Artoberfest will be good for you

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Artober is upon us As promised, Arts DEVO has combed through the Artoberfest offerings on the calendar this month and come up with a handful of impressive or just plain interesting highlights for the season. Last week, I tipped you to self-taught artist Lida Penkova’s Dreaming Cultures: Myths and Visions of Distant Lands at the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology at Chico State (showing through Oct. 25), and I’ve already blathered plenty about the choice musical choices for the semester, so this is the best of the rest (see This Week, pages 24-25, for full details):

Oct. 3-Nov. 2: Unsettled Dreams: Monsters in Print at the Janet Turner Print Museum:

Oct. 3-5: FOCUS Film Festival at the Sierra Nevada Big Room and Colusa Hall at Chico State: Always packed with a wide range of moving portraits, this year the annual festival will feature 30 films that “explore diverse topics such as homelessness, racism, disability, sexuality, mental illness, elderly, cancer, chronic disease and cultural traditions.” Visit www.focusfilmfestcalifornia for schedule and more info.

Oct. 3-12: As You Like It at the Blue Room Theatre and Bidwell Bowl amphitheatre: What better way for the Inspire School of Arts and Sciences to showcase Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy than at the creekside amphitheatre next to Children’s Playground, where it will present two Sunday matinees of this run?

Oct. 5: Ink with some western-skiffle, at the Naked Lounge: A fall celebration/ art reception (5:30 p.m.) with live music (7 p.m.) by the Michelin Embers and small black-ink works by mild-mannered badass/poet Bob Garner. With Garner and the Embers’ ukulelist (and CN&R staff writer) Ken Smith both in the house, the Lounge will be resonating with two of the raddest voices in Chico at the same time—the kind of rusty pipes that were made to say words like “chainsaw” and “shotgun.”

Oct. 10-26: Visual Culture: Photographing Chinatown at 1078 Gallery: The culmination of Jason Tannen’s three years photographing San Francisco’s Chinatown. Reception: Oct. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11: Coming Out for Art at 100th Monkey Café & Books.

Oct. 11-27: Les Misérables at CUSD Center for the Arts: California Regional Theater’s full-scale production—with a live orchestra—of one of the most celebrated musicals ever is art worth celebrating.

Oct. 12: Chikoko: Nectar at Silver Dollar Fairgrounds: “Light and shadow will share the stage” at the latest happening from the local fashion/art collective.

Oct. 15-20: Doctor Faustus at Wismer Theatre.

Oct. 18-20 & 26-27: Open Studios Art Tour: For my money, the crown jewel of Artoberfest. More than 80 artists and galleries open their doors for two weekends of touring.

Oct. 19-Nov. 19: Young Frankenstein at Chico Theater Company.

Oct. 24: Momix: Botanica at Laxson Auditorium: The contemporary dance-illusionists recreate the natural world.