Reno is Fall Guide 2015

As Reno begins the long, slow glide into autumn, let's find some stuff to do

Nevada had a role in pioneering the once-illegal prizefight game and went on to run it into the ground in Las Vegas.

Nevada had a role in pioneering the once-illegal prizefight game and went on to run it into the ground in Las Vegas.

Fall Guide 2015

Every season in the Truckee Meadows has something to recommend it. Winter? Sports. Spring? Gardening. Summer? Outdoor drinking, day trips and the lakes. For some reason, though, the RN&R always chooses fall—arguably the most beautiful of all of our outdoor seasons—to suggest indoor things to do.

We don’t quite understand why we make this argument every year, and yet, like your grandparents, we somehow just keep doing it.

Artumn, or don't leaf your brushes at home

Used to be you could just open the paper, any paper, and pull out an arts calendar any given weekend. As top-down sources of entertainment news have been replaced with overlapping networks of social media buddies, it's getting easier for the best events to get lost in the shuffle, and it's getting way too easy to be that person who finds out about all the cool stuff the next day.

The RN&R has your back. We found a sampling of fall arts events you probably weren’t going to hear about elsewhere—and a couple of new ways to learn to brush up your own skills.

Major venues such as the Nevada Museum of Art, University of Nevada Reno’s Sheppard Gallery and Sierra Arts Foundation still keep organized, useable calendars online (and even send them by snail mail if you ask nicely!) so go directly to their sites for their fall events. For everything else you need to know, read on. Then go follow everyone we mentioned on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—or you’ll never have a clue what’s happening this winter.

More art for your buck

Details are still forthcoming on the Holland Project's second annual “All In” fundraiser exhibit Oct. 9, but here's what we know so far: 1) All paintings are $100 or less. 2) All proceeds will be donated to this long-thriving youth arts venue. 3) Based on Holland's track record of high-energy, high-quality everything, we're confident it will be awesome.

Who to follow: The Holland Project.

Wipe off that dust and keep hugging strangers

Seriously, Burners never stop. As soon as they're done hauling everything they own out into the desert and partying to exhaustion, they come back to town, do their laundry, and haul everything they own over to Jub Jub's Thirst Parlor. For a glimpse of all the fire-spewing artwork and loud EDM you can handle without the pesky dust storms and the inconvenience of pitching a tent, head to the Reno's Burniest bar Oct. 17.

Who to follow: Reno Burners, Reno Decompression

Better than fair

You know how art fairs on shady lawns can be boring and predictable? This one isn't. For real. This juried, city-run event is on its fourth year. A gallery show begins at McKinley Arts & Culture Center Aug. 24, but the real highlight is the outdoor art fair Sept. 11-12. Visitors can cast their vote for the “People's Choice” award, and the winning artwork will be purchased by the City of Reno. Admission is free. A Friday reception involves live music, food, and more importantly, wine.

Who to follow: Reno Visual Art Blast, ArtBLAST Exhibition, 2015 ArtBLAST Artist Reception

Get behind the wheel; get behind the scenes

You can cover a lot of ground and get to know a lot of artists in an open studio tour. Reno's is Oct. 2-4. Just print the map, then take the self-guided tour to 35 homes and studios. We make no guarantees, but there's a good chance one of them hands you a glass of wine.

Who to follow: Reno Open Studios

Speaking of art …

If you live in, say, San Francisco or Oakland, you have our blessing to go ahead and be as provincial as you want and never cross the city limits to get your art fix. If you try to pull that off here you're seriously missing out. Two small-town orgs that comb the entire nation for good art and bring it home to Nevada are Capital City Arts Initiative in Carson City and Oats Park Art Center in Fallon. What, you're thinking, drive to Fallon or Carson for art? Yes, we say, get in the car and do it. Trust us. Two good bets this season are a talk by Wyoming artist Tawni Shuler at Oats Park Sept. 12 (See Art of the State, page 18) and a talk in Carson Sept. 16 by Nicole Nathan, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland. Pro Tip: On your way to Fallon, stop at the Main Street Art Park in Fernley.

Who to follow: Capital City Arts Initiative, Churchill Arts Council, Main Street Art Park

Bar none

In keeping with Reno's long tradition of having to make up for the complete dearth of mid-level galleries somehow, coffeehouses and bars have traditionally shown artwork by some of our finest. Season highlights include the puppets of Nazanin Aras at Blue Whale Coffee Co., new work by just-back-from-England textile hipster Kelly Ogilvie at Hub Coffee Roasters (the one on Riverside Drive) and Carole Ann Rickets' mixed media paintings. In November, see Natasha Stanton's acrylics on wood panels. In December, catch Rachael Holton's photography on aluminum before she moves back to Hawaii.

Legendary tattoo artist Ron Rash shows his paintings at the Neapolitan Gallery inside Monolith bar in October.

Who to follow: Art Spot Reno, Hub Coffee Roasters, Monolith Bar, Blue Whale Coffee Co., Ron Rash Tattoo

Midtown murals by the many

Midtown has always been something of a mural district, and more murals keep appearing. Some you can spot driving down Virginia Street; others are tucked away in alleyways. Art Spot, the group that holds monthly art walks, has been leading weekend mural tours for a while. During the homegrown Off Beat Arts + Music Festival, they'll host a special-edition, whirlwind docent tour of over 60 murals in an hour and a half, for which they'll request a donation.

Who to follow: Off Beat Festival

Not your grammy's photo contest

Reno Instagrammys is a photo and video competition that you—yes, you!—should have entered by now. After winners are selected, then we'll all dress to the nines and head to the Pioneer Center Sept. 19 for the red-carpet awards ceremony. Last year, this very newspaper called it, “the best party of 2014.”

Who to follow: Reno InstaGrammys

Not the end of the road

When Never Ender chose its name, they probably weren't thinking, “our search for a permanent location will be never-ending.” But don't let that deter you. They've been bringing good taste in affordable fashion and art to Renoites for about a decade, and now that they're on St. Lawrence Ave., it'll be even easier to check out Lan Do's natural life sketches Sept. 10 and Daniel Cook's Mixed media and photography Oct. 10.

Who to follow: NeverEnderReno

Real art for kids

“Art education is an undeniably positive and affordable investment,” said Carole Ann Rickets. The British-born painter/printmaker can usually be found preparing to ship work off to Europe or New Zealand for a gallery show; this fall she'll be a regular at Playful Potter is Sparks, where her kids' art program debuts. And she's not talking about gluing macaroni to paper; more like ceramics, painting, printmaking and glass fusion, all backed with kid-sized critical theory.

“Every class includes a lesson about an artist, genre or specific method,” Ricketts said. Two six-week sessions will be offered per school year, each capped off with a Student Gallery Night.

Who to follow: Playful Potter

Clay class is in session

Changes are afoot at The Wedge. The affordable, ever-so-friendly, public clay studio is adding new square footage and new classes as we speak. They're not even listed on the web site yet. Some of the area's best-known ceramic artists offer instruction in the usual—"Intro to Pottery Wheel with Sutter Stremmel” or “Intro to Handbuilding and Sculpture"—and things you might not have even thought of, like firing with horsehair in the kiln, transferring images onto pottery, and “ Glazing Class! Do you hate glazing? I mean really hate it? These classes are for you!”

Fall pottery classes and weekend workshops begin Sept. 3 and start at $40. They’ll be be listed online eventually.

Who to follow: The Wedge Ceramics Studio

—Kris Vagner

The fall blockbuster Sargasso

Fall is upon us, and I can't believe I just wrote that.

Yes, there are other movies besides the new Star Wars on the way. This is but a smattering sample of what shall be gracing big screens while you eat and drink your pumpkin things, ride around on those crazy dirt bikes you wanted so damned much, and chase cats with spoons while yodeling Radiohead tunes.

Actually, that’s what I do during autumn, but I’m a strange man, so disregard the stuff about cats, bikes, spoons and Radiohead. Enjoy the pumpkin lattes, though!

Everest (Sept. 18): Set for IMAX screens, and sure to set off vertigo spells in theaters across the nation. Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin play people crazy enough to try and climb the title character.

Black Mass (Sept. 18): Johnny Depp goes deep makeup to portray Whitey Bulger, one of the biggest dickheads to ever traipse upon the streets of Boston.

The Green Inferno (Sept. 25): After a long delay, this one is finally seeing the light of day. Do you ever get annoyed by those overly privileged people who think they can just fly overseas and save everybody? Well, they get eaten in this movie.

The Martian (Oct. 2): Matt Damon gets stranded on Mars and has to science the shit out of stuff to survive. Directed by Ridley Scott, who makes shitty movies about Moses and Robin Hood but knows a thing or two about good science fiction.

The Walk (Oct. 9): I used to go to the circus a lot, and I remember having a program where one of the tightrope walkers was pictured on a wire between the Twin Towers. Always freaked me out. Now comes a movie based on Philippe Petit’s crazy stunt, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Petit. If Everest doesn’t make you die from vertigo, this one probably will.

Pan (Oct. 9): The movie gods have heard your prayers. You wanted to see a Peter Pan origin story where Peter is pals with Captain Hook, at odds with a funky-toothed Blackbeard played by Hugh Jackman and running around with a Tiger Lily played by the extremely white Rooney Mara. Here it is! Don’t say the movie gods never gave you anything. Quit your bitching. No, really, knock it off.

Steve Jobs (Oct. 9): Danny Boyle plays it like Ashton Kutcher never made a movie about the Apple entrepreneur, and gets Michael Fassbender to play Jobs in yet another crack at the man’s story.

Crimson Peak (Oct. 16): Guillermo del Toro writes and directs a gothic haunted house movie. I’m in. I’m so damn in.

Bridge of Spies (Oct. 16): Some hack named Steven Spielberg directs some up-and-comer named Tom Hanks in a Cold War thriller.

Rock the Kasbah (Oct. 23): Bill Murray stars as a music manager who discovers a beautiful singer in Afghanistan and tries to make her a star in Kabul. Also stars Bruce Willis and is directed by Barry Levinson, so this could go either way.

Trumbo (Nov. 6): Bryan Cranston, who will always be Walter White, plays the infamous blacklisted novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. I’ll be interested to see if Trumbo subsisted on blue meth while blasting through all night writing jags for Spartacus.

Spectre (Nov. 6): I don’t know what it is about James Bond. I like some of the movies, especially the Daniel Craig ones, but I never get too jazzed about them. I guess I’m just a douchebag.

The Peanuts Movie (Nov. 6): My uncle Mike and I are at odds on this one. He says it looks weird and wrong, I say it looks the way Snoopy did through my View-Master when I was a kid. I’m excited; he’s cautious. I do know I’ll be sneaking in a bag of Peppermint Patties for the screening.

Carol (Nov. 20): Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in a movie where Blanchett plays an alien with a stutter, and Mara is a speech coach who believes wholeheartedly in the mystifying power of UFOs and scary ghosts. I’m lying … they play two women who fall in love in the 1950s.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2 (Nov. 20): Katniss shoots some arrows again, and Donald Sutherland does the sly grin thing. So far, this franchise boasts one crappy film, one very good film and a so-so one.

Creed (Nov. 25): Ah, yes, Sylvester Stallone is Rocky again. Look, for us children of the ’70s, this is always a big deal, even when the movie is tripe like Rocky IV or V. This time, Rocky is a coach to Apollo Creed’s kid (Michael B. Jordan). Adrian is dead, so I’m betting Rocky will still be moping.

The Night Before (Nov. 25): Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lizzy Caplan star in a Christmas comedy. Miley Cyrus is in it too, so this one might hurt a little bit.

The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 25): Pixar looks to top itself after this year’s Inside Out with a movie about dinosaurs surviving their original extinction. It’s Pixar, it’s dinosaurs, it’s a half-billion dollars plus in the bank for sure. It’s probably really good, too.

I Saw the Light (Nov. 27): Tom Hiddleston, a.k.a. Loki, stars as Hank … Fucking … Williams. All you need to know.

The sharif don’t like it.

The Danish Girl (Nov. 27): Based on the life of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, played by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne. Also stars Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), and directed by Tom Hooper (Les Miserables, The King’s Speech). So, yeah, this one is meant for Oscar contention.

Macbeth (Dec. 4): Oh, my goodness, this one looks totally sick. Michael Fassbender plays Shakespeare’s Scottish badass in the latest Bard adaptation. This is a bloody play, and it looks to be a bloody movie. I can’t wait.

In the Heart of the Sea (Dec. 11): Chris Hemsworth stars for Ron Howard in this long-delayed sea adventure based upon a real life event involving a nasty sperm whale that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. So, it’s not Moby Dick, but is sort of like Moby Dick? Why not just make another Moby Dick? I’m down for some more Moby Dick. You can never get enough Moby Dick.

Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awakens (Dec. 18): A long time ago, from a ranch relatively close in northern California, George Lucas stated emphatically that there wouldn’t be a third Star Wars trilogy. Funny what a little Disney money can do, right?

—Bob Grimm

Brown leaves of grass

In Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner described “that old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, autumn—like spring—seems to have shrunk in our lifetimes from weeks or months to just days as summer and winter take over the climate, so we must make the best of those few days.

An excellent movie of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd this year should remind us to re-read Hardy’s breakthrough novel—or, in some cases, read it for the first time, that delightful experience we can have only once.

While on the subject of novels, Robert Bausch’s Far as the Eye Can See has been compared by the New York Times to Charles Portis and Joseph Heller, and it’s difficult to get a better comparison. The book, now in trade paper, is a western set in the Midwest and Intermountain West in the 1870s, a tale of how the “Big West” can teach one “how small you are” ($16).

Regeneration by Pat Barker, a 1991 novel about World War I, is out in a new trade edition. It deals with the shell shock experiences of that unnecessary and terrible war and uses some of the actual figures, such as soldier/poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. The book is so authentic in its depiction that the author reportedly had to issue a statement confirming that it is fiction ($16 trade paper).

This is a good point at which to mention that when the Civil War centennial came around in the 1960s, it was marked with movies, magazine special editions and series, new books, government and private commemorations. Now the World War I centennial is slowly elapsing and except for a burst of attention in 2014 on the anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, little has been done. That’s unfortunate. Many of the difficult problems we live with today—such as Britain’s invention of nations like Kuwait and Iraq—grew out of that terrible, preventable, unnecessary conflict. Understanding it is virtually essential to good citizenship. Start with titles like The First World War by John Keegan ($17 trade), The War That Ended Peace by Margaret MacMillan ($20 trade), and Catastrophe 1914 by Max Hastings ($17.95 trade).

Almost three centuries before Canadian Alexander Mackenzie’s pioneering east/west crossing of the North American continent, 270 years before Lewis and Clark’s third crossing, Cabeza de Vaca of Spain did it—and the record he wrote of it, La relación of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, is far superior to those provided by later expeditions. He spent a decade among residents of the continent and the careful detailing of their culture has proven enormously useful to other anthropologists. The tale is told in Brutal Journey by Paul Schneider, available in the Northwest Reno, South Valleys, and Sierra View branches of the Washoe County Library.

The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor, on Maria Altmann’ recovery of her family’s art from Austria, made as the movie Woman in Gold, sticks closer to telling Alrmann’s story where the film focuses more on her attorney ($18 trade).

Thirty-five years on the Supreme Court—he was a Gerald Ford appointee—left John Paul Stevens with the conviction that Six Amendments are needed to make the nation work better ($23). They are unlikely to be enacted any time soon, but reading about them is a stimulating exercise for any citizen, left or right.

Being a comedian and the daughter of a legendary comedian cannot be an easy task, and in Kelly Carlin’s case there was the added burden of a childhood that was near to abusive. Her A Carlin Home Companion is illuminating if sometimes painful to read ($27, available sometime in September).

“Redheads are like other women, only more so,” someone once wrote, and Red by Jacky Colliss Harvey takes a serious look at the gene and its products from ancient times to the present ($28). The author calls red hair “an unaccountable mystery. In the search for an explanation for it, it has been hailed as a sign of divinity; damned as the awful consequence of breaking one of the oldest sexual taboos; ostracized and persecuted as a marker of religion or race; vilified or celebrated as an indicator of character; and proclaimed as a result of the influence of the stars.” All of these, she notes, are inaccurate. (Yes, Harvey is one.)

Being an editor of Entertainment Weekly isn’t a good recommendation for a journalist, but Mark Harris has transcended that credential with a couple of interesting books of Hollywood history, most recently Five Came Back, an account of the wartime work for the Roosevelt administration in the 1940s of directors Frank Capra (in D.C.), John Ford (in the Pacific), John Huston (in Italy), George Stephens (at Dachau) and William Wyler (in Europe) ($18 trade).

Though we are indoctrinated throughout life by the notion that strength and toughness are the key to leadership and that ethical considerations are often impediments, Nevadan Sy Ogulnick argues in his book Leadership, “It is through an open, inviting, vulnerable leader that knowledge and individual uniqueness is made available to the group.” The best businesspeople gather around the most ethical, he believes ($21.95).

Eugene Moehring’s new Reno, Las Vegas, and the Strip follow the development of the three cities (two incorporated) and the impact of the inclination of citizens to follow (south) or not (north) the leadership of the business community on issues of growth ($35).

With a century-plus of boxing behind Nevada, including an era during which Las Vegas virtually owned prizefighting, it’s a good time for Richard Davies’ The Main Event ($30). From the gentlemanly British fighter Bob Fitzsimmons, who won an 1897 fight in Carson City against Jim Corbett made possible by a new state law enacted for the occasion, to the tawdry 1997 spectacle of Mike Tyson biting off pieces of Evander Holyfield’s ear in Las Vegas after the state boxing commission overlooked Tyson’s rape conviction and let him fight, this history of prizefighting in Nevada is also a nice account of the decline of the fight game while in Las Vegas’s hands.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were recommending Jack Harpster’s biography of LaVere Redfield to readers—and it wasn’t (“A reading holiday,” RN&R, Jan. 1, 2015). A year hasn’t passed, yet the prolific writer is out with a new biography, this one of Duane Bliss, whose Lake Tahoe/Comstock business interests included lumber, flumes, railroads, barges. At a time when employers are trying to drop workers’ health insurance, it’s worth noting that Bliss was an early provider of insurance to his workers. D.L. Bliss State Park on the California side of the lake is named for him. Look for Lumber Baron of the Comstock ($23).

—Dennis Myers

Curtains like falling leaves

Unbelievably, fall is upon us. That means Reno-area venues are about to come alive with the sounds of theater, with more than a dozen venues hosting a lineup bursting with juicy fare to charm and challenge any theater audience. Whether you're a devotee of beloved classics or a new-play junkie, you'll get your fix this fall with these don't-miss dramas.

Battles Won: Brüka Theatre

It may nearly be in hard-hat territory, with Virginia Street Bridge work going on outside its front door, but Brüka Theatre is soldiering on just fine. Its 23rd season marks its first as a Theatre Communications Group Member Theatre, which places it among the 518 local theaters in the nation that have earned national recognition by meeting TCG's standards. Brüka's leading this charge in 2015-16 with brave new works.

First comes Anne Nelson’s The Guys, with only two performances on the 14th anniversary weekend of the 9/11 tragedy. As a journalist interviews a firefighter who was on the scene of 9/11, he reflects on the life-changing event and its fallout. Both shows will feature a talk back opportunity to share experiences and memories.

A different kind of battle ensues when Pulitzer Prize-nominee Other Desert Cities runs Oct. 2-23. This dark family dramedy directed by Tony DeGeiso takes place in one room and portrays what happens when a woman writes a tell-all book about her family’s dark past, then returns home to tell them about it.

November 4-8, The Biggest Little Theatre Festival will showcase five different short, original pieces of theater produced by people in and around our community. Bruka will begin accepting submissions in September, and for those selected, it’s an opportunity to have new work performed with support from a professional company.

November through December, cult favorite Buttcracker returns. In installment VI, Underland, journey down the rabbit hole for an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Tickets and Info:

Circus Life: Goodluck Macbeth

In October, it's murder under the big top and the creepiest thing of all: clowns. Presented by Goodluck Macbeth and Vaude Villain Entertainment (the folks who brought you last year's Evil Dead: The Musical), it’s Clown Bar by Adam Szymkowicz. This “clown noir” dark comedy has a former clown named Happy searching the seedy underbelly of the clown world to find his brother’s killer. GLM will transform its theater space into a big top tent, complete with sideshow freaks, contortionists and snake charmers.

In George Brant’s Grounded, a one-woman show running Nov. 12-28, a fresh-off-maternity-leave female fighter pilot returns to a different kind of morbid circus when she finds herself on the ground, piloting deadly drones targeting humans.

The spirit of brotherhood returns to GLM in time for the holidays. A partnership between Sierra Association of Foster Families and GLM’s own Spotlight Academy for Youth brings the Christmas Storytelling Festival to the stage Dec. 4-6, featuring dramatic monologues, singing and dancing inspired by Dickens stories and exploring such holiday themes as joy, abundance, wealth and family.

Another reason to rejoice this December? The return of the Shakespeare Radio Hour. Merry War Theater Company’s hilarious parody of Star Wars that went hyperspace with fans last spring makes a triumphant return Dec. 11-13, in honor of the upcoming movie installment.

Tickets and Info:

Love and Death: TheatreWorks of Northern Nevada

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and TWNN pays tribute by presenting Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Wit, Sept. 10-20, with the opening night performance raising funds for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Wit is the story of an English professor who copes with memory and regret as she undergoes treatment for stage IV metastatic ovarian cancer.

Next, TWNN presents A Murder at the Prom by Peter DePietro, in the 6th Annual Murder Mystery Fundraiser, Nov. 8 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. This whodunit event includes a dinner buffet, silent auction and door prizes, and guests are encouraged to wear prom attire.

Finally, TWNN is teaming up with Damonte Ranch High School’s PAC program, the Washoe County School District’s only Signature Academy for the performing arts. The collaboration brings two love-themed shows to the DRHS stage. The first, on Nov. 18, is Hearts Like Fists, a “superhero noir” piece (yet another Adam Szymkowicz). The second is John Cariani’s Almost, Maine, a hilarious collection of nine short plays exploring love and loss.

Tickets and Info: and

Foes and Fellows: Reno Little Theater

RLT's 81st season kicks off Sept. 11 with the Reno premiere of Picasso at the Lapin Agile. This absurdist comedy, written by Steve Martin, places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian café in 1904 to engage in spirited debate pitting genius and talent against each other.

Further clever debate ensues in Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn, Oct. 23-Nov. 8. This comedy looks at feminism and the myth of having it all, from the perspective of old college friends who covet each other’s lives: one, the career woman who chose career over marriage; and the other, who shelved her dreams to raise a family.

There’s more funny female friction when polar opposites Florence Unger and Olive Madison move in together, in Neil Simon’s female version of The Odd Couple, Nov. 27-Dec. 20.

The Jester’s League improv troupe will perform six shows throughout the season, and Ageless Repertory Theatre will perform each month. Check RLT’s website for dates.

RLT’s brand-new Latino theater series, La Gente, will kick off Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. with a cultural festival that’s free and open to the public, featuring food trucks and performance pieces.

Also new this season is RLT’s new education program, which will launch with a free open house on Sept. 7 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Families can find information and register for upcoming classes, including workshops and camps. Watch the website for course listings.

Tickets and Info:

Swashbuckling Sendups: TMCC Performing Arts

The canon gets a comedic makeover when Truckee Meadows Community College Performing Arts presents Three Musketeers Oct. 9-25. This hilarious takeoff of the Alexander Dumas classic, written by comedic master Ken Ludwig, promises elaborate casts and exciting sword fights, which sword choreography by Joe Atack of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

Swords aren’t just for grownups. TMCC’s 2015 children’s theater production is Puss in Boots, a Grimm Brothers fairy tale about a talking cat with magical powers who helps his master gain wealth and fight an ogre. (And there’s more sword fighting).

Also watch for the website for information about the early-December winter choir concert.

Tickets and Info:

Of Men and Masks: UNR Department of Theatre & Dance

Leave it to higher ed to bring the literary canon onstage. UNR throws its hat in the ring, too, with Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Oct. 9-17. On the heels of the posthumous release of Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and in light of timely discussions of race and police violence, this classic tale is particularly affecting.

Things turn more lighthearted in November when the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Performing Arts Series collaborate to bring Wonderheads Theatre to campus. The company, whose work is described as “cartoons come to life,” uses elaborate, oversized masks and visual storytelling techniques in their whimsical performances. They will perform two in November: The first, Grim and Fischer (Nov. 4-7) involves an old woman who refuses the Grim Reaper when he comes calling; the second is Loon (Nov. 10-14), about a lonely man who looks to the moon for love.

The fall dance concert, featuring student choreography, takes the stage Nov. 19-22.

Tickets and Info:

Jolly Holiday: Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company

The college in Carson City goes with another classic—this one of the family-friendly variety. WNMTC celebrates its 25th anniversary with Mary Poppins, the musical based on the Disney film and adapted for the stage by Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame. Running Nov. 6-22, the production features a cast of 40, impressive choreography and plenty of magic, including flying characters and a nursery that cleans itself, to charm both children and adults.

Tickets and Info: or 886-977-6849

Goose on the Loose: Wild Horse Theater Company

Seventy-five cast members play a smorgasbord of children's favorite characters—from Santa and his elves to gypsies, toy soldiers and Mother Goose characters—and will descend on the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall stage for Babes in Toyland beginning Dec. 4. This holiday spectacular is based on a Victor Herbert operetta and features singing and dancing to many memorable tunes.

Tickets and Info:

—Jessica Santina