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Messiahs, Revels and yarn

Arts and cultural picks of the week

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Rockin’ Knit Night

In my childhood bedroom at mom’s there’s a red roll of yarn attached to a shabby seven-inch square — the scarf I started making when my Granny Grunt Grunt (don’t ask) taught me to crochet at age nine. Never one to throw anything away, I thought about picking up where I left off a few years ago when knitting was all the rage among celebs. I wanted to be seen frowning at my knitting needles during karaoke, as if I were much too important to be stimulated by ordinary entertainment.

I could get my chance every Thursday, when the Tacoma Art Place hosts Rockin’ Knit Night, where knitters — beginners to experts — drop stitch with master knitter Megan Peters and listen to CDs. Cable needles and “Crazy Train!” Nice!

I will be hanging there as an opportunity to look cool while finishing that scarf. — Suzy Stump

[Tacoma Art Place, Thursdays, 5:30-8 p.m., no cover, 1116 S. 11th, Tacoma, 253.238.1006]



Holidays are always fun, even if everyone knows the stories. Such is the case with “Scrooge the Musical” at Champions Centre.

This musical twist on Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” features a mix of original songs and old favorites as well as dashes of lively dance sequences, special effects and a live orchestra. “Scrooge the Musical” runs through Dec. 16.

One of the special things that make this show stand out is that it is one of the most produced shows in the South Sound. Notable features, for example, include flying stunts as actors soar above the audience and stage.  — Steve Dunkelberger

[Champions Centre, through Dec. 16 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, $9-$12, 1819 E. 72nd Street, Tacoma, 253.475. 6454]


Handel’s “Messiah”

So the tree and the fairy lights are up, you have enough booze and unhealthy snacks to sink the Titanic, and your television is about to explode in a flurry of consumerism and romantic schmaltz. But there’s something missing. That’s right, folks: it just wouldn’t be a happy holiday without some singing about God. And for that, there’s no beating Handel’s “Messiah,” a piece for choir, orchestra and soloists that has delighted audiences worldwide for more than 250 years. As 18th-century music historian Charles Burney once said, “”Messiah” has fed the hungry and clothed the naked, fostered the orphan, and enriched succeeding managers of Oratories more than any single musical production in this or any other country.” We’re not totally sure what that means, so check it out yourself at the Charles Borromeo Church when the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra presents their version. — SS

[Charles Borromeo Church, Friday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., $22-$75, 7112 S. 12th St., Tacoma, 253.272.7264]


Christmas Revels

Nothing says “the holidays are here” like a romping, roaring evening of pagan-inspired celebration. A seasonal tradition since 1992, the Christmas Revels returns to the Rialto Theater with performances of music, dance, and other entertainment in honor of the original Christmas, the winter solstice. This year, the Puget Sound Revels go Eastern Europe with a retelling of the Russian folk tale, “The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship,” through music, song and dance. Added bonus: Portland’s sultry European Gypsy troupe Vagabond Opera and the Seattle Brass Ensemble will be in the house. Normal audience and performer roles may blur at the Revels, so make sure to bring your best voice. — SS

[Rialto Theater, Dec. 15 2 and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 16 1 and 5:30 p.m., Dec. 18 7:30 p.m., Dec. 19 7:30 p.m., $9-$25.50, 310 S. Ninth St., Tacoma, 253. 591. 5894]


Classical Olympia

Tired of missing out on “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” because your mom (cough!) won’t let you pay to see singing transvestites?  Well, you could always settle for the next best thing — singing Handel’s “Messiah.”


A who’s-who of Olympia orchestras and choirs — Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia, Masterworks Choral Ensemble, Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Olympia Choral Society, Olympia Symphony Orchestra and Opera Pacifica — perform Handel’s glorious masterpiece for you to sing along.

If that’s still not enticing, vocal scores will be available to purchase. — SS

[Washington Center, Monday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., free, 512 Washington St., Olympia, 360. 753. 8586]

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