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Songs and stories for Christmas 

Story and song have long been the touchstones of shared cultural experience—but never more so than during the chilly winter months. Warm your heart and hands and whatever else with these cozy and participatory gatherings, brought to you by Christmas:

“Songs and Stories for the Holidays.”
Taking place at Steynberg Gallery on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m., this year’s program features musician John McAndrew and storyteller Russell Swanagon. Featuring both traditional and modern carols and holiday tales, this evening event is appropriate for kids and grownups alike. McAndrew is a spiritual director and consultant as well as a musician and singer. Swanagon is a longtime local storyteller—traditional folk, fairy tale, and mythology are his specialties—in addition to working as a lecturer at Cal Poly. The event’s free, and guests are encouraged to bring their singing voices. Cellist Bob Liepman (of Bob and Wendy fame) will provide additional accompaniment. Steynberg Gallery is located at 1531 Monterey St. Visit steynberg-events.com or call 547-0278 for more information.

“Forbes Pipe Organ Holiday Concert and Sing-Along.” This annual tradition has already been championed this week by illustrious arts intern Victoria Dale, so I’ll be brief: Pipe organ. Choirs. Singing. Christopher Cohan Center. Saturday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. $10-$16; pacslo.org; 756-4TIX (4849).

“New Year’s Eve Bash”
at the Plough. On Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m., head to Cambria’s Pewter Plough Playhouse, located at 824 Main St., for a closing performance of A Tuna Christmas, a funny and satirical play featuring two actors as 22 eccentric characters from Tuna, Texas—the third smallest town in the Lone Star State. Jonathan Shadrach and Jeff Walters star in this production, directed by Jill Turnbow. After the show, stick around for live cabaret music featuring “sultry songstress” Sunny Wright and pianist extraordinaire Dave Manion, as they highlight the best songs of the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. The party runs to midnight—Or later! Who knows what will happen when those rowdy Cambrians get together with some champagne and noisemakers! Party paraphernalia, an elegant dinner buffet, admission to the final production of A Tuna Christmas, and lots and lots of bubbly are included in the packaged price of $130 per person. For tickets to the event, call the box office at 927-3877 or visit pewterploughplayhouse.org.

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