November elicits ‘wow!’

In the Loop

By DONNA MCCROHAN ROSENTHAL

November elicits a thunderous “wow!” for feasting the senses as you will read in this month’s roundup of tips for short hops and longer trips around California.

To the northwest the Napa Valley Wine Train serves a traditional Thanksgiving gourmet spread of honey-roasted acorn squash bisque, turkey, herb stuffing, and decadent pumpkin dessert on Thursday, Nov. 28, aboard a 3.5-hour journey in a luxurious, vintage setting surrounded by autumn foliage (winetrain.com; 800-427-4124).

On Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Sunday, Nov. 17 in Oceano, three miles south of Pismo Beach, The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville puts on “Drac in the Saddle Again” when the undead Count of Transylvania rides a stagecoach to Tombstone, Ariz., where he meets strange characters including the innocent Fannie Farmer.

On four evenings only, Mondays and Tuesdays, Nov. 4, 5, 11, and 12, “The Melodrama” celebrates Woodstock’s 50th anniversary with a tribute concert featuring the songs of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Santana, The Who and more (www.americanmelodrama.com; 805-489-2499).

Down below in L.A. on Sunday, Nov. 10, the Los Angeles Parks Foundation celebrates “10 years and growing” with the Griffith Park Harvest Festival, a free event with family activities, music, food trucks, local craft beer, vendors, games and a screening of “Coco” under the stars (www.laparksfoundation.org; 310-472-1990). On Saturday evening, Nov. 30 (and again for a Sunday matinee on Dec. 1), Gustavo Dudamel conducts a rousing program of Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky at the Walt Disney Concert Hall (www.laphil.com; 323 850 2000).

At the Skirball Cultural Center, “Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick” photographically reveals the makings of one of cinema’s greatest visual storytellers and runs until Sunday, March 8, 2020 (skirball.org/stanley-kubrick; 310-440-4500). Another Skirball marvel, the permanent, award-winning “Noah’s Ark” invites children to play, climb, pretend and discover friends while exploring a floor-to-ceiling wooden ark packed to the rafters with whimsical animals. The gallery emphasizes the value of community and helping to build a better world (skirball.org/noahs-ark; 310-440-4500).

To the south, at Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts, “Anastasia” fills Segerstrom Hall Tuesday, Nov.5, to Sunday, Nov. 17; the Zurich Chamber Orchestra performs Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” in the Concert Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 20 (scfta.og; 714-556-2787); and the 40th Anniversary “A Christmas Carol” comes to the Segerstrom’s South Coast Repertory Stage from Saturday, Nov. 30, to Tuesday, Dec. 24 (scr.org; 714-708-5555).

Over the Sierra in Tehachapi, the Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Wine Walk from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30, imposes a strict dress code of “the uglier the sweater the better,” offers wine and beer tastings as you stroll from shop to shop, plus a raffle and costume prizes. Check in at the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum (tehachapi.com; 661-822-6519). On the same evening, The Tehachapi Community Theatre presents "2019 Playwrights’ Festival Home for the Holidays" (www.tctonstage.com; 661-822-4037).

Story First Published: 2019-11-01