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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Weekend best bets: Dec. 2-4

Santa Claus is comin' to town and he'll be at the Children's Christmas Parade in downtown Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 3. Photo: Brenda J. Turner/ kacom.com

Santa Claus is comin' to town and he'll be at the Children's Christmas Parade in downtown Atlanta Saturday, Dec. 3. Photo: Brenda J. Turner/ kacom.com

FRIDAY
Music: Progressive rock extravaganza Trans-Siberian Orchestra does have a non-Christmas repertoire, but the ensemble is best-known for its Christmas-themed winter tours and holiday albums. The group’s latest tour lands at Philips Arena at 8 p.m. Dec. 2.

Stage: Dr. Seuss’ beloved tale of the transformation of the mean old Grinch has been a book, a TV special, a movie and now a musical. “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical” is at the Fox Theatre through Dec. 4.

Dance: The Georgia Ballet brings the Christmas classic  “The Nutcracker” to the Jennie T. Anderson Theater in Marietta Dec. 2-4.

Music: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Gospel Christmas is led by conductor Chelsea Tipton II and includes an appearance by Kandi Burruss. Performances are at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Stage: “The Nativity: A Gospel Celebration” is True Colors Theatre Company’s gospel telling of the Christmas story written, directed and choreographed by Patdro Harris. It continues through Dec. 30 at Southwest Arts Center in Atlanta.

Stage: Atlanta Shakespeare Company presents its annual production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the The New American Shakespeare Tavern through Dec. 23.

Comedy: He’s probably best known for his appearances in both the U.S. and U.K. versions of the improve show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” but Greg Proops is also an accomplished stand-up comedian, and he’ll be at Atlanta’s Laughing Skull Lounge Dec. 1-3.

Stage: “Christmas Gift” is the stage adaptation of Georgia author Ferrol Sams’ tales of  growing up in Georgia just after the depression. The Southside Theatre Guild’s production of the show runs through Dec. 11 in Fairburn.

Stage: Fabrefaction Theatre Company’s latest production is the decidedly un-Christmas-y  “Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show,” the original stage musical that later became the cult hit film.  It continues through Dec. 23.

Stage: Lionheart Theatre Company in Norcross takes on the David Sedaris tale of Macy’s elfdom with “The Santaland Diaries.” The show runs Dec. 2-11.

Dance: Revisit the Sugar Plum Fairy and toy soldiers as Roswell Dance Theatre presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 2-4 at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.

Comedy: Comedian Pablo Francisco is one of the most popular touring stand-up artists around, which has a lot to do with his spot-on impressions and impressive way with sound effects. He’s playing the Punchline Dec. 2-4.

Stage: Atlanta Lyric Theatre presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “The Sound of Music” to the Earl Smith Strand Theatre Dec. 2-18.

Comedy: Shaquille O’Neal’s All Star Comedy Jam brings Michael Blackson, Corey Holcomb, Capone, Gary Owen and host DeRay Davis to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre at 8 p.m. Dec. 2.

Stage: When a young man brings his Jewish fiancee home to meet his Catholic parents at Christmas, the holidays get tense in “Greetings.” The Stage Door Players present the Tom Dudzick comedy at North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center in Dunwoody Dec. 2-18.

Stage: Megan Gogerty returns to Synchronicity Theatre following her 2010 hit “Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant” with the new “Feet First in the Water With a Baby in My Teeth.” Her “whopper” son is now the size of a frozen turkey and is presenting new challenges as she tries to solve the Jenga puzzle that is her life as mother, career woman and feminist. Performances are Dec. 2-18 at the Balzer Theatre at Herren’s in downtown Atlanta.

Holiday, visual arts, shopping: If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts, check out the Christmas House Arts and Crafts Show at the Mable House Arts Center in Mableton Dec. 2-11.

Music: Concert for Canine is a songwriters-in-the-round performance from James Casto, Heather Morgan and Pat Terry benefiting Canine Assistants. The show begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 at Canine Assistants farm in Milton.

Music: Atlanta’s gay and lesbian chorus OurSong presents its holiday concert “Shout Out to Heaven and Earth” at 8:15 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Catholic Shrine to the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta and at Spivey Hall in Morrow at 8:15 p.m. Dec. 3.

Stage: Chris Kayser returns to the Alliance Theatre as the miserly Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” which 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 is at Horizon Theatre 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: 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.

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 through Dec. 4.

Art, religion: The Tibetan Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery create a Medicine Buddha Mandala Sand Painting at Unity North Church in Marietta 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.

SATURDAY
Holiday: Downtown Atlanta will be brimming with holiday spirit when the Children’s Christmas Parade, sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, takes over the city’s streets from 10:30 a.m. until noon Dec. 3. If you can’t make it to the parade, check out the live broadcast on WSB-TV. The parade begins at Peachtree Street near Baker Street in downtown Atlanta. The route follows Peachtree Street and turns right onto Marietta Street and ends on Centennial Olympic Park Drive.

Dance: The Gwinnett Ballet Theatre brings  “The Nutcracker” to the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center in Duluth Dec. 3-17.

Fundraiser, dance: The 2011 Celebrity Dance Challenge raises money for Atlanta non-profit EDIN, the Eating Disorders Information Network. The final performance happens at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at 14th Street Playhouse.

Comedy: Jim Gaffigan has appeared in film, television and on Broadway, but he’s best known for his stand-up comedy, which brings him to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre at 7 p.m. Dec. 3.

Holiday, shopping: The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell hosts the Back to Nature Holiday Market at 10 a.m. Dec. 3.

Holiday, parade: McDonough Christmas Parade follows the city’s annual tree lighting, which happens at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3 a Courthouse Square.  The parade kicks off at 6 p.m.

Holiday: City of Riverdale’s annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration is at6 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Amphitheater at Riverdale Town Center.

Music: The Georgia Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops concert begins at 3 p.m. Dec. 3 at Zion Baptist Church in Marietta.

Music: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus presents Handel’s “Messiah” at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Music: The Georgia State University Gala Holiday Concert brings together the University Symphony Orchestra, Choruses and Jazz Band, faculty and student soloists in works by Duke Ellington, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schubert and more. The concerts take place at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 and 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.

Music: The Johns Creek Symphony Christmas Gala Holiday Pops Concert begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Johns Creek.

SUNDAY
Memorial: The Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing hosts the 2011 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, on the 70th anniversary of the attack, at 11 a.m. Dec. 4 in Peachtree City.

Holiday, festival: Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta presents Christmas Packages, a festival offering carriage rides, live reindeer, living nativity, crafts, games, carolers, hayrides, concerts and more from 4 until 6 p.m. Dec. 4.

Music: The Chancel Choir at Dunwoody United Methodist Church presents “O Magnum Mysterium,” a Christmas concert featuring works by Rutter, Vaughan Williams, Lauridsen, Berlioz, Rachmaninoff, Victoria and others. Orchestra, soloists and Musica Gloria, the church’s Chamber Choir, will join in the musical festivities at 4 p.m. Dec. 4.

Music: A Kid’s Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra happens at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 4 and 11 at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Music: Christmas at Park Street with the Philharmonic Society of Clark Atlanta University takes place at 4 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Park Street Music & Art Complex in Atlanta.

Holiday, music: “Elvis and Jesus: A king meets the King” features Kingsized’s Big Mike Geier and Friends and the Good Moves Dancers celebrating the season with Elvis tunes, the Christmas story and a whole lot more in this rocking take on a holiday pageant at Inman Park United Methodist Church. Catch it at 5 p.m. Dec. 4 or 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9. It’s free, but donations will be accepted for the United Methodist Children’s Home.

Music: The Michael O’Neal Singers present “A Joyous Noel” at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at Roswell United Methodist Church.

Music, dance: Originating in Havana, Kings of Salsa pays homage to the great Cuban performers and dance styles from the island with a contemporary modern twist. Catch the high-energy show at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

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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