Dias de Muertos at CSUMB Salinas Center

1. Monterey Plays—Carl Cherry Center, Friday-Saturday

When eight writers from different walks of life create a theatrical festival, what emerges is a mixed bag of comedy and drama, realism and surrealism, and musical and non-musical work. In fact, there’s only one common thread: all of the contributors are based in Monterey County.

2. Men on Boats—Studio Theatre, Friday-Sunday

Ten men, four boats, two rivers and a one-armed Civil War Veteran. It’s a classic tale of pioneers exploring the untamed West, with a script inspired by the actual logs of John Wesley Powell. Niki Moon plays Powell, with a crew played by Christina Moore, Jennifer Foreman, Monica LaVelle, Florence...Hey, these aren’t men! That’s right, in this clever hysterical historical pageant, it’s a cast of “not-men.”

3. Rocky Horror Show—Paper Wing Theatre, Friday-Sunday

It’s full of dark confections like its throwback 1950s and arty black fashion sense, naughty and indulgent sexual transgression, and an ensemble of outcasts and misfits. But best of all is its music, a bunch of urgent and catchy tunes that mix rock opera, syrupy strings, rockabilly, over-the-top vocalizations, and lots-o fun.

4. Dia de Los Muertos—Various locations, Friday-Sunday

Yes, it's Halloween season, but for many Central Americans, it's also Día de Muertos season, which means a time to honor ancestors and reconnect with traditions. CSUMB brings bits and pieces of all to their Salinas center for anyone to experience. King City holds a procession and after-party. Folklorico dance group Esperanza del Valle adds music and movement to this Dia de Los Muertos celebration inside the ETC Playhouse.

All are welcome at Dalí

5. Monterey County Line—Portobello’s, Saturday

Noting influences from country chart-toppers Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, and from classics like Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks and even Willie Nelson, Monterey County Line curates an expansive set. Their material can sound familiar, yet it comes from a place all their own. When they turn to covers, however, they like to honor the songs.

6. Sheléa—Sunset Center, Saturday

Sheléa brings a swinging five-piece band to Carmel this weekend for a show called Natural Woman: A Night of Soul. She cites the late greats Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin as her main inspirations, and her musical medley tributes to both women are spine-tingling and tear-jerking. Expect both, mashed up with a powerful, soulful presence.

7. Kristian Bush and Rita Wilson—Monterey County Fair and Event Center, Saturday

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Kristian Bush scored five no. 1 hits with Sugarland. He’s a Grammy winner. He’s sold tens of millions of albums and earned more awards than most living rooms can hold. Yeah, yeah, but his musical partner on a summer-long tour that stops in Monterey is Rita f’in Wilson!

8. Wharf Walks—Fisherman’s Wharf, Saturday

There was always a group of people fishing, gathering or working in the Monterey Bay. Historian Tim Thomas knows the history of the bay and in particular the area around the Wharf like the back of his hand. This time around he talks about the history of the canneries.

9. Youth Music Monterey Fall Concert—Sunset Center, Sunday

Youth Music Monterey has a new conductor, and his name is Danko Druško. Druško leads his legions of skilled young musicians—grouped in both the Junior Youth and Honors orchestra—in YMM's 2019-2020 premier concert. 

10. Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas—International School of Monterey, Sunday

Their album Fire & Grace, which won Scots Trad Music's Album of the Year nod, and their high-energy live performances that sound at once of this moment and also of a time long gone. They get a lot of sound out of just eight strings and two bows and a wide range, transitioning seamlessly from haunting melodies to lively jigs.

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