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Coming Up: Catch the Grand Illumination in downtown Annapolis - CapitalGazette.com


The Grand Illumination, the lighting of Annapolis Christmas tree, will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 30 at Hopkins Plaza next to the Market House downtown.

Various choral groups will sing holiday songs and look for an appearance by Santa. The event, sponsored by the Annapolis Jaycees, is free.

For more information, visit http://www.annapolis.gov

There's still time to catch...

"Viva Italia!" — Enjoy "Viva Italia!" with conductor Anna Binneweg at 8 p.m. Friday at Anne Arundel Community College's Robert E. Kauffman Theater in the Pascal Center for Performing Arts. $7-$10. http://www.aacc.edu.

Legendary band — The Van Dykes Band, a legendary Annapolis group that was formed in 1956, will share the stage once again in a reunion concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Annapolis Armory, 18 Willow St. $40. 410-212-1083.

See the lights — The 20th annual Lights on the Bay returns from Nov. 22 through Jan. 1 at Sandy Point State Park, 1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. daily, including holidays. The tour features a two-mile scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay with 70 animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. New themes this year: North Pole Village and Enchanted Fairy Tales. $14 (per car). Proceeds benefit Anne Arundel Medical Center. 443-481-3161.

Pat Metheny tour stop — Catch the Pat Metheny Unity Group on stage with Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Williams and Giulio Carmassi at 8 p.m. Sunday at Maryland Hall, 801 Chase St. $65-$85. 410-268-4545 or http://www.ramsheadonstage.com.

It's SAXsational — The Anne Arundel Community Concert Association will present "SAXsational," with Rob Verdi of the Side Street Strutters along with the Old Mill High School Band at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Severna Park High School, 60 Robinson Road. $20. http://www.annearundelconccerts.50megs.com.

"Translations" — The Naval Academy's drama group, The Masqueraders, is offering its final performances of "Translations," which examines a local community and British Royal Engineers, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Mahan Hall. $12. http://www.navyperforms.showare.com.

"Cats" in town — The Compass Rose Theatre is staging Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats, the second longest running play in Broadway history, through Dec. 21 at 49 Spa Road (across from the Westin Annapolis Hotel). Showtimes are at 7 p.m. Thursdays and at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Matinees are at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $20-$30-$35. 410-980-6662 or http://www.compassrosetheater.org.

And make plans now for...

Nov. 28-Dec. 14 — The Colonial Players will again present "A Christmas Carol" at 108 East St. in Annapolis. This year's show opens the day after Thanksgiving and runs through Dec. 14, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, at 2, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sundays. "A Christmas Carol" runs a little over an hour, making it suitable for young children, but it also has been a hit with adults since the first production in 1961. Tickets ($10) went on sale last Saturday. http://www.thecolonialplayers.org or 410-268-7373.

Nov. 28-Dec. 6 — The Pasadena Theatre Company will stage "It's a Wonderful Life" from Nov. 28 through Dec. 6 at the Humanities Recital Hall at Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Parkway in Arnold. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 5, with matinees at 3 p.m. Nov. 20 and Dec. 6. $12-$15. http://www.ptcshows.com.

Nov. 30 — You're invited to join the congregation St. James' Episcopal Church in Lothian for the annual "Messiah" community sing-along at 4 p.m. Nov 30. The sing-along, directed by Michael S. Ryan, is un-rehearsed and includes a chamber ensemble, soloists, organ and trumpet. Singers in this come-as-you-are walk-in chorus are encouraged to bring a snack or dessert and a score. Some scores will be available to borrow or purchase for $10. A candlelight reception will follow the sing-along in the parish hall next to the church at 5757 Solomons Island Road. Admission is free; a free will offering will be taken to benefit the Salvation Army. http://www.stjameslothian.com.

Dec. 4, 11 — Annapolis' annual Midnight Madness celebration will be held Dec. 4 and Dec. 11. Stores in the downtown and in the State Circle, Maryland Avenue shopping district will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight for holiday shopping. Look for live music on the streets and a visit from Santa. Many merchants will offer complimentary refreshments both nights. In addition, an 11th-hour shopping event will be held Dec. 18, and stores will be open until 11 p.m. http://www.annapolisbusinessassoc.com.

Dec. 7 — Inaugural First Sunday Arts Festival Holiday Edition, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7. The first block of West Street will be closed to traffic for this event featuring more than 60 fine artists and crafters who will be lining the roadway, with restaurants and bars offering sidewalk dining. There also will be music and entertainment and face-painting for the kids. Leashed dogs are welcome, too. Admission is free. http://www.firstsundayarts.com.

Dec. 7 — The annual ALS Artisan Boutique will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Sheraton Annapolis Hotel, 173 Jennifer Road. This event features more than 55 regional artists offering handcrafted jewelry, original children's clothing, accessories, pottery and paintings. There will also be door prizes, raffles, a silent auction, refreshments more. http://www.alsinfo.org.

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