Critic's Notebook: Stylish ways to avoid Halloween

Treats but no tricks make for a happy October 31


  • Courtesy MODA
  • HONEY, BOO: The exhibition "Inspiring Beauty" is just one of the things you can do on October 31 if you're in the mood for an out-of-the-ordinary Halloween.

Nothing against costumes, candy, scary films and all the rest, but have you ever felt burned out on Halloween before it even arrives? The fact that stores are now putting out decorations in late August certainly isn't helping things. And costume ideas that seemed clever and hilarious just a few weeks ago can suddenly start to seem like an expensive hassle now that the big day is actually drawing near.

Whatever you do this Halloween, we hope you have a blast, but here's a little something to help out those of us who are already feeling kind of over it before it even arrives: a list of fun ways to avoid Halloween with style.

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  • Courtesy MODA

1. Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair at MODA
"Dressing up" means different things to different people, and we tend to like it best when it means something like this rather than hockey masks and synthetic wigs from Party City. Museum of Design Atlanta presents a selection of garments from 50 years of Ebony Fashion Fair, the traveling fashion show that brought European couture fashions to the African-American community, featuring designs from Yves Saint-Laurent, Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin and others.

2. Pinter Fest at Emory University
Netherworld is for lightweights. Those who are into hardcore terror of the bleak, existential sort head to Pinter plays. Emory University celebrates the late Nobel Prize-winning British playwright with a busy weekend of performances, readings, discussions and panels, all kicking off on Friday evening.

3. Steel Magnolias at the Alliance Theatre
Things get kind of scary when Shelby doesn't get her juice, but other than that you should be fine at the Alliance Theatre's live stage production of the Southern comedy classic.

4. The High Museum
The High has three new exhibitions that are well worth checking out: Cézanne and the Modern, Make a Joyful Noise and Janet Cardiff's installation Forty Part Motet. It's also the last weekend to enjoy the outdoor installation Mi Casa, Your Casa. Kids outside the museum in costume will technically be celebrating Day of the Dead, not Halloween, so have no fear.


5. gestures that soon will disappear: gloATL and Paper-Cut-Project at MOCA-GA
glo's latest project places performers in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia continuously throughout museum hours from late October through December.

6. How I Learned What I Learned at True Colors Theater
Playwright August Wilson's final work was an autobiographical monologue, here performed by the extraordinary actor Eugene Lee. Though the monologue is close to a decade old, Wilson's descriptions of the beleagured urban neighborhood in Pittsburgh where he grew up seem almost uncannily timely.

7. Afro-Panamanian Altars and Shrines at Hammonds House
At Hammonds House Museum in the West End, Emory professor and sociologist Kali-Ahset Amen curates a new exhibition exploring the traditions of altar-making among Panamanians of African descent.

8. West Side Story at Fabrefaction Theatre
No zombies, no vampires, no witches. Just Jets and Sharks, please. Fabrefaction Theatre on Atlanta's Westside presents a new theatrical production of the classic.

9. White Bird in a Blizzard at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema
Director Greg Araki's early films were so awful, it's a wonder he kept making them. But he did, and they eventually got better. We liked Mysterious Skin so much we're curious about his latest, White Bird in a Blizzard, based on the novel by Laura Kasischke.

10. Record. Play. Loop at Swan Coach House
Serbian-born, now Atlanta-based artist Bojana Ginn's cool interactive installation explores the concept of DNA as a code of life. Halloween is the very last day to see it.

  • Bojana Ginn

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