Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday TV and stage shows delight

The Christmas season has begun. So it's time to settle in and get ready for all of the holiday entertainment in store. For me, the holidays aren't really complete without watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "A Christmas Story" — about the kid who dreams of getting a Red Rider BB Gun as a gift from Santa — and "The Nutcracker."

Speaking of "The Nutcracker," I watched one of the best live versions of Tchaikovsky's ballet about two years ago in Hilton Head, S.C., performed by the Hilton Head Dance Theatre.

Last year, upon moving to Florida, I attended the West Coast's Black Theatre Troupe's spirited performance of "Black Nativity."

So this year, getting acquainted with more of the area's holiday offerings, I'm overwhelmed by all the holiday performances. Wonder if I'm going to be able to make them all.

I have my eye on First Church of the Nazareen's Living Christmas Tree in Bradenton, "Dickens at the Crosley" at the Powel Crosley Estate, Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and the Bradenton Herald's annual Holiday Boat Parade, to name a few.

Do you have any holiday entertainment traditions you'd like to share? Things you just have to see during the holidays? If so pass them on.

I can already check one item off my list — watching "A Christmas Story" with the added bonus of "Elf" starring Will Ferrell. Did that over the Thanksgiving holiday.
If all else fails, I have about half a dozen options or more of "The Nutcracker" to choose from this year between here, Sarasota, St. Pete and Tampa.
— January Holmes

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our new Features blog, BuzzWorthy. In this space we’ll be talking about arts-related issues and events both locally and globally. Everything from the Manatee Players to Paris Hilton … ugh … maybe not her. Please feel free to comment or just read along for the fun of it.

Searching for holiday lights

Well, the holidays are upon us and the Herald is looking for great holiday light displays. Come mid-December, we’ll have a map you can download and use for a fun drive around town.

I don’t know about you, but with everything that’s going on locally and nationwide (high taxes, gas prices, the sagging economy), I feel like I need to celebrate Christmas the for entire month, just to feel a little more cheer.

Last weekend, I was inspired to decorate our backyard fence with icicle lights. We spent $40 at Kmart and I engineered a great display along the fence. Plug it in and BOOM! Who knew you can only plug in 3 strands at a time? I plugged in eight. I was about ready to cry when my neighbors, who are very smart at all homeowner-type things, set me straight and together we replaced the fuses.

The event turned into an impromptu cookout where we combined our food to make a fabulous dinner. So a potentially depressing day turned into a great time with friends, sharing our Griswold-type stories for hours. At dusk, we turned on the lights and sang Christmas tunes … what a perfect Sunday. This weekend we’ll tackle the front yard….

If you know of a cool holiday light display, please e-mail me the street address and a description of the lights at

— Jana Morreale, Sections Editor