Debbie Croft: Festive holiday excursions

December 7, 2012 

DEBBIE CROFT

Two big stage plays are being performed this month in Sonora and Columbia. The Sierra Repertory

Theatre presents:

"Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)," running through Dec. 16 at the East

Sonora Theatre, and

"Cinderella," showing at The Fallon House in

Columbia through Dec. 22.

Both plays get rave reviews.

In "Every Christmas Story Ever Told," a trio of actors are about to perform Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" for the umpteenth time. But on a whim they decide to re-mix favorite Christmas characters, songs and traditions from around the world for their original idea of a holiday play.

Guest director Marc Liby from Kansas says "It's a fast-paced blend of 'It's a Wonderful Life' and 'A Christmas Carol,' " with a lot of Christmas music added for zany fun.

Rogers and Hammerstein's stage version of "Cinderella" also provides lighthearted comedy, plus memorable music, while bringing audiences into the magical, storybook world of the poor cinder girl.

SRT Artistic Director Scott Viets says the play will appeal to all ages.

Besides including a talented cast, the set design, props, lighting and lavish costumes all come together to make this a dazzling show.

Performance times for both productions are: 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays; 8 p.m. on Saturday evenings; and 2 p.m. for Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday matinees.

Tickets range from $24-$32. For more information or to make reservations, call SRT's box office at (209)532-3120, or visit www.sierrarep.org.

Before or after the

performances downtown Sonora has much to offer, not only for serious

shoppers, but for window shoppers, too. (A word of caution: When stepping in or out of these old buildings, be careful, as there may be a low step at the threshold.)

Surrounded by history, Sonora's downtown area boasts art galleries and studios, several antique stores, thrift boutiques, emporiums and shops with apparel of all shapes, sizes and styles: Western, imported and gently used. There are also a variety of restaurants, cafes and spots for satisfying that sweet tooth.

And this month the shop windows will be dressed in their Christmas best for the Holiday

Window Display Contest.

Shoppers have until

Dec. 15 to vote for their favorite. Go to www.

sonorachamber.com for details.

I agree with another Sun-Star columnist,

Brigitte Bowers (Against the Grain), who wrote last week about slowing the pace this Christmas

season by taking another route when shopping for gifts.

Along the main street of Mariposa, shop windows are strung with twinkle lights and filled with trinkets and treasures of all kinds. Our area merchants feature unique handmade products, such as metal art, jewelry, paintings, pottery and wood carvings, many of which are done by Yosemite-area artists.

Downtown eateries offer tempting dishes for sit-down dinners, or hot

coffee and baked goods for take-out. And friendly business owners are more than willing to advise

tourists about local

attractions and destinations.

Tonight's Art Hop in downtown Mariposa is held from 5 to 8 p.m. This event is fairly new in our community, and takes place every second Saturday of the month. Look for the gold balloons at more than 25 art venues, and enjoy live music and refreshments while mingling with foothill artists. Call Barbara Ann Eicker at (209) 377-8233 for details.

Mariposa's Commu-nity Chorus is performing its holiday concert

Monday at 7 p.m. in the Fiester Auditorium at the Mariposa County High School. Joining this group will be the high school's advanced and concert choirs, singing Christmas melodies from the past and present. Rod Fiester is the director and does a remarkable job of pulling these vocal groups together for an evening of delightful music.

Admission is $5. The high school is at 5074 Old Highway N., at the east end of Eighth Street.

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at composed@tds.net.

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