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Out, About & Around the County: 12/15/2016

Out, About & Around the County

Great Russian Nutcracker

Direct from Russia, Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker comes to the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts on Dec. 18, with shows at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Enchant the whole family with larger than life magical props, a 60-foot growing Christmas tree, and spectacular Russian-made costumes and sets. A must-see event, witness the world's best dancers on stage, alongside local Sonoma County children. Tickets range from $34 to $181.

Info: 546-3600, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa.

Chamber ensemble sings season favorites

The Valley of the Moon Chamber Ensemble's holiday benefit concerts are scheduled for Dec. 17 and 18. The Dec. 17 concert will be held at Madrone Estate Winery at 6 p.m., and the Dec. 18 concert will start at 4 p.m. at St. Francis Solano Church. Enjoy a holiday concert filled with favorites from past seasons, and a delightful sampling of new pieces. As always, Valley of the Moon Chamber Ensemble will serve up a musical feast from the Renaissance to the 21st century. All proceeds will benefit the Sonoma Community Center's arts and cultural education programs. Call for tickets.

Info: 938-4626;

Naughty and nice

Two shows finish up their runs at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa this holiday season, one for those who like a little naughty and one for those who like a little nice. The Santaland Diaries stars David Yen in a one-man rendition of humorist David Sedaris' memoir of Crumpet, the cranky elf, working at Macy's. Runs now through Dec. 18. Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, starring veteran actor Charles Seibert as Ebenezer Scrooge, runs now through Dec. 23. Tickets: $10-$26.

Info: 52 W. 6th St., Santa Rosa.

Holiday Spirits concert in Sonoma

The Sonoma Community Center presents an evening of traditional and humorous holiday vocal entertainment on the Rotary Stage in Andrews Hall on Dec. 18. “Holiday Spirits” will showcase the center's music department with its finest performing vocal artists in a spirited, sometimes raucous, holiday concert. Performing will be the Free Spirits Gospel Choir, Vox Populi, The Quixotics, and The Dolly Mamas. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. Festive holiday attire is encouraged. $18 general admission seating.

Info: 938-4626, ext. 1, 276 East Napa St., Sonoma.

Celebrate Hanukkah at Schulz Museum

Discover new ways to celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. Join Big Tent Judaism at the Charles M. Schulz Museum on Dec. 18 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for an engaging Hanukkah program for the whole family. A busy morning of activities includes clay menorah-making, a Hanukkah candle lighting at 11 a.m., edible draidle decorating, coloring pages featuring Elmo, Ernie, and other Muppet friends from Shalom Sesame, and live music. There will also be an olive oil tasting with olive oils from B.R. Cohn Winery & Olive Oil Company in Glen Ellen.

Info: 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa.

Winter Solstice Celebration

Celebrate the shortest day of the year, Dec. 21, by welcoming the beginning of increasing daylight with seasonal cheer at the Spring Lake Regional Park Environmental Discovery Center, 1-5 p.m. Create special thematic crafts like spiral art and solar prints. Then, hike to Frog Pond to look for signs of winter residents like California newts. Free. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members.

Info: 539-2865,

Family fitness for the New Year

On Dec. 27, the Sonoma Valley Library hosts two YMCA Family Boot Camp classes at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Family Boot Camp is designed to provide a wide variety of interval training, body weight-based strength building exercises, and stretching for fun. It's an intense and invigorating complete workout for the whole family. Children must be age 8 and older. Because of the 12-person class size limit, the library is offering the boot camp class twice. Pre-registration is required.

Info: 996-5217, 755 West Napa St., Sonoma.

Inaugural Rivertown Ball in Petaluma

On Dec. 31, San Francisco's pioneering psychedelic soul band Monophonics will be joined by Point Reyes Station's genre-defying pop group, El Radio Fantastique, and Sonoma County's own ragtag purveyors of old time party music, Oddjob Ensemble at the Petaluma Veterans Hall for the Rivertown Ball. In true Rivertown fashion, the evening will be bolstered by a wide variety of artistic creations and daring libations as your vaudevillian spectacular host, Tobias the Mystic Man, performs magic and circus acts to delight patrons at every level of sobriety. Doors open at 8 p.m. with a 9 p.m. show. Tickets are $70 general admission.

Info:, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. South.

Red Hot Mama

Red Hot Mama: The Sophie Tucker Songbook is the story of the first lady of show business, the “Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” whose remarkable career spanned 60 years. The show features the music and history of burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway and Las Vegas, in a critically acclaimed one-woman musical biography of the entertainment legend, written by and starring Tony Award nominee Sharon McNight. Red Hot Mama opens Jan. 6 at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma and runs through Jan. 28. Tickets: $35 general, $25 youth.

Info: 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N.

Hodgepodge of collage

Collage as an art medium erupted onto the art scene post-WWI with the subversive Dada movement and later proved to be an intriguing, chance-driven technique in Surrealism. In January, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts hosts “Marvelous! An International Exhibition of Collage, Assemblage, and Construction,” an exhibit that will educate visitors about the scope and relevance of these mediums today and expose viewers to some of the most innovative collage and assemblage artists worldwide. The exhibition opens to the public on Jan. 6 and runs through Feb. 12. There will be an artist reception and awards presentation on Jan. 6, 6-7:30 p.m.

Info: 282 S High St., Sebastopol.

Harp virtuoso at Green Music Center

Principal harpist for the Berlin Philharmonic, Marie-Pierre Langlamet comes to the Green Music Center on Jan. 7, (8 p.m.), Jan. 8 (3 p.m.), and Jan. 9 (8 p.m.) She will perform the dancing Harp Concerto by Ginastera, with its alternating rhythms, and Debussy's “Dances Sacred and Profane.” The program, Heavenly Harp, concludes with Ravel's sensuous and passionate “Daphnis and Chloé,” and opens with Rossini's “The Thieving Magpie.” Langlamet was seated as principal harpist for the Nice Opera Orchestra at age 17 and has dazzled audiences ever since.

Info: 546-8742; 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.

Biochar 101 workshop

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative and the Sonoma Ecology Center will host a conservation burn and biochar workshop at Circle Bar Ranch in Sonoma on Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. These workshops feature both hands-on, in-the-field training, and a classroom component. By replacing conventional open burn methods with the conservation burn, you can significantly reduce emissions (visible smoke and invisible chemicals and particles) from agricultural burns in your community, while also producing biochar, a valuable soil amendment, in the process. Workshop proceeds help support programs at the Sonoma Biochar Initiative and the Sonoma Ecology Center. The workshop fee is $65.


Sonoma Reads for the New Year

The Sonoma Valley Library is gearing up for the fourth year of its “Sonoma Reads” book discussion group. The group meets monthly at 2 p.m. in the Library's Forum Room. The first meeting of 2017 is on Jan. 26 to discuss Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. As she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches towards its second cataclysmic world war. Books are available for check out from the library a month in advance.

Info: 996-5217, 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma.

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Community Calendar

Free “Skits Under the Stars” from Transcendence
“The American Presidency and the American Dream – The Role of Leadership"
SR Symphony violin and flute concert at Deerfield Ranch Winery
Cal Alumni Club Saddle Club Dinner
Funky Fridays
Open art studio tour in Oakmont
Public meeting to weigh in on SDC site assessment
Open art studio tour in Oakmont
Brain health education forum at Star of the Valley
Funky Fridays
GE Fire Association’s Dinner Dance

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