Dazzling holiday lights and sights in Twin Cities (and beyond)

Now is the time to shine, light-seekers! Holiday sparkle is back, illuminating cold, dark winter streets with bursts of vivid color and community spirit. Below, we’ve made a list – and checked it twice – of a few choice spots to see holiday lights around the Twin Cities and beyond. Scroll down to see how you can share your photos and add light displays in your community to our list!Related seasonal articles below:How to make ice lanterns, a Scandinavian tradition2014 Holiday Arts & Attractions RoundupShop small, shop localTis the Season of Giving & Receiving   <a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/8522440/”>When should holiday lights and decor go up?</a> Holiday Light DisplaysTaking in neighborhood light displays never seems to gets old. Whether they’re religious or secular, there’s something captivating about a neighborhood all lit up with holiday cheer, each house putting forth their best designs. We’ve started with a list of residential displays, some of which were submitted by readers. We invite you to add displays to our list by using the comment section or emailing paigelelliott@tcdailyplanet.netThe Beaumont Holiday Light Show229 21st Avenue South, South Saint Paul, MN | 5 – 11:30 pmFeatured are 11,000 bulbs in blue, soft white, and bright white, with wireframe angels, deer, and trees choreographed to music that you can hear by tuning into 97.9 FM in stereo.Glowing Tree in Bloomington9145 Meadowview Road, Bloomington | NightlyThe big, glowing oak tree in Bloomington features over 35,000 glowing lights and is a sight to behold. Continue Reading

“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” at the Orpheum Theatre: Reheated leftovers

In the spirit of holiday integrity, I try to disavow all Christmas frenzy before Thanksgiving. In a serious breach of my self discipline, I saw White Christmas in time to tell my family gathered Thanksgiving not to see it. In search for a metaphor, I compare White Christmas to reheated turkey: the glamor is gone and now you lovelessly consume it. Continue Reading

“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” at the Orpheum Theatre: Christmas came too early in favor of too few

In a state where snow began it’s residency in early November, long before officially being winter, it seems as though many Minnesotans aren’t dreaming of a white Christmas just yet. As Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical takes the stage at the Orpheum, with opening night prior to thanksgiving and closing night sooner than the month of December, it has it’s work cut out to spread holiday cheer. Continue Reading

“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” at the Orpheum Theatre: Fun for the family, outdated for those unfamiliar

The music, orchestrated by Larry Blank, is played too precisely, driven by modern jazz sounds as opposed to those of Ragtime that influenced Berlin as he wrote the original score. Book writers David Ives and Paul Blake updated the script in that they took out many of the racist and sexist jokes that appeared in the original, including a minstrel number containing the song “I’d Rather See a Minstrel Show.” Continue Reading

Holiday light displays brighten Twin Cities and beyond

For 2014 holiday light displays see: Dazzling holiday lights and sights in Twin Cities (and beyond) Minnesotans don’t need to dream or wish for a white Christmas this year, as winter blasted in with early sub-zero temps and snow. If seeing all that white has you seeing red, check out the bright holiday light displays, which transform cold, bare streets into a joyful array of eye candy. Check out our list of light displays below, and help us add to it. For a fun and relatively inexpensive activity for the holidays, why not make a night of holiday light viewing? Load up the car with family and friends, pop in your favorite Christmas CD, and take a trip around the Twin Cities to see the various light displays and decorations. Several local companies offer limousine or bus tours. Continue Reading

Twin Cities holiday theater and events: Cheer, sneer, and more!

The holiday season is officially underway! Bright lights have started lining the streets, and our first real snowfall will be here before you know it. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to see a holiday-themed show out on the town? From religious to irreverent, merry to scary, and everything in between, this year’s line up has something for everyone.UPDATED 12/4/2013 We’re kicking off things with a spotlight on some theater or music shows in or near the Twin Cities and a general listing. We’ll continue to add more shows as the season unfolds. Continue Reading

A fantasy all-star cast for “A Christmas Carol”

Ghost of Christmas Past: Betty White in the Christmas episode of Golden Palace. In the holiday episode of this short-lived Golden Girls spin-off, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia appear as ghosts to bring the holiday spirit to their cook Chuy. Rose, appearing in veil and halo, briefly confuses Christmas dreams with wet dreams before escorting Chuy first into his bathroom and then into his past, where it’s revealed that Chuy’s hatred of the holiday stems from his father’s making him dress as a giant Navidad cake.Ghost of Christmas Present: Carol Kane in Scrooged. Bill Murray’s yuppie Dickens update frequently sags, but never when Kane is on screen beating the hell out of the TV executive who’s forgotten how to love.Ghost of Christmas Future: Guthrie Theater, 2010-2012. If you like your Ghosts of Christmas Future to be pants-fillingly terrifying, the dramatic first appearance of this spirit—a giant crow-like prop dropping suddenly from the ceiling with a shuddering gong strike—will not disappoint.Bob Cratchit: Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Christmas Carol. Continue Reading

Holey Christmas Tree: St. Paul entrepreneur punches up an enviro-friendly take on the artificial tree

“I’m going to write about how this Holey Christmas Tree is environmentally friendly,” I told my girlfriend as I punched the tree’s sections out of a large sheet of cardboard.”You can also,” she suggested, “say how it allows you to have a semblance of Christmas spirit with about 12 minutes of work.”The Holey Christmas Tree is the invention of St. Paul resident Terry Casey. It’s a two-and-a-half-foot artificial tree manufactured—also in St. Paul—entirely of recycled cardboard. There’s, yep, about 12 minutes of assembly required: once the two halves are punched out, all that’s left is to slide them together and poke out the holes where you’d like to hang your ornaments.When assembled, the tree has a appealingly retro look; I added some vintage ornaments from my family’s Christmas chest and decorated with a string of lights. Continue Reading