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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. 23-25

The Band Perry, shown here opening for Tim McGraw at Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood earlier this year, will play a free concert at Atlantic Station. Photo: Robb D. Cohen / www.robbsphotos.com

The Band Perry, shown here opening for Tim McGraw at Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood earlier this year, will play a free concert at Atlantic Station. Photo: Robb D. Cohen / www.robbsphotos.com

FRIDAY
Music: The new Winter Wonder Jam series concludes at 7 p.m. Dec. 23 at Atlantic Station with the Band Perry.

Holiday, dance: Atlanta Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker, “ a long-running holiday tradition, continues at the Fox Theatre through Christmas Eve, with two shows Dec. 23 and a final 1 p.m. performance on Dec. 24.

Performing arts: “Odysseo” is an equestrian ballet that is a lavish blend of multimedia and performing arts. From one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, the show just extended its run under the big tent near Spring and 8th streets through Jan. 15. There are no shows Christmas Day, but there are performances at 8 p.m. Dec. 23 and 3 p.m. Dec. 24. Check out our review of the show.

Stage: The bratty Herdman kids bully their way into the annual Christmas pageant and create chaos instead of holiday cheer in Synchronicity Theatre’s production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” There are no shows on Christmas Day but there are shows at 2 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. The show continues through Jan. 1 at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s in downtown Atlanta.

Stage: A mysterious visitor drops in on Madeline and her friends in “Madeline’s Christmas,” a musical play adapted from Ludwig Bemelmans’ children’s book. No shows Christmas Day, but you can see it at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Dec. 23 and 24. The show runs through Jan. 1 at Horizon Theatre Company.

Stage: Chris Kayser returns to the Alliance Theatre as the miserly Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” which continues through Dec. 24.

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: 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. This year’s run concludes at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville at 8 p.m. 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.

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: 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 final performance is at 8 p.m. Dec. 23.

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: 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.

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.  Closed Christmas Day, but it continues at the Perimeter Expo in Dunwoody through May 13.

Stage: The elves take over when Santa gets sick in “A Miracle on Elf Street.” The final shows are at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 23 and 24 at OnStage Atlanta in Decatur.

SUNDAY
Holiday: It’s a bright and shiny Christmas at Lake Lanier as the Magical Nights of Lights spectacular continues. The display happens nightly through Jan. 1, including Christmas Day.

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 through Jan. 1 and is open Christmas Day.

Holiday: Life University’s Lights of Life is one of the best holiday bargains around at just $5 per carload. And it’s one of the few things open on Christmas Day.

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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