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December 12, 2014 at 7:20am

5 Things To Do Today: Obsidian Grand Opening, Holiday Native Arts Fair, Stand Up For A Cure, Charlatan ...

Obsidian bartender Jessica Nicoletti mixes delicious craft cocktails. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

FRIDAY, DEC. 12 2014 >>>

1. Seasoned musicians Nathan Weaver and Chris Beug recently opened Obsidian music venue and cafe in downtown Olympia. They chose the name because of the healing and purifying properties associated with the black crystal formed from fast cooling volcanic lava. The aesthetic of Obsidian is an amalgamation of the building's existing industrial architecture and organic elements such as cedar and natural fibers. They offer local, organic and gluten-free options including waffles, sandwiches, salads and small plates. The waffles are freakin' delicious. After dark, the lounge offers a selection of craft cocktails, local craft beer, hard cider and wine while providing unique ethereal ambience. At 9 p.m., Weaver and Beug host a grand opening celebration featuring electronic music by Ocean, D.A. Terence and Vowl.

2. The Evergreen State College's Longhouse Education & Cultural Center will host its 18th annual Holiday Native Arts Fair from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fair will feature nearly 40 Native artists from Washington and Oregon, as well as Alaska Native and First Nations artists from British Columbia. Among the items for sale are original carvings, woven textiles, prints, basketry, jewelry, clothing, musical instruments and more.

3. For Andrew Rivers, poking fun at himself just comes naturally. "I have a lot of female friends," the Seattle comedian jokes in an appearance on Fox TV's Laughs. "Because they put me there." Rivers is headlining Stand Up For A Cure, a benefit for research into childhood cancer, at the Capitol Theater in Olympia, beginning at 8 p.m. Also on the bill are Seattle comedians Narin Vann and Mike Coletta and the show's producer, Jacob Johnson of Lacey. Read Molly Gilmore's full story on Andrew Rivers in the Music & Culture section.

4. The Grand Cinema's annual showings of the delightfully demented Finnish film, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale will hit the screen at 9 p.m.The new holiday classic is a pulpy, darkly comic take on what is essentially the Krampus mythology, where Santa isn't so jolly and children are dirty little urchins that deserve to be punished. The horror comedy is a gorgeously shot descent into yuletide madness, and it is a wonder to see on The Grand's (relatively) big screens. It'll make you rethink candy canes.

5. Charlatan is surging, post-punk inspired electro-rock. As a solo project of Omar Rashan, Charlatan combines programmed beats, synthesizers and fuzzed-out guitars into a sound that's reminiscent of Joy Division. In a positively packed lineup, Hot Panda is the other standout. The Vancouver, B.C., trio combines art-rock, punk and psychedelia into a propulsive mixture that moves feet as much as it lights up neurons. Both Charlatan and Hot Panda take inspiration from the UK's post-'70s explosion, though neither sound like tribute bands. Check them out with Beatrix Sky and Jupiter Sprites at 9 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Friday, Dec. 12 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 11, 2014 at 7:31am

5 Things To Do Today: The Hugs, KPLU Christmas Jam, TCC Student Film Showcase, "Quartet" ...

Retro popsters The Hugs play Le Voyeur tonight. Photo credit: Sean Allen

THURSDAY, DEC. 11 2014 >>>

1. Portland psych-pop group The Hugs has been steadily picking up steam since their formation in 2007 - being featured in illustrious music publications like NME, and sharing the stage with tons of indie rock luminaries - and they've recently released a new EP. "When we were younger, we had a lot of ideas about music and purity and wanting to not sell out, whatever that means," says Appaloosa. "Speaking at least for myself, now we just want to make music that people love. We're not hung up about indie status - not that we're successful, yet, but we want to be successful at all costs. At least I do. I hope we can sell out. That's the goal." Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on The Hugs in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with special guests at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. The 18th Annual KPLU Christmas Jam, the annual free holiday concert and live broadcast, will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at Lagerquist Hall in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center on the Pacific Lutheran University campus. Hosted by KPLU's Kevin Kniestedt, the concert will feature jazz vocalist Gail Pettis singing holiday classics backed by the PLU University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. David Deacon-Joyner, as well as with her own trio. 

3. Pint Defiance hosts its annual Winter Beer-nanza party, beginning at 5 p.m. The specialty beer store and taproom will convert seven of its taps into winter cheer dispensers: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2014), Black Raven Festivus Holiday Ale, Lost Abbey Merry Taj IPA, Bale Breaker High Camp Winter Warmer, pFriem Belgian Christmas Ale, Heathen Reindeer Tears Barrel-Aged Barleywine and Atlas Spiced Pear Cider. In addition to big beers, Pint Defiance will host a "Christmas Cookie Potluck," asking patrons to don a holiday sweater and deliver cookies for all to enjoy. Emergency Food Network donations will be collected at the door.

4. Watch out, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan: A new generation of directors wants your jobs. These aspiring filmmakers will showcase their efforts at the second annual TCC Student Film Showcase at 6 p.m. in the Galaxy Uptown Theater. A team-taught class at Tacoma Community College's Gig Harbor campus host a film event that will raise funds for student veterans in honor of TCC's former Veterans' Affairs coordinator, the late Bill Harrington.

5. Tacoma Little Theatre presents the charming piece about four aging opera singers in the stage play Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Micheal O'Hara, and featuring Randy Clark, Steve Tarry, Sharry O'Hare, and Syra Beth Puett, this production brings together four of Tacoma's best known actors, who collectively have more than 200 years of stage experience. Cool.

LINK: Thursday, Dec. 11 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 10, 2014 at 7:36am

5 Things To Do Today: Maia Santell Holiday Show, Directors' Lab, Drinks For Lynx ...

Maia Santell and House Blend perform their annual holiday show at Jazzbones tonight. Courtesy photo

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10 2014 >>>

1. Northwest jazz and blues singer Maia Santell and her backing band House Blend perform their annual holiday concert and dance at 7:30 p.m. in Jazzbones. Santell is a descendant of Seattle's Jackson Street era of jazz and swing. House Blend instrumentalists include John Beach on tenor saxophone, Jeff Ziontz on guitar, Mike Slivka on drums and presenting the newest addition to the band, bassist Derick Polk, from Chicago. The band's repertoire includes jazz, blues, swing, Latin, rhythm and blues and holiday favorites such as Charles Brown's "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Please Come Home For Christmas," Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby," Nancy Wilson's "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" and Mel Torme's classic, "The Christmas Song," to name a few.

2. Apologize: This happens Friday, Dec. 12: Azarra Salon & Wine hosts its biggest wine tasting of the year - the Holiday Sparkling Wine Tasting at 5:30 p.m. Bring your friends and celebrate the holidays at the salon/wine shop while picking the perfect bubbles for your own celebrations in December.

3. The ParkWay Tavern will host Drinking for Conservation's "Drinks for Lynx" night. Fifty cents of every beer, cider and wine sold between 6 and 10 p.m. at the will go to help Conservation Northwest protect the lynx. DFC donates to organizations with missions the committee believes in - helping animals and the environment.

4. Apologize: This happens Friday, Dec. 12: Something about this time of year - it makes plaid cool. It makes bagpipes cool. Pale, hairy, muscular men in skirts with no underwear? Too far? Because tonight is the annual Magical Strings Celtic Yuletide Concert, reuniting the Boulding and Raney families' three generations of musicians and dancers. Hear (and see) the pipes, drums and whistles; see (and hear) the dancing of the Tara Academy Irish Dancers, not to mention the incredible voices these two families have honed over the years. It goes down at 7:30 p.m. inside the Urban Grace Church.

5. University of Puget Sound Theater Department matches scenes from six plays with student directors and actors in its Directors' Lab series at 7:30 p.m. in the Norton Clapp Theatre in Jones Hall. Six scenes run the gamut from dramatic to absurd. There is classic mythology involving dangerous street kids, a slice-of-life set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century, a man worries his wife is becoming a bag lady, an exploration of unknowability of love and the mysteries of science, a husband brings his wife to meet the family for the first time, and a moral play that takes an honest look at the issues of commitment and fidelity in today's world. It's a festival of scenes.

LINK: Wednesday, Dec. 10 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 9, 2014 at 7:28am

5 Things To Do Today: Puyallup River Film Festival, Polar Plaza, Classical Tuesdays benefit, Bobby Meader ...

"Rodney Raccoon Goes Green" won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Puyallup River Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Youtube

TUESDAY, DEC. 9 2014 >>>

1. Done on a budget of $434, spanning 23 trips over eight months up and down the Puyallup River - from Mount Rainier to Commencement Bay - you are eager to show the public your film at the Puyallup River Film Festival from 6-9 p.m. at the University of Washington-Tacoma. Using shots of spiritual rituals, inspirational landscapes and devastating destruction, and interweaving them with a score combining bluegrass, you have expressed ideas about the interconnectedness of humans and the river, and the transcendence of evolution. With a generous grant from The Russell Family Foundation, the University of Washington Tacoma will host the second annual film festival focused on the Puyallup River Watershed. Community members, students and non-profit organizations located in or working in the watershed submitted two- to three-minute videos related to issues affecting the Puyallup River and its tributaries. Of all the judged categories - open, middle school, high school, college/university, non-profit and government - you are confident your film will walk away with at least one award. You have to win; you invited all your friends, even that one guy who skinny-dips in the river.

2. Whether you want to channel your inner Winter Olympics sports nerd, capture the magic of the season in a vibrant urban venue or just have a wintery and sporty adventure, break out the ice skates, people, because the Franciscan Polar Plaza, in partnership with the Tacoma Art Museum, is open from 4-9 p.m. Bring family and friends to Tacoma's holiday ice rink for holiday fun and a good time right in the heart of downtown Tacoma.

3. Ron Bates has performed '40s tunes since the '80s. He knows Sinatra's songbook inside and out. Catch him at 6:30 p.m. for a Supper with Sinatra show at the Red Wind Casino.

4. This year's Classical Tuesdays Wine & Song Benefit in Old Town Tacoma will feature Neapolitan songs and standard Italian opera hits by tenor Gino Lucchetti. Baritone Charles Robert Stephens will sing romantic songs from the 1940s and 1950s. The two singers will also perform duets. Equally important, the night will feature lovely wines by neighboring Ginkgo Forest Winery, which kicks off at 7 p.m. inside the Connelly Law Offices. This annual event benefits the free Classical Tuesdays in Old Town chamber music series. So bring $25.

5. Bobby Meader's music is not technically complicated, or particularly unusual by any means. But it's heartfelt, a broken man with the raspy voice of an old punk turned soft, who strums like a early Bob Dylan or a John Denver, supporting himself on harmonica. It's the kind of music that makes you think of bad breakups and that trip to the woods you were supposed to make months ago. Catch Meader at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Tuesday, Dec. 9 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 8, 2014 at 7:59am

5 Things To Do Today: "Horns," Directors' Lab, Audio Elixir, Derek Nelson Quartet ...

There's not much sympathy for the devil in the small Washington hometown of Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe).

MONDAY, DEC. 8 2014 >>>

1. After his girlfriend is murdered, suspicion falls on Ig (Daniel Radcliffe). He claims he didn't do it, and sets out to prove it. Along the way, he gets drunk a lot and grows a set of devil horns (!), which prove to be a useful detecting tool. Alexandre Aja's dark-comedy-mystery hybrid Horns is adapted from Joe Hill's novel, and finds the Harry Potter actor taking yet another step away from his iconic kiddie role for darker adult fare. Catch the film at 6:30 p.m. in the Capitol Theater.

2. The South Hill Book Discussion Group will discuss Rosewater and Soda Bread by Marsha Mehran - the story of mouthwatering recipes that add enchantment to the warmth radiating from an Iranian family in Ireland and their big-hearted Italian landlady - at 7 p.m. in the South Hill Library.

3. University of Puget Sound Theater Department matches scenes from six plays with student directors and actors in its Directors' Lab series at 7:30 p.m. in the Norton Clapp Theatre in Jones Hall. Six scenes run the gamut from dramatic to absurd. There is classic mythology involving dangerous street kids, a slice-of-life set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century, a man worries his wife is becoming a bag lady, an exploration of unknowability of love and the mysteries of science, a husband brings his wife to meet the family for the first time, and a moral play that takes an honest look at the issues of commitment and fidelity in today's world. It's a festival of scenes.

4. Drummer Glenn Hummel, guitarist Brian Olver and bassist Rick Robinson are Audio Elixir, an R&B band playing The Swiss at 8 p.m.

5. Intimate interpretations of jazz standards and blues featuring Derek Nelson on tenor and bari saxes, Phil Lawson on jazz guitar, Steve Luceno on upright bass and Dave Snodgrass on drums as the Derek Nelson Quartet performs at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye. The group will slip in some jazz interpretations of holiday tunes for the season.

LINK: Monday, Dec. 8 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 7, 2014 at 9:07am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Concert Band, Messiah Sing-A-Long, Cardiel, The Movement ...

Deck the halls with silver, gold and brass and celebrate the holiday season with the jubilant sound of the Tacoma Concert Band today.

SUNDAY, DEC. 7 2014 >>>

1. Tacoma Concert Band will present its annual Holiday Traditions, but it's not the same old music you'll hear on the radio and in every store and elevator, but sprinkled among the usual chestnuts will be fascinating new variations on familiar holiday themes. KIRO's Dave Ross will read The Night Before Christmas as reimagined by composer Randol Bass. Also featured will be vocalist Melanie Vail, composers Leroy Anderson, Serge Prokofiev, Victor Herbert, and Percy Grainger, among others, plus several arrangements in the style of Mannheim Steamroller. The lion's share of this bounty isn't simply good holiday fare; it's good music, period. Talk about a Christmas miracle. Check it out at 2:30 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

2. Like many oratorios, George Handel's 1741 masterpiece Messiah uses a technique called text painting, in which the score reinforces individual lyrics. That's why the line "Ev'ry valley shall be exalted," for example, sounds so ... exalted. Christ Lutheran Church's 2 p.m. production will be conducted by Anne Lyman and highlights professional soloists and instrumentalists. Oh, and it's a sing-a-long. Rejoice greatly!

3. We've given Rich Wetzel a lot of love over the years, not only because he's a groovy guy, but because he's always playing a gig worth mentioning. This weekend is no exception as Wetzel and his Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra brought their annual jazzy holiday to Tacoma Community College last night. Trumpeter Wetzel set up chairs for what seemed like 59 musicians for a night of swinging renditions of Christmas classics. From 5-8 p.m. at the Stonegate Pizza & Rum Bar, Wetzel sets up fewer chairs, BUT special holiday drinks loaded with rum make up for the missing flugelhorn.

4. From Mexico, by way of Venezuela, the psych-hardcore outfit Cardiel make an ungodly racket that belies their status as a two-piece. Even if it's never quite said explicitly, there's a feeling of revolution that permeates their music. Every song seems to be violently pushing back against anything that threatens to hold Cardiel in one place or to one designation. Catch the band with Blanco Bronco and DJ Quan Fi at 5 p.m. in The Valley.

5. Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, the reggae-rock group The Movement was formed in 2004 by a trio of Sublime and Pixies fans. Joshua Swain, Jordan Miller, and John Ruff, aka DJ Riggles, launched The Movement with their alternative reggae debut album, On Your Feet. Since then, the band has worked with Philadelphia-based producer Chris DiBeneditto, gone through the standard line-up changes, included adding scratch master DJ Alific to the mix. The Movement brings its watery-dub guitar, bouncy-swaying beats, airy keys and verses delivered in sing-song rhymes to Jazzbones at 8 p.m. Publish The Quest and Positive Rising open.

LINK: Sunday, Dec. 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 6, 2014 at 9:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Shotgun Kitchen on Ice, crime writers, big band Christmas, The Valley hard opening ...

Shotgun Kitchen perform at the Polar Plaza Ice Rink in downtown Tacoma from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Watch for free, ice skate for $4-$8. Courtesy photo

SATURDAY, DEC. 6 2014

1. An almost too obvious entry point for the kind of satirical Americana of Shotgun Kitchen would be their spiritual forefather, John Prine. Expect stories about white-trash-living and country-road-dying performed with appealingly outlaw country-ish instrumentation and vocals while ice skating to the band's live performance at the Polar Plaza ice rink in downtown Tacoma from 7-9 p.m. The music is free; it's $4-$8 to ice skate.

2. Five acclaimed Puget Sound regional writers of mysteries, thrillers and chillers will sneak in the downtown Tacoma Main Library's back door at 1 p.m. to discuss about their books, the art of crime writing and their favorite authors. The authors include William Dietrich, Elizabeth George, Bharti Kirchner, Mike Lawson and Bernadette Pajer. The five authors are all members of the Seattle 7 Writers - a nonprofit collective of Pacific Northwest authors whose mission is to foster and support a passion for the written word. 

3. There's no doubt that the annual Beautiful Angle Holiday Party and Poster Sale is an event Tacoma has come to know and love. Going down at 7 p.m. in the Diane Hansen Studio (747 Fawcett Street, Suite B), the event will be a, well, beautiful exposition of everything Tacoma's underground-legend guerilla arts project is all about. If you're not on the Beautiful Angle train yet, see what you've been missing. Sporty Lee will be providing the music. Expect Grit City Beer. And you'll have the opportunity to buy a poster or two while meeting BA artists Lance Kagey and Tom Llewellyn. All the proceeds of this year’s poster sale go to "Tacoma Warhol" to help get the Andy Warhol flower on the Tacoma Dome. It's a win-win.

4. We've given Rich Wetzel a lot of love over the years, not only because he's a groovy guy, but because he's always playing a gig worth mentioning. Tonight is no exception as Wetzel and his Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra bring their annual jazzy holiday to Tacoma Community College at 7:30 p.m. Trumpeter Wetzel sets up chairs for what seems like 59 musicians for a night of swinging renditions of Christmas classics, featuring singers Steve Stefanowicz and Sunny Jo Loudin.

5. True, blue Tacomans likely already have the date circled on their calendar, or programmed into their smart phone, or scrawled on the back of their hand in sharpie. The Valley Pub celebrates its "hard opening" Saturday with CFA, Sun Giants, Stereo Creep and Infinite Flux. Cody Foster, bassist and singer with the high octane CFA, put the show together, welcoming new and improved Valley Pub to the Tacoma Dome neighborhood, and offering a chance for CFA guitarist Dave Takata to show off his new fashion. Foster says this will be the last CFA show of the year as the band needs to hammer down on the new album, although a new song will blast into tonight's show, as well as a cover of Fear's sentimental Christmas song. The free celebratory show is certain to scare the Dickens of out those waiting to board an Amtrak train down the street.

LINK: Saturday, Dec. 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 5, 2014 at 7:58am

5 Things To Do Today: Janis Lives, "Bestial Mirrors," BareFoot Collective vs "Ich Hunger," Pirate Karaoke ...

Sherrie Voxx Minter is Janis Joplin. Photo credit: Bill Bungard Photography

FRIDAY, DEC. 5 2014 >>>

1. With a blues soul and a rock & roll recklessness, Janis Joplin was the ultimate female rock figure. Probably it was the mingling of substances that opened her up so fully, but she poured her emotions through her music and every cracking sob and stomped-on feeling is audible. Even when she's howling, she's vulnerable, her deep-bottom voice is the true sound of a woman in pain. Sherrie Voxx Minter, the voice behind the old school rock band Voxxy Vallejo, doesn't have the pain, but has performed many times before folks who whispered, "She sounds like Janis Joplin." At 7 p.m., "Ah-ha!" will fill Jazzbones as Voxxy fronts the Joplin tribute band Janis Lives, sponsored by her other gig, NWCZ.com radio.

2. Tacoma artist Kellë McLaughlin's "Bestial Mirrors" is meant to give something back as a tribute to all the people who have supported her as an artist. The pieces in the show are animal heads on human bodies, and each is representative of a member of the Tacoma community. Each animal is a "reflection" of the person depicted in the piece. The show is a mix of traditional Japanese woodcut prints and ceramic sculptures, heavily skewed toward the former. That's a change for McLaughlin, who considers herself primarily a ceramic artist. But she's been doing woodcuts and prints for years. Mostly she did them just for fun, but when she started selling prints and T-shirts, they became popular in Tacoma. Read Kevin Knodell's full feature on Kellë McLaughlin in the Music & Culture section., then attend the opening reception from 5 to 9 p.m. at Fulcrum Gallery.

3. Over a year ago, local punk bands took off their shirts and trashed about The New Frontier Lounge. Nestled in between the snarls, Tacoma filmmaker Isaac Olsen screened his German expressionist film, Ich Hunger, while Tacoma dance troupe BareFoot Collective translated the film's imagery into free-form dance. Es war sehr gut! As the film flickered that night, an idea flickered in his head. "What if I could convince the Tacoma Arts Commission to help me take this to the Broadway Center?" Auf geht's! The spectacle, as Olsen calls it, will hit Broadway. Olsen's tale of a creature-boy roaming the German wilderness and devouring the village's hapless tourists will, once again, pair with the BareFoot Collective's elegant performance, this time in Studio 3 at the Broadway Center, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

4. You know the story: Ebenezer Scrooge is a miser who couldn't give a fig about his fellow man. He's dismissive toward his nephew, his only remaining family member; abusive toward his impoverished employee, Bob Cratchit; and just a miserable wretch in general. In the days leading up to Christmas 1843, Scrooge is haunted by his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley. This is not a social call. Marley - doomed to forever walk the earth alone, in death as he did in life - warns Scrooge that he has one chance to mend his wicked ways, and so Scrooge will be visited by three ghosts who will teach him the lessons of Christmas. Tacoma Little Theatre presents the holiday classic Scrooge! The Musical with book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusseat at 7:30 p.m.

5. At Bob's Java Jive, there's a recurring event called "Pirate Karaoke," where you're not only encouraged to sing like a pirate; you can dress like one, too. Imagine, if you will, Lucky the Shoulder Parrot joining you in a stirring round of "Come As You ARRRR!" in the same dive where Kurt Cobain himself used to put away brewskis. Your host Bowan the Black offers a library of 100,000 songs including Styx's "Come Sail Away" and Selena Gomez's "Lubber in Me." (Sorry.) If you're lucky, you'll enjoy the company of rowdy cosplayers The Black Bank, Criminal Dawn, The Feisty Felines or House Madrasa. If not, your rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'" will earn you a stroll down the plank. The song pillage begins at 9 p.m.

LINK: Friday, Dec. 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 4, 2014 at 7:44am

5 Things To Do Today: Seattle Men's Chorus, Tacoma Runners, Brian James, The Head That Wouldn't Die! ...

Who better to highlight all of the campy, fun and ... well ... gay apparel they have to wear during the holiday season than Seattle Men's Chorus. Courtesy photo

THURSDAY, DEC. 4 2014 >>>

1. Did you know Seattle boasts one of the largest community choruses in America? Did you know that justly revered group is making its way south to Tacoma this week? Better recognize! The Seattle Men's Chorus is celebrating its 35th season, so all 300-plus members are dressed up with someplace to go - 8 p.m. at the Pantages Theater. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on ...Our Gay Apparel in the Music and Culture section, then go see their holiday show tonight.

2. The city of Lacey invites the community to join in the 19th annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree along with the additional lighting of Huntamer Park at 6 p.m. The old-fashioned tree lighting ceremony will feature caroling by the Komachin Middle School United Voices choir, with more than 100 children led by Marci Ellefritz. Free popcorn and hot cocoa will be provided, along with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus aboard the Santa Mobile from the Lacey Fire Department. River Ridge Jazz Ensemble will also perform.

3. Let's talk Tacoma Runners, cause you know we love them ... from a safe distance at the donut counter. As it does every Thursday, the running group will gather at 6:30 p.m. outside a venue, stretch a bit, listen to Rob McNair-Huff describe the 3-mile route, then hit the pavement. What started as seven people running to justify post beers has turned into a giant mass of people running ... to justify post beers and to be social. Speaking of social, that's exactly where Thursday's run starts and ends - at The Social Bar and Grill. Why not run the Museum of Glass stairs and really feel good about the Social Manhattan.

4. On a beautiful day in 1963, the brilliant intern Dr. Bill Cortner and his fiancé, Jan, are involved in an auto accident, in which Jan is decapitated. Using his new experimental serum, Bill manages to keep Jan alive. In a race against the clock Bill begins a search for the perfect body for his darling Jan. Discover what happen next at 8 p.m. in The Midnight Sun Performance Space when Theater Artists Olympia stage a new adaptation of the classic B movie The Brain That Wouldn't Die ... the all-original musical The Head! That Wouldn't Die!

5. Brian James is an accomplished singer/songwriter and instrumentalist who was hired in 2008 as the head staff writer at Sure-Fire Music Publishing in Nashville where he wrote hit songs for four years, before starting his own publishing/management company, Brick Hit House Music. He wrote the theme song for the Discovery Channel's American Farmer, as well as songs for Taylor Hicks, Donny Anderson and Tonya Kennedy. Catch him at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

LINK: Thursday, Dec. 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 3, 2014 at 8:21am

5 Things To Do Today: Victorian Country Christmas, curator chat, The Cloves, Sounds of the Season ...

Kids love A Victorian Country Christmas.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 3 2014 >>>

1. Puyallup Fair and Events Center will be turned into a Christmas lover's wonderland for five days when the Victorian Country Christmas festival opens at 10 a.m. Holiday music will fill the air as live musicians stroll through a festive array of Christmas décor and animated displays. Visitors can shop all day as well as enjoy the shows and a vast array of food offerings. There are also carriage rides, Santa Tram rides and the Christmas Carousel. Best of all, for those who love to sing Christmas carols, the festival features Christmas Karaoke.

2. Tacoma Art Museum Chief Curator Rock Hushka will lead a discussion on the history and inspiration behind the sound and video installation Mary Lucier: The Plains of Sweet Regret at 11 a.m. Hear how the video stemmed from a larger project titled Emptying Out of the Plains that was commissioned by the North Dakota Museum of Art. Find out more about this installation and how life is on the plains almost 10 years after the video was created.

3. Tacoma's Mad Hat Tea Co. and local band The Cloves teamed up to create their own special tea blend. Mad Hat's Tobin and Maureen created a unique mix of black tea, cinnamon and cloves to spawn "Tea Time with The Cloves." Thrilled with the tea, the band will celebrate with an acoustic set at 4:30 p.m. in the tea shop in downtown Tacoma.

4. The South Puget Sound Community College Choir will join voices with the Puget Sound Community Choir and St. Martin's University Chorale, all to the festive strains of the Department of Washington American Legion Band for Sounds of the Season at 7 p.m. on the Minnaert Center Main Stage. Among tunes performed will be "Ding Dong Merrily on High," "A Virgin Unspotted," "A Visit from St. Nicholas" with poetic narration, and a "Christmas on Broadway" medley featuring the songs of Irving Berlin. This heartwarming concert will be followed by a sing-along of carols with the audience. O night divine!

5. Tacoma and Seattle music scenes will collide at 8 p.m. when Maurice the Fish Records welcomes London Tone Music's artists in a showcase at Jazzbones. The all-ages show will feature musicians Eric Lilavois, Science! And Vanowen. The staff of both labels will be on hand with open arms if you'd like to hand them your CDs.

LINK: Wednesday, Dec. 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2009
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2008
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2007
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2006
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December