The Holiday Go Go: Nutty Nutcracker, Big Holiday Show, Whisky & Ponies + a Christmas Day Punch

What she said....
What she said….

Go Go’ers, the Big Day approaches.

And the aftermath….

Here’s how to stay sane and social through it all.

Yes, there will be cocktails….

A (Hallucinogenic) Holiday Fantasy

Need some head-bending holidaze mice before you make holiday nice?

What she's having....
What she’s having….

Head to Cinefamily tonight for an ultra-rare screening of Nutcracker Fantasya demented, stop-motion, “Animagic”  version of the The Nutcracker from Sanrio.

Perhaps the Hello Kitty company was attracted to the tale because of the natural affinity between cat and rat; whatever the motivation, ex-Rankin/Bass animator Takeo Nakamura’s retelling of the holiday tale is alternately candy color brite and shadow-dark  — literally and figuratively.

Heavyweight voice talents include Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Dick Van Patten and Jo Anne Worley: the latter is at her most wonderfully over-the-top voicing the two-headed Rat Queen who juggles glasses of murky/festive red and green holiday libations with the “Nut of Darkness”.

Go Go’ers, a “Nut of Darkness” trumps cashews any day.

NUTCRACKER FANTASY Mon, Dec 23 @ 10:45  pm/doors 10:15 pm.  $5 – $12Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax, LA 90036.  Tix here.

What they're doing....
What they’re doing….

Holiday for 1 or 100

When it absolutely, positively has to be Holiday, head to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion  on Tuesday for the FREE  54th AnnualL.A. County Holiday Celebration.

Presented by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, the three-hour, Christmas Eve extravaganza features 20+ musical/dance/choral groups presenting conventional and offbeat takes on holiday classics.

Go Go’ers, this is where you take out-of-towners to show them L.A. isn’t an unholy mix of  vacuous spray tanned  actors and permanently addled hemp eaters.

Highlights of the local talent include: the Grammy-award winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea; Grammy-nominated, self-styled “East L.A. Chicano rock group” Quetzal;  Gypsy Kings sons the Gypsy All Stars; and the Indian classical music-meets-jazz improvisation of the Aditya Prakash Ensemble. Plus, choral group Artemusica sings holiday classics in a Baroque style.

Go ahead, wear some velvet.

Visual feasts include: the Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY with former Batsheva dancer Danielle Agami at the helm; the JazzAntiqua Dance and Music Ensemble, which presents Blessed Quietness, inspired by a classic gospel hymn; and a traditional Korean drumming dance by Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy.

Don’t think you’ll have to be fancy pants stuffy at the Music Center; you can come and go during the performance and use your phone to take pictures and tweet.

So much classier than a selfie with the drunken Santa at your local bar.

54TH ANNUAL L.A. COUNTY HOLLYWOOD CELEBRATIONTues, Dec 24, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.  FREEDorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N Grand, DTLA 90012.  Free parking at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  http://lacountyarts.org/holiday.html

What this holds.... Chilled Cider Punch (Credit: MacKenzie Smith)
What this holds…. Chilled Cider Punch (Photo credit: MacKenzie Smith)

Your Xmas Day Plan

How to save your sanity on Christmas Day?

Be the self-appointed punch elf — liquor, not fisticuffs — and instantly become everyone’s favorite relative.

Ms. Go Go continues an occasional tradition of offering a holiday cocktail recipe.  This Chilled Cider Punch from Cory Baldwin of Saveur eschews eggnog for a ginger, cider and whisky elixir that is simple to make and all but shouts celebration.  Cheers!

CHILLED CIDER PUNCH

SERVES 15-20

INGREDIENTS

8 cups apple cider

1 750 ml. bottle of dry hard cider (such as Farnum Hill’s Dooryard)

3 12 oz. bottles of ginger beer (such as Reed’s)

1 1/2 cups whiskey (such as Jameson)

Juice of one lemon

Several dashes orange bitters

1 orange sliced into rounds, for garnish

Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

INSTRUCTION

Combine the ciders, ginger beer, whiskey, lemon juice, and bitters in a large punch bowl or pitcher.   Stir to combine.   Top with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.  Ladle into ice-filled punch glasses.

Sip until sanity ensues.

What's on here....
What’s on here….

Better Than Black Thursday

After a day of Christmas wholesomeness — that Chilled Cider Punch, notwithstanding — indulge in two of your favorite vices when the Santa Anita Park racetrack celebrates Opening Day with a Whiskey in Winter Party.

Relax in the luxury of the recently renovated Chandelier Room  from the civilized hour of 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Enjoy unlimited tastings of whiskeys, nonstop pours of Prosecco, a spread of delicious food, and complimentary valet parking while betting on Thoroughbreds in the sunshine.

Snapchat proceedings — including sunshine — to folks due East.

Ho, ho, ho.

Featured small batch tipples include: organic Koval’s from Chicago, Illinois; Lexington Bourbon from Kentucky; Whippersnapper – Oregon Spirit Whisky  from Ransom Distillery & Winery in the Willamette Valley, Oregon; Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey from Vermont; and  Breaker Bourbon from Ascendant Spirits: Santa Barbara County’s first legal full service distillery since Prohibition as well as the first on the entire California Central Coast.

You’ll want to sample generously enough to vote thoughtfully on your favorite whiskey; the winner will have the opportunity to create the 2014 signature Santa Anita Derby cocktail.

Go Go’ers, with awesome power comes awesome responsibility.

WHISKEY IN WINTER PARTY —  Thurs, Dec 26, 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  $150Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia 91066.  Tickets HERE.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….
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