Venues plan events celebrating holidays


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It’s like Darlene Love sang — no one ought to be alone on Christmas. And if St. Joseph venues have their way, they won’t.

While the holidays might mean spending time with families at their homes, several venues throughout St. Joseph want to offer an alternative to where they can celebrate the holidays this weekend.

‘First Annual Christmas Variety Show’ When and where: 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 23, at Unplugged, 2605 Frederick Ave. Normally, the phrase “first annual” wouldn’t run in a newspaper because of the words clashing, but Unplugged owner Jason Johnson promises that this event will become a tradition in St. Joseph.

“What I envision is our own version of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’-type Christmas special where it’s music, it’s comedy, it’s skits. We weren’t able to coordinate all that, so it’s going to be a variety of songs, musicians, jokes,” he says.

The variety show will feature “Santa” and “Mrs. Claus” emceeing the event, as an array of musicians, including Ronnie Weir, Tom Meehan, Kari Crow, Tom Keller, Jesse Boley, Thomas Schwarz, Holly and Jeff Zuptich and Lynn, Phil and Jason Johnson, performing their own twists on Christmas classics.

With a version of “Little Drummer Boy,” which features Zuptich on vocals before it turns into a drum circle, Johnson says the audience is in for a treat.

“This gives me goosebumps, dude,” he says with a giant smile.

For Johnson, the concert is a dream realized from the days of him listening to the Beach Boys and wanting to become a rock star.

“Our favorite family Christmas album, my dad got for us when I was a tiny kid, was “The Temptations Christmas” because there was so much soul and funk,” he says. “To hear those old, traditional songs with a creative twist on them … it was like I want to get involved with a Christmas (celebration).”

Most of all, Johnson is excited to work with all of the talent involved in the show.

“I can’t say enough about the people involved with this. These are some of my favorite people to work with and everybody playing has had a minute on this stage,” he says.

The show is free and open to all ages.

‘Ugly Christmas Sweater Cabaret’ When and where: 7:30 p.m., today, Paradox Coffee & Theatre, 107 N. Sixth St. Capping off another successful year for “Something Else Cabaret,” the usual free-for-all showcase of talent will operate under a theme — the holidays.

“I kind of like the theme idea now. I don’t know how many I’ll do like that,” organizer Sean Connors says.

The bimonthly talent exhibition has artists of all types showing off their skills. Ages and talent will range from seasoned, experienced pros to green amateurs.

“It’s just another opportunity for people to perform that don’t get a chance to during the year … They’re still relevant, they still have a talent to showcase,” Connors says.

The showcase will continue to grow in 2018, both in size and scope. Connors says it’s an exciting time in the life of the series.

“It’s just a culmination of a year of opportunity,” he says.

‘The Night Before Christmas Dance Party’ When and where: 8, at Cafe Acoustic Concert Hall, 1918 Frederick Ave. In the mood for something a little bit darker for the holidays? Cafe Acoustic Concert Hall will offer people a chance to dance out some holiday cheer. It will screen the Tim Burton-produced classic “Nightmare Before Christmas” at 8 p.m. followed by a dance party hosted by Johnnie Raven. It is open to everyone 21 and older.

‘Christmas Eve Eve Concert with Oxymoron’ When and where: 9 p.m. Saturday at First Ward House, 2101 St. Joseph Ave. During the past couple of years, the duo of Oxymoron has proven to be a talented, entertaining partnership. They’ll ring in the festivities at the First Ward House two days prior to Christmas.

‘Customer Appreciation Party’ When and where: 9 a.m., St. Joe Harley-Davidson, 4020 S. U.S. Highway 169 St. Joe Harley-Davidson will be thanking its customers with a big Christmas party featuring music by Jimmie Bratcher.

— Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live

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About Craig Ballantyne 20169 Articles
I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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