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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Weekend best bets: Dec. 3-5

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company's production of "A Christmas Carol" returms with Drew Reeves in the role of Scrooge.

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company's production of "A Christmas Carol" returns with Drew Reeves in the role of Scrooge.

FRIDAY

Music: 84th annual Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert is an Atlanta holiday tradition. All performances are free, but tickets are required for the Sisters Chapel concert on Dec. 4. The shows are at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 and 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at King Chapel At Morehouse College. Also, 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at Sisters Chapel at  Spelman College.

Dance: Visions of sugar plums will dance in your head as more than 300 dancers take part in Roswell Dance Theatre’s “The Nutcracker.” Dec. 3-5 at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.

Stage: Atlanta Lyric Theatre presents “42nd Street,” the Tony Award-winning singing, dancing extravaganza inspired by the 1933 Busby Berkeley film. It opens Dec. 3 and runs through Dec. 19 at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre in Marietta.

Stage: Ornaments come to life as costumed characters who perform astonishing feats that celebrate the holiday season in “Cirque Dreams: Holidaze.” It continues through Dec. 5 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Music, holiday: If you’re looking for a rousing celebration of the season, don’t miss the annual Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Gospel Christmas. 8 p.m. Dec. 3 and 2 p.m. Dec. 4 at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Stage: The Atlanta Shakespeare Company brings it’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” to the stage at the New American Shakespeare Tavern. It continues through  Dec. 23.

Holiday, light display: Lights Of Life is an annual tradition that dates back to 1989. 6-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 6-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays through Dec. 31 at Life University in Marietta.

Holiday: Live entertainment, beautiful decorations and an artist studio sale are just a few of the highlights during “Christmas at Callanwolde.” Continues through Dec. 12 at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta.

Parade, holiday: There’s a first time for everything and you can be in at the beginning of a new tradition as Douglasville holds its first Christmas Parade, Christmas Concert and annual Tree Lighting. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at O’Neal Plaza.

Art, holiday: The Euclid Arts Collective Holiday Open Studio Tour & Art Sale offers five open art studios with work by more than 15 local artists. There will be jewelry, ceramics, watercolors, collage, photography, paintings and  more. 7 p.m. Dec. 3-5 at Little Five Points Community Center in Atlanta.

Light show, holiday: Lake Lanier Islands Resort shines again with the Magical Nights of Lights, a seven-mile drive-through tour of animated holiday light displays. At the end, the Holiday Village awaits with carnival rides and games, pony rides and holiday treats. The lights sparkle 5-10 p.m. daily (including holidays) through Dec. 30.

Festival, holiday: Christmas Packages is a family festival of food, fun and timeless Christmas traditions. The free Johnson Ferry Baptist Church gathering will offer tractor and carriage rides, live reindeer, cake walks, crafts, carolers, movies, games, concerts, a live nativity and more. 4 p.m. Dec. 5 at 955 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta.

Stage: The fanciful and awe-inspiring Cirque du Soleil returns with “OVO.” It continues through Dec. 19 under the blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau at Atlantic Station.

Stage: Anthony Rodriquez reprises his one-man take on the holiday classic “A Christmas Carol.” It opens Dec. 3 and contines through Dec. 19 at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.

Light display: It’s a bit of a drive from most of the metro Atlanta area, but the beautiful holiday displays at Fantasy In Lights are worth the trip. The sparkling yearly event continues through Dec. 30 at Callaway Gardens, at the intersection of Ga. 18/354 in Pine Mountain.

Comedy: High-energy funnyman and impressionist Pablo Francisco comes to the Punchline in Sandy Springs Dec. 3-5.

Stage: The Alliance Theatre’s beloved annual production of “A Christmas Carol” returns, playing through Dec. 24 at the theater’s Woodruff Arts Center stage.

Stage: Center for Puppetry Arts Artistic Director Jon Ludwig’s faithful adaptation of the beloved animated holiday special “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” includes characters such as Hermey, the elf who wants to be a dentist, and the discarded playthings on the Island of Misfit Toys. The show continues through Jan. 2 at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta.

Stage: Learn to cope with the season through songs and vignettes in “A Christmas Survival Guide.” The Stage Door Players production opens Dec. 3 at the North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center in Dunwoody and runs through Dec. 19.

Stage: Take a visit to small-town Texas for the holidays with Theatre in the Square’s production of “A Tuna Christmas.” Through Jan. 2.

Stage: “The Second City: Miracle on 1280 Peachtree Street” pokes a little fun at Atlanta. The show continues through Dec. 12 at the Alliance Theatre.

Stage: Theatre in the Square in Marietta brings an old favorite to the stage for the holiday season with “Sanders Family Christmas.” The show continues through Jan. 2.

Stage: The musical review “Christmas Canteen 2010” takes a nostalgic trip back to the mid-20th century with a big helping of Christmas standards. Through Dec. 23 at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.

Stage: The ART Station production “Christmas Gift” was written by David Thomas with original music by Patrick Hutchison and adapted from an autobiographical story by Ferrol Sams. It opens Dec. 3 and runs through Dec. 23 at the Stone Mountain venue.

Stage: Alpharetta’s Act1 Theater offers the play-within-a-play tale of a theater performing the holiday classic with “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol: A Traveling Travesty in Two Tumultuous Acts.” It continues through Dec. 19.

Stage: It’s become a favorite Christmas treat for many Atlantans and Horizon Theatre Company’s production of “The Santaland Diaries” is back for its 12th year. The show continues through Jan. 2 at the company’s Little Five Points home.

Stage: Not in the holiday mood just yet? Try the Rosewater Theatre’s take on the classic Amadeus.” It runs through Dec. 18 at the Roswell theater.

Stage: If you’re in a festive frame of mind, Roswell’s Rosewater Theatre is also doing “Christmas Belles.” It continues through Dec. 18.

Stage: “The Hallelujah Girls” is a comedy about the feisty ladies of Eden Falls, Georgia. It plays at Onstage Atlanta in Decatur through Dec. 18.

Stage: The Langston Hughes gospel musical “Black Nativity” is presented by True Colors Theatre Company.  The show runs through Dec. 30 at the Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta.

Dance: Continuing a holiday tradition, the Atlanta Ballet makes the season bright with “The Nutcracker.” Performances continue through Dec. 26 at the Fox Theatre.

SATURDAY

Festival: Adam West and Burt Ward (aka Batman and Robin) are among the celebs on hand at Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con. Henry Winkler, Billy Dee Williams, Pam Grier and Vivica A. Fox will also appear at this celebration of pop culture, movies, comics, toys, video gaming and television. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 4; 10 a.m.-5 p.m Dec. 5 at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

Music: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform the Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah” at 8 p.m. Dec. 4 in Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Music: The 13th annual Georgia State University Gala Holiday Concert will include more than 200 student and faculty musicians as part of a university-wide celebration. 8 p.m. Dec. 4; 3 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.

SUNDAY

Festival, holiday: “Chanukah: Light Up Your Life” is a community-wide family fun day with a variety of programs including a festive preschool concert, Chanukah crafts and treats and a children’s shopping zone. 2-5 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta in Dunwoody.

Comedy: The Cartoon Network duo of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim bring their live Tim and Eric Awesome Tour — Great Job! Chrimbus Spectacular 2010 to the Variety Playhouse in Little Five Points at 8 p.m. Dec. 5.

Music: Atlanta’s R&B superstar Usher returns for a homecoming concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Philips Arena.

Music: Kathy Mattea: Songs and the Season is based on the country singer’s two Christmas albums, which blend country, folk and gospel. 5 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech.

Music: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Kid’s Christmas program will include Lee Harper and Dancers, the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Georgia Regional Girls Choir and WABE’s John Lemley as the narrator. 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 12 at Atlanta Symphony Hall

For more music happenings, check out our Live Music Picks on the Atlanta Music Scene blog. This is just a selective list of events happening around town, so if there’s something going on this weekend that you’re excited about and you don’t see it here, please feel free to share the info in the comments.
Follow me on Twitter at@ajchottix and @ajcatlevents for info on tickets going on sale and more upcoming events.

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