October means one thing to many in North Carolina: the State Fair. Rides, music, crafts and fireworks. What more do you need? Well, maybe nothing, but why stop there when there’s so much more to see, hear and do. This is a particularly good month for theater lovers. Here are some shows to add to your must-see list.
The film “Love Jones” was something unusual when it was released in 1997: a romance for adults starring African-Americans. As Essence magazine put it: “Passion, poetry, and sexiness: Love Jones had it all.” The film became a cult classic and now as its 20th anniversary nears it has been re-imagined for the stage and “Love Jones: The Musical” comes to DPAC for two shows. And just as the film had an incredible soundtrack, expect stellar music from the musical. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18-19, Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St. Tickets range from $46 to $76 plus fees. There were very few left for Oct. 18 at press time. 919-680-2787 or dpacnc.com.
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Arthur Miller’s play looks at the consequences when mass hysteria overtakes a community’s commonsense. He set it in 17th-century Salem amid the witch trials, but could it be more timely? PlayMakers Repertory Company promises a fresh look from director Desdemona Chiang. It runs Oct. 19-Nov. 6. Tickets start at $15. 919-962-7529 or www.playmakersrep.org.
The month that brings us Halloween has to provide a few chills and thrills at the theater. We get two:
“Hercules Vs. Vampires” from the N.C. Opera features an operatic score performed live and in sync with a screening of Mario Bava’s 1961 film “Hercules in the Haunted World,” at 3 p.m. Oct. 30 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Tickets cost $24-$47. 919-792-3853 or www.ncopera.org.
“Dracula” at Theatre in the Park gives us Ira David Wood III’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6-18 and 13-15 and 3 p.m. Oct. 9, 16. Last year’s shows sold out. Tickets are $15, $22. 919-831-6058 or theatreinthepark.com.
If you haven’t seen Postmodern Jukebox on YouTube, you should stop what you’re doing right now and go watch them. Feel like a little New Orleans brass band? Then try their take on Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” In the mood for hot jazz? Then try their version of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” You may find you like songs you’d never give two seconds on Spotify because of their arrangements. Scott Bradlee, who conceived of the group, takes pop hits and recasts them as ragtime, doo-wop, sultry jazz, a little swing. It all sounds better in this musician’s skillful hands. Once you’ve watched a bit, get tickets to see them live at Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The show is at 8 p.m. Oct. 14 and tickets start at $37. 919-996-8700.
The symphony’s season promises Bach, Vivaldi and more but if want to introduce your kids, or low-brow friends, to the joy of the orchestra, consider the Oct. 14-15 performances of blockbuster film scores including “Harry Potter,” “The Pink Panther” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Danny Glover conducts at Meymandi Concert Hall, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. Tickets start at $30. 919-733-2750 or ncsymphony.org.
More than 9,000 people came out in the rain last year to attend the Diwali Festival in Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater. Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, marks the victory of good over evil, light over dark, and the beginning of the new year. It is one of India’s most celebrated Hindu festivals and an important event for the thousands of Indian-Americans who live in the Triangle. But it’s also a draw for those with different cultural backgrounds, which is why on non-rainy years attendance can swell to more than 12,000 people. They come to see the dances, buy traditional Indian jewelry, sample traditional cuisine. Experience it from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 15. The amphitheater is at 8003 Regency Parkway in Cary. Admission is free.