Halloween is coming, here’s what to do this weekend

Sesquicentennial

ATOMIC MUSEUM MARKS

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE

Friday’s Halloween, of course, but this Oct. 31 has a special significance for Nevadans: the 150th anniversary of the Silver State’s admission to the Union.

In honor of Nevada’s Sesquicentennial, the National Atomic Testing Museum, 755 E. Flamingo Road, will offer free admission to all Nevada residents from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday also marks the National Day of Remembrance for all nuclear workers; at 2 p.m. Friday, a short program and reception will honor thousands of workers, past and present, at the former Nevada Test Site (now known as the Nevada National Security Site).

Scheduled speakers include David Klaus, deputy undersecretary of the Energy Department; Director Glen Podonsky; and Reps. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and Dina Titus, D-Nev.

For more information, call 702-794-5151 or visit www.NationalAtomicTestingMuseum.org.

Family fun

SPOOKS INVADE

HAUNTED REEF

If sharks, piranhas and Komodo dragons aren’t enough to scare you, the annual transformation of Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium into the Haunted Reef should do the trick, with spooky sounds (from spine-chilling music to rattling chains) and other Halloween trappings adding to the atmosphere.

On Friday, costume-clad kids 12 and under will be admitted free, as will adults who donate blood at the on-site United Blood Services booth from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Trick-or-treating and decorations continue Saturday and Sunday, coinciding with the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration known as Dia de los Muertos.

The Haunted Reef will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

Admission is $18 for adults and $12 for children 5-12; children 4 and under are free. (Tickets for Nevada residents are $15 for adults and $10 for children 5-12.) For more details, call 702-632-4555.

Music

‘OPERANTICS’ SALUTES

OPERA’S LIGHTER SIDE

If you immediately associate opera with doom and gloom, Saturday afternoon’s “OperAntics” may change your mind.

The free, 90-minute concert, performed by members of Sin City Opera, will showcase comical favorites from such composers as Mozart, Puccini, Rossini and Gilbert &Sullivan. The selections will be performed primarily in English, enhancing the music’s accessibility.

“OperAntics” will be presented at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Sammy Davis Jr. Festival Plaza in Lorenzi Park, 720 Twin Lakes Drive. For more information, visit www.artslasvegas.org or call 702-229-3514.

Family fun

SPRINGS, WINCHESTER HOST DAY OF DEAD FESTS

Halloween ends Friday, but the festivities continue through the weekend with Day of the Dead events at both Winchester Cultural Center and Springs Preserve.

The Winchester center’s 14th annual Life in Death Festival honors the dead — and mocks Death — from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Following the Mexican tradition, candle-lit ofrendas (altars) present food, drink and artifacts designed to lure the dead back for a visit. Music, dance and poetry, meanwhile, remind the living that Death helps define life.

Admission to the Winchester festival, 3130 S. McLeod Drive, is free, although there are some fees for rides. For more information, call 702-355-7340 or visit www.clarkcountynv.gov/parks.

Meanwhile, the Springs Preserve’s family-friendly Dia de los Muertos celebration blends time-honored customs with live entertainment, face-painting, sugar skull decorating and other activities.

Publicly created altars also will be featured from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd.; admission at the gate is $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 5-12, with children 5 and under free. (Springs Preserve members receive a 50 percent discount.)

Advance tickets ($8 for adults, $5 for children) are available online at www.springspreserve.org; for more information, call 702-822-7700.

Theater

KAHLO INSPIRES

‘VIVA LA VIDA!’

The eventful life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) inspires “Viva la Vida,” to be presented this weekend at the Winchester Cultural Center.

Written by Mexican playwright Humberto Robles — in “Spanglish” — the play is set during the Day of the Dead celebration in the kitchen of her family’s Blue House in Coyoacan.

As the artist cooks and waits for her guests to arrive, Kahlo comments on everything from her troubled marriage to fellow artist Diego Rivera to the bus accident that severely injured her as a teenager — and left her in pain for the rest of her life.

Director Stacy Mendoza shares the monologue with two other performers; they’ll present “Frida Kahlo: Viva la Vida!” at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Winchester center, 3130 S. McLeod Drive. For tickets ($5), call 702-355-7340 or visit www.clarkcountynv.gov/parks.

Music

MUSICAL ARTS SOCIETY

SINGS ‘MASTERWORKS’

Launching its 52nd season, the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society will present a Fall Masterworks concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at UNLV’s Artemus Ham Hall, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway.

The 70-voice Musical Arts Chorus and Musical Arts Orchestra will perform Mozart’s Latin motet “Ave Verum Corpus,” Mendelssohn’s Christmas cantata “Vom Himmel Hoch (From Heaven on High)” and Haydn’s wind band mass “Harmoniemesse.”

For tickets ($18 for adults; $15 for seniors, disabled and military; $10 for students with ID), call 702-895-2787 or go online to pac.unlv.edu. For more information about the society, visit www.snmas.com.

— By CAROL CLING

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