1 CAL PERFORMANCES FREE FOR ALL: If the concept of an "open house" conjures up bad memories of tasteless punch, forced conversations or your parents hearing all about your "glue incident" at school, let Cal Performances reinvent the notion for you. These guys stage what might be the coolest open house on the planet. Stroll around the UC Berkeley campus on Sept. 30, and you can get a taste of some of the best performers the Bay Area has to offer, including Chitresh Das Dance Company; Cypress String Quartet; Daniel Barash and his shadow puppets; saxophonist George Brooks; Kitka; the Kronos Quartet; and many, many more. And, like the title says, it's all free.
Details: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Zellerbach Hall, Hertz Hall, Wheeler Auditorium, Pauley Ballroom, and other UC Berkeley locations; more information and a schedule is at www.calperformances.org.
2 MOVIES, MOVIES, MOVIES ...: It seems like there's always at least one film festival going on in the Bay Area, and these days there are several. The Oakland Underground Film Festival is back with a collection of hard-hitting and intriguing shorts, documentaries and feature films, many with a political bent, including "Who Bombed Judi Bari?" about the infamous 1990 Oakland bombing (Sept. 27-30, various East Bay venues, $10 per screening; http://oakuff.org). Berlin & Beyond, featuring films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, opens Thursday with Germany's foreign language Oscar contender "Barbara" (through Oct. 4; most screenings at the Castro in San Francisco; www.berlinbeyond.com). The traveling Lunafest, featuring short films by and about women, comes to the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 Thursday ($10-$50, proceeds benefit the Breast Cancer Fund, www.lunafest.org). Also, the Orinda Theatre is hosting "Late Bloomers," the Swiss comedy about four older women opening a lingerie shop, for a week's run beginning Sept. 28 (http://lamorindatheatres.com).
And, of course, the star-studded Mill Valley Film Festival looms, Oct. 4-14 (www.mvff.com).
3 SAN RAMON JAZZ AT THE LIBRARY: This terrific concert series features jazz vocalists this season. On Sept. 28, the bluesy singer Ed Reed takes the stage to perform a tribute to Nat King Cole. Upcoming performers in the series include Daria (Oct. 12) and Jamie Davis (Nov. 2).
4 "SLY FOX": Larry Gelbart's 1976 madcap farce about a couple of con men launching a get-rich-quick scheme in rough-and-tumble 1800s San Francisco opens Town Hall Theatre Company's new season. Director Soren Oliver's says the production will emphasize the style and spirit of the era in which it's set.
Details: Plays in preview at 8 p.m. Sept. 27-28. Main run is Sept. 29 through Oct. 20; Town Hall Theatre, Lafayette; $29-$32; 925-283-1557, www.townhalltheatre.com.
5 GEORGE BROOKS: The Bay Area saxophonist's quest to merge jazz and Indian classical music has led to collaborations with such groundbreaking musicians as Larry Coryell, Terry Riley, John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain. On Sept. 30, he performs with violinist Kala Ramnath at Pleasanton's Amador Theater.
Details: 7 p.m.; $25-$50; www.brownpapertickets.com.
6 "THE LAST ROMANCE": Diablo Actors' Ensemble theater company is staging this Joey DiPietro comedic heartwarmer about an elderly widower who stumbles into a new romance.
Details: Through Oct. 6; the Diablo Actors' Ensemble Theatre, Walnut Creek; $10-$25; www.diabloactors.com.
7 PANGEA: ONE WORLD, ONE DANCE: Richmond's Craneway Pavilion hosts this global dance party/performance that will feature hip-hop, breakdance, salsa, swing and belly dance artists performing to DJs and live bands.
Details: 9 p.m. Sept. 27; $8 advance/$12 door; www.craneway.com.
8 "CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF": San Leandro Players is presenting this Pulitzer Prize-winning Tennessee Williams drama about an imploding Southern family.
Details: Sept. 29 through Oct. 28; San Leandro Museum/Auditorium; $15-$20; 510-895-2573, www.slplayers.org.
9 "ZOMBIE VIXENS FROM HELL -- THE MUSICAL": I have no idea what the story line is on John Byrd's new play, and I really don't know that it matters much. When you have zombies and vixens performing a rock musical to a live band in a venue at which some sort of libation is tendered, you pretty much have all you need.
Details: Presented by Virago Theatre Company; free preview 8 p.m. Oct. 3 at Rockwall Winery, Alameda ($85 optional dinner party follows, www.rockwallwines.com); main run is Oct. 12-Nov. 3 at Phoenix Theatre, San Francisco; $10-$25; www.viragotheatre.org.
10 ZHUKOV DANCE THEATRE: The San Francisco company founded by ballet star-turned-choreographer Yuri Zhukov is back for its fifth season, which kicks off this week in San Francisco with a program featuring the world premiere's of Zhukov's new work, "Coin/C/Dance."