"Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame.
Your calendar is filling up, but here are four holiday events you'll want to make room for:
Every year, pioneering Chicano artist Frank Romero and his wife Sharon throw a big studio sale that includes works by a wide group of artists, and a lot of food and drink. It's just as much a party as a sales event, and Frank and the other artists are always there to meet and greet. And now that the couple is spending more time at their home in France, it's a chance for their old friends to catch up with them, so who knows who you'll see from L.A.'s arts community.
The Romero Studio annual Christmas party and sale is Saturday, Dec. 6, 6-10pm; and Sunday, Dec. 7, 1-5pm, at Plaza de la Raza, Boathouse Gallery, 3540 North Mission Rd., LA CA 90031 (in Lincoln Park across from the DMV — which BTW is a very good DMV).
Then, on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 4:30pm, it's the Advent Procession of Lessons and Carols, at St. James Episcopal Church, which a friend describes as "one of the truly beautiful choral events of the season," and the highlight of the Choir of St. James' season. It's free and it's at St. James' Episcopal Church in Koreatown (3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010).
"Auntie Mame," the 1958 Rosalind Russell movie with more quotable quips than a weekend getaway with Oscar Wilde, has become something of a Christmas tradition. It's screening at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre on Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 7:30. As delightful as this movie is any day of the week on your TV at home, this is a film to be seen in 35mm with a theater full of people reacting to every bon mot and heart-touching moment.
Last year, my husband and I blindly went to Disney Hall for the Holiday Organ Spectacular. We expected some music and a little fun. But it really was spectacular. It's back this year, on Friday, Dec. 19, with organist David Higgs leading the evening from the console of Hurricane Mama.
If you've never seen or heard the organ in person, this is a great evening because Higgs — a teacher as well as master organist — gives you a guided tour of every stop, and every mood the organ can produce, from cathedral-loud to country-church-quiet. At the end of the night, he breaks the audience into parts to sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas," and you may sing as loud as you like.
These are just a few curated selections, but they're just the tip of the iceberg in Southern California; please make your own holiday event recommendations in the comments below.