My grandmother, patron saint of cookies, used to do all of the Christmas baking. She made gingerbread men, iced butter men, thumbprint cookies, white wedding cookies, chocolate chip, brownies, and two different cakes. But in the few years since I took over the cookie factory, family members have just been lucky to get his or her preferred man (ginger or butter) to stick in their stocking. This year, however, will be different. I’m starting early. I’m completely on top of this. And by that, I mean I’m at least buying the ingredients.
For those wondering where Tatum O’Neal has been since winning her Oscar at the age of 10, well. Tonight, you’ll have no doubt. O’Neal takes the Music Hall stage in yet another rendition of A Christmas Carol. This particular production uses the same sets, costumes, props and special effects created for the 2008 Kodak Theatre production in Los Angeles.
That, or just head to the movies. I really want to see Sherlock Holmes, but I wouldn’t be opposed to the Inwood Theatre’s evening of holiday classics, which actually runs all weekend. They’re horning in on the Texas Theatre’s bad B-movie territory, showing a digital restoration of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a baffling mixture of ’60s-era sci-fi, Christmas cheer, and youthful slapstick humor. But what could be better than bookending that ridiculousness with a couple of Max Fleischer cartoons? Not much. “Christmas Comes But Once a Year” is one of my favorites things.
I presume you’re all at least familiar with the Second City, but if not, you’ve definitely heard of the comedians who trained there: Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Tina Fey, and Stephen Colbert, to name just a few. The Chicago-based comedy brand pumps out funny people right and left, and it’s all improv and sketch– my favorite. Anyway, one of their 11 (!) touring companies arrived last night to kick off their Dysfunctional Holiday Revue, where they riff on everything that makes the season merry and bright (think couples therapy with Joseph and Mary, which is probably even worse than the couples therapy portrayed in that cinematic masterpiece, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days).
The performances sold so well in advance that the AT&T PAC added a third, late night show. Lucky thing, too, because the others are sold out. Snag tickets to the 10:30 p.m. show, and make plans to drink and dine somewhere fun. Me? I’d visit Victor Tangos, order whatever goat cheese thing they have on the menu, and try their holiday cocktail, “Autumn Leaves.” It’s the first one on Raya’s list of seasonal alcoholic delights.
I’ve been trying hard to find you guys something non-Christmassy, but I couldn’t resist this. The Undermain Theatre hosts one of their staged readings at the Dallas Museum of Art in the afternoon, and it’s perfect for a family 0uting. Traditional music and carols accompany A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas’ prose poem. No snowfall in Dallas yet, but Thomas’ descriptions of Swansea will help you imagine a much frostier world.
One thing I would like to do that has nothing to do with trees or mistletoe or ornaments is head to Fort Worth to check out the Modern’s newly opened Kaws exhibit. Otherwise known as Brian Donnelly, he’s a graffiti artist turned extra legit. His paintings and sculpture walk the line between commercial appeal and fine art, Ã la Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, and his most iconic work is probably the giant Mickey Mouse covering his eyes with an “X” over each hand. You know the one. And while we’re on the subject of Fort Worth, let’s all just take a moment to mourn Sardines.