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Weekend Top 10


NOV. 23
The Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave., will kick off from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Celebrate this year's East Meets West theme with entertainment by the River City Taiko drummers and a show by the Jow Ga Kuen Lion Dance Team. GardenFest of Lights features more than a half million lights, botanical decorations, trains, holiday dinners and family activities. It runs nightly, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., through Jan. 7. Admission is $4 to $11. For details, call 262-9887 or visit http://www.lewisginter.org .
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The Richmond Funny Bone Comedy Club and Restaurant, located in the Short Pump Town Center, will host Don “DC” Curry at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Nov. 23, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Nov. 24 and at 7 p.m. Nov. 25. Curry has been the star of numerous stand-up comedy tours including the highly lauded “Royal Comedy Tour” of winter/spring 2010-11. He is also a skilled voice-over artist on hit TV shows like Boondocks. Admission is $20. For details, call 521-8900 or visit http://www.richmondfunnybone.com .
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South River Compounding Pharmacy, 3656 Mayland Ct. next to Cracker Barrel off Gaskins Rd., has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide a Black Friday shuttle and shop event from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A cottage market will be on-site at the pharmacy with local craftsmen, artisans and culinary artists, all selling unique gifts you won’t find in stores. Customers will also be able to have their cars valet parked and receive shuttle service to and from Short Pump Town Center. Donations to BBBS are encouraged. For details, call 897-6447.
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Christian Youth Theatre will perform “Oliver,” an musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic “Oliver Twist,” at 3 p.m. Nov. 23-25, 7 p.m. Nov. 23-24 and at 11 a.m. Nov. 24 at The Steward School, 11600 Gayton Rd. Tickets are $15. For details, call 285-2987 or visit http://www.cytrichmond.org .
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Lavender Fields Herb Farm, 11300 Winfrey Rd. in Glen Allen, will host its annual Christmas Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23-24. There will be classes, demonstrations, herbal tastings, a farm tour and products available for purchase. Lunch is available by reservation. Admission and parking are free. For details, call 262-7167 or visit http://www.lavenderfieldsfarm.com .
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Mystery Dinner Playhouse will perform “Here’s Killing You, Kid” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23-24 inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 6531 W. Broad St. Audience members will solve this 1940s detective spoof during a four course dinner. Tickets are $48. The show continues every Friday-Saturday through Feb. 16, 2013. For details, call 649-CLUE or visit http://www.mysterydinner.com .
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The Richmond Chapter of USA Dance, a nonprofit national ballroom dance association, will be performing live ballroom dance exhibitions from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in front of the first floor Sear’s entrance at Regency Square Mall. For details, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
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Legendary Santa will come down the chimney for the first time this season at 9 a.m. at the Children’s Museum of Richmond, 2626 W. Broad St. Santa will be at CMOR until Christmas Eve. A visit with Santa is free and open to the public; photo packages are available for purchase. Hours vary. For details, call 474-7000 or visit http://www.c-mor.org .

NOV. 24
Kitchen Thyme, 7801 W. Broad St., will host its first annual Holiday Vendor Fair at 10 a.m. There will be food vendors, Mary Kay, Thirty-One, Scentsy Fragrance, Premier Design and local photographers. For details, call 396-COOK.

NOV. 25
Virginia Center Commons, 10101 Brook Rd., will again host Caring Santa for children with special needs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the JC Penney court. The photo environment will be set up to support the sensory, physical and developmental needs of the children. This private, after-hours event will feature no lines, no crowds and no music. To register, call 266-9002 or visit http://www.virginiacentercommons.com
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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The University of Richmond Department of Theatre and Dance will present “Clybourne Park” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2-4 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 5 in Cousins Studio Theatre. A spin-off… Full text

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