The Scarborough Players presents Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!), Dec. 1-3, 8-10, and 15-17, at 8 p.m. (with a 2 p.m. matinée on Dec. 11), at the Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd. at Markham.
Written by Michael Carleton, Jim FitzGerald, and John K. Alvarez, this hilarious family-friendly play tells the story of three young actors who are tired of performing Dickens’ A Christmas Carol every year. Instead they take every Christmas story they know, and turn them around into one fractured tale. Every Christmas Story stars Konstance Koutoulakis, Cindy Platten, and Amanda Smith, and is directed by Cory Doran, with Linda Brent as producer.
Tickets for Every Christmas Story Ever Told are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, with $10 student rush seats available. They can be ordered by calling the box office at 416-267-9292, or online at www.theatrescarborough.com.
There will also be two sessions of the popular Post-show Cast Talk-back on Dec. 11, and 15 following the performance. This is an excellent opportunity to interact with the cast and crew.

The Scarborough Philharmonic presents Howard Cable’s Cowboy Christmas, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. at the Auditorium at Birchmount Park C.I., 3663 Danforth.
Canada’s favourite maestro, Howard Cable, returns with his annual holiday concert; this year with a western twist. Joining Cable for this performance will be guest conductor Geoffrey Butler, and the Toronto Choral Society. Works include Christmas at the Line camp, set to a famous painting by Charles Marion Russell, known for his depiction of the Old West. Also on the bill are selections from the holiday classic, Handel’s Messiah.
Tickets for Cowboy Christmas are $30 (or less) and are available by calling 416-429-0007, or online at www.spo.ca.

Beach United Church continues its popular Jazz Vespers series when it presents Carolyn T and her band, Dec. 3, 4:30 to 5:15 p.m., at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church, 70 Silverbirch Ave.
Carolyn T learned to sing by practising to recordings by her favourites Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Madonna. She since went on to front bands like Cobra Kings and Project Phoenix, and has appeared at the Beaches International Jazz Festival. In 2007 she formed the Carolyn T Band, and has had great success performing in and around Toronto. Carolyn T also hosts the Open Jam Night at Harlem Restaurant every Monday evening, and is a very busy vocal coach and actor. Carolyn T has chosen as her theme for this Jazz Vespers concert, ‘bliss’. You can find out more about her by visiting www.carolyntband.com.
Remember that Jazz Vespers has a new location at St. Aidan’s Church while renovations continue at Beach United. Admission is free, but there will be a free-will offering taken up. For more information call 416-691-8082, or visit www.beachunitedchurch.com.

Out from under the burden of running a restaurant/jazz club, Beach musician Carin Redman (former owner of Ten Feet Tall) is able to jump back into her first love: performing jazz. She is part of a new jazz vocal trio called Red, Whyte & Tollar, and they will be making their debut Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. at Musideum, 401 Richmond St. W.
Red, Whyte & Tollar consists of Redman, Thyron Lee Whyte and Yvette Tollar, with musical support provided by Ross MacIntyre, bass, and Mark Kieswetter on piano. They will be performing a cool vocal mix of jazz, pop, R&B spiced with a few holiday songs!
There is a $15 cover, and reservations can be made by calling Musideum at 416-599-7323, or visit www.musideum. It will be good to see Carin back on stage, although everyone misses Ten Feet Tall.

Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, 33 East Rd. in the Warden and Kingston Road area, presents In the Spirit of Christmas, the annual fundraiser for the Churches by the Bluffs Community Services Food Bank, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.
This is a family-friendly evening with several media personalities reading selections from old and new Christmas stories in a beautiful candle-lit setting. Zoomer Radio’s Frank Proctor will read his own original tale, The Day the Welland Canal Monster Met Santa. Leon Korbee, formerly of CTV will read Stuart McLean’s Christmas at the Turlington’s, as well as Yes Virginia, There is a Santa (with Kayin Paul). Don Gray will read selections from When Toronto Was For Kids, by Thomas Allen.
A youth drama including full-sized puppets called Fur, Feathers, Scales and Shell that was written especially for this event will be performed.
Joining the readers will be singer-songwriter James Gordon, and the BBUC choir who will perform seasonal favourites.
Admission is $15 per person for adults, and $5 for children, along with a non-perishable food item for the food bank. For more information call 416-694-4081.

Countermeasure, the dynamic young a capella group founded by life-long Beacher, singer John-Michael Erlendson, will be performing a special An a Capella Holiday Concert, Dec. 10 (8 p.m.) and 11 (3 p.m.), at the Green Door Cabaret in the Lower Ossington Theatre, 100 Ossington Ave.
The evening will feature “ear-tweaking arrangements of familiar holiday favourites, great pop tunes, original choral works, a bit of jazz, and a lot of just plain fun.”
Countermeasure is a 17-member group of singers who have performed at the Beaches International Jazz Festival, Ten Feet Tall, and opened for The Nylons in concert in Parry Sound. For more information visit www.countermeasuremusic.com.
Tickets for an An a Capella Holiday Concert can be purchased by calling 416-915-6747.

Famed Canadian actor, Eric Peterson (Corner Gas, Street Legal) is performing a special reading of the Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m., at Corpus Christi Church, 16 Lockwood, at Queen. The Order of Canada recipient will lend his unique voice to this timeless tale, as a benefit for the church. He will be accompanied by the choir of Corpus Christi Church.
Tickets to Eric Peterson/A Christmas Carol are $20 for adults, and $10 for seniors and students (children under 12 are free with a donation for the Food Bank), and are available at the door – cash only.

The East York Concert Band presents Christmas Festival, a concert of holiday sing-alongs and seasonal favourites, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m., at OSSIS Banquet Halls, 3474 Kingston Rd. at Markham.
The East York Concert Band was founded in 1948, and draws it musicians from across the GTA including the Beach. It is currently under the direction of Emily Summers. On the program this evening will be A Christmas Festival, by Leroy Anderson; March of the Toys, by Victor Herbert; How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Albert Hague; The Polar Express, by Silvestri and Ballard; The Night Before Christmas for narration and band, and many others.
Tickets for Christmas Festival are $12.50 for adults, with children 12 and under free. They are available 416-439-3542, or 416-266-1958, or email tickets@eastyorkconcertband.ca. For more information visit www.eastyorkconcertband.ca.

Acoustic Harvest presents Christmas Tales & Tunes with John Gardiner and Richard Knechtel, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m., at St. Nicholas Church, 1512 Kingston Rd. at Manderley.
John Gardiner is a writer from Wallaceburg where he publishes cktimes.ca, an online newspaper. His writings have also been featured on CBC, and in newspapers around the world. He is also an accomplished poet and short story writer. Knechtel is one of the country’s best-loved acoustic musicians and children’s entertainer. He is a gifted songwriter as well with several CDs to his catalogue. Together Gardiner and Knechtel have created this family-friendly holiday mix of Christmas tales and tunes. They have performed this concert to rave reviews across the province.
Tickets to Christmas Tales & Tunes are $20 for adults, and $18 for students and seniors and are available at the door. For more information call Acoustic Harvest at 416-264-2235, or visit www.acousticharvest.ca
Acoustic Harvest also invites you to a special Holiday Pot Luck Dinner before the concert. Please RSVP at the numbers above. Food items can be brought to the club from 5 p.m. onwards. The dinner will be served at 6.

And finally… what holiday celebration would be complete without Puppetmongers?! This year the popular puppet show, performed by the brother and sister duo of Ann and David Powell, is called Bed & Breakfast. It runs Dec. 17 through Jan. 1, 2012, at Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave.
Bed & Breakfast is a whimsical updated version of the Princess and the Pea in which clever servants conspire against their bumbling employers in the service of love. The action takes place in a huge sprawling Edwardian era mansion. The hero and heroine encounter all manner of hilarious disaster on their way to finding happily ever after. This family-friendly show will delight audiences of all ages with its spell-binding puppetry, masterful attention to detail, and wonderful story-telling. Bed & Breakfast was premiered in Los Angeles in 1985, and hasn’t been performed in Toronto since 2008
Ann and David Powell have been the people behind Puppetmongers for almost 40 years. This award-winning duo has created 11 original puppet shows, and have toured the world appearing at numerous puppetry festivals. They even appeared in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, a 2007 film starring Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman.
Bed & Breakfast runs daily at 2 p.m. (except Dec. 19-25). Tickets are $25 for adults, and $20 for children, seniors and students. A family pack of four tickets costs $75. Extra showings are on Dec. 29 and 30 at 4:30 p.m. There is also a special New Year’s Day Gala and Party, Jan. 1, 2012 at 2 p.m. All tickets for this event are $40 (including a $15 tax credit).  Tickets are available by calling the box office at 416-531-1827, or online at www.taragontheatre.com.
If you or your children are interested in the art of puppetry, note that Puppetmongers is holding special post-performance puppet-making workshops, Dec. 26-28, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. These are suitable for children 5 to 12 years of age, and cost $10 per child (with adult accompaniment). To register call the box office at 416-531-1827.
For more information on Puppetmongers, visit www.puppetmongers.com.

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