Return to the days of vaudeville
Kind of like Santa Claus, Olympia’s Lord Franzannian is rotund, with red cheeks and a red suit. And like Santa, he shows up only when the time is right. Franzannian — the bombastic alter ego of storyteller/theatrical impresario Elizabeth Lord — will be around for the next two weekends only, delivering the 13th annual Lord Franzannian’s Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show. The show is known for its wildly diverse array of acts, including burlesque, comedy, dance and always at least one thing that will leave your mouth hanging open. Evening performances — at 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday and Oct. 18-20 — are recommended for ages 16 and older, and there are family-friendly matinees at 2 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 20. It’s all happening in the back room at Octapas Café, 414 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Tickets are $15-$25 for adults and $7 for youths, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Find out more at professionaltalker.com.
Oct. 11 to Nov. 11
Discover ‘What Lies Beneath’
The latest exhibition at South Puget Sound Community College’s Gallery reveals unseen realms on the border of nature and fantasy. “What Lies Beneath” includes photographs by Melinda Hurst Frye of Seattle, whose work dives beneath the soil of an urban ecosystem, and bronze and stone sculptures by Cyrra Robinson of Tumwater, whose work evokes the mysterious creatures who live deep in the ocean. Frye and Robinson will talk about their work at the opening reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, and the exhibition will be on view through Nov. 11 at The Gallery, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Get more information at spscc.edu/gallery or 360-596-5527.
‘Okko’s’ friendly ghosts
Saturday mornings in October, the Olympia Film Society is screening the acclaimed anime film “Okko’s Inn,” about a young orphan who moves into her grandmother’s inn and makes friends with the welcoming spirits who live there. Described by critics as “touching” and “adorable,” the 2018 movie is the society’s current Kids Club selection, so admission is free for those 12 and younger. (For those 13 and up, tickets are $5-$8.) See the film, which has had only limited release in the United States, at 11 a.m. Saturdays through Oct. 26. Find out more at olympiafilmsociety.org or 360-754-6670.
Pot parody, marijuana mockumentary and weed weirdness — including a film about the munchies told from the perspective of the scared snack foods — are all part of the Spliff Film Festival, showing Saturday in Olympia. The brainchild of sex advice columnist Dan Savage, the new festival is a curated collection of shorts, each no more than 4 minutes, 20 seconds long. Spliff awards prizes for the trippiest, funniest and stupidest films. Things get rolling at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia, with doors opening at 7. Tickets are $12-$15. Where else are you going to see a stop-motion animation in which joints do yoga? Find out more at olympiafilmsociety.org or 360-754-6670.
Hear a ‘Kaleidoscope’
From “Bein’ Green” to “Oh, My Love’s Like a Red, Red Rose,” Masterworks Choral Ensemble celebrates color in Saturday’s “Kaleidoscope,” the first concert of the chorus’s 39th season. Also on the program: the beloved “Over the Rainbow.” The concert opens at 7:30 p.m. at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia. Tickets are $10-$22. Get details and tickets at washingtoncenter.org, mce.org or 360-753-8586.
Edwards’ final season, harpist’s hometown solo
The Olympia Symphony Orchestra launches its season — the last under the direction of Huw Edwards — with a program that includes Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, widely considered to the composer’s greatest. Also on the program are Wagner’s Prelude to “Die Meistersinger” and Debussy’s “Dances Sacred and Profane,” featuring harpist Ben Albertson, a 2018 graduate of Olympia High School and a sophomore at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. The music begins at 3 p.m. Sunday at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia. Tickets are $6-$60. Find out more at washingtoncenter.org, olympiasymphony.org or 360-753-8586.
Sounds of the South — and South America
Che Apalache, playing Thursday in Olympia, fuses traditional Latin American rhythms with bluegrass. The band’s latest album, “Rearrange My Heart,” includes a tango played on banjo and mandolin. This surprising combination makes sense once you know that bandleader Joe Troop grew up in North Carolina playing bluegrass before moving to Buenos Aires, where he teaches banjo. Check out the sounds of Che at 7:30 p.m. at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia. Tickets are $25-$57. Get details at washingtoncenter.org or 360-753-8586. Meanwhile, listen to “The Wall,” a protest song whose lyrics include, “If such nonsense should come true, then we’ll have to knock it down,” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypmUFLL1QSs.