Gravity & Other Myths, the Australian circus/performance troupe, comes to Stanford for two shows. (Photo courtesy of Gravity & Other Myths)

The Bay Area is a hub of artistic expression, attracting artists, writers and musicians from around the globe to live, work and create. We highlight some of the offerings here.

• Gravity & Other Myths: The talented Australian circus/acrobatics outfit famed for its often humor-filled and spellbinding shows that bring the audience up close to the action, lands at Stanford this weekend with its latest production, “Backbone.” Performances are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11-12 at Stanford’s Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $32-$68;

• Oakland Symphony: When’s the last time your heard of an orchestra performing a concert titled “Hot as Hell/Cool Jazz”? But the Oakland Symphony and its director Michael Morgan like to mix things up, and on Oct. 11 they’ll be performing Boito’s Prologue to “Mefistofele” and Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” and accompanying hotshot pianist Taylor Eigsti on songs from his new album. The performance is at 8 p.m. Oct. 11 at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre. Tickets are $25-$90 at

The Blue Angles are sure to put on a show during Fleet Week in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the FSX Blue Angels)

• Fleet Week: The Bay Area celebrates the Navy and Coast Guard in this annual event highlighted by the Blue Angels aerial daredevil shows and Parade of Ships under the Golden Gate Bridge. There are also marching band performances, K-9 dog demonstrations, ship tours and other attractions that sneak a middle-American vibe into our little bastion of techy, liberal smugness. The event runs through Oct. 14, but most of the big-ticket stuff (Blue Angels, Parade of Ships) takes place Oct. 11-13. Go to for a complete schedule and other information.

• Litquake: Bay Area folks love their books with a sense of creative energy and passion that might be unrivaled. And at no time is that more in evidence than during Litquake, the 10-day festival packed with readings, author appearances, workshops on literature and writing, and of course the annual boozy sensation known as Litcrawl. Now in its 20th year, Litquake serves up hundreds of authors — including Louise Aronson, Tobias Wolff, Daniel Handler, Tope Folarin, Mallory O’Meara, Tommy Orange, even Karl the Fog — and scores and scores of events at more than 160 locations around the Bay Area. Much of the fun is free. Check out the schedule and other details at

• Bastille: Led by the clever, raspy-voiced singer-songwriter Dan Smith, this British band (so-named because Smith was born on Bastille Day) has soared to stardom with such ubiquitous hits as “Pompeii” and “Happier.” Touring behind the album “Doom Days,” which dropped in June, Bastille lands at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre at 8 p.m. Oct. 11. Joywave opens the show. Tickets are $49.50 at