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Santa Visits and Letters: The Livermore Area Recreation and Park District is scheduling visits by Santa for Livermore residents to their home, office, or party Dec. 16, 17, and 23 between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Price is $35 for a 10-minute visit; sign up at 925-373-5707. LARPD can also arrange for your child to receive a personal letter from Santa. Fill out an online application at larpd.dst.cs.us or call 925-373-5700 starting Dec. 1. Last day for a letter is Dec. 19; cost is $3 per letter.
Theater & Performing Arts
2005 Dance-Along Nutcracker: The Movies!: San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band pays homage to the silver screen with this zany adaptation of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, conducted by Jadine Louie and choreographed by San Francisco Opera Ballet veteran Carolyn Carvajal, Sat., Dec. 10, 2:30 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 11, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m., $15, $22, $40. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., 415-978-2787, www.ybca.org.
Adventures Through Magical Winterland: A family-oriented show blending improv, music, and scripted theater. Call 925-687-4220 or visit TheSuperDupers.net for showtimes and tickets. Dec. 9-23, $6-$10. Cue Live!, 1835 Colfax St., Concord, 925-825-4086, www.eastbaymusic.com/cueproductions/.
A Christmas Carol: CSUEB presents the classic holiday tale. Fri., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 10, 2 & 8 p.m., $3-$6, 510-885-3261. Cal State East Bay University Theatre, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward, www.csuhayward.edu.
A Christmas Carol: A Center REPertory Company adaptation, directed by Scott Dennison. Dec. 8-18, $28-$38. Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, 925-943-7469.
A Christmas Carol: A Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh adaptation, directed by Perloff, with music by Karl Lundeberg and costumes by Beaver Bauer. Nov. 26-Dec. 24, ACT-SF.org. Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., San Francisco, 415 749-2ACT.
Cirque Do Somethin: A holiday offering from clowns Unique Derique and Moshe "YooWho" Cohen involving unicycles, human percussion, and a rubber chicken. Sat., Dec. 3, 1 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 4, 1 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 10, 1 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 11, 1 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 17, 1 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 18, 1 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 27, 1 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 28, 1 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 29, 1 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 30, 1 p.m. Gaia Arts Center, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley.
December Night of Remembrance: An annual evening of candlelight, music, and words dedicated to the memories of loved ones. "Memory Ornament Balls" available to place on the chapel tree or take home. Wed., Dec. 14, 6-9 p.m. Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland.
"From the Darkness, Solace": Commemorate the Winter Solstice with live performances from more than 30 musical and visual artists. Fund-raiser for the Lifemark Group Alameda County Grief Center. Wed., Dec. 21, 7-11 p.m., $10-$20. Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland.
The Gifts of the Magi: Valley Shakes presents a holiday story based on O. Henry's tales. Thu., Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 11, 2 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 18, 2 p.m.; Dec. 19-22, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Dec. 17, 925-606-6468. T.D. Wells Middle School, 6800 Penn Dr., Dublin.
"A Grand Night for Singing": Diablo Light Opera presents a festive alternative to traditional holiday fare with their production of Rodgers & Hammerstein favorites, done Broadway revue-style. Fri. and Sat. performances at 8:15 p.m.; Sat. and Sun. matinees at 2:15 p.m. Dec. 9-11, $23-$25. Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, 925-943-7469, www.dlrca.org.
Holiday Showcase: Featuring dance, martial arts, drama, live music, and arts & crafts. For more info, call 510-675-5494. Tue., Dec. 13, 7-9 p.m. Ruggieri Center, 33997 Alvarado-Niles Rd., Union City.
A Little Cole in Your Stocking: Husband-and-wife cabaret duo Meg Mackay and Billy Philadelphia mix classic Porter tunes with holiday songs. Starting Dec. 21, Wednesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m. Continues through Dec. 30, $25. Aurora Theatre, 2081 Addison St., Berkeley, 510-843-4822, www.auroratheatre.org.
The MeshugaNutcracker: Dreidels spin and Chelmniks tell Chanukah tales to the sounds of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker score during this National Jewish Theatre Festival presentation. Thu., Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 4, 1 & 5 p.m., $18-$36. Berkeley Repertory Theatre Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, 510-647-2949.
Mark Morris Dance Group: The Hard Nut: The Bay Area favorite, a twist on the traditional Nutcracker, returns after a year abroad in London. Fri., Dec. 9, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 10, 2 & 8 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 15, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 16, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 17, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 18, 3 p.m., $32-$60. Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley, 510-642-9988.
Nutcracker: Berkeley City Ballet presents the traditional holiday classic. Fri., Dec. 2, 7 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 3, 1 & 4 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 4, 1 & 4 p.m., $15-$25. Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley.
Nutcracker Nutz and Boltz: A Found-Object Nutcracker: Liebe Wetzel's Lunatique Fantastique presents a world premiere of its new family-oriented show. Dec. 1-Jan. 4. The Marsh, 1062 Valencia St. (between 21st and 22nd sts.), San Francisco.
The Nutcracker: Valley Dance Theatre presents a full-length version, featuring the Livermore-Amador Symphony and Crossroads Harmony Chorus. 925-443-0927. Dec. 17-20, 2 & 7 p.m. Livermore Performing Arts Theatre, 600 Maple St., Livermore.
Oakland Ballet: Fall 2005 Season: Program 2, which includes The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a short piece by Chopin, and Peter and the Wolf, takes place November 25 at 7:30 p.m. and November 26-27 at 2 p.m. at the Calvin Simmons Theatre. The holiday favorite Nutcracker, featuring music by Tchaikovsky, takes place December 17-20 at 2 p.m. and December 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre. Through Dec. 21, $7-$54, 510-286-8914, OaklandBallet.org.
What the Fork - October 27, 12:18 PM
Seven Days - October 27, 9:51 AM
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What the Fork - October 24, 5:18 PM
Seven Days - October 24, 7:28 AM