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See & Do

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DECEMBER 10 - WEDNESDAY
Actor's Theatre production of David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries, his acclaimed piece about working as an elf at Macy's during the holidays. Continues today through December 13, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, at Theatre Charlotte on Queens Road. Tickets are $17-22, call 704-342-2251 or buy online at www.actorstheatrecharlotte.org. (Shukla)

Charlotte Rep's ever-popular (and for good reason) production of A Tuna Christmas continues today through December 21. Michael Edwards brings the hilarious grab-bag of Texas crazies to Booth Playhouse for a fifth holiday go-round, and Duke Ernsberger plays the other half of Tuna's townfolk for the second consecutive year. The whole show's a crazy affirmation of the amazing fact that we still do have Christmas in America despite vulgar ex-convicts, Southern-fried bigots, animal preservationist radicals, and UFO nutballs. Prime family fun and a surefire way to please your seasonal guests. Showtimes: Wednesdays and Thurdays 7:30pm; Fridays 8pm; Saturdays 2pm and 8pm; Sundays 2pm and 7:30pm. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

DECEMBER 11 - THURSDAY
For the zillionth time, Mia Cunningham plays the pre-adolescent Clara, the role created for her by the late Salvatore Aiello in the glorious North Carolina Dance Theatre version of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. Miraculously, her innocence is a fresh and beguiling as ever -- even if you've seen her a dozen times before. That's the magic of Aiello's Yuletide ballet and its subtle probing of the girl's awakening sexuality. If you're looking for fresh meat, however, Rebecca Carmazzi, Angela Winkeler, and Alessandra Ball will be pinch-hitting during the Nut's run through December 21. Truly for children of all ages. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

Unknown barada nikto? The Light Factory's Factory Films movie series continues tonight with a unique event titled Venus Bound: Unknown Hinson, A Space Oddity. The classic sci-fi flick The Day the Earth Stood Still will be screened, with Charlotte's own musically inclined hillbilly vampire troubadour offering comic commentary. The event will take place at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm) in Spirit Square's Duke Power Theater. Tickets are $7 at the door. For further information, call 704-333-9755. (Brunson)

The Charlotte 49ers and the Davidson Wildcats continue their regional rivalry tonight at 8pm at UNC-Charlotte's Halton Arena. The Niners, led by guard Brendan Plavich, currently one of the top three-point shooters in the country, are looking to avenge last year's 75-56 loss to the Wildcats. Tickets are $12-$22, half off for youth 17 and under. To order, go to www.charlotte49ers.com or call 704-687-4949. (Davis)

Addison Groove Project, the Boston-based funk-fusion proponents, have made a name for themselves touring the Northeast relentlessly...between college courses, that is. The fresh-faced sextet occupies the funkier, jazz-influenced end of the jam-band circuit (two sax players and a trumpeter pretty much guarantees that). They cite influences covering the whole musical spectrum: Miles Davis, Jimmy Smith, Parliament, Prokofiev, Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads -- our humble paper can't accommodate the rest of the list from their website. This is either just the type of musical bouillabaisse to shake your groove thang to, or the soundtrack awaiting us at the Ninth Circle of Hell. Granola Funk Express (truth in advertising?) opens, as do the doors of the Visulite (at 9pm). Tickets are $8, for more information, call 704.358.9200. (Schacht)

DECEMBER 12 - FRIDAY
The 9th annual American Craft Council Charlotte Show comes to the Charlotte Convention Center today through Sunday, just in time to buy a unique gift for that person on your list who has everything. More than 200 American craft artists will display their work, including ceramics, glass, metal, jewelry, clothing, furniture and more. A jury selects the represented artists guaranteeing high quality crafts from every exhibitor. Admission is $8; children under 12 are admitted free. Two-day passes are available for $14. Show hours are today from 10am-8pm, tomorrow from 10am-6pm and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Call 704-331-8187 or visit www.craftcouncil.org for further information. (Herman)

Heaven can be tough to adjust to if you're a kid. Trust Children's Theatre to make it all turn out OK as The Littlest Angel learns to be punctual for choir practice -- and not to swing on the pearly gates. Travis Creston stars as the lovably pesky newcomer in this Tarradiddle Players perennial. You'll be more than blessed if you can snare opening night tickets. Two additional performances have been added to the final weekend of the run, which ends on December 21. Call 704-333-8983. (Tannenbaum)

Roll over Dali, tell de Chirico the news: Charlotte's longtime purveyors of holiday surrealism, Carolina Voices, present their signature production, the Singing Christmas Tree, at Ovens Auditorium tonight through Sunday. Most folks are unaware that the Queen City is a pioneer in the field of surrealistic Christmas productions, but just one program full of a huge Yule tree made of human beings - who sing, no less! - will leave you thinking you're in Paris in the 1920s and looking for Magritte and Man Ray to duet on "Jingle Bells." This year's performances celebrate humanity's myths and folklore, focusing on historic and cultural holiday stories told through music. Featured groups include The MainStage Choir, IMPROMTU!, the Grey Seal Puppets and Charlotte City Ballet, and others. Four shows are scheduled: 8pm tonight and tomorrow night and 3pm tomorrow and Sunday. Tickets range from $12-$22 with a $2 discount for senior citizens. Children 12 years and younger are half price. Call 704-377-9124 or go to www.carolinavoices.org. (Grooms)

Children's Theatre's production of Scrooge! The Holiday Musical, at Spirit Square, continues today through Sunday. This Charlotte favorite has been polished to a fine sheen through countless bah-humbugs of Christmases past. If you've never seen the CT version before, you'll be pleased by how they've freshened this classic, and if you bring an anklebiter, you can be sure he or she will be awed. Performance times: today at 7:30pm; 1 and 3pm Saturday; and 2pm Sunday. Tickets are $15 and $10. Call 704-333-8983. (Tannenbaum)

DECEMBER 13 - SATURDAY
Deep Gap, NC's Arthel "Doc" Watson, by now an American music legend, and a standout in the world of bluegrass, country, folk and blues for almost half a century, will play the Neighborhood Theatre tonight at 8pm. Doc will be joined by Richard Watson, his grandson, as well as Derita's own flatpicking champ Jack Lawrence. Tickets for the event are $27.50, available by calling 704-358-9298. (Davis)

DECEMBER 14 - SUNDAY
Hallelujah! It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas at First United Methodist Church as Charlotte Civic Orchestra brings us the first performance of Handel's Messiah for the holiday season. For unto us is given a return visit of longtime Civic maestro Stephen Plate, who leads his former company at this 3pm matinee. All who wish to be seated should arrive early at 501 N. Tryon Street -- since this special Christmas performance is FREE to the public (small donation suggested). Handel's sacred oratorio will get you in the holiday spirit quicker than maxing out your credit card! It's that awesome. (Tannenbaum)

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