Season for friends, family, warmth

In the Loop


November signals the season of family, friends and warmth. Add to those, music, mushrooms and amazement. Find new favorites in this roundup of tips for short hops to nearby destinations throughout California.

To the northwest, the Annual Mendocino County Mushroom, Wine & Beer Fest celebrates the county’s more than 3,000 types of mushrooms. Pick and sample some of the 500 edible varieties while going to dinners, exhibits, guided mushroom forays, outdoor adventures and taking advantage of lodging specials, Friday, Nov. 3, to Sunday, Nov. 12 (; 866-466-3636). The San Francisco Opera presents Massenet’s “Manon,” Saturday, Nov. 4, to Wednesday, No. 22, and Puccini’s “Turadot,” Saturday, Nov. 18, to Saturday, Dec. 9 (; 415-864-3330).

Down below, the all-new “Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter” opens Friday, Nov. 24, at Universal Studios Hollywood, transforming Hogwarts Castle into a dazzling light-projection spectacular, while Hogsmeade village shines with decor themed to each of the individual storefronts (; (800-864-8377).

In L.Aa., the Los Angeles Philharmonic presents the new opera “War of the Worlds” based on Orson Welles’ radio drama (“defunct air raid sirens become speakers to broadcast the Walt Disney Concert Hall performance onto DTLA streets, while performers at the three siren sites send their reports of alien invasion back to the concert hall”), Sunday and Saturday, Nov. 12 and 18 (; 323-850-2000).

The L.A. Opera honors one of the great voices of our time with the star-studded Placido Domingo 50th Anniversary Concert conducted by James Conlon on Friday, Nov. 17. For gala information:; 213-972-3620. On selected dates until Sunday, Nov. 19, look for Domingo in Verdi’s “Nabucco,” Conlon conducting (; 213-972-8001).

Shifting gears from the sublime to the delightfully ridiculous, “Something Rotten!” runs at the Ahmanson, Tuesday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Dec. 31. Set in the 1590s, the Broadway smash musical goes wild with two Shakespeare rivals determined to write the world’s first Broadway hit (; 213-628-2772). At the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, “The Heart of Robin Hood” enchants complete with lakes, drawbridge and aerial feats, Tuesday, Nov. 28, to Sunday, Dec. 17 (; 310-746-4000).

To the south at Riverside’s Fox Performing Arts Center, see a holiday mash-up combining Tchaikovsky’s score with inventive choreography, “A Hip Hop Nutcracker” on Thursday, Nov. 9; Paul Anka on Saturday, Nov. 18; and Dan Rather on Tuesday, Dec. 5 (; 808-854-2196).

Fires updates: In Santa Rosa, the Charles M. Schultz Museum & Research Center has temporarily closed to restore air quality. Now scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 8, through May 21, 2018, “Aaugh! The Language of ‘Peanuts,’” demonstrates the beloved comic strip’s contribution to familiar expressions (; 707-579-4452). In Napa, the Napa Valley Wine Train has resumed operation (; 707- 253-2111).

Story First Published: 2017-11-03