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Airplane Mode: Macha Theatre Works’ “The Flight Before Xmas”

“But how did the cat get into her bag?” asked Eleanor,

“I don’t know,” said Dania, standing to put her coat back on. “Does it matter?”

“Not really,” Eleanor shrugged. The logic behind the reappearance of the cat didn’t particularly matter –– Maggie Lee’s play wore its heart proudly on its sleeve, to the point that the moral destinations were more satisfying than the narrative journeys that preceded them. “How the cat got there isn’t as important as the fact that it was found,” Eleanor summed up.

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Empty Stockings: Wrigleyville’s “Christmas Club” Pop-Up with Kelsey McGrath

“What are those?”

All four of them looked at the ceiling, festooned from wall to wall with decorations: presents on strings, a collection of DVD cases for holiday favorites, a ventilation pipe wrapped in string lights. Among the hanging décor, just to their left, were a pool of ornaments –– each consisting of a Santa hat, above a pair of Santa pants.

“It’s like a holly jolly dry cleaner,” Dania quipped.

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Child’s Eye View: Milwaukee Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

“Is this her first Nutcracker?” asked Dania, as the applause built.

“No, she’s been before,” Gwen answered, watching her sister dance. As soon as the curtain call had begun, Hazel was on her feet, leading the adults to stand as well. She leapt off the ground, attempting to replicate the virtuosic jetés of the dancers. Gwen, bending down, put a hand on her shoulder.

“Wait until we’re outside,” she whispered, among the applause. “You could kick someone.”

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Join The Triumph: PBS’s “Arthur’s Perfect Christmas” Soundtrack

“What’s your favorite holiday movie?” asked Dania, as she tacked a paper snowman to the wall.

“Hm, I’d have to think about it,” Gwen demurred. So many good options to pick from. “The best Christmas films are the ones you watch when you’re younger. They’re family oriented. So should I account for that person bias when picking?”

“No, bias it up,” Dania replied. “Anyone can say, like Home Alone, I’m talking about personal favorites.”

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