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Fall Arts Preview: December 

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CLASSICAL

COEUR D’ALENE SYMPHONY
Dec. 4

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Would the Christmas holiday be complete without music from Mannheim Steamroller? A resounding no! And Coeur d’Alene Symphony knows it. That’s why the second half of their two Christmas at the Kroc concerts will include arrangements by these popular re-inventors of Yuletide favorites. The first half will feature Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major, which has only tenuous Christmas links at best (it debuted on New Year’s Day in 1879), yet was catchy enough to serve as the inspiration for “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” from the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical Evita. The symphony’s very own Karen Hoatson will solo. (EI) Salvation Army Kroc Center, $40-$80, 7:30 pm

THEATER

CHRISTMAS BELLES
Dec. 6-22

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Jessie Jones, one of the co-writers of Dearly Departed, which Lake City Playhouse staged just over two years ago, clearly has an itch to scratch. He’s a co-writer of this holiday-themed farce that gleefully wallows in the same comedic milieux: a dysfunctional Southern family and a ridiculously over-the-top cast of supporting characters that includes an ornery Santa and an Elvis impersonator. Every trailer park stereotype you can think of gets draped in tinsel and lights as the Futrelle Sisters (Frankie, Twink and Honey Raye) attempt to stage a Christmas program for the town to remember. Suffice it to say, it should be refreshingly chaotic holiday fare. (EI) Lake City Playhouse, $11-$17, Thu-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm

THEATER  

THE BEST LITTLE
CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
Dec. 12-20

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Perhaps you remember Loretta Swit from the 1980s television version of one of the greatest Christmas stories ever — about a family full of badass little hoodlums who end up being cast in the annual Christmas Pageant. (Mary had a dirty face! And the shepherds said swear words!) Yes, there are antics galore and neighborhood gossips, but eventually the good Christians (after a bit of healthy shaming) relearn the true meaning of Christmas. The JACC’s theater troupe may not have Loretta Swit, but it’s hard to imagine the cast will lack the charm necessary to pull off this heartwarming story. There’s a happy ending and a moral, so bring the kids. (AF) The Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center, $10-$15, 7:30 pm

THEATER

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET: THE MUSICAL
Dec. 12-15

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The musical world can be grateful that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were never on a plane together, and perhaps even more grateful that those four once converged on a Memphis recording studio in 1956, where they played one another’s top hits, made a record and never got together again. Fortunately, that December night is re-enacted on stage for those of us who failed to, umm, be born prior to the Vegas years. So relive, or live, the glory that was the golden age of rock and roll at the INB, where the Tony-award winning musical is performed as the latest edition of West Coast Entertainment’s Best of Broadway. (AF) INB Performing Arts Center, $35-$75, show times vary

CULTURE

FIRST NIGHT
Dec. 31 

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Downtown Spokane will transform into a massive extravaganza on Dec. 31 to welcome the first moments of 2014. First Night is more than just a New Year’s party, inviting families and their kids to mingle for a night of art and culture. Nearly 40 venues host around 150 of the region’s dancers, singers and visual artists. This year, cabaret singer Abbey Crawford brings Miss Abbey’s Steampunk Spectacular at the Convention Center, complete with a steam engine-era art exhibit and bellydancing. A karaoke competition called “Singing in the New Year” holds all-ages auditions on First Friday events at the STA Plaza in October, November and December. After a public vote, the top eight face off at the New Year’s party, with the winner crowned king or queen of karaoke. (BN) Downtown Spokane (multiple venues), $13, 6 pm

CLASSICAL

NEW YEAR’S AT THE SYMPHONY
Dec. 31

You could ring in the New Year surrounded by a bunch of drunks at a bar, or you could make a more classy evening of it. The Spokane Symphony and Chorale is here to help with that. Their New Year’s Eve ode to joy begins with a performance of Beethoven’s spectacular Ninth Symphony, a holiday tradition from Germany introduced by music director Eckart Preu, followed by a “Puttin’ on the Ritz” party at the Davenport. These tickets have sold out every year, so act accordingly. (LJ) Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, $16-$23, 7:30 pm

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