Today’s featured event:
Hear Aranda with Taddy Porter at 9 tonight at the Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E Sheridan.
For more information, call 601-6276 or go to www.wormydog.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
UPDATE: Since I was on vacation Christmas week, I chose “White Christmas” as my FFT before the Christmas Eve Blizzard of ’09 swept through the state, dumping 14 inches of snow in Oklahoma City and causing havoc. After the harrowing, and lingering, aftermaths of that huge winter storm, I may never listen to the song “White Christmas” again.
The song that has been on my brain the most this Christmas week:
- “White Christmas,” written by Irving Berlin.
Merry Christmas! It’s time to celebrate, and there’s no better way to mark the holidays than listening to holidays standards and carols.
Seasonal favorites don’t get any bigger or more iconic than “White Christmas.” After all, the Bing Crosby rendition of Berlin’s classic is the best-selling record of all time. His performance of the song actually was the musical centerpiece of two big musicals, “Holiday Inn” and “White Christmas”; the latter ranks as one of my all-time favorite holiday films.
Of course, Crosby’s classical version isn’t the only rendition of “White Christmas.” The Drifters’ 1954 rendition was an R&B hit, but many people know it from John Hughes’ 1990 movie “Home Alone.”
And Oklahoma City psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips have been known to perform the song on occasion.
Enjoy these three versions of this holiday favorite. And have a wonderful Christmas Day!
Jim Paul Blair portrays Hank Williams Sr. in City Moon’s tribute shows to the country legend.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
KINGFISHER — Oklahoma City-based country band City Moon will present “New Year’s Eve with a Tribute to Hank,” honoring the music of Hank Williams Sr., at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kingfisher Junior High Auditorium, Ninth and Erwin.
The tribute show is a family-friendly event. Tickets are $15 per person.
Tickets are available at the door or from the Kingfisher Chamber of Commerce or City of Kingfisher.
For more information, call 375-4445 or go to www.hankwilliamssrtribute.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. 3 of 4 stars. (Long live Emily Blunt.)
With her wide, bright smile and big, shimmering eyes, 26-year-old English beauty Emily Blunt bears little resemblance to our most familiar image of Queen Victoria, the stern-looking aged widow dressed in black.
That’s rather the point of “The Young Victoria,” the entertaining if uneven period drama starring Blunt, who has earned a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Britain’s longest-ruling monarch.
Strong performances, gorgeous sets and costumes and appealing chemistry between Blunt and Rupert Friend, who plays Prince Albert, allow the film to sweep willing viewers back to 1836, the year before Victoria took the throne.
“Even a palace can be a prison,” Victoria remarks as the film opens at the end of her dreadful childhood. With Victoria’s father dead, her mother, the conniving Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson), and the duchess’ manipulative adviser Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong) have raised her in ruthlessly controlled conditions under the guise of protecting her. Her mother and Conroy are determined to let no one else influence Victoria while they try to make her sign a regency order that would give them shared powers when the teen becomes queen.
Victoria staunchly refuses to sign, but she is kept away from other youths, largely confined to an isolated palace and must adhere to the harsh Kensington Rules, which dictate that she must to share a bedroom with her mother and can’t even walk down the stairs without holding an adult’s hand. Her doting uncle, King William IV (the wonderful Jim Broadbent), is furious that his niece is prohibited to come to his court.
William’s brother, King Leopold of Belgium (Thomas Kretschmann), hatches a plot to influence Victoria. He trains his nephew Albert, Victoria’s first cousin, to become the ideal suitor, strictly schooling him in the future monarch’s likes and dislikes.
When Albert visits England, Victoria is bored with his carefully planned wooing, but as he relaxes, they bond over their common fate as chess pieces in the game of imperial politics. Once Albert returns to the Continent, he and Victoria continue their courtship through a series of letters.
As Victoria ascends to the throne at 18, she falls under the thrall of charming prime minister Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany), whose advice often is self-serving. When his guidance leads to scandal, Victoria leans on Albert’s support and finally asks him to marry her. Once wed, Victoria and Albert must find a way to make their royal relationship work.
“The Young Victoria” is no tawdry bodice ripper, nor is it a stuffy bit of period dirge. Except for the film’s embellished climax, director Jean-Marc Vallée (“C.R.A.Z.Y.”) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”) stick fairly close to the facts. But the cast, particularly Blunt and Friend, bring textbook historical figures gloriously to life.
With political intrigue as a savory seasoning, the love story provides the meat of the quietly gripping story. But just when the plot begins to deliciously thicken, “The Young Victoria” abruptly ends, a banquet closed before the satisfying conclusion of dessert.
Merry Christmas! Here is today’s featured event:
- NORMAN – Listen to Aron Holt (of Mama Sweet) and Camille Harp at 10 tonight at The Deli, 309 White Street.
For more information, go to www.thedeli.us.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
- SHAWNEE — Laugh at Tulsa comedian Rodney Carrington at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at Firelake Grand Casino, 777 Grand Casino Blvd. Information: 964-7263 or www.firelakegrand.com.
- Hear Aranda with Taddy Porter at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E Sheridan. Information: 601-6276 or www.wormydog.com.
- NORMAN – Listen to Aron Holt (of Mama Sweet) and Camille Harp at 10 p.m. Friday at The Deli, 309 White Street. And check out the usual Hosty Solo at 10 p.m. Sunday at The Deli, 309 White Street. Get there early or you’ll have to stand outside. Information: www.thedeli.us.
American Banjo Museum (Photo by Jaconna Aguirre/The Oklahoman Archives)
- Get free admission to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, American Banjo Museum, Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum and Oklahoma City Museum of Art from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday during the Oklahoma City Community Foundation Free Museum Sundays. Information: www.downtownindecember.com.
- Check out the other Downtown in December events and attractions, including the Devon Ice Rink, Chesapeake Snow Tubing at the Brick and Wimgo Holidays on the Canal. Information: www.downtownindecember.com.
- TULSA – Hear The Panda Resistance and Stone Trio at 10 p.m. Saturday at The Colony, 28 and Harvard. Information: www.myspace.com/pandaresistanceband.
The Thunder’s Nick Collison (Photo by John Clanton/The Oklahoman Archives)
- Watch the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Charlotte Bobcats at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ford Center, 100 W Reno. Information: (800) 745-3000 or www.thunder.nba.com.
- NORMAN – Take advantage of free admission at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., Saturday-Dec. 30. Information: www.ou.edu/fjjma.
- Create works of art with your child at Drop-In Art from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. This week, families can make paintings based on the works of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. Information: www.okcmoa.com.
Boyz II Men
- THACKERVILLE – Hear Boyz II Men along with Morris Day and the Time at 8 p.m. Saturday at WinStar World Casino. Information: www.winstarworldcasino.com.
- Listen to Tweezer, Bristol Park, Mansion and Euclid Crash at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Conservatory, 8911 N Western. Information: www.conservatoryokc.com.
Instead of celebrating 12 days of Christmas, the TV Guide Network this year is marking the holiday with 12 hours of “Dirty Dancing.”
The cable channel is planning a 12-hour marathon of the 1987 box-office smash from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday.
Set in the summer of 1963, “Dirty Dancing” tells the story of 17-year-old Baby (Jennifer Grey), who vacations with her parents at a resort in the Catskills Mountains. While there, she meets Johnny (Patrick Swayze), the hotel dance instructor, who becomes her teacher not only in dance but in romance.
The coming-of-age story is one of Swayze’s best-known roles. Swayze died in September of pancreatic cancer.
Vanessa Chandler and Brandon McCaskill ice skate last month at the Devon Ice Rink in downtown Oklahoma City. (Photo by Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman)
In light of today’s wintry weather, it probably would be best to spend Christmas Eve in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot cocoa rather than trying to get out and find an activity. Merry Christmas! -BAM
Today’s featured event:
Take a Christmas Eve skate at the Devon Ice Rink outside the Civic Center, 201 N Walker. The rink is open from noon to 10 p.m. through Jan. 3, with special holiday hours today, when the rink is open until 5 p.m.
In addition, the ice rink will be open Christmas Day until 10 p.m. and New Year’s Eve until 11 p.m. Cost to skate is $8, which includes skate rental and a two-hour session. Skating is just $5 for those who supply their own skates.
The Devon Ice Rink is part of the Downtown in December holiday celebration. For more information, go to www.downtownindecember.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History will be open much of the holiday season but will be closed Christmas and New Year’s Day and close at noon Thursday, which is Christmas Eve. (Photo by Jaconna Aguirre/The Oklahoman Archives)
NORMAN – The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History will be open throughout the University of Oklahoma’s holiday break, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Holiday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum will close at noon on Thursday.
The museum is at 2401 Chautauqua Avenue, within walking distance of the Lloyd Noble Center. Exhibits feature record-setting dinosaurs, archaeological and Native American cultural artifacts, along with realistic dioramas of Oklahoma ecosystems.
Regular admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $3 for youth ages 6 to 17. Admission is free for children ages 5 and younger, and for OU students. For more information, go to www.snomnh.ou.edu or call 325-4712.
Author Janet Evanovich has selected the name of the 16th book in her best-selling Stephanie Plum series. The book will be called “Sizzling Sixteen,” Evanovich announced in the lastest issue of her “Plum News” newsletter.
As usual, the writer picked the title through a reader contest. Thousands of her fans sent in suggestions for the book title; honorable mentions included “Sally Sweet Sixteen,” “Sweet and Sour Sixteen” and “Stun of a Gun Sixteen.”
More than 2,000 people submitted the title “Sizzling Sixteen” during the summer contest. The grand prize winner, Laura A. Koppe from Texas, was selected in a random drawing of all the fans who submitted the winning name.
In addition, Evanovich announced in “Plum News” that her other series heroine, Alex Barnaby of the books “Metro Girl” and “Motor Mouth,” will make her graphic novel debut next year. The graphic novel “Troublemaker,” written by Evanovich and daughter Alex Evanovich with art by Joelle Jones, is due out in July 2010 from Dark Horse Comics.