THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>
Friday: Morning showers, hi 43, lo 35
Saturday: Rain and breezy, hi 44, lo 36
Sunday: Chance of rain, hi 44, lo 40
>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 14: "MESSIAH"
You can hate on the holidays all you want, but there's no denying they bring a wealth of artful yearly traditions. Tacoma Symphony Chorus' take on "Messiah" in St. Charles Borromeo Church fits this bill. As pre-event hype acknowledges, "Chorus Director Geoffrey Boers always brings a fresh take to Handel's beloved work," and there's no reason to expect this year to be any different. Four vocal soloists - soprano Denise Lees, mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann, tenor James Brown and Benjamin Harris - will join Tacoma Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, creating an event that's almost to put the whole family in the spirit.
- St. Charles Borromeo Church, 7:30 p.m., $25, 7112 S, 12th St., Tacoma, 253.591.2013
>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 14: "PRESSING ON"
Currently at Pacific Lutheran University's Mortvedt Library is "Pressing On," an exhibition to celebrate 30 years of the existence of the Elliott Press. The exhibition consists of broadsides (hand-printed posters), hand-made books and other printed pieces by students who learn and work at the Elliott Press. Pieces include work by Oregon writer Kim Stafford and Copper Canyon Press founder Tree Swenson - both alumni of the Press, along with many other illustrious local artists, writers and editors, including yours truly. Read Kristin Kendle's full feature on the exhibit in the Weekly Volcano's Events section.
- Mortvedt Library, through Feb. 27, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Pacific Lutheran University, 121st Street and Park Avenue, Tacoma, 253.535.7500
>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 14-SUNDAY, DEC. 16: YES YES NO NO HOLIDAY SHOW
Yes Yes No No: The Solace-of-Solstice Apogee/Perigee Bestial/Celestial Holiday Show by award winning playwright Tony Kushner and directed by John Ficker is happening this weekend at the Midnight Sun in Olympia. Featuring Pamela Arnt, Dave Beacham, Brian Jansen, and Elizabeth Lord. The evening also includes Weekly Volcano's Christian Carvajal reading Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol by David Sedaris. The Forever Young Rock & Roll Choir of Senior Services for South Sound will also perform. The group, known for it's Joey Ramone covers and alternative choral style will sing four songs during the first portion of the play, including "Happy X-Mas (War is Over)" by John Lennon and "River" by Joni Mitchell. "They're totally stoked," says Chris Quimby, co-director of the choir. "They're so excited about it, we love to perform and they love learning knew songs. Its good for them too, it's brain activity and cognition. We feel honored to be in this play - we were just floored when we were asked us to do this." See the seniors and the rest of the local talent as part of the Save the Sun series of benefit shows to keep the Midnight Sun open and entertaining. - Nikki McCoy
- Midnight Sun performance Space, Dec 14 and 15 at 8 p.m. and Dec 16 at 2 p.m., $12-18, 113. N. Columbia, Olympia, brownpapertickets
>>> FRIDAY. DEC. 14-THURSDAY, DEC. 20: RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE
Dear God. I just watched the trailer for RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE, and I'm begging for more. It looks so demented and awesome and action-packed and touching and totally unlike any Christmas movie ever. Good thing we all have a chance to see it at The Grand Cinema in Tacoma. I know "demented and awesome" are rather vague descriptions, but the rated R Finnish movie in English sub-titles is just that. Here's an excerpt from a press release, "On Christmas Eve in Finland, Santa Claus is unearthed in an archaeological dig. Soon after, children start disappearing, leading a boy and his father to capture Santa and, with the help of fellow hunters, they look to sell him back to the corporation that sponsored the dig. And then there's Santa's elves, who are determined to free their leader..." I got chills just reading that again! The Grand has played the movie the last two years with such roaring success that they hope to make it a holiday tradition where you can also get your picture taken with "demented Santa." - NM
- The Grand Cinema, Dec 14-20, 7:15 and 9:15 p.m., (no 9:15 on Tuesday, Dec, 18) $4.50-$9, pictures with Santa Friday and Saturday 6:30 p.m., 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma, 253.593.4474
>>> SATURDAY, DEC. 15: DRUNKEN TELEGRAPH HOLIDAY SHOW
When I was 8, I received the best Christmas present of my life. My brother was going through puberty complete with standard zits and angst. Of course, I thought he hated me with the spit wads and angry outbursts he hurled at me. But gazing at the tree that magical Christmas morning, I saw a glimmering Polly Pocket pendant tucked into the branches. It was from my brother. Life was grand. As an adult, my best gift has been sexy panties and a cute wooden stash box for my weed. Anyway, self-indulgent writing has taken over. ... The point of this blurb is to let you, dear readers, know you can hear storytellers tell THEIR tales of the greatest gifts they've ever received. Saturday at Medi's Pizza & Pasta, there will be sharing at the Drunken Telegraph Holiday Show, as well as pizza and beer. After hearing five stories about the greatest gift, from a movie poster to a present from beyond the grave, there will be a story slam. Get there early and sign up to share your own five-minute story about the greatest gift. — NM
- Medi's Pizza & Paste, 7 p.m., $5, 2710 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.2531
WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO
CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
I'm in the Prodigal Sun holiday revue, pretending to be a mean theater critic. Then we're off to Bellevue for dinner at Din Tai Fung and a 48FPS, IMAX screening of The Hobbit.
REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music Writer
Friday, I'll be attending my friend's graduation (I swear it's been in the works for a million years); afterward there will be much drinking and merriment.
ALEC CLAYTON Arts Critic
I'm going to a mass wedding at the state capitol to witness a lot of gay and lesbian friends getting married.
NIKKI MCCOY Feature Writer
Slinging booze tonight, followed by the Urban Onion's benefit show for the Heath family featuring Fitz, C Average and Dirty Birds. Saturday, I'm hitting the Fantastical Festivus Faire then headed to Portland for strippers and bands Mosquito Hawk and Black Pussy. Sunday will be moping around until it's time to feed bellies with love at Casey's memorial. Oh, and some writing.
JOSH RIZEBERG Music Columnist
I think Friday I'll chill with the Family and just do the Chanukah thing. Saturday, I'll go out to The New Frontier Lounge and see Tacoma's Favorite DJ voted by Weekly Volcano readers, DJ Melanin. The fun starts at 9 p.m. and it's free!
JACKIE FENDER Food Writer
Round 3 of the Shift your Shopping Tours is going down Saturday night. Not to mention the usual slinging on moonshine breakfast drinks in the a.m. and getting some highly anticipated Wrist issues to distribution sites so that readers can get their local creative literary fix.
JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Seeing as I'm so desperate for Winter Break to begin, I'm going to pretend this weekend is a mini break before the real deal. Saturday we will be taking the toddler to Teatro Zinzanni for the Big Top Rock show featuring Caspar Babypants, jugglers, acrobats, carnival atmosphere AND Top Pot Doughnuts. Afterward, we will go to a holiday party where one of my 2-year-old's many crushes will be present. Sunday, I will be reviewing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Lakewood Playhouse before rushing off to Puyallup for an adorable 3-year-old's birthday party! Then I will sleep the sleep of the dead to try and have enough energy for my last three days of school.
TIMOTHY GRISHAM Music Writer
I thought the world was ending 12.12.12, guess not. Although Paul McCartney fronting Nirvana certainly has the charm of the end of days. I guess since I was ill planned I will go see the Hobbit like every other nerd in the country. I will also be attending the Northern Craft & Rummage Sale on Saturday. It's free to enter!
STEVE DUNKELBERGER Photog About Town
I'll be hitting The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Lakewood Playhouse because I hear the narrator is amazing - because of the training she gained from her father. Then comes Saturday for the Lighted Boat Parade down the waterfront with a stop at Rock the Dock for some nog.
NIC LEONARD Music Writer
My cousin is moving out here this weekend from Detroit so I will be showing him around the beautiful city of Olympia. We will most likely be hitting up the Everybody Weekend show at Le Voyeur on Saturday night as well as other various local bars.
ROCKFORD ROWLEY All-Ages Music Columnist
This weekend I will be enjoying all I can before the start of winter quarter, at which point I will be substituting sleep with black coffee, writing and studying and, of course, the EPs of all my favorite Tacoma bands.