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Arts + Culture

San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker

If you're more prone to appreciating charming scenes of glowing Christmas trees ascending to great heights or small children humming along with the symphony than the friend who told me, "I don't need ballet tickets to crack nuts," check out San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. (He would've been charmed too, he was just jealous he was missing out on the prancing sparkle ponies.) (Note: Clara's sleigh is towed by prancing sparkle ponies.) 

Parking Quiz: Your Car's Towed. Now What?

It's no secret that parking in the city is a bitch. So we've enlisted local parking guru and author of Finding the Sweet Spot, David LaBua, to dish out weekly tips on navigating the ins and outs of city parking.

Last week's parking quiz raised a lot of questions and concerns about just what the heck to do once your car's been towed. How do you get it back? Are you sure it's been towed? David La Bua has crafted a handy flowchart (to be revealed in a few hours) and quiz to help you through tough times. Answers after lunch!

John Waters' Live Christmas Show at the Roxie

This holiday, John Waters is "putting the philander back into philanthropy." The famous filmmaker, actor, writer, and artist best known for cult classics like Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Cecil B. DeMented is bringing his Sleigh Full of Smut to the Roxie this Saturday.

Arabian Nights Returns to Berkeley Rep

Last time Arabian Nights appeared on Berkeley Rep’s stage, it scored more critical acclaim than the Beatles on Ed Sullivan or Jesus on Easter - as well as nightly standing ovations with various forms of enthusiastic whooping. So Berkeley Rep wisely resurrected this gorgeous piece of theater for a limited run. With Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman at the helm, Arabian Nights is the infamous tale of a bride who spins a provocative web of genies, jesters, thieves and kings in hopes of saving her life.

Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead

Suspects in the murder of one decomposing composer are the clarinet (“everyone knows reed instruments are sneaky”), the bass (“tired of playing the boring parts”), and the flute (“angry about having to act like birds.”) Responsible for seeing justice done is one hook-nosed inspector with a notebook and an unfortunate proclivity for accidentally snapping off the corpse’s left hand.


Better known as Lemony Snicket, Daniel Handler is an irreverent Bay Area celebrity whose delightfully wrong sense of humor makes him entirely capable of writing a children’s story about a dead body. The dead body in question is the titular composer, a master of classical music now good only for rat food.

Compound Gallery's Holidayland Art & Gift Sale Going On Now

Lots of happening stuff going on at the Compound Gallery over in Oakland this month! One half of the ambitious couple (the first of our Power Couples profiles) who owns the art space, Lena Reynoso, tells us of the Fifth Annual HOLIDAYLAND gift sale put on by Professor Squirrel, which is going on in tandem with their It's Better Than a Lump of Coal art sale, both featuring hundreds of handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces of fine art, jewelry, household objects, clothes and paper goods.

Thoughts on the Noise Pop 2011 Lineup

Seen the Noise Pop 2001 lineup yet? Taking place from February 22-27, there's still a while before the city's finest music fest appears on stage. I'm going to think of this as a kind of "rough draft" because there are more artists yet to be announced.

Photos: Delta Spirit and Darker My Love @ The Fillmore

Follow our music photographer, Misha Vladimirskiy, for free music downloads and chances to win show tickets http://twitter.com/mvladimirskiy

Two Sense: Is My Boyfriend Gay?

I've been seeing this great guy—hot, thoughtful, funny, professional. But I've had two girlfriends mention to me that he seems gay. (Doesn't act like it in bed.) I don't want to weird him out by asking, but I also don't want to get serious with him if he might someday "realize" he's gay.
 

Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie

If the standard Nutcracker spectacle strikes you as insipid or expensive or just too darn reminiscent of enforced family outings, try Dance Brigade’s Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie. Krissy Keefer’s refreshing version of the nut-cracking holiday confection turns Clara into an undocumented worker for a wealthy family and Drosselmeyer into the pink Mohawked gay son, who presents Clara with a freedom-fighting South African nutcracker.

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