Art condition

Not your average holiday shows

For those who need a little escape from the Bing Crosby and Julie Andrews tunes that seem to follow you wherever you go at this time of year, a little alternative holiday cheer can be found at Lowry Hill East’s Bryant-Lake Bowl and Brave New Workshop.

The "Santaland Diaries" are being performed by Theatre Limina, a Twin Cities-based theatre company, at Bryant-Lake Bowl Mondays, Dec. 20 and 27 at 7:30 p.m.

The play brings to life author and radio commentator David Sedaris’ book of same name, described by the New York Times as "a delightfully thorny account of working as a Yuletide elf at Macy’s." Tickets are $12, and reservations are recommended.

"The Eight: Reindeer Monologues" is also playing at Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, with just one performance left Thursday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. Hear the gossip about what really goes on in Santa’s workshop as the reindeer reveal Santa’s naughty secrets. Tickets are $15.

Both shows are for adults only. Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater is located at 1600 W. Lake St. in CARAG. For more information, visit www.bryantlakebowl.com.

If shopping is getting you down, join the Brave New Workshop for "A Very IKEA Christmas; or Some Assembly Required." The comedy troupe has unpacked their holiday favorites from Christmases past and put together new, trendy sketches in the sketch comedy show.

The Brave New Workshop is at 2605 Hennepin Ave. S. in Lowry Hill East. The show runs through Jan. 15. Tickets are $23-$25. For show times, tickets or more information visit www.bravenewworkshop.com or call 335-6620.

Celebrate Kwanzaa

If you want a holiday celebration set to a different pace, come celebrate Kwanzaa at Lowry Hill East’s Intermedia Arts.

The African drummers alone, said spokesperson Sandy Agustin, "Will get people bouncing in their seats."

A DJ will also keep things moving, along with storytellers and spoken word artists from SASE, the writing program based at 711 W. Lake St.

All artists will perform or share works inspired by artist Beauford Delaney, a groundbreaking African-American whose paintings are now showing at the Minneapolis Institute for the Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S. The theme of the night will be "Kujichagulia" — the Kwanzaa principle of self-determination.

Partygoers will also get to see local artist Richard Amos "riff" with his paint brush, composing a work of visual art throughout the evening.

The celebration is Monday, Dec. 27 and begins at 6 p.m. Intermedia Arts is located at 2822 Lyndale Ave. S. in Lowry Hill East. Tickets are $5 ($4 for Intermedia Arts members and youth under 16). For more information, visit www.intermediaarts.org or call 871-4444.

Free concert

Timbre, a newly formed choral ensemble, will perform "Sound the Glad Tidings!" at Fulton’s Lake Harriet Christian Church Monday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. Timbre is a new classical a cappella group; the 12 men who comprise the group perform music focused on diversity and multiculturalism.

"Timbre fills a need in the Twin Cities for quality small-group music," said Artistic Director Dan Adolphson, noting that the group’s smaller numbers allow for a more intimate, moving musical experience for the audience.

Members of Timbre bring a wide range of musical experience to the group, many have sung in community and professional ensembles in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and California. Several members have been involved in professional and church music organizations around the

Twin Cities.

Lake Harriet Christian Church is at 5009 Beard Ave. S. The concert is free, but attendees are asked to bring a donation to support Timbre and Bill’s Pantry, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to meeting the nutritional needs of those living with HIV/AIDS in the Twin Cities. For more information, call 481-2967 or visit www.timbremusic.org.

‘Under Milk Wood’

The Jungle Theater describes their final 2004 production, "Under Milk Wood," as "a unique combination of poetic fireworks and music-hall humor."

The Dylan Thomas play tells the tale of a charming and strange Welsh fishing and its quirky residents, played by Bryn Mawr’s Buffy Sedlachek and Lyn-Lake’s Bain Boehlke, among other Southwesters and Jungle favorites.

Boehlke, who is also the Jungle’s artistic director, said the play features everything people love about great theater: warm spirit, vibrant characters,

magnificent poetry, inspired music and a beautiful setting.

"Under Milk Wood" runs through Jan. 15, at various dates and times.

Whittier’s Jungle Theater is located at 2951 Lyndale Ave. S. Tickets are $20-$30 and available at jungletheater.com or 822-7063.