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The Agenda

Theater, music, dance, and more—your best bets for December

The Agenda
Photo by Ann Marsden

NOVEMBER 28 TO DECEMBER 28

BLACK NATIVITY

Back for its 21st season, Penumbra Theatre Company’s holiday staple reunites some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians and singers with members of the TU Dance Company to present the story of Grandma Walker, a widow consumed by grief and loss. Hardly noticing the wonders of the season, she is surprised by a visit from her family, who shares with her music, food, and good cheer—and a reminder that life is still worth living. Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul, 651-224-3180
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NOVEMBER 21 TO JANUARY 10

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS 700 BILLION DOLLARS: OUR 50TH NOEL

Leave it to the Brave New Workshop to make us laugh even during tough times. This year marks the troupe’s 50th anniversary and this show riffs on the government’s bailout plan. Besides the usual comedic commentary, the performance also includes a rendition of “The 12 Days Christmas” by the popular holiday-show characters the Shrieking Mothers and Angry Fathers. Brave New Workshop, 2605 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-332-6620, bravenewworkshop.org
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DECEMBER 5

LAR LUBOVITCH DANCE COMPANY

One of the nation’s leading modern-dance choreographers, Lar Lubovitch, celebrates his troupe’s 40th anniversary with some of its most acclaimed work. This piece features a mixed repertoire of three poetic performances, including Lubovitch’s hailed Concerto Six Twenty Two. Northrop Auditorium, 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, 612-624-2345
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DECEMBER 5 TO 28

FAT MAN CRYING

Prancer meets Prozac in this comic romp about a depressed Santa Claus who breaks into the home of a happily married couple on Christmas Eve and threatens to ruin their holiday. Now in its second year, this show, written and directed by Twin Cities’ funny man Joseph Scrimshaw, offers plenty of laughs during this sometimes-stressful season. Minneapolis Theater Garage, 711 W. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-280-9210, josephscrimshaw.com
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DECEMBER 5 TO JANUARY 5

PRINTS ON ICE

Featuring original lithographs, screenprints, etchings, woodcuts, and monoprints from more than 20 local artists, the Highpoint Center’s annual winter exhibition commences with an informal opening-night celebration. Visitors can speak with the artists and purchase their work—many of which will be sold for $100 or less. Highpoint Center for Printmaking, 2638 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-871-1326
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DECEMBER 6

YUSEF LATEEF

Northrop and the Walker Art Center team up to present an evening of jazz with Grammy-winning global-music innovator and multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef. Local composer Douglas Ewart accompanies in this rare performance—Lateef’s first in the Twin Cities in more than a decade. Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7600, walkerart.org
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DECEMBER 10

OASIS

Though they’re not as important as they’d like to think (lead guitarist Noel Gallagher once claimed the group was bigger than the Beatles), this band still warrants attention: The British rockers play songs from their new album Dig Out Your Soul, on their first U.S. tour in three years. Target Center, 600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis, 651-989-5151
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DECEMBER 11

SCHUBERT’S 5TH AND JOSEFOWICZ

Guest musician Leila Josefowicz stars with her 284-year-old Del Gesu violin in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s rendition of Schubert’s fifth symphony, the piece that marked the beginning of the composer’s career. Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd., Apple Valley, 651-291-1144
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DECEMBER 11 TO 28

THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL

Based on the tale by Hans Christian Andersen, this classic fable gets a new spin by Ballet of the Dolls—a troupe famous for deconstructing familiar folklore. The story of a little girl trying to survive outside in the cold with only memories to keep her warm, this version takes places in a modern city and is told by a someone who remembers the story too well—the one person who could have helped but didn’t. Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-436-1129
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DECEMBER 18 TO 21

ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914

Presented by Theater Latté Da and the vocal ensemble Cantus, this play re-creates the remarkable Christmas truce between the British and the Germans during World War I. A story of wartime camaraderie, All Is Calm shares the thoughts of the men serving on the Western Front by way of European carols and war songs. Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-673-0404
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Ali Brady and Andrea Wagenknecht contributed to this story. Send event information to agenda@mnmo.com.


DATEBOOK

Shows for the holiday season

THEATER

A Christmas Carol
November 18 to December 31
Guthrie Theater
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A Christmas Carole Petersen

November 28 to December 21
Ordway Center
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Irvin Berlin’s White Christmas
December 2 to January 3
Ordway Center
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Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
December 4 to 19
Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company
Hillcrest Center Theater
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VISUAL ARTS

Holiday Traditions
November 28 to January 11
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
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Macy’s Holiday Display
Ends December 31
Minneapolis Macy’s
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MUSIC

Linda Eder: Home for Christmas
December 4
State Theatre
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Welcome Christmas VocalEssence
December 7 to 14
Multiple venues
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A JazzMN Christmas
December 20
Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center
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DANCE

The Nutcracker According to Mother Goose
December 13 to 21
Zenon Dance Company
Southern Theater
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Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy
December 19 to 24
State Theatre
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For more Yuletide joy, check our 2008 Holiday Event Calendar.

 


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