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November 30, 2005

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Publication Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2005

AROUND TOWN: Local dancers welcome the holidays with 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' AROUND TOWN: Local dancers welcome the holidays with 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' (November 30, 2005)

After a 10-year absence, "Twas the Night Before Christmas," an original holiday dance event based on the poem by Clement Moore, will be presented in December by the Menlo Park Academy of Dance and Dancers Repertory Theatre.

There will be four performances on Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11, with shows at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Fifty Menlo Park Academy of Dance students and company members of Dancers Repertory Theatre will perform at the new Woodside High School theater, located at Churchill Avenue and Woodside Road.

Tickets at $15 for adults, and $10 for seniors and children, are available by calling 323-5292, going online to MPAOD.com, or visiting the dance studio office at 1163 El Camino Real in Menlo Park in the afternoon.
Library program: Books for holiday giving

Want to know which books make great holiday gifts and which local bookstores have great stuff? Menlo Park librarian Lauren John is moderating "Get Booked for the Holidays" at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 3, at the Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., Menlo Park.

Ms. John promises "heartwarming stories read by talented readers," refreshments, giveaways, holiday music and entertainment, as well as "the written word."

Jackie Drew, a stalwart of Friends of the Library, will talk about mysteries. Kathleen Little, Kepler's children's bookseller, will recommend kids' books. Al Jacobs, literature and theater professor emeritus of Menlo College, will advise how to buy the right book for the right person.

Menlo Park librarian Nick Szegda, a cinema buff, will show clips of family holiday films to be checked out of the library or purchased. And Bill Russ, historian at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, will discuss spiritual books.

"This will be a real community event," says Ms. John. "Everyone I asked to take part in the program said "Yes."

The program, sponsored by the Friends of the Menlo Park Library, is free and open to the public. Free van service for Menlo Park seniors and people with disabilities is available by calling 330-2512.
Working hand in hand

Working Hand in Hand, a Menlo Park-based nonprofit, will be selling crafts from Zambia at the Stanford World Arts Festival Friday through Sunday, December 2-4, at Tressider Student Center on the Stanford campus.

The crafts will include beaded jewelry, hand-painted cotton accent cushions and table coverings, wood carvings and wirework.

Working Hand in Hand was organized earlier this year by a group of local women. The organization works in rural Zambia to create education and jobs programs to reduce the lure of illegal wildlife poaching.

The group's president, Antonia DeMatto of Menlo Park, says buying the crafts as gifts supports Zambian artists, while the Zambian community benefits from Hand in Hand programs and recipients are able to enjoy unique contemporary African art.

Hours of the Stanford World Arts Festival (formerly the Holiday Craft Faire) are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is free.
Peninsula Women's Chorus

The 50-voice Peninsula Women's Chorus will present its winter concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 10, and 4 p.m. Sunday, December 11, at St. Patrick's Seminary, 320 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park.

"An Asian Winter and Other Litanies" will be led by director Martin Benvenuto and accompanied by pianist Susan Soehner. The program includes a mix of poetry, litanies and cantatas. The chorus will collaborate with the Crystal Children's Choir on several contemporary Chinese works.

Tickets are $20 general, $15 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased at the door or through the Stanford Ticket Office, 725-ARTS.
Peninsula School holds annual fair

Peninsula School will hold its annual craft fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 4, on the school's campus, 920 Peninsula Way in Menlo Park.

The children's chorus will open the fair and musicians will entertain in the cafe and the auditorium.

More than 30 vendors will be selling handcrafted or handmade toys, clothing, pottery, jewelry and soaps. The craft fair cafe will offer homemade soups, baked goods, hot and cold beverages, and desserts.

Children will be able to make their own crafts and gifts in a special area. Parents may stay with their children or leave them under staff supervision while they shop.

For more information, call 325-1584 or go to PeninsulaSchool.org.
Christmas creche exhibit in Palo Alto

Five hundred nativity scenes from 65 countries will be displayed at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3865 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto, from Saturday, December 3, through Wednesday, December 7. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. daily. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

There will be live holiday music with concerts in the evenings and on weekend afternoons. A children's room will feature craft activities, story times, and marionette shows. For information, call 493-2735 or go to christmascreche.org.


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