more spine-tingling mazes than ever before.

The studio that created the original monster movie genre, once again breathes new life into your darkest nightmares bringing you more hair-raising encounters including the dark secrets that lurk in the Upside Down in the next chapter of Netflix's STRANGER THINGS, the ultimate in paranormal thrills from GHOSTBUSTERS and coming face to face with your worst nightmare - yourself in Jordan Peele's film US.

There will be scare zones each gorged with murderous monsters and unimaginable horrors awaiting your arrival. What could be better than that? 'Horror Nights' runs now through November 3rd. Oh did I mention when and if you want a break from all the scary stuff there will also be a live band featuring the best music of the '80s, DJ dance parties and more.

To buy tickets go to Universal Studios is located at 100 Universal City Plaza in Universal City.

Lastly there is another kind of food experience happening this weekend and it's called TASTE CULINARY FOOD FESTIVAL taking place at The Atrium at Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles.

The festival is back for a second year and returns for a weekend long celebration of global cuisine and culinary events. This culinary experience features samplings from the Center's best restaurants along with chef experiences, wine and spirits tastings, plus live entertainment while you sip and savor your way through the best cuisines from around the world.

Ticket holders will get to enjoy samplings and tastings from restaurants like: Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, Eataly, Javier's, Halo Top Scoop Shop, La Colombe, The Crack Shack and so many more.

Tickets to attend will cost $55 for adults over 21 years of age and $35 for guests under 21.

Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options will be available at the event. TASTE takes place on Friday October 18th from 5:30-8:30pm, Saturday October 19th from 11:30am-2:30pm, and 5:30pm-8:30pm. The last day is Sunday, October 20th, from noon until 3pm.

Go to to purchase tickets and for more information.

Wishing you a very fun weekend.

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death.