HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY Not everybody has to be scared witless by schlock and horror in order to call it a "happy" Halloween. Just wearing a costume alone can work its own kind of suave magic. Add some steamy music and dazzling floor play to the scene, and you'll get the vibe that will be shaking up the Dance Club of Central Florida's annual Halloween Dance party. Following the club's usual format, 7:30 p.m. dance lessons by Salsa Heat kick off the night, followed at 8 p.m. by partner dancing in all of its rhythms waltz, tango, hustle, cha-cha, swing, fox-trot. And when the clock strikes 9 p.m., the crowd will part to watch a couple who know what they're doing West Coast swing champions Mary Ann Nunez and Shawn Swaithes and some more Salsa Heat action. (7:30 p.m. lessons, 8 p.m.-11 p.m. party at Bahia Shrine Temple; 407-644-6286; $8)
ORLANDO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Canadian piano man Jon Kimura Parker does the honors as the guest performer at "A Royal Opening," OPO's season premiere, which will feature the music of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. In fact, one of Beethoven's key works is on the program: The Emperor is said to be the composer's last concerto (in this case, a piano concerto), written in 1809. No one knows why Beethoven settled upon the title, but the music was written in the same year that Napoleon bombarded Vienna, so some suppositions are easy to come to. It's said that Beethoven spent much time in a Vienna basement during the shelling, covering his ears with pillows to avoid furthering the hearing loss that left him totally deaf only years later. Parker performed Emperor on New Year's Eve in 1995 in war-torn Sarajevo, if that's any indication of the music's tenor. (8:30 p.m. at Carr Performing Arts Centre; 407-896-6700; $12-$55)
QUEENSRYCHE First Slayer, then Brian Wilson and now ... Queensrÿche. Although we didn't get the memo, we've caught on to this little trick of "we know you didn't come to the show to hear our new stuff, so now we're gonna play our 'classic' album, in full, in order." And though we applaud originality in all its forms, we're a sucker for getting to hear Reign in Blood or Smile live in precisely the same order that we've grown accustomed to after years of traveling around with those albums in our cars and at home.
So here comes Queensrÿche with a two-set concert, in which the first will consist of "greatest hits" (by "hits," we're guessing they mean fan favorites, since something Queensrÿche has never been accused of is being big chart-toppers) and the second a straight run-through of Operation: Mindcrime that's being referred to as a "production." Although we shudder as horrifying images of Styx's Kilroy Was Here tour run through our minds (Dennis DeYoung in a Mr. Roboto mask has given us nightmares for years), we're still stoked to hear a 15-year-old album performed in its entirety. Which we readily admit makes us pretty lame. (7:30 p.m. at House of Blues, 407-934-2583; $27.50-$59)
PAUL WEGMAN Memorial It's the third memorial for the recently deceased Wegman, explains actor/director David Lee, but that's just the way it is. "We've laughed and cried about it several times nobody we know has three memorials, but `Paul Wegman` was such a diverse talent and such a Renaissance man and affected so many people in so many different ways … ." The tribute that Lee is helping to organize will focus on Wegman the actor and director, and is expressly for the catharsis of the theater community. Many area actors Jim Helsinger and John DiDonna have already signed up will be doing readings from plays and other special tributes that are likely to be as diverse and entertaining as the late actor himself. (Contact Margaret Nolan if you want to take the stage: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Most important, The Paul M. Wegman Scholarship Fund for Actors has been established and donations will be collected. Though one door has closed, hopefully Wegman's passion for theater via the scholarship fund will open doors for others. (7 p.m. at Lowndes Shakespeare Center; free)
DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN We're still trying to figure out how the spazzy heaviness peddled by DEP went from being atypical to being, like, totally average. Not to say that the band itself has gotten average; in fact, their latest album is an adventurous romp. What we can't figure out is how a sound that was at one time so off-kilter and out-of-the-mainstream became the new standard for heavy bands. Every aspiring metal band now seems determined to jam dozens of tempo changes and doses of noise into their songs; although that's far from boring, it's also gotten a little predictable. Good thing DEP has kept their own shtick interesting by actually trimming off some of the more egregious insanity and focusing on delivering an attack that's as punishing as it is challenging. (with Every Time I Die, Zao, Misery Signals, Whyoming; 7 p.m. at House of Blues, 407-934-2583; $15-$17.50)