Linda's Doll Hut ends its annual series of holiday benefits with weekend shows for the Orange County Food Bank. On Friday, it's an Acoustic Christmas Party with Chris
Gaffney, Lee Rocker, Joe Wood, Jimmy Camp, Rhythm Lords, Keri Rodriguez, Michael Ubaldini, and Coleen Rider and Frank Agnew--a roots-leaning bill with some accomplished singer-songwriters. On Saturday, Burnin' Groove, the Ziggens, Sun Demons and Adventure Girl figure to play things on the fun side of melodic-punk, surf-rock and rockabilly.
* What: Doll Hut Christmas benefits.
* When: 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
* Where: Linda's Doll Hut, 107 S. Adams St., Anaheim.
* Whereabouts: Exit the Santa Ana (5) Freeway at Lincoln Avenue; go west. Turn south onto Manchester Avenue; the club is on the right.
* Wherewithal: $5.
* Where to call: (714) 533-1286.
Robert Joffrey, co-founder (with Gerald Arpino) of the ballet company that bears his name, was born Christmas Eve. His final ballet was a production of "The Nutcracker," which premiered in 1987 shortly before his death.
The Seattle-born Joffrey wanted an American "Nutcracker," so he set out to reproduce the look of Victorian Christmas cards, lithographs, woodcuts and illustrations from 19th century periodicals. It's set in New York, with decors by Oliver Smith. Kermit Love, of TV's "Sesame Street," designed the huge Mother Ginger puppet.
* What: Joffrey Ballet of Chicago dances "The Nutcracker." (See review, F1.)
* When: 8 p.m. today-Saturday; also 2 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
* Where: Orange County Performing Arts Center, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.
* Whereabouts: Exit the San Diego (405) Freeway at Bristol Street; go north. Turn right onto Town Center Drive.
* Wherewithal: $18-$59.
* Where to call: (714) 740-7878.
A child's Christmas anywhere has certain magical properties when the tree is dressed and the stockings filled and Santa is on his way. But only "A Child's
Christmas in Wales" speaks to us in the language of Dylan Thomas, who recalls "that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea."
In the stage version of the great Welsh poet's story at Laguna Playhouse's Moulton Theater, adapters Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell have preserved Thomas' language and added lots of music.
* What: Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales."
* When: 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Ends Sunday.
* Where: Moulton Theater, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.
* Whereabouts: Exit the San Diego (405) Freeway at Laguna Canyon Road (133); go west.
* Wherewithal: $20-$30.
* Where to call: (714) 497-2787.
Now that the present-opening frenzy is over, how about some tranquil contemplation in an urban oasis or a seaside sanctuary? Two that come to mind are "California Scenario," renowned artist Isamu Noguchi's serenely stark garden in Costa Mesa, and "Disappearing Path," a 1989 collaboration between artists Helen and Newton Harrison and Cunningham Design Inc. of Santa Barbara.
Noguchi, a California native, used such indigenous elements as a sandy mound planted with cactus, an artificial stream, pine trees and granite to convey his "idea of the ideal place." "Disappearing Path" was intended to foster the natural beauty of its coastal bluff setting. An undulating sunken concrete walkway leads to a broad plateau with boulders and teakwood benches serving as a lookout point.
* What: "California Scenario" (a.k.a. Noguchi Gardens) and "Disappearing Path" at Inspiration Point.
* When: Ongoing, all hours.
* Where: Noguchi: at Costa Mesa's South Coast Metro business complex, off Anton Boulevard, next to El Torito Grill. Path: Ocean Boulevard (between Narcissus and Orchid streets), Corona del Mar.
* Whereabouts: Noguchi: Exit the San Diego (405) Freeway at Bristol Street; go north. Turn right onto Anton Boulevard. Path: Exit the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway at West Coast Highway; go south. Turn right onto Narcissus Street, then left onto Ocean Boulevard.
* Wherewithal: Free.