CITY PICKS 

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VISUAL ARTS AND COMEDY — Valdes and the Have Nots! reunite (woo!)
The Unwantables and Other Unusual Characters
Wed. Dec. 14
6 p.m.
Free
Theatre 99
280 Meeting St.
853-6687
www.thehavenots.com
www.valdescreative.com

Charleston native Marius Valdes returns to town and to Theatre 99 for an exhibit of over 50 of his recent paintings, all priced at under $150, with proceeds going toward the purchase of a wheelchair lift at the recently-opened Have Nots! (and friends) performance space. Valdes' whimsical, unique style has won him acclaim from design publications and professional arts organizations across the country, and he will also have some small framed drawings and limited edition posters on hand. Intrigued by the yellow ape pictured above? Check out Valdes' work at valdescreative.com (if your heart is stolen by Valdes' critters, here's a tip: he has been known to create commissioned paintings of individual pets, too). Valdes will be in attendance with Sharpie in hand at the opening reception, and attendees are welcome to stay and enjoy a free performance of the Laugh for a Lincoln! improv show at 8 pm.
WEDNESDAY


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MUSICAL EVENT — Kill that inner Scrooge
Chord & Pedal Holiday Pageant
Sat. Dec. 17
Doors at 8, show starts at 9 p.m.
$10
The Map Room
1650 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.
769-6336
www.chordandpedal.com

If you've resigned yourself to attending only one feel-good, chestnut-roasting, fundraising holiday event this season, please, for the love of Hanukkah Harry, Santa Claus, and Allah, make it the third annual Chord & Pedal Holiday Pageant. A bevy of local bands and musicians (including Cary Ann Hearst, Bill Carson, The Defilers, L. Brown Odyssey, White Boy Crazy, Clint4, The Specs, and more!) join together for a holiday variety spectacular that has proven, in 2003 and 2004, to be the funnest, coolest, and all-around best musical event of the year. If you thought Halloween was the last time you'd get to dress up this year, think again -- there will be not only a costume contest, but a dance contest, too, plus a forest of Christmas trees, photos with Santa, and plenty of mistletoe. All the proceeds from previous events have gone to a good cause, and this year's, the DMBQ/Michelle Cable Medical Relief Fund, is no different -- in early November, Japanese band DMBQ, along with tour manager/booking agent/Panache magazine creator Cable, were involved in a serious car accident that caused the death of drummer Mana "China" Nishiura and left the uninsured Cable and the rest of the band with mountains of medical bills -- so get there early and bring everyone you know!
SATURDAY


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EVENT — Create holiday Middleton magic
Family Yuletide
Sat. Dec. 17
5:30-8 p.m.
$10/adults, $5/children 7-15, free for children 6 and under
Middleton Place
4290 Ashley River Road
556-6020
www.middletonplace.org

Middleton Place, a plantation that has been around since 1741, features 65 acres of impeccably landscaped gardens, ornamental ponds, and garden rooms in addition to the main house that serves as a museum and stableyards where horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and other farm animals reside and artisans demonstrate crafts. This weekend, join those artisans for a yuletide celebration for the whole family that includes caroling, candle dipping, wreathmaking, storytelling, and a live nativity scene complete with bleating sheep and lowing cattle wrangled from the stables. Advance reservations are required, so call early to save a space around the manger.
SATURDAY


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CONCERT MUSIC — Good times and jingle bells
Charleston Symphony Orchestra Holiday Spectacular
Sat. Dec. 17
8 p.m.
$15-35, $5/students
Gaillard Auditorium
77 Calhoun St.
554-6060
www.charlestonsymphony.com

This year's CSO Pops and CSO Chorus program chock-full of festive seasonal numbers also features Bill Schlitt and his Broadway pianist wife Maida Libkin, along with their tap-dancing daughter Johanna Marie Schlitt, performing a holiday version of the Good Time Variety Hour, the Prairie Home Companion-esque production that's been a Piccolo Spoleto hit for six years running.
SATURDAY


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