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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Weekend best bets: Nov. 25-27

You're unlikely to see them together, but both Harold M Leaver (left) and Chris Kayser return to Atlanta stages for the Christmas season, beginning Friday, Nov. 25. Leaver plays Crumpet the Elf in Horzion Theatre Company's production of "The Santaland Diaries" and Kayser plays the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Alliance Theatre's "A Christmas Carol." Photo: Vino Wong, vwong@ajc.com

You're unlikely to see them together, but both Harold M Leaver (left) and Chris Kayser return to Atlanta stages for the Christmas season, beginning Friday, Nov. 25. Leaver plays Crumpet the Elf in Horzion Theatre Company's production of "The Santaland Diaries" and Kayser plays the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Alliance Theatre's "A Christmas Carol." Photo: Vino Wong, vwong@ajc.com

FRIDAY
Stage: For those who celebrate one holiday at a time, this weekend brings the start of the Christmas season and that brings a perennial Atlanta favorite back to the stage. Chris Kayser returns to the Alliance Theatre as the miserly Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” which opens Nov. 25 and continues through Dec. 24.

Stage: Harold M. Leaver returns as Crumpet in “The Santaland Diaries,” an adaptation of David Sedaris’ tale of working as a Christmas elf at Macy’s.The show opens Nov. 25 at Horizon Theatre and runs through Jan. 1.

Stage: “Christmas Canteen 2011” is a nostalgic musical revue that revisits the best of wartime canteens and sprinkles in some new Christmas standards. It continues at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville through Dec. 23.

Stage: There are several takes on “A Christmas Carol” on offer these days, but Act1 Theater in Alpharetta revisits another Dickens classic with “Oliver,” the musical based on the author’s novel “Oliver Twist.” The show opens Nov. 25 and continues through Dec. 18.

Holiday: More than 1 million lights and hundreds of individual light displays fill Atlanta Motor Speedway in Gift of Lights, a 1.5 mile drive-through experience. It runs trough Jan. 1.

Music: Here’s just the thing to soothe those shaky nerves after a day of braving the Black Friday crowds. Sax man Dave Koz and Friends will deliver their warm take on the sounds of the season beginning at 8 p.m. Nov. 25. For more on this show and other upcoming holiday-themed music performances, check out our round-up.

Stage: Another long-running holiday tradition, “Sanders Family Christmas” is back at Theatre in the Square in Marietta for the 13th season. Visit with the bluegrass gospel singing family through Dec. 31.

Stage: See what happens behind the scenes as a group of radio players attempt the Dickens holiday tale in “A 1940’s Radio Christmas Carol.” This latest production from OnStage Atlanta in Decatur opens Nov. 25 and runs through Dec. 18.

Stage: If you’re looking for a different take on a holiday favorite, check out Dad’s Garage Theatre Company’s “Invasion: Christmas Carol.” The company’s talented improvisers have a new character added to the Dickens classic for each performance, but the performers don’t know who (or what) it will be. The show opens Nov. 25 and continues through Dec. 23.

Stage: Revisit the biblical tale of Joseph and his brothers in the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” It’s a production of the New London Theatre in Snellville and runs Nov. 25 through Dec. 18.

Holiday: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Lake Lanier as the Magical Nights of Lights spectacular gets going this weekend, for those who like to start their holiday activities a little early. The display happens nightly through Jan. 1.

Stage: The beloved Rankin-Bass cartoon “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” comes to life in this puppet-tastic version from Jon Ludwig at the Center for Puppetry Arts. The show continues through Dec. 31.

Stage: “Sex and the Second City” takes a look at relationships in the age of social networking. This production from the acclaimed Second City comedy theatre  runs through Dec. 18 at the Alliance Theatre.

Stage: “The Super Villain Monologues” is a collection of the most powerful, beautiful, diabolical and stupid monologues in the history of masked villainy, as performed by humans and puppets through Dec. 3 at Dad’s Garage in Atlanta.

Stage: The Atlanta Shakespeare Company continues its chronological run through Shakespeare’s comedies with “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” See it through Nov. 27 at the New American Shakespeare Tavern.

Kids: An Atlanta holiday tradition continues atop the Lenox Road parking deck at Macy’s Lenox Square through Jan. 1, where you can hitch a ride with Priscilla the Pink Pig.

Stage: In “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them,” 16-year-old Kenny cares for his little sister Edith on an isolated farm in middle America after being abandoned by their father. As Kenny and his best friend Benji begin falling in love, the three form an unlikely family. The show continues through Nov. 26 at Actor’s Express.

Exhibition, visual art: “The AIDS Memorial Quilt” was founded in 1987 as a poignant memorial, a powerful tool for use in preventing new HIV infections, and the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. With more then 40,000 panels, the blocks on display at the Museum of Design Atlanta will be changed out each month through Jan. 1. See our interview with the curators of the accompanying exhibition, “Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of International AIDS Posters.”

History: “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment” is a multimedia exhibition that spotlights the New York City landmark’s powerful impact on the entertainment business. It  continues through March 4 at the Atlanta History Center.

Visual art: The High Museum of Art explores some of the highlights of the art of the 20th century with “Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters.” The show runs through April 29. See our review.

Holiday, families: At Stone Mountain Christmas, Crossroads at the base of Stone Mountain is decked out with more than 2 million lights. The park also offers many more Christmas-themed activities and entertainment options. The season continues through Jan. 1 at Stone Mountain Park.

Holiday: The Atlanta Botanical Garden kicks off the holiday season with Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, a dazzling show that features nearly 1 million lights crafted into displays inspired by nature. The show runs through Jan. 7.

Exhibition, religion: “Passages” is a traveling exhibition of the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts.  It continues at the Perimeter Expo in Dunwoody through May 13.

SATURDAY
Holiday: Experience a variety of Christmas nativity scenes as the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany offers its annual display of more than 250 Nativities. View the nativities Nov. 26 through Dec. 4.

Music: Blues-rock guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa is touring behind his latest album “Dust Bowl.” He’ll play the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre at 8 p.m. Nov. 26.

Music: Atlanta’s Shawn Mullins, who had an international hit with “Lullaby” in the late ’90s, is still a hometown favorite with his rich, world-weary growl and a catalog of fantastic songs. He’ll play the Variety Playhouse at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 26.

Music: Singer-songwriter Edwin McCain gets the new series “Eddie Owen Presents” under way at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth at 8 p.m. Nov. 26.

Dance, holiday: Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre presents the Tchaikovsky-sweetened tale of “The Nutcracker” Nov. 26 and 27 at the Jennie T. Anderson Theater at the Cobb Civic Center in Marietta.

SUNDAY
Art, religion: The Tibetan Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery create a Medicine Buddha Mandala Sand Painting. at Unity North Church in Marietta beginning Nov. 27 and continuing through Dec. 4. There will also be other events associated with the monks’ residency at the church. Admission to most of the events is free, but donations to support the Monastery in India are accepted.

Music, stage: Neil Berg’s Broadway Holiday brings together a group of Broadway actors and some of the finest music ever composed for the New York stage. The show begins at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 at the  Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. For more on this show and other upcoming holiday-themed music performances, check out our round-up.

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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