Thursday, November 22, 2001
friday 11|23Winter Wonderland
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING Children playing in fake snow in front of Bubba Gump Shrimp Company--yup, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Tonight Cannery Row ushers in the holiday season with its seventh annual Cannery Row Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, transforming the Steinbeck Plaza and Bubba Gump''s courtyard into a whimsical winter wonderland. A performance by Joyful Tidings Caroling Company guarantees to put a smile on even the meanest of Grinch mugs. And if that doesn''t work, there''s always eggnog down the street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive shortly after the official lighting of the 25-foot Christmas tree, making their grand entrance aboard a horse-drawn wagon to pose for free photos with kids and kids at heart.
6pm. Steinbeck Plaza & Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Cannery Row, Monterey. Free. 372-2259.
FLYING BABY There are so many things to give thanks for this weekend: leftovers, time off, the beginning of the Christmas claymation TV show season...and another Monterey appearance by Flying Baby. When these three lads from Israel fire up the drums and amps, they build a big, pretty wall of sound that takes us right back to the power melodics of Sonic Youth and Crazy Horse. Badass rock with a slightly brooding vibe and a sense of humor are the order of the day when the Babys are flying--and that''ll more than suffice while we''re waiting for Rudolph to come on the tube.
9pm. Blue Fin Billiards, Cannery Row. 375-7000.
Hurry Home for Christmas
LA PASTORELA You''re just trying to get home for Christmas, but you''re stymied at every turn. The plane is delayed, you miss the connection and you lose your luggage. You''re a pilgrim looking for sanctuary, but evil forces interfere. Typical holiday travel or an age-old tale played over and over? For this holiday season, El Teatro Campesino, the famous San Juan Bautista theater group, presents once again its perennial favorite, La Pastorela. Evolved from plays originating in medieval Europe, La Pastorela is the tale of travelers bound for the Holy Manger in Bethlehem but harassed by Luzbel the fallen angel. The Dark One is finally trounced only when the Archangel San Miguel arrives, freeing the travelers to continue. El Teatro Campesino first put on this play in 1975, and over the years it has become "a very special Christmas gift."
8pm Thu-Sun, Nov. 23 through Dec. 16. Mission San Juan Bautista. $20/$16/$10. 623-2444 ext. 40.
A Great Show, In a Nutshell...
THE NUTCRACKER It just wouldn''t be Christmas without Clara''s bizarre uncle handing her a nutcracker doll that comes to life and shows her a magical kingdom of fairies and snow--and, let''s not forget, a giant rat. But this isn''t the same old Nutcracker, however: this show features exceptionally beautiful costumes, a cast of a hundred and new choreography by Joann Adair. Also featured are the San Jose Silicon Valley Ballet''s principal dancers, Joffrey-trained Maria Jacobs as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Paris Opera Ballet School graduate Shingo Yoshimoto as Cavalier. Jacobs has performed roles such as Hermia in A Midsummer Night''s Dream and Tsarina in The Nutcracker. Yoshimoto, originally of Kyoto, Japan, is the youngest recipient of the Kyoto Artist''s award and has danced as a guest artist in such shows as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Midsummer Night''s Dream. Proceeds from this show''s brief Salinas engagement go towards scholarships for promising theater arts students.
8pm Fri and Sat. 2pm Sun. Sherwood Hall, 940 North Main, Salinas. $15/$8. 758-7477.
DIXIE MEETS SWING Trad-jazz fans looking for a preview of next year''s 22nd annual Dixieland Monterey festival can get a taste of the music at today''s "Dixie Meets Swing" concert. The gig will feature Dixieland Monterey''s musician of the year, pianist Bob Phillips, who will be the front man for an all-star lineup of local musicians. Promoters of the festival point out that Dixieland is the great-grandpappy of all other forms of jazz, and that this concert celebrates the art form''s influence on its successors. They also note that this is the first in a series of planned concerts leading up to the main festival next March. Attendees in a party mood are invited to bring their own beverages, alcoholic or non.
7:30pm. Jazz and Blues Company, 236 Crossroads, Carmel. $40/$30. 624-6432.
Pompadour And Splendor
THE CHOP TOPS Seven years ago singer Gary Marsh left his former band, Sinner and the V-8s, and formed the Chop Tops with the hopes of playing a more "revved-up" rockabilly sound. He enlisted experienced guitarist Shelby Legnon (who''s played with Chris Isaac and Llyod Tripp) and old buddy bassist Dusty Sheehan to make what they label "a unique progressive rockabilly outfit." The group is based in Santa Cruz, but it''s earned a fan base in Monterey with a unique sound influenced by a spectrum of artists ranging from Jerry Lee Louis to the Ramones. Fans of rock-and-roll''s roots should not miss this show.
9pm. Blue Fin Cafe and Billiards, Cannery Row. 375-7000.
Hankerin'' for A Skankin''
DUBWIZE Prepare yourself to get just a little bit irie, because Dubwize is playing tonight. These Salinas Valley-bred dub reggae masters are all about freedom and musical passion and can incite a crowd to feel the same. As the music goes, they sound like some of the more inspired dub moments on the first Sublime record, with the Jah-exalting conviction of a slowed-down Bad Brains song. Their combination includes a melodica and a trumpet as well as a double guitar harmony and two sets of percussion.
9pm. Viva Monterey, 414 Alvarado, Monterey. Free. 646-1415.
Koz and Effect
DAVE KOZ CHRISTMAS SHOW It gets downright scary when smooth jazz fans start striding around and demanding things. But that''s just what prompted Dave Koz and fellow mellow groovers Rick Braun, Peter White, Brenda Russell and David Benoit to record the Christmas songs they''ve been playing on tour since 1997. Tonight these immortals of the smooth jazz universe bring just the right combo of schmaltz, style and whimsy to standards like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "Sleigh Ride," "The Little Drummer Boy" and "White Christmas," and for the first time, fans can leave the show with a stocking-stuffer that''ll let them relive the evening over and over again. Guaranteed to be a warm, relaxed way to ease into the holidays.
8pm. Hyatt Monterey, One Old Golf Course Rd, Monterey. $87.50/$67.50/$47.50. 649-1223.
DENYCE GRAVES When Denyce Graves sang "America the Beautiful" at prayer service at the National Cathedral in Washington following Sept. 11, it seemed all the world hung on that high note. Graves delivered it perfectly and put a bow on top. The famed mezzo soprano, so the story goes, was told as a child by her mother that her throat had been kissed by God, and indeed her repertoire suggests some divine intervention. Known for the sultry sensuality she brings to the roles of Carmen and Dalila (mezzo is the earthiest of the soprano voices), Graves has sung opposite Placido Domingo and performed at the Metropolitan Opera, the Opera National de Paris and many other storied venues--and this from humble beginnings in Washington, DC. Tonight the world-famous singer presents selections from Handel, Brahms and de Falla while Warren Jones accompanies on piano. >[TH]
8pm. Steinbeck Forum, Monterey Conference Center, 1 Portola Plaza, Monterey. $45. 625-9938.
This week''s Hot Picks were stuffed and trussed by Anthony Cardott, Kate Folsom, Traci Hukill, Jessica Lyons, Andrew Scutro and Phelan Wright.