Out, About & Around the County
A Christmas Carol in SonomaThe Sonoma Community Center presents the beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol Dec. 17-23. Produced in partnership with the Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company, led by Aidan O'Reilly, this show is perfect for families and children of all ages. Shows begin at 7 p.m., with a special matinee performance on Sunday, Dec. 20, starting at 1 p.m. Reprising his role as Scrooge is local legend Bob Smith who will be joined by other local performers including Devin O'Brien, Rich Thompson, Philip Sales, and Bella Crews. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for children 12 and under.
Americana Night in CloverdaleThe Cloverdale Arts Alliance presents Americana Night with Lazyman on Dec. 17, 7-9:30 p.m. Lazyman (formerly the Steve Pile Band) is a Northern California Americana rock band drawing from blues, country, and African rhythms. Lazyman takes the well-honed musical chemistry formed over five years as Steve Pile Band, and brings in a jam-oriented flavor, expanding the musical palette and shaking butts along the way. Lazyman performs regularly at Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh's Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael (Phil has joined a few times!), and has shared the stage with the likes of the Mother Hips, Los Lobos, John Hiatt and many more. Tickets are $10 for Alliance members, $15 for nonmembers.
Info: www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org, 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale.
Green Center holiday line-upThe sound and spirit of the holidays fill Weill Hall with two special seasonal performances: South Africa's Grammy-award winning Soweto Gospel Choir on Dec. 18, mixes gospel with traditional hymns, Jamaican reggae, and American pop in a program of both holiday favorites and new traditions. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $40-$85. Then on Dec. 20, San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra will perform, conducted by Nicholas McGegan. The orchestra and the Philharmonia Chorale will perform Handel's Messiah. The show starts at 3 p.m. and tickets are $55-$125.
Info: 1-866-955-6040, www.gmc.sonoma.edu.
Sing Along MessiahThe 35th Annual Redwood Empire Sing Along Messiah will take place on Dec. 19, 7 p.m. in the Jackson Theater at Sonoma Country Day School in Santa Rosa. This is a benefit for the music education programs of the Santa Rosa Symphony League. Copies of Handel's music will be available to borrow for the evening, and there will be a full orchestra and on-stage chorus. Tickets are $20. This event sold out last year.
Info: 522-8786, www.sing-along-messiah.org. 4400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa.
The right to ensembleKlezmer is a joyous and celebratory music with roots in the Middle Ages, and on Dec.19, at 2 p.m., the Jubilee Klezmer Ensemble will perform at the Sonoma Valley Regional Library. An instrumental trio made up of clarinet, accordion and bass, the ensemble plays a wide variety of ancient to modern Klezmer and Israeli music. Also at the library, on Jan. 9 at 2 p.m., the only mandolin orchestra in the North Bay, the Gravenstein Mandolin Ensemble, will perform. Made up of mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos, and bass, the ensemble's repertoire includes music from Handel to Scott Joplin, with some musical excursions to Brazil, Italy, Ireland and Brooklyn along the way. Both events are free.
Info: 996-5217, firstname.lastname@example.org. 755 West Napa St., Sonoma.
Family walk at Spring LakeGet the kids outside Dec. 19 and let them explore Spring Lake Regional Park with a naturalist from the park's Environmental Discovery Center. Naturalists will lead this free family hike into the park and share their knowledge of the area's plants and wildlife. One-hour hikes start at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Discovery Center. Families can return to the Center after each hike for nature-themed crafts and to explore the touchable tide pool and other exhibits. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Dress for the weather and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and bring a bottle of water. Heavy rain cancels.
Info: 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa.
Classic White ChristmasDon't miss a showing of a holiday movie classic, White Christmas, on Dec. 21, 7 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theater in Sonoma. In this 1954 musical film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen, a successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. Tickets are $9.50 for adults, $7 for seniors and children under 13.
Info: 996-2020, www.sebastianitheatre.com, 476 First St. East, Sonoma.
Dave Koz and Friends Christmas TourThe Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour returns to share holiday cheer on Dec. 22, 8 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. Koz will be joined by the irrepressible Jonathan Butler, Dutch saxophone star Candy Dulfer, and the legendary Bill Medley, who will be touring with Koz for the first time. Medley, who co-founded The Righteous Brothers with Bobby Hatfield, has released 14 solo albums, including the Grammy-Award winning Dirty Dancing. Tickets are $69, $59, and $39.
Info: 546-3600, www.wellsfargocenterarts.org, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa.
Celebrate “The Queen of Gospel” at CinnabarCinnabar Theater continues its 43rd season with the west coast premiere of Mahalia Jackson: Just as I Am. Opening night is New Year's Eve, and the show runs through Jan. 24. Widely regarded as the greatest gospel singer of all time and one of the most powerful voices ever, Jackson's rise to fame and her struggles and triumphs in the midst of segregated America are the subject of this exuberant and invigorating musical. Tickets: $35 adults/$25 youth under 22. New Years Eve: $66 adults/$56 youth under 22.
Info: 763-8920, www.CinnabarTheater.org. 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.
End of year children's events at libraryAward-winning magician Mike Della Penna will be at the Sonoma Valley Library on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 10:30 a.m., to entertain children ages 4 and up. Penna's “Winter Lights Magic” is inspired by joyful winter holidays celebrated throughout the world. Then, on Thursday, Dec. 31 at 11 a.m., come to the library for a Happy New Year's Eve event for children and their families. Celebrate with stories, songs, crafts, noise, refreshments and friends, and say goodbye to 2015. Both of these events are thanks to the Friends of Sonoma Valley.
Info: 996-5217, email@example.com. 755 West Napa St., Sonoma.
Off and running in the New YearReady to get fit in 2016? Start out with the Empire Runners' 5K Resolution run on Jan. 1, 10 a.m. at A Place to Play in Santa Rosa. Online registration is free for members, $10 for nonmembers. Online deadline is Dec. 29. Race day entry fee for all runners is $20. Come early to avoid registration gridlock. No strollers or dogs allowed on the course.
Info: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.empirerunners.org, 2375 West Third St.
World Affairs Council looks at Tunisia, Arab SpringOn Jan. 8, the World Affairs Council of Sonoma County will hear a presentation on “Tunisia and the Arab Spring” by Dr. Laurence Michalak, former vice chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at U.C. Berkeley. The presentation and lunch will take place at the Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club starting at noon, 333 Country Club Dr. The Arab Spring began in Tunisia in 2010 and, despite positive economic and political developments since, leadership issues have created disaffection, with some pining for the stability of the former dictatorship, and underemployed youth turning to extremist propaganda. Tickets are $26 for members, $31 for nonmembers. Reserve by Jan. 1.
Info: 573-6014, www.wacsc.org.
Meet cartoonists at Schulz MuseumOn Jan. 9, 1-3 p.m., meet, watch, and talk to cartoonists Michael Aushenker and Rafael Navarro who worked together on the recent Gumby's Gang Starring Pokey comic books. Aushenker's own work includes Greenblatt The Great and El Gato: Crime Mangler. He has also written Bart Simpson comics and is the author of the best-selling children's book Get That Goat! Navarro has earned an Emmy for his work as an animation storyboard artist and is the creator of the Xeric Award-winning comic Sonambulo. Admission to the museum is free for members and children under 3, $5 for kids 4-18, college students and seniors, and $10 for adults.
Info: 579-4452, www.schulzmuseum.org, 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa.
Ticket to driveFans who've dreamed of taking a few laps around the Sonoma Raceway road course can turn those fantasies into reality, as the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities hosts the 3rd annual Laps for Charity event on Jan.16. This unique experience includes a pre-lap safety briefing with professional drivers, three lead-follow laps around the 12-turn, 2.52-mile circuit and a picture of your car on the track. Cost is $150, and all proceeds benefit kids in need through Sonoma County youth organizations. A limited number of spots in half-hour increments are available 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Participants must be 18 years old or older, and passengers are not permitted. All cars must have shoulder strap seat belt restraints, mufflers and pass a basic technical inspection. Registration required.
Info: email@example.com, sonoma.speedwaycharities.org/events/laps_for_charity/.