Every story needs conflict. For the good to emerge, it must struggle valiantly against the often overwhelming bad. Christmas proves this rule, way back to the beginning. Jesus managed to avoid King Herod's infanticide net, allowing the young lad to grow up and say some stuff and do some things. Kris Kringle faced the perpetually unjolly at every turn and was denied bank loans for reindeer 12 times before securing a U.N. microloan. Don't even get me started on the guy with the mustache who wanted to steal Frosty's hat. Christmas has its share of grumpy baddies, so I welcome you to the Christmas Villain edition of Culture Shock to witness the transformative power of tiny beseeching children on green, miserly Republicans.
God Bless Us, Everyone
Musical Theatre Southwest has been through a lot, much like a certain reindeer with a shiny red nose. And just like that freaky little trooper, MTS refuses to be relegated to the Island of Misfit Theater Troupes. Instead, it's wrapping up 2008 with a production of Scrooge, beginning Dec. 12 and running through Dec. 28 with Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Ever adaptable, MTS has moved its action over to the new African-American Performing Arts Center at Expo New Mexico. For ticket pricing and more info, call 265-9119. This should be worth it; I hear the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come does a mean soft shoe.
Your Brain Is Full of Spiders, You've Got Garlic in Your Soul
On Saturday, Dec. 13, Black Market Goods presents the Don't Be a Grinch Charity Art Show. Admission is either $2, a toy, non-perishable food item or clothing item. Once inside, you'll be greeted by a bevy of sexy elves (of both genders, I'm hoping), art, photography, body painting and a fashion showcase along with music provided by Julia Angel and Leah Black. You can also bring a $1 item to participate in the recession-friendly gift exchange. Doors at the venue, located at 5905 Marble NE, open at 8 p.m. See myspace.com/theangryyears for more. Your heart might grow three sizes that day.
Cheer, in the Key of C
After all that, you might be tired of dealing with Christmas haters, even if they're eventually transformed. Sometimes it's nice to think, "Wow. Those people get it. And they're singing in four-part harmony about it." Those people are the New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus, and "Coming Out for Christmas" is their gift to us mere mortals who make up all of the words to "Silent Night" that aren't “silent” or “night.” Their Albuquerque concerts are Friday, Dec. 12, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 14, at Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 3 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. Saturday concert at Santa Fe’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. For tickets, directions and much more, go to http://nmgmc.org.