PICTURED: Catch Oingo Boingo Original Members at The Canyon on Sunday, Oct. 31.
by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer
Get your dancing shoes on, ghosts and goblins: Halloween weekend is upon us and there are some frightfully fun festivities in the works! Creepy concerts, costume parties, even a murder mystery where you get to be the sleuth: There are several opportunities to get into the Halloween spirit. Here are a few of the spooktacular shows you might want to catch on or around Oct. 31.
Dead Man’s Party
The Canyon in Agoura Hills will once again welcome Oingo Boingo Original Members (formerly Oingo Boingo Dance Party) on Sunday, Oct. 31. Original 1980s-90s era Oingo Boingo members Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez, Sam “Sluggo” Phipps, Carl Graves and others are joined by a variety of special guests to play “Dead Man’s Party,” “Weird Science,” “Just Another Day” and other popular hits, making this one of the hottest shows at Halloween. Always a high-energy blast from the past, and this year featuring opening sets by Black Valentine and Tilli and the Coolers. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Creepy Comedy Club
Ventura Harbor Comedy Club is making the most of Halloween weekend with three special events.
On Friday, Oct. 29, the late-night cabaret Moonlight Follies takes over the stage to present Lydia’s Night Circus, an adults-only burlesque and variety show touted as “the sexiest show on Earth.” It will feature a cast of stars such as Veronica Velvet, Miss Tosh, Angie Cakes, Vixen DeVille and more. Lots of music, laughter and more in store, starting at 10 p.m.
For the more theatrical minded, the Fright Night Murder Mystery Dinner Show is the ticket. Taking place on Saturday, Oct. 30, a performance cast will act out parts centered around a murder mystery and drop clues in an interactive whodunnit that leaves the detective work to the audience. A meal is included, and costumes are encouraged. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Drag By the She Sunday Brunch is a regular act at Ventura Harbor, but this year, it will take place on Halloween proper — and this edition promises to be fabulously funny, eerily entertaining and devilishly delicious (thanks to the cuisine provided by nearby Copa Cubana). Hosted by Ms. Pam Cakez and featuring the talents of Felony Dodger, Tiffany Vogue, Aqua, Samara Paris Sin and Elektra LaKill. Doors open at 11 a.m.; the show itself starts at 12 p.m.
Dance ’Til You’re Dead
Downtown Ventura’s Main Street Stage will have attendees dancing in the streets (literally) on Friday, Oct. 29, for its Halloween Dance Party, which starts at 6 p.m. The Barrelhouse Wailers perform at The Grape — formerly Squashed Grapes, and in a new location at 2733 East Main Street in Midtown Ventura — on Saturday, Oct. 30, and swing dancers always kick up their heels to this hot jazz band, whether it’s a holiday or not. Feel like cutting a rug before the trick-or-treaters start roaming? On Sunday, Oct. 31, Tony’s Pizzaria is converting its ’80s Beach Party to an ’80s Halloween Party, with tribute band Dork throwing down infectious dance favorites from the era of shoulder pads and neon. Festivities start at 2 p.m., and there will be prizes for best 1980s-inspired costumes.
Several local bars will be hosting Halloween parties this weekend.
Kick things off Friday night, Oct. 29, at The Grape. Co and Company present “Season of the Witch,” with sultry jazz vocalist Colene Riffo backed by an A-list band. Remember to wear a costume! The party starts at 7 p.m.
The Keynote Lounge in Ventura has DJ AVG spinning for its Halloween Party on Saturday, Oct. 30, starting at 9 p.m. Also on Saturday, Rock and Roll Pizza (at Harley’s Bowl in Simi Valley, on Cochran) will host a Halloween Costume Party with three tribute bands playing music by Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper and KISS, 8-11:30 p.m. Vinyl Gypsies perform a Halloween Show at the Raven Tavern in Oxnard 8-11 p.m.
If you prefer an early-bird monster mash, head over to MadeWest Brewing in Ventura (Donlon Street location), which has a “Haunted West” party on tap 7-10 p.m. Leashless Brewing in Downtown Ventura gets into the spirit even earlier, with Stone Fly’s Halloween Party kicking off at 6 p.m.
It’s all about the costumes at Paddy’s Bar and Lounge in Ventura. On Halloween night, Oct. 31, the popular bar hosts a “Who’s Your Paddy” costume contest, with $500 in cash prizes for the best costume. Up in Ojai, Topa Topa Brewing will be hosting an all-day costume party, 12 p.m.-10 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 30: Come dressed up and the brewery will give you a treat.