THE HAUNTED BASEMENT
Oct. 5-31 at the Soap FactoryBy now, we all have heard the spiel: The Soap Factory's haunted house is so scary they make you sign a waiver. The art gallery's dark and decrepit basement is back for a sixth year, filling those smelly depths with psychological terror and grotesque perversions. This time around, however, acclaimed Twin Cities theater director Noah Bremer is taking the creative reins. The Haunted Basement always has prided itself on hiring artists to curate the various rooms and passageways that make up the scarefest. Bremer's résumé suggests a Haunted Basement unlike any other. Most recently, he directed a gangster musical, a one-man absurdist play and performed as a clown in Cirque du Soleil. Scary.
Oct. 5-31, 514 SE. 2nd St., Mpls., $22, 18 and older,612-623-9176, www.soapfactory.org.
"The Legend of Zelda -- Symphony of the Goddesses": There was a time when the thought of a symphony orchestra performing video-game music just seemed ridiculous. Those times have surely passed. On this tour, "The Legend of Zelda" franchise gets the royal treatment (and you'll be paying for it -- top ticket price is $129). The production numbers will span all 25 years of the acclaimed video-game series, and with a complete four-movement symphony, no less.
8 p.m. Sept. 22, Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., $49-$129, 1-800-982-2787, www.hennepintheatretrust.org.
Louis C.K.: When you've achieved near universal acclaim as the funniest stand-up comedian on the planet, you can basically do whatever the hell you want. Which is exactly what Louis C.K. is doing these days. For his latest tour, the hard-edged comic is selling his own tickets (via his website). He's essentially cut out the middleman and those annoying hidden fees. The price to see the best? A cool $45.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 and 5, 10:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Minneapolis Convention Center. $45. www.louisck.net.
Wanda Sykes: She might be a terrible talk-show host, but the comedian is good at just about everything else. Sykes is a sitcom scene stealer and often a bright spot in otherwise ho-hum animated features, such as "Rio" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift." Onstage, her stand-up is a sarcastic ball of fire, catapulting jokes into the audience with that trademark nasally delivery.
8 p.m. Sept. 28. Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $39.75-$59.75, 1-800-982-2787, www.hennepintheatretrust.org.
Smack Shack: Let's call it the second most anticipated restaurant of the year (following Butcher & the Boar). Of course, Isaac Becker's Burch and Kam Talebi's Union might have something to say about that. But Smack Shack already has a built-in audience, thanks to the hordes of lobster roll lovers who've made it a food truck king. Its owners hope to capture that fervor with a large North Loop restaurant that will have two bars, a loading- dock patio and the same great lobster sandwiches.
Opening in October. www.smack-shack.com.
Republic: Amid the chain stores and trendy restaurants that dot the Uptown landscape, Republic's November opening will be a breath of fresh air. The pub made a name for itself last year after transforming a perennial college dump (Sgt. Preston's) into one of the Twin Cities' best craft-beer bars. They hope to work that same magic with the former Independent space in Calhoun Square.