Beyond trick-or-treating and zombie crawls: some grown-up Halloween fare

Arts / Article

Jessie McNally, mixed media, 2013. McNally’s will have work on view in Sweet 317’s Day of the Dead celebration.

Looking for some grown-up alternatives to trick-or-treating and scary movies this week? I have some ideas for you. Tonight, get yourself in the mood at Amsterdam Bar and Hall, with October’s “Creepy” Moth StorySLAM. Hosted by Allison Broeren and sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio, this competitive, storytelling open mic night invites true stories told on the fly ( no fiction and “no notes, papers, or cheat sheets allowed”). Contestants are judged by audience volunteers – for adherence to the theme and time limits, and for the relative punchiness of their tales. The storyteller with the highest score is named the night’s StorySLAM winner and is eligible to compete with the year’s other “Moth” event-winners in the next GrandSLAM Championship.

For details on tonight’s Moth StorySLAM, on the theme “Creepy,” visit the event listing on Facebook, Buy tickets via The Moth website: 

Thursday night, why not start at the Black Dog in Lowertown for a little Halloween-themed set by new music ensemble, The Skeleton Crew, who’ll play an assortment of works by Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, Radiohead, Steve Kornicki? The ensemble features Jake Fisher on bassoon, Sean O’Hea playing percussion and Erik Harms on guitar, with Zeitgeist-collaborator Julie Sweet at the keyboard.

"Scary Ink 2" at Big Table Studio from Oct 31 - Nov 16

The Skeleton Crew will play from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on October 31, at the Black Dog, 308 Prince St., St. Paul. For more information on the show, visit the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar website, “Scary Ink 2” at Big Table Studio from Oct 31 – Nov 16.

After the show, pop over to the opening party for “Scary Ink 2,” Big Table Studio’s second annual Halloween-themed poster show. Last year’s posters were so clever – some witty, some stylishly grisly, some glow-in-the-dark – and all made by a formidable line-up of area printmakers and gig poster artists. This year’s “Scary Ink” contributors include: James O’Brien, Erin Hamilton, Mary Bruno, Ruthann Godollei, DWITT, Selina Larsen, Cara Fazio, Ian Kolstad, Johnny Quinine, Clinton Lugert , Erik T Johnson, Bill Ferenc, David Seymour, Drive By Press, Jeff Johnson, Edie Overturf, Nate Johannes, Matthew Paul, Nora Otto, Ocular Invasion, Jason Loeffler, Bill Moran, Anna Orbovich, Aesthetic Apparatus, TOOTH, Steve Marth.

Prop for "Trust and Obey" by Ghoulish Delights at the Twin Cities Horror Festival, Oct 31 - Nov 9

“Scary Ink 2” will be on view October 31 (opening reception starts at 7 p.m.) through November 16 at Big Table Studio, 375 Wabasha St. North, St. Paul. Posters from the exhibition will be for sale during the entire run of the show. Prop for “Trust and Obey” by Ghoulish Delights at the Twin Cities Horror Festival, Oct 31 – Nov 9. Photo: Twin Cities Horror Festival’s Facebook page

Day of the Dead bonus: Head back over to the Northern Warehouse building on Prince Street Friday night for a Day of the Dead celebration at “Sweet 317” (home to the duo Hot Date). See artwork by Jessie McNally, Catherine Johnson and Eric Gorvin. Listen to performances by Yeti Steady, Mariachi Flor Y Canto, Nick Costa, Dr. Tinkerpaw and venue hosts, Hot Date. It looks to be an intimate night: visitors are encouraged to bring a potluck dish (a favorite food of a dearly departed loved one). According to the event description: “We will eat, we will drink tequila (BYOB otherwise), we will have face painting, we will dance.”

Sweet 317’s Day of the Dead celebration starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 1 at 308 Prince St., St. Paul. For more information: Minneapolis Bonus: You might also check out the “ten terrifying days of theater, music and dance” that constitute the Twin Cities Horror Festival, at the Southern Theater October 31 through November 9. Seven local groups (including Fringe favorites like Ferrari McSpeedy, Comedy Suitcase, Four Humors and Erin Sheppard) will perform seven new works over the course of the festival.

For show times and information about specific offerings and related events, visit