Want to take a break from family festivities? Don’t worry, the Vanguard has you covered. Here’s a list of all the hottest events to warm you up between now and when we resume publication at the end of winter break.
Didn’t get enough of Beyonce in Dreamgirls? You’re in luck because she stars in another historical musical. This time she plays the legendary R&B singer Etta James during her rise to fame in the 1950s.
Opens Dec. 5
Punisher: War Zone
It’s been four years since the original Punisher graced the big screens. Now this skull-wearing vigilante is back with a new director and completely new cast.
Opens Dec. 5
The Day The Earth Stood Still
This remake of a 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien invasion stars Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly.
Opens Dec. 12
After several disturbing and serious roles, Jim Carey is back to the slapstick comedy that made him famous. Carey’s character decides to say, “yes” to anything that anyone asks him, no matter how crazy it seems.
Opens Dec. 19
Will Smith stars in an emotionally charged drama where he improves the lives of seven strangers.
Opens Dec. 19
Marley & Me
Based on the bestselling novel, Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson star in this romantic comedy about how owning a dog enriches life.
Opens Dec. 25
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, Brad Pitt is born an old man and grows younger each year.
Opens Dec. 25
Frank Miller directs this film about a rookie cop who returns from death to fight crime and flirt with femme fatales.
Opens Dec. 25
Based on a true story during World War II, a one-eyed Tom Cruise and other wounded Nazi veterans plot to assassinate Hitler.
Opens Dec. 26
A Christmas Carol
Mead Hunter adapted this classic holiday favorite for the stage from Charles Dickens’ novel. Get lost in the music and emotion while the three Christmas spirits visit Scrooge during his journey to transformation.
Dec. 2-28, Portland Center Stage, Prices vary
1943 Christmas From Home
This is the third installment of a five-year series recreating a live Christmas radio show broadcast from Portland, Ore., during World War II. Go back in time with bands, sketches, singers, commercials and sound effects from the 1940s.
Dec. 5-21, Hollywood Theatre, $17 for students
A Tuna Christmas
This sequel to Greater Tuna is supposed to be just as hilarious. Comedians Jeffrey Jason Gilpin and Alan King act as eccentric Texan characters that have to cope with seasonal traumas with only 24 hours before Christmas.
Dec. 11-Jan 4, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, $25 and up
The Color Purple
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Marsha Norman brings Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to the Broadway Across America stage. Enjoy this inspirational story through the musical adaptation featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues.
Dec. 30-Jan 4, Keller Auditorium, prices vary
Boy Eats Drum Machine
This local one-man band will amaze audiences with his musical breadth and variety that mixes techno and indie.
Dec. 4, 7 p.m., Lizard Lounge, free
Dec. 6, 8 p.m., Hawthorne Theatre, $8
Winter Wonderball featuring Storm and The Balls, Sam Adams, China Forbes, Thomas Lauderdale, Mic Crenshaw, Dan Savage, Jennifer Batten, Darcelle, Members from Livewire! Faces For Radio Players, Auditory Sculpture, Steph Smith from Kleveland, The Cream of Portland Improv
Come rock out with some of Portland’s best musicians at this second annual event. All proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood.
Dec. 19, 7 p.m., all ages, The Wonder Ballroom, $20
Dec. 20, 7 p.m., 21-plus, The Wonder Ballroom, $20
The Soda Pop Kids w/ Nice Boys, Eegos and Mean Jeans
Portland locals are having a birthday celebration rock ‘n’ roll style and everyone is invited.
Dec. 20, 8 p.m., Satyricon, $8
Portland locals are launching the beginning of their tour at the Crystal Ballroom, featuring music from their fourth album that is due to release in 2009. Hurry to get tickets before they sell out for this amazingly popular pop/jazz band.
Dec. 29 8 p.m., The Crystal Ballroom, $27.50 – $30
The Oregon Painting Society has a new exhibition featuring multimedia works, handmade masks, musical instruments, installation and a performance by the Portland art collective Oregon Painting Society.
Dec. 4 – Jan. 3. Wednesday through Saturday, Noon-6 p.m., 205 S.W. Pine St.
Wood Pushers is a new exhibition revolving around a skateboarding theme, featuring artwork painted on wooden skateboard decks.
Dec. 4 – Jan. 30, 114 N.W. Third Ave.
The Night Before Christmas at the Pittock
The mansion’s 23 rooms are decorated in this year’s theme, The Night Before Christmas, based off of the 1823 children’s poem.
Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, Pittock Mansion, $7
This festival of half a million lights transforms the zoo into a winter wonderland.
Nov 29 – Dec. 28, Oregon Zoo, $8.50-$10
Expo Christmas Bazaar
The self-proclaimed “America’s Largest Bazaar” is celebrating its 26th annual event this year with over 1,000 booths featuring handmade toys, ornaments and gifts.
Dec. 5 – 7, Portland Expo Center, $6.50
Christmas Ship Parade
This is the 54th year that the holiday-decorated fleet will sail the Willamette. There will be 55 to 60 beautifully adorned ships out every night. The fleet will do a special performance in Camas, Wash. on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.
Dec. 10 – 21 starting at 7 p.m. weekdays and 5 p.m. weekends, Portland Waterfront, free