On DEC. 1, Alliance Theatre opens Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL, the traditional holiday classic full of top hats and snowy scenes. If this production were a drink, it would be a glass of egg nog: strong, seasonal and perfectly acceptable to consume with your family. $15-$45. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Also Dec. 7 and 14, 8 p.m. Continues through Dec. 26. 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.alliancetheatre.com.
On DEC. 2, Dad's Garage opens CHICK AND BOOZY'S HOLIDAY ON ICE (top), a heart-felt tale of a recovering alcoholic. No wait, a vengeful tale of Boozy the Imp, who makes it a holiday mission to get his drinking pal, B-movie actor Chick Starley, off the wagon. Also stars the Labatt's Bear, making the obvious drink choice an ice-cold brew. $18-$23. Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 19. Dad's Garage, 280 Elizabeth St. www.dadsgarage.com.
On DEC. 3, Horizon Theatre opens David Sedaris' SANTALAND DIARIES (middle, with Harold M. Leaver as Crumpet), the anti-holiday play based on the author's unfortunate stint as a Macy's department store elf. Oh, the misery of retail. Post-viewing, this play often instills cravings for strong martinis and cigarettes. $20. Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 2. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. 404-584-7450. www.horizontheatre.com.-- Heather Kuldell
The Man in Full
Having suggested in 1998's A Man in Full that Atlantans were money-grubbing developers, corrupt politicians and tent-pitching spiritualist scalawags, TOM WOLFE has apparently decided it's safe to visit again DEC. 3-4 for two days of talks, signings and feasting. He's plugging I Am Charlotte Simmons, his new novel about a supposedly elite, refined university, where academic life is all about sex, booze and sports. Surely there are no examples of that in this town.
Margaret Mitchell House Literary Lions Benefit: Dec. 3. Lecture only, $50. 7:30 p.m. Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. Dinner and lecture, $600. 9 p.m. Margaret Mitchell House, 990 Peachtree St. 770-578-3502. www.gwtw.org.
Georgia Center for the Book Reading: Dec. 4. Free. 3 p.m. Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, 441 Freedom Parkway. 404-325-1505. www.dekalb.public.lib.ga.us/gcb/
-- Thomas Bell
From Broadway to Piedmont
RUSSELL SIMMONS DEF POETRY LIVE (above) hits the Atlanta stage DEC. 7-8 with its biting, amusing look at the world through the eyes of poets. Included in the lineup is Black Ice, the first spoken word artist signed to Def Jam, Tamika Harper (aka Georgia Me), an Atlanta native and frequent morning radio show guest, and Lemon, who recently starred in Spike Lee's She Hate Me. Rounding out the cast is People of Color Slam winner Staceyann Chin, author Poetri and Palestinian-American writer Suheir Hammad. $35.50. 8 p.m. Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. 404-658-7159. www.atlantaciviccenter.com.-- Sonia Clark
December 2 - Thursday
Ride the new wave on into the '00s and give it up for DURAN DURAN. The band that brought us "Hungry Like the Wolf" is back on tour promoting its new album, Astronaut and hits the Star 94 Jingle Jam 2004 today. Duranies will notice the absence of Andy Taylor due to illness. 7:30 p.m. $32-$77. Arena at Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 800-224-6422. www.gwinnettcenter.com. (Cary Jones)
December 3 - Friday
Inoculate yourself against the holiday hullabaloo with the premiere of choreographer Douglas Scott's spoofy "The NOTCracker Suite: Schmaltz with Flowers and That Snow Waltz!" The suite is part of ONE, TWO, THREE, MORE! -- an evening of otherwise more serious dance by Full Radius Dance, which features dancers with and without physical disabilities. $12-$15. 8 p.m. Also Sat., 3 and 8 p.m. 7 Stages Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. 404-724-9663. (TB)
December 4 - Saturday
'Tis the season to be giving, according to Eyedrum's (UN)SILENT NIGHT, a fundraiser to support the alternative gallery's soon-to-be new performance space. Highlights include a photo portrait studio, unveiling of an Eyedrum mural, silent auction and live music from Stan Woodard, the Selmanaires and more. Free for members, $10 for non-members. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. (Michelle Yoon)
December 6 - Sunday
Bust out your checkered kilt for A SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS. Featuring Scottish fiddler Bonnie Rideout, the show is a fusion of traditional dance, voice, bagpipes, uillieann pipes, clarsach and other instruments you probably have never heard of. $25-35. 5 p.m. Ferst Center for the Arts, 349 Ferst Drive. www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu. (MY)
December 7 - Monday
Looking to get a little of that holiday shopping done early? The SPRUILL GALLERY wants to help not only by gathering together a huge selection of pottery, crafts and other gift possibilities from local and national artists, but also by providing shopping assistance to satisfy the hard-to-please members of your cadre. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road. 770-394-4019. www.spruillarts.org. (CJ)
December 8 - Tuesday
These days, the legendary MC known as NAS is considered by most to be a hip-hop God. But remember when he was shoveling out crap with P. Diddy a few years ago? Luckily for rap fans worldwide, Jay-Z dissed him so much he had to hang up his shiny suit and start writing the real rhymes for his new double CD Street's Disciple. (See Vibes p. 79.) $32.50. 7:30 p.m. EarthLink Live, 1374 W. Peachtree St. 404-885-1365. www.earthlinklive.com. (Carlton Hargro)
December 9 - Wednesday
It may be hosted by our fearless leader and editor, Ken Edelstein, but the real star of this month's POLITICAL PARTY is columnist Hollis Gillespie, whose recent novel has her racking up praise in national publications including Writer's Digest. She'll join Sen. Kasim Reed and author Phil Kent in a debate about politics and other things that matter. Free. 8 p.m. Dad's Garage Theatre, 280 Elizabeth St. 404-523-3141. www.dadsgarage.com. (MY)