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Weekend Top 10


DECEMBER 16
West End Comedy will celebrate the holidays with an all-ages show on Dec. 16 and a mature show on Dec. 17 at HATTheatre, 1124 Westbriar Dr. Shows are in an improv format similar to “Whose Line is it Anyway” and feature suggestions from the audience and on-stage participation. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m. Audience members wearing a tacky holiday sweater will receive a complimentary ticket to a future West End Comedy show at HATT. Tickets are $5. For details, call 496-1714 or visit http://www.wecomedy.com .
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“A Disney Christmas Gift,” a film comprising of six cartoon shorts, and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” will play at 7 p.m. at Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Rd. Tickets are $1 and can be purchased at the door. For details, call 328-4491.
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ComedySportz Improv Theatre’s 1st annual Improv Festivus will be held at 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. on Dec. 16 and at 7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 17. Teams and troupes from near and far will be joining ComedySportz including Richmond Comedy Coalition and West End Comedy. Tickets are $5 to $12. ComedySportz’s new theatre is located at 8906-H W. Broad St. For details, call 266-9377 or visit http://www.cszrva.com .
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Dominion GardenFest of Lights continues at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave. GardenFest is a holiday tradition that features more than a half million lights, botanical decorations, trains, holiday dinners, family activities and more. New this year are caroling on Tuesday nights, Peppermint Lane, a 250-foot tunnel of lights, whimsical fairy-house botanicals and more. GardenFest is a rain or shine event and runs nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Jan. 9. The Garden is closed Dec. 24-25. Admission is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors, $7 for children ages 3-12 and free for children under three; discounts available for Garden members. For details, call 262-9887 or visit http://www.lewisginter.org.
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James River Art League’s exhibit “Art Beyond Words” will continue to be on display at Tuckahoe Library, 1901 Starling Dr., until Dec. 29. Featured artists include Maryanne Evans, Anne Twisdale, Elizabeth Hood, Anne Sampson and Mike Steele. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For details, visit http://www.jamesriverartleague.com .

DECEMBER 17
Theatre IV on Tour will perform the Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Rd. Tickets are $10. For details, call 261-ARTS or visit http://www.artsglenallen.com .
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Fairfield Library, 1001 N. Laburnum Ave., will host a Lego & Duplo Day for the whole family at 3 p.m. Build and create with blocks. Donations are welcomed. For details, call 290-9300 or visit http://www.henricolibrary.org .
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The Richmond Renaissance Singers, a premier a cappella early music ensemble, will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a Christmas concert from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Christ Ascension Episcopal Church, 1704 W. Laburnum Ave. The eight-member group specializes in early sacred and secular music and also performs music by more contemporary composers. The Christmas program will include works by Josquin des Pres, Palestrina, Praetorious, Poulenc, Rutter, and Simpson among others. Admission is free but donations are accepted. For details, call 285-5331.
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The band Monkey Fist will play at Sharky’s in Innsbrook, 4032 Cox Rd., at 9 p.m. Monkey Fist is a cover band featuring 80s, grunge and classic rock. Admission is free. For details, call 273-1888 or visit http://www.sharkysinnsbrook.net .

DECEMBER 18
Enjoy stories and songs from Kim Weitkamp at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Rd. Her humor will touch the heart and tickle the funny bone of all ages. Admission is free but registration is required. For details, call 328-4491.
Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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The Gayton Kirk, 11421 Gayton Rd., will host The Kirk Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature the Virginia Scots Guard Bagpipes and Drum Corp, The… Full text

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