Festival Italiano (Opening Friday, Oct. 25)

Italy has a rich musical tradition, which makes it a primo place to explore for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s two-week-long festival. The first concert of the fest is a performance of the complete opera Tosca on Friday and Saturday, featuring guest stars Angela Brown, soprano, and Jay Hunter Morris, tenor. As the festival unfolds, the CPO tackles more classic pieces, such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and contemporary ones, like the film music from The Godfather and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. You can either buy a pass for the whole festival or tickets to single performances over at the CPO’s website. To whet your appetite, check out music director Roberto Minczuk’s list of his favourite pieces of Italian music.

Past Your Bedtime at Loose Moose Theatre (Friday, Oct. 25)
Andrew Phung and Renée Amber’s improv show is meant to be about personal stories from them and the audience, but they aren’t there to embarrass anyone. It’s more about creating a connection by sharing personal stories inspired by the fortune cookies they pass out at their shows. If you’re looking for a place to take that cute guy or girl you’ve been eyeing, Phung (by no means an unbiased source) suggests that you can’t beat improv at Loose Moose in Swerve‘s Cheap Date from Friday’s magazine. Tickets are only $10 at the door.

Projecting the Future: CSIF’s 35th Anniversary at National Music Centre (Friday, Oct. 25)
The Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers celebrate their 35th anniversary with a party featuring DJs Ted Stenson and Sean Stewart, live projections by Kyle Whitehead and Carl Spencer, an installation by artist Lane Shordee, guest speakers and, of course, films from their archives. Cost of entry is by suggested donation of $5 to $10.

Dead Alive Zombie Apocalypse Party at The Plaza Theatre (Saturday, Oct. 26)

Before he was working with hobbits, director Peter Jackson dealt in super-violent and bloody horror movies. The Fifth Reel screens his 1992 film Dead Alive (released as Braindead in Jackson’s home country of New Zealand) with a pre-show musical performance by The Weir. It’s an 18-plus only show, which means there will be beer in the lobby. Dress up as a zombie for added fun. Tickets are $15 for non-members over at Eventbrite.

Halloween Fun at Telus Spark (Saturday, Oct. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 27) and Heritage Park (Friday, Oct. 25 to Sunday, Oct. 27)

For some Halloween activities that are little more family friendly, both Heritage Park and Telus Spark have fun events this weekend. Decorate pumpkins, cast (cast?) brains, learn the “Thriller” dance (get a head start above) and have fun with face painters at Telus Spark. On the other side of the city at Heritage Park, you can join the Mad Hatter for a tea party, learn how to fly a broom with witches at the Skyscrapers Flying Academy and learn your fate from a fortune teller.

Bonus Halloween costume ideas of the weekend: Bizarre Vintage Costumes

Halloween costume ideas are hard to come by. Freak out your friends by going with one of these incredibly strange vintage Halloween costumes. You can see the gallery of oddities at Flavorwire. Dibs on the scary Michelin Man-ish costume. —Jon Roe

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