Category: Arts & Events

Holiday events keep on coming at Christmastime

Holiday events continue this week, leading up to Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25th. A CHRISTMAS CAROL — Veteran film actor Orson Bean and Kyle Thompson star in a special adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 18th and 19th, at the First Lutheran Church of Venice. Admission to the play is free. The play is being presented by the Pacific Resident Theatre. Reservations are necessary for the Saturday performance. Bean, whose film credits include Being John Malkovich, Anatomy of A Murder and TV’s Facts of Life, plays the ill-tempered old miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Information, (310) 822-8392. TINSELTOWN TOO — A multi-artist exhibit loosely based on a combination of holiday and classic Hollywood themes is back for a second year with Tinseltown Too, on display from noon to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays until January 7th, at Domestic Setting gallery, 3774 Stewart St., Mar Vista. Admission is free. The gallery stages the show as a holiday season event but the themes of the artworks are open-ended and not necessarily seasonal. Information, (310) 391-8023. OFF THEIR JINGLE BELL ROCKERS — A performance by the Off Their Jingle Bell Rockers, a group that warps traditional Christmas and holiday carols into quirky and humorous parodies, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday, December 19th, at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, (Main Street and Ocean Avenue), Santa Monica....

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Fantasy/horror icon Barker in Santa Monica

With his 12 novels and 13 motion pictures, including Hellraiser, Clive Barker has become one of the best known names in modern horror and science fiction writing. Now, he’s taken a turn to try to infect a younger audience with the chills and thrills of his writing. Abarat — Days of Magic, Nights of War, the second in his fantasy adventure series for young readers about Candy Quackenbush’s strange adventures in the world of the Abarat, has now been released. Barker will do a promotional reading/signing at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 12th, at Every Picture Tells A Story…, 1311 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. Admission is free. The new book also includes Barker’s oil paintings as illustrations. Barker first published a juvenile novel in 1992 with The Thief of Always. But he’s better known for his horror/science fiction/fantasy writing and motion pictures geared towards adults and older teens, including Imajica and the Books of Blood series. Barker grew up in Liverpool, England, and attended Liverpool University. At age 21, he started a theater company to try to develop the plays he had begun writing. It was at this stage that his recurring themes of horror, fantasy, eroticism and blood began to be developed. In his late 20s, Barker began to have his short stories published, with modest success. His first full-length novel was The Damnation Game, which began to win...

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Chanukah in full swing this week — holiday-themed events of all types

The eight days and nights of Chanukah began at sundown Tuesday, December 7th, and local synagogues and Jewish community members are in the midst of celebration. In Hebrew, the term Chanukah (or Hanukkah) stands for “dedication,” and commemorates the rededication of an ancient holy temple in Jerusalem. The story goes that at around 165 B.C.E., the Jews had been living under the rule of Antiochus, the Greek king of Syria, who had outlawed Jewish rituals and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. The Jews’ holy temple had been seized and dedicated to the worship of the supreme Greek god Zeus. The Jews revolted and after three years of struggle, triumphed over the Hellenist Syrians. Upon the victory, Jewish general Judah Maccabee and his soldiers went to the temple and found it ravaged. They cleaned and repaired the temple and planned a rededication celebration. But they found themselves short of oil to keep the menorah lit for eight days. They could only find enough for one day. But miraculously, the menorah stayed lit, according to Jewish history. Today, Jews celebrate Chanukah to commemorate the eight-day miracle. Locally, public Chanukah celebrations are under way. HANUKKAH PAJAMIKAH — Mollie Wine, a.k.a. Doda Mollie, plans to rock conservative Congregation Mishkon Tephilo on Sunday, December 12th, with her high energy “Hanukkah Pajamikah!” sing-along show for kids and adults. Traditional Chanukah songs will be...

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RisquÈ 19th century French cabaret revisited in Night of the Black Cat

The Night of the Black Cat — an evening of not just any music and dancing but “forbidden, revolutionary and risquÈ” music and dancing inspired by 19th century French cabaret, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, December 3rd and 4th; and 7 p.m. Sunday, December 5th, at the Edgemar Center for the Performing Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students. There will be a wine and cocktail bar 45 minutes before the show, and proceeds from the evening go to fund the Edgemar Center for the Arts theater and outreach programs for children and teens. The mood of the musical variety show will be that of the early French cabaret, Le Chat Noir, which opened in 1881. “What we have created is a ‘happening’ in the truest sense, much as the artists of the Le Chat Noir did,” says show producer Dana Koellner. The show will feature a variety of short acts based on themes of liberty, personal freedom and revolution, with the flare and aesthetic of night club acts that were prevalent from the 1880s to the 1930s. “The performers and director have created everything from start to finish,” says Koellner. “There is no script, no play it is based on.” Each character in the show will be based on a real person of the time, including...

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Reavey’s surrealist mindscapes at Highways

A rebellious teen remembers her stress-fueled businessman father, panicked by lack of fulfillment, as he spanks his baby daughter while memories of war experience loom in his mind. A frazzled woman’s world breaks apart as her dog is the only one to feel the wrath of her rampage. A bed is ablaze as a woman ponders more than just celibacy. These are the curious stories that the paintings of Peggy Reavey tell. Panic, Pulp and Propriety, an exhibit of the surrealist visions of Peggy Reavey, is on display through Sunday, December 19th, at Highways Gallery, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica. Admission is free. At Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Reavey fell in love with soon-to-be-surrealist-filmmaker-extraordinaire David Lynch (Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, Twin Peaks). On the third floor of her house, she worked on the first three of Lynch’s experimental films. Reavey can be observed vomiting blood in the Lynch short film, “The Alphabet.” The two were married and had a child. After their divorce, Reavey took to writing novels. Soon, she felt she was writing about her life rather than living it, so she rechanneled her creative energy into making surrealist paintings instead. Highways Gallery describes Reavey’s paintings as a marriage of Ann Landers and William Blake. Her work tells stories. The topics generally fall into three categories: personal and disturbing, gossipy and sexy, or the thin line between...

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