Creaky Bones Bash: Throw on your Halloween costume a few days early and party into the night while helping a charity at the Arthritis Foundation's annual Creaky Bones Bash, rattling the Douglas Entrance Ballroom (800 Douglas Rd., Coral Gables) tonight at 8:00. The Vintage Band performs danceable tunes, while psychics, a mystery-clue hunt, and tasty treats keep partygoers busy. Tickets cost $25, with all proceeds benefiting the Foundation's efforts to fight arthritis. Call 669-6870. (GC)
War of the Worlds/Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The Cinema Vortex film series screens two landmark science-fiction classics that depict the paranoia of the Cold War. Byron Haskin's Oscar-winning 1953 adaption of H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds, screening today at noon at the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach), was the first film in which the U.S. was depicted as being invaded, when aliens from the red planet of Mars waste Los Angeles. Tomorrow at the same time the Vortex offers Don Siegel's 1956 flick Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a relentlessly suspenseful study in anti-conformity and McCarthy-era hysteria in which pods from outer space replace the population of a small town with soulless automatons. Admission to each screening is four dollars. Call 531-8504. (GC)
Peter and the Wolf: The Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center (1770 Monroe St.) opens its second annual International Showcase with a performance of Prokofiev's classic children's work, the best one we know of for introducing kiddies to the timbres of orchestral instruments. WPLG-TV (Channel 10) news anchor Kristi Krueger narrates as the Pan American Sinfonia provides the music and the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater creates the visuals. Performances take place at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m. Upcoming performances include the Momentum Dance Company, Al Matos's Klezmer Music Extravaganza, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and the Russian gypsy folk troupe Neva. Adult tickets cost $15 and $20; kids' tix are $10. Call 954-924-8175. (GC)
South Florida Ska-Punk-Oi! Festival: The roof gets blown off at Cheers (2490 SW Seventeenth Ave.) tonight with the steamrolling first annual South Florida Ska-Punk-Oi! Festival. Headlining the show is the uniquely aggressive band AC, touring to support its latest release Forty More Reasons to Hate Us (with songs like "Pepe the Gay Waiter," "Don't Call Japanese Hardcore Japcore," and of course, "I Liked Earache Better When Dig Answered the Phone"). Chock full of super-fast, minutelong songs overloaded with chain-saw guitars and hell-growl vocals, the disc is the followup to AC's Top Forty Hits and the 58-track Earache Records debut Everyone Should Be Killed. Rounding out the multiband bill is Philadelphia's pile-driving punkers Lime Cell, German oi!-meisters Boots and Braces, the suave rocksteady-ska sounds of King 7 and the Soul Sonics, and West Palm Beach skasters the Worms. Admission is six bucks. Call 857-0041. (GC)
Danny Hoch: See Friday.
Coral Gables Oktoberfest: See Friday.
Festival Miami: See Friday.
La Chunga: Mario Vargas Llosa's story about fantasies and rivalries at a bar of ill repute comes to life as the Area Stage Company (645 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) and the cultural group La Ma Teodora present La Chunga. This mystery-comedy follows a band of degenerates who call themselves "the Unconquerables" on a trip down memory lane to a night when one of them, Josefino the Pimp, sold his new girlfriend La Meche to the title character, a madam of surprising power and sympathy. The Spanish-language version of the play runs until it begins alternating in repertory with the English-language version, opening on November 20. Performances take place Thursday through Saturday at 8:15 p.m., and Sunday at 7:15 p.m. Tickets cost $17 on Thursday and Sunday and $20 on Friday and Saturday. Call 673-8002 for scheduling. (GC)
Coral Gables Oktoberfest: See Friday.
War of the Worlds/Invasion of the Body Snatchers: See Saturday.
Presidents and the News Media: With presidential elections coming up, one issue on the minds of many voters is how the media shape public perception of the candidates. Tonight at 7:30 at the University of Miami Bill Cosford Cinema (off Campo Sano Avenue in Coral Gables), the UM School of Communication hosts an evening with Betty Winfield, author of FDR and the News Media. She investigates the media's coverage of presidential politics by referring to the administration that first (and perhaps best) used the media to its advantage. Admission is free. Call 284-1870. (GC)
Florida Philharmonic: Florida's premier classical music organization, led by music director and conductor James Judd, officially opens its 1996-97 season tonight at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (174 E. Flagler St.) with two of the most beloved works in the classical repertoire. Violinist Jon Carney joins the orchestra to perform Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. The same program will be performed tomorrow night at the Florida Atlantic University Auditorium (off Glades Road, Boca Raton) and Thursday at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Tickets range in price from $17 to $75. All three concerts take place at 8:00 p.m. Call 930-1812. (GC)
Witches' Ball: Ring in Halloween with an evening of ghoulish fun at Squeeze (2 S. New River Dr., Fort Lauderdale), beginning at 10:00. Enjoy thumping music by Mercy James while carving pumpkins, making scarecrows, and participating in a Celtic Samhain (pronounce Sow-an) ritual at midnight. Find out if your Halloween will be happy or horrible when you have your tarot cards, astrology chart, rune stones, numbers, and palms read. Admission is six dollars. Call 954-522-2151. (GC)