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Charlie Brown Christmas Staff Pick

When: Wed., Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m. 2011
Price: $14-$51

It's less about Christmas, and more about the beloved Charles Schulz comic strip — Lucy fawning over Linus, Snoopy dancing on the roof, Charlie Brown biting the dust in agony. There's a relatable character for everyone in the classic cartoons, whether you sometimes feel like Peppermint Patty, Pig-Pen, or their teacher, Ms. Othmar. The musical, based directly on the comic strip (featuring tunes like the lovely, lilting "Christmas Time Is Here"), thrives on the music of Vince Guaraldi, the stand-out jazz pianist who composed the iconic soundtrack for Peanuts Holiday Special. This year it'll be performed by smooth jazz guru and five-time Grammy nominee David Benoit, with his quartet. The Cantabella Children's chorus will provide the ethereal vocal backing, and hopefully the event will leave you less depressed than Charlie Brown. At the Bankhead Theater (Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, 2400 1st St., Livermore) on Wednesday, Nov. 30. 7:30 p.m., $14-$51. LivermorePerformingArts.org

— Will Butler

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