Get your fill of 'Nutcracker'
2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday / Saroyan Theatre, 700 M St. / www.livelyarts.org, (800) 745-3000 / $25-$55 adults, $18-$45 students, $18-$30 children
For many, "The Nutcracker" is an integral part of the holiday season. The Central California Ballet production features 90 local dancers and community members, along with professional guest artists.
Saluting Fresno's women
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday / First Congregational Church, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd. / Free
In 1994, Pat Wolk and Ellie Bluestein put together a remarkable art exhibition at Gallery 25 titled "20 Fresno Women Committed to Change." By popular demand, they compiled a limited-edition book featuring Bluestein's interviews and Wolk's photographs of such well-known names as Linda Mack, Esther Padilla, Jessie de la Cruz and Margaret Hudson. Twenty years later, they've reprinted the book, which will be available Saturday for $10 at the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom Peace Community Crafts Faire. (Pictured are Mary Curry, Hudson and Elma Sterling).
Have a handmade holiday
11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday / Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero St. / $2 / 21-up / (559) 412-7400, www.soulflowergroup.tumblr.com
If the very idea of Black Friday sales give you hives, you'll be right at home at the annual Fresno Handmade Holiday Bazaar.
Curated by The Soulflower Group, the now annual event is a DIY extravaganza, featuring 28 local craft folks selling everything from upcycled lamps and steampunk jewelry to original art and clothes. There will also be music, food, prizes and cocktails.
An Irish Christmas
8 p.m. Saturday / Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave. / $27.40-$42.50 / 485-9050, www.towertheatrefresno.com
Kevin Horton (of "Riverdance" fame) leads this celebration of Christmas in Ireland. "An Irish Christmas," which comes to the Tower Theatre 8 p.m. Saturday, features the Kerry Dance Troupe and live music from the Kerry Traditional Orchestra playing Christmas classics "Silent Night," "Little Drummer Boy" and "Carol of the Bells."
5-8 p.m. through Dec. 23 / Fresno Chaffee Zoo / $6, $4 for children 2-11 / www.fresnochaffeezoo.org
See Fresno Chaffee Zoo in a whole new light — or lights, as in an array of twinkling holiday displays set up throughout the grounds. The annual Zoo Lights event starts after dark and offers pictures with Santa, live entertainment, cookies and hot chocolate. HoloSpex glasses will also be available, with four patterns of holographic lenses that bend each bright point of light. Available for purchase for $2.
4 p.m. Friday / Community Center for Arts and Technology, 1603 E St. / Free / for those 5-19 years old / (559) 464-5509, www.ccatfresno.org
Zapateado is the percussive footwork used in some Spanish/Latin dances. It's an elaborate array of shoe clicking and tapping that is often used to create percussive music.
Los Angeles indie-folk band Las Cafeteras will hold a free Zapateado workshop 4 p.m. Friday for students 5-19 years old. Following the workshop, the band, known for combining Afro-Mexican, hip-hop, folk and Native American styles plays at 6 p.m. at Arthouse, 1612 H St. The show is $10 and open to all ages.
Christmas dance at Warnors
7:30 p.m. Saturday / Warnors Theatre, 1400 Fulton St. / www.warnors.org, (559) 264-2848 / $20
In "Navidades y Tradiciones," a touring production of the Calidanza Dance Company, Christmas gets major billing. Live musicians will serenade the audience with festive Christmas melodies with a procession honoring Las Posadas. The show includes a "Mariachi Christmas" from Jalisco, including celebrations featuring la piñata and other customary traditions.
Also featured by the 22 dancers: Other Mexican holiday traditions, including a modern piece created for the San Francisco Symphony's recent "Day of the Dead" concert.
Naomi Punk is grunge
You can think of Naomi Punk as a grunge band. The band does hail from the grunge fatherland, Washington state, and plays a sort of mid-tempo lo-fi garage rock inspired by the likes of Soundgarden. Impressively, the music comes off without being derivative.
The band plays Friday night with locals Light Thieves and Midwest Moms at Love the Captive HQ.
A Deadly Christmas
Art Silva is the promoter behind the local Zombie Laser Tag and an event called Halloween in June. So, if he's promoting a holiday show, you know it's going to be a bit … sinister.
Enter "A Deadly Christmas."
Aside from a seven-band lineup, which includes headliners Alien Ant Farm, this alternative holiday party will have a dead-sexy holiday fashion show, go-go dancers (bloodied up for the season), photos with (sadistic) Santa, a DJ room and costume contest (think rabid reindeer or murderous elves).
A family X-mas
8 p.m. Saturday / Strummer's, 883 E. Fern St. / $32 / (559) 485-5356, www.numbskullshows.com
The Los Angeles band X was part of the first wave of American punk rock bands in the 1970s. And while the band, which brings its Family X-Mas tour to Strummer's on Saturday, isn't as furious as it once was, it is more determined, says co-founder John Doe. Plus, longevity is built into the music, he says. So, even if you missed the band the first time around, an X show can be as impactive as ever.
"I didn't see Chuck Berry in 1958," Doe says. "But I saw him in 1973. And he (expletive) blew me away."
The band is currently on tour with longtime friends, The Blasters. That band has seen a resurgence in the last year and is back on the road with a lineup that includes almost all the original members.
"So, it's super deluxe," Doe says.
Check out our extended interview with Doe at fresnobeehive.com.