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Today's Happenings About Town

Go see "A Christmas Memory", hear Irish Christmas music, see the "Mami Wata" exhibit, take a Christmas Eve Day hike and view "It's A Wonderful Life"

1. If you haven't yet seen it, you're running out of time to catch the world premiere of  "A Christmas Memory"  showing now at TheatreWorks.  It's a musical memoir, based on the Truman Capote story that tells the tale of 1930s friendship of a shy boy and his eccentric cousin.  The show plays today at 2pm and 8pm, tomorrow at 2pm and 7pm, and again on Sunday at the same times. Sunday's performances also include Visual Voice audio for the blind and visually impaired.  Tickets are $24-$56. See it now at Lucie  Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road. 

2.  Take a quick drive out to Woodside if you want to catch a free concert that will give your pre-holiday celebration an Irish lilt. What we're talking about here is "A Gaelic Christmas with Mary McLaughlin,"  a musical performance that will make you feel for a spell that you are in Ireland. Mary, who is now based in Santa Cruz, has published two songbooks, released four solo albums, and is featured on many compilation albums of Celtic music. She brings you the sounds of Northern Ireland where she was born and raised.  She will be accompanied by harpist Steve Coulter. You can hear Mary from 5:30-6:30pm at the Woodside Library, 3140 Woodside Road in Woodside. For more information call (650) 851-0147 or visit the Woodside Library website.

3.  If you head over to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University today, you'll be there for one of the last guided tours to be offered of the "Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas," exhibition. This exhibition explores 500 years of visual cultures and histories of the water deity widely known as Mami Wata ("Mother Water") through the diverse array of traditional and contemporary arts surrounding her — sculpture, paintings, masks, altars, and more from west and central Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, and the United States. Today's docent-led tour goes from 12:15 to 1:15.  There's just one more guided tour of the exhibition next Thursday, Dec. 30, before it closes on January 2.  Visit For more information,  visit the Cantor Arts Center website or call (650) 723-4177. The museum is located at 328 Lomita Drive. 

4.   Instead of running around and doing last-minute Christmas shopping on Friday, why not go for a three-hour hike in the woods instead? You can literally and figuratively be "Miles from Macy's," by taking a hike with docents from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District on Christmas Eve day. They invite you to escape "from valley gridlock and the mall madness of desperate last-minute shoppers"  by taking a 4-mile circle route along the Ipiwa, Butano View and Sunny Jim trails in the peaceful silence of Skyline Ridge Preserve. Hikers will meet a little before 11 a.m. at the Skyline Ridge Preserve parking lot on Skyline Boulevard, one mile south of the Page Mill/Alpine road and Skyline Boulevard intersection. Bring a lunch. The hike will last until 2 p.m. Kids capable of making a moderate hike with adult supervision are allowed. For more information call 650-691-1200 or visit the MROSD's website.

5.  We're back to the Stanford Theater for another holiday treat. Tomorrow night, there's a one-time only showing of the 1946 James Stewart Christmas classic, ""It's A Wonderful Life".  The storyline is simple —the story line is simple, an angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. It's an oldie, but goodie -- that even if you've seen before, is worth seeing again and again, especially on the big screen in a vintage movie theater and especially at this time of year. There's just one showing at 9pm. The theater is located at 221 University Ave. For more information visit the Stanford Theater or call (650) 324-3700.

  •  Ronnie Lovler is filling in for regular Five Neon Notes columnist Jennifer van der Kleut for the holidays. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can email Ronnie at rlovler.patch@gmail.com.

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