Pleasanton and the Firehouse Arts Center continue like a house afire to present lively and stimulating entertainment.
October highlights include bestselling author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) interviewing New York Times top-ranked fiction writer Nic Stone at 8 p.m. next Friday (Oct. 18) at the Amador Theater on Santa Rita Road. The talk, audience Q&A, and book-signing event is part of the city's "In Conversation" series, presented with Towne Center Books.
Stone, author of "Dear Martin" and "Odd One Out," talks about writing and her third novel "Jackpot," a life-affirming story about the humanity in people, "no matter how little or how much is in their bank account."
Handler has written five novels including his newest, "Bottle Grove." Under the infamous pseudonym "Lemony Snicket," he has written the bestselling series "All the Wrong Questions" and "A Series of Unfortunate Events."
Admission is $10, or $20 with purchase of the book.
Musical duo Maybe April will perform at the Firehouse Arts Center at 8 p.m. next Saturday (Oct. 19), part of the national tour for their 2019 album, "The Other Side."
The self-described "country/Americana" twosome is Katy DuBois from Jonesboro, Ark., and Alaina Stacey from Chicago. After meeting at a music industry camp in Nashville, they wrote a song together that took them on to play at a Los Angeles Grammy Awards event alongside Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Allen Shamblin, Gavin DeGraw and other country music stars. They went on to play at the Pilgrimage Music Festival and IBMA's Wide Open Bluegrass Festival.
Maybe April is recognized for its harmonies, the women's strength as instrumentalists, original songs, and the way each adds something different from their musical backgrounds to create a unique sound, a blend of Americana, folk, bluegrass and country. Tickets are $18-$28.
Opening Oct. 24 at the Firehouse is teen improv troupe Creatures of Impulse kicking off its 10th season with "Nightmares," the popular Halloween-inspired fall classic. Audience suggestions drive the characters and stories for this un-scripted theatrical scare-fest.
"Come and see your very own 'dark and stormy night' come to life," said coach and director Mark Duncanson, also a city recreation supervisor. "Every show is different, and we get lots of fans who come to two or more performances."
The improv team rehearses storytelling techniques and studies how to create characters that the audience can identify with and care about. Audience input inspires the creation of characters and storylines, and the cast then develops a fully improvised performance each night.
"We hope to give audiences another perspective on improv with our long-form narrative performances like 'Nightmares,'" Duncanson said. "Improv isn't just one-liners designed to go for laughs. We hope to create compelling stories and characters with audience suggestions, and then take them along for the journey."
He said he loves it when Creatures of Impulse performers make the audience wince and cover their eyes.
"We don't use props, sets, costumes or makeup -- just the imagination. One year, two audience members had to leave the theater because they said, '...it got too intense!'" Duncanson recalled. "They eventually went back in, but I consider that a huge compliment for improvised horror."
"Nightmare" will have four shows:
* 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24.
* 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25.
* 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26.
Tickets are $5 students, $10 adults.
For tickets to each of these events, go to www.firehousearts.org, call 931-4848, or purchase at the theater box office, 4444 Railroad Ave.